In Serein

1-1 Valia, Essem

Vampire Solstice

by StarFields


Part 1

1/1: Valia, Essem 


The Night Of Blessings 

The vibrancy of all this life, of all this youth, quite overwhelms me each time. 

Each year that passes, it becomes - more alien, and ever more attractive. 

Isn't that strange? Each year that passes, just a leaf in a breeze, swift they pass, fly away down the endless corridors of time, and they are nothing now - memories, you ask me? That is such a human thing, such a child's thing. 

I don't care for memories. 

I let them go; they are not here nor are they now, those who walked then, including all those version of a me that don't exist at all. 

I am here - what more do you need to know? What of my loves, what of my tears and heartaches, what of my dooms and destitutions, desperations, triumphs, moments of enchantment? Look. 

Leaves gently drifting down into a misty whiteness where all the past sleeps now, far away and quite irrelevant. 

Can I travel there? Of course I could, but what would that accomplish? Should I get bored of here and now, it might become an option. 

I might just follow with the leaves in trailing garments, white the same, just as a virgin bride would walk, her white feet pale and bare, and these old autumn leaves might turn to flower petals as I stride and halt; and there are doors on either side, and every one would lead into a time of past, and I could walk there, live there once again, and see what once I saw, and feel what once I felt - for sure, this is within my power. 

I will be honest, and I'll tell you that I won't start on this journey, not until the time is right and time is here for me to step away from all these nows and new adventures; those who are still older than I am, they lie somewhere, and they don't die; they walk amongst their halls of memory and life forever and a day, and they are lost within. 

But I, I am of now. 

I am of here and so the year has passed again, so swiftly and so beautifully, with silken nights of starblessed beauty, roaring days in deep protection, down inside the earth where all that radiance cannot hurt my fragile eyes, my skin nor set my hair on fire. 

It is the night of the furthest drifting. 

This night, all of my kind who still walk in the now, we celebrate and mourn alike for this time is so short, and some do hold that it's no time at all, for as the longest night unfolds it dies the same and will begin to shorten once again as we are ever heading forward on a journey that will never end nor will it ever be the same. 

Solstice, they call it. 

We call it the Festivals of Blessings. 

Here, when we are the furthest from the dissonance the sun produces, we can hear the others all across the worlds, across the voids, most clearly and we sing with them. 

All our most holiest of rituals are then conducted; and the elders join us in their far away remembrances, and all and everyone who misses us, as we miss them - it is the night of our remembrance of home and hearth and our night of re-connection, when the wings of night reach out across the endless voids and tell us we are not alone, and we are not forsaken, and that the day will come when we too can rejoin the life that we were meant to live. 

All of our holiest rituals are here, tonight; and what could be holier indeed than the audition?   



Immortal, And Beloved 


This theatre is old. 

It is underground. 

It is perfectly restored and lovingly maintained; for here, we come together, those amongst the old ones who are willing, to hold the audition - here, we seek for young ones who will leave their lives as men and women and will join us on the great journey. 

We are not quite such a secret as the sleepers who know nothing might presume; there are a number who are well aware of our existence. 

The governments all know; and all their so called secret branches. Their secret clubs and parties all do know as well, as do all the religions; they keep us for one of those amazing revelations they bestow upon their most ardent of followers upon their various initiations. 

They keep their distance, and most wisely so; my kind does not take well to their intrusions for we have our own path and our own unfoldments and we care not for theirs in any way. 

Once in a while, you get a madman who will try and lash the sleepers into riot and revolt, who'll try and tell them that there are these others who live blithely right amongst them and who drink the essence of their children to sustain their fragile veil existences; but this never gets much further than a group of medics dragging such a one into a cell, somewhere; a dungeon, somewhere, where they can scream and rant with all the others and no soul will ever listen. 

It matters really very little for they cannot hurt us. No silver bullets, crosses, holy water; all of that is an illusion, just designed to keep the sleeper's fear at bay and give false hope that there might be some form of retribution or of punishment, some way that they could make themselves account for something in their dealings with the likes of us beyond the cattle function of providing food and life. 

And a false hope it is. 

We are other than, and though we can extend ourselves and reach to them, they cannot reach to us for all the stones, the fires or the bombs they might employ from their material world with their material minds. 

Material minds. Minds of cloth and rag, of wood and concrete, marble minds that do not flow and that is why they cannot touch us, cannot even see us, not unless we make an effort and unveil, enough for them to build illusions then around just who they saw, or what they met. 

I remember when this theatre was new. 

I remember who ordered the construction; my lover he was, and high amongst the best. 

I remember we were young, and laughing at the notion of instead of wandering about to seek for our junior generations amongst the ever burgeoning masses of humanity to have them come to us instead, to kneel and to present themselves, all willing moist, and sensuously there with bodies still so vibrant warm, and beating hearts. 

I must remember not too clearly here because you know just what will happen if I do - I will get lost and now is not the time for me. Let us leave the past and so instead, keep focussed on the now, a long time it has been, and now the theatre does reek of age and great antiquity, and of an ocean, yes, an ocean of young blood that has been shed across the centuries, and the millennia. 

Tonight, it is packed with humanity. 

It is packed to overflowing - the houses must have been quite active, going out amongst the young ones for recruitment, which is not as hard as it may seem; it is enough for one of us to stand just anywhere and to unveil; and just like water floods most blindly down into a chasm, they will come to us, will hunger for us, will be drawn to us for we are what they always dreamed that they might be. 

Immortal, and beloved. 





"My Lady Valia," I hear and feel the resonance, I recognise and now a smile begins to slowly spread right from my heart, right from my center, and enters every part of me, transforms my aspects and in turn, I manifest more strongly so that I have eyes to catch his gaze and lips to smile at him. 

He is so beautiful. 

He always, always takes my breath away. 

Ah, what a phrase! For I don't breathe, and though I have a heart, it doesn't beat - I pulse throughout and interlaced with all that is around me, I draw in strength and purpose always, from all my surroundings, as in exchange, I give my existence to the surroundings in return. 

But it is true, when first I lock and link to Meruvian, I stand still for a moment, I stop altogether, in shock at his perfection, and this has been the case since first I saw him, first I tasted him, oh, all these times and times ago. 

"Meruvian," I speak his name and colours dance from my lips, they ripple gently but with passion and embrace him, stroke him, set him quite alight the way just I can make him come to life. 

He chooses to present in such perfection; but it is a truth about him that he *is* perfection; he is a true prince, an angel born and bred; arisen and now, with his age and his experience, still so much more than once that youngster was I chose from all the other in this very place, at the very first audition, the first we ever held; where first I fell in love in such a way that you might say I've never been the same again. 

I can't conceive of him or how he might appear, how he might feel when he has reached an age comparable to mine; for what a king he will become, and what a shining star! My love and admiration for him is a rapture that is near enough complete; it meets his deep devotion and extraordinary love for me in turn, and where we stand, just where we are, begins to lose cohesion by the power of our contact and the rushing storm we are creating here. 

I sigh myself backwards and release this great temptation; and after just a whisper's wind, he does the same and so we stabilise to what we have to be when we are thus together in these later days. 

It is quite possible, and I have often thought this as the centuries passed by and not a one like him would cross a path, and thousands did, and none of them could be compared; were not enough to be a shadow or a leaf beneath his feet, that he might the one. 

It has been told and told again that there would be a one who would be born to catalyse the journey; a one of such a strength and passion that he would embrace us all and lift us to the night, to make us one and take us home at last. 

Now it is true that in the tales, they don't say that our saviour is a he, and we don't know just how to know the saviour when they come; and it could be just anyone, one of the oldest ones who are so deeply dreaming and so far away already - it could be me. 

I've thought this too and many other things just as one does, and yet, to see Meruvian, I can't help it, I can't help myself, I wish he was the one. 

I wish he was the one. 



The 7th Level 


Meruvian and I, his sponsor and his life giver, his first lover and his first teacher, Valia my designation, Essem in rank, are as of yet alone on the 7th floor. 

The theatre has seven stands, just like a coliseum; seven layers, seven levels upon which our kind assembles for this wonderful occasion, on this wondrous night of nights; they younger ones are lower down, and there are few who are Essem, who have the right to be right here, on the 7th level and the last before we then ascend to sleep and dream, and will no longer manifest ourselves within this meeting, or upon this plane, quite anywhere. 

The theatre is round; and all the floor space will be taken up by the potentials; already, there are many, and when they have all arrived, there will be twelve times a hundred and forty four of them; that many will have been admitted and no doubt a mass of thrice that number will have never gained their entrance here. 

The light is soft and subtle; golden and suffused with red; reflecting back from golden decorations, golden wood and the deep russet linings of the curtains and the tiers where our kind is assembling; and as yet, there's only him and me here in the highest stand. 

This floor is simply golden red carpet, from the balcony to the walls; and the walls have alcoves with paintings, paintings of our lives and times past; beautiful and all around, a lovely reminder to where we are, and were we are going in a way. 

There is no furniture here for we don’t need to sit; strictly speaking, we don't stand for we don't have any feet as such, no backs that could get tired and of course, much later on and when the milling dancing crowd of the potentials weaves and moves like seas below, we will fly above them, unseen and unknown, to take our choice, if we should choose to make a choice this night. 

Meruvian smiles and sends me  his excitement; he feels that this night will be special, that we will have a night to be remembered deeply and I tune and must agree - there is a resonance tonight, a special music in the air, a waiting and whispering that hushes round the empty seventh floor and we are definitely not alone tonight - there are elders here, and that is new, and that is rare, and it makes me tingle through and through and then I spiral sideways as the thought that here might be my own sweet master, finally returned to touch me once again, begins to take a hold, and then unfold within me, and across, around - 

"Steady me, Meruvian." The prince of princes is acutely tuned to all my states of being and before I finished my request, he is already there, and places his arms around my waist, draws me to him and into his space of personal protection - warm it is and bright, powerful, deep and wonderful and I draw myself together and I steady here with him. 

"Can you feel the elders," I ask of him and he extends himself but though he is so close, he isn't really quite the same as I, each level and each layer has their own manifestations, life; and even though we both are here on level 7, he is young and I am old. 

Millennia divide us. 

They divide us in experience but more so in development - I can perceive things that he has no eyes to see as yet, no ears to hear as yet, and he still doesn't have the mind and understanding he will need to think about what he has not yet seen, and not yet heard. 

Meruvian, my prince, don't worry. One day you'll be a king and you will feel the same as me. 

"It will be too late," he tells me. "When that time comes, you will have long left and be nothing but a whispering elder that will spin me out with sorrow and with desperate hope that I might touch you once again - pray there will be a young one of my making then to hold me steady and allay the terrifying grief and loss I had to suffer at your passing." Time is a curse, indeed. 

The sleepers think that we are free of time; that we have conquered time but that is so untrue. 

We too are bound by time. 

I was not ready to be raising such a one as this Meruvian well until I had ascended high myself; and by that time, and even though he tried, the distance that then lay between us was so vast that he could never close the gap. 

And that was just the same with my own master, with my lord, oh my beloved, oh my lord, I do not want to now remember what it was when you just went away and you did leave me here, all by myself, with all my hopes destroyed and all of me in ruins, in black ashes and in dissolution, wailing all across the levels and the plains, seeking, searching, knowing that you were not there, knowing that I'd failed to keep in tune with you, and oh! had I tried. 

Oh, I tried so hard. 

As Meruvian is trying still - is that what drives us on? Is that the great design and sorrow of our lives, of our existence? To try and endlessly move forward, try to catch the elder, the progenitor, the one and true and only love? And then to slow and let your own descendants try the same, try to keep up and get in phase and so it does repeat again and yet again - are we alone? 

Will it never end? 

We must not think that way. 

I must not be that way. 

That way is to forsake the time and enter into endless yesterdays - I am not ready, and there's still a chance if I can hold these thoughts at bay that this one here, Meruvian my most beloved prince and saviour, the healer who did bring me life again when I was sure that there could be no more than endless mourning, that this one here might be my king, and we would break for once and always the eternal cycle that has damned our kind in oh so many different ways. 

My lord got tired of the wait, of waiting for me to become his queen and so he simply went away; but I, I shall try and hold it off; I shall try to my last and most intense unfoldment to maintain the here and now; to give Meruvian time, to give him more time than I was given. 

That is my pledge; that has been my pledge since first I saw him in this theatre, since first I saw him dance; and knew he was for me, he was perfection, he was beauty, he was there and real and if I could take him, make him mine and make it right, we might arrive together. 

This hope has kept me focussed all this time, all these dawns and all these storms; all these mornings, all these nights; it has kept me alive when nothing else could do that for me. 

This hope has kept me make a plan to keep me here when all the ones I knew from when I was Arada are long since gone to sleep, so long - so long. 

Meruvian speaks into my thoughts. 

"My lady, will you choose this night?" Oh but I am glad that he is here. 

I was right on the verge of there remembering my brothers and my sisters, and all their children, and that's where the trap is that leads you into yesterday and makes it real, and then it does become your prison and you're lost within ... 

I will have to keep Meruvian around. 

He will have to stay with me from now until I either break or go, or he is ready to step forward and to join me. 

My strength is faltering. 

I am too old now, too much past, I find it far too hard to keep the balance or to even turn the balance that it tips towards a future. I will need his help. 

I often thought that if my master had just asked me to be close to him, my youth would have allowed him to go on beyond what strength he had himself; but it is true, he never asked me, and I didn't know enough, I never, ever thought that he could possibly be gone; I heard these things, about these things, and had encountered howling ones myself but never did I think that this would be my fate, or that it would have been so soon. 

I had been away and playing games, enjoying life and all this life does have to offer and it was not until I felt the tearing, screaming pain of his ascendance did I even know this had been underway. 

He went to heaven, and I went to hell. 

I was still so young, he should not have left me, he must have known what it would do to me, he felt it too and knew it well enough when his own lady had departed; he told me of it, in whispers and dreams, shadows of dread and horror I did never understand, could never understand until the time arrived and I learned for myself just what it was. 

I can't conceive of a more cruel way to be initiated into adulthood. 

I can't conceive of a more destructive kind of challenge; and it is little wonder that only few, so very few do make it through and can continue on beyond their master's own ascendance. 

Sometimes, entire lines wink out and die; I am quite well aware that there are many in my own descendant line who fell apart when I went mad and simply tore themselves into a million screaming pieces, drifted then away like leaves on a breeze, to be nothing, to be saved in that way, to start afresh - somewhere. 

At least for those, the suffering was over; it was a death of sorts, and who would ever think, there are so many different kinds? I step up closer to the balcony and place my gloved hands lightly on the polished wood. As they approach, there is no shadow, no reflection; I notice, smile and make a small but fundamental movement of adjustment to ensure that I should now produce the resonance required to be physical and real enough in all the ways the sleepers tend to judge such matters; should I choose a youngster for my line tonight, they will be much afraid and much in need of gentling and of re-assurance. 

Not having a shadow, a reflection or the passing straight through solid objects is quite non-conducive to that end; and further, all it does is fuel more of all the endless question that the young ones have. Of course they do; they still walk and talk and think the way they do and even though they have received the basic blessing, they have not yet had time to find the way of understanding and of seeing, knowing truth the way we do. 

Meruvian has moved to stand beside me and likewise, he makes the resonance adjustment; it is a fascinating, tingling experience to feel him materialise so close to me. It has been quite a while since he and I have been together thus and it is still intoxicating, and I do still enjoy him on this level as I always have. I turn my head to look at him, look up at him; he is tall and stately as a beautiful forest tree, rushing with life but calm and perfectly nourishing. I sigh with pleasure and relax beneath his shelter, in his shade, in his forest fragrance, forest silence; and I am glad that he appears in darkest green and gold tonight, these are his colours, these are his strengths. 

And even so, and even in the resonance that nearly matches physicality, we weave together like a song, I am the wind and he is all the forests, swaying ocean tree tops, finger leaves; and as we weave together, I find myself be drawn more strongly through his roots and youth into the here and now, and we begin to watch the dancers now below, and with his help I see them now, I see them as they are in their own century's attire and not an overlay of many times, of many choosings, as I do these days when I am all alone within the kingdom that is me, a kingdom so wide and so sweeping, so ranging and so all encompassing, that it is getting harder and more difficult with every dawn that passes to remain together or to act upon a single plane, a single point in time, or in a single body. 

"My Lady," Meruvian speaks aloud and I shiver like an instrument that has been touched and made to resonate the touch in turn in sound and call, "my lady, you are far away tonight. Please come and join me here, please come and be here, I desire you to be here, please ..." 

As he speaks and pleads with me, I feel a spiral drawing, drawing me down and closer, tighter and inward, and by the time his words have drifted out and far away, I am apparent, I have been evoked and now I'm really here. 

I am manifest. 

Lady Valia has arrived at the choosing.