The Untimely Death of Peter John

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It was winter of the year 1853. A large man stepped out of the doorway. And stumbled into the cold winters night. Were it not so late he probably would have collided with a carriage head-on. But the street was empty. He sang to himself merrily while he danced drunkenly, yet almost gracefully under the glow of the street lamps. His name was Peter John. The man with two first names serving as both his given and his surname. The drunkards at the pub would usually switch between calling him Peter or John depending on the given night. No one ever called him Peter John though – as if addressing him as such was out of the question.

The cobblestone street clicked under his riding boots as leather met stone. The cold of Winter cut through Peter’s trench coat to the bone, even the added layer of alcohol was no match for this northerly wind.  Peter shielded his face as he tried to remember if his house was down Kensington Lane or Rosewood Street. Definitely Kensington Lane, Peter thought to himself. And he began to sway and amble the dance of the drunken-man until eventually arriving at his little cottage at the end of the lane.  The snow shrouded his view until he reached the front door and took out his set of keys. Too many keys for one man he thought, as they clanged together almost like a wind chime. They had a sort of melancholy sound to them and Peter felt the pang of despair creep closer to the surface for a split second.

“Blast it which one is it?” Peter said tersely as he fumbled the chain of keys.

“You didn’t use to have such trouble with keys Peter, then again you didn’t use to drink as much either,” a female voice said as she chuckled to herself.

Peter turned around and saw Amy and the colour drained from his face.

“How…how are are…you…how are you here Amy?” Peter felt sobriety instantly take hold. Alcohol hadn’t made him hallucinate before but shit he had drunken enough that who knows what it could do.

Amy continued to smile but she couldn’t hide the sadness in her eyes. Like the small remnants of mist on a distant field, sadness cloaked her. Under the light glow of the street lamp Peter and Amy looked at one another, each searching for an answer within the other’s eyes, but none would come. Peter grasped his keys firmly, feeling the cold brass push against his skin.

“Here allow me,” Amy said moving forward and she took the keys from Peter and inserted them in the lock which brought about a rewarding clink.  This was the house they had shared together and as if stepping back in time they entered together.

Once into the entryway Peter halted frozen to the spot. Before him was a ghost, his wife who had been deceased for three years to the day. He nodded to her as tears welled behind his eyes. Some men seek fame and fortune in this world, and then are the remarkable ones like Peter who sort love. Nothing more but to love and be loved. He had realised that dream in Amy – his one true love. The problem is, that when you believe in one true love, you can never truly love again. Peter had loved Amy, that was that. He would not love again. His heart ached, as he ruffled his woollen hat between his fingers.

Amy took a seat by the fireplace and stoked the fading flames with some kindling. Peter removed his trench-coat and scarf, he let them fall to the hard-wooden floor.

Then the sudden realisation dawned upon Peter – he was dead.

Unfortunately for Peter as he left the pub last night he did meet a stagecoach head on, killing him instantly. Yet still his spirit remained.

“Amy…am I dead?”

“Yes, my love,” Amy said softly.”

Peter fell to the floor, his hands clenched rendering them as white as winters snow. For a ghost is as white as winters snow and what Peter now was – what he had now become – was a ghost. He looked up at Amy, shadows from the fire danced across her face. A tree branch scratched at the window as the wind took hold of its limbs. Peter raised himself up from the floor and took Amy’s outstretched hand. He seemed to have accepted his fate, because here was his beloved. Though he may no longer be able to live he would also no longer be able to feel pain. They were together again. Amy led Peter up the stairs and into the light, bringing an end to that cold winters night.

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A Night to be Forgotten

I ran quickly along the well-worn pathway shrouded in moonlight. My body felt heavy, as if with each step the earth somehow managed to tighten its grip around me, pulling me down until we became one. Yet what was I to do? I couldn’t simply turn back now. My decision had been made and therefore my fate was all but apparent. A crow squawked loudly in the distance. And I walked on-

As the old mansion came into view, perched atop the lone mountain, the notion of time seemed not to be present anymore, if anything it seemed like it had stopped, trapping me in this nightmarish wonderland. I felt the wind cut through me as I inhaled, trying to calm myself, to realise some form of composure. The moon was blood red. I brushed my hair out of my eyes, unfortunately I would have to see what was to come next, something told me whatever it was wouldn’t be able to be unseen. I reached the stone steps and ascended them in somewhat of a trance. And as I reached the door and raised my right hand to knock – a loud scream cut through the air. It was Ren. I burst through the front door screaming for her.

“REN, REN, REN!”

My frantic screams returned no reply.

I span around scanning the empty dark room, it looked as though no one had lived here for decades. Dust covered furniture adorned the living room, a large spiral staircase beckoned me forward. She had to be here? I thought to myself. Hesitation and caution gave way to instinct and I sprinted up the stairs. I did not care what may be waiting for me, all I knew was that I had to save Ren.

I reached the top and saw a half-adjourned door at the end of the corridor. Tears started running down my face as I stumbled forward. A small shard of light glowed from the room. I reached the door and heard the faint sobs of a woman. It was Ren. My dear Ren. I entered the room almost as if I was a ghost. And as the door gave way to the scene I saw before me my heart broke. Ren was in the corner of the room slumped on the floor. I ran over to her and picked up her body, she was on the brink of death. Her body trembled in my grasp. Her eyes were vacant as she stared right through me.

“What have they done to you Ren?” I said softly.

I chocked back the tears as I looked up and surveyed the scene. We had to go, we had to leave this place. Through tear stained eyes I heaved Ren up.

“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” I kept repeating as I carried her through the empty house. Ren only wept silently, the words would not come to her now – if ever. I carried her out of that god forsaken house and into the night. I did not look back but I was scared to look forward. I was too late…

I walked with Ren in my arms through the night until the dew of a new day settled upon my face. Light was slowly breaking as the small cottage where we had spent our Summer came into view. Warmth is what I needed. However, as I entered the once cosy cottage warmth is not what I felt. The fire had died down to a soft glow. I laid Ren on the bed and let the sheets envelop her, to give her the warmth that I could no longer give. And then I broke-down onto my knees beside where Ren now slept. I tried to muffle my cries with my hands, to keep them buried. But the despair just continued to grow until I became lost in it. My heart ached. I slowly began to rise and my eyes found Ren’s soft, bruised face. I reached out my hand slowly and placed it against her cheek. I would never let harm befall her again, I had to be as strong as she was, as strong as she is. And although both our hearts were broken, together we could carry on.

Her chest rose slowly. I hope wherever her dreams now took her that she was safe

Waltz With Vampires

“Waltz with me.” She pulls me along, gracefully swaying and stepping to the orchestra’s tempo. Though crowds of the beautiful and rich in their masquerade gowns and suits stare at us, her wine-red eyes never leave mine. This is the first time we met. Both creatures of the night dancing as the moon floated ever higher in the sky.

What lies beyond these castle walls? I do not know how long it has been, or how long it will be, but I am here, in this moment with her. Am I missed or truly lost within these walls, a prison for both mind and body, as she leads me forward around the floor. Everything before this moment I have forgotten. Who am I? Where did I come from and how am I here? All I know now is the darkness that was once before me has now given way to light, her cold hand around my neck, my eyes fixed upon hers. Words need not be spoken.

And all too soon it was over as she unwrapped her arms from around me and disappeared into the crowd. I followed her out into the castle courtyard. The moon light guiding my way. She was already seated on a wooden bench that overlooked the castle’s gardens. Her wavy, silver hair ever so slightly shifting in the night’s breeze. Her eyes met mine as I take a seat next to her. Only the sounds of the night could be heard. And then she spoke…

“You dance as though your body is weighed down, why is this?”

Unarmoured by this question I looked at my feet.

“You must find hope,” she said with empathy etched words.

“How can I find hope when I am cursed?” I replied before I could stop myself.

A sad smile spreading across her face, she turned and looked to the stars.

Had she found hope?

That night I laid in my chamber, my eyes fixed on the ceiling above me. The curtains flapped nosily in the wind, but I did not shut the window to silence them. Silence was not what I longed for. I had always thought that I was fading into this abyss. Have I been defeated or do I merely wish to lose? I begin to sleep hoping that I shall not awaken but just as my mind slips away I see it. The warmth upon my face, the sight before me, that which is without darkness. It is her. Ariel. An immortal just like me, doomed to wonder this earth cursed forevermore, a vampire. Am I dreaming? Is this a memory of some kind? I may not know but that which gives me the strength to fight the shadows cannot be denied. I am suddenly not alone. The cold hand has left, leaving with it, for the first time, a glimmer of something unfelt. Hope.
***
It wasn’t until 10 years later that I met Ariel again – in a forest where no person dares roams. The trees and the land had the image of death wrought through them. My presence was the only life there – and I wasn’t even alive. I don’t know what brought me to her but our paths once again had crossed. I had searched for her and now here she lay beneath a large Oak tree whose shadow all but concealed her were it not for her striking silver hair. Light seemed to fall from it as if it were made from the stars themselves. She wore the same long white dress she had worn all those years ago. I still bared the ageless body of a 30-year-old man. My dark hair shielded my eyes as I gazed upon her. Time was not apparent to me but for this moment I truly believed that it had stood still. We were the people that time had forgotten yet time had to acknowledge us now. She sat up and looked at me. Her face was gaunt and her body frail as if she hadn’t eaten for months. The wind blew through the forest as if to remind us that life had not stopped. I slowly began to walk towards her, I had imagined what I wanted to say to her countless times but the words would not come to me. And then – just as was done the first time we met, Ariel spoke. But they were words I had wanted to hear.

“Zeref…please put an end to my life, I am tired of living, I can no longer carry the burden that is life. I no longer wish to see those around me die.”
I knelt and put my hand on her cheek. “I cannot kill you, please don’t ask me to do such a thing.

She smiled sorrowfully “it seems death will not come for both of us.”
And with that I kissed her, and with it our curse of immortality was lifted. From that moment, we lived on. Together.

For the next few years Ariel and I lived in harmony, in what I can only describe as pure happiness, an emotion all to fleeting. This forest was now our home. Time wasn’t an issue for us so we built a wooden log cabin that became our place on this earth where we truly belonged.

But it was over all too soon. Today I awake and Ariel is no longer by my side. She has been gone for three months. I stand as the light from the fire place casts shadows across the still room. It is still night. I walk outside into the forest and the freezing air cuts through me. But I walk forward intently with no destination in my mind. Please let my mind stop. Cease these thoughts that burden me, I no longer want to feel the pain of words that don’t ordain paper. I tried to outrun them. Sprinting through the forest blindly falling through branches.

Leave me. Let me forget. Let me go.

I reach the lake just down from our home, the reaves dancing in the wind. I feel the cold earth as I fall too my knees and tears began to fall. I truly was dead. My heart had been given to me by her and in payment life had taken her away from me. I was given the ability to love but could no longer without her by my side. Cruel fate. I banged my fists against the ground until my fingers were all but broken.

“WHY?” I screamed out.

I wanted to challenge the world, challenge that which had cursed me and demand it give me an answer. But I was now a human, a speck of dust in the echelons of time. The stars rained down from the heavens. I walked towards the water, looking for solace, something to provide some kind of support to the weight I now carried.

No one had told me of Ariel’s fate. No one needed to, our soul was one. I just knew. “Ariel!” I yell, until the water silences my cries. The pain is unbearable. My legs have given in, while the shadows pull me down. I lift myself towards the surface one final time, using this last breath of mine as I press forward, leaving everything behind. And then I fall forward and let the water swallow me. Dead . . . but I have lived, if only for a moment, for you see, I saw the sun and with all its wonder and joy. If only for a moment I knew what happiness was. And now I knew what it felt like when it was taken away. But that night I would not die.

Ariel had died serving the Queen of the territory we now called home. She had been We could no longer refuse a summons to serve in the kingdom’s army, the ravages of time was an infliction we both now harboured. We may have no longer been able to live forever but we still maintained our inhuman strength and speed. Following Ariel’s death, I left the forest and walked the world aimlessly seeking oblivion. Seeking vengeance. Time would soon grant me both.

***

I had always known that this world was dark. That this world was cold. It cared not for the poor. It cared not for the weak. And so, I took it upon myself to build such a world. One that was filled with light. A world that was alive. That did something with the poor and the tired. I, marched on the great gates of the Queen Olgaria’s castle. Every step bloody, every loss they took was worse than the last – it took days to take the keep. I broke that door down, and marched straight to where the Queen was seated atop her throne. The Queen was screaming…

I held her crown in my hands – I saw what I had become. I was the darkness. I was the cold. I cared not for the dying woman on the floor. She was weak. I was strong… At last they saw. Saw what I had become. What they had made me become. I walked out onto the balcony of the throne room and at the top of the world and stared off towards the stars and the direction of the city in the night sky. I could hear screams of terror, saw flickering blazes light up the sky brighter than any night star could. The marble floor beneath ran slick with freshly spilled blood. I closed my eyes, trying to block out the screams of the innocent. Was it worth it? Was what I had done worth what I had now become? I moved the crown between my now blood-stained fingers, blood that wasn’t mine and felt the pain of vengeance. I reflected on everything of the life I’d spent until this moment. This was it. This was the day humanity dreaded, the day human kind wrote about; I squeezed my eyes shut.

“My dear Ariel,” I whispered.

Smoke and ash seemed to fall from the sky itself in a dreamlike state. Everything humanity had worked for. Everything we wanted to make together. All of it, gone, given way to something new to be born.

That night, as I lay in my chamber, I thought of Ariel. I do not know how long it has been, or how long it will be, but I am here, in this dark forgotten place. Am I missed or truly lost within these walls, a prison for both mind and body, for I am the only inhabitant. Everything before has been forgotten. Who am I? Where did I come from and how am I here? All I know now is the darkness before me, the cold hand of seclusion around my neck, reminding me of my sorrow. Why am I here? What did I do to deserve this fate? Is there anything else beyond these walls? All I know is I wish I could dance with my beloved Ariel again. I close my eyes for the last time, pain is what I lived with pain is what I would die with.

 

A Vampire at My Balcony Door

The rain continued to fall outside, slowly cascading down the window. An eerie reflection of the emotions that built within me. I could barely keep my eyes open. And as they slowly began to shut and my body began to finally give in to sleep – a loud, heavy thump jolted me awake.

“What was that?”

I walked from my desk and made my way towards the balcony to investigate. I lived in an old house so unexplained noises weren’t uncommon, but this sounded like someone – or something had landed upon my roof.

As I pondered, a young woman landed in front of me, soaked by the rain. She looked at me, her long unkempt brown hair shrouded her face, yet I could sense she was beautiful. I snapped out of my confusion and let out what can only be described as a high pitch scream.

I know what you’re thinking, a beautiful girl lands in front of him and this guy starts screaming? I apologise, but it was rather unexpected and wasn’t something I did intuitively.

The unknown woman took a step back. I regained my composure and opened the balcony door.

“Hey…can I help you with something? It’s not safe to be traversing roofs in this weather, you could fall-

Disregarding my cautionary tale of how roofs become slippery when wet, she shook her hair and asked whether she could come in. Harmless – right?

“Sure, come on in,” I motioned stepping back.

With a speed that didn’t seem humanly possible she crossed the threshold into my house. I turned and looked to see her sitting, almost too casually in my desk chair. It was a good chair I will admit, but something seemed off about her.

“How did you get there?” I stuttered as I whirled around to face her, my body stiffening.

She looked at me, eyes fixed, with a smirk spreading across her face.

“Oh, you know, just in a bunch of movements and motions, same as you would do but at a much faster pace.”

All I could think was that this was oddly familiar to the events that transpired within the books Interview with a Vampire and Twilight but with a role reversal.

“It is exactly like that!” she said excitedly as she straightened walking towards me.

“But I didn’t say anything?” I replied.

“There is no need for you to say anything, I can read minds. So, let me just get this out of the way. Yes, I am a vampire. Yes, to enter a residence or dwelling I need an invitation. And yes, I am immortal,” she recited this like she was reading from a shopping list.

I had subconsciously started to walk away from her, slowly backing up until I reached the stairs. In an awkward manner whilst giving her the thumbs up.

“Please, don’t be alarmed I’m not going to drink your blood – I passed an orphanage on the way here and am full to bursting!”

Horrified at those comments I panicked and ran down the stairs two at a time towards the front door. To my shock, she was already standing there blocking any form of escape.

“My goodness! Why god?” I shouted to no one.

“I know that was a tasteless joke, but I can ensure you, I won’t be drinking your blood, so you can stop praying to the man upstairs.”

I looked at her, frozen in place. Getting my nice wooden floor wet – I lived in London so that was a regular occurrence, but still… How dare she? That would require some mopping later. If there was a later…

“Let’s just forget about the floor for a moment please,” she said, bringing me back to reality.

My heartbeat slowed. Fear wasn’t what I felt anymore, I felt calm. I had forgotten about the rain, I’d forgotten about the work I was doing at my desk. I’d forgotten about everything. I saw her and only her. She was glowing. However, I could sense something wasn’t right. She looked troubled. Scared even.

“Who are you?” I finally managed to ask.

“I’m Jane,” she replied smilingly.

“I’m Tim,” I put simply.

Having established each other’s names Jane went and sat in front of my fireplace, her face was furrowed, deep in thought.

“Jane?”

“Yes Tim?”

“Well I don’t mean to be rude, but what are you doing here exactly?” I tried to say this as politely as one can when a vampire pays unexpected visit. Maybe I should offer her some tea, do vampires even drink tea?

Jane looked up at me, and before I could say another word she embraced me. We hugged for only a minute in total but each second seemed to stretch longer than the last. I could feel that she was in pain. She released me and once more sat by my fire place. The embers had now died down to a soft glow. She breathed heavily and told me everything. A story like no other. The tea would have to wait…

“You see, I can read peoples spirits. I can literally find out everything about a person who I choose to focus on. Your spirit and everyone else’s on this planet, rises above you, towards the sky, like smoke from a chimney. And if I choose to, I can inhale it, breathe it in. I can discover who that person truly is. Whether they are kind and gentle or sinister and evil.”

I looked at her while trying to digest everything she was saying. And I believed all of it.

“Tim, do you want to come on an adventure with me?” she said with an unbreakable gaze

“I do,” I said, and without so much as batting an eyelid she grabbed my hand and off we went into the cold Winters night.

London is a different place at night, the buildings and streets seem to morph like creatures that have a will of their own. And all I could wonder, as my heart continued to beat ever faster was that this is what it felt like to be alive!

“You know, you’re awfully brave,” Jane said nonchalantly, as she turned to face me in the middle of an empty street. “After everything I’ve told you, you still didn’t hesitate to follow me out into the night, a vampire’s playground…”

“Well if I followed you out into the day you might disappear on me, you know with the sun and all that? Or worst begin to sparkle – now that would be truly terrifying!” I said this as a joke but she seemed to react sombrely as if there were truth to my words. “Well, where do we go from here?” I said as I removed my hands from my pockets.

Jane gave a mischievous smile and said, “have you ever explored The London Library at night?”

“I have not,” I replied, thinking that generally you needed light to read.

“Well let me be the first to introduce you to the magic that is a library bathed in moonlight!”

Locked doors were not a problem for Jane, she pushed, they opened. It was as simple as that. Although, I had to go in first and then invite her in, given that she was a vampire. As we entered the library, a shard of moonlight caught her face, her beauty was truly breathtaking. It almost hurt to look at her. We made our way through rows and rows of books, a lifetime of knowledge shadowing our every step. Past words that seemed so fragile, that would eventually outlast us all in the end.

We came to an abrupt stop, resulting in me running in to the back of her with a hard thud. Literally, as pleasant as colliding with a brick wall head-on.

“I want you to read this to me,” Jane said whilst holding a book to my face. The book was William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

I took the book from her and looked at it, turning it over in my hands. “You know, this isn’t the happiest of bedtime stories,” I said wryly, whilst shaking my head.

“I don’t want you to read it to me in the form of a bedtime story, I want you to read it to me as if we were the last two people left on earth.” Given the vastness of the library that wasn’t hard to imagine.  “As if you were reading this for the first time and I was hearing it for the last.” Gone were the anecdotes and humorous undertakings in what she had previously said. Her words were now filled with a deep yearning. I looked into her eyes and then opened the book, the moonlight guiding my way as I began to read while she laid her head on my shoulder;

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean…

I read well into the night, only breaking every so often to see if she was still listening. She always was, she seemed absorbed by what she was hearing as though it had taken her to another place.

And as I uttered those last fateful words, I could see a single tear escape her eye-

“For never was a story of more woe,

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

I sighed heavily and fought back the tears in my eyes as I closed the book. I then felt her take my face in her hands. She leaned in and kissed me fiercely. Time ceased to exist anymore, we were one in this moment. And as suddenly as it had started it was over as our lips slowly drew apart.

“What did I say about libraries at night?” she teased. “That they were magical,” I replied jokingly but I could tell she knew that I now believed those words.

Jane and Tim then made their way out of hallowed halls of London library. Vampire and man, once formerly predator and prey, each other’s guide as they stole into the night, blissfully unaware of what the morning would bring. The door eased shut and they left not a trace, but for one small book, that was left de-shelved on the floor. A remnant of their time together there, nothing less, nothing more.  In the distance – as their silhouettes danced in the street lights – Big Ben chimed hauntingly signaling that it was now 2am. A stray taxi sped past them as they made their way across the cobblestone streets arm in arm. Where else would the night take them Tim thought with excitement? All he knew was that if Jane was leading the way he would follow.

They stood opposite the House of Parliament on the South Bank of the river Thames, outside the now closed ticket office for the London Eye.

“Two tickets please Messieur,” Jane said in a newly developed French accent. “One for me and one for my dear friend,” she motioned to me with exaggerated hand gestures. I took it as my role to play the ticket officer. “Why certainly Madame, will you be paying by cash or credit?” I queried trying to keep a straight face. “You see, my dear dispenser of tickets, I have no money,” Jane shrugged and revealed empty pockets. “Ah but of course that is no problem given that we are off the clock, you and your painfully handsome friend can ride free of charge.” I said motioning towards the London Eye. “Oh, but we couldn’t!” Jane said feigning resistance as she placed a hand over her heart. “Please, I would be insulted if you didn’t!” “Well if you insist, par ici (this way) Tim.” Jane took my arm and lead me towards the Ferris wheel that stood like a lone mountain stretching towards the night sky.

Running my hands through my hair I said rather disappointingly “well, unfortunately I don’t think even you have the ability to operate a dormant Ferris wheel Jane.” “You underestimate me my good man, magic isn’t just relegated to the libraries of the world, it is all around us, in our very being. You just need to look.” As she said this she placed one hand on an empty carriage and closed her eyes, her face becoming still. And in the next moment the Ferris wheel sprung to life. I took a step back amazed at what I had just seen.

“How?” I stammered softly.

“It doesn’t matter how,” she replied faux-mockingly, as the carriage door opened. I smiled back at her and took her outstretched hand as we bordered the carriage. The compartment jolted slightly and then proceeded to ascend. I took hold of the cold steel railing and looked out over the city skyline. Lights flickered from down below and all I could think was how fragile everything looked. Jane on the overhand, seemed to be studying my face intently. Her face displaying a canvas of both joy and sadness. I looked at her and grinned “one day,” I said as I wrapped my arms around her, “none of this will be ours,” I said gesturing towards the city. She laughed cheerfully and squeezed my hand. “Luckily for you I didn’t choose to embark on this adventure with you for your fame or fortune,” she said warmly.

“Why did you choose me?” I asked as I looked out over the lights of London. “Out of all the spirits you could have inhaled, you chose mine on tonight of all nights.”

Her body stiffened and she pulled away from me and moved to the other side of the carriage. She breathed deeply as if contemplating what she should say next. I looked at the back of her, confusion and frustration began welling up inside me.

“Jane, why did you choose me to share this experience with you? What is this all about?” I couldn’t conceal the pain in my voice as it broke, “is this some sort of game? I asked angrily whilst taking a step towards her. “Just tell me!” I implored her just to say something. Anything. Jane turned around and faced me, tears staining her cheeks and I felt a pang of sympathy cut through my chest. “Jane…please…” She couldn’t look me in the eyes as she began to speak.  “I know what’s wrong with you Tim,” Jane said no louder than a whisper. However, I heard each word as if it was carved into my mind. I staggered away from her, “nothing is wrong with me!” I half-shouted. “Nothing is wrong with me, I’m completely fine, can’t you see that I’m fine!” I began spewing out words frantically, trying to convince her, trying to convince myself that I was okay. I turned away from her, I couldn’t bare seeing the anguish etched across her face. And the thought that I may be the cause of her pain was unbearable. “I’m all sweet, I’m not sick! I mean I don’t smoke! I don’t drink! I don’t do drugs! I FUCKING RECYCLE- for god’s sake!” I dropped to the floor and broke down. My whole body shook as I sobbed, “I’m fine aren’t I…?”.

Silence consumed the carriage as tears fell.

Eventually I managed to look up at her and ask, “why am I sick Jane?” Desperately, half-hoping she could give me an answer. She just looked at me somberly. She wrapped her arms around me and knelt as I laid my forehead on her lap. What could she say? She just held me as I continued to cry – all this pain that I had been carrying around for the last six months since the diagnosis poured out of me like rain in the heart of a storm. Jane ran her fingers through my hair, soothing me as I wept, the carriage slowly rocking whilst perched in the night’s sky.

We walked home through the dark, silent streets of London. My body trembled, I felt both physically and emotionally drained. The night had begun with such a sense of wonder and adventure, but now I could only feel the bite of the cold Winters air. Inside, the fire had nearly died out. No words had been spoken for a while. I let my body sink into the sofa and Jane eased into the armchair opposite me. We watched the flames dance before they eventually disappeared sending us into pitched-blackness.

“I’m sorry Tom,” Jane said softly. “I should have told you that I knew about your illness, I should have told you a lot of things…” I looked towards where her voice had come from, why was she apologizing? Before I could speak Jane continued, “you see, I’m more than just some vampire, I am Death.” Death? As in the Grim Reaper? I thought to myself. “I am here to collect your spirit and accompany you to what lies beyond.”

It was my time. After months of watching the clock, each second bringing me ever closer to the precipice of life itself, my time had come. Strangely, fear wasn’t what I felt, I just smiled and said “you aren’t what I envisioned death to look like? In all honesty, I thought you’d be taller, and how can you be both Death and a vampire, that doesn’t seem really fair?” Taken aback by what she had just heard, Jane straightened, “Taller?” she said rather indignantly. “That’s what you took from that revelation? That you thought I’d be taller?” she chuckled. Jane then took on a more serious tone, “Usually I don’t intervene in the affairs of mortals but upon inhaling your spirit I felt the purity in your soul, the beauty and kindness that encompasses your heart, I thought it only right that I would take you on one last adventure…” She trailed off, it seemed that even for Death the subject of dyeing was still a hard thing to talk about.

“But isn’t dyeing the greatest adventure of them all?” I said, surprised by my own enthusiasm. “Jane, what you have done for me tonight… I got to truly live once more, I ended up where I guess I always wanted to be, here with you.  I’m now ready for whatever comes next – I love-”

And before Tim could say anything else, as night turned to day, Jane kissed him one more time, one last time – and with it Tim found peace, as his eyes slowly closed, forevermore.

Remember Your Dream

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What do you live for? We all have a dream. It could be a desire to lose weight, or to learn a new language, or maybe even change the world. The sad reality is there are times in all our lives that we lose sight of our dreams. This is through no fault of our own. The days start to slip by and then become months then years, and by then we somehow have convinced ourselves that “oh well, I guess this is how it is meant to be.”

We all incur disappointments and setbacks, it is the expense of living. Pain is a part of life. It will be with you for every step of the way. But don’t let it limit you or break you, thrive it, it is another chance to grow.  It is easy to get discouraged, even bitter about life and how things have eventuated.  I will personally admit that I’ve had the thought of “why is this happening to me?” I always thought that I was destined for greatness, to live a life that others marveled at or wanted. However, through some deep discovery and coaching I have realized that I was only wanting these things, like fame and fortune to impress others.

In this day and age we are all performing for other people through social-media and the internet, trying to create another version of ourselves that displays our best qualities and who we ourselves even longingly wish to be. It is hard enough to live one life let alone maintain some virtual persona we have created for ourselves. What I’m trying to say is that you need to have dreams that are inline with your values. I want to help people. However, I don’t need this to be accepted or reassured by a mass group of complete strangers on Facebook or Instagram to validate it as a worthy dream. I want to do so because in doing so I am ultimately having a small, maybe even large effect on somebody’s life for the better, and that in turn helps me to realise one of my dreams. I feel good about it, that’s all there is too it.

Now you may have had a dream that you have tried to realise once before but have failed. Dreams aren’t easily attainable, that is why they are dreams not just common thoughts. It doesn’t matter what stage of your life you’re in, adolescents or well into adulthood. Dreams can be achieved at any stage in life, there is no expiration date. So remember your dream, it could be something from last week or decades ago, it still has merit. It still is apart of you and your soul and very being

The Mind is a Great Storyteller

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“We think we know you.” This is a sentiment that I have come accross recently and it really struck a chord with me. The idea of it is, there are always going to bystanders, spectators, or various people who think they genreally know who you are as a person. They feel that you should act in accordance with how they conduct themselves. And if you dare stray against the status quo you become ostracised.

Remember though, if someone doesn’t want to associate with you because you may act a certain way, then they are of no value to you in the first place. Those who try to succeed and inevitably do succeeded are going to be chastised for it by their “peers”. Why? It is just how the world works unfortunately. People may think that you are too good for them. Tall poppy syndrome in a nutshell. In all honesty you probably are. People who are hung up on perceptions of how people should act or shouldn’t act are people with closed minds. They believe everything should be in black and white. These people weigh you down, and unfortunately they can get to you. I’ve been called everything under-the-sun and at times you do let it seep into your head.

However, I have found that once you get caught up in rumination or indulging in such thoughts then you are limiting yourself just like the people who have labeled you have limited their entire lives. You begin overthinking how you should act, speak, and whether what you said came accross as okay. If you are this kind of person then I can already tell you’re emotionally intelligent and kind. You will know the difference between right and wrong.

Therefore, don’t ever feel like you need to sensor yourself – sure we all say things we regret but the majority of the time it is our mind fabricating stories and giving them a catastrophic twist. My biggest wish is to be able too say something and not care what other people think about it. Thus, living in the present moment and not facilitating to people’s needs and desires.

The amount of times I’ve been stuck in my head agonising over what someone has said or how I’ve interpreted a particular social interaction to have gone, is debilitating. I become stuck. i’m viewing events from yesterday, therefore my eyes aren’t seeing today. I’m not living if i’m constantly overthinking the what if’s? Just let life play out. These people that think they know who you are or what is best for you arent worth a second thought. And I’ll put you at ease a bit, the majority of our thoughts are all hypotheticals, that means they will not become reality and are just words in the wind. So let them go.

The mind is a great storyteller. At times it even discouraged me from pursuing the things I loved to do for fear of judgment. That’s when the negative thoughts got louder and would burden me like a well worn coat. I eventually became my shadow. Then I had an epiphany. When I would write or read or play music the thoughts began to pass, they were nothing more then words- whose power would be diminished when I lived by my heart, and did things in accordance with my bliss. Not in correlation with what others wanted me to do. Finally, I had control back of my life, I was in control of my destiny and it was liberating. I could look outside the window and see a view of endless possibilities.

In summation, there are always going to be people who disagree with who you are and what you do, and I pity them. They’re so involved with my life that they aren’t leading a life of their own. Life is fleeting, so don’t be trapped by dogma. You can’t fool the man in the mirror. So go out and do something that falls in line with your bliss. Life is hard – therefore, why should we make it any harder for ourselves by being anyone that we aren’t already destined to be.

Why we shouldn’t try to tame our Emotions

Have you ever though to yourself “I wish I didn’t feel as much?” Or “I wish I wasn’t so sensitive?”

Countless people have the misunderstandings that feelings are something that need to be controlled, you need to keep them in check. I thought this way too. When you are hypersensitive everything is felt to highest magnitude, pain is great and sadness is all consuming. It can be arduous trying to get through a day whilst there is a battle raging on inside. But it needn’t be a battle. The thing is, those who feel are truly the lucky ones. We get to live our lives to the fullest, experiencing every emotion across the spectrum and thus immersing ourselves in experiences and undertakings. We are able to communicate our problems and identify our emotions for what they are, dynamic bi-products of living a life worth living. Crying is good and so is laughter, both are necessities that need to be indulged in and not contorted or limited. We understand the inner-workings of our mind and can see what we truly want out of life. We can read people well and see people for who they are.

The tragedy is that this unique part of us is often thought of as a negative. We’re always acting in front of people that are supposedly important to us. Trying to be liked is the biggest infliction that plagues mankind. Don’t do that. Be you. There is no need to put on a front to try and align yourself with societies expectations. Stop limiting your growth and be who you want to be, rearrange the agenda, the spectrum or whatever you want to call it. When you look back on life you want to be able to say to yourself that you lived by your heart and didn’t have to compromise yourself for anyone. Don’t get me wrong change is a good thing, but it has to be inline with our values and our beliefs.

The Enigma that is a Duck’s Head

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Times are tough at the moment. Trump is in power –  sea levels are rising – so too are housing prices… I assume. However there is one phenomenon that I think humanity is overlooking. And that is the enigma that is the ducks head. I’ll give you a moment to digest that.

One day I was walking home. It was a wet July, no doubt that el nino was in full force. I absent mindly noticed a duck waddling accross the road when he suddenly stopped and looked at me. Suddenly, a realisation hit me and I slowly turned my umbrella upside down. It looked exactly like the head of the duck standing before me. I screamed. Dropped my umbrella and ran for what felt like days, but was actually only a few seconds because I had gumboots on and yeah fuck that. How could I have been so naive? So unassuming? How could we as a species not have seen this connection before? Forget ‘planet of the apes,’ planet of the ducks is the reality. And now that we know this are we safe?

The truth is Ducks out number us. Big time. The numbers don’t lie. And they have the added advantage of being able to fly, swim, run, and peck at various things. Therefore, I must warn you about the terror that waddles amongst us. I know they may seem cool, they are, but never turn your back on them as it could be the last thing you do. As for platypus’s that is a whole other kettle of fish… Judgement day is upon us. Gods speed everyone. Gods speed.

Be Honest With Yourself

Do what you want to do. If you want to ask a girl out on a date then ask her. Say what you want to say and do what you want to do. I know it can be scary but you have to live – you have to participate and to do this you’ve got to do what you want to do. Always ask yourself the question do you want to do this? If the answer is yes then do it. No matter what, the consequences of your actions may be unknown but you’ll get to live no matter what the outcome is. Be honest with yourself, be who you are, stand-tall and be present in the now. All you have to do is ask yourself yes? Or no? Follow your heart and believe that you can indeed realise your dreams. You just have to ask for them.

Life is too short to do anything but what we want to do. This in itself is a hard ideal to discover. What do we truly want to do? Honestly, you may never truly know. It seems like a bleak reality but until we experience all that we can we may never truly know what we are meant to do with our live. However, that is okay, because deep down we do know what brings us enjoyment and fulfilment. We just have to be brave enough to face it. Listen to your heart and follow your passion. You just have to begin your journey and the rest will sort itself out. Let the thoughts run through your head, just be with yourself in the present. Tomorrow is a mystery and Today has come on gone. Rise with the sun and live an open mind. All we can do is experience things, both the good and the bad – they are but experiences, both the alpha and the omega. How we react to these experiences is how we live our lives. The pursuit of happiness is futile, why limit yourself? Live each day with the beauty of the emotions that come with it. Let them rise and fall within you like waves in the ocean, and allow them to be. One can take action even if their is fear in ones heart. Just live.

The Start of Ones Journey

We all reach a stage in our life when we realise that we want to start living. Leading a worthwhile life one with purpose and inspiration. And to do this change is inevitably required. This can be a daunting prospect, to let go of what we consider comfortable and begin to affiliate ourselves with the uncomfortable. Fear may arise and thus limit us into doing what we have always already done. We wait for a perfect day, a prefect chance, a perfect opportunity to begin travelling on the road less journeyed.

Unfortunately, the time for change is usually the time when we ourselves are facing our strongest adversities. They can be exterior elements, such as jobs and people. Or they can be things resided behind our eyes: the negative thoughts, the doubts, the self-reasoning that we are not good enough, strong enough, smart enough etc. And to tell you the truth I got sick of having a mind wired to the negative. I realised I am just as deserving and capable of leading a life I want to lead as anyone else. Greatness, or experience aren’t limited to a select few of lucky people. Getting the most out of life isn’t some esoteric or ordained concept. We are who we choose to be. Therefore, in turn we can realise our dreams.

Our biggest critic is ourselves. This may not be a revelation, but if you think about it, would you talk to someone the same way you talk to yourself? Probably not. We are so critical and harsh of our performances and perceived perceptions by other that we lose sight of loving who we are. We act one way and believe the next. Be you. Be your biggest fan. This is when I realised that if I didn’t change the way I thought, or how I processed various thoughts, then I would be stuck with regrets. Sure I may convince myself that what I am doing is right, or is what I love. However, deep down I would always know that I wasn’t being honest with myself. This is a heartbreaking thing to realise. You’re are stuck with yourself forever so why try and deceive  yourself, or escape, or run from thoughts and ideas that actually give your life meaning but may instil fear in you at the same time. It’s hard changing your life, it truly is. However, what comes of it are rewards you could never imagine. You do become stronger, wiser, and whole. Yet the greatest reward is that you begin to realise that there was nothing wrong with you all along, you just had to give yourself a chance.

I’ve failed so many times I gave up counting, each day I make a mistake, but each day I learn a lesson. And at least I tried. I don’t think I could love myself or show up if I didn’t at least try. Everyone fails, it is the most beautiful thing in life. The lessons taught from failure are unprecedented – it can teach us more than any other lesson ever could. I’ll fail today and I’ll fail tomorrow and I don’t care, because the more I fail the closer I am to realising my dreams.

So write a poem, draw a picture, go for a run, these aren’t Nobel Prize worthy endeavours but some day they may lead to one. Like I also aforementioned in my previous post, you don’t have to do it alone. Communicate and share your experiences with like minded people. Let go of those (excuse my language) that are against reaching for the stars, who are happy to be doing the same shit year in year out. Talking themselves up to people who aren’t worth impressing. I care what you are trying to do no matter how small or big that task may be. I give a damn about people who are trying to grow or inspire others, they are the heartbeat of life itself, and it fills me with so much motivation and drive knowing that they exist. Find these people – they are there and they will show up if they are meant to. How could they not? So take that first step, your life awaits…