Acquainted with the Night

by
Pirate Purple



I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.


William had been a vampire for one hundred and forty years when he fell in love. His beloved had told him that vampires are soulless creatures who do not love. So with a broken heart, William set out into the world to seek his soul. First he sought out human shamans and magicians. He went to the mountains of Wyoming, and the streets of London, Cairo, Calcutta, and Chengdou. When he ran out of money for transportation, he simply walked from place to place. He refused to steal, or hunt humans, because he knew his pet would not approve. His clothes became ragged, and William himself was little more than bones, but the humans either would not or could not help him find his soul. It wasn't until one night, somewhere in Africa, that William met a wizened old man who told him of a cave, and a powerful demon who would grant wishes to those who passed his trials. The vampire went, and fought for his soul. When he and the demon were both scarred and bloody, she laughed at him, and told him he had never needed to come to her at all. His soul had never left him.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.


William returned to the city, but his lover was nowhere to be found. He searched the streets, every haunt and hollow his darling had ever frequented, but did not find him. The night watchman passed his ragged figure with an odd look, but William put his head down, and would not meet the man's eye. He was about to leave the city and search elsewhere, when he froze at the sounds of running footsteps and what was unmistakably his darling's cry.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet

When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,


William ran towards the noise, flying through the streets with preternatural swiftness, only to stop at the head of the street, again frozen in his tracks. His beloved was lying in a pool of swiftly spreading blood, in the gutter. William began to sob as he stumbled towards his love, falling on his knees beside him. The vampire cradled his lover's head, bending over to kiss him one last time. William heard his precious one breathe a final word, "Love…" and then he was gone.

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky


Clasping his beloved to his chest he looked up at the illuminated clock in the center of the town. There were only a few more moments until dawn, and the vampire could feel the sun just below the horizon. William turned to the east to await his fate.

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right
I have been acquainted with the night.


William saw his first dawn in nearly a century and a half through teary eyes, with his lover in his arms. The sun's consuming fire was exquisitely painful, but the vampire made no sound, tears silently sliding down his face. William saw his lover's face in the sunlight for the first time, and his final thought was, "He's so beautiful this way." And then there was only a cloud of ash the wind blew through the street.



The End