The Chosen

The Chosen Lament

To love is to live

To see the world through another’s eyes

To feel the world through another’s joy.

But when time steals that love from you

And the world grows dark

And filled with pain,

Then perhaps it is better not to love at all.

~ Alina ~

ornament full

SUNNY

Memories.

They stalk me, they hunt me.

Like ghostly wolves in the night, relentlessly pursuing their prey, driving it mad with their howls and the near-silent padding of their feet.

I try to keep them at bay, to keep them caged in the darkest corners of my mind, but I find myself on the run now and again as the most innocent of sights or smells or sounds triggers their escape.

Young girls on a soccer field, their hair flying in the wind as they pass the ball back and forth.

College students, intent on their rush from class to class, and young couples clutching hands or stealing kisses.

A new mother holding her blanket-bound baby. A toddler, with cherub cheeks and black curly hair, and bright blue eyes.

My own bleed in sorrow at the life I could have had, the life I should have had.

But a monster changed all that, dooming me to a lonely existence hiding in the shadows of those I once loved.

And still love, though, with each passing day, I can feel that love dimming, along with the memories of a life spent in the sun.

For now I’m doomed to the night, haunted by the ghosts of my past, and fearing those of the future.

But not all is darkness.

For I have seen someone, someone like me. Someone who—I think, I hope—lives as I do.

On blood.

And my old memories slink away as this new one replays in my head, over and over again.

He was standing across the street, staring at me.

Tall, well-dressed, refined—his elegant carriage and his emerald gaze radiated dignity and power.

And bright-eyed curiosity as he studied me.

My blood raced at the sight of his half-smile, and before I could react, he tipped his head and vanished.

And though I should be frightened—for my only encounter with one like me ended with my violent death—all I can feel is a sense of wonder and hope.

Hope that my lonely nights in the dark have ended, and that this new memory is only the first of many happier ones.

NICOLAS

The most disturbing event in my recent memory occurred today.

It began when I returned to the Springs from Denver and sensed an intruder as I neared the estate.

But not just an intruder.

A foreigner. A Chosen not of my blood.

My first response was outrage at the sheer insult and audacity of this Chosen.

How dare they enter my territory, let alone my city, without permission?

Was this Chosen a spy, or an assassin, sent by one of my enemies? Did they not know they would be detected the moment they stepped foot on Corvinus ground?

I wasted no time hunting down the offender, with every intention of destroying them upon sight.

But, to my dismay, what I found was not at all what I expected.

Her beauty halted me in my tracks, but even more so, her power. It radiated out from her in a kaleidoscope of color such as I have never seen before. It felt uncannily familiar and I could not fathom how this could be, nor why.

What stunned me further was the pure innocence of her gaze, as though she had no idea of who, or what, I was.

In all my centuries I have never encountered one such as her, bearing such a curious mix of Chosen youth and Elder power.

Yet, there was something else quite different about her as well—something that cannot possibly exist.

Fascinated, I could only stare at her, at her pale blue eyes and the questions they held.

For those questions matched my own.

Who are you?

Yes, indeed. Who are you?

And so I will find out.