Monday, July 30, 2012
He met her in the woods one evening, when he strayed off the path and left his drunk, stumbling friends to the vodka in their hands and the alcohol-laced songs in their throats. He didn't drink that night, not because he held any personal intolerance or disdain for intoxicants but because the night was unusually beautiful and he had wanted a clear mind to enjoy it.
The first time he laid eyes on her he didn't think she was human; at second glance, he knew from the pit of his heart that she wasn't.
It wasn't just the fact that she was hauntingly beautiful, or that her translucent skin glowed under the light of the moon, or the way her hair fell long and straight to the base of her naked spine. It was the ethereal way she moved, as though her movements were unrestricted by the laws of the world; every gesture was a foreign language, a mystery as old as the Stonehenge. Her silver eyes were a flux of sadness beyond comprehension, as though she had seen the world and learned all there is to be learned and was irreparably scarred by the knowledge.
He was in love and they both knew it.
When he brought her back everyone wanted to know where he found her. They wanted to know her name, where she came from and whether she spoke Russian. They were charmed yet intimidated by this exquisite and lovely but unbearably cold (even for the winter-born Russians) woman. His sisters were unsettled by this strange woman who did not or would not speak. He brushed off their inquisitive probings and would only tell them to call her Anastasiya.
Anastasiya, they whispered. Resurrection. They didn't know what to think of her.
He did. He knew exactly what she was and yet he couldn't leave her to save himself. He told her that she could do whatever she wanted with him as long as she belonged to him. She would go back to the village with him as his wife, she would have a name - a beautiful name befitting her nature and she would not hurt any of the villagers - he would keep her satiated.
And so, when the doors to their room were firmly closed and bolted for the night, she slipped him out of his heavy moleskin lined fur cloak and tunic and small clothes until he was naked and shivering in the cold Russian winter. She pressed her lips to his partially open mouth and commenced to suck. At first it was just soft and pleasant, the way a lover's kiss feels like; but then his eyes grew wide as she began to suck harder and soon she was sucking away his blood and his soul and all of his being. She sucked away his consciousness and his dreams and his deepest fears. She sucked away all that was his and all that he was. He was dead and she was gorged to the brim, her body humming and vibrating with the stream of life force she just fed on.
But by morning it was apparent that he was coming alive again. Resurrected. His heartbeat was feeble and he was still pale as a corpse but he was alive. He wasn't too sure how it worked - whether it was her innate healing powers or if he just didn't really die - but it soon became a pattern that fell into place without fail. He died every night and was resurrected every day. He would like to believe that it was because she loved him in her own way, loved him, and wouldn't bear to let him die.
"Do you love me?" he once asked her. She was silent, as usual, but her lips curved into a cold, cold smile.