Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?
I couldn’t think of anyone that I met this year who I’d either think so interesting that I’d want to write about him or her or I would feel comfortable writing about. So I’m going to tell you about a character I created and played.
Let me tell you a story about a woman that lived and died and lived again.
Once upon a time there was a young girl. Her laughter was musical and when she danced, her dark curls flew around her and when she was angry, her eyes were hard as stone. She talked with her hands and listened to you like there was no other person in the world except you. But it was when she sang that men and women alike fell in love with her. She could weave magic in the air with her voice, make her audience see colours and forget to breathe, men weeped and women were entranced, so beautiful was her music. So she grew older, singing and dancing away the years and the softness of youth made way for the seriousness that takes a hold of you when you realize that some things are fading. For there was only one man she loved and he did not love her back. Her songs, once full of love and joy and colour, became sad and blue and there was no more laughter in her hands and eyes. Her whole being was suffused with a melancholy that stole away her smile.
It was at that time when the Woman approached her. Long had she been a regular visitor to the concerts, always sitting in the back, her dark eyes fixed on the singer, her slender hands still as those of a statue, a paleness to her skin that made her almost luminiscent. One late night, she waited in the dark back of the theater until the singer was alone. Her skirts rustled when she stood and delicately made her way towards and then on the stage. The singer looked up from her sheet music and froze, captured within the Woman’s dark eyes. “Hello little one”, the Woman said when she stood before her. The singer tried to answer but no words would come, her mouth suddenly dry, an inexplicable fear making her unable to move. “Don’t be afraid”, the Woman said and one black-gloved finger trailed over the singer’s cheek. For one long, endless instance pure panic was all the singer knew, would ever know – then a calm settled over her she hadn’t known since the day her love married another. “Am I going to die?”, she asked and the Woman smiled kindly, with a trace of sadness. “Yes”, she answered and the singer nodded slowly. Somehow she had known that this day would come. She waited for the horror to rise but it seemed like all fear had left her. The thought of her death, so close now, was tinged with happiness and serenity. The Woman had taken her hand and obediently the singer took a step towards her, literally pressing herself against the Woman, still looking into her dark, endless eyes. “Do you fear me, little one?”, the Woman asked and the singer closed her eyes. “Yes”, she wispered as one arm came around her waist and she could feel the Woman’s breath against her neck. A shiver ran over her and she clutched the Woman’s shoulders, waiting, demanding, anticipating. “And no.” “Good”, the Woman wispered back. The singer took a deep breath and let herself relax. It would be over soon, she knew. Everything would be over soon. The sadness that had become her whole world would no longer be. There would be no more tears, no more broken hearts and no more pain. Only darkness and freedom. When the Woman’s lips touched her skin, her eyes fluttered open one last time. “Why?” The Woman’s voice was deep with longing and anticipation. “So that you can live”, she breathed and the singer’s world exploded in red and white. Pleasure raced through her veins like velvet and a sigh escaped her lips, her eyes open but not seeing. She knew nothing but the sensation of the Woman’s body pressed against her, the lips on her neck, the slender hand holding her close. Everything drowned in feeling, lust, warmth and a growing darkness that slowly embraced her, welcomed her until there was nothing left.
She awoke to the soft sound of violins and a single voice serenading the moon. She was lying in a huge bed, made up with satin sheets, hidden behind heavy drapes. She was dressed in a silk gown caressing her skin. First, she thought she was alone, then she realized there was someone lying next to her. Her eyes widened in shock. It was him. Her lover. The one. The man she had vowed to love forever, the man who had betrayed her, who had turned her world into a dark placed full of tears. She didn’t know what to think, her gaze longingly wandering over his face. Was this heaven or hell? She hated that she still longed for him, after everything he had done to her but the feeling muted as a hunger gripped her that she hadn’t known before. “A gift”, a shapeless voice whispered. She couldn’t take her eyes off him, slowly reaching out to touch his skin, his warm, beautiful, rosy skin, so full of life, so full of heat. Before she knew what she was doing, she reached for him, sitting across his lap, inhaling deeply this scent she never forgot. His eyes opened slowly but she didn’t wait for him to recognize her, grabbing him, pressing him against her, nuzzling his neck, biting. There it was again, the all-consuming ecstasy she had only known once before, in the arms of the Woman. Something tugged at her consciousness at that thought but there was no way she could let go now, no way. This was music in its purest form, this was beauty, this was heaven.
When she finally let go, she was breathless. A strange feeling rose in her, a sound that demanded to break free and since this was heaven, who was she to deny it? It took her a second to recognize the sound for she hadn’t heard it in a long, long time. Her own laughter. With it came back something else and she laughed it towards the starry skies that lay beyond the window, mingling with the violin’s song. There was power in her she had forgotten she had. Beneath her, her lover lay motionless, souless, empty-eyed. He was dead, she realized, but somehow that did not scare her. The love she had had for him seemed to have died with him. Or with her? She cocked her head. “Was it me?” she asked. “Yes”, the shapeless voice said, coming out of the darkness and taking the form of the Woman. “Does it bother you, little one?” The singer smiled. “I’m no little one”, she said. “My name is Vendetta.” The Woman returned the smile. “Welcome to the night, my child.”