this story is a bit meta, but this idea kept popping into my head. my two normal stories are pretty dramatic, but this one off will be a feel good story. i hope you all enjoy it
"how long has it been..." a man wandered the barren landscape, limping and strambling aimlessly in no particular direction. He took a moment to wipe the sweat from his brow, lest the dust in the air cake it to his skin. The sun glared brightly as he passed beyond dying trees and tumbleweeds. He stopped for a moment at a mud choked puddle and took a short sip. The water tasted of iron and he could feel small grains of sand trickle down his throat, the uncomfortable feeling didn't bother him. Frankly he was happy to feel something at all. The past hundred years had been filled with bitter emptiness. Yes, ever since his companion, an eternally young girl, refused to feed, tired of living for nothing, hurting and killing just to get by. But the man was no different. He had condoned her activity, even at its height, he turned a blind eye.
"where was I headed to…. I must be late at this point; I can't be sure how many years have passed since I felt I needed to be anywhere…what would I say when I got there…I suppose an introduction…. but…. what was my name again? It started with an s… Simon? Seirou…wait, Seshin, yes…. Seshin was my name…. it's been so long since anyone has had reason to know it I must have decided to forget." He thought incomprehensibly as he wandered about, but in the back of his mind something pressing was growing. He needed to be somewhere, to talk to someone. He wearily moved his head upwards. Off miles in the distance was a tall mountain. Something about the way its shadow moved in the sunlight, or perhaps the sun bleached stone lining its peak, called out to Seshin. For the first time in what very well may have been hundreds of years, long since human civilization had abandoned the earth, Seshin felt a sliver of curiosity. He changed direction, now facing the mountain he began the arduous journey up its peak. The climb was hard, certainly, but existence was hard as it was. Once upon a time, Seshin would feel empowered from the taste of blood, but with none to be found and no food left anywhere, he had nothing to pick up his energy. But for some reason, he endured. Almost as if being forced to exist by some vengeful force. All he knew was suffering, but the remote feeling in the back of his mind, tiny as it might have been, drove him to the top. If he had a heart, it would have dropped. The peak was as barren as the earth below, with only a lone, withered tree sitting in its center.
"nothing here…. like the rest of the world." He was about to turn and walk away when a voice spoke up from behind him.
"so…you're the only other besides me left. I've been waiting for centuries to speak to whoever it might be." Seshin turned to see a haggard man step from behind the tree. If not for the thick layer of dust and earth cake around his face, Seshin would have thought him to be young.
"only other one? You're the first person I've seen in a very…long time." Seshin coughed.
"person? No, you are like me…. something more than human…yet…. less. when the people would frequent the area we could gain strength from their blood. But unlike the weaker counterparts we don't require any form of sustenance. Living eternally, growing hungrier until we have the good fortune to be killed."
'it doesn't really matter now…. but why were you waiting for me?" Seshin walked closer to the man.
"let me tell you a story first. Once I worked the land with my brother, everything he touched seemed to be blessed by creation, while in my hands, seemed to decay. He cared for me more than any person ever could have, especially since I can only bring ruin to what I interact with. One day we were out in the fields and I killed him without so much as an afterthought."
"this story sounds familiar…. like Cain and able."
"smart man. Though through the years the story was distorted a great deal. You probably heard the version that I killed him because I was jealous of his offerings or some ridiculous notion like that. Truth be told, I don't quite understand why myself. But he kept coming back, night after night, never dying, never decaying."
"this sounds a lot like a book I wrote eons ago." Seshin chuckled.
"interesting coincidence. Then again only someone in our predicament could understand the suffering we go through, so I'm not surprised the legend spoke to you. Anyway, I digress. For the longest time I was torn to pieces over my actions. One day I confronted the phantom of my brother, begging him to end my life to hopefully appease my own guilt. And over the course of days, I fell ill. I thought I had died, but I merely transformed into this creature. The monster in human skin. Much like yourself. After countless years of ageless existence, I realized the irony of my situation. I wanted to die to escape from my guilt, and as punishment, the powers that be saw fit to make my life eternal. But my brother shared the same curse. On the final night of his rising I walked to him. Ending his life for the final time. Not out of jealousy, but of kindness. He had always had a fondness for living happily, always setting new goals and dreams for himself. But he was also truly kind, and existing the way he did, feeding on others to survive, was torture. I had inadvertently caused my brother to suffer far beyond the pain off any normal death. The guilt only grew until I saw the option as my last resort. And once he was finally laid to rest. I felt peace. He even thanked me with his dying breath. But I still had to endure. What's more, the curse was contagious, some of the people we had to use started exhibiting similar traits. The ones with a drive rising as the weaker, and the ones who wished to die, or who had an unbearable guilt or apathy, rising as the stronger."
"so, shiki and jinrou." Seshin murmured to himself.
"if that's what you call us. But once I realized what had been going on, my suffering began anew, as did the suffering of any affected by the curse. Ashamed with myself, I fled to this mountain, and have remained here ever since. For thousands of years, sitting, hiding from the world and thinking on what I have done."
"what does this have to do with me?"
"put an end to me, once the curse is purged from the world, it can start over as a happier place, it won be free of troubles but any person ever effected by this will have the chance at their full life, the way it was meant to be."
"how do you figure that?"
"this was all set up to punish me, and in my cowardice I tainted the world. God offers us no shelter, and sets people against us. But if you end the source and do what I couldn't then I can be free, and the curse lifted."
"I just don't know if I could kill any more." Seshin sighed.
"it would be a kindness." Cain replied.
Seshin nodded and sank his fangs into the man's neck, sating the immense hunger he'd been feeling since the worlds end. He drained Cain completely, and in the next moment everything became hazy. He fell over and lost consciousness.
Seshin came too in a darkened temple, a book was opened to a page with a purple haired woman. A tear dripped from his eye.
"Sunako? I haven't seen her in so long." He read the caption on the page. lady Sunako kirishiki, a noblewoman from the 19th century famous for giving asylum and shelter to the discriminated and unfortunate groups of people in society. "was Cain right?" Seshin furrowed his brow and opened the door and was greeted with a long distant memory. The sight of the sotoba temple. The patrons gave him a friendly greeting and he proceeded down the steps. He saw a blue haired woman happily walking along with her family.
"good morning junior monk." She smiled cheerfully as she passed by.
"good morning Nao." He instinctively replied. "I still remember everyone else's names…" He pressed onward through the village. He took a glance at the hill overlooking the area, and sitting atop was a Japanese styled home, large but not very flashy. Eventually he neared a bus stop, two teenagers were sitting there, holding each other closely.
"don't worry megumi. I'll take you far away from here when I graduate. We can see the whole world together." The pink haired girl snuggled into his chest.
"oh yuuki, nothing could possibly make me happier. But wont you miss your friends?"
"of course, Tohru especially, but I'm not going to cry because it's over, I'll smile because it happened. Besides, everyone loves him here, and now that he's dating the nurse from the clinic I doubt I'll be on his mind much"
Seshin smiled warmly as he passed the two by. He ran towards the clinic, reminded of his old friend from Natsuno's mention of the nurse. He slammed the doors open to the look of a surprised doctor. He threw his arms around the man.
Whoa Seshin, I know I'm taking a vacation soon, but that's no need to get all love dovey on me." The doctor smiled tepidly as he pushed him away.
"it's just nice to see you again." Seshin smiled warmly. "hey, the clinic doesn't smell like a smokehouse!" Seshin pointed out matter of factly.
"don't remind me, you know I quit. Well I gotta get going soon, I'm taking kyoko out to dinner, we are really working hard to save the relationship. I just hope we're compatible. I feel bad for ignoring her for so many years." The doctor smiled warmly and gave Seshin a pat on the back as he walked away. Seshin walked out to the gazebo near the south wall of the clinic. He sat down and took a long sigh.
"I guess even I've been given a second chance…" he tried to draw his fangs, but found himself unable. He smiled blissfully, knowing that a curse truly had been lifted.