Note: When my husband first brought home the DVD of 'Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust,' I didn't think I was going to like it. I should have known better - I fell in love with the movie. And while I may catch hell for this, I love D's voice in the English version of 'Bloodlust' as done by Andrew Philpot. (Mike McShane as Left Hand just steals the show, of course.)

This whole little story came out in about thirty minutes while at work, and inspired by a piece of music from the MahJongg Master 6 game (the track, for those who can find it, is New AgeF in the game... I'll see if I can get it up on my website for readers to hear... it's a beautifully moody and haunting piece). Go ahead and laugh.


Remembering the Rain

A late evening breeze whispered its way across the grass and through the trees, lightly rustling the cloak of the tall figure standing before a gravestone. It gently tossed the figure's long hair, blowing it across vivid eyes. With precise grace, one pale hand reached up to brush it away.

"How long do you plan to keep coming back here?"
"As long as I wish."

The figure stared down at the stone, the once clearly-carved letters and numbers now faded and eroded with time. Above him, the sky began to darken as a storm slowly rolled in from the mountains. The wind became stronger, flattening his cloak along the length of his long body as memories like falling stars flashed behind his eyes.

Cool earth surrounding his body.
A husky but gentle voice.
The vivid scent of damp greenery.
The musk of trees.
The sound of falling rain.

"I still can't believe you do this every time you pass through this area."
"I made a promise."

Carefully, he bent down to place a small bouquet of flowers at the base of the stone.

As he stood up once again, he reached out to trail his long fingers across the letters on the stone. A name, a life, a death - carved into stone for as long as such an ephemeral thing as stone might last.

Longer than a life, anyway.

"It's not like she's going to know."
"But I will."

With a soft sigh, he reached up and removed the wide-brimmed black hat he always wore, and the breeze playfully whipped his long dark hair into disarray.

"So how long has it been, anyway?"
"I don't remember."

Abruptly, he reached back down and picked up one of the flowers again.

A rose, the pale shade of cream.

"Liar. You remember like it was yesterday."
"Maybe so."

Placing his hat under his arm, he slowly started pulling apart the rose in his hand, until he eventually held a handful of fragile petals. Dropping the barren stem back onto the ground, he gently touched one fingertip to the soft petals, feeling their coolness against his skin.

And he spread his fingers wide, letting the wind snatch the petals from his open palm, and watched as the storm carried them higher and higher into the sky, just as the first drops of rain began to fall.