Monday, 20 March 2017

Interview with Andras

How shall I start? Shall I start with the stars? The position they were in on the morning of my birth? Shall I tell you about the little stone house in the middle of nowhere, where my mother struggled alone through labour?

I remember putting the chickens away, shutting them in against the foxes, and the nights getting longer. I remember the stars in the cloudless sky. Bright, like eyes staring down at me; the moon barely illuminating the path that led into the small woods at the foot of the mountain.

Or shall I start with the position of the stars on the night I was born for the second time? Born into the life I have now led for nearly two hundred years. I was shutting the chickens away, making sure the door to the sty was closed, and I remember the snow swirling down from the dark sky. I knew that the morning would see the farm covered in a blanket of soft, white snow.

Our stew was cooking over the fire, my mother was knitting as she always did, and my two brothers and I huddled on the blankets. Even the dogs felt the cold that night, so we covered them in blankets too. Whenever I see a wool blanket, I think of that night. That's when we heard a knock at the door. It was late, too late for visitors. The knocking came again, more insistent. A voice called out, asking to be let in from the cold.

I was the one who got up. The one who went to answer the door. I often wonder what would have happened if one of my brothers had gone in my stead.

I don't really know what happened next. It's a blur of screaming and pain. I know that he killed my mother and brothers, but I'll never know why he didn't kill me. He left me for hours, on the floor, desperately clutching at my neck to stop the bleeding. 

I could hear him moving through the house, I assumed he was looking for anything valuable. I felt like laughing out loud - we had nothing of value in that small stone house.

He stood over me. His face was dark, his breathing heavy. He knelt down and picked me up as though I weighed no more than a child. I remember being confused, because he held me so gently. I was drifting in and out of consciousness, probably from lack of blood, but I do remember that he spoke to me. His voice was deep and soft.

It was a voice I'd come to know very well, a voice I'd even grow to love.

"Drink," he told me "drink and you'll live." and he held his wrist to my face. I felt his warm blood gush over my lips and into my mouth. I felt it burn as it hit the back of my throat and then as suddenly as my heart stopped and my body died, I felt more alive than I'd ever been in my whole life.

The night sang to me, a glorious song full of lust and loss, decay and fecundity. Everything and nothing. I felt time speed up as the world seemed to stop turning, and galaxies flashed through my eyes - the nebula of my stopped heart filled me, and was me.

Then I was in his arms and the dark night pulsed red and gold.

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