I met him one November. Think about it. November. Even

the month itself abounds in mystery. When I think about it now,

I realize that I really didn't meet him. I'm not even sure what

you would call our acquaintance. Maybe fate. Definitely a precedent

for the future.

It was late and I was making my way home, through the fields

that lay between the Vicar's house and ours. I first spied him between

the trees that lay at the edge of the surrounding grove. At first

glance all I could see was a tall dark shadow of a man. My heart

jumped, yet I continued to walk. I passed the area where he had

been and walked quickly beyond the vicinity.

I entered the scruff of foliage at the edge of the fields

and passed quickly through it to the next stretch of pasture. As

I entered the circle of grass, I stopped to pull my cloak tighter

around my shoulders. The November wind was a bitter one. I bowed

my head for a moment as I adjusted my clothing, and when I looked

back up, there he was. In front of me, not more than ten feet away,

the shadow man.

I was struck first by his extreme pallor, accentuated by

his ruby lips. His hair was slicked back, away from his ghostly


Don't look into his eyes, something whispered in my ear.

Perhaps my conscience, perhaps an angel of some sort. Either way,

I disregarded.

I lifted my head upward to gaze into his eyes, strangely

intense. Black with an underlying aura of violet. He stared back

and his lips slowly curled into a sly half smile.

I half smiled back. He extended his hand, and I walked

forward to meet his grasp. His hands bore white gloves. I noticed

he was a fine dressed gentleman, of probably fifty years. The most

captivating aspect of his attire was a jet black cape, lined in crimson


Our hands met and he raised mine to his lips and kissed

it gently, never losing eye contact. No words were needed. We began

to waltz.

The beat of my heart provided the music, and the gentleman

followed it gracefully. We circled and twirled until the pasture

became a ballroom, we two being the only dancers. My heart became

a violin, uttering forth the sweetest fragile tune.

The rhythm got stronger, until I thought my heart would

explode for intensity of it. The room began to spin and whirl, yet

we two dancers kept time with the waltz. Suddenly, through unspoken

words, the gentleman asked politely, "May I?"

To which I firmly answered "You may..."

Our lips met and I was overwhelmed with passion. Not unlike

the dance, the kiss seemed to breathe life eternal. The room spun,

the dancers whirled, and my outstretched mind circled them both.

I could no longer breathe and tore my mouth away from his.

He bent close to my face. I could feel his breath, hot

on my cheek. He turned his face ever so slightly and kissed my hair.

We kept turning and his lips traveled down. My cheek, my ear, my


He nuzzled my neck with his cheek and began to kiss again.

I was astonished at how such an aged gentleman could awaken such

fires within me. I felt his mouth open the slightest bit, as he

nibbled ever so slightly. We twirled and I caught a glimpse of us

in the ballroom mirror. I was dancing alone.

Then that it happened. I felt a sharp stabbing pain

in my neck. Vertigo consumed me. I felt a warmth trickle down my

neck, followed by an eager tongue. At once the music ended, the

beat stopped, my heart ceased.

I awoke in the pasture once again. My cloak was lying bundled

next to me.

A dream, I thought. Only a dream.

I gathered my cloak and scrambled to my feet. It had seemed

so real. I raised a trembling hand to my throat, only to meet a

warm, sticky wetness. I pulled my hand away and in the pale moonlight,

I gazed upon blood. Red, dark, my own.

I looked around frantically for some semblance of the dream

from which I had come, but there was none to be found.

I closed my eyes and seemed to hear the wind whisper unspoken

words. I opened them again and found nothing.

I gathered my cloak around my shoulders and began the remainder

of my never ending journey.

Copyright � 1998, by SIC

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