Rising to the occasion

by Lewis

His back itched, dead centre in a little dimple on his back. He wriggled and twisted but there just wasn’t enough room to reach it. Great he thought, another 360 days of this. It just didn’t seem fair, it had been so good to be out in the air, wandering the streets. Taking, laughing and most importantly she was there. He could see her, touch her, talk to her. And they had done just that this year. Everything had gone almost to plan, if he’d found her a bit quicker who knows.

This time she’d been at the Romero party on 9th street, by the time he’d brushed the dirt off and fixed himself up, there hadn’t been much time left. But he’d done it, made himself talk to her. A simple hi Rose, how are things? She’d smiled and said she’d hoped he’d say hello this time.

They’d talked all night with partygoers stumbling around them commenting on how great their costumes were, how did she get her cloak to be so black, my dad had a leg like that after ‘nam, where did she get her nose? But he hadn’t heard a thing, only her finally talking, to him! Eventually they had to go, she had to get back to the cats, one of them had a tapeworm. She’d laughed when he’d asked really cats? It was a cliche she’d always enjoyed sticking to. Before they left she had turned to him and said she’d been thinking about him, how she’d watched him for years, nervously trying to approach her, she’d almost done it herself but had always shied away. She had looked at him in a way that made him feel alive. That had made his century.

It had been so much easier in the old days he thought, darker places to meet people, no photos, no police, you could pretty much roam the UK as long as you kept your wits about you and a good cloak. Sure there was the occasional burning or the odd attack but then it was just put down to hearsay and Mythology. He remembered the first time he saw her, there were three of them wandering the moor, a pale blue moon smiling down. But to him only one mattered. Her whirling, dancing, frenzied body. Her raw power and energy transfixing him. He had seen nothing like it before and had watched them for hours until the sun chased away their freedom, no friend to him or any of their kind.

These days you goto climb out on one day at best he grumbled. But he knew it was worth it and he had learnt to be very patient. He wandered what she did the rest of the year. If she had a day job? I’ll ask her next year he thought smiling and making a mental note. And now from their talks he knew she was a keen gardener, and if there was one thing he knew about it was soil, well, that and waiting. He wriggled again trying to get the itch. 360 days to go he thought and smiled to himself. To a man who had forever, that was just a blink of an eye.