My first #fridayflash piece, inspired by the ABC Challenge. The rules are this: write a story that is 26 sentences long. This first sentence must start with the letter ‘A’, and every following sentence begins with the subsequent letter of the alphabet, ending with ‘Z’.
An entire hour passed without Evan Pyre moving so much as an inch from his perch amidst the gothic spires of the Duomo. Beneath him, just as immobile, was one of the cathedral’s gargoyles, a duck-like creature with a serpent’s tail and teeth worthy of a predator. Chance — or perhaps destiny? — had made fools out of them both, and Evan could not help but feel kinship towards a creature so outwardly hideous and inwardly harmless as himself.
Dawn was fast-approaching; the horizon was a line of pale pink light amidst the darkness. Evan could already feel his skin prickling in warning, every hair on his arm standing on end, and he had to swallow back the urge to retreat into the crypts, back to his coffin.
Fido—the gargoyle—sniffed the air, then began getting into position, his neck outstretched, his tail curled around his lower half. “Good weather coming today,” he grunted. “Hot.”
“I hope so,” Evan said, for the stronger and brighter the sun, the faster his death, and the end of years of torment. Just then, the thought struck him that he should have done this years earlier, and saved himself a lot of trouble. Killed himself with daylight, and consequences be damned. Let the consequences take care of themselves.
Minutes crawled by, the light on the horizon stretching upwards, pale and weak at first but with increasing vigour, until the edge of the sun made its appearance. Night, all of a sudden, had been passed over for day, and Evan stood dumbstruck as he saw the sun for the first time in three hundred years. Ominous crackling filled the air; he thought it was his skin burning at first, but no — his skin was unmarked — it was Fido solidifying into granite. Perplexed, Evan examined his hand, awash in the morning light.
Quietly at first, and then with increasing urgency, Evan began to mumble one word: no, repeated over and over again. Rays of light struck his skin without leaving the faintest mark, without burning or igniting or anything they were supposed to do. Supposed to do, he thought numbly, almost choking on the irony of it all.
Throughout the years, Evan had come to learn that nothing else worked: not stakes nor crosses nor garlic. Unless struck by light or flame, he and his kind were immortal, so he had placed all his hopes for peace on the morning sun. Vampires were only unmourned souls, and not sinners; surely they deserved to rest in peace eventually?
Why some were cursed and not others remained a mystery. Xero the Elder claimed it was the work of God, but only destiny could be cruel enough to make Evan a vampire when he had committed no crimes. Yet there was Fido, a truly cursed soul, and even he was allowed the luxury of sleep that Evan was denied.
Zealously, awash in the growing morning light, Evan bowed his head and prayed for another way to die.