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Christmas Musings

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Izaak twirled the wine glass in his fingers, watching the swishing of the wine around the rim. It looked so much like blood, yet was at once so much more tasteful, and infinitely less satisfying. Much like making love to those beneath him, he thought. Yet, of course, he did it anyway. When it suited him.

Izaak chuckled to himself, standing up to pace the room. It was Christmas, and it was snowing outside. He had a keen pleasure in watching the moonlight glint off the snow, so bright. Snow almost made night seem like day, in that way it had of multiplying light, transmuting it, changing it. So much more interesting than the dull way the ground absorbed it. He almost felt like he could drink in the light that bent off the snow, or breathe it in, or smell it. Of course light itself was tasteless, but to Izaak's imagination, it was full of texture.

And of course, along with the bitter cold, came the aching warmth of a blazing fire. A fire could never be so appreciated in summer, when it was not needed to drive off the cold - but in the winter, sitting in front of the fire could almost warm even a vampire's cool skin.

Izaak trailed his hand absently on the mantlepiece. Black marble, shot through with silver. Cold. Distant. Dead.

Izaak was listening to an old record of choristers on the gramophone. It ended up sounding scratchy and distant, but even in that form, it was a keen ache in his heart to listen to it. The music they were singing was so pure and good, it was the music of God. They were singing of the birth of the King of Heaven. There was a time when he had believed. There were times when he believed still. But mostly, those feelings were as shrivelled as the rest of his heart had slowly become, only to be awakened sporadically when someone breathed the passion back into him. But sometimes, more than anything in the world, Izaak wanted to believe in something again - like the way he had believed in Michelangelo, like the way he had believed in Art, and in Italy, and Amsterdam. Like the way he had believed in love, that there could be a love that could transcend time. Even that belief had grown stale with the passage of time.

"Perhaps I am simply too old," Izaak sighed, pressing his forehead against the cool marble. He had lived for so many centuries merely by the passion and determination not to become obsolete, not to lose his sense of self. To remain strong, and pure, and loved. But had he, really, accomplished this goal? Or had he become just as tainted as the rest of those who deigned to call themselves Kindred?

Was he still worthy of that elusive concept, that thing foolish mortals call... love?

As the music reached a climax, the voice of a baritone soloist broke through, loud and resonating, full of some deep desperate emotion, trapped somewhere between ecstasy and agony. Izaak was caught up in the moment, and clutched at his chest, his eyes welling up. He felt so much in that moment like he understood that sound, it so perfectly described what was in his heart. He echoed it by crumpling to his knees, the hot searing pain of the fire so close to his face now, unable to melt the ice around him. He longed for some sort of release, or some sort of resolution, or some sort of reassurance, but of what he did not quite know. He couldn't get a grasp on it - all he could hold on to in that moment was the deep feeling that something was not quite right in his world. And the knowledge that at one time, one brief time, seemingly endlessly in the past, for one shining moment, everything had been perfect. And the certainty that it never should be again.

Izaak staunched his tears and refused to weep. He stood, straightened his shoulders, and pushed his hair back from his face, mentally and physically locking himself away until such a time as he should let loose his true emotions once more. He composed himself and then stood there, a bare statue, to convince himself that he could hide from others the depth of his melancholy.

Izaak smiled.
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