The saga begins! (Not sure yet exactly where this section will go in the book. For now I’m using it as a prologue.) Thanks in advance for your feedback!
It is said that every human energy has its own flavor, a description which falls far short of the reality, for it is not a thing you can taste on your tongue. It’s the ghost of a taste, the hint of a scent. Your mind whispering sweet nothings to your mouth and your nostrils in the only languages they understand, telling them stories of luxuries they will never themselves experience. Saying, this is how vitality feels, this is the shape of strength.
The energy in the vessel on the altar before me now was potent enough that I could sense it before I’d even begun the harvest. You could say that it tasted of vinegar and meat, or that it had a scent like our housekeeper used to after a day spent in the kitchen. It was a promise that tonight would be saturated with nostalgia, a thing in which I seldom indulged outside of the rituals.
The vessel’s face was turned toward me, its gaping mouth frozen in the echo of its final pains. Its eyes were still vivid with life’s residue, with that understanding that comes at the very end.
It was not I who had dispatched the vessel tonight. That was performed before I entered the room by the man who stood at the doorway now, his back to me. He preferred his privacy during his portion of the harvest and he assumed that I preferred mine. For now, privacy suited my needs. For now, I was content to spend the better portion of my life in solitude. I had lived a long time—quite a bit longer than most—and I knew well enough that tides came in and tides went out. I was rather adept at drawing in my own tides.
That was the true promise of tonight’s harvest: it was only a matter of time.
Hanging my hands over the vessel, I let just the tips of my fingers touch its chest softly, like a master pianist preparing to play. Tonight, I thought, would be a Beethoven. It wasn’t necessary to physically touch the vessel during a harvest, but it made the process so much more pleasurable. The energy was already licking at my fingertips, wild to abandon ship, to find another vessel that could still make use of it. Energy likes to be used. All I had to do was to open myself up to it.
This vessel must have executed its fair share of harvests before its own sacrifice, vulgar forgeries of the ritual I performed tonight, so there was plenty of vitality to absorb. It came thundering into my system with the pounding of a million hooves, the fury of one thousand Niagaras. Every atom in my body was on fire with the force of it as it clambered toward my chest and my essence.
This was the true beauty of a harvest, the revelation that the boundaries of your body are mere perception. You see that you are endless, immeasurable. The entirety of the universe dwells within you, declaring the pure possibility in what you are.
The eyes of the vessel were black and blank now, the vessel itself stiff and cold. It takes a well-trained eye to recognize the moment when death has absolutely claimed its offering, when a vessel has finally become mere bone and clay.
I stood before its barrenness in the full glory of the sun. The things I was going to do with this energy, the worlds I was going to change. In its lifetime, the vessel had done a great deal of harm, but in death it would finally serve a good purpose.
This was all I ever desired for myself, to help others reach their fullest potential.
Next: CHAPTER 1
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