The man who can't be moved


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1. The man who can't be moved

„It’s a beautiful autumn day... and I am a monster.”

Autumn is the season that brings changes. All kinds of changes, the most interesting and the most frightful you can think of. Trees begin to change colors, the temperatures become cooler and you are made to put your shorts and your sleeveless shirts away. You bring out your warm sweaters and your jacket, you stuff your flip flops in a cupboard and take out your boots. When the leaves begin to change colors, the people change their usual activities. Some of them, those who have been going to the beach to try to steal the sun from the sky all summer long go back to work or school. The others, on the other hand, they start going for drives and trips to the mountains, needing to just enjoy those mystical places by themselves.

But are all the changes autumn brings so nice? What are we talking about? Silly, optimistic thoughts we think will make us feel better, while the flat world keeps going the same way. The shades of orange, yellow and brown replacing the live electric green, the trees stretching their branches for the last time before having to meet the cold breeze, all bare and naked. The Moon keeping her big eye on the Earth, while the sun gets to sleep in. What change do they make in this dull world? The guy who goes on a trip to the mountains, playing his music, drawing his love, moving away from all the other people and retiring in a world of his own... How does this form of unsociability help him solve the problems he has?

That’s what he thinks about as he walks the empty alleys of the park. And that’s what he has been thinking about for the past hundred years. He reads a lot and he sees what people’s opinions are on seasons, rain and other natural phenomenons. They think their life is changing, they think these are those hidden agents that give them new thoughts and ideas. Such cliches, such a silly perception on what real life is... . Autumn, instead of causing him all those stereotypical sensations, has always caused him the contrary. Everyone wishes for a fairytale world for himself, an idyllic, naive, hyperbolized world where he can hide, away from the real world. Why hide from it? Why not accept it the way it is, rough and hard?

He has never understood the concept. But maybe this is just because he is not a normal person anymore. He is not a person anymore, actually, nor a human being. Maybe these thoughts are right for people and he doesn’t get them just because he is so different from them. He looks around the park as he stuffs his hands in his pockets, protecting them from the cold wind. His blonde locks fall down in his eyes and on the back of his head, while his porcelain skin meets the anger of the frozen air and the furious clouds. Autumn is a season of desperate hopes. The leaves are souls begging to turn life on pause. Begging to stop, begging to take a break, hiding under smiles and childish words. As they break off the branches, they start changing in the wind; for the worse in the eyes of silly people, but for the better in his eyes. Souls, leaves are photographs of a beautiful life. They live it so shyly and innocently, not making a difference between the good and the bad because they do not live long enough to learn and to understand this constant battle. They fear the wind and they fear the change; it’s in their nature.

What was in his nature? He was the opposite. He was the one that made them understand how all this was, what life was and that they didn’t have to be afraid of the wind, because he was the wind. A leaf may die in a matter of minutes, hours, or maybe even days after it meets the wind, but during that time, it lives the time of its life. It learns and finds out so much, things about what it actually is, then dies happily, not caring that it was nothing in this world and that the great ones have just crushed it without even noticing. This is what he does. No one can tell him that he is mean, bad, or the king of the dark. He feeds on souls, but this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a soul of his own. He is not the bad guy, not ever. He is a kind teacher, willing to share his wisdom with others... in exchange for their lives.

Life is just a game. A rough, hallucinating game. We all try to win, ignoring the fact that in the end, we end up in the same cold, sullen place. What is love, he wonders. He doesn’t know. That’s how we are, some of us. We become grown-ups, slaves of our own goals. We are trapped inside the cage of the material world, without even noticing, without a chance of breakout. Because once we enter this game, we must play until the end. And when you are powerful, charming and the whole world lays down to your feet, why would you care about this lovely feeling they are all talking about? Do you still need it? You reach every goal, by any means. If you wanted, you would get love too. But you don’t care.

When you pick a different pathway, it gets more and more difficult to get to your destination. If he had taken the way everyone has, he may have had more chances to succeed. But byroads, despite the fact that they are shorter, are much more dangerous. Darker, scarier, with many looters waiting for a wrong step so they can jump to your throat and take you down.

He has had this chance twice. He has lived his first life like a stranger, dressed in golden clothes and living in an elegant mansion, never appreciating this heavenly gift he had been offered. And now, he is living his second life, the eternal one. And he loves it too much.

At some point in this second life of his, he got bored and felt that he needed a comrade to help him get through eternity. Eternity, the end of the world - these all have turned into such common notions, exactly because no one knows what they are. But when you meet with your fate and you realize that you are going to live until the end of the world, you feel like running away at first, because only then do you realize what it means and how much it takes.

He picked Cosme after he studied three people for one month. One of them was an army veteran who now talked to young soldiers and made them see that the possibility of dying in war didn’t have to be stronger than their love and their patriotism. The second one was a middle-aged man who had lost his wife and daughter in a car accident he had caused. He had become self-destructive, cynical, spent his life drinking and doing drugs. He longed for the release of death, but lacked the courage to put an end to his days. And then, there was Cosme. The succesful young man who, having finished studies, was working to become a neurosurgeon in one of the best hospitals in the country. The one who thought that his work and his occasional flings were the most important part of this world, the one who put himself in front of anything and anyone. And the one who was afraid of death... he was afraid of the wind.

That made the man choose him and none of the others; that made him want to teach him the reality of life and make him understand what real value was. After turning him into one just like himself, he realized that Cosme was scared. He was not as bold and brave as he had thought at first and the change was overwhelming him. It was the change that led to despair and fear.

‘Why?’ he kept asking, breathing too quickly and moving too fast.

‘Because that’s who I am,’ the man would reply simply, fixing him with his stormy grey eyes.

‘This is not who you are,’ Cosme tried to convince him. ‘You are a good person, Kalev.’

But Kalev would just shake his head and walk out of the room. ‘You don’t know me at all, Cosme...’

This discussion happened this morning, before the blonde-haired, porcelain-skinned, human-looking creature left for the park. He walks now, chuckling to himself and shaking his head. He is a good person, sure... . What does Cosme know about this anyway? He is just a kid. He is twenty-five years old and can look mature among his family and friends, but he is just a kid making his first steps in life.

As millions of thoughts flood his mind and his whole body, he accidentally bumps into someone. The person’s notebook falls on the ground, and he gets down to pick it up. He does so and gets back up, hands the object to the woman and looks straight at her. His ice blue eyes seem to be looking right into her soul. Funny how in this situation, this expression is actually a real verbiage of the truth.

“I’m sorry...” he speaks lowly, a tiny smile creeping on his lips. The brown eyes and the dark hair, they seem to be those of a female version of Cosme.

“Not a problem, I was not paying attention,” she smiles shyly, her cheeks’ color changing into a soft shade of pink. “I’m Cornelia,” she says, and holds out her hand.

“I’m Kalev,” he nods slightly, as he takes her small warm hand. An electrical current runs through her whole body under the frozen touch as his mesmerizing eyes seem to be burning holes into her brain and her heart.

“So, are you the rocker type?” she smiles, trying to cover her obvious feelings and sensations. She points at the leather jacket and the little skull drawn on his shoulder as she speaks. Her voice is dull and she is not pretty, but he feels like she would make an interesting prey, a good student; not a follower or a comrade though.

“I would rather describe myself as someone interested in life, and especially death,” he says.

His voice is chaotic and hollow, a tiny part of a dark, unknown world. A shiver runs down her spine, but she can’t move away. She is so captivated that she can’t take any step further from him.

“You do?” she asks softly, losing herself in his now greyish eyes. “Interesting. It wouldn’t work for me though. You may call me a chicken, but I am kind of scared of all this.”

And there she is, telling him exactly what he wants to hear. “You are scared of death?” he asks, slowly passing his tongue over his white teeth. She stares at him blankly, seemingly hypnotized.

“Yes...” is all she can say.

The corners of his lips curl up into a smirk as he gently takes her warm hand and strokes her tanned skin with his thumb. “Let me take this fear away then.”

Only minutes later, his red lips are only centimetres away from the dead girl’s pale ones. Her dark hair is falling back, allowing him to see her plain face. His blonde locks are touching her soft cheek and her chin as he, like the marble statue of an extravagant artist, steals her soul, like he has stolen so many others.

“What are you doing?” he hears a faint voice in the distance.

His blurry, sleepy eyes raise from the girl’s face and look up into a pair of dark brown ones. “Feeding...” he mumbles, his lips not even moving.

“I really thought you were a good person,” the same voice says.

Kalev rolls his eyes and swallows a bit. He drops the body as if it is just another object, and slowly advances towards the other man. He wipes the corner of his mouth with the cuff of his jacket and runs a hand through his messy yellow hair. His long fingers trace a line on the young man’s cheek and jawline as he looks him in the eye.

“It’s still a beautiful autumn day, Cosme... and I am still a monster,” he shrugs, then starts walking away in the distance.

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