I tell you there was something incongruous about the curious man who seemed tomaterialize out of the air to sit opposite me at the oak table in the quietlibrary. I felt his presence before I actually saw him, for I was engrossed in mystudies. Although I had never recalled speaking with him before, ourunderstanding grew as though our thoughts were tangible gifts we bestowed on oneanother. Yet we spoke not one word to each other the entire time! Ourcommunication reached beyond spoken words and was instead telepathic.
Isoon found he possessed remarkable knowledge of the literature I adored - wespoke of Shakespeare's tragedies, Poe's obsession with premature burial, thefalsification in Bram Stoker's novel, and of the Bible. His elaborate, formalvocabulary captivated me, and finally caused me to relinquish my reading.Instead, I passed the time gazing into his fiery eyes, which remained fixed uponme as if there were nothing else to intrigue him in the entire universe. Histhoughts flowed like music and each phrase was modulated into the next by hissteady gaze, which formed a unique melody of sound and wisdom pleasing to theinner ear. Slowly, I found myself becoming completely enamored with every aspectof this man! I now noticed his features with an acute accuracy - he was somewhatolder than I, with a distinguished demeanor. His hair was of gossamer texture,dark like mine. His pouting lips were full, with a rosy hue - the color of thesky just after the sun has set. His skin was pallid, I believe, but it wasdifficult to tell under the golden lights of the old building. His eyes, as Imentioned, were striking - clearly his most distinguishing feature. They caughtthe austere light, which burned my tired eyes, and actually absorbed it! I saythis because I scrutinized them, and saw no reflection of the light - not thefaintest gleam! I found this to be profoundly odd. Strangely, no topic couldcommand my immediate attention for more than a few seconds. It took all myconcentration to reply to his statements or to venture an opinion of my own. Mymind was a maelstrom of fragmented thoughts and it grew more difficult, with eachbreath, to remain conscious.
I rose so suddenly that I believe I surprisedeven my companion. My head slowly cleared while I leaned on the table forsupport. I looked down at him - his mouth curved, forming a grin which revealedteeth of pearl white - hideous incisors resembling those of a wolf. His gazeremained locked on my face. I shuddered, although I know not why. I suddenlybecame aware that the library was empty, except for us. The man silently rose asI fell back into my chair, paralyzed. He proceeded toward me, and knelt at myfeet. Softly, he whispered that I alone knew what he was. Bewildered, I repliedthat I could feel no life in his icy soul.
His hand slowly reached for thenape of my neck, touched the gold cross, and drew back, grinning. He mumbledsomething to himself - something about about the cross being the soul's"protection from the night" - then shook his head. He smiled as hegazed into my eyes. Slowly, he rose, backed up several feet, and politely waited.I raised my eye in pure disgust at this hideous creature who had deceived me intothinking him beautiful, stood up, and walked away. I felt his burning gaze on myback, and, in a sudden burst of hubris, I turned fearlessly to confront him, andfound him within an inch of my body, staring down into my eyes. His laugh wascrystalline and seemed sorrowful despite the devilish grin that spread across hisface. The second you falter - the very second you doubt yourself, I will bethere! I ran from the library, pursued by the sound of his awful laughter.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.