You Can’t Take Eternity From Me

He had tried to save her. Again and again he had tried to save her.

It just wasn’t possible. He had infinity to derive a way to save her, to keep her his, at his side, forever.

He wanted her. He needed her in a way no mortal mind could possibly comprehend. The lesser races had stumbled upon emotions such as “lust” and “love”, assigned words to them and claimed to experience them.

Such notions were ridiculous to the immortals. How could the mortal races understand? How could  they even begin to grasp the enormity of the emotions they professed to possess? How could they understand lust when their natural lives rarely exceeded a century? How could they claim to understand love?

In a way, Euripedes pitied them. A mortal might feel his lust build over days, weeks, perhaps months or even years if he was especially unlucky. He would never experience the anticipation of five centuries, nor the release such a build up causes.

A mortal might find their “soul mate” (utterly preposterous, that), and decide to spend the rest of their lives with their “true” love. These people would never experience real love, the love that comes from knowing all eternity stretches out before you, and knowing, really knowing, that you wish to share this eternity.

‘Till death do us part, as the humans say. They need only commit for half a century, maybe less. An immortal commits until time itself unravels. A mortal could never understand that joy, that crushing despair.

For love amongst the immortals never dies. It is both a curse and a blessing, neither of which a mortal could truly experience.

Knowing that you will always be at your beloved’s side. That they will always be at yours.

Even ten thousand years after your death, their love for you will not dim, it will not falter for an instant. Immortals only have one heart. Once it is given, it is given for all eternity.

The mortal races cannot comprehend this. They have no basis for it. They grow, they age, they watch their parents die, produce children of their own, and the cycle repeats. Possessing multiple lovers is not only common, but expected amongst the lesser races.

The obvious problem presents itself. What happens when an immortal gifts their heart to one who is not?

In no other situation is the pain of immortality more apparent. Mortals die. Immortals don’t. Twenty thousand years after the mortal has died, the immortal will love them still. The stars may wither and die billions of years hence, while the passion of the immortal for their dead beloved will burn as hot as ever.

Immortals, by their very nature, cannot “let go”. They cannot “move on”. It is literally impossible.

He tried, hundreds of thousands of times, to explain this to Ariel. She did not understand. She couldn’t understand, being born of a lesser race.

He knew this. He tried anyway. Over and over again.

Every time he arrived in the Legerdemain, every time he opened the door, every time he conversed with her, he tried to keep her.

Sometimes he convinced her, she reformed the link, and they spent centuries together. Centuries of watching her wither, watching her fade, watching as everything he loved slowly dissipated until he was left with nothing but an empty husk named Ariel.

Sometimes he failed, words were left unsaid, words said in anger. She spent her night alone. Sometimes she died the next day, sometimes survived, for a time. He never saw her again.

Sometimes he refused to kill her. She died anyway. Sometimes random gunfire killed her, sometimes falling rubble, sometimes another warrior cut her down. Sometimes she was pinned or wounded, then turned into a bloody paste as a siege engine ground over her. Sometimes she lived for a century or two longer. Inevitably she died.

She died.

She always died.

He could not stop it.

Anything he did, it mattered not. She died.

He could not save her.

But he could keep her.

He suspected the only reason the Bronze Dragonflight allowed him to repeat this day was due to its inconsequential nature. Whether his Ariel lived or died, the time line did not care.

She always died, sometimes immediately, sometimes days or weeks later, sometimes centuries later. She died.

He always loved her, forever, for all eternity. No matter how long he lived, whether it would be decades, centuries, or millenia. His love could not die.

So he arrived at the Legerdemain. He arrived at the room. He spoke with her. He made love to her.

The next day he killed her. He did not repeat this part.

With her dead, he returned to his own time, resuming whatever duties, wars or plans were in effect. Maybe a few weeks would pass, a few years, it didn’t matter. He always returned.

He arrived at the Legerdemain. The room. Her. One last glorious night.

Relived for eternity.

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6 Responses to You Can’t Take Eternity From Me

  1. Hira says:

    umm… me doesn’t like… me thinks the soul lives forever so why is your mage tormenting himself obsessing on that day, why go back in time when nothing can be changed? I see a mortal can’t learn to live forever in one lifetime but the immortal can learn about where the soul goes after death, if it returns in some form on the earth without outside influence like say… necromancy
    love can do anything
    and perhaps that’s how mortals learn to become immortals by living a thousand lives and dying a thousand deaths and remembering nothing when they are born again, yet still feeling when something is right or wrong, slowly defining what they wanna shed and what they wanna keep and being more in control of their choices
    then after very long time of trial an error, without considering past lives as failure, they settle down, become attuned with all that means life and ready to accept infinity

    now I don’t wanna write the story for you, but I can’t help it but think your mage is stupid for not knowing all that

  2. Monsieur says:

    I on the other hand think it’s great! Really cool to get both sides, and it gives a nice twist to the last story. You really like those emotional twists huh? 😀

    Hira, you don’t have to agree with the character to enjoy a story, usually characters that are different from you as a reader will stimulate you more than a character that is “like you”.

    And for the soul argument, I don’t actually know how that works in WoW? I think the premise for this story at least, is that death is real, and there is no alternative reality where the soul ends up. The fact that he is immortal feels more like a move to amplify the story of someone losing their loved one, more than being a debate about immortality. The old vampire trick 🙂

    And for the record there, on the vampire trick of lovers and eternal life etc, I agree with the version where the human lifespan enables stronger feelings due to the choices you make are of more consequence. And also, having that “ritual” of coming back to that day Euripedes is kind of taking part in her death, and thus by killing her went from a linear existence to a cyclical one. Who’s the empty husk now, Euripedes!? 😀

  3. Chrisss16 says:

    Firstly, this:

    “I agree with the version where the human lifespan enables stronger feelings due to the choices you make are of more consequence,”

    but that is, in fact, opinion, and thus can vary between people. As a matter of fact, your idea of immortal love in immortal people makes logical sense, even if I disagree.

    Whereas I enjoyed every one of your other stories, including the one preceding this one (although the peon one was a bit of a quality dip,) I did not like this particular one at all. While partly this my have to do with the aforementioned opinion and the fact that I dislike the concept of “love,” I nevertheless feel obligated to point that out, since you so often ask your audience’s opinions. As a story, it did not reach me. As information, it poses inherent contradictions (Immortal love vs. “Time heals everything.”) As an insight into characters, it is useful, but adds, in its way, a flaw too large and that, furthermore, cannot be fixed. Good motivation for your character, yes, and perhaps you intend to do something about this Ariel in the future – but if Ariel will die, the situation remains the same. Euripedes will never stop brooding, and will spend all his time thinking about her – from what I can see, that saps determination instead of giving it, and turns any actions he might take into something negative, determined by his dark past and the love he holds.
    What is it you were trying to do here?

    P.S. If I misread something in an utterly absurd manner, I apologize: It’s 8 o’clock in the morning at the time of posting.

  4. Feh. Elves. Always with the woe is me because they live forever. Still, if you’re gonna self-flagellate, you may as well do it with style.

  5. gnomeaggedon says:

    Hey Rip, just wanted to say that although I haven’t been commenting (I don’t know that I have writing skill of any level that I can provide constructive criticism), I have been hungrily consuming each post – at least once.

    In fact, with pretty much zero free time right now, this is one of the few blogs I am visiting & reading on any regular basis.

    One suggestion… Would you tag the posts by character/storyline and maybe even writing style. I dare say as your body of work builds people (including me) will want to journey from beginning to end on a storyline. Best to start that tagging now with a couple of dozen posts than track back when you have hundreds.

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