He will be here when the last drop trickles out, becomes mud, and springs forth fresh green shoots. He understands the cycles with which the earth was molded.
When the sky expires, and the seas burn he will watch unable to act. He will walk along ancient broken streets and gaze up at high rise homes strangled by plant life. He will watch elk graze across the street from the stadium. He will watch as wolves stalk the plains that once were parking lots.
He will never meet the King of stars and stone. He will never know what it means to be human. He will never know what it is to be accepted.
His eyes emit a phosphorescent glow, inhuman and unnatural. Prowling through the sable; he peers through windows. Waiting, watching.
He is a shadow cursed to wander in search of something that eludes him. He is worthless. He is cursed to die, and be reborn perpetually.
He climbs an oak with practiced grace, slips silently across a rooftop, and quickly, quietly slides the window up just enough to permit him into a peppermint-scented room. When he is inside he slithers across the floor to the head of the small bed.
Innocent dreams become visible to him. The summer sun is smearing golden day across the pastel bedroom walls. The sight almost overwhelms him with excitement.
Something intercedes and he feels the familiar emptiness that is his home.
On his knees with withered hands outstretched. He touches her forehead, and gasps.
He blasphemes, and curses the earth as he passes into the only realm where he is allowed to forget what he is. Nod. The waste of Nod is a place where he can believe what he sees. The suffocating midnight of that dream plane is as close to peace he will ever come.
He slips between eyelids, counting minds in this vulnerable and unconscious state. He caresses innocent minds in which Nod exists. He can breathe a bit longer. He lounges in the sunlight of false days that last forever.
He feeds on this. He drinks it in through every pore.
The scar on his palm aches as a warning. He has been here too long. There is a deep audible sucking sound as he wrenches his mind free and collapses on the floor, panting, hurting, and sobbing. It always aches to drag himself out of Nod.
The girl raises her head, and shakes her blonde curls as if to shake something out of there. Maybe he left some stains behind like fingerprints on her psyche. She bawls. She lets loose a throat ripping scream.
The Stranger struggles to get to the open window.
The curtains gently dance to the tune of a breeze.
The bedroom door slams open. A man shouts a hoarse question. A gunshot explodes through the night, shredding air, and flesh. His shoulder blooms a red flower of blood and bone fragments.
The shadows sob for their broken brother.
He dies yet never lived. He bleeds out, and disappears on a fourteen year old girl's floor.
The family will later seek extensive counseling. Sleep studies will be done. They will slowly come back to rationality.
The naked stranger slick with some plasma awakens in a rubbish littered alley of a small town in a southern state. The wind howls. The breath of decadence wisps from the adjoining street. The perfume of dreams.
Immediately, a woman walking down the sidewalk sees him. She shudders, and cries out. Her frightened eyes reflect his desperate light. He cannot speak.
He swiftly hides behind a green dumpster. She runs. He follows from a distance.
He is invisible in her car. He presses his cheek to the back of her cool grey seat, giggling, drooling, and fingering the scar while she drives to her safe home.
The groceries are in the trunk in brown sacks, so is the Stranger. She carries him in with them in her arms. He crawls upstairs to wait. He listens as she enters the room, undresses in the dark, and slides silently between her sheets. He cringes and sulks as she says a prayer.
He licks the scar on his palm as sleep welcomes the lady with open arms. He hears her dreaming as he eventually approaches, fingers splayed out, twitching in nervous joy. This is the only moment he feels anything. The approach sends him into frenzy. The anticipation of entering Nod fills him.
They tease and mingle. Their energies fluctuate. They merge before he actually touches her. Then he does. Smooth gray skin stretches across, over and under him, an onslaught of thousands of years of pale visions and dark deeds. His memories are ghosts passing through him.
The pain starts to subside slightly. The eternal melancholy he can never escape.
Hopelessly he chases the silhouette of a widow he once loved across desolate plains of a mind he once knew. He leaps from a translucent dream window in an attempt to touch her. He rushes through darkness and plunges to the hard, cold ground in a broken heap.
He awakens stiff and bruised to find his clothes bloodied and filthy.
He lives. He dies. He lives. In perpetuity.
He still wanders, hurts, and pretends he is human. He still only feels that tingle of joy on the approach, and the ever present pain.
His mother's voice haunts him.
"My son, I cannot love you. I adore your lost brother. I cannot forgive you. You will never be forgiven for what you have done. Killer, the earth cries with the blood of your brother, you will die, and love only illusions."
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Ghent Altarpiece, Cain murdering Abel