Knowledge is Perception, Perception is Reality…a novel posted in chapters

Hello all,

 I am posting this story here for some feedback and to provide a nice diversion from depressing reality. I hit some writer’s block and am thinking feedback from people may help get the plot developed further. The stuff I have written already is pretty good I think but feel free to constructively criticize as the story develops. I will be posting parts every few days. Oh, this is a vampire, witch, philosophical rant, pagan filled fantasy novel hehe.

So here we go…

“Knowledge is Perception, Perception is Reality”

Layers, patterns, perceptions; they are different for every being on this planet. To the fly, his reality consists of finding bits of food in a huge world; the spider’s reality is pretty confined to his web, feeling for minute twitches that could signal the end of the fly’s reality. As one moves up the food chain the perceptions of the world and one’s place in it changes as well. Cats roam for miles at night hunting, unless it’s the spoiled housecat who is content to be waited on tooth and claw. Then you get to humans. I think we are the only animals that can purposely narrow or enlarge our realities based on what we wish to know. There are some who know everything that is going on in every corner of the world thanks to the Internet. There are others who couldn’t tell you what the person next-door looks like.  Then there are the few who see what no one else sees, the fey in the corner, the vampire hiding in the shadows, the soulless wretch who is drinking himself into oblivion to try to fill the hole where his soul should have been.

Chapter One:

I guess the standard form for introductions is what we are always forced to endure at a job orientation gathering or the first time we go to a club. What’s your name? Where are you from? What brings you to such and such place etc.?  I would have a hard time answering those questions anymore, no one would believe me. However, this story is confusing enough without at least clarifying who I am and why I am telling you all this. I guess I

should tackle the easy one first.  I am writing all this down because I am one of the few beings on this earth that knows the Truth. Yes. The Truth; about God, life, why we are here all those questions that always provide you and your friends hours of sober, inebriated or stoned conversation. As for who and what I am, that’s a bit more complicated.

I am a witch. Allow me to define that term, as there are many people who claim to be a witch or whatever and really are not. I can tap into other energies, without the need for herbs, ceremonies or deities to give me a boost. It is a natural thing for me to do. I have otherworld guardians but I do not rely on them to help me focus and use the energy I can tap into. Those who call upon whatever deity suits their imagination are simply people who are trying to connect to other realms, or bolster their own ego, but they are not witches. They are merely mortals who instead of using 10 % of their brain are using 12 %. I hold them in low regards simply because they hold themselves in too high esteem.  I grant that they some of them can accomplish some things but if they actually tapped the energy the way I do, their brains would collapse. It has to do with what I am but I am getting ahead of myself.  

The way I see a vampire or other non human is like double vision, in essence I see their real form and the form they go around in the same space. It’s like trying to watch 3d movies without the glasses, instead of the images melding correctly they are fuzzy and you see the different colors individually. To me a vampire has golden eyes superimposed on top of the normal colored eyes and I can see the fangs showing on top of the lips even when they are retracted, a werewolf appears as if a person and a wolf are trying to occupy the same space. As a child this trait made for some interesting times until I learned not to point and tell someone they were stepping on the doggy’s tail.  I have adapted to it and learned to pay more attention to one image or the other over time. The ability to see things others can’t is one of the things I have learned to hide over the years.  My father told me that I did not want to draw attention to myself as my family has enemies. He never specified who or what they were. When I chose to ignore his advice I found that humans haven’t traveled so far on the path of understanding and acceptance as we like to think. I still have scars from some of those adventures. Having to lead this double life has made me fairly comfortable with vampires, werewolves and changelings as I understand why the act the way they do and how to deal with them.  Most of my close friends are werewolves, changelings or other sorts as we understand each other much more then a regular human would. Not to say there are not bad vampires and selfish werewolves but on a whole they are more understanding of differences in people. I just hope telling this story changes a few perceptions on how people should view the Truths of life, each other and religions. I discovered that after I knew what the Truth was, all those arguments and opinions on who was right or wrong didn’t matter anymore.  

So to begin. I guess I should start this the same place it started for me, a bad day at work and a busybody vampire ancient. I could say it seems like yesterday, but it doesn’t. Too many things have happened, it seems more like another life:

I was on my way home from another brain searing boring day at work and in a bad mood because today was the 5th year anniversary of my father’s disappearance. I had wanted to stay home and be alone but seeing the metaphysical does not pay the rent. I have yet to be so desperate that I would sink to fortune telling. I got out of my car and felt something out of place, something dark and predatory.  This did not bother me, as my apartment complex is full of dark and predatory people.  I walked to my door and something shimmered in my peripheral vision, things shifted.   Everything looked the same, yet it wasn’t, I turned my head and was greeted by a vampire. I was now bothered.

 ” Nice portal shift, you guys are getting better at that.” I told him.  He was about 5’8, had his curly brown hair tied back and had piercing eyes that were shifting back from golden to brown. The eyes shifted when they did magic or while feeding, I was always jealous of that. Hey, it’s more original then being jealous of blondes.

 “There is trouble stirring.” He stated as he followed me into my apartment. Oh yeah, contrary to “Buffy” and mythology, vampires can go wherever they damn well please.

 ” Do I know you? Why are you following me into my house?” I asked.

  ” You had no need to know me before now. Your second question is rather pointless as it is hard to talk through a wall.” Smart-ass.

  ” So you chose to poof into existence, an absolute stranger, tell me there is trouble stirring and invite yourself in. You’re a noble in the clans aren’t you?”  Human, vampire, fairy or demon; nobles always act pretentious.

 ” Why should I care that there is trouble stirring? Do I look like a “Charmed One”?”

 ” You shouldn’t insult yourself;” He barked at me “You are a much better witch then that stupid show. You will care because we are concerned about the survival of this world..” He sunk down on my Goodwill couch ($25.00 and looks brand new) and was immediately stared at by my two familiars, Eve and Lillith. They are twin cats with 6 toes on the front paws. They are also huge, my friends call them mini-cougars.

  “So you are concerned about the world? Why? You’re pretty damn resilient. Unless you’re referring to a nuclear explosion and I am afraid there’s not much I could do to stop that.”  I walked into the kitchen to grab some juice. I was a lot more curious then I let on, he probably knew it too.  People who know me and know what I can see are always amazed that I handle things like this so well. I have discovered oddly enough that even demons like to talk to someone who knows what they are but is not a demon.  Vampires are for the most part harmless as they try to limit their kills to people no one will miss or they find willing feeders who think it is a great honor. Weak people need something to give them self-esteem. Being a bipedal brunch is better then being a trendy poser Goth I guess.

Making my way back from the kitchen to the living room, the whole four steps it took, I studied my uninvited guest.  Black t-shirt, black jeans and black tennis shoes with Velcro straps instead of laces, I was surprised they still made those. Vampires, always at least 5 trends behind, most tend to have better fashion sense though.  He looked pretty mundane and not at all the romantic dashing figure that Anne Rice sends young Goths sighing to bed about.  He had a ring on his left hand; it was a sigil that had a fire opal in the middle of it. I failed to get a good look at it though. I assumed it denoted his rank in the clan and what clan he was part of. I know enough of vampires to know their societal quirks; but I am no expert in vampire sociology.  His face was rather plain but had a hawk like nose. The eyes were the things that that drew attention. Old, old eyes that held regret, pain, sensuality and a whole lot of sarcasm mixed with bitterness. This one had definitely had a hard time rising through the ranks.  As I looked at him I widened my perceptions to feel more of his aura and he fairly screamed ancient. Something had to be wrong for him to be out and about. Ancients in clans tend to become recluses as many of the younger vampires seek to feed off of them to gain knowledge. As a result ancients use their ability to enthrall humans to acquire a plethora of feeders. They tend to spend their time accumulating wealth,  keeping an eye out for messes created by younger vampires feeding in public or other things that threaten them. Vampires own a lot of people in a lot of high places to preserve their secrecy.

I sat down on the floor across from him. I only had the couch and sitting next to him did not seem like the best plan. My familiars came over and sat on either side of me, pulling the Sphinx pose.  He smiled slightly, I am sure that it made quite a picture for him. The cats both have green eyes and I have one green and one blue eye so I am sure the visual was entertaining. Lillith was purring but in my mind I heard ” Be wary of him, they are sensing the same thing that my sister and I have.”

“You told me it wasn’t anything too unusual.” I snapped.

“We are not demons, nor are we on the dark path, there are many levels and he would see them all.”

  ” So what you are telling me is the world’s coming to an end and only the vampires know?” Lillith graced me with the patented superior cat look.

  “Family dispute?” the vampire smirked  

   ” They are cats, there is always a dispute. I am waiting for your story.”

I felt presenting myself as the supplicant was the best way to get information out of him.  He shifted on the couch as if deciding why he should tell someone who could be his next meal the great secrets of vampire lore. Then he stared directly at me. I am considered a fairly strong witch by most and my mind is not easily overwhelmed, I felt like I had just been thrown into a wall when his mind hit me. I fought back, Lillith and Eve hissed.  I blocked most of his attempt to get past my defenses but I felt him oozing around the corners, looking for a weak point. I realized he was testing me. This irritated me. I put a hand on each cat, and touched my reserve of power deep in my soul. He took a deep breath in shock; vampires don’t need to breathe so I took it as a compliment that he had reverted to old mortal habits, which usually meant they were surprised. His face changed from superiority to consternation to a self-satisfied look like he had just confirmed something.

   “See something you like” I spat at him.

   ” Actually yes; I was told you were one of the last true witches left in the world and I had to confirm it before I told you anything.” He smiled and watched me absorb that bit of news. That was disturbing. I opened my mouth to talk and he put up a hand.    

  ” I will not tell you who told me, that is irrelevant for now. I know you do not think so but it is. What I have come to tell you is much more important then trying to figure out your soul’s origins and who told who in the spirit world. I have things to tell you and as I am sure you will need to think things through. The sooner I tell you, the sooner action can be taken. Will you listen without interrupting?”  I thought my options over at this point. As much as I wanted to boot him out of the door and tell him to fuck off, I knew my curiosity and the driving force of the witch side would not let it go. I sighed, lay down and gestured for him to start.

   “Before I start there are things that I cannot tell you, you are not ready for the entirety of history as you know it to be rearranged. I will tell you what my Mistress has allowed me to say.  ” He paused as if to organize a millennia of thoughts. “My mistress as you can imagine is very old most have forgotten her origins.  Of those few that remember her, there are several that despise her. I know not why there is hate between them but they have declared war on her and mortals.  They have threatened her, but the means with which they will carry out their threat will destroy all the awakened ones, the vampires and rob humans of free will. My mistress told me to tell you this. Will this be enough for you to help?”  

I blinked, the cats stared and then I laughed. “Oh this is rich, the all mighty vampires need an unschooled witch to save them from a dreaded enemy!!! Why can’t your mistress kill him?”  

” She has no power against this foe.”   I sat up so fast I swear I pulled a few Gs.

 ” What is this enemy that a vampire has no power against? A priest, a garlic grower….??” He looked at me with disgust.  

” You know priests are powerless and it’s not garlic it’s onions we are allergic to. The garlic myth was strategic misinformation.  He is from another realm in which super reflexes and strength mean nothing. Vampires aren’t all that powerful, you know, we are just somewhat difficult to kill and have better reflexes then mortals…..” he trailed off as he realized he was giving away trade secrets.  “I have said too much already.”

 ” Yes you have, I won’t tell though. So what do I get for this saving of vampires and humanity? Is there money involved? I stopped doing charitable spell work years ago you know. You and I know that most humans are already slaves to one thing or another and as for the “awakened”, death wouldn’t be so bad compared to a lifetime of repressing your true nature. So tell me Noble One, what is your mistress willing to offer me?”

I was exaggerating a bit here. I didn’t want the half-breeds I knew to die and I certainly preferred living until I could afford a house. I wanted to see how desperate the vampires were, their level of desperation would tell me how bad it really was. I watched him ponder, or commune with his mistress or maybe he was counting the bits of dust in the air.  I realized that he was scared. On some deep still mortal level he was deathly afraid of what the future could hold. I have seen many vampires and otherworldly creatures; they have a similar range of emotions to what humans feel but their emotions manifest differently. The Faeries, gnomes and other sprite like creatures tend not to feel fear, as they are too curious and ethereal. When they have a reason to be afraid it tends to manifest as them staying in one place or being serious for more then 10 minutes. Vampires and werewolves use fear to feed aggression, but this one was just plain afraid. I realized at that point that maybe I wasn’t too far off, it was the apocalypse and only the vampires knew about it. The reason he had said so much earlier was the fear; he was acting like a human, babbling to try to maintain sanity.  His eyes, those old tired eyes refocused on me.

” What is it you wish to acquire in exchange for this service?” He said the words as if they were being pulled, letter-by-letter out of him by a slow winch. I sat stunned.

” Mother, this is not right.” Eve, the cat on my left whispered into my head. “It cannot be this bad already can it? Why haven’t they prepared? Why are they so desperate?

“Mother, remember vampires speak in hidden meanings, watch for traps” That

was Lillith, the cat on my right.

” Any other obvious things I should be thinking about? ” Was my response to those two, Eve had some points though. I knew I would not get more information from this vampire.

” I need to think. Is there a way I can contact you tomorrow night?” I asked. He handed me a card his name was Dafydd. On the card was the same symbol that was on his ring and a phone number. As he got up to leave he looked at me.

“I have lived for centuries.   Immortality allows you to forget to fear death. It seems odd now to wake each night and be afraid of dying.” He shivered and walked out. The door shut and I suddenly felt ill.  

19 comments

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  1. more cowbell

    will have to digest it slowly this evening, but I can assure you, at this point in time I am fairly certain that you will not be wrong if you can find a way to add

    more cowbell.

    AND your writer’s block is cured.

    • pico on February 28, 2008 at 12:59 am

    as a first time, naive reader:

    – Why is a powerful witch opening her story with a discussion of job orientations and clubs?  On a related topic:

    – Why is a being who looks down at humans for their limited intelligence nonetheless having trouble paying rent?  

    – Why is someone who looks down on humans for being so full of themselves nonetheless bothering to write a book in the first place?  Who’s the intended reader?

    I’m just asking because there seems to be a slight unbalance between tone and content here, although that’s also a function of reading in excerpts.  How do you get inside the head of someone whose consciousness is far beyond our limitations?  Would that person really be worried about a Goodwill sofa?  Possibly – but as a reader I find it strange.  (A product of my limitations as a human, no doubt!)

    That’s not to say these things aren’t reconcilable, just that I don’t see it yet.  What if you tried writing from the third person perspective instead of the first (either an omniscient narrator or a human character)?  As a limited human, I feel the mystery of a greater consciousness more acutely when I’m not inside the head of that greater consciousness.  If you want to stay inside the head of that character, that’s fine too, but show me that it’s beyond my own comprehension rather than tell me!

    Does any of this make sense?

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