As it is, this piece wanted written first, and the premise is something rather... interesting.
Prompt: “Dying is easy. Coming back is where things get tricky."
Perspective: First Person
Genres: Supernatural, Secrets, Drama
Length: 904 words
-Part one of two
-Peculiarly Old-World manners
Author Notes: Ambrose spills a lot of his personal secrets to explain the backstory of this situation he happened into, and parts of his story are quite sad. And Jeremy seems a little creepy right now, but the next part should clear up some of the unpleasantness.
Also, this is a little shorter than usual, but it seemed a complete part there, so I'm goin' with it.
I always knew that my death would not be permanent. My mother told me that in a low whisper, while my father slept. That was the only time she told me anything about our talent. And when she died giving birth to my younger sister, it fell to me to instruct Kyalee about our skill.
The trick to it is never the dying. Dying is ridiculously easy, even in this day and age. Coming back is where it gets tricky.
Little Kyalee lost her life the second time she came back. She simply hadn't held the imagine of her new life in her mind. I had mourned her deeper than any loss I'd ever sustained. Kya used to follow me around and tell me, "Tolly, 'tis alright if you never marry: I'll always be with you." And she never intended to break her promise: she simply had.
Taking up life again is an interesting thing. It helps to have a good imagination, because you don't want to look the same. You need a new name, because I've noticed over time that naming trends change and you don't want to seem out of place.
When it comes time to let go of your life, you have to tell yourself a little story. Start with your new name, then describe your new self. Keep it quietly in your head, but imagine that new life, that new body, that new person. You have to hold that image, no matter how much you hurt and no matter what is happening to you.
I told you, this is where I lost my sister. Ky was burned at the stake as a witch, for her healing talents and generosity to others. Her pain and suffering ripped away her perfect future, her new self, and without that new self, there was no where for her soul to go. This is why the most important thing you can do is choose your own death.
I was born this time as Ambrose Rivers, but I've never held on to a self for long. Maman told me once that her parents had held onto individual lives, individual selves for a century before letting them go. I find I don't have the attention span. There is so much in this world to learn and to know, and I am its devoted student.
I haven't used my birth name in lifetimes, which is why I was so startled when someone touched my shoulder and asked, "Bartholomew? Bartholomew Evers?"
I shook the hand off, shivering as though someone walked over my grave and turned to look at the person. He was young and attractive, with thick sunshine kissed hair and eyes the color of a stormy sea. "Excuse me, but I don't believe I'm the man you seek. My name is Ambrose, Ambrose Rivers," I returned smoothly, as though the use of my birth name hadn't shaken me.
He bowed slowly, eyes cast to the ground. "My apologies, Mister Rivers. You see, for a moment you looked so much like someone I used to know."
I watched him rise, alternately fascinated by the charming creature before me and terrified because he knew who I had been. "No harm done," I returned gently. "Tell me, what is your name?"
"Jeremy Reynolds," he replied smoothly. "At your service."
I stared at him slowly, recalling a young man I used to be quite fond of by the name of Jeremiah Peabody. He'd had the loveliest ice-blue eyes and strawberry-blonde hair, but there was something in the shape of 'Jeremy's' features that made me recall the long nights spent making love to Jeremiah.
I shook my head to clear it. "It's nice to make your acquaintance, Mister Reynolds," I intoned, offering my hand.
"Oh, I think you'll find the pleasure is all mine," the younger man rasped out, seizing my hand and gently pulling me toward him.
Stepping toward him to regain my balance, I was startled to see –and feel– the younger man pressing his lips to the back of my hand. It was an odd sort of strange intimacy, yet eeirily familiar. Drawing a quick shocked breath, I failed to retrieve my hand before he turned it over, pressing another kiss to the palm of my hand.
"Tell me, Tolly. How many others have there been?"
Trembling, I pulled my hand back from the young man. "I... I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh, I think you do," he replied silkenly, following me as I stepped away from him. "I think you're afraid, Ambrose. I think you've not held that name very long, and I think that you are much older than you appear."
I withdrew further, and I was almost too far to hear him say, "And so am I. Gods, how many centuries do you want me to chase you, Tolly? Isn't two enough?"
Had I been any other sort of creature, I would have stayed and heard him out. But I was a creature of change, evolution, and retreat.
So I ran.
Yep, I am so mad for Jeremy/Jeremiah right now.
Let me know how you liked this one, 'kay? I thought it was intersting, myself~