No man knows my name; nor any woman living.
I was born a piece at a time, fragments of sense and wonder; the whine of a saw, the grate of new bone, the burning stench of electrode pressed into rot. When I was awake, I woke entirely, and, at the turn of a switch, I was not asleep. I was not.
You were there, part of me each time that I was aware, that I was awake, that I was alive, as much a part of my design as my hungering eyes, or the slot in my chest through which I could read the world, or the fast-breeding heart at the core of me. I knew you before I knew you, glands and facts and sinews; soft flesh that one day I would make hard, openness that I would fill, innocence that I would take; smoothness that I would take and mould and alter and cut.
I would always be Alpha, always Adam. You were to be my brother; you were made for me to take.
We always want to make that other one that is ourself more like ourselves, to mark them as owned; no man has ever known themselves as perfect as I, and we wish perfection in the one we take, want them more perfect still. I had to be cruel, to make you of my kind.
Our fulfilment would have been perpetual, making and taking and changing, a piece at a time; making and taking and cutting, never resting, never at peace, always aware. A hardness without end and no softness left unfilled in the world. A world in which there was no man living, nor any woman.
She put you there, my goal and my brother. I could take you, and she could not, but she could make me as the one who took you. She made me and cut me, a piece at a time, and gave me the peace of not being, when she was not making me. We were to be what she could not be - hard and perfect and forever. She was mother to our world, a woman living who knew us, knew our names, limited with her designs what we would become. She could not, living, be with us; but we were to waste nothing; she designed us that way.
She could not tell me what she did not know; she told me I knew all the world, could read it between my ribs and she was soft and I cut her where she was soft, and she was not. She never told me about the girl, and what a slayer was; she could not tell me what she did not know.
I knew everything that flesh knows and metal, human and demon and mechanoid; everything in the world and beneath it. And everything did not include the girl, and so it was nothing. I thought that magic was a deceit, and nothing more, something that tricked the world for a few hours. I thought that love was a weakness of the flesh, something that deceived the heart for a few moments - and it was not so.
Love and jealousy were everywhere I looked, and my eyes, my eyes of two kinds were blind, and my knowledge was nothing, and I did not see. My tool that I had made and taken, first that I had made and taken, twisted in my hand; he had loved you and he would not be second to her; I made him and he would not be second to you; he had loved you and would not leave you for me to make and take and cut.
He was not designed for love and jealousy and it made him weak, made him slow. He was the first thing that I had made, and he broke, he broke in pieces, in a moment.
(Even the vampire loved, and was jealous, and did not do what he promised, and could not do what he promised, because he did not know the heart that does not beat in his chest. I knew that vampires are a paradox, but I did not know what I knew, and so I knew nothing.)
The girl broke me, a piece at a time. I thought her weak, because I did not know magic and love; I thought them deceptions and I was deceived. She showed me those things that I did not know; she took my arm that was a weapon and folded it back into itself and it was no longer the weapon I had cut it to be. She reached into the heart of me, and stilled my core.
I knew that she could not do those things.
And my knowledge was nothing, and nothing was what I became. Except for this remnant somewhere that is not on the earth, nor beneath it, that sees without eyes, knows without a brain, yearns without a heart.
She was in your heart, and you tore me out of your chest, cutting and taking. I was your brother, and he was your brother, and you did not know us, you did not take us, yearning and hard for you. And we became nothing, because you loved her.
But she doesn't love you.
d e a d l e t t e r s h o m e