I’m adrift in the void. I look around at the gleaming pinpricks of light out there as I’ve done so many times before. It’s strange. I remember there used to be more of them. A lot more. Hundreds of stars have died since I’ve been watching them out here.

It is peaceful, at least. I’ve never run into anything. One part of me always imagined that I’d eventually run into a comet, an asteroid, a planet. Even a star or a black hole would’ve been nice. But another part of me knows that space is vast and mostly empty. So empty that the chance of encountering anything is so low as to be impossible. The odds must be even lower now than before, what with everything else succumbing to entropy.

Yes, I figure the scientists that predicted an entropic death for the universe were correct. The ones that predicted a big crunch followed by another big bang followed by another universe… Well, I wish they’d been right. Restarting the universe might even be enough to kill me and I’ve long since lost any trepidation about what waits beyond life—be it annihilation, paradise. Even hell would be nice for a change of pace.

I’m adrift with only my memories. That and two lockets: a gold one for my lover and silver for my dear child. I want to cry, but my body ran out of water long ago and I have none to drink. Water, water, nowhere, and all my tears do shrink. Water, water, nowhere. Who could give me drink?

I have a mouth, but I still can’t scream. No air, you see. I open my mouth and yearn to pour my agony out into the void, but the void will not receive it.

I laugh inside myself (no air). When you’re a teenager, what do you think about living forever? You may think about how many nations you’ll outlast—I did—but you simply can’t wrap your mind around outlasting the planet beneath your toes.

I look at the golden locket—the one with my love. Yes, I still love him. It’s been so long that I can hardly remember his face. Oh, but once a long time ago I saw a whole cluster of stars supernova seemingly at once. I know they didn’t, but the light from the glorious explosions reached my desperate eyes almost simultaneously. As I watched the sparkling diamonds glitter all at once then wink out, I remembered his face so suddenly that I wanted to cry that I had ever forgotten. And then scream because I couldn’t cry. It’s always in that order.

I look at the silver locket—the one with my child. But no, I don’t want to think about that right now. No.

So I look again at the golden locket. How could you do it to me? I was mortal. I would have lived a life of perhaps 80, 90 years? That’s about how long humans lived back then, I think. I know I begged you. I know I pushed you. But you knew! You were already immortal, had already lived more than a century by the time you’d met me, and with even that small fraction of the infinite, you had to know how the story of immortality inevitably ends (or—well—doesn’t). When a child begs you for the poisoned apple, you don’t give it to her! Let her cry! Let her scream! You even let her hate you if she must, but for the love of God, don’t give it to her!

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Oh, but if he’s out there, he didn’t do the forsaking. Father into your hands I commit my spirit. But that’s not true, either. I committed my immortal soul into the hands of my lover, and he bound it to this body forever because I wanted him to.

I can’t blame him. Certainly not more than I blame myself anyway. For all of our love, I couldn’t be happy with just one lifetime with him. I had to have a hundred lifetimes, a thousand lifetimes, a million lifetimes. And I did. And I was happy. But after a billion lifetimes, I learned a hard lesson about fallibility. He was always so perfect, but in the end, even he couldn’t protect us both from the accident, so he chose to protect me. So, I kept as many of his ashes as I could in the golden locket.

As for the ashes in the silver locket, well, I never was as perfect as my lover. No, please, no. Not that again. I was thinking about my lover and how he sacrificed his body for mine.

Honestly, I don’t think it mattered. The thing about immortality? You don’t die. I remember one of the tales of Hercules went like this: Once Hercules got roaring drunk (so many of his tales begin that way) and accidentally gave his teacher Chiron a mortal wound. However, Chiron, being immortal, could not die from the wound. By the cruelty of immortality he was forced to endure what could not be endured until Zeus granted him mercy and took away his immortality, allowing him the sweet relief of death.

They are ash, but are they dead? I suspect they are trapped in their own senseless voids much like me. Had he chosen to save himself instead of me… our ultimate fates are different from each other only in the minor details. I could cry for them. No, I can’t. Makes me want to scream.

Merciful Zeus! Hear my prayer! Let your lightning rays smite from record my youthful days, surround my immortality in their glow and bring me down to death below; Zeus is my prayer.

No answer. Curse you, merciful Zeus.

Cornelius Gallus said that worse than any wound is the wish to die and yet not be able to do so. I don’t know if anyone disagreed with him, but I couldn’t believe how right he was.

Where, O Death is thy victory? Where, O Death is thy sting? Come and sting my heart; take your victory. Here I am, O Death! Fight me! I’ll let you win! I forfeit.

So many ages ago, my father told me something about the value of learning to love what was good for me. I’m sorry I didn’t listen. Please, you have no idea how sorry I am. I know now that this wasn’t good for me. I figured that out at least a thousand years ago. (Impossible to keep track of how long it really was. A million years? Five years? I just know it feels like about a thousand.) I wish I could take it back, but the desire to be immortal when I was young and in love with him was too much. Even if I had it to do over again, I know the choice I would make.

Then I think for the hundred thousandth time, as I invariably do when I start thinking of all this, I should have chosen Jacob.

Tagged as: ,


  1. Corinnlon on 11 August 2010, 11:36 said:

    That was the most awesome piece of writing ever spawned by Stephenie Meyer’s books. <3

  2. Romantic Vampire Lover on 11 August 2010, 12:07 said:

    I always wondered what would happen in this situation… Lovely piece you have here. Well written, and I liked the allusions to mythology. Bravo! :D

  3. Super-Secret-Alias on 11 August 2010, 12:29 said:

    And that is the reason immortality would worry me. :P

    I loved how you explored that possibility. Infinitely better than the usual romantic fluff found in Twilight fanfiction.

  4. theArmourer on 11 August 2010, 12:46 said:

    I should have chosen Jacob.

    This should be in the humor section.

  5. NeuroticPlatypus on 11 August 2010, 13:01 said:

    This is pure win. XD I love it. It’s really well-written, and if I hadn’t looked at the first comment and the tags first, I wouldn’t have known it was about Bella until then end. Nice job.

  6. Zephronias on 11 August 2010, 15:07 said:

    Ha! The ending line just sucked all the horror right out of it. (But in a good way).

    Great piece. Absolutely awesome.

  7. swenson on 11 August 2010, 17:17 said:

    Hahahaha! Amazing! To be honest, I skimmed through it, so I only got what it was about at the last line. Which is exactly as it should be.

  8. Nate Winchester on 11 August 2010, 17:27 said:

    Next time someone asks me, “Nate, what does ‘awesome’ mean?” I am going to point them here and say “This. This is awesome.”

  9. Snow White Queen on 11 August 2010, 18:18 said:

    I love it. If only Bella was this thoughtful in the real book.

  10. Kawnliee on 11 August 2010, 22:34 said:

    This made me laugh aloud. And it was also excellently written. Love it. :)

  11. Lucywannabe on 11 August 2010, 22:42 said:

    Oooo…I love it. I’ve always wondered about this very thing, whenever some immortal being like a vampire appears in a story: what happens when they outlive the very world that spawned them?

    I like this little look into that possibility, well done.

  12. Spanman on 11 August 2010, 23:09 said:

    Great buildup to a punchline of absolute win.

  13. fffan on 12 August 2010, 00:10 said:

    Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! Congratulations. Here’s your internet. In fact, why don’t you take a hundred?

  14. Durandalski on 12 August 2010, 08:41 said:

    Wow. With one, thousand word piece of writing you surpassed all the twilight books combined. You made Bella and Edward seem like real people, and still made it funny in the end. Awesome incarnate!

  15. dragonarya on 12 August 2010, 11:06 said:

    Nice piece!
    Just one thing I have to point out, a minor nitpick: Hercules is actually the Roman name for him; the original Greek name is Heracles. Like I said, just a minor nitpick but one that never fails to annoy me. :P

  16. Puppet on 12 August 2010, 12:10 said:

    Nicely done, Asahel. Will we be seeing more articles/writing from you?

  17. the Sue on 12 August 2010, 12:13 said:


    Who is this person and why did (s)he come straight out of the blue like that? This was amazing.

  18. Puppet on 12 August 2010, 13:16 said:

    S/He actually wrote some other articles a while back. Here’s the link for anybody who wants it:


  19. Tolly on 13 August 2010, 08:46 said:

    Oh. Oh wow. I bow before the master. Just wow.

    And THIS is why immortality creeps me the hell out!

  20. Asahel on 14 August 2010, 16:59 said:

    Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. I’m delighted that everyone enjoyed the story. I’m sure I’ll contribute more in the future; the last dry spell is primarily due to being hard at work on a fantasy/sf trilogy (yeah, I know, I know, but in my defense I only broke it up into three parts because it was getting too long). Anyway,

    If only Bella was this thoughtful in the real book.

    I concur. For this story, I assumed that countless ages filled with life’s hard lessons actually has made her more thoughtful.

    Just one thing I have to point out, a minor nitpick: Hercules is actually the Roman name for him; the original Greek name is Heracles. Like I said, just a minor nitpick but one that never fails to annoy me. :P

    I’m aware of the distinction. In fact, I’ve always found it funny that the Greek names for gods are more well-known than their Roman counterparts (one might argue that the Roman names are more well-known, but I argue that they are only more known as planets, not gods) while the Roman Hercules is far more well-known than the Greek Heracles. At any rate, I didn’t figure Bella would make the distinction, so I kept it as good ol’ Herc. Glad it was only a minor annoyance. :D

    Again, thanks to all who commented. I still check the site regularly even when I’m not submitting material.

  21. Nate Winchester on 14 August 2010, 19:29 said:

    I concur. For this story, I assumed that countless ages filled with life’s hard lessons actually has made her more thoughtful.

    Yeah, knowing Bella, for her to have any character growth it would take a few million years.

  22. Danielle on 14 August 2010, 20:01 said:

    Incredimazable. Fantabulous. If only Twilight had been like this.

    It was beautifully written and wonderfully thoughtful. Haunting is the best word I can think to describe it. Reading Twilight, I often wished Meyer would mention the consequences of immortality, and this is exactly what would happen to an immortal in reality.

    My only complaint? I wish there was more.

  23. melanthes on 18 August 2010, 12:10 said:

    I’ve always wondered about that sort of consequence of immortality. I admit, part of the way through reading this, I though “Twilight” and then dismissed it – principally because there’s an awful lot of character and good writing here.

  24. Deborah on 27 December 2010, 19:50 said:

    That was wonderfully written.

  25. Ci on 22 January 2011, 08:44 said:

    A normal vampire could just carry a stake around with him and kill himself if his planet goes boom, but I guess for a twilight vampire it’s a bit harder to commit suicide.

  26. moondevourer on 22 January 2011, 16:11 said:

    Why couldn’t Twilight actually be like this? The length you took it to [to the point of the destruction of the world] started reminding me of Phoenix[Osamu Tezuka].

  27. BeforeNotAfter on 3 June 2012, 17:30 said:

    This is a really good story. Chilling, but good.