the lost generationMature

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Chapter one: lonely moon
persephone; by rhetoric

Persephone had been eighteen for so long, she thought she might die of boredom with her own face.  She was eighteen even down to her tissue samples and hair folicles.  Not even modern science could tell she was over a hundred.  Hundred and eighteen, to be exact.  

She watched the people around her age, with such a deep, writhing envy she would become sick with it, gradually, their faces changing almost imperceptably.  She would have even settled for a life as a perpetual twenty-something, she thought, just so long as her face had matured.  She hated the childish largeness of her eyes, the impishness of her nose.  She used to see such promise in her features, the possibility of longer lines and sharper contours - but she ignored them now; the frustration of never knowing, never having, was too much to bear in day to day life.  It was easier to forget.

On this particular evening, she was leaving her small condo for her first night class of the semester.  Her loose curls hung down to her waist.   She dug through her purse until she found her keys, then locked the door behind her.  Her plum cardigan brought out the deeper blues of her wide eyes.

On her way through the front lobby, she threw her mail into her side backpack and shoved through the heavy glass doors.  The heat of the city hit her like a brick wall.  Even at night, the desert was hot.  She could already feel some of her hair clinging to the back of her neck.  She felt dirty, and she'd only been out of the air conditioning for thirty seconds.

She waved down a taxi cab and climbed in, rambling off the campus address and gratefully sucking down a few mouthfuls of cool, filtered air.  She wasn't sure what, but something felt different about her routine.

She'd gone to college a few dozen times, so she knew it wasn't first day jitters.  But something in her gut told her tonight was going to change the rest of her life.  She shook it off and watched the shops she passed through the window.

People milled about, on street corners or just outside of restaurants, laughing and talking, so oblivious to the perils around them.  With so much fear in the world, so much desperate pill-swallowing to keep themselves as far from that treacherous edge of life and death, she wondered why they weren't more cautious.  Persephone wouldn't be cautious, if given the chance to be mortal, but she supposed she had been on the receiving end of a lesson most didn't have to learn.  Everyone wanted to live forever, except those that lived forever, she thought.

When the cab driver pulled over at the entrance to the Sciences building. she handed him the fee and climbed out of the vehicle.  The air was still sticky, threatening to choke her.  She stretched her small body as she strained to reach her legs farther than normal, the wide steps unnatural but helpful.  She reached the door and scanned her card, relishing the high powered air conditioning units inside the lobby.

Students lounged comfortably on couches, some talking on cell phones, others playing handheld video games.  Small groups gathered around tables, discussing assignments and professors.  The air smelled familiarly like humans, she noticed, except for a strange after-scent.  She sniffed the air, attempting to be discrete, and followed the strange odor down one of the hallways.  She rounded a corner and a wave of deja vu hit her like a tidal wave, crushing her beneath the force of it.  Except, she didn't recognize her surroundings or the people she could see.

But there was something so known, so recognized, around her.  She scanned the area desperately, a small spring of hope welling up in her chest that maybe, just maybe, she'd found him.

The one that turned her.

She'd searched fruitlessly for years, she reasoned with herself, what made her think she would stumble upon him a hundred years later in the gathering room of a small university?  She sighed, halting her search before she got her hopes up too high, and turned around to head back to the elevator.  Her shoulder slammed into someone and she grunted in surprise.

"Oh, excuse me," she mumbled, glancing up to see who she ran into.  

The eyes staring back at her were nearly burgundy in color, not quite brown but not quite red.  They were the strangest eyes she had ever seen, she thought.  When she pulled her focus out to study the man's face, she gasped.

He smiled, extending his hand out to her.  "My name is Gabriel Elias," he said, "and I think we're going to get along."

The End

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