It was a beautiful day for a picnic in the park. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom. It reminded me of the trip I took to Tokyo, Japan a few years ago. The sun was high in the sky and I had on my favorite gauze skirt. I twirled around a few times and the skirt cut through the gentle breeze that was steadily blowing. My silver slippers glistened, reflecting the sunlight. It was going to be nice to finally meet him. He seemed like such a nice man, Brent Foster. Until today we have only talked online. I felt as nervous as a sheep today. I adjusted my cleavage one last time; it looked to be enough to catch his interest but still not too revealing. It took forty minutes just to pick out this shirt! He said in his last e-mail that he would be sitting on a bench by the park’s central fountain. I kept walking down the trail that led to the center of the park. The fountain came into view and there was a lone man feeding the ducks some bread. I walked over and stood in front of him. He looked up with eyes that harbored wisdom. His expression made him seem as cunning as a fox. I like foxes.
“Ashtain Brock?” The young man asked.
“That’s me! I assume you are Brent Foster?” I asked in return.
“You assume correctly. My, you are absolutely gorgeous.”
“Why thank you!” I gave him my best beaming smile.
“Shall we go find us a nice peaceful spot?” He gestured toward the clearing behind him.
“I would like that.” I told him.
We walked slowly over to the clearing and kept stealing glances at each other. His eyes were so mesmerizing. I just couldn’t look away. We set up a blanket and spread out the sandwiches and other goodies. The strawberries looked especially enticing. A Peruvian flute band was playing somewhere off in the distance. We sat down on the blanket and made eye contact once more. I could feel something wrench in my chest. Perhaps it was a stirring of my soul. When I finally managed to look away I looked down and noticed my skin was not as taut as it was just moments ago. I began to explore other areas of my skin. It was as if I had aged many years in an instant.
“What is going on?” I croaked out in a soft voice.
I toppled over onto the blanket. Another man rushed over and was trying to see if I was ok.
“She will be fine I hope, I was just hoping for a nice picnic out with my Grandmother. The heat must have gotten to her.” Brent told the man.
“I’m going to call the paramedics.” The man grabbed a phone out of his pocket and dialed. “Yes, I am in a clearing by the central fountain in Fairoak’s Park. An elderly woman has passed out from the heat and needs medical attention. Her Grandson is here with her. I will wait with them until you arrive.”
Brent got an annoyed look on his face; a look that flashed only for a second. He plastered on one of his cunning smiles when the paramedics arrived.
I woke up in a hospital bed. I felt someone holding my hand. Looking around I noticed Brent sitting next to me.
“Oh good, you’re awake.”
“Brent…” That was all I could manage to speak.
“There is no need for you to talk. Just relax. I’m sorry, I really am. It’s just survival. You see, I’m a chrono-vampire. I feed off of the time that others have left to live. It keeps me looking pretty. Thank you, I will make sure to do something special with the years you have given me. The life of a chrono-vampire is all about escaping the falling sands of the hourglass; hiding from time itself. Goodbye, Ashtain.”
I met his gaze one last time. The same wrenching feeling arose in my chest. My soul being sucked away I now realized. It was the last thing that I ever felt. Darkness is the only thing left.