The Vessel

My first through when coming up with idea for this story was to do something to do with a boat. Maybe something involving pirates, we all like pirates right? I was sitting in my lazy boy chair, stretched out, half a sleep, and this idea came to me. I hope you enjoy it.


The Vessel

               I enjoyed the winter months.  By 5:00PM the sun had set and I could venture out.  Collectors like myself had nothing against the day, not like I was a vampire or something.  No I was something far worse, from a time so old even God had forgotten about me.  I was no monster, didn’t eat human flesh or hunt little children to steal from their parents.  No.  I was something else, something with an undying need to add to my collection, to my life.

               Reaching for my black jacket I slide it on and smoothed out the collar of my black shirt and looked in to the mirror.  Fuck, I was a Thor looking son of a bitch, which made my job all the much easier.

               Deciding a good place to start the night off was the local coffee shop.  It wasn’t far from my downtown loft.  All the important people in this world would be getting off work, needing that shot of caffeine to help them attend that yoga class or the drive home.

               I couldn’t help but wonder with each soul I passed who would be the lucky one tonight?  A few women mistook my glances of malice as a flirt.  The kind of love I’d give them is the kind of love the Devil would show to his slaves, an eternal love of damnation.

               Turning the corner I saw people glued to their cell phone, vaping, no one smoked anymore.  As I approached I looked a the hipster standing outside.  His beanie slumped back on his head, thick black glasses, looking down at his cell phone.  Probably posting on Facebook or posting a new pic to Instagram.  How the world had changed.  Violence and power once ruled the world, now it was likes and followers.  But I wasn’t in a hipster mood so I moved past, giving him a bump he dropped his cellphone.  I could feel his eyes on me but the coward didn’t say anything.  A generation of gutless snowflakes.

               The coffee shop was busy.  Only a few seats left empty.  Standing in the obnoxiously long line I waited impatiently to get served.  Looking around, trying not to look like I had a twitch I spotted a woman sitting in the back of the coffee shop.  She was dressed in scrubs, nurse maybe? 

               “Hello sir, what would you like?” 

               The barista was cute, big tits, shirt too tight, wearing those black yoga pants.  Looking deep in to her eyes I could see her future.  It was empty, not worth it.  “Chai tea latte, large.”

               “$5.96 sir.”

               I tapped my card on the reader and got to stand in another line waiting for my drink to be made by another hipster, with stretched out ears.

               From the corner of my eye I watched scrubs, it looked like she was caught up in her book.  “Here you go, large chai tea latte for Matt.”  Looking at the barista I nodded, thanking her I made my way towards Scrubs.  Lucky for me the place had filled up and those empty seats had been taken.  Giving me the perfect opportunity to ask to join her.

               “Do you mind if I take this seat and join you?  Place is busy tonight.”  She looked up from her book.  It was a book on anatomy, probably a doctor to be or a nursing student.

               “Sure.”

               Her eyes lingered on mine, flashes of lighting burst through my mind.  I saw her future.  A doctor she would be, cure cancer, she had a great future in medicine.  Family, two kids, husband, fat and boring.  I enjoyed it when I could steal something from the world.  It brought me joy on a level so deep I couldn’t explain it to you if I tried.

               “Nursing student?”  I asked.

               “Yeah, almost finished, just trying to get out of my apartment that I feel like I’ve been locked in.”

               I nodded.  I was easy to talk to, call it part of my paranormal charm.  “Parents must be proud.  Seeing their daughter take up a life of assisting those during periods of suffering and pain.”

               “That’s my goal, to ease the suffering and to assist in healing.”

               “I’m suffering.”  That caused her to look deeply in to my eyes, which was a mistake.  Her eyes glazed over, she was smart, but not smart enough to avoid becoming bewitched.

               “Perhaps I should help ease your pain.”

               I smiled and took a sip of my chai tea latte.  “My, my, aren’t you in a hurry to get me in your bed.”  If anyone over heard us it would play as joke.

               She licked her lips ever so slightly, closed her book. 

               Fuck the people of the 21st century were easy.  I had harder time during the crusades to get people to fall under my spells.  I put it up to the lack of faith in a God that…well doesn’t seem to care anymore.  “Let me call us an Uber.  I don’t live far.”  I smiled, but we were not going back to my loft.

               A few minutes later an uber arrived, we got in and I gave him the address of some townhome across from a storage facility.  The drive was quiet, Scrubs was kissing my neck, her hands running up and down my chest.  I was in her head, this was not her acting under her own free will.  This was me running around in her head.

               The ride was short and we arrived 10 minutes later.

               “Thank you, have a nice evening you two.”

               We slide from the car and I stood there, Scrubs standing beside me.  I waited for the uber to disappear and then I walked across the street and in to the storage facility with Scrubs following. 

               I looked up at the camera’s that were recording us and as I did they shorted out and stopped.  We walked through the facility and we stopped outside number 6.  Unlocking it I lifted the gate up and lights flickered to life.  With a blink of an eye I set her free from her trance.  Shocked she looked around and then at me.

               “Who are you?  How did I get here?”

               I just smiled at her, there was no sense in chit chat.  She went to walk away and I grabbed her by the arm squeezed hard.

               “Let me go!  You’re hurting me!”

               I turned her around so she could look in my storage unit.  Thousands of small black onyx vessels absorbed the light.  Making them look like black holes.  I felt her body relax for a moment as the scene had distracted her.

               “What is this?”

               “It is my collection, some men collect toys, watches, I collect people.”  With her relaxed I let go of her arm, it was clear she was confused.  I pulled from my pocket a plain onyx cube and held it up to her.  “Can you hold this?”

               She reached out and as soon as it touched her skin the onyx cube melted in to her flesh.  She scratched at it turning the palm of her hand red.

               “What did you do to me?  What is going on!  I’m calling the police!”  By the time she reached for her cell phone it chattered to the ground and there beside it was a small onyx figure of her, perfect to ever detail only a few inches high.  Picking it up I looked at it and smiled.  “You will fit in nicely.”  Walking up to a shelf I placed the figure carefully on it, her soul swimming in the black  infinite of her prison. 

               Stepping back I looked at the shelves upon shelves, rows upon rows of trapped souls.  Knights placed beside present day warriors, doctors placed beside roman healers.  Every race, every culture, looked back at me in beautiful onyx.  I was the collector, my life tied to each piece, to each soul, and my collection was great.

The end.

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