I remember how it felt the first time that I took to the skies. One day, I had been normal (if that’s even a thing), working nine-to-five like everyone else, unaware of what existed beyond my immediate vision; the next, two tiny holes in my neck had changed the course of my entire life.
The first time I flew, I jumped from the top of a block of flats and misjudged how easy it would be. Like in the movies, I thought that everything I needed would come to me in the magic of the moment. Thankfully, enough came to me for the world to grant me a chance at a second attempt. I studied up on how birds and bats (especially bats) fly and adopted a working technique. It was wonderful.
Buildings looked so insignificant from above. I thought about the people going round, as tiny as ants, living their ordinary lives, worrying about paying their rent or their taxes. For a while, I pitied them.
Things changed in time. I became used to flying around on my leathery wings, and despite how ridiculous you might think the next statement is, it lost its charm. The world around me changed, developed, and aged, but I stayed the same. I was stuck, motionless, in a void. I wanted to grow old and even die just so I could be like everybody else. Sometimes, I let myself starve, but still nothing happened to me. Food was bitter on my tongue; my nourishment came from the living. It was cruel and I began to hate myself more and more.
I craved companionship, someone who I could relate to, yet I did not wish to condemn anyone else to my fate.
The one who had turned me was arrogant and bitter. He did not care for me, nor did he care for anyone else. I am sure that this is something that comes with the passing of time, the torture of watching generations of mortals be born, grow old and die, all while making the same foolish mistakes that their parents made, and their parents before them. It is easy to see the patterns in history when you have lived through history. That cold emptiness affects all like me in the end. It will affect me, too. One day.
So I always try to remember the awe and the fear of the first time that I took to the skies. It does not remind me of what it is like to be mortal (what I remember is truly long gone), but it does help to keep me grounded. It reminds me that I was new once and I used to enjoy myself. I used to be a small dot in an enormous world, rather than the legend that I have become. I still find pleasure in that memory, and that is all I need to keep me going – though for how much longer, I cannot say.
After all, none of us are designed to live forever.