Complete Consumption

- A Serialized Novel -

A child of the vortex, subject to an insatiable hunger, he fights against his own nature to consume.

Author’s Note: When I wrote this section, I couldn’t help thinking about Within Temptation’s “Memories.” What Luna said that made me remember the song and how much I enjoyed listening to it, how haunting and beautiful it is.

What Tynan said, at the end, made me think of a completely different song. 😛

What You Hold in Your Heart


He frowned. “Memories?”

Luna shrugged. She rubbed at her forehead, forcing a bit of a smile, though it was far from the ones he liked and wanted to see—was almost desperate to see and keep forever. “Well, I have to assume that you have no religion, being a child of the vortex, so that kind of talk won’t help. So. Memories.”

He shook his head. She did not make sense. He’d asked her how to go on if he lost her, and she didn’t seem to understand how much this bothered him, how dependent he’d become. “I am not sure I understand. What about memories?”

Luna rose, walking over to the counter. She brought back a book with a strange cloth cover, her fingers running over the heart in the middle with a picture surrounded by lace. She sat down and opened the book, holding it out so he could see it. “That’s us, walking a nature trail, and us when we went to the park to eat. That’s how I like to remember my mother, with that smile on her face. People aren’t gone when we remember them. We still have memories.”

He sighed. “Luna, I can’t keep photographs of you. Can’t keep your self-portrait or any of your paintings. I’d destroy them. I can’t have souvenirs. When you go, that’s it. It’s all over. I don’t know how to face that. I need you.”

She nodded. “Yeah. I suppose you do.”

Something about the way she spoke bothered him, and he did not know what to do about that, either. “What are you saying?”

She shook her head. “Never mind me. Just some human emotion getting in the way.”

He lowered his head. “I hurt you by discussing this. I am sorry. I did not think of how it would upset you. I should have known better than to speak of your death. All I could think about was this… fear of losing you. I will outlive you, and I do not think I want to.”

“You don’t need to give up just because I got old and died. I hope that’s how it happens, at least, but…” She shrugged. “I don’t get to decide when that happens. I can do my best to be careful and take care of myself, but I don’t have control over that. It doesn’t matter. Even if something does happen, you will be okay. Dad somehow manages to go on without Mom, and he’s not nearly as gifted as you are.”

“You are what keeps away my hunger. It is not my curiosity. It is… you.”

Her lips curved into a smile. “Well, I’m flattered.”

He turned away. “I do not know that flattered is the right term for it. It is not flattering to be… You shouldn’t have to be the one person who intrigues me enough to keep me from ruining everything, and you shouldn’t have to worry that the minute I get bored or you have to go be with your father that I will consume something. If I can’t seem to control myself for the short times when you are not with me, how can I hope to stop myself if I lose you for any reason? I hate how short human lives are. It’s not fair. I don’t want you to be hurt, don’t want you to die. You’re so… fragile, though, your whole species, and it’s not right. Why should something like me that devours everything it touches be allowed forever when you are not?”


“Why can’t I give you forever instead of taking everything away? Why must I be an agent of destruction and not of creativity? I envy you your paintings. I cannot create. I only consume.”

She put the book aside, leaning toward him. “You are more than you think, and while I’m not thrilled about the whole dying before you do thing, I don’t want you giving up. You’re talking like you’ll go surrender to those idiots that want you dead, and you can’t. Don’t you see that you have become something that no other vortex has? You are a man—well, relatively speaking—with a conscience and empathy and real emotions. How is a black hole able to feel?”

“I… I do not know.”

“You do feel, though.”

He nodded. “I feel many things when I look at you and when I am with you, and no one would believe that I am… happy, but with you, I am. That is why losing you scares me so much.”

“I have no intention of leaving you, and you don’t have to leave me. We can create things. You can, too. Memories, Tynan. We make memories all the time, and we’ll make an eternity full of them for you to look back on and remember and enjoy all over again. Memories matter. They let us hold onto the things we love.”

He lifted his hand, shaking his head at the facsimile. “I cannot hold onto anything. I cannot touch anything.”

“Memories aren’t something you hold in your hand. They’re what you hold in your heart.”

“But… I do not have a heart.”

2 thoughts on “What You Hold in Your Heart

  1. Liana Mir says:

    Debatable, Tynan. Love this whole interchange. She’s handling it well and he’s doing pretty good with grappling with the fact that his underlying nature is no longer what he’s always depended on it to be. Methinks I hear the whispers of denial too. :hugs:

    • kabobbles says:

      Well, he doesn’t have a literal heart, but a figurative one, yes. She’s doing a lot better with it than she probably should, all this talk of her dying, but I think she has an easier time focusing on his problems than her own. He is changing, learning more about himself and defying the perceived limits of his species. I think she wants him to see that more than she wants to avoid talking about death. She would give anything to get him past that denial. 🙂

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