Darkness outside, pressing in on the feeble light of the single candle flame, flickering in the wind despite the closed window. The howl of the wind, its gusts rattling the glass in its frame. In the small pool of light I sat, staring at my face hovering outside in the darkness, staring back at me; or rather, I stared through my mirrored image, neither seeing nor caring for it, waiting, my mind blank to match my stare. Waiting, letting time slip by without touching me, as it did for the last centuries. Time, how strange a thing. For decades I’ve sought to defeat it, to break free of its grinding grip. And when I finally did, when it no longer touched me, I realized that I only fooled myself, that it had defeated me after all. True, I was untouched by the passage of time, remained as I was; but it is a curse, not a blessing, worse than any thing I would do to my worst enemy: To remain unchanged, when everything around you grows old, withers and dies. Man was not meant to know eternity. No mind can stay sane when, one by one, the things known to it pass away, nothing familiar remaining; when you wake up in a new era, an age not your own. I have no place in this world anymore. And still I cannot pass into oblivion, separated from that mercy by the same barrier that shields me from time’s hand, by that same barrier I so carefully built myself. Yes, even of the final mercy of death I’ve tricked myself.

So here I sit and wait, wait for him to arrive, to enter seeking the mystery I created, seeking for eternal life. He is young, he has no idea of the nature of time, nor of it’s working, so he seeks to trick it, with my help. But he will not pry that secret from me. Instead of being used by him as he intends, I will use him. I will offer him powers undreamt, which, in his youth’s impatience he will turn against me when I refuse to reveal the final secret, that which he set out to find by any means necessary. Too late will he realize that his undoing me will be his undoing as well. He will penetrate the barrier for me, with the powers I will have given him, something I could never accomplish myself, hurling me over to the other side of it, into darkness, death, forgetfulness. Into the void at last. Only then will he realize that I’ve tricked him into playing my game after all, as time did with me all those centuries ago. And in his anger he will destroy all trace of my existence. Oblivion is mine at last.