(source material for ENDING THE ETERNAL)

WRITER'S NOTE: This short story is presented in it's original form, unedited from the version written when I was 16. I present it as a bonus insight into the origins of this film, and as such haven't revised it to suit my current writing abilities. Thanks, JM.

I sit in my living room, staring at the television. I'm not sure what I am watching, but as with the majority of programs today, it seems extremely familiar. One definite sign that the end of a civilization was near was when the entertainment industry ran out of original ideas. I stare at the flickering screen anyway, the light from the claustraphobic trappings of the set illuminating the room. To many people, as it is to me right now, the television absorbs life, it becomes life, and in many cases is more important than life. Has human civilization truly evolved this far only to stop interacting?

My doorbell rings out, but I will not answer. It rings again, and I am tempted to leave my seat and welcome the company, but I dare not. I do not want the death of whoever is at the door on my head as well. Finally the ringing subsides, and I resume my television "experience", as it is called today, however monotonous.

A sense of anguish and sheer tension is so thick in the room that it can be cut with a knife. This is ironic, though, for the only activity within is the copulation of self and television. The strange feeling that is overcoming me is quite familiar, for I have experienced it many times before. It is not anguish exactly, but anticipation. I know what is to come and it frightens me. It shouldn't frighten me, for I know what would await if this did not happen.

My life, if you could call it that, has not been simple. Nor has it been short in the least. I have experienced the deaths of many friends, and even relatives in the beginning. I have far out-lived my parents, those to whom I owe all of this, and whom I resent deeply for what they have created. I am the only survivor out of my siblings, who could never understand, and would refuse to understand, despite the proof they were presented with. Do you know how terrible it is to out-live your children? Watching them grow very old and begin to die, I began to truly hate myself. How could the Lord allow my sweet children to die in front of me, of old age, no less? There is no justice in the world.

And yes, I have had many friends, however remarkable. How could a monster like me be loved by so many? And of these many, none live today. I have seen all of them go through the various stages of life, from adolescence to old age, in which they are suddenly no longer needed by society. And yet I do not age, and will never experience this. No, this is incorrect, for I feel like a very old man, weary of the world. As I sit in my living room I may look young, but my age and wisdom is reflected in my eyes. I am very tired. Not just of death, but of life.

Eventually these constant losses in my life became too much for me to handle, and I decided to cut myself off from human companionship. My only friends now are the television and computer, the coldest of companions imaginable. But, when they cease to function I can always purchase another one at no great emotional loss. My groceries are delivered, but the food never quenches my hunger. I hate to venture into the world, for with every face I set my eyes upon I see death, something I cannot handle.

I also see death in invention and media. I wept at the creation of the car and the atomic bomb. I have experienced technological evolution first-hand, and have realized that with the invention of electricity the human race has placed a time-limit on their existence. I see them killing themselves in the streets as well as with each new invention they create. The more they seem to create, the more they seem to destroy. With the invention of the computer I know that their fate is sealed, and their days are numbered.

I also hate to see myself killing them, but it is a necessity in sustaining my life. In draining the life-blood of my human prey, I am able to remain strong, able to exist. For this reason I am tired as well. Tired of murder, tired of ending the life of so many. Although I attempt to only feed upon those whom are polluting society with their existence, I still can't overcome the consuming guilt. I am ending human lives, the lives that I cherish more than anything else. For these reasons I do not want to continue this suffering, not just of myself, but of others. Tonight it will end.

The doorbell rings again, and this time I look at the clock to my right. Midnight. At least they are punctual. I yell down the stairs to the outside, beckoning them to come in. I hear the door open, and footsteps cross the lobby to the foot of the stairs. And as the footsteps ascend, I realize that my fate is sealed, and am satisfied.

I take one last look at my darkened living room and admire the furnishings. Most of all, I admire the antique desks and tables. They are no longer made like that, with such craftsmanship, and in some cases today, the furniture isn't even real wood. I look at my television and computer, my companions for so many years, and curse them. I recline in my armchair and adopt a comfortable position, awaiting my impending doom.

The footsteps are at the top of the stairs now, and I realize that they are in the room with me. I look back to see three men standing in the doorway, each wearing strands of garlic, two carrying what appear to be large crucifixes, and one carrying a large wooden stake. How comical they look, as if ready for an unholy war. The media has warped the image of my kind to this extreme, and I must laugh out loud.

The laughter seems to drive fear into the hearts of the three men, and I cease. Gently, I beckon for them to come and sit on the couch across from me. They are reluctant at first, but soon they comply. As they pass, one of the men has a crucifix held at my face, and I must laugh again. Crucifixes, garlic and silver have absolutely no effect on me, for I am a child of God. The only thing that can harm me is a wooden stake, and I am amazed that Bram Stoker got that right. Stoker himself was probably one of us, for how could he know so much?

The men sit on the couch across from me as I spread my arms in an accepting fashion. I do not wish conversation, and speak only two simple words to them: "end it." The man with the stake stands and approaches me cautiously, as if I am the dangerous one in the room. This assassin arrived with two men far more dangerous than me, for I have come to realize that the human race is capable of far greater evils than my kind has ever dreamed of performing. The word genocide has never poisoned our tongues. Yet, in his ignorance, he still fears me.

The man is right beside me now, and places the stake above my heart. "Do it," I beg. This man's weakness and fear is starting to weaken my own convictions. It has to be done now. I yell this time, threateningly: "Do it, dammit!" With that the man feels as if his life is in sudden danger, and regains his courage. Raising the stake up, he plunges it into my heart with great force.

The pain is exquisite, for I know that the great pain felt here will end another greater pain felt throughout life. The suffering seems endless, as I feel every nerve ending in my body spasm with it. I look up at the man and see that he is drenched with my spurting blood, and have to laugh once more. This frightened the men more than anything, and the two on the couch took this bizarre sight as their cue to exit, and run from my house. The last man stands with me though, for he is determined to see it end. But, alas, it does not.

As the pain continues I realize that something is wrong, and pull the stake from my chest. The wound closes up quickly, and I look blankly at the man beside me. Then, examining the stake I lower my head in sadness, as I begin to assume that my only way out no longer works. I am doomed to live a life of this endless torment, this literal Hell on Earth. And then I am overcome with anger, and lunge at the remaining man, pinning him to the ground. Snarling at the horrified assassin I ask: "Where did you get the stake?"

Gasping for breath the man blurts out: "it was a table leg." With that, I get off of him and tell him to go. He looks at me with utter confusion, and then runs down the stairs and out of my life. It's ironic to think that the one time that a human has failed to destroy what they did not understand has happened now, to me.

In examining the stake once again and realize that it isn't wood at all, but some sort of artificial particle board used to cut costs in production. As mankind depletes it's natural resouces, even wood is becoming scarce. More and more now products are being built with these cheaper artificial compounds, in order to simulate the real thing. Just as I thought that modern society would be our downfall, I have come to realize that soon my kind will have no weakness, and tremor in fear. Soon wood will be obsolete all-together, and stakes will no longer work. The one time that I have been able to gather enough strength and courage to allow a human to destroy me has failed, due to this terrible innovation. How cruel this world can be.

Never again will I allow this, and am stuck living out eternity, existing until the end of time. Fortunately, armageddon will not be very far off. Soon I will no longer exist, for when the humans evolve themselves to death, I will follow. Satisfied with these beliefs, I sit down and turn on the TV again, content for now in the world of media-spawned cultural oblivion. The room is silent again, and I resume watching the endless, pointless programming that I have come to hate so much, yet cannot escape.