For one moment, gentle reader, be kind to those who have not made my acquaintance, and allow me to introduce myself in a proper fashion.
You may call me Simon. That is not, in fact, the name my parents gave me. You see, my newest friend, I do not have parents. I was not born as you were, and if I may hazard a guess, I cannot die as you can.
I am a monster. I have lived a very, very long time, and barring cataclysm or some clever member of your species inventing a laser death cannon, I will most likely continue to live long after you have gone from this earth. I eat people, it is true, but before you see that as reason enough to take up physics research into death cannons, please know that I do it mostly of necessity, and I am very disciplined in my habits. I make it a point to eat only competition, and only within my own territory. While I do provide you with helpful recipes for— as my friend Rebecca likes to say “people food”— I do include the necessary alterations to make “people food”. For further details, I invite you to read my other works, and henceforth will assume that you have done so.
Welcome, my lovely compatriots to this new extension of our experiment, and may I say that it is a delight to encounter you once again. When I began keeping my online diary, I never anticipated there would be any interest, or if there would be, it should come in the form of a room of black-clad teenagers in dark makeup, huddled over a single computer monitor awaiting the moment when I give explicit instruction on how to summon a demon.
No such luck, I’m afraid. If that is what brings you here, you will more than likely be disappointed. I do however, hope that you will stay regardless, and add your unique perspective to our data.
You see, I consider myself rather scientific in temperament, and really, can you blame me? I — and by that I mean my species — have been the fodder for every myth, bedtime story, and devil that human imagination can conjure. We are the source of your wraiths, your wendigo, your zombies, your elves, and yes, even that most recent and frankly ludicrous caricature, the vampire. We are the unseen — or at least, when we are seen, no one bothers to take a close enough look to make an accurate list of our features, or notice that we are capable of mocking them.
I cannot say that I blame you. I would not wish to encounter a member of my species in a dark or cramped cave. In point of fact, I do not think I wish to encounter a member of my species anywhere, but that is because we are by our nature, quite territorial.
I have wandered through the Dark Age, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the great Industrial Revolution, and any other grandiose terms you see fit to apply to your own deeds, and I can honestly say, the modern era — while silly in the extreme in some very amusing ways — has afforded me a great deal of freedom for my research. Even now, this new opportunity presents itself to offer up more information for you to consider as you make your decision:
Is this real?
Will you be sensible, and see how you have maligned my species with fictions, comprehend why we conceal ourselves among the rank and file or within what few natural enclaves still exist for us to haunt, or at last forget superstition and mysticism and accept that we are here? Or, will you continue to allow an innate certainty of your own superiority and an atrophied sense of logic to dictate to you?
Monsters do exist.
But if you come here for conclusive proof, if you greet me with demands for hair and blood samples, you will be sent away. I shall offer you nothing of the kind. This is up to you - a thought experiment. Can you see the truths I lay before you and be rational, or will you continue to think this an artful literary sleight-of-hand written by some enterprising fanatic of all things horrifying?
To be perfectly honest, if you find any art in this at all, I question your taste. I have no talent for capturing sentiment; I am not a poet. I have only the ability to recall what I know, as perfectly as my memory will allow. I leave the meanings to you.
And so now we come to it, my gentle readers — this new phase of our relationship. The success of the cookbook has led to literally hundreds of questions. Not a day goes by when I am not asked for more knowledge, and as I promised you in the beginning, I shall not fail you. Thus you find me here with ready pen…or keyboard, as the case may be.
But this will perhaps be unlike any reading experience you have ever had, because you see, it relies upon you.
Based upon requests sent to me by readers, I have written a first installment — one moment torn from our shared history — but where this goes from this point forward, is up to my gentle readers.
I ask that in the comments, you leave your suggestions, your questions, your dates and significant events. Ask me how I feel about slavery, where I was when Krakatoa erupted, if I have ever met an alien, but be careful. You may not get what you expect.
This is my life, and my life has been lived very humbly, and not entirely because it was lived in caves. That is stereotyping.
While I have upon occasion encountered individuals who were to prove instrumental in the path of your species, I am not rife with stories of all the famous historical figures I know. Unlike you fanatics, I avoided people of standing, because they were likely to have me chased away. Think back upon how many times you have happened upon someone famous, and then multiply, and you will have calculated the likelihood that I have ever met anyone of notoriety. There are a few, but their stories have already been told by ravenous historians, and I have no desire to hash out what I experienced with the likes of them.
This is not a “plot” or an attempt to insert a character into your midst. It is an unfolding of my existence, for all to see and discuss. That being said, please be polite. Your lives are all too short, you needn’t waste time or energy being… oh, what is the phrase they use nowadays?
I will keep careful watch, select the question that strikes with the most force, and this will become the subject of the next story. There are many things the modern mind cannot fathom about the past, and thusly, about me. Why did the Inquisition occur? How could man have possibly thought that bleeding a person would help them recover from a cold? Why on earth did humans ever wear shoulder pads?
There are many mysteries to humanity, my gentle readers, and perhaps by listening to my tale, as it curls around you in its thousands of words like the scrolls of old, you will come to make sense of them for yourself. Either that, or you will come to despise my seeming inability to be brief, and my propensity for words longer than two syllables.
I cannot tell.
Those of you who have found reason to enjoy me, may learn to despise me (which is perhaps a good and self-preserving thing). I have not always been as I am now. My progress was slow and in many ways, a mirror to yours. I have been brutal and uncompromising. I have tortured and killed indiscriminately. I have flirted with devotion to faith and a fear of damnation. I have lost myself in the adventure of discovery. I have even tried my hand at ridiculous fashion trends.
But most of all, I have come by my mind, my methods, and my maturation quite honestly.
I thank you humbly for your kindness, forbearance, and most importantly, your participation.
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