To See Beyond Sight

by Talon God Child

Part Four - Trying to Cope



List all authors

List all stories/poetry

Rating system

About the author

Author home

Bloodlines home

"There's the bell!"

"Damn, we're gonna be late!"

"Move it, dork!"

Arminius uttered a sharp cry as a few of his fellow students charged past him in the halls, a few shoving against his shoulders in their haste to get to class. He halted, and actually leaned against the wall for a moment to allow them to pass, his eyes closed and narrowed in anger and hurt.

God, how he hated intermediate school!

Gritting his teeth, Arminius began to walk again, through a quickly emptying hallway, heading towards his class. He'd refused the school's offer of an assistant to aide him in walking from class to class, instead preferring to use his own senses and nearly perfect memory of exactly how to get from place to place. Not easy, but preferable to being helpless and at the mercy of another!

Ah, it was the end of his seventh year of schooling, and Arminius despised it wholly. He was, in truth, a genius. Already he'd far surpassed everything that secondary could offer him, and there were plans for him simply to take an exam showing that he completed the schooling requirements so he could be done with... Not as if he'd be doing anything with his life. He was blind after all.

Sighing, he walked along, feeling along the wall until he found the knob of the door to his class. Sixth on the left in the third hall, and the subject he despised most; Literature. It took him a bit longer than the others, reading books by Braile wasn't easy, and it took him a bit longer to assimilate and answer questions about the text. Having an instructor that was an asshole didn't help much.

He entered the room, and as usual felt all eyes upon him. At least the school year was nearly at an end. He made his way slowly in front of the line of desks, finding his seat, on the far right of the front row, and sat down.

...He also hated this class because, at least, he had a feeling, that the teacher had done something terrible.

Mr. Jaros took his usual place at the head of the class; Arminius listened instead of saw of course, and called out their reading assignment for the day. He sighed heavily and reached into his shoulder bag, feeling the titles of the books quickly; he loved to read, but it took him a while; he'd abandoned that damned Braile language when he learned that no really interesting books had it, and had instead learned to read my memorizing the feel of the ink on the page itself. He never ceased to amaze his teachers when he read aloud (albeit slowly) just by running a finger over a page.

"Quickly, young Mister Corelsti," the instructor snapped, and Arminius managed to locate the book, and the page. "Now, let's begin then."

As usual, they began reading silently, and Arminius sighed heavily, running his finger over the lines of ink that made up the words he could not see. He was tired of this whole ordeal, school, and had a feeling it was tired of him as well. If the actions and attitudes of his classmates were any indication, that was.

Arminius was always a strange young man, who preferred his solitude over anyone's company. The others knew his mother had little to no money; that she was a widow and made their living as a seamstress, but Arminius was always well-dressed due to her hand with the needle. He preferred to dress almost like a nobleman; one night at a gathering, their vampire lord had commended Arminius' appearance, eerily that had seemed to delight the blind boy. He wore long waistcoats and shirts with loose white sleeves, slacks and nice boots, and was all together a stunning young man. The others would often finger their ties and blazers, their slacks and leather shoes, whenever they watched him, but no matter. No one would ever fall for him, so there was no need to worry about looking good for a girl if Arminius was your competition.

"By the way, class, on the way in, you were meant to turn in last night's assignment," Mr. Jaros sounded displeased. "All but three of you have done so. Miss Anders, Miss Gutien, and Mister Corelsti. Excuses?"

"... My mother was exhausted last night, sir," Arminius voiced softly. "She was too tired, and I didn't want to wake her to dictate to her."

And again, as always, he opened his eyes when he spoke to the instructor, and shivered involuntarily as he caught sight of a dim black aura of a man surrounding the teacher. Arminius had learned to associate that with terrible things; his dreams told him that much. He'd never had the courage to actually touch the man.

Touch was one thing that annoyed Arminius more than anything in the world. He hated to be touched, and he hated touching people. Whenever he did, things would fly before his eyes that he didn't understand, or worse, sometimes things that he DID understand. He would feel as they felt, see as they saw (or so he thought) and see whatever it was they'd done. And it wasn't just with people, it was with things as well. He despised the evil gifts that had rendered him to this existence, and honestly prayed for a day when they would end.

But had a feeling, all the same, that that day wouldn't come for quite some time.

He lay on his bed that evening, running his fingers over the words of one of his books for the next day. Verbal tests were all that he was able to take, and he had three tomorrow. Mother had been working all day, and he really didn't want to trouble her... it made him feel worse than he usually did about burdening her.

Okay... This is boring... He sighed as he rolled over and fumbled his book onto the table at his bedside, and winced as he heard something crash onto the ground on the other side of the room.

"Alright, who's there?" Arminius did his best to sound threatening, rolling back over and opening his blind eyes.

Gee, you're mean. And you'd think you'd be nicer to someone you haven't seen in years.

"...Josh?" Arminius was a bit stunned as he gazed at an all-too chillingly familiar little boy... His first terrible encounter with a spirit.

You've gotten older, I see. Hmm, such a pity; you're no fun anymore.

"Go away," Arminius ordered crossly, turning his face away from the boy. "I have things I need to do."

Like what, lie there and vegetate?

"Maybe," Arminius snapped, reaching under his bed for the blade his father's spirit had conjured for him that night years ago. "I should set you to rest."

I wouldn't try it if I were you.

"Why not? You're just a child, Josh." Arminius found the blade (well, rather, pricked his finger on it) and drew it out carefully. "You've been here long enough."

Because I don't want to go anywhere. I like it right here, right as I am forever.

"Well, either go away or I'll send you on!" Arminius snapped, brandishing the blade furiously. The agitated specter before him flashed him a particularly vulgar hand sign before vanishing for the night.

This isn't that bad...

"Mom... could we slow down a little?"

Arminius called out to his mother as the two of them navigated their way through the market place. Adriauna sighed as she stopped in mid-step, and waited for the familiar feel of her son's hands to brush against her shoulder.

"You need to try keeping up, Arminius," she sighed; the evening's sewing tasks that lay ahead were already frazzling her nerves. "I need to hurry."

"I'm sorry." He lowered his head, as he always did when it came to being admonished.

Sometimes, be glad you can't see. She frowned as she gazed at the people around them, who all made it clear that they shied away from her and her strange son. These fools think you're crazy, Arminius, and they'll never change their minds.

"Hey, it's Arminius!"

"Lookitt him!"

"So, he really can't see?"

"He says he sees weird things."

"Yeah, I heard that when he was little..."

Contrary to his mother's opinion, Arminius knew exactly how everyone thought of him... and didn't like it one bit.

"I don't know how she puts up with it."

"A single mother and that blind bastard child."

"The father died a strange death, didn't he?"

"And the son sees things that aren't there, even though he's blind."

"She should just send him to an institution and be done with!"

"I hear they have nice ones in the Citadel..."

I hate you all. Arminius thought vehemently. I hate all of you more than anything else in the world!

"You need to be in bed early tonight, church tomorrow."


Well, maybe there were things Arminius hated more than the words of people around him in the streets.

He despised church.

As he and his mother sat side-by-side in the pews of Saint Michael's Cathedral, a two-hour's ride from their small town, Arminius mentally groaned as he always did. He hated the singing in Latin from the choir, he hated the prayers that he was forced to listen to, and he hated the priest who stood at the altar... who had no idea about what had happened there once, a few years back.

Well, neither did Arminius, really, but he had a good idea that it was nothing good.

"Take those gloves off this time, you!" his mother whispered firmly, and Arminius did with a sigh. His hands were usually encased in black or cream-colored kid leather gloves, because they kept the visions away.

When it came time to receive sacrament, Arminius and his mother rose, and she led him along gently. He knew she was doing her best to smile, to surpass the odds, but that it still hurt her to have all their stabbing eyes upon her.

Arminius as usual knelt before the priest, his eyes closed. He was a stunning vision of a young man, and was usually favored by the priest and the nuns, but it was a favor drawn out of pity, and Arminius despised it.

He received the blessed wafer, and ate that quickly, wanting nothing more than to be away and out of sight once again, but then his hand came in contact with the altar, and he was swept for a moment into a vision.

Time seemed to stop for him, as he watched the people vanish from the cathedral, the colors bleed away to the dull, faded and drab blue-tones that his visions always came in. He knew the colors, because his father had taught him long ago what each looked like, and Arminius was eternally thankful for it.

He watched a young nun come running in, weeping in fear, followed by a man. Arminius was frozen, unable to move, to help...

She reached the altar at the same time he reached her, and was seized by the back of her habit. The man, dark eyed and frightening, produced a knife from within the folds of the coat he wore, and drew it across her throat in a single, even slash. Arminius raised his eyes to the cross as her blood spurted out, hot with her fear and desperation-

Then his vision ended, and the priest was asking him if he was quite alright.

"I... y-yes..." Arminius did his best to sound meek; not too hard considering the sight he'd just born witness to. He took a sip of the wine presented to him, then whispered softly. "Father, may I speak with you later?"

"Certainly," the priest whispered back, and then Adriauna received her own sacrament, before leading Arminius back to his seat gently.

"What's the matter?" she whispered.

"I just want to talk with him," Arminius replied softly, lowering his head.

"Nothing about those - "


He remained sitting at the pew, until the cathedral had cleared out, and only he and the priest, Father Damon, were left.

"Ah, Arminius," The priest's voice was kind as he walked over and took a seat next to the young man. "What troubles you?"

"...Father, I must tell you something." Arminius sighed, his blind eyes opening, roaming the cathedral. He could hear the priest beside him shiver slightly, as most were wont to when they saw Arminius' white eyes. "And I want you to tell me the truth if I ask you questions."

"Of course, my son."

"...Years ago, there was a young nun here..." Arminius had been sitting in the front most pew, and rose slowly, feeling his way carefully towards the altar, and laying his bared hands upon it. "...Vibrant green eyes, fair skin, slight of build. Very beautiful..."

"...Well, I, err, I suppose there could have been - "

"Answer me truthfully, Father." Arminius' voice went cold quite suddenly.


"... Tell me, did she die, quite suddenly?"

"Arminius..." Father Damon rose as well; the youth could hear him moving.

"Or did she simply vanish?"

"The latter of the two is correct, why do you ask me this, Arminius - "

"You were a young altar boy, back then, were you not?" Arminius closed his eyes as visions washed over him. "It was... perhaps ten, fifteen years ago, somewhere about there."

"...That would have been Sister Ezrabeth." The priest sighed heavily. "She vanished, one morning, without a trace. No one knew what happened to her. There were rumors that a gentleman in town was enamored with her, and that they ran away together. Both vanished you see, that day.

"However, when he returned, she wasn't with him. In fact, he was most distraught to hear of her disappearance."

"...I speak the truth, Father, when I say that she never disappeared." Arminius sighed heavily, and lowered his hands. "Sister Ezrabeth died, here in this very cathedral; not ten feet from where I stand."

"Arminius!" The priest seemed most... angered. "What nonsense do you - "

"I see it, Father," the young man replied coolly. "I suppose you hold no stock in rumors. The townsfolk from Ipira all whisper I'm insane; that I'm touched by the Devil, and the like. That I see visions of things that happened long ago, and the eerie part is that most are true, but few people admit to it.

"I knelt here today, Father, and I tell the truth when I say I experienced no religious exaltation. Rather, I witnessed the death of the self-same young woman I described to you, at the hands of a dark-haired young man."

"...How... how did she..."

"He chased her down, and slit her throat," Arminius replied somewhat mournfully, as he walked behind the altar a few paces then stopped. "Right here, she died. Every Sunday, I've seen her blood staining the altar in spite of its cloth, and staining the cross no matter how clean the cathedral has been scrubbed.

"He cleaned up after himself, I suppose, and that's why no one knew. Perhaps he's the same gentleman who vanished the same day. I suppose he went to bury her, but her spirit... she still walks this cathedral, sir."

"Arminius, you speak blasphemy -

" "I speak the truth, and tell no lies," Arminius replied coolly. "I hear no evil, speak no evil, yet see it everywhere."


"I just had to tell you, Father..." Arminius smiled somewhat sadly as he navigated his way back around the altar, and began heading towards the doors. "You were quite enamored with her at one time, I believe, and it was my duty, I think, to tell you."

"...This man..." The priest's words were filled with pain. "What did he look like?"

"...Dark hair, drawn back with cord at the base of his neck, hung to his shoulder blades." Arminius actually motioned to these places on his own body. "Dark, dark eyes, almost black, and sun-darkened skin. Tall, strong, but intelligent-looking - "

"Ferin Jaros!" Father Damon hissed, and Arminius felt a sudden well of fear in his heart

. "...Now a school instructor in Ipira." Arminius lowered his head. "So... that's why black dances around him."

"Arminius... your gift... you've a gift from God!" the priest exclaimed, but the boy shook his head.

"No, I doubt that very much." Arminius sighed heavily. "If my gift were from God, why is it such a curse? I am ostracized from society; well, very nearly at least. I cannot see as others see, and instead see terrible visions of the past and of the dead. And I cannot stop it."

"Arminius... you are gifted," The priest approached him, and Arminius jumped slightly as the man embraced him. "You see beyond sight, young man, and though it may seem a bane to you, it is a gift nonetheless. Perhaps not from God, but from Fate."

To see beyond sight...? Arminius was silent as the priest finally released him, and made no response to the man's parting words. ...Finally, someone understands me.



Site design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
To See Beyond Sight ©2003 by Talon God Child

What is copyright?