Last night, I danced and after the show, two men fell to their deaths backstage.
It wasn’t an accident. I mean, it was a chase, a strange kind of chase. One started climbing and the other climbed after him. There wasn’t anywhere to go. I don’t know what would have happened if they reached the top of the rope. They didn’t get that far.
Tasha yelled “Malinov!” and he fell and then Courlain fell after him. I was spared the sight of them hitting the ground but I was not so fortunate when it came to the sound. I’m sure I’ll take that with me the rest of my life.
Tasha looked over, took Allison’s arm and said “Let’s go.” I’m still shocked, remembering that. They knew both of the men but it seemed like, for them, the show had ended and it was time to go home. I didn’t really know either man, so I went along. I still think that was weird.
I suggested to Tasha that perhaps we should tell the police what we knew. I mean, it happened really fast but it might help them piece together the scene. I know I didn’t know anything but I had a feeling the women knew more.
“They’d never believe us,” she said. I still don’t know what she meant.
So we hopped into a limousine and went round to Tasha’s place. It’s amazing. We didn’t drive too far so we must still be in the halo of Washington. We drove for twenty minutes, I swear, after we came through the gates of her estate to reach a front door. I had no idea the woman could be so rich. Maybe I would have looked at her more carefully if she hadn’t been yelling at me all the time. But she didn’t wear jewels or even fancy fabrics. I guess, even if I had looked, I probably wouldn’t have suspected. That old dancer is rich.
We spoke for a while, ate some grub and were shown to our rooms. I hoped to visit Allison in hers, celebrate our success with a private naked dance, but the day got the better of me and I too quickly fell asleep. We’ve done plenty of celebrating since.
The next few days we just hung out. Tasha has a studio and gave us classes. We been eating more and better than usual. I often wonder if we are overstaying our welcome but Tasha behaves as though we’ll never leave. I’m cool with that, at least until it’s time to prepare for the new season but my contract’s up so who knows. This place is nice.
And I don’t know what will happen with Allison if I go home. She treats me like we’re married but not in a possessive way. More like she’s known me forever and nothing I can do will surprise her. Like there is no question of whether we’ll be together. As long as I stay here and she stays here, we can pretend that’s true.
This morning, I was introduced to a man they call Razor. He’s a squat little nerd with glasses, kind of nervous and excited and quiet and intense. He gave me this notebook and three books. I told him I was a dancer, that books weren’t the best way to reach me and the notebook would be wasted. I guess I was wrong about that. He told me to take them and trust him.
I’m a dancer so I’m used to being told what to do, to slightly modify what I’ve done until they’re satisfied and then do it again and again until someone tells me to stop. So I took the books.
Razor told me there are people who live forever by force of their will. They refuse to die, so when their body finally gives out, they don’t die but move into another living person, some young adult in the local region. He is one of those people. So is Allison and Tasha and the guys who died.
She was possessed about six months ago by Silver.
Is that why Tasha keeps calling Allison Silver? She didn’t start doing that until after the show.
Allison didn’t know she was Silver until then.
All of a sudden, things started making sense. No, I don’t mean that. Some things that seemed weird didn’t seem so weird any more. Six months ago was when Allison started being a great dancer, at least that’s what they told me.
Curiosity took ahold of me and I looked at the books. Razor was right again.
I went back to my room and picked up Malinov’s journal. Here’s how it begins:
I used to be a pretty ordinary guy. I’m twenty four and consider myself a writer with some talents and skills but mostly I drive deliver packages for UPS. Six months ago, one of my poems won a contest. That was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. I went to school, play some guitar, sing. I don’t have a girlfriend. I don’t have much money but I get by.
I started having weird dreams, not the fish discussing canasta during a test kind of weird, but men speaking to me, telling me stories, long stories about European history and torrid love affairs. At first the dreams just seemed strange but then the parts I remembered when I awoke started coming together to form a long cohesive story of a man who had lived for a long, long time.
There were different voices but over time they melded together, until finally they were all one voice and also mine. What had been distinct dissolved into me. To be honest, I don’t think I can even speak of me apart from them or him or us any more. I am we and we are me. This strikes me as unusual.
To make a long story short, I am Terry Blake and I am Malinov. I have lived a very long time.
Razor asked me to write this record and since writing is my forte, it seems a good way to integrate our skills. This is for you, Razor.
I’m searching for Silver.
I don’t know what she looks like. I don’t know where she is or what she does. I don’t know her name. I have loved her for six hundred years. Nothing can begin until I find her again.
I’ll find Silver by waiting for her to express herself. She’ll select some art form and make herself famous. I’ll look or listen or taste or whatever and will immediately know that the woman responsible is Silver. Of course, I’m trusting that I can recognize her, which will be easy if it is some art form we’ve shared before but will be significantly harder if she has gone some unexplored direction. If she doesn’t want me to be the one to find her.
She was gone most of the nineteenth century. Those were some hard years.
So what am I supposed to make of that? Malinov is the guy who fell. Silver is Allison but he didn’t know that. The journal is dated so he wrote this about six months ago. The voice seems familiar. Too familiar. Like I could have written it. But I’m a dancer. I don’t write.
And the weirdest part? After the show, I started having weird dreams. Just like his.
This is the first chapter of Silver, my new novel. I’m in the process of finishing the prose, so let me know if you want more. Thanks. Malinov