Derek took a deep breath, feeling the energy infusing with his body. He released the breath with a sigh and looked at his hands, already he could see the skin tightening, the wrinkles smoothing over, the age spots fading. He looked at himself in the mirror, he didn’t look as young as he should have but it would do. This was the third person this week, the magic seemed to be fading. He had been warned this would happen but he had always figured he had more time to fix whatever was stopping it. The empty husk of the woman was still sitting on the chair, the candle light casting shadows across her papery, wrinkled skin. He picked it up with little effort, being careful not to damage it.
Outside he placed it in his compost heap, covering it with dirt. It would be completely gone in a day or two and no one would ever know. Derek stretched, feeling the full flex of his muscles. He always enjoyed the hour or two after, when he felt the most energetic.
He sat in his study, reading over his own journals. When you’ve lived as long as he has, memory starts to fade and become distorted. He had kept journals since he was a young boy and had never quite been able to give up the habit. He could still remember the night he became like this. He had been seventy, frail and close to death when a creature came to visit him. He could not remember the features of it, only that it looked vaguely human. It had swept into his house, killing all the servants on the way. When it finally got to his room Derek had been waiting for it, he was old but he didn’t want to have his life snuffed out so easily. The creature had overpowered him with ease and offered him a choice. If Derek could prove that he wanted to live, truly live, the creature would bestow a gift on him, but if he couldn’t Derek would die along with everyone else in house. The creature motioned for Derek to follow it and lead him to the hiding place of a young girl, his granddaughter. The creature told Derek to kill her if he wanted his prize. The choice was surprisingly easy for him. The creature had warned him that it wouldn’t be true immortality, for such a thing could not be granted by things such as itself.
In the last few years Derek had spent his life scouring the globe, looking for the creature, or one like it, but it seemed that as the years went by creatures like that were hunted and killed, unable to adapt as mankind advanced.
Derek sat down, already he was feeling tired, it had only been a day. The wrinkles and age spots had returned. One of his servants was out fetching someone else, but there wasn’t much time. He would just have to perform the ceremony daily now. He had done everything he could to extend his life, and he wasn’t going to stop now.