In spite of the rain something had driven Lukas out of his stale apartment. For years he had been plagued by a thirst he had been unable to quench, until now. How he had found himself among the ruins of an old monastery he wasn’t sure, whatever it was that had dragged him out of the apartment had pulled him here. As he ducked inside one of the few parts of the ruins in possession of an intact roof he discovered he was not alone. An old man sat on a dry patch of grass, leaning against one of the supporting pillars holding up a domed cieling. Lukas hesitated, contemplating the company of the roaring rain over the old man’s.
“Be at ease, young one, even if I intended you harm I am too old and too tired. Have a seat, while the rain passes.”
Lukas took a seat, compelled by something in the stranger’s voice. He did not, however, relax. The old man’s attire was unlike any Lukas had seen before, old, worn, and of unfamiliar design.
“Who are you?” Lukas found himself asking.
“As the young come of age and the elderly wither, what is there left of the old but a memory of life since long past?” the man asked in return. “If I had a name once I don’t remember it. I do remember this place, however.”
Lukas’ brow furrowed as the strain of thought drew lines of confusion across it. “This place? What are you talking about?”
The old man chuckled at him. “Never found it odd, Lukas? That places like this one call to you?”
“How do you know my name?” Lukas demanded, suddenly alarmed. The muscles in his legs tightened as he readied himself to bolt out into the rain. He doubted the old man would follow.
“This place was a holy one long before the Christians brought their god north and killed ours. The gods may have died, and the people forgotten,” the old man paused and locked him with a gaze. “But the earth remembers, even the stones hold fragments.”
Lukas did not know what to say, or even if he should answer, and for a long while the only sound echoing among the walls of the ruins were that of thousands of raindrops falling on ancient stone.
“To answer one of your questions, I was the first as you are the current,” the old man eventually resumed. “But hopefully not the last,” he added with a wink.
“The first? I don’t understand.”
“Has the thought ever crossed your mind? If you could look at a reflection of yourself in a hundred years, would you recognize yourself? What about a thousand? What a strange thing it is to wonder, am I looking at that reflection? Or is it looking at me?”
Fragments, bits and pieces that were not even full memories washed over Lukas. Vague impressions and sensory input, but trough them all a strong sense of consistency.
“A sad thing it is,” the old man lamented. “It seems we have lost much over the Centuries. It is no wonder you cannot hear the spirits when all we have is fragments.”
“You…” Lukas breathed as the realisation dawned on him.
“It seems we remember more than I expected,” the Old man laughed.
“What is a thousand years,” Lukas breathed. “When lived in fragments?”
“A blessing,” the old man answered. “You called me here for a reason, Lukas. It is in your nature to search for such pieces. It is a part of what you are.”
“And what is that exactly?”
“A seeker,” the Old man offered and smiled at him.
For the first time in many months Lukas felt as if he had had a sip of water. He did not recognize the man and yet there was something eerily familiar about him. They must have met before, how else could he have known his name? Lukas opened his mouth, ready to fire a series of questions, when the old man suddenly vanished.
Lukas shot to his feet and stared at the patch the old man had occupied. Blinking he tried to make sense of what had just happened. Yet no mater how hard he tried, he found he could only summon vague recollections. Inside of him, though, a seed had begun to grow, a seed that would bloom into a clarity of purpose he had never before felt he possessed.
Lukas knew, he knew what he was… a seeker of memories.