My name is Robert E. Aislin. I was born late 1932, in England. I wasn't born this way, no. I simply read a book that set my mind a-wandering. The night was long when I went to him. Dorian Grey. He, of course, was long gone. So it was his grave I visited. That poor, besotted soul. It was a shame how he… wasted his gift. I sat there, the moon crescent and waning above my head, clouds drifting in and out of view, some stars shining bright, others dimly, as though through a veil of smoke. Blinking dismally, dying slow, arduous deaths. And yet, though I am of a young age, I feel akin to those dying lights. My soul seems to have died before my body, and I yearn for it to be rejuvenated and restored.

Oh, Dorian, you fool. You had it all. Life everlasting hinged on a picture that you didn't need to look at, and women. Oh, the beautiful women. And for what? You say you grew bored. What a pity for you. Other versions may say you were forced to see yourself as you really were, but I know the truth. You actually grew bored and wondered what death would be like. You wanted a taste of that grim and black hole that all must eventually yield to, like the womb, we must all come through it, and so we shall all die, returning to a much colder womb of worms, rats, decay, and dirt. And what of the soul, Dorian? Did your soul fly up or down, or does it exist? I feel as though I had one at one time, though life has drug it down and extinguished it, I do believe. Maybe you would know this feeling, this all-consuming blackness that ravages the souls of men, women, and even the children.

The children. From the moment of conception our souls begin to fade. And throughout ones own life, the wear and tear of the world corrodes it into oblivion, leaving one a hollow and dismal version of themselves. From the womb to the grave, we all die a little, every day.

Yet I veer untrue of course, old man. Perhaps I can succeed where you failed. I have found your immortal painter, or one of his descendants with the same gift, and I plan to use him. I wonder what you would say to me. How you would reprimand me for being what you would call naïve and foolish, probably call me greedy and stupid. But good sir, I would say, It is none of the above. It is simply a need to feel alive again. You wouldn't understand. What with being dead for nigh of a few decades, give or take a few years. It sort of keeps you from remembering ever being alive, doesn't it? Shame. Since you are dead after all, there is no one to stop me.

Goodbye Dorian. I pity your weakness.