“Gone From Daylight”
“He’s My Music Now”
Focal Evasion – Although Dylan and the others affectionately refer to his vampire extra as a form of ‘invisibility’, that’s not exactly what it is. Dylan’s mind can send out a series of psionic waves that counter those that most people use to absorb information from their five senses. It cancels those frequencies out in such a way that he’s able to make himself virtually undetectable by slipping past their attention. Almost like standing perfectly still and silent in someone’s blind spot, just outside of their peripheral vision….even if Dylan is right in front of them. He’s not really invisible, but those around him may not realize that he’s even in the vicinity unless they were making a concentrated effort to look for him. And even then, his growing abilities have been known to block them out, even while trying to concentrate on finding him. He has been training himself to have greater control over this ability, but as his timid and bashful personality often consumes him, his extra has been known to unconsciously activate itself from time to time, making Dylan ‘invisible’ when he doesn’t realize he is. In the past, Dylan has given himself away by his sudden movements, or by speaking out loud, or by leaving footprints in the sand. Anything that would alert others to his presence. But at its full potential, Dylan’s focal evasion techniques can be so fine tuned that he can seem to literally vanish right in front of someone’s eyes, and has even been proven strong enough to keep him from registering fully on cameras and recording devices.
“Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people.” – Andre Dubus
Often seen sneaking quietly from one end of the lot to the other, Dylan has always been the shy guy of the group. He’s hardly anti-social, not by any means…in fact, more often than not, Dylan is seen making some rather valiant attempts to communicate with the others that he feels are ‘safe’ to talk to. Even if he’s practically shaking himself to pieces the entire time that he’s doing it. But to say that Dylan was slightly bashful around people in general would be an understatement.
The youngest vampire in darkness next to Justin, 13 year old Dylan has only been a part of the group for about a year’s time. He is still in the midst of figuring himself out. Still practicing with his extra abilities, still coming to terms with hunting for donors once a month (an activity that he refuses to do alone, and always needs a chaperone to go along with him, as he hardly has the skills to intimidate and overpower a donor on his own), and he’s still trying to find ways to know more about his new family in darkness. Many might assume that Dylan has severe problems with his self esteem from his fragile interactions with people, but if one were to ask him outright, they’d realize that his ability to love himself was never really in question. He may have problems communicating that to other people, but his sheepish attitudes come more from the frustration of not being able to say what’s on his mind to the people he cares about than anything self destructive. It’s not a rejection of personal value, but an inability to express his true emotions that keeps him so silent most of the time. So Dylan prefers to keep to himself, often remaining camouflaged by his extra as he scampers around the outside of the group, peeking his head in every now and then to let them know he’s still around. Not much more.
Coming from a human life in a much more rural part of the state, and drenched with a heavily religious background, Dylan has trained himself in the art of keeping his thoughts and ideas to himself most of the time. The strict and overbearing rules of Dylan’s minister father and God fearing mother have been trampling all over Dylan’s spirit for as long as he can remember. Verbally abusive and prone to bitter rages, his father was known to punish Dylan severely for little to no reason at all, using the Bible as a weapon to justify his every move. In order to adjust to the hostile environment and to avoid intensifying the situation, Dylan simply learned that it was better to know EXACTLY what to say and when to say it…or to merely keep his mouth shut and remain unnoticed. Silent. In the background, avoiding his father’s tantrums by simply being invisible for as long as possible.
It was Dylan’s budding sexuality that ignited the powder keg that became his troublesome home life. A homosexual boy in a minister’s household was not tolerated. Furious at the idea of having their only son ‘choosing’ to be a homosexual , Dylan’s parents accused him of being wicked. They did all they could to pray, beat, andshame, these sinful feelings out of him, but despite the many hurtful and horrible things they did to him, Dylan maintained his faith, and never once doubted that he was perfect just the way God made him. In an attempt to finally break him once and for all, his father beat him severely and dragged him, kicking and screaming into a shed by the side of the house, locking him in a dark basement for nearly a week.
To this day, Dylan still has mild panic attacks when in darkness. He wasn’t even able to sleep in the lot until Bryson got Max to set up a decent sized night light in his habitat to set his mind at ease. The trials that he went through with his parents were very hard on him indeed, but while details of his abuse are widely known among the members of the lot, it is unclear exactly when he left home and came to the city. A trusting soul, Dylan believes in the good inside of each and every person he meets, to the point of childish naivete. It was always assumed that he ran into a vampire at some point, and was led into darkness without knowing what he was getting himself into. It was Jun, practicing his meditations by Buckingham Fountain one night, that discovered Dylan walking in a daze through Grant Park one night. He was nearly starving himself to death, attempting to eat whatever edible bits of food out of the garbage and suffering from serious stomach pains. Jun brought him back to the lot to see if the others could help him learn to fend for himself, and he just sort of stayed after that.
It was Dion that first took Dylan under his wing, teaching him to spot and scan for donors. Then helping him pick out a sunproofed car for him to stay in. Dion never judged him, never hit him, never expected him to be anything more than what he was. For the first time, he felt that his feelings of self worth were justified. Dion was beautiful. He made Dylan feel beautiful. And while he was too scared to say anything about it, he very quickly fell madly in love with the boy of his dreams.
Inside Dylan’s car is a small shrine of religious pieces that he keeps with him to remind him where he came from. He’s not a die hard Christian, but cherishes his faith as something that gives him strength when he needs it most. His perspective of the world has kept his spirit strong through everything he’s been through, believing that everything in life, even heartache and pain, has purpose. That suffering builds character, and that every trial and tribulation that one can overcome makes them stronger. It was this shared view of life’s obstacles that brought him to read the vampire scriptures of Mistress Velora. He’s read every word and it has only increased his passion for making the best out of any situation, and continue looking for the parting clouds at the end of every storm.
Dylan’s one flaw may be his compulsive need to avoid any instance of pain or conflict by hiding from the situation. Sometimes, his optimism can be blinding, often delivering a harsh and wildly sensitive blow to his emotions when the people around him turn out to be something less than the perfect angels he expects them to be. It is because of this concept of everyone being ‘good’ unless provoked to be otherwise that Dylan is so quick to assume personal blame for any and every angry word that is tossed in his direction. Feelings that he is somehow being misunderstood, that he’s done or said something hurtful, or given the impression that he doesn’t care. It might be a reflex action spawned from the way he was raised at home, but it keeps Dylan lost in the constant fear that he is being a pest, a bother, or a burden to those around him. That he’ll somehow displease them unintentionally…and that mixed with his lacking ability to express himself in a way that others might understand…they may lose the pleasant image they have of him forever.
So Dylan stays invisible to the others until he feels confident that he’s not going to do anything to make himself look silly or arrogant. It wasn’t until realizing that his love for Dion was mutual that he finally began to take a few shaky steps forward, and let that radiant light of his shine for all the others to see at last. Some hearts weren’t meant to be hidden. His is one of them.