“Gone From Daylight”

“Taryn’s Song”

Thought Projection- While it was originally thought to just be a highly advanced form of telepathy, it appears that Taryn’s extra is much more complex than others once realized. Not only can Taryn transmit and receive his own mental messages to and from another person, but he can project his thoughts, feelings, memories, and overall knowledge as well. It has yet to be explained how he can do this, as he has not practiced the extra enough to have truly mastered it to that level. While his extra was first becoming evident in his crossover, an extended period of accidental ‘flare ups’ caused his every thought and emotion to be broadcasted too each and every member of the lot at all times. This extreme exposure of his most private and intimate secrets to everyone he knew has made Taryn fearful of using his extra too strongly or too often. So its true potential has never been fully tested. But it is definitely much stronger than what he uses it for on average.

“One of life’s primal situations; the game of hide and seek. Oh, the delicious thrill of hiding while the others come looking for you, the delicious terror of being discovered, but what panic when, after a long search, the others abandon you! You mustn’t hide too well. You mustn’t be too good at the game. The player must never be bigger than the game itself.” – Jean Baudrillard

If anyone from the lot ever wanted to find Taryn in the past, during his previous years in darkness…they would not find him participating much in the activities around the lot. Not laughing and joking, not playing games….nothing much more than a few polite words and a helping hand with Bryson’s set of chores. No…on most nights, they could find Taryn out by the lake, or by the anchor at Navy Pier…gazing out at the darkness and trying to escape the pain of profound loneliness. A pain that he still carries with him, even while being so deeply in love.

Growing up in a nearby suburb of the city with his parents and younger brother, Alec, Taryn was once a bit of a troublemaker at home. Nothing to really be worried about, but certainly growing a rebellious streak as his feelings for other boys became more evident, and he started to feel as though he didn’t ‘fit’ with society’s rules and expectations. A few mishaps here and there didn’t make him much of a menace, not by any means. But Taryn’s world took a turn for the worst…the day his father didn’t come home from work.

Taryn lovedhis father deeply, and shared a very close relationship with him throughout his childhood. A late night worker at a factory on the far Southside, his dad made a valiant effort to be there for his family as much as he possibly could. He would tell Taryn that if he was ever in trouble, or ever feeling down, to watch the horizon…and look for the sunrise. When the sun came up, he’d know it was morning. And that his father would soon be there for him. His life was cut drastically short because of a factory accident, and Taryn has never been the same since. Even now, ten years into his crossover, he can be seen sitting at the Lake until the last possible moment before dawn…waiting on a sunrise that he can never see again.

It wasn’t long after his father’s death that Taryn’s mother found herself another provider for their family, and his stepfather ‘Chuck’ became a part of the picture. Instant conflicts rose up between them. Taryn’s negative attitudes to this stranger in his father’s place caused more acting out on his part, more trouble, lower grades at school…his mother considered him quite a handful during that time. But Taryn wasn’t ready when Chuck’s trueintentions became evident.

It began with a few compliments here and there, followed by a few inappropriate touches in passing. Chuck would often stare and tell Taryn how pretty he was. His ‘pretty little China doll’. As his advances became more aggressive, Taryn began to fight back. This only angered his stepfather, who was now determined to escalate the situation, terrorizing Taryn repeatedly as he snuck into his bedroom at night. Taryn tried to tell his mother what was happening, but after so many rebellious acts and outright lies, she thought it was just his way of trying to get rid of her new husband. It wasn’t until Chuck began to show affections towards his younger brother, Alec, that Taryn had all he could stand.

On a rainy night, while his mother was leaving for a week on a business trip, Taryn packed up some necessities for him and his brother, and ran away from home. Hoping to return once his mother came back and saw what was going on. Perhaps if she knew how severe things were, she would take his accusations more seriously. Taryn and Alec roamed the streets of the downtown, surviving as best as they could, until he happened to run into Trevor at Navy Pier one night. Trevor took an instant liking to the beautiful boy, who seemed to have a heart and a spark about him that was unlike he had ever seen before. It was Trevor’s help that eventually led to Taryn giving him his trust, and ultimately…his life in daylight.

Most of the members of the lot are unclear as to what led Taryn to finally crossover into darkness, or why he made the reluctant decision to return with Trevor and leave his mother and baby brother behind when he cared for them soooo very much. (To be revealed in the prequel story, “Taryn’s Song”, within the next two chapters) But it was a decision that he came to painfully regret, leading to more nights of sadness and time spent alone in silence. All the love and support in the world, given to him by friends who truly cared for him, couldn’t bring him peace. Many have tried, but Taryn remains closed off to their attempts to care about him. Even when he needs them most.

While Taryn can be a joy to be around at times, and people certainly love it when he warms up to spend a few brief moments seeing his brighter side…only his new boyfriend, Justin, has the ability to truly hold his interest for any real length of time. Out of all the vampires in the lot, only Justin, Dion, and Rain, can really claim to know much of anything about him or his past. Even then…they only know very little. It’s not hard to realize that Taryn is quick to avoid and reject even the simplest of questions. In fact, he hardly answers any questions at all. Only withdrawing further into himself and putting up walls so thick that they’re forced to stop asking for fear of losing him as a friend. His denial of inquiry is just that severe, and no one but Taryn can truly understand why.

Taryn’s major flaw is that he has spent so much time and effort attempting to hide and run from his problems, that he has never built the proper strength needed to actually deal with them. He won’t talk about it. Not ever. And because of that, it will always hold power over him. His mind exaggerates the possible outcomes of being exposed and distorts them so radically, that ANY form of conflict or confrontation becomes an absolutely terrifying experience for him. He thinks if Justin finds out something ‘bad’ about him that he’ll become disgusted and HATE him for it. He’s afraid that if his friends see something they shouldn’t, or if he says the wrong thing, they’ll think he’s dirty, or stupid, and they’ll abandon him forever. These thoughts are, of course, totally unfounded and irrational when seen from the outside. Everyone loves Taryn. But to him…it’s not enough. He feels disconnected from the others, terrified of people knowing anything about him or his feelings, scared of using his extra because of the exposure, and regretful of the life he left behind. This perfect storm of events has created a disorder in his thinking that he can’t seem to break no matter how hard he tries to open up a bit more to those he cares about. His only release for his true thoughts is a small collection of diaries that he hides in his trailer. The only place where he can speak freely. The only place where no one else can ever see them. As for anyone else, his beautiful new boyfriend included, he remains eternally distant. They may never be given the permission to ask the few question they need to know him the way they want to know him. Taryn gives what he can…and that may just have to be enough.

Perhaps one day in the future, through Justin’s love and a little courage of his own…Taryn will take a chance on being free from his self made prison. Instead of ignoring, rejecting, or hiding from questions….instead of feeling like the closeness of friends and family is more of a threatthan an offering of love…he can take baby steps towards finding the connection he’s been avoiding for so long. He can prove to himself that it will be ok. That people won’t abandon him. Won’t hurt him. If only he can TRY to give them a little bit of trust…his exaggerated fears will balance out into something that will finally unshield his heart, and let love come flooding into it. Sharing that sunrise…with someone who adores him at last.

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