call me john sometimes

Mitchers Mini-fiction ~ True names

“Is there a reason why you sometimes call me John?”

Anders looks up from the file he’s working on and raises an eyebrow at the brunet that sits on the couch in the corner, a book in his lap. “That’s your name, isn’t it?”

“Mitchell is also my name. You could use that, like everyone else,” the vampire points out, reaching for his coffee mug on the small table in front of him. Anders watches his movements and shakes his head. “Not your true name.”

Mitchell frowns. “But I was born with that name.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Anders says, picking up his pen and playing with it absently while he’s looking at the vampire. “Look, Mitchell is the name you give everyone, the name you say when you introduce yourself to someone. It doesn’t matter who uses it to address you.”

Mitchell still frowns at him but he nods.

John on the other hand feels more intimate,” Anders proceeds his explanation. “You’re not comfortable with everyone calling you that because John is your true name, the core of your being.”

Mitchell blinks for a few times, the coffee mug hovering untouched in front of his lips. “Is that some kind of weird Bragi-logic?”

“In a way,” Anders confirms with a shrug. “Do you think it’s a coincidence that true names are a thing in folklore and literature all over the world? Fairies and dragons gain power over you when they know your name. There are Scandinavian water spirits you can defeat by calling their name. Rumpelstiltskin lost its little power game because the former-miller’s-daughter-now-princess found out its real name and puff –,” he wiggles his fingers in the air in the mock imitation of a tiny explosion, “- game over.”

Mitchell snorts and finally takes a sip of his coffee, Anders tunes back to his desk and the document waiting there for him to read and sign, shooting a last glance in Mitchell’s direction. “True names are holding power and the key to magic, believe me.”

For a few minutes there is silence in the office and no other sound than Anders’ pen on the paper before Mitchell breaks it again with a question. “Do I know your true name?”

Anders tilts his head and smiles at him fondly. “No, not yet, but maybe I will tell you someday.”

July 17th 2014