Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bing Crosby- Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep...Jonathon Worries About His Future ... 12/18/14





Jonathon sits in the little room we call the 'chapel.' He chooses a record from his collection... an old 33 and a 1/3 rpm. I suppose all this vintage vinyl is worth something, but he'd never sell. Each disc is stored flat in the jacket and every jacket is separated from its neighbor by a thin styro-foam square. He's very careful about that. Some he's had for decades. Others come from small, independent record shops. There're still a few. He browses them in the evening before closing, mostly in the winter. It's too light other times of the year. Vampires know how to work the clock. Some make a point of being out and about around their way from approximately five to six in the morning... maybe six fifteen, or six twenty. The sky is still dark then, at least during winter. They're seen in local markets. They buy coffee in coffee bars. People nod... say hello. And the thing is, it registers as 'daytime,' because everybody's doing pre-work morning chores. When those same vampires run into people after work, in the evening, it's assumed they've been out and about all day. Mortals are stupid... supremely self-limiting and stupid. 



Our Philadelphia contingent isn't faced with that. They don't have to fit in, since their little street is fairly cloistered. Plus, Edith runs interference. The 'familiars' do a lot too. But before he goes back... before he re-assumes 'the burden' and becomes vampire again, he makes a point of being seen out in the daylight. He has hot tea and a couple donuts that he mostly plays with and crumbles. You can cover a lot with a napkin. He buys magazines and store brand aspirin in a nearby sundry store and two packs of tightie-whities from the store that sells tightie-whities. Sometimes he sits in one of the squares or little pocket parks they have around town and talks to people. Girls like him. His new body looks a bit more mature... twenty eight or there about instead of eighteen... Just right for a prosperous young man about town. They ask where he lives and what he does. He makes up stories. They believe him. Jonathon is very intelligent. But there are times he has to run away and laugh like a maniac on a shadowy side street or behind a bush, or a car. How's he supposed to talk to some lawyer girl ... nice girl and all that... who knows only her job and is exactly like every other semi-well off 'twenty something?' That's when he's glad to be a vampire, or at least going back to being a vampire. Mole people, down in never used subway tunnels are different. They see things with mole-folk eyes and he sees things with night-folk eyes. Sometimes you got to have special eyes. Viewpoint and experience is everything. How are you supposed to have a conversation with bastards who only want to talk about  'did you see the game?' or 'Ewww she got sooo fat.'.... Lone vampires in out of the way places and remote areas have been known to sublimate into mental hospitals just to find somebody to talk to.



So now he's up in that little room listening to his music and thinking about what he likes about mortal life... the mindless freedom... the sunlight... the french fires ( the good HOT french fries) ... afternoon trips to the movies... And he hasn't been mortal long. Guess he's a fast worker... Likes seeing nice, little kids in daylight too. Nighttime doesn't do them justice.



You see, it goes both ways. Being crazy is OK. You just got to do it right. When it comes to that, night-folk get a pass. Maybe it's the prions in all that blood they drink? Maybe it's the magic?... Maybe it's just being unique, or at least sorta kinda on the whatever passes for 'unique' spectrum. They tell you reasons for everything else, but nobody ever tells you that... about being the good kind of crazy, I mean...



Jonathon puts on a record, some Christmas album. Bought it for one song... Counting Your Blessings.... Bing Crosby sings it. What the hell kind of name is 'Bing?'.... 



See, that's not crazy. That's just weird. Guess he's making up his mind what kind of vampire he wants to be.... this time, I mean.



This is Zebulon talking. I'm one of the disembodied spirit narrators. You know me. I'm crazy too.



Getting stoned to death two thousand years ago for consorting with witches, when you're just thirteen years old does that.



Now lemme go... I want to glide through dark department stores.



<more next time>



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Bing Crosby- Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep...Jonathon Worries About His Future ... 12/18/14





Jonathon sits in the little room we call the 'chapel.' He chooses a record from his collection... an old 33 and a 1/3 rpm. I suppose all this vintage vinyl is worth something, but he'd never sell. Each disc is stored flat in the jacket and every jacket is separated from its neighbor by a thin styro-foam square. He's very careful about that. Some he's had for decades. Others come from small, independent record shops. There're still a few. He browses them in the evening before closing, mostly in the winter. It's too light other times of the year. Vampires know how to work the clock. Some make a point of being out and about around their way from approximately five to six in the morning... maybe six fifteen, or six twenty. The sky is still dark then, at least during winter. They're seen in local markets. They buy coffee in coffee bars. People nod... say hello. And the thing is, it registers as 'daytime,' because everybody's doing pre-work morning chores. When those same vampires run into people after work, in the evening, it's assumed they've been out and about all day. Mortals are stupid... supremely self-limiting and stupid. 



Our Philadelphia contingent isn't faced with that. They don't have to fit in, since their little street is fairly cloistered. Plus, Edith runs interference. The 'familiars' do a lot too. But before he goes back... before he re-assumes 'the burden' and becomes vampire again, he makes a point of being seen out in the daylight. He has hot tea and a couple donuts that he mostly plays with and crumbles. You can cover a lot with a napkin. He buys magazines and store brand aspirin in a nearby sundry store and two packs of tightie-whities from the store that sells tightie-whities. Sometimes he sits in one of the squares or little pocket parks they have around town and talks to people. Girls like him. His new body looks a bit more mature... twenty eight or there about instead of eighteen... Just right for a prosperous young man about town. They ask where he lives and what he does. He makes up stories. They believe him. Jonathon is very intelligent. But there are times he has to run away and laugh like a maniac on a shadowy side street or behind a bush, or a car. How's he supposed to talk to some lawyer girl ... nice girl and all that... who knows only her job and is exactly like every other semi-well off 'twenty something?' That's when he's glad to be a vampire, or at least going back to being a vampire. Mole people, down in never used subway tunnels are different. They see things with mole-folk eyes and he sees things with night-folk eyes. Sometimes you got to have special eyes. Viewpoint and experience is everything. How are you supposed to have a conversation with bastards who only want to talk about  'did you see the game?' or 'Ewww she got sooo fat.'.... Lone vampires in out of the way places and remote areas have been known to sublimate into mental hospitals just to find somebody to talk to.



So now he's up in that little room listening to his music and thinking about what he likes about mortal life... the mindless freedom... the sunlight... the french fires ( the good HOT french fries) ... afternoon trips to the movies... And he hasn't been mortal long. Guess he's a fast worker... Likes seeing nice, little kids in daylight too. Nighttime doesn't do them justice.



You see, it goes both ways. Being crazy is OK. You just got to do it right. When it comes to that, night-folk get a pass. Maybe it's the prions in all that blood they drink? Maybe it's the magic?... Maybe it's just being unique, or at least sorta kinda on the whatever passes for 'unique' spectrum. They tell you reasons for everything else, but nobody ever tells you that... about being the good kind of crazy, I mean...



Jonathon puts on a record, some Christmas album. Bought it for one song... Counting Your Blessings.... Bing Crosby sings it. What the hell kind of name is 'Bing?'.... 



See, that's not crazy. That's just weird. Guess he's making up his mind what kind of vampire he wants to be.... this time, I mean.



This is Zebulon talking. I'm one of the disembodied spirit narrators. You know me. I'm crazy too.



Getting stoned to death two thousand years ago for consorting with witches, when you're just thirteen years old does that.



Now lemme go... I want to glide through dark department stores.



<more next time>



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

JONATHON and HIS VAMPIRE CONSORT TALK ... 12/17/14

They sit in the small, garden-like backyard. The high brick walls make it private. Vampires like watching the night sky. Sarah sits like a cat staring up at a tiny bright speck moving across the blackness. She thinks it's a satellite, but it's much more remote than that. And in six hundred and five hours will explode into the surface of Mars with the force of a mile wide sun....

Do scientists know? Of course they do. But for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Vast swathes of subsurface permafrost will instantly vaporize and the Martian atmosphere will once again know rain. NASA's been watching for years, even nudged the small comet into a more precipitous trajectory. Rovers dropped seeds in areas likely to get the most rain. A second Genesis for the Forth World.. 

But Sarah didn't know that. Doctor Franklin did, though he doesn't share everything. that's another story though. 

They sit on two Adirondack chairs, all wrapped up in sweatshirts, hoodies, gloves and scarves. She's vampire. Cold can't harm her, but it's still uncomfortable. Jonathon's mortal. He needs all that GAP stuff. Actually finds it quite cozy. Bundling up against winter chill is a mortal pleasure. Vampires enjoy it too, but it's not the same thing. 

Jonathon says - I'd like a little color this time. 
Sarah - What are you talking about?
Jonathon - After, when I'm vampire again. I hate that alabaster look. I hate it.
Sarah - Get a tan. Go to one of those places. You know.
Jonathon - Yes.. and how little you know. Don't you pay attention?
Sarah - Don't bother me. I'm star gazing. And what don't I know?
Jonathon - My skin. I'm going to shed. I'm going to peel. I'm going to lose it when it happens. Even if I could tan, which I can't, that's where the melanin  would be...

Then he just sat there.

Sarah - So we're pale.
Jonathon - (jumps in) It reminds me of death. It reminds me of graves. It reminds me of corpses. I don't like it. 
Sarah - Jonathon?
Jonathon - What?
Sarah - Are you sure you want to be a vampire again?
Jonathon - I don't know...

More silence.

Jonathon - No, I do know. I do. I do. I want to be a vampire.. God, I hate that word. (sigh)... You know, back when this first happened to me... back during the middle ages... people used to call us 'the demi-angelic host.' Not the others. Not the 'noxious' like-eaters, but 'noble' ones... ones like me. ... They ruined it!
Sarah - Who ruined it?
Jonathon - The writers... the novelists... the scripts... the bastards. Look what they did to us. Are you like True Blood? Am I like True Blood?
Sarah - You liked that show?

He just looks at her, then turns away to study his sneakers.

Sarah - Last night was good. You liked that. You like the helping people part. You like the cool, sharp clothes and all. You want to go out on the street and give out gold coins? We have some real ones in the vault. We can do that. I'll go with you. It's 'First Night'... Hanukah.... Come on.....

No response...

Sarah - You want to play Scrooge?... Christmas spirits?... Sublimate through walls? Scare people? Make them change their ways?
Jonathon - Last guy had a fit. Crapped all over the bed. Stunk like high hell in there. I don't want to do that.
Sarah - You want to go to the zoo? Sublimate in with the polar bears? Spend the night with them? You like that.

He thinks about it.

Sarah - No, we can't. You're mortal. You're human. They'll kill you.

Jonathon - (quietly) I want pancakes.
Sarah - (sighs) Come on. I'll take you. You can't go by yourself. You know how late it is?
Jonathon - I want potato pancakes from that diner that makes them with the crispy edges.....

She nods.... They get up, go inside and lock the back door, as cold, wintry stars look down.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

THE SOON TO BE RECREATED VAMPIRE JONATHON CONTINUES HIS MORTAL EXPLORATIONS .. 12/16/14

I still like exploring the city, but minus life-eater talents and abilities, cannot do it unaided. So they send me out with a driver. One of our 'familiars' (mortal helpers) owns a livery service. Generations ago, that meant horses. Today, it means automobiles, mostly limousines or luxury models. Think I'm in a big, long Cadillac with a mirror-like ebony finish and thick, soft, saddle, colored upholstery. The drivers name is Frank. He usually takes gamblers to Atlantic City, but tonight he has me. He knows the situation, so we're fine. 

We stopped at the bank. They know me there. We give them little vials of our blood. So nobody ever has a sick day and even Miss Brody, who's sixty seven looks perhaps fifty four. Everybody wants something. Everybody gets something. I withdrew seventy five thousand dollars, fifteen 'flats' of five thousand each. All the bills were hundreds, neatly wrapped in clean, white, paper bands. I offered Frank one, but he said his boss takes care of him. We did stop at a high end optical salon, where he ordered two pair of glasses. You know the frames. Ashton Kutcher has them. George Clooney too, I think. Tony Curtis wore them in Some Like It Hot. Four hundred and fifty five dollars a pair, not counting the lenses. The examination didn't take long. Then we went the shoe store where I get my black, leather bootkins. I love that place. Bespoke (made to order) footwear is so special. My new body, though overwhelmingly the same as my old one, is slightly different. Now my left foot is twelve and my right one is eleven and three quarters. Left one's slightly wider as well. First time that shop has ever updated my 'lasts.' Old Mr. Baldwin greeted me when I entered. That's how close this body is. Looks a bit older, late twenties instead of eighteen. Though the difference is really very subtle and when I transform, the vampire blood will polish things up even more. I'm not worried. We are so much more than a physical shell... This from someone slaving with a trainer three hours a day....

Then the real night began. This close to Christmas shops close at ten or eleven. People disappear, leaving manikins all alone to stare out at ghostly thoroughfares. But after a bit other souls come out and that's who we helped. A woman with swollen ankles trudged by pushing a shopping cart laden with two over stuffed trash bags. Her coat was flimsy. Really a rain slicker. Not a coat. No warm socks. Just old, white leather sneakers. The kind meant for summer. You know how thin the soles are. She quietly sang a little song----- I got joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, down in my heart.... Basically a good, guileless soul. .... I exited the car and walked toward her. She looked up, but didn't react. Street people know how to blend into the shadows. I could tell she was nervous. I didn't want her to be nervous. As we passed, I reached into a small, black, plastic bag I had, took out two flats and tossed them on top of the trash bags in her cart. She looked... Ten thousand dollars, nestled on two filled trash bags. I whispered - Put it away.... She said - Uh hum. ... I kept going and she kept going... Heard her whisper - Thank you...

Gave a skinny, shivering guy sitting on the steps of the old Second Bank of The United States a similar amount. He was shaking so bad. Then I took him into a waffle house and sat him in a booth toward the back. He didn't look too disheveled. Probably expert at washing up in public bathrooms and grabbing charity clothes from shelters. Still looked cold though. Told the manager, who looked like an ex-con himself, to give him all the hot coffee he wanted and eggs and pancakes too. Slipped him a couple hundred. He understood. I said - Let him stay til morning. He won't bother you.... Then I bought a couple newspapers from boxes out front and gave them to the skinny guy, so he'd have something to read... Before I left, I said - Watch your money... The guy nodded like his head was gonna fall off. Gave the waitress a hundred too.... She said - Jesus Christ! what's this for?!..... But I just left. Met Frank at the corner. Drove around for a few hours doing the same thing. Nothing new. Most 'noble' vampires do this. Sarah does it. Baylah does it. We all do. Noble just means moral vampires, as opposed to the 'noxious' more animal type.

Before he took me home I gave Frank a flat too. He didn't want to take it. Told me about his boss and all. I said - Come on. Buy presents for your kids. Boss ain't gone to know... He hesitated, but then accepted it, thanking me for the Hanukah Gelt. Frank's a good guy. Knows about the vampires and all. Knows I'm a Spanish Jew. Thinks we all say , 'Hanukah gelt.' I didn't say anything. He meant well. 

Then I was home. Sarah was already in bed. Edith was too. Left a little light on over the sink, like she always does, plus a couple battery powered candles on the mantle piece. House was quiet.

I cut off a piece of that new Asiago cheese I liked from the refrigerator, went back into the family room, sat down and clicked on the television... Deepak Chopra told me to find my inner self.

Little ghost boy from the cellar came up to keep me company. Sometimes I read to him... He likes that.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

A SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE MIRACULOUS AND CAN-CAN DANCERS ... Jonathon Speaks.. 12/15/14

It is, I, Jonathon. I'm still mortal... for a little while. They got me a trainer to pump my up before the eternal transformation. Want to be my best before I 'assume the burden.' Not that I was in bad shape last time. Far from it. But vampires are vain. You know that. And if I 'can,' I 'will.'
The guy's from California. Had a place in Malibu. Jumps around like a dancer. Yells - Yes! Yes! Yes! and No! No! No!. ..Grabs my arms and legs... Twists them into the right positions. Cracks my back. That parts alright. Core's tighter. That I know. Got a six pack, a v-cut, deltoids, pecs, the whole package... Well, that he can't alter. 

We use a little room in the basement. They put black, rubber, lego-looking squares on the floor. White walls. Two big mirrors. Grey ceiling. Florescent lights. Benches. Towels. An institutional press-the-button-ice-water-fountain. No good to vampires. Life-eater forms are static.... like living statues. Three weeks, just after The Trinitarian New Year and I'll be ready. Excuse the medieval terminology, but we had so many new years in old Al Andalus... Got a keep them all straight. 

Edith feeds me special meals. No real calorie restrictions. High protein. Low carb. And this body they got me was in good shape to begin with. Belonged to a model, for God's sake. Wait a minute. What time is it? Got to eat a piece of cheese. <represents a snack break> Asiago ... never had it before. For three weeks I eat like an athlete and then it's thick, hot, red, beefy, salty, blood. Thin broths and certain alcoholic beverages are alright, from time to time. And I will be able to chew and swallow most of a regular meal, provided there's someplace where I can throw it all up. Sometimes vampires get cornered and have to but on a show. And I've been told I'm quite an actor. Once, in eighteen eighty three, I think it was, the actor cast as Mercrutio in an Arch Street Theater production on Romeo and Juliet got himself accidentally  eviscerated by a pack of dogs. Jo-Jo's Dancing Hounds... Not exactly timber-wolves... Standard poodles, I think they were... Warmed up the audience before the show. ... Actor was supposed to pretend he was a regular ticket holder... Climb up on stage and jump rope with them... But he had liverwurst for lunch.... Big heavy soup spoons filled with liverwurst... Smeared it all over thick slabs of rye bread... Onions too, I think... And that Jo-Jo was a real drunk. Never fed the dogs... Ran away from The French Foreign Legion. They had these islands up off the coast of Labrador or New Foundland. Fisherman lived there... Fisherman and legionnaires and narwhals and can-can dancers. It's freezing up there. ... Snuck down one winter. How much poutine  can you eat? Did they have poutine back then? Vampires don't know from that.

Dogs start barking and licking him, the actor, I mean... You know he was belching... kept belching... Fellow up front starts hollering - PEE YEW, you bum ! Everybody starts clapping. Actor does a little dance, 'cause he's a drunk too and likes to be the center of attention. Falls and cracks his head on a little, metal ladder (some of the dogs play firemen... like clown firemen... you know what I'm talking about). Dogs swarm all over him, licking everywhere. People laughing. Jo-Jo wants to pull them off, but they don't want to stop. Start growling. Start biting. Start ripping. People think it's part of the show, 'cause they had ghoulish productions back then.... Edwin Booth... I knew him, you know.... Had to drop the curtain, shoot the dogs and drag the corpse away. Shot Jo-Jo too, just for being such a God damned bastard. Show business was rough back then. Everybody knows that. Audience didn't mind, 'cause they got bags of Carson's Lemon Drops.  Cops didn't like it. Boss slipped  them each six ducats to The Flora Dora Girls . Promised not to shoot people no more, even bastards. Cops said - OK.

That night, after they cleaned up with sand and sawdust and bay rum and all, we went on.....

Excuse me. You know I never ramble, but that dietary regimen seems to have put me into ketosis. Once I'm a vampire it will sort itself out...

Doctor Franklin wants to study the whole procedure. Wants Sarah to do it. Thinks every magical occurrence is just an unobserved chemical or quantum reaction... sometimes both. Wants to hook us up to a lot of sensors.  Stick tubes in us. Collect Higgs-Boson particles. Shave our nether regions. I don't know. A lot of stuff is involved. (momentarily focuses) What's he have to shave our nether regions for??? That make sense to you? 

Think there's some Stella D'Oro almond toast in the kitchen. I'm gonna have some. 

Screw the trainer.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Billy Kravitz' vampire wonderland: DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?...POST REVEL NIGHTS IN LO...

Billy Kravitz' vampire wonderland: DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?...POST REVEL NIGHTS IN LO...: In many ways, The Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn is only a name 'borrowed' by various associations aspiring to some form of meta... OK, here's where we start exploring magic.. not the evil kind, but the age-old harnessing of universal forces. Who knows? Maybe it's actually just a subset of Quantum Mechanics? This 'Do You Believe In Magic' post from ten months ago is a good refresher. Please visit. Scroll up and down a bit. All references based on real magical organization. So get your aural hum going. Rev up your own enchanted batteries. 



We're gonna need a lot of 'adepts' when Jonathon re-assumes 'The Burden' and goes vampire again.



Plus planning to try some telepathic experiments of our own. Who knows? You may be discovered. That little 'light' of yours, you better let it shine...



Click on the link to the original post above. As you know, these red letters are only an intro. 



Manipulating the ether can be fun...



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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Everything is Everywhere, Magic Is Just How We Access And Control It... 12.11/14

JOHANNON speaks ~~~

I hover in the ether above the townhouse observing pedestrians during the daylight hours. Few come down this way. There are no commercial establishments. Indeed, most of the residences have long been swallowed by shops and bistros facing the other way. The townhouse is but a break in a vast brick wall broken here and there by rather wide sets of green painted metal doors opened only for early morning deliveries. There are two other townhouse facades on the block. One on 'our' side and another across the narrow street. The first belongs to a ninety year old recluse, supposedly the illegitimate offspring of George Burns and Madame Curie. The second shelters a delightfully crazy puppeteer known for corpse-like marionettes made from wooden dowels and bratwurst. Monkey skulls serve for heads. He's very fickle, but Topsy (a dog) doesn't mind, for she 'murders' the rejects.

I can feel the energy. But all disembodied spirits can to that. You'll see. Death will teach you. Occasionally kids cut through, on their way to trendy shops given to zippers and leather and more zippers and more leather, toward South Street.  Sometimes they run through after the clubs, heading for Jim's Steaks (sandwiches), or some other savory mouthful. I see their auras. I know their souls. The daytime wanderers are different... quiet, homeless types drifting about.... nervous, part time,  lovers speeding toward clandestine assignations.  They keep their auras close.

'Ghosts' (I hate that word, but use it for expedience sake) are made of energy. Mortals are too. What you feel as solid surface is but an electrical field spanning neurons and protons and whatever other particles they discover. Even the nuclear particles are bit denser manifestations of the same elusive sparks. Some say we are self-aware dreams. But they, themselves are only dreamers. 

Certain personalities are sculptors. Not of wood, clay, or stone, but reality. They manipulate the ether and all that dances in it. Of such is magic. Everything is everywhere. Yet only some can see that and even fewer can touch it. They that can are magicians. And their like have walked among us since the beginning. 

I've been dead, or 'in the spirit' as we say for more than nine hundred years. I follow Jonathon and protect him. When he was 'alive' I did the same. But sometimes I drift and taste other things. Let me share a bit.....

There was an artisan's daughter in Toulouse. Her father, a lapidary fashioned decorative clasps and cloak pins for the wives of powerful land owners, made with the finest jade and cinnabar brought from far off Cathay, Serendip and Abyssinia. The daughter lived with him in a stout stone cottage, hard by the town wall. Theirs was a fine establishment with sleeping cubicles above and a proper hall below... even an atelier. Thick, warm woolens from Norman-held Britain stopped drafts and carpets flown up (or so they said) from various Iberian sultanates and principalities softened floors. There were carved, wooden chests and wide, cushioned benches from cantons in The Alps. They had meat most every night and soap from The Eastern Roman Empire. The daughter wore costly attire, but like others of her caste was forbidden certain headdresses flaunted by high-born noble ladies. And the same chevaliers (knights) who bowed low to aristocratic damsels on the streets, or in the marketplace, appraised the lapidary's daughter and others of similar estate like heifers. Her only recourse after ordeals like that came from beating the kitchen girl or berating the housekeeper. Everyone needs to vent.

One day there was a festival, just prior to the Christmas Market. Magnates' daughters, accompanied by nurses and attendants sailed through stalls like royal galleys, snatching up all manner of luxury before females of lesser birth, whether moneyed or not, had a chance. Most took it philosophically. According to their culture, position is God ordained. Resistance is futile. And they made do with somewhat coarser fare.

But the lapidary's daughter was proud and would not bend. She reached for a cunning, little, pot of balm, only to have her hand soundly rapped by a spoiled fil de comte up from the Occitan.. The merchant shouted - Be off, cow! See you not this noble lady!?..... And the girl in question eyed her contemptuously. Market guards grabbed the lapidary's daughter and threw her in the mud. Had she been less than that, they'd have publicly bared her nether regions and beaten her buttocks raw. Such was life in that place, among those people at that time.

Now remember, magicians are they who manipulate energy and matter.... a talent open to all, regardless of caste. And the lapidary's daughter moved dust motes in the sun and flower petals 'cross a table. She knew she could do that. The housekeeper, possessed of a few spells (why do you think the lapidary's wife died so young?) questioned her and told a wise woman of the town. But the daughter would have none of it for fear of the Church. Fire is a wonderful deterrent.

Though that day, in the market, she let loose, spewing forth every foul word she knew. The aristocrats just laughed. A hateful, little toady of a merchant dumped a bucket of slop over her head. All waited for the next pathetic barrage. But the lapidary's daughter grew quiet and still. Then she looked up under hooded brows, locking eyes with the offending maiden, who froze on the spot. Witnesses backed away, as the ground began to vibrate and hum. Perhaps four heartbeats later, the mud began to bubble and pop, as all manner of loathsome, crawling thing escaped from the noxious fecal mess, rising into the air before swirling into a maelstrom, the nexus of which positioned itself just above the young lady's opened mouth. For an instant all was still. Then the horrific, miniature whirlwind narrowed, till every last crawling monstrosity zipped through her lips and down to her belly.

For a moment she seemed startled, til she began to spin, fast as a top. Her skirts flew out, mimicking the as yet undiscovered rings of Saturn, as the insects and worms began to manically feast on all parts of her body from the inside out. Those too close were bathed in a gruesome spray. When it was over, they found the bones screwed deep into the ground. Her attendants were nowhere to be seen and no one claimed the remains.

Of such is magic. Of such is enchantment.

They who we call 'vampires' bear but one manifestation.

And Jonathon soon returns to their number.

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