Monday, August 16, 2010
Philadelphia After Dark the book of Sarah
First of all, we must agree that what comes next is fiction. I'm Thomas. We met last night. I'm a life eater, or what you would call a vampire. We never use that word. It belongs to the various Inquisitions that have come and gone through humanity in the last few thousand years. But I am a realist and if you prefer to use that term, I will accept it. Although I've been in Philadelphia for the last threehundred and thirty years.., I did not start here. My home was in the south of Spain, in the region known as Andalusia. Indeed, at the time of my birth, it was still called Al-Andaluz, as it came under the sovereignty of the Caliphate of Cordoba. My family occupied a walled villa in the city of Sevilla, where my grandfather was an adviser to the Caliph. Ours was a world of tinkling fountains, cool tiled floors and verdant courtyards. It was said that when my mother left our home her feet never touched the ground, for she rode upon a liter borne by four matched Osetians. My esteemed father was a Biblical and Talmudic scholar of the first rank. And when I became a Child of the Covenant at thirteen years of age, none other than Prince Hassan himself (the eldest son of our beloved Caliph) presented me with a two year old white Arabian from his own renowned stables. All men were brothers in our land. Trinitarians (what you would call Christians) mingled freely with Muslims and Jews, who were both of a Unitarian bent. There were also a few Hindu and Buddist travelers in our midst. Some were scholars and some were traders. We all shared in tne marketplace of knowledge and ideas, at least those of us who were not slaves, eunichs or concubines. My life should have been secure and complacent, but Lilith stirred the waters of my existence and I was transformed into what I am today. Please, it pains me to speak of such things. Just know that I will tell you when the time is right. I will tell you of how I lost my true name and became Thomas. And I will tell you about Sarah and what we did to her. But tonight is the dark of the moon. It is the night when I feed. Once a month, with the icy dispatch of a cobra. And I take my feast on those deserving of death. Let me return to my nightly ablutions (I roam the shadows even on the nights when I do not feed) and ready myself for my ordeal. Some nights I just sit on a bench and watch the show go by. On other nights I've found myself staring at my relection in a shop window for hours. People would gather around and watch. They think I am one of those human mannikins. Well, maybe I am..... a mannikin of humanity.