Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Book of Sarah

I was unable to communicate with you last night. I just needed quiet. I did not go out. That is very rare. My eyes were open. I knew it was night. I could smell the darkness. But I never ventured out. Sarah stayed with me. Maybe it was selfish of me, but she still needs my help to sublimate and I just did not feel up to it. We can't open the door to this chamber. It is painted over on the other side, so we usually sublimate (well, I do. she holds on for dear life) through the cellar wall into an unknown underground tunnel (a common thing in the older districts of this city) and from there make our way up to our starlit stage. So we stayed there, laying in the shadows of our two hundred and sixty year old hiding place. We talked. Well, I talked. I  needed to escape. The destruction of that young man two nights ago was too much for me. He was exactly the type of soul we try to preserve. It was not right. He did not deserve it. The world is poorer in his absence. Bob is incoherent with fear. He is burrowed in with the mole people. From what we can sense, he lays curled in a fetal position against an oozing, concrete wall. But who is he kidding? The darkness of the depths cannot hide him. The beast riding Annie can hear almost everything. Unless we do something, it is just a matter of time. We have to kill the host. We have to kill the little girl. But none of us has so much as seen her in a vision, not that kind of vision. And it would be the first time any of us had ever done such a thing. How would we be punished for it? I do not want to think about that. This night will be spent in comforting recollections. I will conjure up fleeting glimpses of other times and other places. My memories are true, vivid and detailed, like dead bees trapped in amber. I am deep below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. I walk among the wreckage of a bronze-age galley. The water presses in with a viscous, silent weight. Everything is lost in  blackness. But not to me. My storybook eyes find strange illumination in the darkness. Vampires can do that. We see heat and we see life. Every surface under the sea is buttered with life. It soaps each shell (both living and dead) and kisses every grain of sand. Bones play hide and seek among the shattered planking. Ghosts progress along the ruined deck. I see them, but they do not notice me. I discover a brooch, such as a nobleman might use to fasten a cloak, or a lady to decorate her hair. I pick it up. The ghosts do not mind. Maybe they have spirit treasures too? Then I walk back toward the shore, gradually ascending up from the depths. My head silently rises above the tiny ripples. I expel the briny fluid from my lungs and start to breathe the cool, night air. Do I truly need it? I think not, but the rhythm of it comforts me. An old woman digs for clams in the moonlight. I approach. She looks up, frightened by my unusual make up and condition. Water drips from my garments. Sea weed crowns my hair. I am a drowned corpse resurrected. She straightens up and stares silently. I smile. I place the cold and precious brooch into her hand. The gemstones twinkle in the starlight.. She slowly examines this rare gift and slips it into her pocket. I walk past. She bends over and resumes foraging. I hear her whisper - thank you. Then I sublimate through the fabric of the air and disappear.

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