Saturday, May 14, 2011


Not all of Europe is thickly populated. There are isolated empty stretches. The coasts and major river valleys hold all the people. The mountains, except for some tre-chic ski resorts, or Swiss money repositories echo with the keening of the wind. And who listens to this mournful wail? Well, in this particular valley, Kadeema and Lorenzo do. Let me tell you something about them. True, they are vampires, although unlike any you've  met so far. These two are 'noxious' and vile in every way. Lorenzo, the male, was buried 'alive.' Yes, he was a brand new vampire when it happened, but he did not know that. An English tourist, much enamored with alpine fauna found him in a lonely hostel, plied him with flagon after flagon of home-grown ale and lured him out into the night for a lung-ful of cool, crisp air, the better to clear their heads.  I suppose the freshest bit of atmosphere hovered  over a nearby copse. For they found themselves hidden deep  within its shadows. Now tourists are a funny breed and Anglo-Saxon ones even funnier. Lorenzo was (then) a fine, true Catholic boy and adverse  to foreign games. Yet this cold-skinned English dandy played a different, new charade. What could he call this strange divertisement, the cannibal and the explorer? The fox and the chicken?  This fool wanted to bite his neck! Lorenzo cursed. He shoved him. The man came back. He yelled. He punched him. But the man only laughed. And then he was lost, trapped in arms like iron, as the cursed creature broke the skin. A thin red trickle issued forth. The Englishman chuckled and lapped it up. He whispered something. But  in English . Lorenzo failed to understand and shuddered, as the warm breath tickled his ear. The man cut deeper, releasing a thick, hot rush. Lorenzo swooned. The night-guest drank in up. But now our young, Piedmontese floated, caught between the heavens and the earth. His body not yet resigned to death. His soul still fearful of the flight. In short, the perfect resting place for a vampire-yet-to-be. And the strange Englishman knew this. He pushed up his sleeve, biting down into hiw own forearm. Lorenzo inhaled a puzzling new aroma, blood, but not blood. This was something sweet. This was something hot. This was life and danger and death and resurrection. And this was his. He grabbed the arm and drew it in. He couldn't stop. He wanted it all, this drug, this absinth, this elixir of life. Heartbeats raced by. Then more heartbeats and was over. The English vampire kicked him away, turned 'round and ran. Lorenzo leapt after him. He shouted. He yelled for the man to wait. He begged. He pleaded - What is this? Who are you? What am I?......And only one word drifted back - Dead...... The night-guest was gone and he was all alone, crying in the dark. Did he walk? Did he fly? Did he sublimate? Who could tell. But he found himself lying all curled up on the rough floor of a narrow, twisting cave. Then he fell asleep, lulled by the songs of dark-winged angels singing deep within the earth.

Some new vampires take to things right away. Others float in a coma-like state, waiting for their body to adapt. Lorenzo was of the second sort and still sleeping when the shepherds found him early next morning. Simple and conservative, as they who tend the flocks usually  are, they immediately recognized him for what he was. The whiteness of his flesh. The brutal, though completely healed scars upon his throat (which would soon smooth out and disappear after the shedding of the skin). Vampeer!!- they cried and ran to find the priest. Thirtyfive minutes later, they returned dragging a stout, strong dead-box and a cask full of chains. Two condemned men, freed from jail for just that purpose,  helped bind him in the tempered links and stuffed him in the fire-hardened box. They hammered in the nails, thick, black, strong ones, worthy for The Cross.

Fortyeight hours later, Lorenzo awoke, buried  under eighteen feet of hard-packed clay and awash in the gore of his own splitting skin. The darkness? You have never seen darkness like that. The silence? Stiller than ten thousand tombs. His screams heard only by vermin. His prayers heard only by the dirt. His struggle just begun.....Oh, wait. I was going to tell you about Kadeema too.....Yet even spirits grow weary. Molest me not til the morrow. Perhaps I shall speak with you then.............

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