Saturday, April 30, 2011

IN THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING

Sometimes reality can waiver. Things can vary. And the fabric of creation may have nubbins in the weave. That's how it was for our two vampires. The bright eyed rabbits were the first to change. Sarah saw it and she nudged her mate. She pointed. He saw too. The rabbit had tiny, human hands. It sat at the side of the well worn trail and it waved to them. Jonathon automatically waved back. Sarah just nodded. The guide, this time a gnarled, old man, cackled like a dried up brujo (wizard/warlock). But no one stopped, as wind-blown tendrils of shredded clouds tickled a cheesy moon. And the crickets chirping in the brush all sang the same sad tune. An airplane hummed its way across the ridgeline in the distance. Though that's not what it was. Those closer saw a noble mount, a dragon fly writ large, upon which sat an elf-eared vampirina hurrying off on some enchanted business. Jonathon said - Where are we? What has happened to the trail?......Why nothing - croaked the crepe-skinned man - The trail is quite the same. T'is merely your weak grasp on things, which lately has grown lame.......And then he began to skip and caper about like a sylvan faun. After a breath or two, that's what he was. One blink and he is gone. Now let me (Johannan) take a moment here to explain what is at hand. And how these changes in the pitch effect the nearby land. Everything we see and touch is made of tiny points. Yet where each rubs against the next depends how God annoints each tiny orb with Heaven's light ('lectricity to you) for each, small variation paints  the universe anew............And for those self-limiting nabobs with an aversion to poetry, let me say this...Hey, you saw The Matrix didn't you? Well, it's a little bit like that. The universe repeats, except the notes of music dance their own  tune on the sheets. So that's it. Why? Because the Mountain King asked his friend, Saint Michael the Archangel. And that stalwart celestial general made petition to the Saphire Throne . The request was granted.  The Mountain King relaxed, safe in a crag upon the heights with secrets all its own.  You won't find it. Go and try forever and a day. Unless you get an invite and the King calls you that way.....And what happened then?....A huge dense cloud of night flies settled on our blood-kissed two, each nipping off some flesh or bone until their 'form' was through. Then off they flew, upon the wind . And streamed in through a crack. Each spitting out a drop of  gore until our vamps were back....Their legs were weak. Their hearts beat fast. Their tongues no longer spoke.The Mountain King just roared and laughed. He loved this sickening joke. He thanked the flies, his 'Scotties,' for the 'beaming up' they did. Then sent them crowding through a hole into the place they hid.....Who comes here!? - growled the 'diety' upon his rough hewn seat, as Jonathon stepped forward on his still quite shaky feet. While other members of the court leaned forward and looked down.  His Sarah wished she'd brought from home some 'dressy' type of gown........That's it. They're here. It all starts now. The mysteries they'll know. But come back again tomorrow night (Johannan wants it so). For I have other dreams to dream. And other brows to kiss. While some of you, I am quite sure, must need to take a piss.............

Friday, April 29, 2011

AN IBERIAN PROCESSION

Sarah and Jonathon made their way through the interior of  Spain. Sometimes one guide would lead them, sometimes another. All were laconic and silent. And they walked, as if on Pilgrimage, for in all actuality, they were. Each morning they the two vampires and their 'handler' found refuge in a different cave. It's odd how little a life-eater really needs. Mansionettes in Chestnut Hill are completely superfluous. Hard packed dirt floors are enough. One night, they had dreams. They had visions. Jonathon discreetly stole away to cull his target. Sarah did the same. He drained a heartless weapons dealer. She delicately killed a remorseless poisoner who was just about to slip the 'juice' to husband number three.That's how it was, until they left the flat, semi-arid plains and towns of the table lands and began to climb up hill.

'Africa starts south of The Pyrennes.' The Romans believed that. So did the Moors. And when you look at the dry, severe landscapes, or explore the picturesque, thick-walled peasant towns it seems true. Vultures wheel overhead, jackal-like foxes scrape for voles and ageless strains of cattle low in the dusty distance. But our two miraculous beings travelled in the opposite direction. That mountainous barrier was their destination. Was this planned?  No, not really. But in the life of a vampire, what is? Sometimes the guide for this part of the journey would hum old Basque songs. sometimes he would not. Sarah asked him the name of their destination. He just shrugged and laughed. Jonathon tried to read things in the wind. He tried to squeeze into the mind of he who led them. He attempted to finesse his way beneath the skulls of sleeping townsmen,  the better to search for clues. Yet clues were not  forthcoming.

One night, Sarah asked the guide if it would be alright if they tried to sublimate the rest of the way. It's not that she was tired. Vampires may know boredom. They may know ennui. But they never grow truly fatigued. When the guide realized she was speaking to him, he uttered one word - No....And then he just kept going. So did they. Sometimes, during the bright time, during the day, they would find solace in each other's embrace. A cave may not offer much, not even privacy, for through it all, the guide would just sit there, leaning against the undulating wall, eyes closed, humming to himself. But he did not care.

After a time there came a night when small things started to change. The air grew dry and cool. The ground less hard and bare. Bright eyed rabbits watched them pass in the moonlight, as night doves whispered their names. Strange voices called out to them. Yet did they, or was that but a delusion? The latest guide, this time a woman, spoke a bit. She said - Listen at first and draw it in. Sit quietly and learn. Sing the songs the 'teachers' sing. And smell the wands (incense tappers) that burn......... But that was all she said. The way grew steeper after that. At least she gave them cheap, new, canvas tennis shoes. And they were grateful. So they climbed. Jonathon thought of his long dead mortal family. While Sarah thought of him........

Thursday, April 28, 2011

TIDBITS FROM THE ENCHANTED FOREST---hootchies, chimps and everything

I don't even know where he is now. Doctor Franklin and the people at the Anti-Enchantment-Bureau got the killer momkey. They got Muggs. You know that. Yeah, they let him run loose sometimes, either up in the Adorondacks, or every once in a while down in the Jersey Pines. One guy says he's been seen in the Smokies. He's tagged. They got chips and sensors all over him. So now they got more recorded data on 'vampire' behavior (OK, so it's simian, vampire behavior) than humans have ever had in the last umpteen thousand years. And that chimp ain't the only one. Little, Miss Luna lights up on their computer screens too. And that dumb, selfish bitch IS a 'human,' or was anyway. So whatever goes on here at Chestnut Hill translates into a big, nasty vampire soap opera over in that complex they got under the navy yard. I told you about the miniturized video camera she's got right in one of her eye balls? You know about her unrestrained hootchie-ism. Well, so does fifty percentof  humanity. And when we narrow the label down to teenage humanity of the predominately male variety, the number spikes to eighty nine percent. Do they know she's a vampire? No, thank God. But they are a little bit indignant over the fact that all this quality entertainment comes through from the female's point of view, because they only see her body when she looks down at it. Video purists claim that tends to distort the image a little. Although those private moments when she's giving 'tickle candy' to herself are exceedingly popular. So far, the guys at the Bureau are real careful about leaking any of the vampire stuff. But Papa says it would not make a bit of difference even if they did. Come on, look how many self-limiting A-holes still refuse to even consider the possibility of life on other worlds. As if God took the time to dig out all these fish ponds and then somehow made up his mind to stock only one of  'em. See, Papa handles things differently when he goes out. He give 'em the 'stink eye.' He hypnotizes 'em and they don't know from nothin'. And the kids, them little ones, the elves and cherubs? Anybody sees them, they figure they're drunk or somethin', or like maybe somebody slipped a funny capsule down into their can a Diet Fanta. What little HAS shown up about them on the internet got quickly branded 'a hoax.' Just like they done with Rosewll..Man them dumb cattles don't even know they got ropes around they necks. What are you gonna do about it?.....

But Annie's been a little more nervous than usual. She got lots a people after her. Franklin and his boys wanna study her. And those people hiding behind the Vatican been makin' eyes at her too. What could be better than a newly formed, still relatively weak, whiny, little, stringy-haired girl vampire that they could control like a puppet? Can you imagine that? Shit, who the hell need Chuckie? At least this makes her behave a little better. That 304 year old, fat, bald hippie-lookin' dude and them Roman guys talkin' Latin into their super tiny cell phones are like the Boogie Man to her. And don't everybody know it. Oh, and Baylah? I didn't forget about her. She's gone back down to Atlantic City with her rich boyfriend. Not 'Lantic City actually. One of those little towns just to the south. Margate, I think it is. They got tickets for some big shows. I'll let you know who it is when I find out. And speakin' a 'name entertainment,' I gotta go relax. It's time for Zebulon to sit down and watch Liz Taylor on The Johnny Carson Show. And I don't wanna miss it..

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ANCIENT SOUVENIRS

Jonathon led Sarah into a small room off the central patio. It was empty. The historians had not gotten around to this area yet. He was relieved to see original tiles on the floor. They were, as yet, undisturbed. And one of them, in a corner was loose. It had always been loose. The workman left it that way. An eight year old Jonathon (they called him Yoni then) would bring him cool pomegranet juice. The man was appreciative and he said - Would you like a special hiding place, boy? Every little fellow your age should have one.......Jonathon nodded. So the artisan created a snug, tiny niche, right in the corner, where no one would ever tread. When it was done, he raised his finger up to his lips and went shhhhh. Jonathon giggled. He was happy to have this secret place. The grown members of the family rarely went in there. It was a spot for the children to prepare for their lessons and play their games. So when he was alone, he'd hide things....a small saint's statue from the Trinitarian quarter...two silver coins....a piece of Pascal Bread (matzoh) blessed by a revered Biblical scholar.....the skull of a tiny bird.. A thousand years had gone by. What was left? What could be left?

So he  got down on his knees, carefully pried up the orange-brown clay tile and looked. Sarah sat down and joined him. Well, the two silver coins were gone. Maybe someone else knew of his stash after all? Or maybe he'd spent them in the souk. Children so often forget. But the saint's statue was also missing. Did it have value? Did someone take it? Yet another mystery in the life of a vampire. The bless-ed piece of Pascal Bread had long ago fed tiny, hungry mouths. But the linen scrap of napkin used to wrap it was untouched. Odd, though far older cloth used to dress Egyptian mummies often survives. So why not this? He carefully picked it up and reverently began to examine it. The color had changed. No longer 'ivory,' it was now the shade of tea. Sarah asked - Is this what you were hoping to find?.....He whispered - Yes. He wrote a blessing on it, a blessing for me. He said that it would keep me safe and steady on the pathways of the Lord.......Jonathon laughed - I don't know? Did it do that?....Sarah leaned close and kissed him. But then they heard the watchman, as he stretched and moved his feet. So Jonathon carefully tucked the cloth into his pocket. They sublimated through the building and joined their guide, silently waiting out in the cool,still, ghostly moonlight.

Now, I recall something of that Biblical scholar. I remember that Pascal Meal. For Johannan is the teller of this tale. I am the 'disembodied spirit' here, in the Old World. And I was already in service to the ben Macabis went it took place. Let me drift about a bit. Allow me to collect myself. I'm sure I will remember what it was..... 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NO VAMPIRES THIS TIME..A NON FICTION LOOK AT EASY, FREE PUBLICITY

Sure we do this for fun. And there's probably a tiny bit of addiction behind it all too. But there's gotta be a place in everybody's brain that says - maybe I can monetize this?...maybe I can get the attention of some agent?..maybe I can really boost my 'indie' sales?...maybe, maybe, maybe...,So how we gonna get there? Easy (hopefully), free publicity, free promotions. And the means are right before us. All we have to do is maximize 'retweets,' maximize mentions. Don't be afraid, just do it. Pick somebody out of your 'feed' and start pimpin' everything they say. Retweet their link (actually the most important thing). Retweet their witty one-liners. Do it all. Then, when you're used to it, add a few other free clients to the list. If you want somebody to do the same for you...ask. If they don't cooperate, ask somebody else. Imagine what multiple retweets can do. They can transform a few hundred followers into thousands and rack up blog hits like bridge tolls. Also, if you do manage to track down some agent/promoter who's sympathetic to the new writer, pass it along. You can be discreet, yet still let people know here and there. I mean this is all common sense. The 'professionals.' who are already safe on the other side of the velvet rope won't help you. Sure, there are exceptions. But for the most part...X 'em off your list, because they WANT TO RESTRICT THE GENE POOL.....Since every 'Gene' they keep out means more cake for them.. You see them on twitter all the time. Who do they retweet? - panting fans desperate for a birthday shoutout, or somebody who can't fall all over them fast enough.. Shed a bit of light on a promising undiscovered talent?......Uhhhhh, nahhhhh, don't feel like it. Stop being blind. That's the way it is. Cousins and brother-in-laws, they already got. BUT...if we support each other and help boost hits, followers and numbers for everybody, certain individuals will eventually go viral (or if not viral, at least fungal) and then, they'll have to noticeYou can't win the prize if you don't play the game...And we've been ignoring a whole lotta free chips for too long.....THANK YOU and GOOD NIGHT.

A SPIDER SAMPLES THE TRUFFLES

Papa found a few things in the shops. The owners and sales people were all over him. He just had the 'look.' I don't know whether it stemmed from his human nature or his vampire nature, but it was there. They'd measure his inseam even if he was just looking at the socks. And this is sixty year old women, I'm talking about. Storekeepers would pat his shoulders and tell him how nice the jacket looked. They'd lightly run their fingers across his ass and say - These 'slacks' fit perfectly on you..... He never carried any bags or packages. Everything was sent right up to the house.  Picked up a little girl's patent leather, spring pocketbook for Annie too. Sure, she's disgusting, but every once in a while he feels sorry for her. So what if she fills it up with crunchy, dead cockroaches? That's her business.

When he was done in the stores, he stepped out onto the aged brick sidewalk and began to stroll. Ah, the warm, night air felt so good.  People gave him looks. He was used to that. Somebody'd mumble - Don't that guy look like Richard Gere?...Teen and twenty somethings smiled nervously, then giggled and flew away. But he had no time for such nonsense. Our 'Papa' had jucier morsels to fry.

He pushed open the plain, green door and went inside. The light was dim. Festive neon brewery signs decorated the wall behind the bar. And he found an empty table (a tiny two-seater) half way down the room. So he settled in and considered all the choices. Loud college types commandeered the bar. I don't know if they actually were in college, or if they'd recently graduated. But you get the picture. A few 'older' couples from the neighborhood occupied other tables along the wall. The waittress came over. He knew her and she knew him. . They tossed around a little playful banter and a minute or two later, she plopped a nice platter of 'crab' fries and a frosty mug of cold beer down in front of him. Was he contemplating a dietary change? I don't think so. But bait is bait and cushy young school girls with moist, dewy cheeks just love those hot, spicy 'crab' fries.

Sure enough, one such specimen struggled to find some tummy room at the bar. She turned, staring into the middle distance with an exasperated look on her face. Then, as if cued by some director, she blew a wisp of hair off her cheek (yes, it was dewy). Their eyes met and that was it. Papa motioned for her to join him. and she eaggerly slid her denim-clad tushy down onto the vacant seat. He started in with some by-the-book, unoriginal tavern-talk. Papa said - Boy, these crowds can be bruttal.....Miss Sweetie-Pie said - Yeah, tell me about it.....Then he offered her a few fries (she ate the whole plate). I guess 'crab' fries make humans thirsty, 'cause she downed that frosty brewski real fast too. I think she finished off another one after that. So it was only natural when they stepped outside for some fresh air.

Fifteen minutes later, she found herself lying eighty-five percent naked on the manicured greenery
of some out of the way, shadowy pocket park, with little memory of how the whole thing happened. So she picked up her clothes (he'd carefully placed them on a bench), put them on and went back to join her companions. And those two itchy welts on her neck? Probably a spider in the grass... A really big spider.

So, Papa didn't mind putting up with Luna and Annie and all the rest of the drama back at the house, for he'd already had his fun. True, it was only a taste. But when the fare is rich (as is the case with truffles and fine pate), a taste is quite enough.....

Monday, April 25, 2011

A WELL REMEMBERED DREAM

Jonathon stood outside the entrance to his family's Granada villa. The exterior wall was plain, covered in  a smooth, fine, creamy stucco. One stout, oaken door, stained dark red and girded with wrought iron bands broke the plain, featureless expanse. He touched it and traced a pattern across the wood. to the thick frame. It was there. The mezzuzah (prayer holder) was still there. What does it look like? Well, picture a little Bic lighter, but made from heavy silver. And inside is an old, small piece of rolled parchment, bearing some holy writ and a reminder to the householders that believers live  within. You know the Biblical passage that goes - Bind them (God's blessings and teachings) to the door posts of your house...? This is that. The 'young' vampire garped when he saw it, for he remembered the day his grandfather put it up. But how could that be? Silver ages. It tarnishes and ultimately wears away. Yet it was still here. He turned to the guide for explanation. The quiet man said one word - Reproduction.....And Jonathon understood. He saw the small, brass plaque off to the side and  read the words.....Tenth century villa. Jewish Quarter, Old Granada. Open for inspection 10am to 4pm weekdays...His home was a museum, a frozen representation of Spanish life long gone. He looked up. The same rounded mediterranean tiles graced the roofline, softly reflecting moonlight as they did on nights gone by......He spoke - There used to be a little cage, not so little actually, that hung by the door. My mother always kept some exotic bird in there. It was a very...Andalician 'thing.'.....I suppose the caretakers never got around to that. And during the day, the quarter was always cool. The narrow, carefully paved public streets never let down too much sun. That was reserved for our interior plaza. There was a fountain in the middle. Is it still there?...The guide nodded and said - Almost everything is as it was. Would you like to go in?........How can I? - asked Jonathon. It's late. They're closed.......Sublimate - said the man....Jonathon sighed and whispered - I'd actually forgotten the last one thousand years........Go - said the guide. and fear not, for the watchman is one of us. Probably dozing at that. Go. I will wait......So Jonathon reached out for Sarah's hand. And together they disappeared into a glittering aura and stepped back into the proud, Iberian past.......They condensed. His vampire eyes sliced through  the gloom. Tiny, dim, orange electric lights, made to resemble candles, rested here and there. Huge clay pots held thick, green palms and other cooling specimens. Water trickled down the multi-layered fountain. Heavy, rustic benches and lounges provided respite. During the day they were covered with thick, plush, colorful pillows. And a monkey or two used to scamper about....No, that was then, not now....Sarah whispered - It's beautiful...It's, It's like something out of Aladdin......You mean the Arabian Nights fable? - he said.......No, like the Disney movie.- she responded......He laughed. And she appoligized for saying the wrong thing. But he hugged her and was grateful..  They walked through opulent chambers and historic galleries. Sure enough, the old watchman was sleeping, snug against an alabaster pillar, fashioned in a spiral style known as 'Solomonica.' ....Then Jonathon quietly said - Come, there's something I'd like to show you........

A SILVER FOX STEPS OUT

It is quiet here. Let me see. Who do we have? There's Annie, the enchanted children, a few drab human familiars and Luna. Of course I am here too. 'Papa' endures. I hear the tick, tick, tick of the tall, wooden time keeping device. I see recordings of some 'Ellen' person dancing around and playing games with manic, screaming women. Sometimes I hunt the mice, just to keep sharp. No, I do not eat them. But two cats frequenting our trash cans seem very pleased with my donations.

Luna usually goes out alone. She has this routine. She'll get all tarted up, go to the door, then turn around and say - Well, gotta go scratch my itch.....And then she's off. I think she's got sublimation figured out. That's how she gets down into Center City. Edith, our human telepath, thinks she has her own familiars. You want to know something? I don't care. Just so she's there in our sleeping cabinet when I want to play a little slap and tickle . I still have my appetites after all.

Is Luna beginning to pile up her own wealth stash? Who the hell cares. Let her do what she wants. I hear those pathetic pseudo Vatican bastards are still poking around. I hope they find her. Let them throw a net over her. Lock her up in some oozing dungeon. Maybe she'll like that? Maybe that'll scratch her itch.

Annie, I think, is completely insane. You should see the little vignettes she sets up with her Barbie dolls and these huge, shiny, black roaches she finds down in the furnace room. Boy, I would hate to be one of her Ken dolls. They work hard for the outfits and plastic beach 'scuffies' she gives 'em. I will tell you that.

Speaking of outfits, I think I'm gonna pull this fine, sleek frame of mine together and go out onto Germantown Avenue. Those cozy, little multi-paned shops stay open late enough. Maybe I'll indulge in some stylish new haberdashery (is that the way they spell it?....I don't really care). Now tell me...what color form fitting, silk shirt goes best with salt and pepper hair? And short sleeved, or long, with the cuffs rolled up?  You know what? Think I'm gonna poke my head into McNullty's. See if I can't temp some frisky, little post grad into joining me. Maybe I'll teach her a bit about the 'Old World' way of doing things. Make her 'sing' a little. And, as many of you know, I am quite the proficient teacher.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

AND THINGS BEGIN TO HAPPEN

So Jonathon spent the night in that cave on the hillside. And Sarah was with him. He played madrigals on the ancient oud, his ancient oud, as the gypsy witch twirled and danced. Then when he laid down the finely made instrument, the dancing girl caught her breath and said - Please, let me feed you. Let me offer drink.....And she turned back her sleeves and held out her arms.....For you. For you and the lady - she said......Jonathon hesitated. There had been no vision. She was innocent, her witchcraft more a delusional game than a true manifestaion. So he said - Woman, I cannot do this......The gypsy girl turned to Sarah and explained - Tell him. Tell him this thing must be done........Sarah knew not what to do. She was dumbstruck. And the desperate woman went on - My child is sick. My magic worthless. The healers turn away from the poor. Take my blood and return it to him. Work the miracle and let him live.......But still she was met by silence.....Then Sarah spoke. She said - I will help you. But I will not take your life......The  woman said - Thank you.....And she held up her wrist. Sarah broke the skin and drank. When she was done, the woman clutched the wound to her breast. She turned to Jonathon and said - And you sir? Please humor a desperate mother...Tears ran down her dirty cheeks. She offered him the other wrist and he took it. The woman looked into his eyes questioningly. He understood. And he nodded. And he drank. But the woman did not die. For the life-eaters tempered their thirst. So three souls walked out from that cave in the third hour after midnight. And the two vampires followed the poor woman as she led them into a town and toward her cellar home. It was dark. It was cluttered. An old woman, the gypsy's mother kneeled by a make-shift bed cradling a sick, gasping child. And Jonathon heard a voice, the voice of Johannon, his faithful servant from long ago. The voice said - Use the gift. Lighten the burden and save this life. So Jonathon neatly bit into his lip and kissed the child, transfering a small drop of blood from himself to the young one. In two heartbeats time the child relaxed. The breathing eased. The crisis was over. Tears streamed down the grandmother's face, as she uttered prayers in Spanish and in Rom. But the dancing girl just smiled. For she knew it would end like this. And she squeezed Jonathon's hand  and thanked him. Then she hugged Sarah too. But Sarah said - What have I done?.....The mother whispered - You showed him the way............

So they stayed there in that cellar for the rest of the darktime and through the following day, when the grateful mother took them to meet someone waiting beyond a little, rushing stream. It was a man. They felt him to be a life-eater, but could not be sure. For the magic, or whatever it was hung quite thickly about him, masking his true essence. The strange man said not a word, not even a nod. He merely gazed into their eyes and pointed inland. Then he turned and left. Jonathon and Sarah hurried after him.

They walked till they came to a city, but quickly made their way through the more or less contemporary districts, before entering a well kept quarter of medieval homes. Jonathon whispered to Sarah - I know these smells. I know those stones. My fingers remember the stucco on the walls. My ears recall the singing. My heart feels every prayer......Sarah said - Where are we?.....But before her mate could answer, the silent guide turned round and said - We are home....... 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

LA CASA VIEJA...the old home

The waters of the Eastern Atlantic were cool and fresh. The summer heat had not yet begun to spill out from Africa. And the two young wolves of the sea cut through the waves with the strength of a pounding tempest. Light poured through the pliable, transparent barrier. Jonathon reveled in the clean, burning brightness. The spectacle was as new to him, for he had not seen it in centuries. Sarah's experience was somewhat different, as she still bore the tiny minute lines of last summer's tan. Schools of silvery, flying fish played all about them. And voices worked their way into his mind. Jonathon heard them. He heard one, in particular. He recognized the sound of it. A spirit voice? No, this one was different. It seemed to rise up from the heart of the great whale itself. And after a time...he knew it...Johannan,- he said. Is that you?.....There was a trembling silence, and then the reply....Yes, young master. It is I - said the voice........Where are you? - asked Jonathon......I am here. I am with you. I bear you up - answered the voice......And Jonathon knew that the voice came from within the whale itself. And he knew that the spirit of his faithful friend, the one who saved him from the Crusader fire so long ago, was the selfsame spirit of this great fish.. He cried. For he believed that all things happen for a purpose.  Then the voice died away. But he knew that he would be safe. And in this way they proceeded through the waters for two more days and two more nights, until the time came, an hour before the dawn, when it was over. Then the whales almost stopped and drifted toward the shore.  The protective membrane broke. And the two vampires were free. They kicked their legs and swam into the pounding surf.

Now the beach was empty. No others were witness, save the rugged hills in the distance . And Jonathon knew them. He remembered the place from his boyhood, as he rose up onto his feet. And he hugged Sarah and said - I am home. I have brought you to the place of my birth. Behold, the beauty of the Sepharad (seh-fah-RAHD). Behold the beauty of Andalusia. For we are in Spain. They began to walk through the moonlight, approaching a tiny campfire in the distance. A man was there, a thin man with clear, knowing eyes. He got up as they drew near and quietly spoke one word - Welcome. Then he held out a sack. Jonathon took it. And the man disappeared. Were they startled? No, their hearts accepted such things  as natural. Vampires move through magic as we move through the air. That's just the way it is. Sarah looked into the sack and found clothing and the two naked travellers began to dress. In the last moments before the dawn (the membrane no longer protecting them), they tumbled down into a small, winding secluded cave and slept, secure in the sheltering hills.

Word quickly spread among the life-eaters of the land. He is back. He is here. Tomas de Macabia (Jonathon ben Macabi) has returned. Now most were his friends. But enemies dwelt there too. And with the gloaming, as the sun went down, a young, human witch came forth to greet them. She carried an oud (old medieval, guitar-like instrument). And she passed it on to the 'young' vampirino. Then she laughed and danced and twirled, as he began to play.....

Friday, April 22, 2011

ZEBULON AND MATTERS OF THE SPIRIT

Things were quiet with the Chestnut Hill group. Quiet but tense. I guess it's because of Papa. He always gets that way around religious holidays. You see, he's so incredibly old, they don't effect him. And he only lets himself remember the scetchiest outline of his own people's beliefs. Jonathon's not there. Actually, he was the only one in the house following any  'organized' creed. Sarah was more or less culturally Protestant before her transformation. And Edith, although a Christian and  a good one, is a human. The Red Paint people? They're humans too. But their tribe or clan or whatever you want to call it is so old, they fall into the same category as Papa. Are they moral? Yes, they're moral. Are they loving? Of course they are. But all this Easter and Passover hoo-haa means nothing to them. It's just a big party that they're not invited to. No big dinners, or aroma candle parties in the case of the vampires. No inspirational observances. No memories with little ones. Just everyday life in a highly unusual situation.

But I have yet to mention the juvenile life-eaters. I have yet to speak of the elves and cherubs. True the youngest ones, the cherubs, know nothing of 'revealed truths.' They inhabit a realm quite innocent and pure. And., as you know, rarely, if ever, take a life. I suppose it's fair to say that they were the model  for what we read about in holy writ. They really ARE cherubs. The older ones, the elves, are a bit more complicated. They remember their past. They remember religion. And the memories are not often pleasant. For it was in the name of faith that they were sealed into casks and thrown into the sea. So, as children do, they distance themselves from such things. Are they aware of prayers? Are they aware of festivals? I guess so. But who invites them?

Now let me get to the other one. Twohundred and fifty years ago, when she was a slave, Baylah lived in a Protestant environment. And it wore away much of her Muslim past, but not all. She still remembered the unity of the Lord and the Revelation through Prophet Mohammed. She still remembered Holy Month and The Five Pillars. Was she free to practice? No. Those around her considered such things an insane affectation at best, and a demonic manifestation at the worst. Even now, she kept her creed to herself. Actually, she and Jonathon shared much. The overlap was asstounding. But slavery changed her. That's true in more ways than one. For it was her mistress who brought her over. So she talked to God in her own quiet way and sold alcohol to srtangers in a jewel-box, little bar.

Annie is a different case. She remembers things, like Easter egg hunts and mint jelly and Christmas trees and little Baby Jesus living in a rustic, little doll house with his Mama and her 'husband.' Does she miss them? Well, sometimes when she sleeps she does. For I've wriggled through her dreams and I know. Edith tries to include her. She'll give her a little Easter storybook. She tells her about the Bible and how she must always use her powers for good. But Annie doesn't get it. Look, she was messed up before she ever got here. Being a vampirina had nothing to do with it. Zebulon prays for that one. I'm trying to match her up with a good guardian angel. The one she was born with doesn't know what to do with her. Seems they don't teach much 'bout dealing with cases like that. She needs a heavenly defender well versed in 'special ed.'

So be glad and revel in the Season of Renewal deep within the warmth of your family. And remember us here in our commodious, glossy floored mansionette (not a McMansion) retreat. When you talk with God, make sure you send Him our regards. And tell him He's invited here whenever He feels like it.

I'll arrange for a disembodied spirit on the other side of the sea to fill you in on Jonathon and Sarah next time. Their killer whale chariots have passed the Azores and should be nearing the end of their duties. So joy to all and to all a good night...

Remember the Light that shines within you..........

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LUNA TAKES CHANCES

Luna was getting to be a pig, a regular vamp-tramp. She killed everyday. Not 'culled.' Notice, I did not say 'culled.' Visions had nothing to do with it for her. She went out. She wanted the money. She wanted the wallets. She wanted the watches and the jewelry, so she killed a fat pig and she took them. Papa knew. Baylah knew. But they didn't want no big confrontation so they kept their malf shut. Besides, Jonathon and his bride were off on their quest. He was the religious one. And with him out of the way, what did they care.

So every day when the sun went down she'd rise up and decorate herself like a regular dog's dinner. Classy, just barely, with a lot of flash. You know the look...Malibu meets Snookie. Then she'd go out and roll some big mouth, pinky-ringed, boarderline thief, like a mercenary extortionist MD, or a 'hand-in-the-till' accountant and have a good time. They got plenty of bars where people like that can mush up with each other. Luna was just a low down greasy whore. She'd love 'em up, kill 'em real good. Grab all the cash and bling-bling. Ain't no regular body to analyze when it's all done. Just a lot of sticky ooze. Hotel managers around town  starting to notice. They don't want no bad publicity. The cops can't stop it. Luna changes her 'look' all the time. They never get the same image twice on them hotel videos. It's hard to identify what's left smeared all over them sheets. Nobody wants to scare tourists and conventioneers away. So nobody says a God damned thing. And Miss Luna builds up quite the treasure trove. Most she converts into cash. She already has one guy (a familiar) workin' directly for her. How much is she worth? First you gotta realize this has all only been goin' on for a few weeks. So when you add up the gold Rolexes and the cash and everything else, it comes to just under a hundred thousand dollars. That's a good start. But this is one dangerous game she's playing. Let me tell you. Somebody gonna stick a fork in that greedy bitch.

And Doctor Franklin knows all about it. He's got her all wired up. But she don't got no clue. You should see him, sittin' on his shiny, little electric scooter, all dressed  up in his red Phillies tee shirt and matching sweatshorts, peering into that flickering screen. I don't know where he gets the video from, but he gets it. Maybe there's some real tiny miniature thing planted right in her eye? And you think he's gonna let her get picked up? I don't think so. He don't want nobody diggin' up all them chips outta her flesh and tracin' 'em back to him. The Anti-Enchantment-Bureau likes to keep a low profile. So I figure it's only a matter of time before he smash her down (maybe give her a nice sunbath), or pulls her back in and sets her up in his zoo-like freak show...Ladies and gentlemen! The mermaid hag! The full-blooded Jersey Devil! The cold-hearted vampirina!..Pregnant wimmen and pissy-pants wimpie bastards to the back!.... And you know what? That can't happen fast enough for me. I don't even know why I'm still telling you this. Zebulon wants to waft over to the Old World and see what Jonathon's up to. I  got a feeling he won't make straight for Jerusalem. That boy gonna stop in Spain. That boy wanna see the old neighborhood. Maybe take a run up to the Tin Islands, Britian, I think they call it these days, and relive the nights of his yoof. And some a them frou-frou blood-suckers they got over in them places know he's comin'.

Wait til you see what they got planned................

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UPON A FOREIGN SHORE..a storied port of call

'Shoreline' can have many meanings. It may be that place where the water meets the land. It can be a boarder, or a frontier. Sometimes it is the gosamer barrier separating the 'real' from the fastastical. Our two vampires were passing through such a membrane into a realm populated by the mer-folk. No daring explorer has ever seen it. For the sea-folk possess their own elusive powers and they can cloud the minds of those who come too close. But I am speaking of human minds. Vampires are something else. Besides, the whales brought them.

A cool blue-green luminosity rippled through this storied kingdom, conjured by an infinite variety of light-producing organisms. Jelly fish beacons lit ancient swim-ways. And other exotic creatures banished darkness in the dwelling places. A vanguard of mer-folk came out to greet them, peeling away the clear, vinyl-like substance holding them in place. True, they were groggy at first. But Jonathon and Sarah soon woke up. And their naked legs (not to mention other body parts) were quite the sensation in this municipality of sleek bodied swimmers. Curious fingers touched and explored. And telepathic signals flew through the water with the speed of summer lightning. The vampires could not understand all of it. But most of it was comprehensible. The power was different, yet basically the same. And the land miracle-makers discovered they were quite  comfortable under the sea. Air meant nothing to them. They breathed out of habit. A portion of their brains was just wired that way. But they could inhale water just the same. A little heavy at first. After a few dozen heartbeats not so heavy. Then it became completely natural.

A leader came forth. I would say she was some sort of queen. And a venerable 'woman' and fine beauty  too. She made some quick motions with her hands and tail. Those assembled instantly understood and a 'dance' ensued. Grab hands. Form a circle. Snap tails (if you have them). Move to the left. Move to the right. Kiss your neighbor. Then rush toward the middle and tickle the guests. This went on for a while. Had the mer-folk been born in Nebraska they'd be quite the square dancers (except for that part about tickling your naked guests).  And no island filled with willing Polynesians ever offered  a grander welcome. Refreshments were brought forth, succulent clams and oysters for the swimmy-people, fragrant salves and ungents for the leggy-ones.  Near the end of the festivities a mer-man came over and led them to a place of rest in a grotto-like, discreet, little sanctuary, where they slumbered upon a bed of rare seaweeds and grasses. The soft currents and eddies were exceedingly soothing.

When the restorative interlude was over, the queen returned. She 'told' them the fin whales could no longer carry them, for their kind rarely venntured into Old World waters. But new 'sporty' steeds came forth. Two, young, vivid sea-wolves. Killer whales they were. Bold and ready for the chase. Our vampires swam over. The mer-folk helped them get into position. And  when they were flush against the beautiful black and white hides, the same milky substance oozed forth to protect them, even from the sun. But these were creatures of the surface, used to jumping and vaulting through the waves. Jonathon and Sarah were in for quite a  ride. And the unexpected daylight passage was truly a gift. They cried to witness sea birds pierce the clear blue innocent sky.

And they had visions of the old sea hag, Doctor Franklin's mermaid prisoner. She laughed and clapped at the joy of it. For she saw it all through their eyes too........

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN

Jonathon and Sarah sat in the big glassed-in sunroom watching the surf. A weak moon peeked through the misty sky. Soon it would be time to go. She asked - Will it hurt?....He said - I don't thnk so.....She said - How do you be sure? How much do you know about this?.......He swallowed and answered - Not much. But I've heard about it. Papa came over this was. You know that. He made it. He didn't have any problem.......She said - Yeah, but he has a few years on us.......And she playfully punched his arm.

They walked through the large, stylish house and set everything right. Even the magazines on the cocktail table were straightened. The whole place was returned to it's Coastal Living Magazine perfection. Then they walked over to the large WaWa convenience store on Washington and Ventnor Avenues to buy some 'thank you' stuff. You know, cans of tuna fish, some bread for the freezer, a carton of ice cream, a bottle of soda, pretzels. Sarah wanted to do that. Humanity was still fresh within her and she was raised right. Baylah's human boyfriend will be very pleased.

After that, they went back, stocked the kitchen and left. Jonathon locked the door and returned the key to its hiding place under the deck. They stepped down onto the cold, empty beach and took a few deep breaths. Then they kicked off their shoes and headed a few hundred yards or so downbeach toward the giant elephant shaped building. She looked right out to sea. Her port-hole-like eyes reflecting the moonbeams on the water. No one else was around. A few early season lights punctuated some of the windows in the Island House condominiums.But they were safe, for only the stars looked down. Sarah said - Will I feel the cold?.....Jonathon said - Yes, but what can it do to you? Nothing. It's just pain...and we're vampires, so don't worry.

He led her down to the foamy surf line and started to take off his clothes. Sarah followed his example. When they were naked, she started to cry. He kissed her and squeezed her hand. They stepped into the icy broth, barely fifty degrees farenheit, two perfect statues, bathed in silver light. And they walked into the ocean, never once looking back. She gasped. Her muscles tensed. His did too. But they went on. Strange creatures brushed against their legs. But they keep going. Soon they had to swim. Sometimes they drifted apart. But not by much. He always found her. After a while the shoreline faded to a thin, bright line behind them. Then it disappeared. All was silent. And they went on, alone in all the universe, floating between the never-ending sea and the never-ending firmament above. After a time, mournful notes echoed in the distance.

The princes of the sea drew near, proceeded by their song. Huge whales, fin whales. None greater save the royal blues themselves. And they passed under the vampires, slowly rising up toward the surface, until Jonathon and Sarah laid flush against their backs, he riding one and she upon another. Then he said - Now, bite in.....And she did, sinking her teeth into the blood-rich, rubbery skin.. He did the same. They sped along this way until the whales went under, taking them down into the bottomless depths. A milky fluid oozed up from the leviathans encasing the vampires in a protective insulating layer. And the blood pumped forth to nourish them. Pressure meant nothing. Cold meant nothing. They were safe. Soon they began to dream the great dreams of the endless sea, barely noticing the pod of mer-folk come close to take their measure. They flew over the crests of massive, never-seen peaks and skimmed just above firey orange, undersea lava flows. Giant squid waved as they went by. And other creatures, as yet unnamed by man saw too. And in this way they progressed, spanning the distance between the new world and the old............

SOME THINGS TO SHARE

Back in Chestnut Hill, things went on in the usual way. Papa took his sport with Luna plus other willing partners throughout the city. She was beginning to understand things and had collected a bauble or two from her last victim. Soon she'd be self sufficient. And you want to know what Zebulon things? Well, I'll tell you. It's gonna be 'good bye' Chestnut Hill for that girl. She's gonna go rougue. She's gonna go maverick. And Papa won't even care. Doctor Franklin will be happy. Then he'll really be able to study her. Remember, she's got them chips and all. So that's what I know about Luna.....

Annie is another story. She should be like the younger elves, but she's not. And they don't know why. Papa doesn't think about it. But he feels responsible. After all, he made her. And he knew it was wrong when he did it. But he was angry and when Papa's angry...shit happens. So we'll have to watch that one. She needs guidance. Maybe somebody will come along and help her? I don't want her to wind up some variation on a Johnny Jump Up theme. That's no life for a little vampire girl....

Speaking of that one, J.J.U., I mean. I received a visitation from Mary French last night. She's doing fine. Back with her loved ones and all. Told me her real name, but I forgot. Anyway, she and hers are still trying to tame that skinny ghoulish bastard. The operative word is 'trying.' Because he doesn't want to cooperate. But Babylon wasn't raised in a day. So this will take time. When you go out on the streets at night...be prepaired..

Jonathon and Sarah are waiting in Baylah's human boyfriend's beach house (try saying that one fast). It's not far from their Lucy the Elephant jumping off point. Gonna be an ordeal. I wouldn't want to do it. But some of the vampires who have claim it's also very spiritual. Remember, Papa did it. So we'll have to wait and see.

Please come back later tonight at about 10 or 11 o'clock. It should be ready by then. Our best to all for a joyous season of renewal.......from the wonderland

Monday, April 18, 2011

A VAMPIRE CURES THE SICK

Jonathon and Sarah got their stuff together and left the shuttered fitting room of the old Value City Store on Tilton Road. Six more miles and they'd be in Margate, right by Lucy the Elephant. Lucky the sinks in the restroom still worked, so they cleaned themselves up a bit before hitting the road. The pressure was low, but that was all right. Vampires don't attract too much dirt. Sarah was nervous about the sea crossing and all. He told her they didn't have to do it that night. It could wait. Besides, The Passover was starting. And you know how Jonathon feels about that. They hoisted their knapsacks up into place and set off, walking through the 'off shore' town of Northfield, past neat, little strip malls and cozy neighborhoods of well-kept, sea shore cottages. Next came the meadows. Wet lands really, bisected by a narrow causeway leading onto Absecon Island. Atlantic City commandeered the northern half. The picture book hamlets of Ventnor, Margate and Longport held down the rest. Things were quiet when they reached Margate. Some folks in town were celebrating The Passover. And Jonathon had something special planned. I guess you could say he was gonna stage a little miracle. You know, like he and Baylah did a few months back at The Olive Garden Restaurant and that synagogue on North Broad Street. Papa don't like that kind of stuff. He's gone through a 'low profile' stage. Jonathon too. But this night is different from all other nights. So they quietly walked through the chilly, cozy streets till he saw a house with warm, golden lights shining out from the diningroom windows. A family was inside. You could see through the glass. Looked like they were having a Seder.(a passover service in the home)  Some nice old guy, probably the pop-pop, appeared to be leading things. And one chair, pulled up to a carefully arranged place setting , was empty. In case you don't know, that's the seat for Elijah the Tishbite, the prophet charged with announcing the coming of The Messiah. They say, he'll miraculously enter the homes of the faithful on this blessed night. You can tell if people observe this practice, because they'll leave the front door slightly open. Just like the folks in this house. So Jonathon whispered to Sarah - Just stay quiet and follow my lead...... Now some of the people in her mortal family were Protestants and a few were Jews, so she sort of had an idea what he planned to do.  Did she approve? Well, I don't want to get involved with that. But she went along with it and quietly followed, as he went up to the storm door and knocked. Right away, some nice floppy-ear dog bounces up barking and wagging its tail. Some guy pushes his chair back and runs over to see who it is. Jonathon gives him his best 'demi-angelic-host' look and says - Good holiday, my friend. Have you a seat for a weary traveller?...The guy's mouth falls open. He can't find any words. He doesn't know what to say. He can't believe this is actually happening. An old lady chimes in from the diningroom - What? Who is it? What does he want?.....Jonathon and Sarah stepped 'round their speechless greeter and entered the crowded room. Small children gigggled. Adults looked puzzled. The pop-pop put down his wine glass and stood up. He said - Who are you? What can we do for you, my boy?......The old lady cackled - Didn't I just say that??...But her sister-in-law gave her a pinch and shut her up quick.......Jonathon beamed forth with his most beatific smile and said - My name is Eli...May I rest at your table?.......Then he sublimated through a corner of the over-sized, mahogany buffet (in truth, that room did have a little bit too much furniture) and sat down in the empty seat. They all saw it. The sister-in-law almost fainted. Pop-pop plopped down in his chair. The old lady broke out in a fit of crazy, nervous laughter and said - Does this mean you're gonna bring Lou (her late husband) back??...Jonathon just smiled and said - All in good time. All in good time.I think she was actually a little relieved....And then there was silence...No one knew what to say.....An older kid, about ten, pointed at Sarah and said - Who's she?....Don't ask questions! - yelled the sister-in-law...Yeah, don't ask questions! - echoed Pop-pop. She's probably like his, uh...his, uh...secretary!...That seemed to satisfy everybody. And the 'secretary' was lead to a spot at the children's table. Then a little boy with loose, curly, honey colored hair climbed down from his place, went over to Jonathon and tugged on his sleeve. Our benevolent vampire leaned down. And the wide-eyed, little fellow said - Do you wanna help me say The Four Questions?....Everybody laughed good naturedly. Jonathon lifted the cuddly bundle up onto his lap and the Seder continued, as the floppy-ear dog curled up by his feet. Now, I really can't say that Jonathon and Sarah 'ate' much. But they were miraculous beings after all, not pigs at a buffet. What would you expect?....Pop-pop appreciated Jonathon's authentic Hebrew accent and he never noticed when the enchanted traveller tapped a tiny drop of blood into the crystal decanter of wine. But no one at that table would ever get sick for a very, very, very long time.......And thus did our magical twosome spend the First Night of The Passover and their last night in The New World, before continuing on with their special journey........So if you observe The Feast of The Exodus, or The Feast of The Resurrection, please accept Zebulon's wishes for a nice one.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A MONSTER DOES A DANCE

Meanwhile, back in Center City, Baylah saw Johnny Jump Up. It was late, maybe an hour and a half before the dawn. He was sitting on a thick, granite slab blanketing an ancient grave in a small, black-iron-fenced, Old City church yard. The shadows were thick. The street light didn't penetrate much. And he's so painfully skinny, it's hard to see him anyway. But he was there. She stopped, just to make sure. He saluted her and grinned. Dried blood caked the corners of his mouth. Had he just eatten? She did not know. Was it human? She did not want to know. So she gave him a curt, little nod and continued on her way. But about two heartbeats later, something hit her back. It startled her. She spun around, as only a vampirina can and saw that it was a roughly severed human thumb. When she peered back into the church yard, the evil spectre was not there. Baylah whispered a prayer and continued on her way. The cold can't harm a vampire, but that doesn't make it any more inviting. After a couple blocks, she broke into a steady trot and raced the whole way home. The boney, night leaper was still hungry. There is only so much a little, dead, cherub girl can do. And although she gave him a tiny bit of agita, she couldn't completely put him off his feed. So he dripped down into the subway to see what he could find. Few people bothered with that obscure, oozing, neglected spur near Chinatown. But two dumb, young girls did. Oh well, at least they wouldn't be dumb for long......

Things happen fast in the city. The dim, green station lights flickered. And then they saw him leaning in a corner. The first girl whispered - Don't look. There's something wrong with him.....The second girl just nodded. They stared straight out over the empty tracks. Steam hissed from somewhere down the line. A dusty night pigeon fluttered down from the iron rafters. It's eyes burned red like blood. The corpse-like being laughed. The girls slid close together. He sprang up to his feet and began to caper about, in a little dance. His heels clicked smartly against the concrete. The second girl laughed. But she stopped and almost swallowed her tongue when the lights went out. At least she could not see him as he made the monstrous leap and snatched the other quiet one away. Pity darkness doesn't hide the screams.............. Three minutes later, when the roaring train arrived, the unfortunate souls encased within saw just what happens to dumb girls after dark....But the heads were never found..........

A TRAVELLER CONTEMPLATES THE CROSSING

The basement/pantry was comfortable enough. It was clean and orderly. Best of all, there were no windows. The guy who owned the diner didn't even judge them. He wasn't even surprized. His daughter was a 'goth' kid and he had a few magic type tattoos. I suppose he thought it was all the same thing. Maybe he was a little bit sceptical. But when Jonathon sublimated his hand through the glass panel of the big fish tank in the dining room and nothing happened, that clinched it. So the two vampire vagabonds slept between seven fifty pound sacks of russet potatoes and a whole lot of boxes of paper napkins. The glossy painted cement floor was freshly mopped. Jack, the owner gave them a blanket from the office (sometimes he napped on the old couch). And their knapsacks stuffed with clothes from the mall, served as pillows. The two Mexican kids who helped out were told they were just a couple of down on their luck travellers. That, they understood, since it wasn't so different from the way they came into the country. So they slept. And Jonathon had dreams. He saw his family. He saw the villa with the cool, central patio. He heard the bubbling fountain. Sheba and Jezebel (the two parrots) screamed and laughed in the shade. All were busy, prepairing for the coming of The Passover. His mother loved this season. She ran it like a sea captain. All the best foods (appropriate to the celebration) were carefully stored in the Passover Larder (used only at this time of year). Fresh, new clothing for every member of the household filled chests and cabinets throughout the bed chambers. And relatives arrived from throughout the great Caliphate and storied lands beyond. He could smell the cooking, rich and fragrant with safron and celantro. Uncles spoke of various matters by the fountain. Some used Arabic, others conversed in the newer Iberian idiom. Servants played softly upon ouds, guitarras and tambourines. If only the dream would never end. But it did. He awoke. One of the workers came in for a big can of corn and that disturbed him. So he laid there and allowed himself to wander into Sarah's dreams. He saw a small dog and an old doll. Then she drifted back into the gray, warm shadows.

Jonathon thought about the future. He thought about the crossing. The princes of the sea would help them. Papa made such a journey. But he never had. He came over on the good ship The Welcome, with The Lord Protector himself. He came over with William Penn. So this would be an ordeal for him. To Sarah, it might be a nightmare. Yet they had no choice, For an angel of death is still an angel. And somebody spoke his name. So in a day or two they'd reach the Jersey Shore. Baylah suggested a stretch of beach a few miles south of Atlantic City, right in front of Lucy the Elephant, a seven story tall finely maintained, nineteenth century structure built in the shape of a pachyderm. It has a towering howdah and everything. Even has a trendy, carriage trade refreshment bar. You need a good portobello burger? Get it there. Not that Baylah ever did, but her human boyfriend (the one with the nearby beach house) occasionally indulged. In a few nights, they'd stand on that stretch of sand and wade out into the forty eight drgree water. No one would see. Not that late. Then they'd paddle out to the encounter. It might take a while. But the moon will be bright. And what does cold water mean to a vampire? The whales would rise and they'd unite, carrying them across the great, salt sea and through the Pillars of Hercules. Jerusalem...He had never been there.....but soon he would...Then he leaned over and kissed his dear companion...For in a short while her life would change as much as his...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

JONATHON AND SARAH START A JOURNEY

A cold, spring rain came down on the Chestnut Hill district. The large, commodious houses and newly green lawns sat silent and wet. Diners hurried along picture book shop-lined walkways, disappearing into small, warm, finely decorated restaurants, as the gray, chill light slowly died. And in their own retreat, a short stroll away, the vampires woke up. Everyone gathered in the living room. A warm, orange fire brightened the hearth. Annie played Barbie Funeral on the rug. The larger specimens settled into the rich upholstery and talked. Papa (no one really called him 'Jimmy' anymore) spoke. He said - Then it's settled. I'll keep this place going. It'll be me, Luna, shithead (gestured toward Annie) over there, the humans and the 'children.'.......They never questioned why Annie wasn't like the other juvenile vampires. No one wondered why she differed so from the elves and cherubs. She just did. And that's the way it was....So Jonathon (also known as Tomas) nodded. Sarah squeezed his hand. He cleared his throat and said - Thank you. It's just that I have to go. I have to do this. I must give thanks for my Redemption......He was referring to The Passover and The Exodus. The faithful believe that every soul  who did, does, or ever would believe was present at that sacred time and each in their turn was brought forth for a purpose. And Jonathon really believed. I mean when you talk to him, you'd think books of the Bible were still being written...Who knows?.....Papa said - Is there anything you need? What can we give you?......Nothing - whispered Jonathon......For the faithful were instructed to rise up and go, taking no food save the bread of faith (matzoh, the absolute minimal form of nourishment imaginable). True, he could not eat that, so he would go out with even less. Sarah was a little afraid. Where would they sleep? That was her main concern. When she voiced it, he just told her not to doubt. So she didn't. Or rather she pretended she didn't. And that was it. They got up, kissed everybody, even Annie, pulled on their coats, inhaled and left. Edith said a prayer as the fine, oak door clicked shut behind them. Papa brushed a discreet tear from his eye. Remember, Jonathon is his vampiric son. Luna just sat there inspecting her nails.

So they walked, always making for the east. For Jonathon was heading to the coast. did he still plan to visit Japan? Maybe, but first they'd go to Jerusalem. They'd walk down into the sea and travel with the whales. Sarah's heart raced just thinking about it. But he held her and she was strong. No one was culled. They kept to themselves, making their way down small streets and forgotten lanes. They slept in abandoned cellars, sometimes with the homeless. And while the poor folk slumbered, Jonathon would bless them with a drop or two of his blood, so that they could survive.When they came to the Delaware River, they crossed on foot, stepping up onto the pedestrian walkway bordering The Benjamin Franklin Bridge. (Doctor Franklin loved that one) And the journey continued, two bedraggled souls off to save the world...or at least a few, tiny parts  of it....

Friday, April 15, 2011

VAMPIRES MAKE LOVE AND PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

The vampires were no help. They still couldn't catch Muggs. The Anti-Enchantment-Bureau didn't know what to do. Thirty something thousand years worth of vampires didn't know what to do. And the killer monkey wasn't even in the area. He jumped on the back of a farm truck loaded with bales of hay. When the sun came up, he just made a little hidey-hole and burrowed in. It was instinctive. Nobody had to tell him. And now he's somewhere in up-state New York, terrorizinng early spring nature lovers in the Adirondacks. But let some up-state New York disembodied spirit report on that. I got other crap to worry about. Annie didn't kill no animals at the zoo. But she did bite the tails off a bunch a angry monkeys. I think that little bitch got a thing for monkeys. Maybe 'cause she acts like one herself. And then she takes one of the bleeding tails, bites her tongue and slurps some a her blood all over the shreaded up end, which she proceeds to stick right in the middle of a screamin' monkey's forehead. Well, you know how their blood is, the vampires, I mean, so it sticks and it takes root. She starts laughing. The dazed monkey don't know what to make of it. The other tail-less monkey's are looking like they just seen God or something. Then they start spitting on their disconnected tails and trying to jam  'em back in place. Only that don't work. So they got these burnin' wounds right over they're asses and they can't do much about it, save pick up monkey turds and wing 'em at Annie's face. She would a liked to reciprocate, only she don't produce no turds. So she just sticks out her tongue (I do think she got a little bit a monkey poo on it, but what's a little noxious contagion mean to her), jumps over the moat and runs away. Now don't expect to read that story in the paper, unless you subscribe to The Supermarket, Fat Slob, Front Step Gazette. And the television ain't gonna say nothing either. Wanna know what happened? In the morning, when the 'authorities' saw the results ( especially that little fore-head-tailed bastard), they euthanized all them critters and shipped 'em off to some lab. Not Doctor Franklin's place. These were official assholes from down in Washington. You know, with the mirrored sunglasses and clenched jaws. That's how you tell.

Later, when Papa and the others got back from Jersey, he almost tore that stringy-haired demon apart. These vampires been gettin' so much attention lately, they might as well sit and wave on Oprah. See, I'm starting to think Baylah's the smart one. She loves 'em. She visits 'em. But she stays away. I mean she gets enough attention just from lookin' like Beyonce. What else does she need? And the elves and cherubs always keep a low profile. You don't have to worry about them. It's them full growed, hoomin bean vampires I'm worried about. They been seen at The Olive Garden. They been seen at synagogues. People watch 'em on the You Tube. Hell, I think Papa showed up on TMZ for a few seconds. His hootchie-girl's sex tape, I mean. Jonathon feels real bad about what's been happening lately. You know how quiet he is. Sarah feels it too. Is this why God made him a vampire? (that's how he looks at it...to him, it's no joke) Is he nothing more than some comic-book character? I can read his mind. That thousand-year-old-Andalisian-Spanish-Jew is extremely depressed. Sarah sits with him. They whisper and talk. Oh, it's quiet here now. Papa scared that Annie thing real good. Sent her back to the corona of the sun for a little while. You know she don't like that. Shit, who would? Make a two thousand foot tidal wave comin' at ya look just like a drop a piss. I think they're gonna leave, Jonathon and Sarah, I mean. He wants a go to Japan and help cure people bewitched by too much magic dust. Radiation particles, I think they call it. Papa tells 'em to do what they want. What's time mean to him? They'll be back...I guess.. Right now they're downstairs in a resting cabinet. We can hear that door bangin' back and forth all over the house and this a BIG house and thats a heavy, tight door. So there some serious vampire lovin' gone on down there. Edith and the Red Paint folks came back. They're sittin' in the kitchen playing canasta or something. Look at them. Like they don't hear a thing. I just hope they don't bust that skinny, old, copper water pipe between the cabinet and the wall. Last thing we need around here is a flood. Papa wants to decompress too. He's in another cabinet. But all he got in there with him is a hand-held video game. And at the rate he goin', I give those buttons about two more minutes........Ooooh!! I just seed into Jonathon's mind, hers too! You know vampires can slap together these alternate 'dream' universes when they want (that's how Papa scares Annie). Wanna know where they are? In Centaur Land. You seen that old opera-cartoon, Fantasia? Well then you know what I mean. Man, for substantially sized creatures, them horse people can really twist theyselves into unusual positions.....Don't bother me no more. Zebulon is busy.............

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SPRINGTIME WITH THE WEIRDOS

The monkey got away. They couldn't control him. Doctor Franklin had chips and wires all over him. But it didn't do any good. Some signal played around with their signal and the whole thing went ka-blooey. Later, they traced it to some kid in Winslow Township with a faulty X-Box 360. So they couldn't shock the killer monkey. They couldn't make him feel like he was choking. And he just had a ball. Pulverized that poor guy from the 'criminal' pool. Drained him dry. Ripped him to shreads. Feed the guts to some raccoons. Did a dance. What do you want me to tell you? He did it all. Then he runs so far to the south, he comes to that little road that connects Route 73 to The Black Horse Pike. You know, the one that's covered with trees and all. It's got some houses, maybe a convenience store or two, but mostly trees. He's screamin'. His chimp muzzle is all red and bloody. Pulled his pants off. Wouldn't wear clothes. Couldn't keep nothing on him. Swinging from the trees. That's what he was doing, swinginng from the trees. This family sees him. They were heading down to Ocean City. The kids were sleepinng in the back. Mom starts screaming - The Jersey Devil! The Jersey Devil! Dad has a minor heart attack (that's what the medics said). Plows the Honda into a tree. Air bags go off. Some drunk guy runs out of a farm house with his pit bull and a gun. He starts shooting at it. The killer, vampire monkey, I mean. But it flips him a 'kiss my ass' sign. They taught him that at the Bureau.  Then it just tears off back the way it came and disappears. Internet lights up. TV stations jump on it. The drunk and his dog are local celebrities. No, really. They're gonna be on The Today Show or something. I think the wife is gonna go with him. The husband's still laid up. The kids, I don't know about. Oh, they're OK. I'm talkin' 'bout goin' on the show, I mean. Franklin and the Bureau call Luna. She's that new vampire who used to work for them. They got her all hooked up. But she don't know it. They ask her to get some of her new friends out there. I mean nobody wants an actual vampire, even an ape one, to fall into questionable hands. Jeeze, could you imagine if Al-Quida got hold of one? So the vampires go running over to Jersey. Not the elves. They stayed home with the little ones. Edith went with the vampires. Most of the Red Paint people did too. Because they're all from around there. I think Charles stayed back. And wilkravitz is there. But the rest? They're out playing Smokey and the Bandit. Oh, yeah, and Annie, we don't know where she is. That little thing ran off somewhere. But I got a funny feeling she winds up at the zoo, probably tryin' to kill an animal or something. Hope a polar bear knocks her head right off. One swipe. Just one big swipe. Teach that little bastid a lesson.

And gettin' back to personal matters, lovey-dovey matters, Roland is all quiet. Even for an elf kid. He's all messed up over what happened between him and Luna. Lucky she had to leave for a night or two. The Bureau says they got these 'dark' vans where they can hole up during the day. I'm glad she's gone. He tries to explain it all to Albion and the two elf girls. But they basically have brains like kids, sixteenth century kids, and they don't really understand. Boy, talk about corrupting a minor. Shows you can be over fourhundred years old and still be a baby. We'll have to see how this one-night-romance thing plays out. Maybe Papa can like banish the memory or something.

Oh, getting back to the others, Baylah didn't go. She didn't get the call...BUT, she did call here after the others left. Seems Johnny Jump Up was sauntering down the street right passed her place just before dawn. She saw him. She looked right through the drapes. Six inches away he was. But he made like he didn't even see her and he just kept bouncing along. Only his fingernails looked bloody. That, she could see........

Springtime with the weirdos....But we ain't weird....I'm just saying what regular people would think.......Zebulon the Great...signing off...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SCIENCE AND MAGIC...IN THE WONDERLAND

Roland will finish his story soon. But sommething came up and I want to tell you about it. Doctor Franklin and the guys at the Bureau have been doing some experiments on J. Fred Muggs, the killer, vampire chimpanzee. It appears that he needs a 'kill' on the average of once a week. They gave him victims from the criminal cache they keep for such purposes. Only it's not the same. He's like an animal. OK. OK. he is an animal. And apparently he has to hunt. He craves it. Without the chase, he grows lethargic and depressed. So they've been driving him out to remote sections of the Jersey Pine Barrens, just a few miles further out from where Edith and the Red Paints are from. There ain't no 'Devils' (Jersey Devils, I mean) around there, so they don't have to worry about him depleting a threatened species or anything. He still winds up with one of the guys from the criminal cache. They truck one out, kick him in the ass and let him loose. But  first they tag him with this little camera. Muggs is all wired up too. Then its 'release the hounds!' And they sit back and watch. No one has ever studied a vampire like this. Sure, he's only 99% the same as a human vampire. But beggars can't be chosers. Some monitors record vital signs, body temerature, brain waves, physical arousal, everything. So far it all looks quite natural. He reacts just like any other large predator. We still can't tell if he hones in on scent, or sound, or something else. It's exciting. Papa went once. This means a lot to him. Remember, what we call organized religion happened when he was already over twentythousand years old. Sure, his people were reverent and observant in their own way. That's why they sent him out to bring back a life-eater. But nobody back then was as dogmatic as most groups get today. So Papa's always had his doubts. Jonathon doesn't. He don't work that way. It's a 'call.' He got it from Heaven. It's a job. God wants it. That's it.  Me? I don't know. Sure, I'm a disembodied spirit. Yeah, I've been allowed to peek into Heaven a few times. But don't ask me who built the place. What? You wanna know if I've ever felt the presence of God? Well, I think I did. I hope that's what it was. But I don't know. Look, what I know and what I believe are two different things. Sometimes three different things. So we're gonna have to see how this all plays out. And even then, all we're gonna know is a little more about the fundamentals of vampirism. Can you imagine the PBS special they'll make out of this one!? Little kids would watch it. They'd yell - Mom! Can I become a vampire when I grow up?..........Mom yells back - Sure, just so you go to med school first!.........Well, Zebulon don't see any contradiction in that.....Now getting back to Muggs. When he drains the blood, it all goes into his stomach, just like normal food would. Only it don't futz out his ass and turn into vampire turds. He wears these special diapers. They'd know. What happens is, it fizzes up and eventually disappears into nothing. They're pretty sure his body absorbs moisture from it. But that's all they know. Franklin wants to hook up one of the human vampires. So far he's got no takers. Not even Luna and she grew up with him. Oh, yeah, something else. A guy at the bureau has this plan. He wants to use Muggs to  take care of Johnny Jump Up. He thinks Muggs could kill him in a 'fair' fight. Can you imagine, a 'fair' fight between a killer monkey and a zombie-like, anorexic corpse? Man, which cable network gonna pay for the rights to that one?! J.J.U. has been a bit quieter though. Edith says it's little Mary French doing it. You know, that little cherub baby he killed. She says her soul is calming him. I don't know. I pray to God (I hope it's God) she's right.....Look, Roland wants to finish his story. He's a good boy. You should see him playing Tickle Me Elmo with the cherubs. They love that doll. Could play with if for hours. I'm gonna go 'poof!' inside his brain and call him over. Charlie, the Red Paint guy can fill in with the little ones.......

It is I, Roland. I appreciate this opportunity to communicate with you once more, praise The Lord...All would have been well with my sister and I, for we soon learned to forsake the regular travellers and focus on the outlaws, of which there were many. Our habits became tied to the full moon. We killed but once each month. Well, once each lunar month to be exact. And our needs were met. I'm sure there are still others like us inhabiting remote forests all over the world. But theives knew of our cave. In the past, some of them used it to hide treasure. And some of them came back. They crawled through the twisting, narrow passages, coming upon us as we slept. You might think a vampire would wake up at the slightest stimulation. But we were children. We were innocent. We were tired, so we slept. The theives, being wise to the ways of the underworld, knew us for what we were. And in an effort to gain favor with the mayor of a nearby town, not to mention the bishop, they informed on us. That night when we got up to go on our rounds, they caught us. There were dozens of them. They waved torches. They swung clubs annd jabbed with swords. Now today I know about sublimation. I know about flying. I feel my powers. But this was back during our first weeks. We knew nothing. So we cried. We curled up on the ground protecting our wounds. Fawns brought down by wolves. They bound us in chains. Two heavy, iron chests were dragged out. They threw me into one and my sister into the other. We cried. We begged. We pleaded with them not to seperate us. But they just laughed. I never found out what happened to my sister. And I don't know where they took me, or how long I was in there. The monthly hunger came and went. My body grew weaker. But I could not die. Now it seems there were other vampire round ups,  young ones, elves like me, I mean. And a few others were jammed into the chest with me. They hoisted us up onto a strong waggon and drove  to a jagged, rocky cliff, where they hurled us over into the cold, churning sea far below. The currents brought us out into the depths. Could we drown? No. But it still hurts when your lungs fill up with salt. My companions tried to pray. That did not last long. For a soothing spiritual balm began to settle upon us, wrapping each in pleasant memories and dreams. Now the princes of the sea, the great whales, sensed our presence. And they patiently nudged us along until we washed up upon a New World coast.....But I still never found my sister........

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ROLAND'S TALE

So Luna coupled with Roland. Papa did not care. What is that to him, save yet another sensation? It's like a human who eats strawberries and then gorges on chocolate. Do the strawberries hate the chocolate? That's how he felt. After all, it's not as if he hasn't eaten a lot of chocolate in his time. He took her by the hand, undressed her and threw her in the 'resting' cabinet. Then he jumped in to join her. Enough said. But Roland was changed by the experience. It brought back memories of a time when he was close with other mortals. He recalled the days of his 'human' life, for the physical sensation of intimacy is very much the same for both the living and the 'dead.' He remembered a place in old Normandy. Some sort of plague had just blown through, transforming half the populace into fly food. His mama and papa were gone. One elder brother was off fighting for the Duc and really not much more than a slave. Another chanted prayers in a monastery far away. Only his sister was left. She tried to run the shop. She tried to sell the cloth. But it was hard. Who could she buy from? Plague eats weavers too, you know. And little by little, they starved. Oh, there was a small vegetable garden out back, but it was not enough. And those even worse off pilfered what little grew there. Maybe they would set off for the monastery? Maybe the brother could do something for them? But sixteenth century highways were dangerous, indeed, not much more than glorified foot paths. And cut throats fell from the trees. Yet what choice did they have? So one day, after attending mass and visiting the communal graves, they set off. Some pilgrims rode on horseback, or reclined in stout carts. But Roland and his older sister, Clothilde, just walked. Their few possessions were lovingly packed into small bundles and carried upon their backs. It was said poor travelers could live on the crab apples growing along the way, plus the occasional roasted squirrel. Well they were as poor as any, so squirrel it would be. He had a knife and she had two rigid hat pins. They had no other weapons. But what brigand would set his sight on prey as low as them?  Such innocent souls they were...So unknowing...Outlaws hunger for many things.

Now there came a night when they stopped to rest under a thick bush. It appeared safe. Who could see them there? They had the remnants of a fat, charred rabbit and a half filled water skin from a nearby brook. So they layed down their burdens, carefully nibbling at the food and sipping the drink. Then they wandered off to pee and slept. All seemed peaceful under the soft, weak light of a clear, half moon. But later, at the hour when their monk brother droned cold, night prayers in a chapel far away, a stranger came upon  them. He was sleek and fit, untouched by the plague, for he moved through the shadowy darkness with the grace of a weasel. It was their night breath gave them away. Not quite a snore, but loud enough. Besides, scent alone was enough for this one. For he carried a magical burden, one he cared to share. Clothilde felt the hand press against her mouth. She opened her eyes, half expecting it to be her brother warning her about some approaching danger. But then she saw the evil smile and felt the kiss of the knife as it tickled her throat. She heard his whisper. He said - Shhhh...no noise, or the boy will die..... So she was quiet and let him drag her off. She said prayers. She visualized the saints. She visualized the Lord in Heaven. She did all she could to push the ordeal away from her. She squeezed her eyes shut tight. She bit her lip. It bled.....Maybe that was a mistake, for her possessor chuckled and said - Bide your time, child. We'll get to that later.....And they did. For he was a vampire. And she became one too. Oh, he could have killed her. He could have let her go up in a cold, blue flame. But he did not do that. He converted her. He changed her into one such as himself. Then he pushed her away saying - The journey should be easier for you now......She cleaned herself up and went back to the place under the bush. But she'd heard folktales. She knew about the dawn and what it could do. So she woke her brother and made them search for a cave, claiming to be cold. He mumbled, but obliged. That morning, as her skin peeled off, she told him the truth. He cried. She told him to go off alone. But he would not desert her. And he stayed, offering little blood drinks from his own body. Three nights later, he became a vampire too. It was just easier that way. It simplified things. And the trip to the monastery was forgotten......They survived as night spirits, quick, silent sprites preying on the occasional plump traveler. And all would have been acceptable, until the townsmen caught them.........

Monday, April 11, 2011

AND THE LIFE-BEYOND-LIFE GOES ON

They left. The vampires are out for the night. Little Bastid Annie's still here. She wanted to go kill somebody tonight, but Papa wouldn't let her. She doesn't require it. And she doesn't need it. And she's not getting it. So she's out in the back, staring at the fish in the koi pond...Poor fish. I think the cherubs are upstairs watching a DVD of Lady and the Tramp. They like that one, Dumbo too. You should hear them, especially the 'bigger' ones who can talk a little. They trill - Let's watz Dummo!!...It's so cute. They cry when Dumbo's mom gets locked up. Oh, you gotta see 'em. If we weren't afraid, we'd put them on You Tube. I'd  like to see how many hits they'd get. But Papa's a little bit selfconscious about the internet now. That video, the one he made with the two flight attendants came out. Remember, one of them wants to get in showbusiness? They have a 'for your consideration' preview on You Tube. In the credits, they call Papa 'The Silver Fox.' That part he likes. But God forbid people start to notice him. That would be a disaster. Only it won't happen. He's got that 'look.' You know, the vampire 'look.' He shoots 'em that and they  go all blank and forget what they were gonna say. I don't know where he is tonight. Maybe over at Baylah's. He enjoys watching humans get drunk. Says he likes the vapors. You know how he is with aromas. Jonathon went out by himself. All quiet. All serious.  Had a lot of those little, glass, blood vials with him though. His blood, too. So that means tonight he's playing  'great benevolent healer.' That's his favorite. Wait...I'll channel Zebulon. I'll know where he is... Gimme a minute...(wilkravitz gets all glassy-eyed...that ain't rough for him).....A hospital. Graduate Hospital, I think it is. He goes in. Schmoozes the receptionist a little and rides up in the elevator. Third floor. That's where they keep the newborns. Like a zoo, they have them out on display. But that's for the healthy ones. Sick little nutty-buddies are off to the side, behind yet another panel of glass. Some of them are hooked up to machines. Some of them are in trouble. Jonathon looks at the two nurses. He's thinking something he's using his power. OK, he did it. It's a done deal. They feel it, both of them. Their stomachs are doing flip-flops like a pair of  Chinese gymnasts. They jump up and carefully waddle off to the toilet. Diarrhea attack...One of Jonathon's best achievements. He's a master. But he waits a few seconds. You know, to make sure nobody's coming. They ain't. So he sublimates through the glass panels. And before you know it, a few drops fall on the lips of one little angel. And a bit of ruby elixir kisses the mouth of another.  Before you can say 'Doctor Polidori,' they've all been vaccinated, and he is out of there. Next shift...no sick babies. This hospital's only the first. Two more stops yet to go. Old folks. Sick immigrants. Everybody. Then he quietly walks down the street with his head bowed chanting prayers. What do people take him for? I don't know. Stylish, black outfit. Light weight, trim leather jacket. Smart, little bootkins. Long black loose, curly hair. He looks like that guy who got thrown off American Idol a few years ago. You know...Constantine Whoever, or maybe a young Antonio Banderas, or that kid from the Entourage. That's what they notice, especially the young ones. Who cares how 'weird' he is? It's Center City. They're all weird.

Speaking of weird, Lana is up to something with Roland. He's the other one, the elf-kid who stays in the background. Nice soul. doesn't bother anybody. Mostly communicates telepathically like  those pointy-eared ones tend to do. What's he look like? You know the one who played a young Spock in that movie version of Star Trek? Like him, only younger and skinnier. And his hair's longer too. OK, now can you picture it? Luna thinks he's adorable. Can't stop talkin' about him. Always touches him. Smiles at him. Tickles him under the chin. And the kid seems to like it too. I don't think he's ever played 'cowboy and the lady,' if you know what I mean. So she had it all made up. Dressed him up just right, like those fake vampires you see on television. Put a knit cap on his head. Pulled it down over the tips of his ears and waa-laa, you got a hot, sulky ninth grader. I think they're at Dave & Buster's. She's givin' him handfuls of those tokens. He likes the games. Could play 'em for hours. And then when he gets bored, she'll take him somewheres and teach him new games. But that's still in her head. They haven't done that yet. They ain't got that far. He still needs twentysix tickets to get some glow-in-the-dark frisbee. Can you imagine, a kid who can fly and read minds wants a four dollars and ninety-nine cent frisbee? Not to mention the fact that he's also like maybe fourhundred years old....Only here. Only in our story. Only in 'the wonderland.'.....Look, at least Johnny Jump Up's been quiet....I think.....Lemme go out back and check on them fish....That little bitch is too damn quiet.......Jeremy Cisco! That's the name! He's the one! That's who he looks like..............

JONATHON FEELS THE CALL

Jonathon gets this way before the coming of the Passover sometimes. He grows very contemplative and quiet. And he asks why God came for him? That's the pivotal mystery of the season. For symbolically God takes every believer up out of Egypt. He has saved you for a purpose, the faithful are told. And Jonathon is certainly faithful. So he lays in his basement 'resting' cabinet and he thinks. It used to be he'd look up things in his copy of La Ciencia Vampirismo. But now he reads his Bible. Sarah sleeps beside him. She is so good. He is grateful to have her. And he wants her to be secure and happy. Yet he wonders if they should live this way. Why do they need such a house? Why do they need all the wealth? Why do they need such comfort? He knows about Reverent Ones, old vampires who lead plain, pure lives. They live in caves, or long forgotten places. They collect no manner of costly thing. Indeed, they are true hermits, existing only to do their task. They take the sinful 'home.' Once each month, when the moon is bright, they feed. And their human meal disappears from the mortal world, lessening the evil and pain among humanity. Jonathon is called to that. Yet he has ties to the others. He has a life here. Can he leave? Does he have to leave? Or can he change things here? He listens to Sarah's quiet breathing and little by little he falls asleep...Now don't think that this is all I shall tell you this day. Zebulon will tell you more. But this is happening now. And I thought you would like to know.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A RED PAINT SHARES WEREWOLF SECRETS

The vampires and I just want to set the record straight. There are no werewolves. At least not in the way popular culture envisions them. Human genetic material cannot instantly, or almost instantly, transform into canine genetic material. Indeed, even if it could, that just means that any cellular growth from THAT POINT ON would be in the other direction. Poof...you're an Airedale.....No, not likely. But, there is a very real source for those stories. The vampiric burden has existed for ages. Papa is twentyeight thousand years old. Oh, he is extremely powerful....at times....But the power is not constant. It waxes and wanes and he cannot control it. Who 'made' Papa? An even older one called Renate did that. She's his senior by at least ten thousand years, maybe more. And according to those familiar with her (yes, she is still around) she often spoke of an earlier breed. You see, that variety known as Neanderthal, was human too. Different, but human. And it is believed that the enchanted burden rained down on the planet sometime during their era. Imagine what a Neanderthal vampire might have looked like. Severe bone structure. Somewhat muzzle-like nose. Receeding chin. Strong jaw muscles. Heavy brow ridge. Naturally large teeth to begin with. Robust, claw-like nail growth. Solid build, Heavy facial hair.....Get the picture?...There you have it....A werewolf......But he (or she) is always a werewolf. The full moon has nothing to do with it. Maybe they're yetis, or sasquatch, or bigfoot, or your Uncle Bo-Bo. But that's what they are. Now some believe isolated, remnant bands of Neanderthals still exist deep within the forests of Siberia, not to mention certain pockets in the Himalayas. Maybe they harbor a werewolf or two? Maybe the wolf-like howl still tears through the frosty, midnight air. But team Jacob has nothing to do with it. Enjoy that fable if you like, for I have just told you the truth.......I am Charles, one of the Red Paint guys. My people know a lot........

SPRING CHANGES

The Pascal Season is almost upon us. Spiritual beings like vampires, the noble ones, I mean, make much of that. For who better to recognise the truth of it all? If enchanted creatures such as they can exist, then what does that say about the existance of God? Oh, they make no claims about any particular communions. Jonathon will remember his Passovers. The elves will recall old Easter observances in Europe. And Papa may ponder the simple, yet comforting, spring celebrations of his people. But they tend to draw together at this time, sharing stories and feelings and just being a family. Sarah enjoys it too. Luna, raised as she was by the Anti-Enchantment-Bureau, is new to all this. Yet even she sees the necessity of it. And they do their best to spread the good feeling out into the human world as well. You see, even the touch of a vampire can impart strength, what we might call a blessing. No blood has to be passed for this to take place, although that is very powerful. But an energy travels, a gift from the bestower to someone else. Thats why they touch so many surfaces when they go out, passing their hands along shop windows and street planters and commercial displays. They love damp nights, drizzly nights, for then they can use the umbrellas. The @DutchUmbrella ones I mean. You see them. They leave those nice holders in better establishments all about the city. A convenience they are. Borrow one when you need it. And return it when you don't. Shake it out. Roll it up. And put it back. They go from one shop to another. Such an easy way for our life-eaters to spread the good fortune. Pick one up. You'll feel it, the heft, the strength, the warmth, the hum. But Zebulon digresses. For I came to speak of little Mary French, the cherub child, the martyred one. Did you think she was gone, completely, I mean? Well, she is not. For that sweetheart is safely esconced in The World To Come (one of my favorite travel spots) and warm in her mother's embrace. Her tiny tongue is normal now, a blood-drinker's tongue no more. She is in The Holy Prescence. But her conduit to this realm was her destroyer. An intimate relationship they have. And when she wants to, her innocent, toddler's spirit can still rub up against him, whispering in his ear and teaching him things. Does he feel it? Well, he's starting to. That baby-eater has a soul, indeed, he is a soul, and it can be influenced. Something will come of this. But we must be patient. We must wait. We must see. Yet the spring creates other issues. Remember when I told you of the shortened nights and how that effects vampires? They feel constrained. They feel trapped. They feel squeezed. Sarah and Luna are so new. They probably won't even notice, not this year anyway. But Albion feels it. And the other elves feel it too.....Keep an eye on them. Because right now.....they're the dangerous ones.................... And may The Season of Transcendance shed goodness upon you and yours.........

Saturday, April 9, 2011

OUT AND ABOUT ON A SATURDAY NIGHT

Jonathon took Sarah out for 'dinner.' You know the drill. They go into a Starbucks, one of the nice, big, crowded ones. They sit in the comfy chairs, get a large, foreign-sized, aromatic beverage and breathe it in all night. They talk. They look at people, start conversations and find out what's going on in the world. Know how you pick out one a those lobsters at Old Original Bookbinders (a 150 year old seafood house)? Well, same thing. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they ain't breakin' the rules. Either he had a vision, or she had a vision and that's who they 'off.' Luckily, the blue-plate-special just happens to be savoring a ....I don't know. What would you call it? ..a gooey, hot, sweet, melted, mocha milkshake, right now. Let him finish it. Last meal and all. Then when he leaves, they leave. When he strolls into the parking garage, they do to. Three people go up in the old, rumbly-bumbly elevator, but only two come down. And when the Dominican kid who helps around the place, goes in to camoflage the urine stink in the elevator (Fabreeze was on sale), he'll be confronted by a strange, greasy residue dripping down the dirty, metal walls. Thank God for the cleansing, cold, blue flame. Could you imagine what it would be like if vampires, real vampires, I mean, had to tote dead, flaccid corpses all over town? Man, gettin' a taxi is hard enough. What's this one guilty of? He killed a guy, his business partner. Oh, he didn't actually snap the cord around the neck, but he paid the guy who did. And he got away with it. There wasn't even a trial, at least not in his world. But tonight, there's gonna be an execution....

Now Papa took Luna down to Atlantic City. I think one of his 'familiars' got 'em tickets for Tony Bennett or somebody. A driver takes 'em. You know that limo he has? They got blacked out windows, a blacked out panel seperating the back seat...All the amenities a vampire could want. Are they gonna gamble? Sure, only Papa won't use any of his powers to tip the game, 'cause then it wouldn't be gambling. And I know he enjoys the rush. Probably go into one of those high-priced, lobby boutiques and get Little Miss White Fang another piece of something shiny. Is he gonna kill somebody? I have a feeling. Did he have a vision? Is it pre-ordained? Who the hell knows. Look, I know how he was with the cherubs and everybody a few nights back. And he probably meant everything he said. Probably still means it...when he's in the mood. But after twentyeight thousand years, you don't think he breaks the rules every once in a while? My guess is they're gonna grab some call-girl, get a room, play a little tittie-tittie-bang-bang (he likes that game), tie her up and gag her, throw in a little ninja-and-the-naughty-geisha, then finish in a crescendo of muffled screams and worthless tears. Luna don't care one way or the other. But if he likes it, she likes it. I'll let you know how they make out in the poker room.

See, Baylah is the real discreet one. She does stick to those visions. Sure she has doubts sometimes. But she's reverent in her own way. Drug pushers are her favorite, especially when they rope in kids or poison a whole neighborhood. Then they meet a hot, classy, shorty-lady, who look a lot like Beyonce. And then they don't come home. Man, she is one of the best cops the city has. Only trouble is she also play the part of judge, jury and hangman too. Hey, versatility. What are you gonna do, argue with that?........Oooh! I better sublimate out of wilkravitz' skull so he can tell you 'bout that E.S.P. crap. Does it work? Well....let him talk. Then you be the judge. I gotta waft over to Atlantic City (Taj Mahal, I think) and watch 'em play a little tittie-tittie-bang-bang......Oh, oh, tittie-tittie-bang-bang, tittie-tittie-bang-bang I love you................

Whew! I'm still buzzin', but I think my head's clear now. It's me. It's wilkravitz. OK, lemme tell you the mind reading stuff. Actually, the people at the bureau stole it from Duke University. They been investigating extra sensory perception for fifty years now. Look, I'm gonna give you the basics, the E.S.P. 101, if you get my drift. Here's what you do. Get at least 25 people in a dim room. Have 'em shake out any kinks they got in like their backs or necks. Gotta keep them neurons pulsing. Then  they take a seat anywhere along a circle of folding chairs. Somebody puts on a tape of gentle waves breaking against a soft, powdery shore. They go around and take turns tellin' everybody what it is that puts them in a calm, happy mood. You know, Christmas morning, babies laughing, going to the Red Lobster, stuff like that. Then the facilitator stands up and asks who wants to go first. That person gets up too. And they slowly walk around the outside of the circle, like they playin' a one handed version of duck-duck-goose. Nobody says anything. This is when they pick up stuff. The facilitator says - You wanna tell us important names, or important dates?.......Say the person picks dates. The facilitator goes - Repeat after me. Somebody in this room...has an important date...in their family...on (date) of (month)..........So the newly minted Kreskin starts 'uncovering' stuff. And the crazy thing is, they're rarely wrong. Names, dates, they get 'em all right. Even when they move up to harder stuff, like favorite breakfast cereals, or what they did over summer vacation, it's still the same. Bingo, bingo, bingo. I mean it. Aliens in no space movie don't do no better. Is is a mathematical thing, what with twentyfive people in the room? I don't know. That might account for the easy stuff, when they're warming up. But it don't explain the harder stuff. And how is some guy in a black suit gonna know that a lady from the records department likes to squish her feet in a big, five gallon tub a mint-chocolate-chip ice cream? You tell me that.....Oooh....I think we got some in the freezer.........