Friday, April 27, 2012

Like Fisherman of The More Than Dead

They caught us in leaden nets. That's how they did it. We stopped to rest in a pleasant wood. Vampires have no quarrel with animals. Do not believe the things you read in books. Their blood is not human blood. Their blood does not sustain us. So the rabbits are safe, as are the feral cats and squirrels and badgers. Some adventurous types have sampled wild boar blood and yes, it is true: the flavor is almost equal to the human elixir. But 'almost' doesn't count. We're not playing horseshoes.  Although, I HAVE heard of vampirine explorers abroad in foreign lands who've tasted the blood of troglodytes 'pan,' the demi- human creature known to you as bonobos or chimpanzees. And they report a buzz quite akin to the genuine distillation. Yet the match is not exact. I know Tomas, also known as Jonathon, tells tales of an accidentally produced ape-vampire. But you'll have to ask Doctor Franklin about that. Has anyone here been down to The Anti-Enchantment Bureau?......One man, a quiet type, in a Harris Tweed jacket raised his hand. Marianne smiled and said - I am impressed........... A few of the other humans responded with quizzical looks, but most of them had no idea what she was talking about. And the impatient Mafia nephew interrupted once again and said - Look, don't go off on another tangent. Tell us about the 'leaden' nets..... So she did.

We spent the day curled up in old, abandoned bear dens. Had they been occupied, we might have done the same. Ursus and life-eater have no animosity. We often hide with them. And yes, although our kind cannot 'live' off their blood, we occasionally take a small dram or two, more as an affectionate kiss than anything else. But these were cold and empty. 

As it happened, agents of The Inquisition filtered through these woods, obviously aware of the vampirine predilection for bear dens, leaving much gold and silver with the poor folk here abouts, thus recruiting their own army of 'familiars.'  Each of these 'catcher' bands was furnished with a large, heavy, leaden net, wove from the finest ore, mined deep within the alpine bastions of the High Armenia. We're they heavy? Of course they were. But remember, we're speaking of six, strapping, Low Country yeoman here. So all things are relative. ..... And they hid in the trees, waiting for us to come out. How did they know we were in there? To this very night I am not sure. But I think there was a collaborator in their midst. Some poor, misguided, life-eater, encased in a thick, head to toe, black leather suit, with small, darkened glass portals over the eye slits. Did this monstrous costume require air holes? No, it did not. We draw no sustenance from oxygen. Vampires respire from habit and not out of need. So he wandered about til he sensed us, then raised his hand (encased in a protective, black gauntlet) and pointed..... That night, when the sun went down, they were ready. I suppose they had some ungent,  given  them by their knowledgeable masters, and made to mask the human smell. Inqusitional alchemists knew many things. Such magic would have been easy for them. We whispered together as we walked out. The dominee loved a clear, night sky. He told me stories of the stars. I still remember the names. Not human names. Not the Greek, or Arabic, or Latin designations you know. His stars had old Vahmpeerigo names. And I'd like to keep them to myself, if you don't mind. 

But then we heard a whistle. The net came down and we were caught. I fought to get out. He did too. We ripped into the sharp, braided filaments. Our flesh was torn to shreds. But the legends are true. The net held fast and there was no escape. And after a time. I don't know, perhaps ten thousand heartbeats, we sat down on the ground and wept.

I obviously survived, though the journey was not easy. The dominee, tragically, did not.

They threatened to leave us there til morning. They threatened us with the sun. And remember when I told you how fundamentally human we are? Well, this proved it. For we cooperated and let them herd us into the 'Black Maria' (stout, windowless,square, iron-bound, black coach) and drive away...... The net still wound about us..... to live another day.....

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