Thursday, April 19, 2012

THE SHEDDING OF OLD SKIN ----- VAMPIRE RITE OF PASSAGE

There was a door fronting the alley. The dominee sublimated his hand through the stout oak boards and fiddled with the heavy, iron bolt. Four heartbeats later we entered into a workshop of sorts...a cooperage... a place where they made barrels. Moonlight streamed in through  high clerestory windows, painting each surface with a silvery-gray sheen. My senses had already begun to change. I could smell the wood. I  could smell the resin. A scared, apprentice, sleeping under one of the large chipped tables gasped. The dominee chuckled . His image appeared to flicker for an instant and then he was down on the floor, right by the trembling young boy.......... Please, don't kill me. Please, don't kill me - whispered the youth.......... The ersatz churchman reached into a vest pocket and pulled out a golden coin. It glittered in the watery light........ Shhhhh - said the dominee. Not tonight, my tender acolyte. Not tonight. Here, take this. I suppose there is a cellar here abouts?.........The boy quickly nodded - There, under the other table. See the ring? Lift it up..............His vampire interrogator simply gestured and the wide, planked portal instantly flew up, banging down onto the ancient, wooden surface......... The apprentice giggled nervously. He wanted to run. The dominee could tell. But quick, young rabbits draw wolves. And the municipal night-watch was something they could do without. So he hugged the boy close and just barely kicked open the skin of his ear. Then he licked off a drop, tasted it, bit into his own finger tip and gave it back, right into the boy's open mouth. The young man shuddered for a heartbeat. Then he belched. The dominee smiled, turned to Marianne and said - That, my dear, is how you make 'familiars.' (semi-bewitched helpers) ..... Am I right, boy?....... The newly minted, wide eyed, henchman nodded........ Now, allow us our privacy. Guard well the doors and warn us lest the beadles (municipal guards) come...... Then he sweetened the deal with another gold piece , grabbed Marianne and hurried down the ladder-like stairs, as the trapdoor obediently slammed shut behind them. The enchanted boy crawled over to the front window, ever so slightly pushed back the canvas drapery and gazed out onto the dark, rough, cobbled street... a human cat.... and just as silent.


They found a hidden corner down below and settled in for the strange ordeal yet to come....... Marianne said - My skin. It itches. It crawls!..... She manically scratched at her forearms. But the vampire mentor simply brushed her hands away and embraced her, as he breathed into her ear - Fear not. It is but the Metamorphosis. It is but 'the change'..... The door has closed. You can't go back....... Welcome to the darkness.........


And then her skin began to peel and crack, starting at her hairline and running down her body. He ripped off her ragged garment and tore the fetid membrane away. Then he cleaned her like a mother cat and held her till she slept...........


The words came out of the old gents mouth. Marianne had not said a thing. The people attending this miraculous exhibition just stared , as Roland passed 'round some wine........


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