Thursday, June 21, 2012


Shadowy, artificial moonlight reflected up off the tiny wavelets, gilding the vampires in shimmering, silvery radiance. Tomas felt the doctor approach. He turned and nodded, but the others continued watching the grotesque, old, aquatic, she-thing make faces at them through the glass. Finally, the doctor said - She knows all the words to I'm Popeye the Sailor Man and Don't Dunk a Doughnut If You Don't Know How to Dunk....... He waved at Sarah. She waved back. Annie stuck her tongue out. Doctor Franklin gave her the finger. Conrad smiled nervously....... The doctor continued - Wants me to get her some baby penguins, or puffins, maybe. Apparently they're great delicacies among the mer-folk. Funny, she's never mentioned them before. But I suppose in her dotage she remembers things from the past........ Then he whispered something into his smart phone. Five heartbeats later an attendant entered the marine enclosure through a small side door and gave the sea hag a small bucket filled with sliced, raw fish (salmon, from the look of it) and sweet, freshly shucked scallops. She gurgled impatiently, grabbed the bucket and started to eat.

Manners are not a strong point among her kind. Yet I must admire the way she slurps it all up with such relish. Rather like certain uncouth elements in the First Continental Congress I had to deal with. I'm sure you remember, Tomas. Am I right? ......... That you are, Doctor Franklin. That you are - said the attractive vampirino........... Where is our graceful, Ashanti princess? - asked the doctor......... Baylah did not accompany us - said Tomas. She waits for her upholsterer. Natuzzi leather sofas are all the rage; don't you know?......... Don't be impertinent, my unusual 'young' man. I know everything and you know that - smiled the doctor...... Then please sir - said Sarah. Share a bit of your all encompassing knowledge and tell us why we were brought here?......... You knew that? - whispered the doctor........ Sarah's expression indicated that she did....... Smart girl - said the venerable patriot.

There's trouble out along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge - said Franklin. Agitation among the mer-folk. It seems they miss their traditional, seasonal treks to the shore. Haven't been able to do so for almost two hundred years. Not since humans took up bathing. Ocean bathing, I mean. Prior to that, except for occasional fishing villages, coastlines used to be deserted places. Run ins with mer-folk were rare. But then we encroached upon their territory. Children were snatched. Mer-children, I mean. I believe they still have two skeletons on display On the Boardwalk In Atlantic City? Funny, she knows that song too. Don't you, old girl!- he yelled, as he rapped on the glass........ The aquatic crone responded with a series of rude noises made with her left fist and her right arm-pit. Then she absentmindedly began playing with her cloaca, as the scientist/alchemist continued.........

We want to send people out to observe. Mer-folk are extremely intelligent. Can't afford to antagonize them. They might be useful. Divers are no good. Can't withstand the pressure. Deep water, submergeable ships are no better. You vampires seem to be the ticket. Oxygen means nothing to you. Pressure is just an immaterial variable. I know your history. I know how you traverse the sea. Probably a few life-eaters walking across the abysmal plain now, as we speak. Only thing is, I don't know them, but I do know you. Of course the government, in Washington will grant you full ambassadorial status. They've never done that before. Not with your kind, I mean. Annie, you can't go - said the doctor....... She tried to kick him, but Tomas restrained her........ And here I was going to give you a baby butterfly-vixen. A 'Tinkerbelle,' I think you call it- said Franklin. Do you want one?..... Annie petulantly said that she did....... Well then behave, my little brat and you may get one - said the doctor.

He went on, sharing certain other particulars, as he ushered them into his own, rather baronial, chambers. Attendants came out bearing rare, costly aroma candles (not like what Edith bought at Target) and Annie was given a handsome, bell shaped, crystal terrarium containing a beautiful, little, iridescent butterfly-vixen. She even murmured - Thank you......

You might want to come back tomorrow night. Franklin's going to fill us in on the parallel evolution of mer-folk...... Look, if sea lions and seals are no more than aquatic bears, the same thing is possible with humans. I'm telling you. Come back. You'll see....

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