Friday, June 29, 2012

Tomas a.k.a. Jonathon, Reads to Sarah From The Pages of an Old Vellum Text

He wanted to go, but they did not chose him. Sarah was glad. She remembered their sojourn in the parallel world. So they sat together on an old rooftop, deep within the loft district of Old City (Philadelphia has a lot of such places) and he read to her from a relatively small, old vellum book. In times passed, during the middle ages, these small volumes were called 'ladies' books,' or sometimes 'students'  texts.' 

Tomas sublimated into the rare book stacks of the main library, on The Parkway, to get it, but the librarians knew and trusted him. He'd done the like before.

Listen to this - he said. Synods of sea-folk occupied bays, estuaries and coves throughout the known world. Hibernia, that means Ireland, had many such colonies, as did Normandy and Brittany. Two factions fought  over the spot where the Thames met the sea. And mermen were known to reconnoiter the Seine right up to Paris.

Sarah said - Did you ever see any? Did they have them in Spain?......... No, I don't think so - said Tomas. You'll have to remember, The Caliphate of Cordoba was much more advanced militarily. We had the beginnings of what would become gun powder. Our blades were the best, as were our ships. Divers descended down into the sea via diving bells. Do you know what they are?........Yes - said his consort. I know the trick...third grade science. Plunge an upside down glass down into a sink filled with water and the inside stays dry........ 

Some of the large bells held three men. They'd go down at night. Not too deep. I think fifty cubits was the norm. You know, pearl fisherman from various islands in the Indian Ocean were the best...divers, I mean, next to sea people, that is. Now mer-folk are diurnal. They crave sunlight. That's why they want to reclaim the old, coastal homes today. Darkness frightens them. It's cold. Oh, they can bear cold, but they do not like it. But sometimes a juvenile would be out...not a child...more like our 'elves.'  And such young ones tend to be naive. They're careless. They come too close. Curious creatures too. And we all know how fatal that can be........... He showed her an 'illuminated' (highly colored) panel depicting the abduction of a mer-folk prince and princess.

What did they do, kill them? - asked Sarah....... No - said Tomas. They'd take them hostage. The sea people truly value life and love their children to the utmost. Cruel practices like that drove them off. A rare pitch from the eastern Mediterranean, able to burn underwater, helped too. So they left our shores, retreating to The Azores. They say some frequent The Canary Islands to this day........ He gave her the book. She looked at the pictures, fine, medieval representations of fantastical sea kings and their 'dogs,' fearsome barracuda-like things, able to slice through the depths and tear into prey.

Are you at all familiar with The Canary Islands? - he asked........ No - she said............ Then I'll tell you - whispered the vampire. There is an island, Cubierta en Palmas  (covered in palms), a beautiful place hiding a terrible secret. The ground along its western flank is unstable. Some say vast, mountain sized rocks, granite 'icebergs,' if you will, could smash into the ocean at any time. Others say in ten thousand years. Who knows? But whenever it happens, a gigantic wall of water will race across the sea, crushing all who live upon our eastern shore.......... Don't you mean 'drowning'? - she said....... No, crushing...scraped along the surface by a dark, cold god-like hand. Even the bones will be pulverized.

Could the mer-folk do things to hasten this event? - she asked.

Tomas didn't answer, but he leaned in and turned the page..... showing her the truth.

And ten hundred miles to the east, in the waters 'round Bermuda, Papa and Luna approached the first deep sea bastion.....


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