Friday, October 19, 2012


The cozy, little bistro closed for the night and so the vampires returned to the street. It was two in the morning. The city was quiet. Some blocks were completely empty, glazed in a damp, cold sheen. Tomas and Sarah silently made their way toward a small, boutique hotel a few streets away. He knew the place. Sometimes he took mortals there. But that was in the past.

The doorman smiled, as they approached and welcomed them inside. I do not know who was a familiar and who was not, but it's safe to say he had the place well peppered with them. Vampires like hotels. They confer a certain anonymity. You can hide there. Escape routes are plentiful.

The intimate lobby was especially inviting. He led her to a small pool of warm, incandescent light (no cold swirly florescent bulbs for this place) in a corner. Vampires prefer corners for the security they provide. She sat in a dark, green, raw silk club chair. He lowered himself into it's mate. A fine, old tall clock ticked off the hours. Their only company, a tired businessman nursed a scotch and water maybe fifteen cubits away. But he didn't care about them.

Tomas let his gaze rise up to a small reproduction...something by the nineteenth century Frenchman, known as David (dah-veed) and then he began......

I was in Taranto, or possibly Bari. Both cities faced the Mediterranean and after all these years seem very much the same to me. Papa was gone. Obviously, you know he created me during one of his 'worldly' interludes. Oh, he was quite involved with humanity back then. Well, up til then. For a turncoat vampire, or elferina, I think it was, fingered him to our enemies and they captured him..... The lead-lined box.... You know about lead and us... The deed was done... He was gone. That's how he wound up buried under the streets of Rome for more than ten hundred years. Did he have the power to get out on his own? Who knows? You've seen how crazy he is. But I was alone... completely and desperately alone. (He stares off, obviously reliving the experience). Sarah just sits and waits......

Some time later I found myself in a city. Oh, we called them 'cities' back then. Perhaps six thousand souls... a stone wall.... stout houses, also stone, for the self styled nobles of the place.... churches, churches and churches... a lane filled with open-front, market stalls and maybe a little corner for the Jews pressed 'gainst the wall. Not an actual ghetto. That came four hundred years later. But it might as well have been one. 

I made my nest among my brethren, lest I lapsed into Hebrew, or Aramaic while I slept. Now please know that these were not truly Inquisitional times. But blood besotted Crusaders were everywhere and they were even worse. No trial. No imprisonment. None of that. The Jew, whether old rabbi, young wife, or toddling child was hacked to death on the spot. They almost burnt me once, so I was careful. Most of the Jews there came from the north, refugees from thieving, cut-throat bands along The Rhine. They spoke various dialects of German. I did not. 'Tedesco' my kind called them. Northern peasants... little more. But they knew I was a Jew... exotic, but a Jew. So they took me in and kept me safe. Though their rabbi saw something. He asked questions. I made up answers.... An angel.... A 'Night Watch'..... sent to keep them safe in these uncertain times. Granted, this bunch paid protection to the count and bishop of the place, but an angel's help was a rich gift indeed. And after raising the sexton's daughter from some form of pestilence with a tiny bit of my blood (I called it holy wine) my position was guaranteed.

All went well til the night I first saw Lydia. She silently collected a spider's web from off a market stall, carefully wrapping it 'round a small, broken twig. Her father was an alchemist and valued such things. My enemies were his enemies and by extension hers as well. 

But I saw her eyes and she saw mine. A few moments later I kissed her deep within the darkest corner of the nearby stone arcade. Her skin smelled of bee's wax, spices and sandalwood... a true magician's daughter, for she covered me in gossamer spells and bathed my loins with gladness...... 

By now, even the businessman was listening... God knows what he thought.

So they left that place and headed back toward home......


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