Friday, October 26, 2012


Tomas shares no ancient secrets with Sarah tonight. Nor do the vampires prepare for The Revels. A storm approaches. A tempest born amidst the soul crushing heat of the Sahel and nursed upon tropical seas. The hurricane bears down. Earths own version of Jupiter's Red Spot threatens to drown the dry land. 

Humans scurry about collecting necessities. They buy bread and eggs and milk and batteries. They buy big rigid bladders of certified 'clean' water. They buy mustard, nachos and ham. Then they hunker down in their homes and eat by the weak, yellow glow of a flashlight. If forced to evacuate, they refugee farther inland and squeeze in with blood relations.

Vampires, on the other hand, face a different set of problems. They can't be rescued, especially not during the day. No canoe rides from roof-top islands for them. Imagine orange-vested stalwarts chopping through debris to free a life-eater family. Here it comes. The wall crumbles. Daylight pours in and the 'family' sizzles. Whoa! Who's gonna get a commendation from the mayor for that?

No, vampires must flee before disaster strikes, burrowing deep down into the very bowels of the city. And the nocturnal band dwelling within the townhouse is doing just that. Doctor Franklin awaits. The sprawling subterranean laboratories, libraries, specimen collections (both living and non) and hideaways (some quite luxurious) comprising the all-knowing organization called The Anti-Enchantment Bureau has room enough for them. Vampires often shelter there. The old reprobate... the old patriot loves to study them. 

Regulars have met 'the man who created Philadelphia' before. Look, William Penn may have laid out the bones, but Ben Franklin gave them flesh. And America's Da Vinci still lives, not due to any vampire chicanery, but thanks to his own study of frequencies and harmonics. 

So they rendezvous at a special place, the large, bronze, compass rose embossed into the very center of 'the wedding cake' or 'the cake' for short, since the huge Second Empire edifice of City Hall  truly does resemble a nuptual confection.

The sprawling granite plaza is empty... like a ghostly 'close' in an old Norman castle. Tomas and the rest silently enter. The 'doctor' nods to greet them. They approach the compass rose, form a circle and grasp hands. Annie puts up a fight. She 'don't wanna hold nobody's God damned dirty hands.' But Tomas shuts her up real fast. And I think the hovering presence of 'Papa' had something to do with it too. Probably threatened to banish her to the Solar Corona again, 'cause, boy, did she hate that. Odd, how once in space, starlight (even sunlight) has little effect on vampires. It's only on Earth that daylight kills them. Who knows? Perhaps it's the same on other worlds too?

Then they stand there and wait. Doctor Franklin sports his usual green, Eagles sweat suit and the wispy tendrils hanging from his pate blow softly in the late night breeze. 

Finally, over five hundred feet above, the huge, old, illuminated clock begins to toll the hour. Two heartbeats later, the resonating echos reach them on the ground. And slowly, but surely, they begin to fade from this place, only to coalesce in safer surroundings. 

My, but the Grand Armonica can do strange things.....


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