Thursday, July 4, 2013

VAMPIRE LORE FROM ROMAN TIMES.... 6/05/13

I am Janus. We have never spoken before, but I am aware of your place on the space-time continuum and how you smell when frightened. I inhabit the age of the great Marcus Aurelius. Rome governs all. Rome owns all. Rome exploits all.... And I exploit Rome.

This one is 'lamia sanguine'.... a vampire.... a blood thirsty witch. And before I entered this cult of mystery, I dwelt among the Celt-Iberians and was one of them, hunting in the forests of Galicia and dancing to the rhythms of the moon. Clothing was foreign to us, though bodily decoration was not. Some wore tattoos. Some wore torques. Some wore both. Such a sensual way to live.... the comfort of air and sunshine. How I miss that now. 

Latin slavers came down from the Acquataine in the southwest part of Gaul. They set snares among the pecan groves and traps in the bushes.... and I was taken... bound in a coffle and marched overland to the port of Marsallia. 

They penned us, separating males from females and children from those able to reproduce. Some of the children were sold to speculators for all manner of cruel uses. Others were fed to the pigs. Semi-feral breeds favored by Roman gourmets like a muddy, screaming young one every now and then. A piteous way to end. 

I was sent to the vampire pits. They had them then, deep within the darkest reaches of the Subura, a notorious slum worthy of The ripper. Dandies came to wager, winninng and losing thousands of sesterces in these dank, hellish cellars of death. 

Twelve scared victims went into the pit armed with daggers and clubs. No armor. No padding. No modesty cloth. Nothing else. Just a knife. Just a club.Then the vampire entered, a wiry wraith with long, lank hair and a loin cloth. He leered at the spectators up above. Why he didn't sublimate... why he didn't leap up into the stands and kill them all, I do not know. Perhaps he was numb to his talents. Some vampirici are. I know you've heard them say - 'the magic settles differently on each and every one.'.....Well it does. That's true. But this one still had teeth and strength and power. 

The rich, young bloods yelled 'kill! kill! kill!' And he did, ripping open the throats of his attackers as if the weapons were never there. I tried to make common cause with two others. Dacians I think they were, likely fighters too. But the nature of our surroundings unnerved them. Oh, for a while we did fall back, hugging the blood stained wall, while others met their fate. and he drank it all... the vampire, I mean. Then he turned toward us. The first Dacian shrieked like a little girl, as piss arced from his groin. How the crowd laughed. How they roared. And the vampire, a bit of an actor in his own right, played the part of a lion, stalking his prey with cold, hard dispatch. He lept forward, pinning the man to the wall. I never saw a person tremble so. He looked positively electric, if that is the proper word. I'm not sure. I could hear him whisper - 'no...no...no,' as the night-fiend nuzzled his throat, searching for the right spot. When he found it, death, or rather a dazed condition very close to it, came fast. And the second Dacian suffered a similar end. No, I think he bit the fingers off first, but I'm not sure, for I had troubles of my own to contend with. And the bottom of the pit was quite slippery, what with the greasy residue left after the drained bodies ignite. The crowd roared, as each burst into flame.... a cold blue flame, as happens to all vampire leavings. They yelled - 'Finish it! Finish it!'.... for I think the time taken to complete the carnage had something to do with the pay-out.

The creature turned toward me. I scampered 'round the circular enclosure, hugging the wall all the way and would have kept up the dance for hours, had not the monster tired of my performance. He sprang 'cross the pit and grabbed me, throwing me down onto the slick, putrid mess, as he sniffed 'round my belly, preparing for a heart-bite, more suited to ghouls than vampires.

But then he saw the mark and stopped.... a small tattoo... just above my sternum. He mumbled something in a dialect somewhat like my own, but different. He jumped to his feet yelling - 'Nae! Nae! Nae!.... as the crowd booed and pelted us with chic peas (a favored snack).

Two larger vampires, dressed like tigers, entered the pit and  dragged us both away...

Please forgive me for barging into this narrative, but I've never experienced a truth telling place like this and I want to have my say.....

Next time I'll tell you more...
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