Friday, October 18, 2013


Edith knows I'm here. I left word with a trusted 'familiar.' He sent her a message. But I haven't been back to the town house yet. Still walking. You know what I'm like?... a lucid wanderer. Mentioned that term last night, but didn't explain it. Some of you may recall it from earlier epistles, however, I'll elaborate for the benefit of newbies. 

Vampires, werewolves, ghosts and zombies aren't everything. There're other creatures in the forest, my friends... and lucid wanderers are one of the most tragic. I am not sure of their nativity, but I've seen them, so I can tell you what they are.

Picture a normal (or at least rather ordinary) human walking down the street. Well, that's what lucid wanderers do. They walk... boy do they ever. Thing is, they can't stop. For if they do their bodies effervesce into a frothy mass and disappear. One by one the pink, tiny bubbles pop til nothing's left but a filmy, viscous residue on the ground. Even the bones are gone. 

Most night-folk and other adepts feel a spell is involved, or some manner of psycho-kinetic projection. Doctor Franklin thinks harmonics play a part. But he thinks harmonics play a part in everything. The Grand Armonica... his life's work, if you will. You can Google it.

They're eternal pilgrims, one step in front of the other. Eyes front. Mouths closed. If you touch one and maintain contact for more than a fleeting moment or two, you catch it. The magic or the energy, or whatever it is gets you too. 

I don't think they eat like normal mortals, but they do eat, not much, but they do. Sometimes they graze supermarkets late at night, picking up a grape, or a beef jerky, or a juice box. Kids who stock the shelves get to know them. Word gets 'round, especially if they see an infected friend stand still and go all foamy. Not a pretty sight. Occasionally the eyeballs remain intact and bounce down on the ground. The teeth too... blood and gristle around the roots and everything. 

I used to see a girl lucid wanderer move through the streets of Old Philadelphia. This was back in Federalist times. Maybe late Federalist. I don't know. What would you call the years after The War of 1812? She wore one of those long, high waisted gowns like Josephine Bonaparte. Her hair was up in curls. When it was cold she had a cloak. I think it had a hood. Such a pathetic thing she was. So sad. A French baker on Arch Street gave her rolls. He left them in a little covered hamper 'round the back. A vintner gave her wine and I believe cheese and sausage too, although he didn't sell them. And she walked. Now I've never seen one pee, or shit, but I suppose they do. Dim, secluded alleys are so forgiving. And I'm guessing the occasional piece of laundry left out to dry goes missing. Or maybe they have 'familiars' like we do? Yo no se.... Enchanted souls tend to be private creatures. I once saw her wash herself behind a bath house. The matron passed her a white, enamel basin filled with warm, soapy water and a tattered, natural sponge. She quietly sopped up all the water and squeezed it over her body, all the while shuffling from foot to foot. If I have to give you a physical, or scientific explanation, I'd say the cells, the muscle cells, the bone cells, the skin cells of their feet, lucid wanderers I mean, grow and regenerate very rapidly. Otherwise how could they do it? They couldn't. And they micro sleep, a few heartbeats here, a few heartbeats there. What's the purpose of it? Why were they made? Why do they exist? I don't know. There're theories, but I don't know. One version says they began during The Plague, the big one, the Black Death of thirteen forty nine. Almost half the people in Europe died and it happened fast, within days. Children, men, women, old people, all of them gone. Imagine being a two year old left in a house filled with reeking septic corpses. I saw that. That I saw. Flagellants, simpleminded superstitious bastards who thought religion was magic, marched from town to town, chanting prayers, hurling curses and beating themselves with thick, heavy, lead tipped whips, sending bits of flesh, blood and skin flying through the air. And they were all over, spreading the contagion they sought to destroy. You know it was a vampire who rescued me from a burning synagogue during The Crusades. Well, about three hundred, maybe closer to two hundred and fifty years later, I returned the favor, for they lit up such prayer houses all over Europe and threw little children into wells. Old people thought to be witches perished too. They say an alchemist, perhaps more than an alchemist, branded a witch and about to be welded into an 'iron maiden' while still alive, hurled the first 'spell,' .... Pilgrims you are!? Devils you are! May you walk without end til Saint Michael redeems you! - he said..... Well, the archangel still hasn't come. But that's just a story, for most of the 'wanderers' walking today are not devils.

I know I was going to tell you of strange encounters under an arctic moon and hell hounds in the Adirondacks. I know you've been reading 'bout wolf-folk for the passed few weeks, so you know what they are. But I am fatigued. Even vampires experience ennui. So excuse me while I retreat from the world for a few hours and sleep in the dark, cool shadows... 

Come back. I'll tell you more...


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