Monday, December 2, 2013

The Vampire Tomas Shares Holiday Memories of His Mortal Years... 12/2/13

He woke with a start. The old, leather bound copy of Dickens fell to the floor. Sarah woke too. She set put down the magazine and sighed. ... It'll be dawn soon - she said. Time for us to sleep.... But Tomas didn't answer. He just sat there staring at the aquarium and the simple life forms in it.... I had a dream - he said. Not so much a fantastical construct, as most dreams are, but a recollection of times past.... He stretched and yawned. Vampires still do those things. Not in need of oxygen, but just because they do.... Sarah quietly asked - What did you remember?.... I remembered my youth, my childhood actually. We were at the villa. The Granada place I think it was. No, Cordoba. I remember the fountain. Cordoba, it was Cordoba. And the household was preparing for The Feast of The Re-Dedication. 'Hanukah,' but that's just the Hebrew word for it. We opened the spring wine, nine months old by then and ready to drink. Groundsmen gathered greens from the hills. Not so much evergreens, but eucalyptus-like things. I suppose they're evergreens too. But you know what I mean. It's funny, but they brought greens into the house. We all did. And this was centuries before Trinitarians did the like for their Feast of The Incarnation, because it said so in The Book of Maccabees. 'They brought fresh boughs from the hills to cleanse The Temple and make it clean.' Well, there was no Temple, so we did it in our homes.  My sisters tied them with ribbons, all manner of vivid silks and damasks. They brought them in from The East, you know, by sea and overland across North Africa..... Sarah smiled to see him so animated. She said - Let's sleep now. You can tell me tomorrow night..... But he hardly heard her, for the dream was so vivid, a gift, a special thing and he wanted to share it... No, no, I'm alright. We have time - he said..... And she hugged him, as he continued - The dumplings. I remember the dumplings. 'Empanadas' in my tongue. Filled with beef and lamb and mushrooms. All manner of savory. Deep fried they were and so good. Odd, I still remember that, but the dream was so real. (he stopped for a moment) It's like I was there. 'And Papa Mattathias rose up in his alabaster chariot, flying across the great River Sambation, drawn by Boaz the Swift ( a white unicorn), as he proclaimed to the faithful ' The Temple is saved! Rejoice in the Help of The Lord!' Then we lit the candles and sang the songs. They gave us little velvet, drawstring bags filled with coins, nuts and sweetmeats. 'Papa Mattathias sent them' they said. And we believed it..... He laughed. Tomas laughed and Sarah joined him.

It felt good to renounce the night-world for a bit. Some vampires feel no need. But the one called Tomas, also known as Jonathon does. The Hanukah Tale always figured large in his family. De Macabeus, from the Hebrew 'ben Macabi' was their name. Some kinsmen claimed descent from the original Maccabees, 'stars' of two scriptural books they are. Papa Mattathias, first hereditary priest (rather like prince-bishops of a later age) to confront the pagans was their father. Imagine having Santa Claus for a 'pop-pop.' But this particular vampire, in a sense did.

We could have skipped this part. Just cut it out. And gone on to the next bit of blood-letting drama. But this is more than a novel, or an on-going romance. This is true. This night happened. This is real... And we thought you'd like to know.

A few heartbeats later Sarah straightened up the space. Given the truncated size of the room it didn't take much. She put away the book, closed the magazine and fluffed the cushions. Then she helped a dream intoxicated Tomas to his feet, turned off the small, porcelain, ginger jar lamp and led him out of the room. 

An angel fish looking on from the carefully arranged aquarium mouthed a mute 'goodnight,' as the left.

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1 comment:

John L. Harmon said...

Goodnight Angel Fish, and I can honestly say I've never tasted dumplings.