Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Vampire, Tomas, Speaks Directly To You..... 12/26/13

When bad things happen it's foolish to wish they had not. Better to face the new reality and bend it to your will. It took me time to learn that. During the early years of my transformation I wandered aimlessly. Oh, I was aware of my surroundings. I knew where I was. But things transpired in and of themselves. I was but a passenger... not even an onlooker... just a passenger... barely able to recognize my own form in a mirror. Though there were few of them, back then. The era of my second birth was cold and coarse and hard. 

I established a war chest in short order, dispatching self-proud feudal lords and confiscating baubles and gold. Not many diamonds back then. For the most part, they didn't appear in 'Christendom' til returning Crusaders brought them back from the Levant. And even there they were not native, but the fruit of long established trade with Hind (what you call 'India'). My stash included rubies, emeralds, opals, pearls and gold. Silver too, but mostly gold. 

This was before I could easily sublimate through walls and other barriers. But I did have 'vampire eyes' from the beginning and to me, anyway, beguiling bewildered mortals was natural and automatic. I adopted the dress of a Christian scholar... a noble son traveling between Catalonia or Provence and the university-like academies of La Serenissima (Venice). Not too difficult for a rather aristocratic Rite-Of-Spain (Sephardic) Hebrew, like myself. Please know that we did not dress any different than others of our class. And I already knew assorted chunks of Greek and Latin in addition to Hebrew and Aramaic, plus the local vernaculars of Northern Spain. I had a Hebrew Bible and a copy of the Trinitarian Holy Books. I think there was a Trinitarian prayer book too. During the dark months of the year I even attended vespers. Not on a daily basis, but often enough in various locales to make my presence known. 'Tomas de Macabea'... They knew my name. I traveled with at least three men-at-arms. The term 'familiar' was unknown to me then, but that is what they were, subverted by tiny droplets of my magical blood. I hid caches of valuables off in the woods in places even outlaws avoided, near haunted springs, or mysterious caverns. Were they haunted? Occasionally. Though what am I but a ghost still dressed in flesh?

Please know that I could, at times, when frightened, manage to sublimate through barriers and walls. But I could not pass through  air. I could not fly. Travel was difficult, limited to the distance a horse could traverse by night. Were there outlaws abroad then? Of course. We were waylaid many times, but I fed on them, turning some into meals and others into servants.

Then, one night while passing through new environs, a thickly wooded track near the sea, I dozed at the reins and tumbled off a cliff. In a heartbeat, the poor horse went one way and I another, streaking into the heavens like an arrow. Thus did I acquire the power of flight. Not true flight. Not what the elferinos and elferinas do, but something very much like it. I did not float on the air, but climbed through it, one molecule at a time, though in a very rapid fashion. And my life, or what I called life, was forever changed.

In the space of a few hours I passed between polities and heard new songs, each in a different tongue. One night Genoa, another Marseilles, Some nights spent among the nobles of Barcelona, or the citrus groves of Aragon. And I picked up phrases from each place, as did other night-folk. We conversed. We wrote things down and a new language appeared... a Latin tongue binding the northwestern Mediterranean world from Rome to Cadiz. 'Vahmperigo' we called it... 'in the manner of the vampires.' According to the accent it might sound like Spanish, or Catalan, or French, or Italian, or a melange of all four. Some higher Catholic clergy knew it too. Captured vampires made rich trophies. And many a prelate kept one in a leaden, cellar crypt.. For lead confounds us and we cannot sublimate through it. 

Now we've traveled this road before. But many of you are new and I thought that you should know.

What did I wear? I can hear you thinking. You want to know how I looked, so I'll tell you. Next to my body came a cloth, passing o're my crotch and held in place  by a braided, linen cord. Over that went a light, long-sleeved, unbleached tunic that fell almost to the knee. Tightly knit, thigh-high stockings, held up by buttoned garters and fine, pointy-toed, leather bootkins clothed my legs and feet. There was an outer garment, another tunic fashioned from a more colorful cloth of more substance, bound 'round the waist by a sash. My cloaks had hoods. I wore soft, leather gauntlets and sometimes during chilly months, woolen scarves and thick, knit tunics worn inside, toward the skin. My hair was long and wavy, in the Mediterranean fashion, though some knights, in anticipation of The Crusades had begun to crop theirs close to the skull. I had knit hats too, essentially the same as what boys still wear now.

Besides my mount and lesser breeds for the men-at-arms, we had two pack animals. Asses they were.... 

And my 'vampire eyes' always got me a snug, dark place to sleep.

Now that's it. Good night. It's time for me to kill ...


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