Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Doctor Franklin noticed it. Usipov healed very quickly, considering he was still essentially mortal and had not yet returned to vampire form. He measured and listened and felt, refracting 'the resonance' through small crystal discs, detecting marginal variances with his finger tips. And it's funny. Considering how scientifically adept he was, the old reprobate still preferred recording data on fine, pale green pages in large traditional ledgers. Indeed, he'd done so since the days of his first Junto almost three hundred years ago. Hundreds of those books filled clean, sleek, stainless steel shelves ( retrievable via a system of silent tracks and casters) in climate controlled rooms near 'the residence' (the sumptuous underground 'manor house' where Franklin lived). A small group of curators working under Franklin's protege, Bruce (his family name. not his given one) had access to the tomes and were called 'book men' even though some of them were female. They wore somber business suits (skirts, pants, or kilts depending on preference, gender, or national origin).. Most felt they communicated telepathically. Not all the time, but they did have that capability.

Usipov said - When may I retreat to darkness?..... Those Russians have such a Chekovian streak.  And, as you obviously know, his new body was Russian too, having once been inhabited by that Moscow haberdasher's assistant. God knows what his brutally evicted spirit does now...... Franklin feigned undivided interest in his calligraphy, slowly tracing smooth, artistic strokes on exquisite rice paper, a gift from The Chrysanthemum Throne, otherwise known as the emperor of Japan. In return, Franklin sent him small,polished stone jars of a rare, complexion enhancing unguent made from nutrient-rich mer-folk placentas. Usipov tried to palm a jar. Franklin wouldn't let him, but he had them rig up a phony one filled with Crisco and Noxema, 'cause he knew the Russian (formerly a vampire-oligarch as well) wasn't going to stop.

Usipov asked again - When can I return to vampiric state? Franklin really didn't know. He was in a quandary. Tomas blood, or Elferino-elferina blood? Tomas blood was his first choice. But as far as he knew, the pubescent strain (the 'elf' strain) had never been used to create a vampire before. The scientific part of his nature wanted to see what would happen. But how would he get one of the elferinos or elferinas? That was the problem. Vampire kidnapping was out of favor. A few senators had offspring so burdened and really, really frowned on it. In the last generation or so, what with the popularity of vampire fiction and real vampires as well, novices to the breed can pop up anywhere. Only thing saving professional sports is all the day games. And don't think the coaches, managers and owners aren't happy about that. 

Franklin, ever the instinctive psychologist, said - Well wouldn't you like to be in better shape first? More defined? A 'six pack'? Perhaps a 'V' cut? You know, no alterations possible later....... Usipov goes - I know that. I've been vampire before. And what's wrong with this body? It's thin. It's lithe. Decent muscle tone. Well?...... The old patriot gestured toward the muted flat screen over the big work table and asked - You want to be locked in the body of an ice dancer forever?  The Russian looked at the screen filled with late night Olympic coverage, thought for a few heartbeats and said - Uh, no....... With that, Franklin went over to a cupboard and came back with a soft brick of clay. He plopped it down on an adjacent table (away from his refined calligraphy) and said - Here, create something....... Usipov sighed and proceeded to make yet another ashtray. This time, maybe, he'd decorate it with green polka dots...... But Franklin knew he could only stall so long....

Meanwhile back at the townhouse, Edith started to notice things. Her breasts felt different... large... full... warm. And Boopsie looked at her funny, as if she wanted to nurse. But the pow-wow (simply, self-taught, country witchery) woman laughed. She was well into middle age... Though still... somehow it felt so right.....

Boopsie clapped her fat, little mitts and went - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.... My God! The kid was asking for it already. Jeez, when do 'born' witchling kids start to talk?.... And how long do they nurse? Edith didn't know and she really didn't care. She just picked up the baby, sat in the rocker... and let 'nature' (or whatever it was) take it's course.

And upstairs, snug in her sleeping cabinet, Marianne, the comely elferina, switched on a small, efficient L.E.D. light and opened a letter. It was from a 'friend' on the coast, somewhere north of Atlantic City, Long Beach Island, or Tom's River someplace. An old, sealed, leaden chest had washed up. The first in over  three hundred and fifty years.

And something was scratching from inside....


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