Thursday, February 13, 2014

Who Got Themself Welded In That Old Leaden Chest?... 2/13/14

They sent for Marianne, because she'd know. So Tomas put her in a big black car, like a plain limousine rich people ride in. 'Cause you know they do not roll around in them pimped out stretch things. The 'familiar' on Long Beach Island sent it. We asked if she wanted one of us to go with her. Conrad would have gone. One of the other elferinos, or elferinas could have. But she wanted to go by herself. Figured this might be a 'rising.' That's when a sad, scared vampire waif sees the world after being sealed away for years and years and years. Marianne says regular mortals can't even imagine it. Even most vampires can't imagine it. But she can, because she went through it. 

If you would like to learn about that, google MARIANNE IN BRITCHES by Billy Kravitz and scroll around. We only pretend it's fiction, because we have to. But it really happened to her. Still, that's another thing.

They had to leave after dark. The driver was from a livery that knew how to handle night-folk clientele. Each car had a special trunk fitted out with special padding, in case somebody had to lie in it and a thick, rubber gasket 'round where the trunk lid came down to seal out the light. Marianne dressed warm. Cold would not harm her. What could it do? She's a vampire, or a type of vampire.

(I have to temporarily 'publish' this again, like I did a night or two ago and go back into it via 'edit' to finish... Someone doesn't like when I share these insights into real vampire life. This has been going on since the beginning, more than three years ago. I check. They tell me it's not a virus or malware. But it's there and it's something. ... Let me go 'out' and come right back in... Thanks.)

Tomas made sure she had money. I don't know what she needs it for, but it makes him feel better. He says - In case they stop, she can go in a McDonald's or someplace and get a hot tea, or a bowl of chicken broth. Elferinas and Elferinos can tolerate a little more than other vampires. Plain soup shouldn't bother her. So she sits in the back of a big black car traveling down the dark, slushy roads of South Jersey. The driver likes jazz. Got a cool jazz station on. She doesn't care. Dozes a little. Thinks what it was like when she popped out of the box. Driver goes - There's a nice wool, lap robe in that nylon bag on the floor, if you want it..... Marianne goes - Thank you, but I'm OK.... She's got a long pea coat with deep pockets and a high collar, a scarf, a thick ski cap, gloves. Plus the car is heated, you know. Though night-folk don't like it too warm. Whole ride took three and a half hours, much longer than usual because of the weather. But the jazz was nice, so she didn't care.

Soon as they got there the driver ran into the bathroom. Town was quiet and empty, all wet and shiny. Rain coming down. Tail end of a Nor'easter it was. Some of the little streets leading toward the beach were swamped up to the curb. But that happens all the time at the shore when it rains. Most of the houses were empty. You could tell. One light on a timer downstairs. Smaller light on a timer upstairs. Maybe like one third of the houses had people in 'em, not counting the ghosts. People get attached to them little shore towns. Death don't stop that.

The 'familiar' is a retired school teacher and his wife. She raises long-haired, angora guinea pigs for people who really want like a toy dog, but are allergic or lazy. Has them all in a nice dry, clean space off the laundry room. The old, leaden chest is in the laundry room. Wife gives Marianne a hot, mug of tea. Elferina goes - Thank you..... She's a good kid. Three hundred and seventy years old. Been through a lot {I'm telling you. Google it}, but still basically hopeful and innocent. They go in to see the chest. Driver sits in the cozy living room watching the Olympics. You know those rooms they got at the shore... off white, bead board walls... light blue, sun yellow finely tailored upholstered furniture, light wood tables and all... glossy magazines... tab curtains... What did I forget?... I don't know why I channel so much of the details. Guess it's 'cause I want you to see how real this is. I know I say that a lot too, but so many people think it's not. And you know what I say to them?... Don't be so self-limiting. 

Marianne knelt down and ran her hands over the chest. There were no seams. They'd all been carefully welded shut. Oh, you could see the ridges where they were, but no air, or water, has gone in or out of that thing since it was last shut..... Marianne whispered something in French, or Flemish. I don't know. She tapped on the heavy lid. A few heartbeats later, someone tapped back. It was weak, but they heard it. The retired teacher said - I have tools... a saw... a metal saw, like plumbers use. Lead is fairly soft. It'll cut through. Should I get it?..... Marianne said - Yes, please. Get it. ..... He rummaged in a cupboard and came back with a short, tapering blade attached to what I'd call a pitcher handle, laboriously got down on his knees and began to saw. The wife knew his knees hurt. She got a towel and folded it up so he could kneel on it.  After a minute, maybe two, a little nick opened up in a corner of the chest, up high, where the lid came down. Then a stench came out. They all smelled it.. the retired teacher, his wife, Marianne. And vampires don't really have a scent. They don't give off a smell. But this wasn't from the being inside. This was from the air... old air from the western peninsulas of Europe, more than two hundred years ago, last breathed when Voltaire lived and Napoleon was a boy. Perhaps it was the interaction between the gases and the lead, or some sort of night-folk alchemy, but the teacher's wife retched. Marianne said - Please, no. You don't have to be here. Go, sit down. Please...... The wife said - That's alright. I want to see what's inside......  An hour and twenty minutes later, after rest breaks, cold water and passing off the saw between them, she did.

Lead is soft, but heavy so the lid stayed more or less in place til the final portion was cut. Then he jimmied the saw blade into the thin, straight crack (following the old welded seam) and shifted the lid ever so slightly off to one side. He grabbed one end. Marianne grabbed the other. Night-folk are strong. And together they carefully put it down on the floor.

Inside was a crumpled gray, linen cloth and what was under it trembled violently. The retired teacher looked at Marianne and said - Should I?...... She thought for a few moments and whispered - No, I will.

The cloth fairly disintegrated in her hands. There, beneath it, they saw him... a thin young boy, locked on his side in a fetal position. He wore black suede, knee britches and what was once a white, cotton shirt, his hair plastered to his skull and covered with a fine talc of lead dust. He was breathing. They could see that he was breathing. The wife mumbled - The poor thing..... Imagine, inhaling and exhaling the same stale air over and over again. True, he was night-folk and had no need of oxygen, but still. The retired teacher said - His eyes, they're open, but why are they black?...... Marianne said - It's mold. I don't know. It's not supposed to grow on our bodies, but sometimes it does. Here, help me get him out..... The man considered for a moment and asked - Is it safe? Is it safe for me to touch him? ..... Don't worry - said the Elferina. If it's not, I'll give you some drops of my blood. You'll be alright. She'll be alright (meaning the wife). Now please. Please help.... He hesitated, but the boy in the box was weeping. They could see that he was weeping, so between them, they ever so carefully lifted him out and laid him down on a little throw rug near the laundry room sink. The side of his body resting against the lead was somewhat flattened and discolored but not too much. His vampire blood prevented that. He started to tremble again. The wife got some big, thick, folded beach towels from a cabinet and covered him up. Marianne tenderly put one under his head. The wife said - What do we do? Do we just leave him like that?...... For a while we do - said the Elferina Marianne.... Now there weren't any big windows in the laundry room, maybe one small one, plus another tiny one on the door. The retired teacher got some black, plastic trash bags and duct tape to cover them up.

The wife said - What happens when he wakes up? Will he see? How long will it take for his eyes to get better?..... I don't know - said Marianne. Not long. A day, maybe less. I'm guessing. But please, you two go relax. I'll stay here with him.... The retired teacher (who was also a night-folk 'familiar') set up a little cot with a pillow and all. The wife got a blanket. She said - Here, lie down.....Marianne kicked off her shoes and did. Then the wife noticed all the lead dust on her nice, smooth, shiny, milky-gray painted floor. She dampened a cloth, got down and cleaned it up..... Marianne said - Thank you..... The woman self-consciously nodded. Before they left, her husband said - When he wakes up, please don't let him go crazy. We just had the cabinets and cupboards put in. And the washer and dryer are new too. After 'Sandy,' you know........ Marianne said - I won't.....

They left. I guess then they had to get the limo driver set up?  Think they put him on an old, tweed recliner they had in this little office.

Marianne found a few magazines from last summer in a canvas beach bag near the door. She laid back down and read them for a while. Then she put out the light and went to sleep.

Her roommate moaned a little, but he was alright.


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