Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Schooling of An Evil Elferino..... 3/4/14

He will never tell you these things on his own. Perhaps he doesn't believe them? Or maybe he feels they are no longer  important? But I can say and I will. Peter, I mean. I am telling you about Peter, the evil elferino. Evil elferinos are exceedingly rare. They say an Ottoman Emperor attempted to collect them. He sent riders to comb the realm looking for signs and stories. Black swathed wraiths they were, attired in Scythian raiment to keep out the dust and hold back the wind. High black boots they wore and long lengths of equally dark, polished cloth wrapped 'round their heads and over their hard, silent mouths. It's said the mounts were somewhat carnivorous, fed on boiled frogs and fat, plump grubs scattered amongst the grain and peas. Some stable masters honed the teeth to knife edged keenness, the better to bite off toes, or fingers, or cheeks.  What's that? You say horses won't do that? No, not left to their own devices. But psyches can be changed. Dietary staples can be withheld. Hot blades applied to certain tender body parts help too. Such things can be done. Horses are intelligent. They learn. 

And as with horses, the same with little boys, or beings which were once little boys. The emperor's men were experts at their task. Old women were taken hostage. Not any old women... witchy women.... wise women.... Held and tortured they were.... thrown in the crab pits, deep beneath the kitchens... fetid holes of damp, hungry swarming chitinous monsters. Most victims were quickly fished out trembling and babbling. Crabs work fast, don't you know. They begged for assistance... for special salves and unguents to soothe their many pinches tears and bites.  But the eunuchs held back til the Royal Interlocutors got what they wanted. Although witchy women fancied animals to be their 'familiars,' they themselves did 'familiars'' chores for other beings, namely night-folk. Some served ordinary vampirinos and vamperinas. Others toiled for more exotic sorts... elferinos, elferinas, lucid wanderers and other things. They told what they knew, betraying supernatural friends and clients. Huntsmen were dispatched bearing huge, strong, leaden nets. And when the innocent elferinos in question exited their lairs, the trap was sprung. Night-folk cannot pass through lead, you know. The enchanted quarry were quickly wrapped and bound, much as Marianne was during her capture. Or perhaps it was 'Papa?'  Lead is their kryptonite. 

Peter was one such quarry, a trophy snatched from a mountain cave in the wilds of Croatia, not to distant from Austria, in case you don't know. Ottoman territory stretched that far. And he rode in a cage with leaden shutters, open by night, but sealed by day. It rested on a caisson maybe five cubits (1 cubit = 18 inches = 45 cm) tall, ten cubits wide and twelve cubits long. Peter was not its only occupant. Two other juvenile vampires rode with him, a female called Basia and a male called Paul. But their stories are not his.

The huge conveyance, pulled by ten brown bears, oversized specimens ransomed from a Muscovite prince, were meticulously trained for the task. I don't know what they fed them, but I'm told the diet consisted of thick slabs of fine, smoked salmon and countless alabaster jars of costly beluga caviar. 

On the thirtieth night they reached Istanbul, making their way through the Roman city, capital of an everlasting empire at that time more than two thousand years old. Heralds proceeded them to Topkapi  (the palace) , where the occupants of the leaden cage were immediately ushered before the Sublime Porte, into the very presence of the Emperor/Sultan himself. 

The ruler never spoke and barely acknowledged his functionaries, communicating through a series of subtle gestures. The three night-folk were separated, each surrounded by a different cadre of imperious eunuchs and led from the exquisitely tiled throne room, proceeding over what seemed like miles of handmade, silk carpeting to the place where they'd be trained.

They fit Peter with a thick, lead collar and showed him the instruments of torture, all lead naturally, which would be brought to bear should he prove recalcitrant in any way. Now he was newly made at that time and had no idea which parts regenerated and which did not, so the various tongue extractors, flesh pinchers , flaying knives and eye screws were never ever used.... so far as I know. 

But his toe nails were pulled from their beds just to teach him 'what for.'  And he cried as they carried him away. 

His schooling had begun...


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