Saturday, September 13, 2014


I had a coin, a small silver disc, quite worn and barely legible. Indeed, it's the only thing I had from my 'first' mortal life. I kept it in a little leather sack. Oh, I had other coins, but that one was special. My father brought it back from a trip to Savoyard holdings in the north of what would become Italy. He showed it to me and said - Look at the writing, Jonathon. See the letters..... I turned it over and said - Hebrew, Papa. It's in Hebrew. How is that possible? Is it old? Does it come from The Holy Land?..... It didn't seem that old. I examined it. It looked brand new, or almost brand new.... He showed me the symbol on the front, a menorah, the Light Eternal from The Temple.... But I had never seen a Jewish coin. We had Venetian coins and Spanish-Arabic coins, but nothing like this..... Look at the name - my father said.... I did.... Malika Hannah, it said.... Queen Anne? - I asked. Who is she? Is it a toy? Is it a joke?.... No - he said. She rules in the Occitan (linguistic term, designating an area in the southern part of French speaking lands). Not a large realm, but quite secure and well respected... He closed my little hand around it and said - Keep it with you always. For you too can be a king.

That was before The Crusades. Yet I kept it with me always. It was with me when I died and I had it during all those centuries as a life-eater (politically correct term for 'vampire'). But I lost it at the time of my second death, my vampiric death, when the born-witch killed me in the theatre (Philadelphia's Academy of Music). Perhaps it's still there under a seat? If they haven't destroyed the place yet.

And while I had it, I always thought I too can be a king. Oh, not in the physical sense. Not it a temporal sense, but figuratively. I could do great things and no one could stop me. I could save the worthy with tiny droplets of my blood and cull those unworthy to live. I could dispense gemstones and treasures to meek souls. I could help complete the world. I could do good things......

Then he stopped. Tomas, also known as Jonathon, just sat there, leaning against a tree, in the midst of many trees, staring out at the moon reflected in a still, small, forest pond. Was he a vampire again, even for a night?... No. Edith could have arranged something. She might have done it. Witchy-women, though not as strong as born-witches, are quite adept and can do many things. A dog might speak words in an obscure, forgotten language. An ugly bride might be a princess. But conjured things are not real and soon revert to the truth. 

What would Tomas be when the magic left him, a mortal with a bellyful of cold, septic, human blood?... Edith understood disease. She could not risk losing Tomas' second body, so she refused to do it.... Was he disappointed?... Of course. But he endured, a soul adrift in a 'borrowed' shell. Although passionate, vampires do know patience.

So he rested there, whispering to the ghosts. They shared stories of their deaths and he did too. Some asked his name. But most didn't care. They just wanted to talk... tattered bits of remembrance rising through the damp, forest air.

Yet one ghost stood apart, an ethereal presence watching from across the pond... a misty white stain lost in time. Tomas studied this lonely apparition, though he didn't say a word. And the 'shade' kept silent too. Though souls possess a 'soul song,' a certain resonance, a unique vibration, eternal and never ending..

And this one seemed familiar.....


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