Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Jonathon still had that feeling. The world seemed a bit off balance. Magnetic resonances were out of kilter. Even though he didn't know the technical reasons and terms for all of it, Jonathon still felt it all. Vampires are like that. Witchy-Folk are too. I suppose 'born' witches more than they who merely study, but you can't always bet on that.

He sat out in the postage stamp, backyard townhouses usually have, with Edith (she's the witchy-woman housekeeper). The night was cold and clear... not freezing, but bone chilling just the same. They wore coats, knit caps, mufflers and gloves, the whole bit. Those about on winter nights could do no less. Witchy-folk are mortal and able to contract all manner of illness. Vampires are beyond that, though the physical sensations of dampness and cold bites just the same... They had snuggled under warm stadium blankets too, each on their own high backed, lacquered porch chair.

Edith said - Look at the stars. They seem like cold, silvery things, but many are at least eleven thousand degrees at the surface. I know that from an old set of World Book encyclopedias..... Impressive - said Jonathon. But 'Papa' knows what they're like close up..... For those who don't know, 'Papa' is the twenty eight thousand year old (who looks like a thirty two or thirty three year old Richard Gere) Cro Magnon, shaman vampire responsible for Jonathon's nativity.... That must be positively terrifying. I think if ever saw even the Earth from out in space, I don't mean in a space ship, but floating around the way 'Papa' does, I'd drop dead and die - said Edith..... He's a vampire. He's already dead, or something very much like it - said Jonathon.... Do you think you're dead? - asked Edith.... I don't know - he said. I only know what they tell me. And 'Papa' only knows our own star, the sun. Imagine, he can project himself out there. I'm still not sure if he actually 'goes,' or if it's like what they call remote viewing, or something like that. But think about it. He's seen roiling waves on the surface of the sun rise up ten thousand miles and break, just like monstrous waves upon the sea. He says the light is so bright everything's lost in a white hot, radio active 'hiss.'...... Then how does he see it? - asked the witchy-woman..... I don't know - said Jonathon. I'm thinking he sees it another way, like in the radiation spectrum, if I'm using the right words..... And the light doesn't destroy him? - she asked..... I guess it doesn't. I'm told every vampire is tied to their own star. Maybe if I went to an Earth-like world around another star I'd be immune too? - said Jonathon..... Then he added - Twenty eight thousand years old. Even I can't conceive of it. Maybe that's why? And then I think of even older ones. Remember Mister Old Bones, that Neanderthal vampire and 'Papa's' 'mother,' the Lady Renate? Who knows what's out there?...... I don't want to know - said Edith. My level of hoo-doo is more than enough....

For a while they just sat there, watching the stars. If you stare long enough, you'll begin to see colors. Some stars are blue, or red, or orange, or white. You have to be patient and have a little bit of discernment, but you'll see it.... Edith unscrewed the cup-lid on a classic, plaid Thermos filled with hot plain tea. She was eight feet from the kitchen door, but when they 'sit out' she likes to be prepared. Running inside breaks the spell. She poured herself a little and said - Jonathon, you want some?... Vampires can tolerate thin, mostly clear liquids. He nodded and said - A little, but you take first. I'll have what's left.... Cold doesn't hit him likes it hits her.....

She sipped, as the vampire whispered - That feeling we had? I think something happened. I think a prophet was born..... You mean as a baby? - she said.... Not necessarily. Could be the 'birth' of awareness. Maybe he, or she is just waking up to it..... 'She?' - Edith asked. There can be lady prophets?.... The vampire said - Oh, there have been 'lady' prophets, quite a few of them, even in my thousand year lifetime. Look, I don't know if they're major prophets, but they're getting something. Not just the women, everybody, I mean. We all do, every day, but you know how they think. Only 'crazy people' hear God. What idiots. Look at yourself. Look at the witchy-women. You don't think some of them ever get 'messages?' Even you.

Edith said - I gotta start writing things down....Then she passed him the Thermos and he drank.

But in that instant when their eyes were off the heavens, a blue star passed a red one and for a few heartbeats a purple glow rained down from above.....

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Andy Kaufman sings "Rosemarie" on Letterman ..Night-Folk Know The World Is A Strange Place... 12/28/15


Jonathon woke that evening, went upstairs to attend to his toilet (means wash, groom & dress) and left the townhouse. He had business to attend to. Vampires such as he, they who take vows, 'cull' on a lunar schedule. He was translated on at this time of month and he kills at this time of month. So he walks through the damp to find his victim.... that dry soul sent to him in visions.... A man this one is, mature in years, though not 'old.' I know not his sins, but they are many. People have died by his name. Things were sold that should not have been sold. Even children perished. And his wealth metastasized, spreading to banks and counting houses created to obfuscate such things. Four times each year the man in question flew to where the money was, just to insure its safety. Every solstice and equinox he sped through the stratosphere in a silver blade. 'Private Jets' I believe you call them. He's just returned from one such trip... a Santa Claus in reverse, so to speak. 

Jonathon caught him at the theater... not in his seat, but in a stall... a restroom stall. If you know The Forrest Theater on Walnut Street, you know it's a classic... Look-a-likes exist in Boston, New York, Chicago and other places. Dark maroon velvet... gold gilt... the requisite huge fixture over the orchestra... crystal sconces... antiqued mirrored lobby, where they sell the mega-priced orange aid. But the water closets must be downstairs, lest errand flushes ruin the big solo. Divas and divos would not like that at all.

The big man tarried, reading a newspaper (he gets it on line). A twelve year old daughter and her guest were upstairs watching singing ersatz Mormons strut their stuff. A show or two during the holidays is a yearly ritual. But he doesn't care about shows.... Once they blink the lights signaling act-two it's almost silent down there. Some say that's when ghostly encounters occur. The ante-room to the toilets is a special place... old, polished, parquet floors... a huge, palace sized oriental rug... antique (or antique style) settees and love seats... dark, detailed paneled walls.... venerable, framed posters from legendary times....  That's where stars meet the press after a show.

But there were no press conferences that night, just a dried up empty soul sitting on a rather nice crapper scanning his tiny screen.

And then Jonathon approached. He condensed right by the Barrymore settee, the place where John Barrymore would mush up with lesser female members of the cast during rehearsals (dressing rooms were too far away). Then he squared his shoulders and sublimated through the door marked 'Gentlemen.' He walked passed a long row of marble sinks. Except for intermissions and pre or post-performance, lights were low. Jonathon liked that. Ten heartbeats later he stopped before an oak door (floor to ceiling... each stall was completely private), inhaled and vaulted through the carefully waxed barrier.

The man with the dried up soul shrieked, dropping his phone right into the toilet. He yelled - What the hell are you?!.... But Jonathon only grinned..... The meal began to scream. With that Jonathon reached down and squeezed the man's trachea till he could only cough and sputter. Then he kneeled down, and took the life. Quite delicious it was. Sin ads spice.

Jonathon waited till the corpse ignited into the 'cool' (for fire) blue flame and disappeared. Except for singeing, all that burned was the body. On his way out, he stopped at the ticket booth and passed a small jeweler's envelope to the clerk, who said - What's this?... For the manager - whispered Jonathon. He'll know..... Then he left.

Inside was a diamond worth more than enough to pay for any restroom repairs and a note stating that it should only be used for that purpose.

A 'familiar' with a sympathetic face and a gray suit met the daughter and her friend after the show. He said that the father had to leave, then he drove them back to the duplex, penthouse on Rittenhouse Square. It took some fancy footwork on the part of the family's lawyers to have him declared dead, minus a body, but with money and connections almost all things are possible.

The younger wife and daughter didn't mind much, since they were the primary beneficiaries. Besides, now they could import a cooler husband and stepdad. What's bad with that?

For a time, an assistant henchmen continued manufacturing the dangerous products, but a different vow-taking vampire, out of New York, took care of him, which ended it.

Oh, one more thing... Jonathon walked away with the man's fifty eight thousand dollar gold and diamond watch plus forty five hundred dollars in cash. Come on... how do you think vampires get so rich over the centuries?

When he got back to the townhouse a few hours later his wife-consort, Sarah, was already home. She met him in the entrance hall and said - Have a good night?.... He kissed her and said - Yes dear.... Then they went up to their specially sealed sleeping chamber and climbed into bed, watching reruns of a game show called PRESS YOUR LUCK until they fell asleep.

Thus is life among the night-folk....

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Mediaeval Baebes - The Holly and the Ivy - Lyrics ..A Witchy Woman & A Vampire Talk... 12/27/15


Edith came back from the pines. The witchy-woman had two families, her first and the night-folk. She parked the car outside and went into the townhouse. Everything was quiet and dim. On gray drizzly mornings the interior stayed dark a long, long time. But she heard a sound, soft snoring from the little library and carefully opened the door and slipped inside. The shutters were specially made to shut tight, the better to seal in the dark. Vampires need that, especially Jonathon, who often falls asleep in there. Even though she couldn't see him, the pattern on inhalations and exhalations was familiar, so she switched on the little 'China trade' lamp.... The vampire, Jonathon, opened an eye and in a thick, sleepy voice said - Edith, what time did you get back?..... Just now - she said.... What time is it? - He yawned..... Eight thirty. You have the whole day yet. Still dark in the hallway, if you want to run up stairs and tuck yourself in? - she asked..... No - he said. I'll stretch out here. I like it in here..... Are you sure? Are you warm enough?.... I have two afghans. I'll be all right - he said. And stretched out on the sofa under his covers..... But Edith didn't leave. She just stood there..... What is it? - he said..... Oh, you know how it is. I always get this way after Christmas. It's like why does it have to be over? - she said..... I know - he whispered. You know how I get around holidays. Jerusalem Fever is a chronic condition, my dear and we both have it. Was it nice in The Pines?..... It's always nice in The Pines - she said. I take out all her little toys and all her little outfits. She had some storybooks about two little kewpie dolls who escaped from a souvenir cart at the circus. I don't know if she understood all the words, but she loved when we read to her. I'd show her all the pictures. Mister Edith would read to her too. Then I'd tuck her into her little crib and wind up the jewelry box. It was mine when I was a little girl. My father bought it for me in Cape May. She'd hear the tinkling song. A tiny celluloid ballerina danced around - Edith's voice trailed off.... Jonathon knew about her loss. He knew about the little girl, a baby actually, barely ten months old. Sometimes Edith wanted to talk about her. Sometimes she didn't. He understood. So he said nothing and waited for her to continue.....Edith sat down in a chair... I saw her. I saw her little spirit - she said. I blew her a kiss and she waved. You know how babies wave? They raise both arms over their heads and open and close their little hands. She was right there on the braided rug. I moved to get down on the floor and sit next to her, but she disappeared. I could smell her. I could smell her baby smell, but she was gone. Something's going to happen. I just have that feeling. I get real melancholy. You know how I get.... I know - he whispered. I was that way last night too. Started preaching. I don't think I went overboard, but Billy picked up on it. He channeled it and typed it into the blog. It went out. It's published. I got a couple hundred 'hits.' Is that what they call them, 'hits?'..... That's what they call them - she said. Come on. After all this time, you don't think they know about us? They know everything. He blogs about us almost every night. And don't tell me you don't like it.... He nodded.... A few minutes later he fell asleep. Edith quietly got up, turned off the little lamp and carefully went out so as not to let much of the weak gray light in the hall wash in.... Sarah, Jonathon's consort was upstairs in their chamber. She didn't snore, but Edith, as a witchy-woman, knew she was there. Sometimes Conrad turned up, but not that day. So she went into the kitchen, brewed herself a mug of tea and sat down in the den to watch her 'morning shows.' She turned the sound down, but Edith was used to that. Living with nocturnal vampires, you just know.

She still had the feeling something was going to happen. At least she hoped it would.

Jonathon had that feeling too... She drank her tea and he dreamt of Old Cordoba in the rich, orange eleventh century sunshine.....

Thus the day began....

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Friday, December 25, 2015


Jonathon, our vampire hero is back in the townhouse, sitting before the little hearth in his cozy library, lit only by the small, crackling fire and a small, 'China trade' table lamp ----

Readers sometimes ask me what I believe. Oh, I gloss on it all the time, but now I'll give you my 'tenants of the faith' so to speak.

I believe with a most perfect faith that the righteous of all groups will share in The World To Come.... When my time comes and even vampires face physical extinction... When I wait for my turn to climb Jacob's Ladder and face The Divine Presence.... old Mrs. Patel might go before me... Even if I speak up and say - But I have lived a reverent life. I've borne my burdens well (being night-folk and all) . Please let me ascend.... The angel will say - You will get your turn. This is hers.... And when that woman, the owner of a blameless, loving life sees God, she may very well say - Krishna? Is it You?..... And God will embrace her shining soul and say - Yes, It is I... For what would it serve Him to do any less?... I really believe that.... with a 'most perfect faith,' as I was taught to say. For besides all the varieties of Jews, whether Christian, Hasidic, Muslim, Reformed, or Orthodox, we will also meet the followers of Buddah, Hindus and sincere members of other faith families, not to mention souls from other worlds... And they have every right to make the climb. My faith gives me no priority. This might sound strange, coming from a vampire, but to me, it is merely the easiest way to be truly 'human.' ....... You know How bad I get 'Jerusalem Fever,' so please allow me a moment to compose myself....... Faith never dies. My 'translation' to this form changed nothing. I believed in - Love all Humanity ('thy neighbors' translation was an error) as thyself... and I believe in it now.... To judgmental souls who insist on  seeing 'strangers and outsiders' we say - Then do even more for them than one of your own, since they expect so very much less..... Charity? There was no such thing as charity, It is Zedakah. It is righteousness. It is sharing. It is natural and right. Souls knew their worth since Sinai and all may join the march.

I'm going to stop now, because I could go on for hours. Just know that at this spiritual time of year, it is incumbent on all to 'go and do good things.'..... And as they say in The Rocky Horror Show - Don't just dream it. Be it.

Well, that's how it is, or at least that's how I see it. If you follow a different path, but walk in a reverent and sincere manner, your journey is just as worthy as mine or anyone else's.

If you're familiar with the early part of my tale, you know that I, while still mortal, was almost killed with the Martyrs of Provencal during the First Crusade. They herded us into a synagogue, four hundred years old even then, and set it ablaze. Hundreds died. Had not a vampire walked the smoldering ruins, later that night and found me clinging to life, I would not be among you know.... But I am... And I have tried to do the best I can.

May this Season of Miracles be real for you... all of you.....

Who am I to tell you such things?..... I am Jonathon ben Macabi, also known as Tomas de Macabea. I am night-folk. I am vampire. And I believe with a most perfect faith.

What more can I say?

(He turns off the lamp and sits there staring at the fire)


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Thursday, December 24, 2015


Jonathon picks up where he left off Monday night~~~

Not all the gold coins are given to homeless people. Believe me. Center City is not over run by them. I just know where they hide. I just know who they are. But sometimes I share with working people. I'll walk through a hospital and slip one of the velvet, drawstring sacks (actually, my Hanukah-'Gelt' bags. I've been giving them out for weeks now) into the pocket of a hardworking orderly.. or a practical nurse... the overlooked people. They don't make that much. I can help them. They rarely see me. Vampires can effect people that way. It's more instinct than art. Cats can do it too. If I really 'feel' for a mortal they get a few sacks... each with the carefully folded note inside telling them where to go to sell the coins and also that I meant them to have them. I learned. I have to put that line in, because one recipient put an ad in the papers trying to find the rightful owner. I'm sure he's in the presence of God. He died young. Where else would he be?.... a saint.

Though not all are saints. There are other things out there too. Not vampires. Not other vampires, or ghouls, or witches... nothing like that. These have no preternatural identity. They sit... hidden in plain sight... Maybe in a bus shelter, or on a bench. They mumble to themselves, emitting evil, little giggles. Their eyes glow orange in the night. Some smell like stale, wet ashes. I'm not talking about mentally disturbed people. These are different. Many times the mouth never moves, yet words, or what passes for words, comes out. And the trickle of blood from a nostril is not a trickle of blood, but a greasy, red worm. I hate them. They trick people. They grab people. A feverish hand flies out, locking on a wrist. Then the language... a low, guttural barrage of words. 'Soul thieves' they are. Oh, the victims still move and talk and work and go about their lives... or what used to be their lives. And it can go on for decades... until the mortal dies.... I've seen human babies, snatched early on, exist as shells of what they might have been for the better part of a century. Puppets, they are... and sorely used. Eleven are on 'death row' right now.

Lesser fiends I'd just kill. I'd sublimate  [when a vampire passes into and out of living tissue, the cellular and molecular structure is destroyed, leaving naught but a viscous, oozing puddle]through them and that would be it. But, just as you, I am a soul too and I don't want to lose it.

So I stroll back toward the townhouse. Quite a distance really. I'm walking through a cunning, little gothic courtyard of The Wharton School now, The University of Pennsylvania's famous nursery for titans of industry and powerful money barons and that's in the 'thirties.' Our place in Society Hill is over three miles away. So I walk and I think and I communicate..... Billy types it all up... brightens the vocabulary a bit... deepens the atmosphere... He's good at that.

And please don't believe him when he tells you we give him 'looks' because he hasn't made us famous yet. He reads it all wrong. We know how hard he works. It's he who craves the spotlight. Every writer is an actor. Every writer is a 'ham.' They perform on the page ( or lap top screen ) instead of the stage. That's all.

Now permit me some privacy. I'd like to distribute a coin sack or two to some troubled undergrad. They wander around now. The night can be quite attractive. I'm sure I'll find one soon.

Peace of The Season to you all.

(with that he turns and walks away)

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Vasmpires Love The Winter Solstice ... 12/22/15

Jonathon loves the Solstice. He dresses carefully.. new underwear (he does) ... two white, long sleeved t-shirts... black wool socks... black jeans... crisp, meticulously pressed white shirt, topped with black rather form fitting, cashmere sweater, if the night was cold enough, or a fine, cream colored, wool muffler if it was not. On bitter nights he wore both. Then his tailored, quilted, black leather, three quarter length zippered coat. It looks like a medieval tunic. Indeed, he had one like it in his mortal days, but minus the zipper. The dapper night-lord, with only a bit of muffler showing up under his chin. And, of course the carefully crafted leather gloves, plus maybe a warm, knit hat, pulled on just right.

He studied his reflection in an antique cheval mirror. Sarah, finished arranging her own outfit... rather like his and said - This is it. From here on in they get shorter, the nights, I mean..... He struck a three-quarter pose and sighed... She asked - What are you doing tonight?..... Distributing alms. I always give alms tonight. See? - he answered and showed her a small, zipped leather case, resembling a Bible, filled with little, dark blue, velvet, drawstring sacks holding bright, shiny Krugerrands, each heavy coin fashioned from a full ounce of solid gold. Three or four to a sack meant every recipient hurried away with at least five thousand dollars.... He had about fourteen sacks..... Sarah didn't go with him. She went her own way. Vampire couples are like that. They come together to rest during the day. They couple. They bathe. They sleep. But panthers are an independent breed. Everyone knows that.

Jonathon left the townhouse and wandered through a night that was actually quite mild. He sought out the darkest streets... little byways, alleys really, for small trucks to make deliveries, or pick up refuse. You or I, provided we're mortal, would be blind in such places. There were few security lights. The doors, leading to commercial establishments and office buildings were thick, heavy, steel affairs, impossible to open from the outside. I think the fire department had special tools to get in, but no one else did. During business hours they opened from the inside and even then just to accept shipments or throw something into a dumpster.

Night was another thing. People crawled in with their blankets, their meager belongings and their hungers. Some want food and drift in early, the better to peruse the dumpsters. Not to many vermin. New generation dumpsters shut tight. People can get in (maybe two... the lids are heavy) dig around... find stuff... thrown out doughnuts from the staff room... food from the cafeteria (banks have the best). Sometimes they fight. Others snuggle under blankets and satisfy other needs.

Jonathon looks for certain types. His eyes are different. He can see in the dark. Everything looks gray... dark grays... charcoal grays... powdery blacks... no colors. Just enough contrast and demarcation to provide a bit of information. He studies the shapes till he finds a certain type... quiet...  away from the others.... happy for a place to just curl up and sleep... Some are women. Some have children.

He'll walk by. They tense. He'll unzip his little, black case, take out a drawstring bag and toss in on the blankets. Hands crawl out to explore the strange, new thing. Gold has a 'feel.' There's a heft. You can almost taste it with your fingertips.

They hold it tight, snug, up under their chins. And in the first weak light of dawn, or almost dawn, they look at it. There's a little note folded into each sack, telling them where to go to sell the coins. Everything's arranged. Jonathon's 'familiars' know what to do.

Five or six thousand dollars, depending on the market, can do a lot...

Look, we were going to tell you more, but 3:30AM came up real fast. And whoever it is we got typing this tonight has to get some sleep. So think of this as part one. Tomorrow evening we'll do part two... hopefully early.

We're sorry, but the trash and recycling trucks come by and they make a real big racket.

We hope you understand...

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Edith, Our Witchy-Woman Housekeeper, Shares a Sad and Troubling Tale... 12/20/15

The cold has finally reached us. They say it still hasn't settled in for good, but we have it for a few evenings. Thin, brittle, candy coatings of ice reflect moonlight up from still rivers, really little more than misnamed streams. I like The Pines in winter. You've been here with me before. It's Edith, the housekeeper from the city. I come back for Christmas. It's only a ninety minute ride. They all come out here, Jonathon, Sarah, all of them. The Jersey Pine Barrens is a special place. Magic lives here. It always has. I sit on the porch and watch the ghosts. They trace through the trees like deer. Some nod. Some don't. Little more than eyes in the dark. Raccoons scurry right through them. The cold gives everything a different aura. It all looks so focused, even in the weak, silvery beams.

But I see it in daylight. I had a child, you know, a daughter.... a perfect little thing. She was ten months old... a dumpling in every way. I gave her pudding... plain, vanilla pudding. It made her happy....

It was April and already warm. I washed the sheets and took out the spring testers (light quilts). Not that there wouldn't be cool nights. We'd use two testers then. But that day was blue and clear and bright. I could smell the 'river' and the grass and the soil. We lived away from the village, in a little clearing. Thirty feet from the porch was The Pines. If Jersey Devils dwelt there, they were our Jersey Devils, more friends then monsters. Those of you familiar with Horsey Skeezix understand. Such a dear little soul he is. But the world knows what the world knows, or rather what it wants to know.

I put the baby in an old varnished, wicker basket, quite smooth and lined with layer after layer of soft-with-use faded, Turkish towels. Then I took her outside and laid her down on the grass, so I might hang out the wash, carefully draping a towel over one end to shade her from the sun. She gurgled and played with a rubber elephant. I still love that sound.

When I was done I spread a coverlet next to the baby and laid down to rest. Her breath was so even and so fine. I didn't mean to fall asleep... but I did... Mister Edith was out clamming. We were all alone. The wind kicked up. It does that. Warm days often change. I felt the breeze and woke up. That's when I saw it. The basket was upended... towels all over the grass... her little rubber elephant.....

We have big snapping turtles in that 'river.' I've seen them take apart a rabbit....

They say I was crazy for three weeks. Even then, I rarely spoke.

But when you read about me in this tale... when you hear them refer to Edith, the housekeeper... Edith the Jersey Pines witchy-woman, please know that I too have a history.

There are things that you don't know.

Please excuse me for commandeering the screen, but we've shared the ride for more than five years and I thought it only right to tell you.

If the voice I've used tonight sounds strange, blame the gravity of my tale...

The details never leave me....

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Kings Row (1941): Suite of 1968..Vampire Jonathon's Favorite... 12/16/15

The vampire, Jonathon, speaks~~~

My first observation concerns not vampires, or night-folk, but the cinema. I see what they say. I watch television and go to the movies too. In fact, as a soul born to an elemental, simple time, movies are like magic to me. They are dreams made manifest. No, they are not 'like' magic. They ARE magic. I saw The Thief Of Baghdad... the silent Douglas Fairbanks version. And did they 'get' life in that culture right? No, not if you count every little detail. But to those not miserly in a cultural sense it beams with truth. I know. My Al-Andaluz homeland was like that. I can smell the almond trees and taste the marzipan. Even now after one thousand years as a life-eater, I can feel those things. I can hear the finger cymbals and castanets and the tinkling fountains of a hundred courtyards.

But I digress.....

I saw STAR WARS ... You can click on it if you like. I saw the first 'dream' in nineteen seventy seven. I heard the music and it took me back thirty seven years to a vast movie palace on Market Street... back to a warm, summer night... a time when artificially cooled air was only found in such places. I went in to escape the heat. And I heard a score that's been embroidered into the very fibers of my heart since then. It's my music. I listen to it all the time. It represents life and struggling and triumph. Listen to it. You'll see. It's haunting.

They say the basic plot points, not to mention the score, actually influenced STAR WARS.... three friends.... two young men and a special young woman confront evil and power in a closed 'society.'... A bit like Luke and Han and Leyah. You don't need space craft to reach the stars.

So see the new Space Opera. Absorb STAR WARS. Enjoy... But if you're just a little bit curious, look up an earlier film. Look up KINGS ROW on You Tube. Listen to the various 'takes' on the music. I think the whole film is up there too.... Black and white. Beautifully shot.... I have a copy here at the town house. I listen to it on cold, winter nights... all snug under two afghans... dim light from a small lamp... and there on the screen, the silvery perfection of long ago. Imagery means a lot to a vampire. Can you visualize the films we'd have if they could record my memories? Remember, I sat in the Globe Theater... two rows from Good Queen Bess to be exact. I heard bards sing in Old Provencal and American Indian poets in noble long houses not far from the outskirts of baby Philadelphia. How fast the city rose. Penn brought the blue print... the first planned city since Roman times... not counting the vast metropolises of MesoAmerica.  All of brick it was. London had just burned and it's New World offspring never did. I was there. They had fire eaters and sword swallowers on Head House Square... street performers of every type... faces whitened... eyes smudged with kohl... red lips .... yellow teeth.... Please forgive me. I could not resist. Vampires notice teeth and until recently, you mortals really had some specimens.

Look, I talk about all this to distract myself. Soon I'll leave here, enter a black, chauffeur driven car ( the driver a 'familiar,' naturally) go to a little street in the Northern Liberties and park 'round the corner from a small apartment house. Then I'll sublimate up to the third floor bedroom of a young man... a self-centered, more or less uncaring, evil young man, (you met him a few nights ago) scoop him up, blankets and all (vampire breath is a soporific... he'll sleep through the whole thing)... and sublimate back down to the waiting car. My 'aura' is more than adequate to carry him along with me.

We'll drive in through a little known gate. Laurel Hill Cemetery is large, a medieval fiefdom in its own right. Then wind our way to a forgotten quarter of old, moldering, family crypts. Most haven't been opened since Victoria's son was on the throne ... sealed time capsules of physical corruption and unending darkness. That's where he'll wake up. The young man, I mean. And he'll have no idea where he is, or how he got there.... alone amidst the horror of sharp, shattered bones and desiccated, splintery coffins. In former times they heaved them in like cordwood.

Imagine waking up on a razor sharp bed of ancient, broken bones. Might as well be shattered glass... wearing your underwear, wrapped in your blankets..... No, not wrapped in your blankets. I'm not going to let him keep his blankets. That would be too comforting. He'd just curl up in a cocoon and die. People do that. They just 'stop.' They curl up in one place and don't eat and don't drink. They just breath and think, or simply entertain thoughts, till they die.

Well, I don't want him to die. I'll wait till he sleeps. Maybe not the first time he drifts off. Maybe the second. Maybe the third. Sometimes I can read minds. I can feel every jot and tittle. Even when I can't, I feel the high points. I'll know. I'll wait till he sleeps. When he does sleep it'll be from pure exhaustion. I don't think he's the curl up and die type. He'll fight. He'll search. He'll feel through the darkness. He'll bleed. He'll cry. Not that it will do him any good. Then I'll sublimate in, take him out and return him to his bed. If he's picked up an infection or two, a few drops of my blood will fix that. He'll wake up with a note, written on a scrap of ancient parchment, on the side table listing his sins... the bone dust of the grave still upon him. A Scrooge for our time.

I am a ghost. Not really, but I can be. Now permit me to end this conversation. I must prepare for tonight's performance... an invisible role, but a pivotal one none the less.

Be careful what sees you while you sleep... Be careful who watches in the dark...

None are safe....

Every 'thing' is everywhere...

But you who browse the paranormal archives already know that.

<more next time>

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Vampire, Jonathon, PREPARES TO Teach A Lesson... 12/16/15

Jonathon hates exploiters. Maybe because that's what everybody assumes vampires are and he isn't. That 'boyfriend' was an exploiter. It took a lot for the girl to tell him. She loved him. They were engaged. Still are engaged, actually. I mean she still has the ring and she hasn't broken it off. Imagine... a resident training for a specialty in ob/gyn who takes advantage of his 'patients.' Look, he sees one on a regular basis. Oh, he'd never marry her. What could 'she' do for him? His fiancé's father belonged to a quite serviceable town club. Not the best, but all right for now. He liked that. Carriage trade practices make so much more than the take-all-comers kind.

Well, the vampire known as Jonathon ben Macabi ( and sometimes Tomas de Macabea) doesn't take all comers either. That much is true. He's selective. But a character like what's his name, the resident, more than makes the cut. 'Schooling' mortals can be so much fun. Locked one in a dark, cold, granite mausoleum over night. You know, those mini-classic-temple buildings on mossy lanes (strange kind of winter here) in old cemeteries like Laurel Hill ? Jonathon knows how to open the heavy bronze doors. Knows how to seal them shut too. The earliest types are very spare inside... plain stone floor... no plinths. Coffins rest right on the slate paving. Most are neatly arranged along the walls, but sometimes coffins move. Vibrations can do that... small earthquakes... heavy trucks going by just beyond the fence... underground streams. It happens. Families never see it. Caretakers go in to straighten up before any subsequent interments. The thing is, after two or three generations, who's going to come around? Everybody's dead. Place gets all filled up. Door gets shut for good. Maybe some family curious descendant might come around, but they never go inside. Why would they?

Jonathon goes in. He sees through the dark gray, dusty gloom. He sees the unorderly coffins. He sees the cracked wood...the exposed remains... the gruesome, staring, grinning skulls.

Soon that naughty boyfriend will see them too. No, wait. Maybe he won't see them? Maybe he'll just feel them..... Jonathon knows every remote corner. Nobody goes back there, even the caretakers... not late at night anyway... Just the dead and their unfortunate guests. Just a still breathing soul, inching through the dry shattered bones, desperate to find refuge against the cold, stone wall....

Some survive till Jonathon lets them out. Some don't. Once in a while our vampire hero forgets altogether... or he lets himself forget.

You know how it is....

<more next time>


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

10 Reasons Why Alien Life Exists ...Paranormal is NOTHING to WHAT'S PROBABLY OT THERE ... 12/15/15

I have nuffink to say. Well, I do, but not a lot, just a short commentary before I retire for a sleep period.

Some say it seems our universe is geared for life. We now know water is abundant and found in many places, as are Earth sized planets.

We talk about technological advancement. Most breakthroughs are mere gadgetry, like the device we're both using now. Although ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE could 'evolve' into something very like an alien life form sometime soon... or relatively soon.

Humanity SHOULD work towards mega-speed space vehicles, expanded lifespans and disease-free bodies.

Imagine..... We don't get sick... We have credible transport that can get us almost everywhere and we have the time to do it.

I'm thinking about that right now... Well, obviously I am, or I wouldn't have typed that.

Also, if you don't have tix or relatives or connections to get you into STAR WARS - FIRST FRIDAY, explore my accessible space opus instead. Google Vampire Wonderland by Billy Kravitz... but before you click, add EL RANCHO TEXACO..... That should get you in. Then scroll forward or backward, depending on how you like to travel through time.

In addition, I think you can click on - ...
again. It was screwed up for a while, but the aliens have fixed it and now its all right. It'll take you into The Archives.... a limitless storehouse of all kinds of stuff.

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Please comment. Thanks to the best people on line.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Anthony Warlow & Lucy Maunder sing 'Now' - Doctor Zhivago The Musical ~> inspiration for Vampire Wonderland and Philadelphia After Dark 12/13/15


OK... this is a little aside. I think some of you know the Vampire Wonderland blog is an outgrowth and a nebulous expansion of my PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK screenplay. The script, needless to say is tighter and more coherent. The characters are a bit different too. Tomas/Jonathon is just plain Thomas, the overlooked second son of a Scots peer, who one snowy evening, while strolling the deserted midnight, frosty deck of an 1880's ocean liner, sees a light in a porthole, stops to peek in and enters a world he never knew existed.

I love that scene.. a silent, silvery night... snow powdered deck chairs... complete solitude (well... almost) .... arcane secrets in a mysterious cabin.

And then they disembark... a nighttime docking.... the crowded, teeming, Gilded Age port of Philadelphia.... First Class exits to be whisked away in black, mirror finished, silver trimmed broughams.

A bewildered Thomas sits between the mystical 'Kahn' an Indian aristocrat and a mysterious woman, as they leave the docklands and enter the cobbled, gas lit streets of the city.

THE TOWNHOUSE - a bit heavier and more imperious than the one in the blog. ( maybe due to the times?) ... overseen by a formal dwarf.

DAWN APPROACHES - A clueless Thomas, already translated on the ship, needs a place to sleep. Until something suitable can be arranged, he spends the daylight shut in a large, black, medieval iron maiden (spikes removed)...

When he exits his uncomfortable refuge, the Khan is gone and the body of the dwarf hangs from a noose, slowly turning, just beyond his iron 'capsule.'

And then it begins.....

Sarah, his consort, is still Sarah. She still owns the dim, snug, atmospheric jewel box of a book shop - PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK.

The Khan 'dead'.... survives as a spirit narrator... a muse of sorts.

And they meet an enemy... a self-styled monk, sent out by the fifteen hundred year old Brotherhood of Saint Shamus of Castle Mara.

The elferinos and elferinas are still there, though a bit more tragic than in the blog. The 'cherubs' are there too.

Sarah has drama with the OLD WOMAN, Thomas' long-time housekeeper who resents her presence.

They meet an ally in ROLAND, another vampire, deeply religious... a night-folk 'saint' if you will.

Other characters swirl about in a complicated love story among the undead and nearly undead. Two characters that I like are vampire brothers, employed as night watchmen by the nightmarish MUTTER MUSEUM of MEDICAL ODDITIES (it really exists)...

A few other blog stalwarts dance through too.

Death scenes to die for. I can't help but imagine what Broadway can do with material like this...thus the inspirational song from Doctor Zhivago up above.

That's it... our look at Philadelphia After Dark, or Vampire Wonderland... haven't decided yet... I think P.A.D. wins out.

Trouble is script only exists in hard copies. I don't know if I even know how to translate it to disc, or PC or whatever it is. But I got enough copies to go around.... THAT you probably already suspected.

Please listen to the song... It's a real good one. And if you have any favorite projects of your own, PLEASE share... COMMENT about them... People will see and I'll mention them on Twitter too.

Thanks for visiting,



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until next the Earth turns again, or maybe the next time it turns again....

Good night.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Certain Sort Of Vampire Is Amenableto Doing 'Favors' ... 12/10/15

Sometimes people ask Jonathon things. He sees them on the old mellow cobbled streets. They wave, exchange greetings and smile. Vampires often develop a presence in their immediate neighborhood. Do they know he's a vampire? Well, word gets around, but nobody makes a big thing out of it. Like in the nineteen twenties, when a cleaning woman saw Mrs. Tuttle lay an egg... and not any egg. This one had a beautiful opalescent shell, like an Easter decoration, or something a giantess might wear as an earring. They say the cook fried it up with savory sausage and onions and served it to Mr. Tuttle for breakfast. He pronounced it rich, full bodied and delicious. The cook curtseyed, farted and said - Thank you.... Mrs. Tuttle giggled like a ticklish, little Kewpie doll. Mr. Tuttle died on his way to work, as pink, frothy, spume gushed up from his jelly belly, exploded from his mouth, soaked his brown tweet suit and puddled around his feet, till the platform on the Broad Street subway line grew so slick he fell down and rolled off the polished, cement deck, right onto the electrified third line, treating all sleepy commuters in attendance to a track level light show of white sparks and acrid smoke. 

Neighborhood matrons discretely approached Mrs. Tuttle, petitioning her for the home grown breakfast food so their husbands might enjoy the same experience. Cooks talk you know. In a few months, Mrs. Tuttle had a nice little nest egg, if I may use that term. And when Christmas time rolled round that year, she pulled up stakes and ran off with a Tango  dancer from Detroit.

But we're talking about Jonathon. He gets requests too. A teary-eyed, young thing in a clingy cashmere sweater knocked on the door one evening, as they were watching Wheel Of Fortune. Edith, the Piney Witchy-Woman housekeeper let her in. She looked around apprehensively. After all, how many people have an acknowledged vampire for a neighbor? In a quiet, self-conscious voice the girl said - May I speak to Mister Jonathon?... Few knew his family names.... Edith led her into the den adjacent to the kitchen, where the vampire was watching his show. Jonathon raised his well formed Spanish head, smiled pleasantly (believe me, he knew the effect) and said - Tell me, Nora, (her name) how may I be of service?..... The teary eyed Miss said - It's Carl, my intended..... You want me to kill him? - asked Jonathon..... No - said the girl. Nothing like that. I want you to bite off some of his fingers..... Jonathon looked puzzled... The girl continued - I remember when the little girl, I remember when Annie used to be with you. She told everyone. Most people thought she was a psycho, but some knew the truth. Look, maybe she was both. We knew she was a vampire and we knew she bit off fingers, so I was hoping you did something like that too.....

Toes, dear, toes. Annie bit off toes, not fingers. She was peculiar that way - said Jonathon..... And you don't? - sniffed the girl.... Well, not as a rule - he said. Why do you ask? What has kissy-boy done?.... She sighed and just sat there. Edith got her a cold drink. She sipped a little and went on - He's cheating on me. We're engaged and he's cheating on me. He pretends he's going into a little book shop. But the book shop has a back entrance into the lobby of a small apartment building. The coffee shop on the other side of the lobby does too. ...Do I know who she is? ... Not exactly. I've seen her. The doorman told me who she was. I gave him a hundred dollars...... Then why not give him more and ask him to do the deed? - said Jonathon..... Because he'll get caught - said the young bride to be..... Jonathon thought for a few heartbeats and whispered - Because you'll get caught?..... She nodded - But you won't...

The vampire sipped his chilled vodka (Edith always hovers about serving something), looked her in the eye and said - Give me a little time to think about it....

May I tell you something else? - said the not yet bride.... The preternatural figure nodded..... He already has his medical doctor's degree. My 'intended' I mean. But he's not yet cleared to be an ob/gyn. He's still training. They see patients through a clinic at the hospital..... And? - said the vampire..... In a barely audible voice she said - The girl from the apartment building was one of them.

He sniffed and sighed.

Housekeeper Edith said - Oh, dear....

But then Antiques Roadshow came on. Jonathon said nothing. Edith patted the girls shoulders and whispered - Shhh, let him think....

<more next time>


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Friday, December 4, 2015

Ev'ry Little Movement Has A Meaning All Its Own --- A Vampire's Favorite Song ... 12/4/15

Our vampire, Jonathon, speaks ---

Sometimes I give you what you want. It's all very clear. When I speak of blood, or pain and torture, you come. And there are countless such episodes for me to relate. But night-folk existence is not always like that. You might say we lead 'charmed ' lives. Whether for the best, or the worst is hard to tell, though none can deny the magic involved.

There is one such soul I see around town from time to time. Few notice him. Just an old man working the stage door at a certain theater. 'Old Gus' they call him. Shortened from Old Gustave. He originally game over with a group of Swiss-French colonists in the mid seventeen hundreds and was already a life-eater back then. Some of his people were members of the group and they sheltered him. Bride chests, what we call 'hope chests.' were bigger then. A vampire could hide in one.

When they disembarked, his relations joined the others and continued on to the lush, green farmlands of Lancaster County. Gustave stayed in Philadelphia. Small, country farm towns are not right for vampires, even 'noble' reverent ones, like Gustave. As what would become 'Center City' was already claimed by others (you know who they are), the new Swiss-French colonist set himself up down in the 'Southern Liberties' in what would become South Philadelphia. He had a snug, little, heavy timbered room  behind a stable with a strong, stout beam to bar the door. Few knew he was even there. The district was not rural, but primarily made up of small individual plots used for vegetable gardens, or the raising of chickens, separated by hedgerows and occasional wooded areas. You should also know that Old Mister Gus was already of advanced years and rather stout when the burden of vampirism came upon him. Once a month he fed, always on an old man, or woman in failing health with no one else to help them. It was all done peacefully, discretely and quiet. He even said a prayer before the deed was done.

And today he still follows a similar pattern, but he likes the theater. During the dark months he'll take a job backstage. Playwrights and actors know what he is. They call him 'the muse,' as he often contributes useful insights and suggestions based on many decades of life and keen societal observation. He'll bring in boxes of chocolate, cherry filled cordials for everybody 'round the holidays and (as of late) TOYS R US gift cards for those with small children. This is not a fiction. That's just how he is. He's not a blood thirsty ghoul. My God, they truth about night-folk and what society wants us to be is so divergent, it's tragic. Not that gruesome scenes never happen. Look, some of you are psycho killers too. And we will use this space to regale you with such fiendish delights in the future.

It's just that I thought most of you would appreciate this insight into an enchanted shadow few would otherwise notice.

There's a rather Grandpa Stroehmann character out there. He comes and goes at odd hours, all bundled up with a newspaper folded neatly under his arm, making his way through chill, Center City streets toward his lodgings, still in the same spot, but now altered into a cozy, Queen's Village, first floor apartment in a red brick row house with white, marble steps.

Few molest him on his way. Vampires are just like that. He brews hot tea and coffee in his kitchen and reads all the popular paperbacks on sale at the CVS. Sometimes, owing to his theatrical connections, he reads plays. At times he's even portrayed a character or two.

The song up above is one of his special favorites. He wants me to tell you that.

<more 'gruesome' stuff next time>


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Missteps In the Paranormal World..... 12/1/15

There was a time when the forces in charge of our paranormal world tried to switch things up a little. When someone became a vampire, they didn't grow cunning, sharp little fangs, but long, gray, prehensile, elephant trunks which allowed them to forcefully draw the blood out from people's large intestines via their rectums (major vacuum power)...

But vampires looked like pathetic goofs and there were loads of complaints. Manufacturers of sharp, 'vampire-wear' lost plenty and people stopped showing up for sensible colonoscopy examinations because of what might happen.

Preteen girls stopped loving vampires, moving onto centaurs and centaurinas instead.

Needless to say, the world was a very sad place. Dracula looked like Babar's father, but skinnier and minus the fancy ears.

Count Chocula made kids throw up and cry.

Real elephants ran and hid.

Luckily, paranormal forces are open to suggestion (eventually) and they went back to the fang thing, erasing all memory of trunks.

Existing 'trunked' vampires morphed into fanged varieties.

But they say a few, overlooked collectable Count Chocula cereal boxes ( of the trunk variety) do turn up from time to time.

Go figure..... That's just the way it is.

<more regular vampire stuff later>


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Monday, November 30, 2015


Jonathon loves these long nights. He bundles up and walks the city. I told him I wanted to return to the 'new vampire' Danny thread from sixteen nights ago. But he said - The hell with Danny. Tell about me..... (You know how vain vampires can be)..So tonight I just sit here channeling his night out. Sometimes I wish I was mixed up with genii instead of vampires, 'cause they're content to lounge in their bottle smoking a hookah, or whatever it is they do.

Winter is special to night-folk. The added darkness liberates them. They sublimate from point to point... disappearing here... appearing there. Once he smiled, opened his mouth and a beautiful, lacy-winged moth flew out. I don't know where he found it in the wintertime, or if it was even real and all. Vampires can conjure things. Not the same as wizards or witches. They don't have the staying power, though it can still be quite distracting.

He's not effected by cold, but that doesn't mean he likes the way it feels. Tonight he has on some kind of designer boxer briefs, two matching tee-shirts, two pairs of medium weight wool sox, flannel-lined blue jeans, two sweaters ( a turtleneck under a vee-neck), a finger-tip length black leather quilted coat[not puffy-quilted, more tailored like] and enough mufflers, wool caps and gloves to finish it off. He wears the hat pulled low over his eyes and ears.....

And then he walks... Oh, he's got warm work boots too. Sure he still likes his trim, leather ankle boots, but not when it's this cold.... If he feels like it, he rides buses or subways...empty save for a few unimaginative hoods looking for victims. Thing is, Jonathon's looking for victims too.

The hoods come to him first, especially on the subway. One'll sit down, notice his watch (usually the Rolex) and say - That real?.... Jonathon doesn't answer. He just sits there, staring, as the train rattles along. Hood Number Two joins Hood number One. They look at each other. Rolexes sell real fast. Can get at least four hundred dollars for it. Sells for ten times that.

Hoods look at his high priced leather jacket, his cashmere scarf, his long, wavy, styled hair (they don't know but night-folk hair always looks good). They're gonna do something. Train stops. Doors open. Nobody gets on.....Maybe some ghosts? Maybe some other stuff? They say a little dog with a human face jumps in every once in a while. Who knows? Doors close. Train pulls out. That's it...Few heartbeats later First Hood pulls a gun, levels it right at Jonathon's face. Says - Gimme your coat. Gimme your watch. Gimme your wallet.... But with a move so instantaneous even some vampires can't detect it, Jonathon grabs his wrist, cracks a lot of bones and twists that hand 'round till the gun points back at the Hood's face. Kid starts trembling and sweating. Jonathon gives him a real sly, night-folk smile. Shows his cat teeth and everything. Other Hood just sits there, making like he can't move no more.... Then our vampire slides his hand along the shattered, bloody mess, tightens it over the knuckles and keeps smashing that pistol into asshole's face till it ain't hardly a face no more.... Kid crumples down onto the rat-stink floor... Doors open (no people)... Other Hood makes like he's gonna run, but Jonathon finishes him right then and there. Pulls that hat off his head and sinks his teeth through that skull-bone just like it was a bowling ball with pre-drilled holes. Kid's face freezes in a rictus of 'uh-oh' surprise and pain. Eye's roll back like they see that vampire drawing out his liquid innards right through his brain... Then some stoner dudes step in just as the emptied formerly living husk falls down and ignites into a 'cold' blue flame the way vampire victims always do. I guess they like the show, because they start clapping and hooting... Jonathon stands up, straightens his clothes, gives 'em a stage bow and sublimates out through the roof (whoosh!).... Stoner dudes cheer even louder..... as train rattles on pulp-faced kid gives off a little bitty moan from his private puddle on the floor..... First Stoner  (in an effort to help) says - Yo, dude, you want a Kleenex?


Jonathon walks down a frosty street. Little 'bee' light Christmas decorations still twinkle from shuttered stores.

He sees a catatonic beaten down character staring at an expensive bottle of wine in a window.

Without missing a beat, his hand sublimates in through the glass, grabs the wine and sublimates it out. He gives it to the sad-sack guy and whispers - Here, this is for you. Merry Christmas....

The rumpled guy hugs the bottle, mumbles  a 'thank you' and hurries off.

But our vampire, Jonathon, is already gone.

That's how it is... long winter nights in the city... Vampire 'Me Time.'

<more next time>


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Thursday, November 26, 2015


And the little angel forgot about attaining flight for a while. He'd sit on the roof of The Alt-Neu Schule in the midst of Prague (Josefov district, if you know it.. where they made the Jews live), studying people down on the street. He whispered in ears, telling them things that might help them. He told Mrs. Grossman that willow bark (aspirin hadn't been invented yet) would help her arthritis. He told Yankel the Lame to buy that art set and paint. He told Lana from Above The Butcher Shop to marry Nathan and not Eitan. They didn't know who was saying these things. Angels don't announce themselves. Well, not all the time. And every message was channeled through him by an even Higher Authority. He whispered things to people from beyond the district too, for during the day, when the gates were opened, people from all over passed through the ghetto. He told a hardworking farmwife where to place her market stall. He told a barrister fearful for the life of his client what to say and who to seek out so that his client might go free.

The angel attended services, comforting those who mourned. Sometimes he told rich men to help poor, struggling cobblers. He did what angels do and he did it well. Occasionally a little child would wave to him. He'd wave back and go 'shh.' They'd smile and nod.

Winter came. The cobbled lanes grew cold and icy. People wrapped themselves in whatever they had... layers of shawls... old felt boot liners... cloaks.... worn,. cast off, military great coats.... wool caps, sometimes a coachman's hat.

Days were short and sunlight hid from the narrow streets of the quarter. Wives kept old copper tea kettles boiling on the grate for endless cups of warmth. Little boys read school books by the fire and little girls rocked babies and embroidered whatever the mama told them to embroider.

Market stalls opened early and closed early too, for streetlights were few and far between. Mostly the women went out to work the stalls. December was coming and ruffians from beyond the quarter were less apt to gang up and molest older matrons than young girls or men. Tragedies were rare, but they did happen.

The little angel sat on his rooftop and looked at the stars. Some of the grander heavenly guardians and messengers, Seraphim and Arch Angels and beings of that sort, occasionally flew out to the stars and told tales of exotic worlds that raced 'round foreign suns like moths 'round a flame. But our little being knew nothing of that. Soon it would be time for him to walk the walls of the ghetto, paying special attention to the gates, whispering to vandals and telling them to mind their better side and leave the world in peace. Then he visited those with troubled dreams and helped them find peace too.

Time passed. Years went by. Generations. The 'life' of an angel is one of service. He never complained. He never would. But one year a sweet little girl... a light to all around her... passed away. Although he knew she was safe, the people of the quarter were broken and few lit candles or made provisions for the Festival of The Rededication... for The Hanukah. December was exceptionally cold that year.

The angel spent nights in the sanctuary staring at the small, steadfast, Eternal Flame...Then, on Seventh Light (though few observed, or at least failed to make a big thing over it) there was a knock at the rabbi's house next door. Few came by at that hour, so the angel passed through the wall to listen.... It was Beryl the Barrel Maker. He said - Rabbi, the lights in the sky, have you seen the lights in the sky?..... The rabbi said - At this hour and on a cold night like this? No, I do not watch the sky.... Oh, I am of a similar mind - said the barrel maker, but Greenie, my cat (she has such vivid eyes you know) wanted to come in. So I unlatched the door and went out into my tiny rear yard. Rabbi, I saw. I saw them. High overhead they were. A straight line of silver lights, each in the form of a flame and slowly descending from heaven to earth.... The old clergyman thought for a bit. Beryl said - Come, rabbi. Let us go out into your rear yard ( a similar tiny space like the barrel maker's).... So they went and they looked. The angel went with them. And there in the firmament were eight tiny glittering flames, arranged in measured precision, as if held in a great  invisible, celestial menorah. One for each night plus the 'sexton' used to kindle the rest. Each of them stared transfixed, as the wondrous spectacle slowly moved down the sky.

In those days, few would have known they'd witnessed the break up of a small comet, or asteroid. Perhaps a learned man from some venerable academy might. Who know? And as he watched, so slowly he did not notice, the angel rose up from the ground, till the roofs of the ghetto shined in the moonlight below him.

Was he afraid? No, for he heard the voice of his stork-mother friend from long ago. She'd flown to The World To Come and just as she said, had come back to share her wings. Spirit storks can do that. The angel, flightless for so long, was quite pleased. But as he was such a caring being, he asked after the sweet, little girl who passed on and the words of the stork were very reassuring indeed.

News of the 'menorah in the sky' quickly spread, till many people came out to see it. On Eighth Light they had a celebration with crisp edged, piping hot potato pancakes, sweet applesauce, nuts and small gifts for the children, plus dreydles and games ands songs.

That's how it is. That's how miracles happen. Life goes on, both here on earth and 'up above' as well.

No matter how you observe The Season Of Miracles, have a good one.


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