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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Sunday, November 22, 2015



Our regular post will come later. This is 'extra.'

The Biblical story of Joseph is a parable of forgiveness and the universality of the human condition.

The words to the song were written to reflect that... Joseph, who has suffered much at the hands of his own brothers and others, is now in a position to help his starving brothers.

When he 'dreams' he 'sees' humanity as a whole. Indeed,, his 'coat of many colors' means he 'sees' for all of us, no matter what group. He knows that those who do wrong also have wrong done to them. Not necessarily for any divine reason, but that's just the way society is.

So he returns hateful acts with blessings. He saves his family and deals with all in an understanding, accepting loving way.

He 'saw' from a loftier vantage point during his 'dream' or state of higher consciousness.

He was open to the truth.

If you like, click OLDER POST at the bottom and go back and listen to the song again. Or just scroll down to it if your page is set up that way.

Thanks --- Billy

Friday, November 20, 2015

Any Dream Will Do ... Our Angel Knows ... 11/20/15

Sometimes our special angel would leave his post at The Alt-Neu Schule and pass through the town. There were other angels there. Some promised to 'God Houses' as he was and free lancers delivering 'letters' from The Lord' or just seeing the sights. Baroque era Prague was a very happening place. One saw beys and pashas on errands from Constantinople. Rome is forever, you know. Whether the empire is ruled by imperators or basileuses or sultans, the realm never ends. One saw German speaking merchants from the city-states to the west and Muscovite boyars from their own nascent empire in the cold plains and forests to the east. The whole world came to this city of spires and towers. Chimes and church bells filled the air with music. Matrons hurried home forcing troublesome geese into large, wicker goose-baskets. Neck wringing happens later. One gander saw him, the angel, I mean, and yelled - Angel! Angel! Save me! Save me!..... The angel said - Alas, that I cannot do. But I bring you tidings from a Better Place and know this, as your flesh goes in the oven, the core of your being will glide 'cross a Heavenly Pond with all your kith and kin..... ALL of them? - asked the gander.... No, just the dead ones - said the angel. I got that part wrong..... Well, that's good enough for me! - went the gander and he stopped trying to bite the fat matron's hands. Animals believe with a sincere and perfect faith. And when it was time for the matron to wring his neck and crush the bones, she did it in an efficient, practiced manner with a minimum of suffering.

Our Angel walked home, following two gentlemen from his congregation. That's how he knew it was time to return, for the gates to the ghetto were locked from the outside at sundown. Such barriers were nothing to him. He could pass through walls, floors, ceilings, root cellars, locked chests, just about everything, but the congregants, if caught outside would have been very roughly handled indeed. Split noses and severed fingers were a specialty in those parts.

A bit later, during evening service, the angel looked at the people at prayer. Almost each had a dream... a deep desire either for themselves, another, or the great wide world. And he thought about the people on the other side of the gates too, for they also had dreams.

Some prayers were answered. The book seller's daughter found a fine husband and the vintner's widow, severely short of funds and reluctant to burden the community, discovered ten lost bottles of a  rare and costly Alsatian vintage eagerly snapped up by the captain of the guard (he guarded the ghetto) for a price mutually beneficial to both of them.

But the cantor's little boy could still barely walk and Mr. Amshel's lungs grew worse. And they weren't the only ones.

The angel thought - Who am I to ask for flight when the world is as it is?

Later that night, when prayers were over, the angel passed into the old library, took a book from the shelves and sat down to read, accompanied by the soft tick-tock sound of an old wall clock brought back from a synod in Speyer. He needed no light. Angels, when need be, can give off their own illumination, sometimes white, sometimes cream, sometimes a pale, pure blue.

One passage stayed with him --- Every misfortune that we observe is an opportunity for a good deed.

Now angels instinctively know that, but even they forget...

<more next time and hopefully 'next time' means tomorrow>


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Matisyahu "Miracle" // SiriusXM ..Our Angel Still Waits to Take Flight... 11/18/15

And the stork mother and her mate raised their chicks in the nest atop the Alt-Neu Schule. Summer came. The waters of the Vltava River grew silvery-warm under a bright Czech sun and the red tiled roofs of the city shone like candy.

The flightless angels sat by the great birds. He watched their graceful movements and smiled at the hungry, downy babies. They were good babies and they had good avian parents.

He sang songs to them, the angel did... old hymns and folk tunes played at weddings. He told them stories of each and every person passing on the street below. They knew the baker's wife and the silversmith, the old clothes man and the other rabbi from the other schule down the way.

The angel from that other schule would come to visit. He'd float down onto the shingles, fold his wings ( he was a winged angel... not all are... but that doesn't mean they cannot fly) and tell tales about all the places he'd seen. He told about caravans along The Great Silk Road and reverent crocodiles tolling their prayers, as they waited for sustenance ( who may or may not have also been reverent) to drift their way. The storks listened and told tales of their own. Storks see many places too.

This mad our angel sad. He grew silent. The mother stork knew why and said - Your time will come. I will keep my promise and you will fly, for I will bear you up...

But our story will not end this time. You see, the teller stayed up too late watching news of Paris and the tragic things that happened there.

So let him rest and rise refreshed to spin the tale anew.

<more next time>


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Monday, November 16, 2015


Far away, in the picture-book city of Prague, stands an old enduring Gothic house of prayer. Travelers and townspeople know it as The Alt-Neu Schule... the old-new 'schule.' Schule means school. Centuries ago synagogues in Central Europe were called that, for that's where the faithful went to learn the faith. The interior looks like what you'd find in a rustic Quaker Meeting House, though it dates from the mid twelve hundreds, four centuries prior to the founding of that creed. Like prayer houses everywhere, it has an angel.

Some chapels have grand angels with silvery wings and fine, shining robes spun from sun beams, moon beams and the occasional leftovers from fleecy, white clouds. They whisper in the ears of the congregants, reminding each one that they are God's Hands on Earth. Sometimes the rouse sleepers. Sometimes they let them sleep.

After services, after the morning call, the afternoon call and evening call, the angels flew free to visit other heavenly messengers all around the world. They sang hymns in the ornate temples of India and inspired monks on windy, Celtic shores to create vivid, illuminated texts.

But the angel of The Alt-Neu Schule could not do that, for he had no wings, nor any other way to fly. During the quiet times he watched the rabbi study and whispered ideas for sermons. Did the rabbi know they came from him? Well, not directly, but he certainly felt the inspiration.

On clear, cold nights, he'd pass through the timbers and shingles and sit on the pinnacle of the high, sloped roof watching the stars. Sometime another angel would pass over head. He'd say - How go your travels?.... They'd tell him of old, wood churches in Norway that creaked in the wind and the ornate calligraphy of blue domed, Turkish mosques. They spoke of enduring synagogues bright with intricate mosaics and pious little children with good hearts, lost in their dreams and studies.

But the little angel still could not fly. And so the centuries passed. He sat with the children as they prepared for their Assumption of The Faith (bar mitzvah), whispering scripture in their ears so that they could remember.

One spring, storks came to The Alt-Neu Schule and made their home on the roof. He watched them build the nest. How careful they were... How precise. They knew he was there. Animals are good that way. They just are. And how like dancers they were. Such graceful beings.

Our little angel sat with them. The mother let him see her eggs. How smooth and white they were. The father whoomt his great wings and soared off to find food, both for himself and his mate. When he came back, the mother had her turn. Prague was new to them. They're usual nesting site was in a country town a bit farther south. So she glided over the city, marveling at the red tiled roofs and intricate clock towers.

The angel watched their comings and goings. He wanted to fly so bad. Why was he flightless?... Who knows? No one ever told him.

One night, after the city was quiet, save for fussy babies crying here and there, or maybe barks from an agitated dog, he went up to the roof and sat by the nest. The majestic birds were sleeping... a yin and a yang over their trusting eggs. But the mother felt his presence (she's always on guard) and opened her eyes.... She saw him there and whispered - Tell me your dreams, angel..... He said - You know. I do so want to fly..... She said - Are you a good angel?..... He nodded.... She said - I knew that..... They sat in silence watching strangely bright clouds pass over an ivory-white moon.  Spring nights can be like that.... Then the stork mother said - One day, you shall have wings.... How? - asked the angel.... She said - One day my earthly life will be over and I shall come back and bear you on my spirit wings.

Then she fell back asleep. The angel sat and thought, before going back inside to sit in The Sanctuary and stare at The Eternal Light.....

< the conclusion comes tomorrow night. then back to newborn vampire, Danny and his problems>


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Friday, November 13, 2015


We couldn't drive up in our special taxi cab.  No one rode cabs around my way. Cabs were strictly for emergencies, like if somebody was dying in the hospital and there wasn't any other way.  And they only used the bus to get to the elevated train stop, which rattled them along to the subway, Center City and work. Everybody in my old neighborhood drove cars and parking spots were at a premium. The houses were mostly either 'rows' or 'twins.' Some blocks had old singles from before World War 2, but only some. And all the houses, whatever their type had neat, little 'lawns' punctuated by rose bushes, azaleas and red leafed Chinese Maple trees. Red brick too... Almost all red brick. Some stone trim down toward the basement windows... slate roofs and that was it. Actually, very cozy in its heyday, what with oak lined streets, snug little patios and a few walkable commercial streets people would kill for today. This all started in the late forties. My parents came up just before my birth in fifty five... maybe fifty three... fifty three and a half... something like that. People called it 'the semi suburbs.'... A quiet refuge from the teeming city, though still within municipal limits.

I liked it. I used to like it. There was a neighborhood movie house maybe four blocks away with great Saturday matinees, like The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, or The Nutty Professor (the Jerry Lewis version). Bright 'luncheonettes' that also served dinner plus waffles and ice cream after. Conventional families... Decent cars... Big P.T.A.'s.

And now I'm a vampire. Remember, this was nineteen seventy one. Nixon was in The White House. They were still sending space ships to the moon. And dads put on little, vaguely 'alpine' looking hats with small feathers on the side when they went to work. All the kids my age were taking their S.A.T.'s and beginning to write away to colleges. Almost everybody went to college. It was just what was done. And I knew how to tap into a vein and drink blood, plus all that stuff I read in those old books at the library. Quite the iconoclast.... and a nervous iconoclast too.  My parents were sick, or at least one of them was. I didn't know what was wrong, but I knew something was going on.

Please don't think I just showed up. I wanted to, but too much has happened and there was no way it could play out that way. First I wrote a letter. Then I mailed a photograph of myself taken in a pinball arcade. You know those old booths that took a strip of four black and white pictures? Had to be black and white. I was afraid color shots might highlight to much of the vampire traits and I didn't want to shock them. Look, the average person might not notice that much of a difference. But I could see it and it bothered me...

Finally I called them on the phone. My mother picked up. She was real scared. She said - Who are you?! Who is this!? ... She was crying. My father grabbed the phone. He said - Who the hell are you, you God damned son of a bitch. I'll kill you, you God damned bastard!!

I could tell that they knew my voice. But they wouldn't let themselves believe.... I was crying too. I told them about my fifth birthday party. I described the clown and all the Flintstones decorations and the shiny, green pedal car I got and the whiny kid from across the street who sprained his ankle. I talked about all the old family pictures my mom had in three big albums..... (sigh) They knew it was me. But they were afraid. What if it wasn't?... Well, maybe they were right?

My dad said - Come to the house. Just come to the house...... My mom yelled - Where is he?! What happened?! Come now. Tell him to come now!! Get a cab!  Just get a cab! We'll pay for it!

I said I couldn't. I just refused. I had to. And they got very quiet. They didn't know what was wrong. But they knew something was wrong. From an abducted kid I became a runaway. I could tell how their minds worked. I hated for them to think that, but what could I do?

I told them I knew about the doctor. I told them I saw. My mom said - And you didn't come over?.... I didn't answer. She cried. My dad took the phone. He said - What's this all about? What are you talking about?... I said - When do you go back to that doctor?... He said - Wednesday, for some tests..... I said - Stay over in a hotel. I'll arrange it.... He went - 'Arrange it?' How will you arrange it? You're sixteen years old.... I didn't say anything. He went - Danny, are you OK?... I said - What time's your appointment?... He said - Four thirty..... I told him I'd meet them outside about five thirty. If they got done earlier, they could sit in the waiting room. He agreed. I said that I loved them. He mumbled something similar. We hung up and that was it.

Wednesday would come soon enough...

<more next time>

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This is Danny speaking. Please excuse any typographical errors. It's late, even for a vampire. The sun will begin to rise in two hours and I am sensitive to light. Once in a while I'll endure a snippet of violet dusk, but only once in a while. My resting place is not grand, like those other vampires. There are no specially designed and luxuriously furnished sleeping cabinets. I make due with what I have. So let me begin.

I desperately wanted to see my family. Heidi knew. I told her. She didn't think it was a good idea. Now she was a runaway. Her familial estrangement was discretionary. I was abducted. Mine was not. We rode around the city, snug in the back of 'our' big checker cab. I say 'our' because we always had the same driver... a familiar of sorts. A Jamaican, who considered himself fairly adept at 'Voo Doo' and the African-European-Native mélange that is Caribbean Witchcraft. They say the term 'Voo Doo' comes from the French words (and Gallic spelling is not a skill of mine) Veaux Dieu, which means 'Old God' or 'Old Gods.'

There are many Voo Doo 'schools.' Indeed, the symbols, services and accoutrements are merely a means to concentrate and focus  the natural abilities of the human conduit. Some incorporate West African, Native American and Christian divinities. Others feature ancient Celtic gods. One often overlooked 'school' practiced by a line of 'Wise Women' among the old Jewish families of Charleston and New Orleans calls on Scriptural Arch Angels and Seraphim. Saints too. A particularly flamboyant early nineteenth century practitioner, Margaleet De Montoya, from an original Spanish Jewish family come over on the Saint Charles in 1654, held court in her Low Country rice plantation, Evermore. They say she had a vampire 'familiar' of her own. I bring this up, because that Jonathon, also known as Tomas, whom regular readers all know, was said to be a friend of hers. Though I don't know if he was actually the 'familiar' in question. One night, if we meet, I'll ask him.

Excuse these digressions. I know you expected to read about my return home. But it did not play out as I expected. I'll tell you. Just give me a little more time. Vampires have souls you know. We're not mortal, but we are human...

And a self-taught specimen like I am is more human than most.

I'm sorry. I can't tell you more tonight.. I'm sorry... Please let me sit here and stare at my movie... THE ROSE, from 1980... Driven artists are a lot like vampires too...

We need so much... but get so little.

< more next time >


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bobby Freeman - Do You Wanna Dance - Rock'n'Roll Legends - R'n'R + lyrics ... 11/10/15


Not a true post. Just a shared thought before retiring ( for the 2nd time). If Vampire Wonderland makes it to the screen, or perhaps the PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK script the blog is based on, I always imagine this classic example of early rock as the soundtrack.

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Monday, November 9, 2015


I told Heidi. I wish I could have told another vampire, but I didn't know any other vampires. So I told my friend. I told my partner. I said - I saw my parents. They were 'in town' and I saw them..... Heidi went - Oh God. Did they see you? Do you want them to see you?.....

At first I just shrugged, but that was just a reflex. I knew. I wanted to see them, though I wasn't sure I wanted them to see me. Vampires can be quite insecure... What do I mean 'can be?' We ARE insecure. Afraid of being judged. Afraid of being discovered. Afraid of what happens when we really die.. Look, insecure isn't even the right word. New vampires, vampires like me are afraid of everything.

I'd go to the library, the big one, and wander around all night. You gotta remember. This was before computers and the internet and all. What did we have? Calculators were high tech. Pong was a big thing. Books... it was all in books. And the Dewey Decimal System I remembered.

There was an alley in the back. Sometimes homeless guys would sleep there.  They liked little streets around museums and libraries, because they emptied out at night. I don't know why they always made opera houses the place to haunt.... To active at night. Hundreds of people swarming all over the place... Lights... Carriages parked all around waiting for fares after the show. Not where I'd go... Not where I went...Nobody gave out blankets in those days. People had to scrounge around. Outside a fast food joint was best. Fast food people aren't rich. They share. That's how they are, but they're not rich.... a quarter or two... a few nickels. Sometimes they walk out with an extra sack of food AND money. When the manager, or the help gets after them, they run away. away. Fast food joints were everywhere. That wasn't a problem. See, they told me things. I knew how the watchman used to open a metal door around twelve forty five AM. That was their lunch hour. Gave each 'bum' a dollar or two. There were eight watchmen. The place is huge. Five stories above ground and three below. A neoclassical municipal palace. Cold, marble floors. Big, institutional light fixtures. Cathedral-like expanses three stories high with tiers and catwalks to the upper levels. Brown oak tables worthy of Camelot. Books must be worshipped, don't you know. That's how it was.

Well, after the watchmen dispensed their largesse, I'd slip in a folded piece of newspaper. The door would close, but not lock shut. Then I'd give them maybe fifteen minutes to go pee, or whatever they did and sneak in.

The northwest corner of the building was given to stacks, multiple, low ceilinged levels of rabbit warrens, lined with metal shelves, each and every surface crammed with books. Most were old and worn, retired volumes kept on hand for the occasional scholar. Some books were even older, but not so worn, rarely used ancient tales and treatises printed on fine, linen stock and hand bound in carefully tooled leather. A few date from just after the printing press. There were kept in locked cages made from heavy, wire mesh of a type used to corral small, weedy backyards in rougher, city neighborhoods.

They had little known tomes on spirits and magic. They had books written by ancient 'magicians' and alchemists. And all of them, throughout the stacks, both the venerable and not so venerable, bathed in a weak, amber gloom.

That's where I went. What else would you expect a curious, newborn vampire to do? Although I knew little of my own special, night-folk abilities, I was aware of certain, heightened 'normal' functions. My fingers were particularly sensitive. My hearing quite acute. And with a more or less heavyweight paper clip I was able to pick the locks and enter the enchanted sanctums where 'secret' knowledge was kept.

Did the watchmen ever see me? Well, their retinas may have recorded my presence, but their minds knew me not. 'Clouding' men's eyes is instinctive with us. It's not like an ability I had to discover. I wasn't even aware I was doing it. At least it was instinctive with me.

I spent whole evenings hidden in some deep corner, disturbed by none, save the ghosts (oh, the Main Library has enough of those), breathing in the truth about myself. I 'stole' one book. I still have it, always meaning to take it back, but I haven't done so yet. It tells of a life-eater (vampire) who watched over his mortal family and kept them safe and warm. It gave me hope. If my parents (or one of them) faced sickness, I'd help them.....

And the next night, I set out to do just that.

Please excuse the globular nature of my tale. Linear grids are so mundane...

And I am a vampire after all.....

<more next time>


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Friday, November 6, 2015

The Who - Happy Jack..SLUNDTRACK FOR A CAREFREE VAMPIRE... 11/6/15

So that's how it was. I took up with Heidi. In the beginning we slept in cheap hotels. Not too cheap. The place had to be clean. Mostly we stayed where salesmen stayed. If you tip the maids the leave you alone. Trick is to move around every three days. That way they don't catch on... to me being a vampire, I mean. But I had an idea... Why not make friends with the staff at one of these places? Give them money... jewelry... whatever I could get. We raced around the city in an old taxi cab. One of those big, old Checker Cabs. Like the Black Cabs of London, only they were yellow with narrow bands of checkerboard trim running under the windows. We had a driver... Maurice. Think he was from Jamaica. Oh, he spotted me right away. Knew I was a vampire first thing. Was he scared? No. Had all these charms. Said if I touched him my innards would be consumed by fat, white grubs. I said - How do you know?... He laughed and pulled out photographs. They were old and creased and ragged 'round the edges. One showed what looked like a partially decomposed body, naked from the waist down and scarred all over with little round black edged pits... I said - Did you do this?.. He said - No. The charms did... I said - What did he do to you? The man (I guessed) in the picture?... I do not tell you now - went Maurice. And we were off to hunt the little 'woods' behind the big art museum on The Parkway.... a clandestine 'jungle' of drugs and debauchery. Couples of all varieties vibrating in the bushes... Young kids high on whatever they could get. Imagine how it all smelled to a newborn vampire just getting used to his heightened senses. The air, space itself, was alive with 'colors.' That's how it was. I'd go for the druggies. They were easier. Who noticed another kid squeezing in with the group? And some of them got high alone. Heidi knew a few of them. But she didn't want to start anything. She didn't want to answer a lot of questions. So she stayed back in the cab. There was a little parking lot. Sometimes the cops came through... Sometimes they didn't. After a few weeks we learned who they were and paid them off too. Rich kids from the suburbs wear good watches, you know and they got wallets too. I learned how to take them to the brink of death. Some vampires can't do that. They lack control. Can't hold back. But I can. And when I couldn't, there were never any bodies... That 'cold' blue, all consuming flame, you know. Neighborhood rodents made quick work of any remaining grease. The perfect crime. Though from my vantage point, it wasn't so much a crime. It was just natural for me. That's just how vampires are. I didn't know any other organized bands... of vampires, I mean. I could smell them. I knew they were there. I knew the one you call 'Jonathon,' or 'Tomas.' I knew Baylah and Blackie and Minnie... a few others too. Did I know their names?... No. I knew their scent. I didn't follow them I never stalked them. Just knew they were there. Maurice, our driver claimed to know a few others too. But he was a liar. That photograph he had turned out to be a victim of some guy shot up in a coup... not in Jamaica... somewhere else.

We were crazy then. During the day, we holed up in hotel rooms. A few of the kids I knew had mothers and fathers who worked 'in town.' But I was never out and about when they were there. And my friends were sixteen years old too... hardly old enough to frequent Center City clubs and bars. Some might come in for a movie once in a while, usually matinees. I was safe. It was fun. We bought clothes in all the South Street boutiques. This was the height of that area... South Street.. South street, where all the hippies meet and all that.... We saw Pink Flamingos and The Rocky Horror Picture Show umpteen times. I had a Brad get-up. Heidi went as Janet. Did I like it? Sure, I liked it. It was great. Remember, I wanted to be an actor.

Soon we had a nice, little apartment three stories up in a great pre-war building on Locust Street. Tiny, little terrace and everything. I used to love sitting out there on cold winter nights. Nobody could see me all wrapped up in that dark gray blanket. I watched the street from my not too high, not too low perch. Saw all kinds of things. Mostly I liked the normal people in their expensive, soft, wool coats and discrete furs out for slow, quiet strolls at three or four o'clock in the morning.  You can tell when someone is trying to be quiet... light footfalls. The women even hold their handbags a certain way. If a stranger approached from the opposite direction they'd move up against a building and try to disappear. In the dark, that late sometimes you can. ... I'd see people silently throw things down into the sewer, or try the door on a car. did I see crimes?... Once I saw a murder, a strangulation. Fast and professional from the back. Even as a vampire I could not look away. It was like a movie. He took her life and just dropped her there, against the side of white, marble steps leading up to one of the townhouses across the street. Heidi said she was still there when the grocer made his delivery at seven thirty. The kid almost broke his leg...

We went to shows at the Forrest, the Shubert, the Walnut, the Erlanger, the Locust, the Society Hill, the Academy, the Arden... oh God, all of them. I even wrote reviews for Philadelphia Magazine and some of the, I guess today you'd call them 'hipster' Center City papers. You want to know my by-line? 'Boz.' the same as Dickens.. Oh, life was good.

Did I miss my family?

What do you think?

One day.. obviously not really day, more like late dusk. I saw my parents going into a specialist's office on Twenty Third Street. They must have come in town after work. Still dressed up. My father wore a suit. My mother wore a dress. They held hands and walked slow..

That's when it started.....

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Thursday, November 5, 2015


They let me stay till my hair grew back. Vampires 'heal' quick. I don't know. It took maybe four or five nights.  Seemed a little thicker than before. and when it reached the length it was when I passed over, it stopped. How can they say the whole thing, vampirism, I mean, is natural and scientifically caused? They talk about prions and ancient contaminants that somehow found their way into humanity... tiny bits of arcane DNA that only activate near death. But they forget so very many other things. Can 'germs' foster flight, or sublimation? Can microscopic bits of biological data work magic. People are fools. I'm a young vampire and I know that. Sixteen in nineteen seventy one... so that makes me sixty years old today... My God! Susan Lucci is older than I am

When she left, when the Russian woman abandoned me, five ounces of gold was all I had and that bought less back then than it does now. I think it was worth about seventeen hundred and fifty dollars. I had that, a pair of blue jeans, Addidas sneakers, my jacket... I don't know what kind of shirt. I don't remember. Must have worn a sweater, maybe a sweatshirt too. It was November after all.

And I walked a lot. I mean I walked all night. What else could I do? No where to sleep. I wanted a hot mug of tea. You know night-folk can take in clear, or thin liquids. Sometimes if and when we miss mortal food (it does happen)we eat. Ten minutes later it all comes up. But so what? Who cares? It's only a hobby. But I wanted that hot drink real bad. Couldn't sell one of the little gold bars. Who was open that late? And I didn't need blood... I didn't NEED it, but I wanted it. So I mugged some rich looking guy coming out of a WaWa (Philadelphia convenience store). Took his coffee. Took his wallet. Took his life. Not there on the street. Dragged him back into the little service alley they got behind most blocks in Center City Philadelphia... He wanted to scream. He wanted to fight, in his YSL suit and Gucci loafers. But I didn't realize what my vampire strength could do. It was instinct.. just took over. Grabbed his neck. Squeezed tight. Pulled him off his feet and that was it. Might have taken the suit, but I think he shit in it a little bit. Three hundred and twenty dollars in that wallet.

Went into an all night coffee shop. Passed some girl sitting in a booth. She said - You got any money?.... Not a whisper, but real quiet. Figured she was a runaway. Said - Yeah, I got money..... She said - Buy me some eggs?... I sat down across from her. She had her eggs, home fries, sausage, diet coke and a sticky bun. I had coffee, black. Told her I just ate which was true.... She said - Can I go home with you?.... Guess I looked older.... I said - Look, I don't even know where I'm gonna sleep myself... She looked sad, worried too.... I didn't think she was a whore, not yet anyway, so I said - Here's some money. Get a hotel room.... A hundred dollars I gave her. You could get a nice room for a hundred dollars back then. And from a trip I made with my family to Disney, I knew you could ask for a late check out, if you get there after midnight. She didn't want to leave me. I told her I'd meet her  back at that coffee shop the next night. Made it for nine o'clock, so she wouldn't expect me to eat dinner or anything. Slipped her an extra twenty for food, or like if she wanted to buy herself clean underwear.

Then I walked. When it started to get light, not actually light, just less dark, I went down into the concourse and wandered through almost dark, underground 'mall' passages. Saw a ghost or two. That I know. Hid from cops. Was I tired? Sure I was. Vampires crave rest, at least I do. Few hours later, when the stores opened up, I hid, not from cops, from everybody. What if somebody knew me? I was supposed to be missing. Three teens, in 'town' for an audition, never seen again. I could imagine what my parents were going through and I wanted to see them. I wanted to go home, but I was scared. I was so scared.

The next night, back at the coffee shop, I asked Heidi, that was her name, if she wanted to help me. That made her a little nervous. She didn't know what I meant. Probably thought drugs or something. But I sat there and explained. Now this was before vampires were hot stuff. We had Bela Lugosi Dracula and Christopher Lee Dracula and Barnabas Collins Not- Dracula. All them other ones were still a few years over the rainbow. She said - Are you gonna suck my blood? Are you gonna kill me?.... I told her vampires don't 'suck' blood. We drink it and no, I wasn't gonna kill her. She nodded. She trusted me. That was enough. Guess she spotted my fangs. Look, they were still new to me too.

So I had her, my first 'mortal' servant, my 'familiar.'

And you know what?... I still have her. Same age as me. We're both sixty.

Now ain't that something?

Come back next time. I'll be here...


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Now I talk, the one he calls 'the Russian ballerina vampirina... the one known as Elaina Buchovina. Do you know I can barely read? I feel things. I intuit. But the letters of your western languages mean little to me and few books here are in my language. I have entered stores catering to expatriate Slavic community. Girl looks at me. Oh, she knows. She knows something. People in the eastern portion of the European continent are used to such things. Even now, in certain remote villages questionable corpses are 'pinned.' Long sharp needle goes through chest, just to left of breastbone and into heart. Sometimes questionable corpse is not completely corpse. But difference there is none. It will be corpse anyway, so pin goes in. True believers in old ways also thrust pins in eyes and tongue too. In that way, they believe, vampire does not rise.... Stupid helpless fools. Vampire, real vampire, always rises. What is pin to me?. Do you know how many times they stick me? I do not tell you. Humanity is as nothing to me. I pity them. Thick, plodding things they are.

Oh, you great Americans and the other ones, the Canadians, think you are so strong and modern. But you control nothing. Not even your own lives. You are serfs. You are as old peasant in my land was. Not farm serf. Work serf. Boss tell you when to sleep, when to wake, when to work, when to pee. If you do not like it. If you dance too slow, he get new puppet and your babies starve. Nature cries not for starving baby, or tortured baby or slaughtered baby. Do you want examples?

I help 'Danny.' I free him. I release him. Others I kill. His friends were garbage. The boy... the 'Jerry,' soil hisself. (giggles) He just go WHAAA! and then comes shit.. hot, stinking, watery shit. Foul aroma make me sick... so I twist till bone break and head pop off. Then I kick it and kick it and kick it.  Like little dance I do.  Singer girl garbage too. She cry. She go - Please! Please let me live! Oh God. Please! ... I pinch teat till blood come and say - Do you hear His approach? Do you think you live?... She sob. So I rip through throat with teeth and then she know she will not live. Her body I give to silver eye thing. He have use for it. (rolls eyes) I do not butt in.

Danny I liberate. Not work slave. Not human. Not weak. He free! He free! He see. He go. He kill. He take. Vampire not always happy. But vampire always proud.

I stay. I watch skin crack. I whisper. I kiss. I embrace. He whimper. They all whimper when skin go. Do you know how mortal peel from sunburn? Skin roll off. Flesh sweat. Meat raw. Well, this like that, but so much worse. All skin come off, not just top... all of it... every layer... down to oozing muscle. Some vampire give acolyte absinthe to deaden pain. But not me... not Russia girl... not vahmpiritza! What can harm him now? Pain is but distraction.

Now it is over. He rest. He sleep. I give him 'food.' I give him blood. I give him victim. And he drink. He drink. He drink it all. I clap. I go - Good. Good. Good... I stroke his body... his clean, white alabaster body covered in new, fine, vampire skin. Hair come later, but that will grow too.

I leave soon, a vagabond of the night. I go from this place, this ancient munition factory. Mini-balls they made here. Little bullets for old muskets. You see picture of Civil War? You see them... Pit is where they drop them... Molten lead fall to bottom. Splash in water. Few know what buildings are... But night-folk know. Not just vampire... all manner of night-folk.

What kind vampire Danny will be? Problem is his, not mine.... Do I make vampire everywhere? No, most places I just kill

Now, please, I must leave you to over see gathering up of things... Not much, but sentimental what-nots I cannot live without.

Perhaps I go back to Russia?

Or maybe I don't.

Fate is funny thing.... He who would be actor, plays another roll...

'Danny'... (sighs) Now let me go. Is time to kill the 'help.'

<more to come>


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Monday, November 2, 2015


I climbed down into that deep, dank pit. Without the vampire blood, I could never have done it... hand under hand, grabbing with my feet, naked and scared. Was I a vampire yet? Well, let's just say I'd passed the point of no return, but had yet to reach my destination. Did I know I was still Danny? I don't know who I thought I was. I don't know if what I did was based on instinct, or what happened.

When I got to the bottom, the two pathetic victims huddled together, whimpering. The Russian vamperina-ballerina yelled down to me, from her place, seventy five feet above, leaning over the edge of the circular barrier. She looked like a crazed 'divinity' haranguing Roman believers on the floor of The Pantheon, through her perch on the Oculus high in its dome..... She said - Take her! Take her! The big one! The brood mare! The one I picked for you!...... But to be honest, neither one looked strong, or big to me. Though I knew what she meant. My mind was her mind. Whether forever, or just for now, I didn't know. So I 'took' one of the girls. I suppose the right one, for the voice from above yelled no more. Later, I learned this is a vampire custom, 'allow the human line to go on.' Some females are 'allowed' to bear a child before transformation. If you've been part of our group since the beginning, readers I mean, you know about Jonathon and how he 'came over.' You know how Sarah is a distant descendant of his 'mortal' line. Well, I have a mortal line too. Please remember that I am only forty four years in the blood. Sometimes I tell people it happened earlier. But that's a lie. Vampires relish a bit of notoriety, though at heart we are a private breed. Still, I will tell you that the child of that union, only forty three years old, now lives in a pleasant split level house just outside of Ocean City, New Jersey. And I have three grandchildren. Their matriarch, whose name I never knew, died, or was made to die in childbirth. But our daughter was given to a couple named Greyson and they did right by her. She married a good man too. I see them from time to time and leave gifts on the doorsteps. I'll have to stop that now, what with home-security-cameras and all. Maybe I'll mail them.

The remaining girl did not go on. She became my first meal. The blood we receive from our creators changes, but in no way nourishes us. Only living humans can do that.

When I first bit into that sad, sad thing she went limp ... 'the death swoon,' they call it. But when life finally left her all I felt was a col, enduring hate.

When it was over, when the ordeal was through, Two of the headless things carried me to a room... another dark place, dim, lit by candles. They were all like that. And that's where I suffered the 'shedding of the skin.' The last of my humanity, or my mortal self, I should say, was gone.

Do you think there is romance in this? Do you think vampires are infused with magic and wonder? Well, if they are, each individual vampire must weave that truth for himself. I saw no glory in it.

Now go follow your Jonathon and Sarah... your Vampire Revels and memories of Old Al Andalus. Go read about 'noble' vampires and their 'noxious' cousins and the beautiful Baylah, a kidnapped princess from Timbuctu. Talk about the enchanted 'Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn' and night-folk friends in London and every place else. That truth is not my truth.

But if it's pleasant to you, embrace it.

I had meant to whitewash my tale and gild it in theatrical perfection. I am at heart an actor and that seemed right to me. But as the words spilled out, what 'seemed' right no longer mattered. Sometimes things play out that way.

That's just how it is.

I am here. I patrol these streets and do my job. We'll meet again....

I am Danny, in form a sixteen year old boy, but so much more than that...

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