Monday, October 5, 2015

A VAMPIRE AT HOME... 10/6/15

The ghost of the little boy polio victim who lives in the basement level of the townhouse waits for me (Jonathon) to come in every morning. I usually come back around three or four o'clock. Once in a while as late as six o'clock. It's October now. I can to that. He waits in the front foyer, siting on the floor by the tall clock. I bring him things...little toys... cars. He likes cars. I've never seen him manipulate larger, heavier things, but small toys are alright. He asks if I feel OK. I say 'yes.' Then he's happy. I know he doesn't mean if I'm sick, or not. He knows vampires don't get sick... not that way. But he's very attuned to feelings. Edith, our Jersey Pines, witchy-woman housekeeper says most ghosts are like that. Says they draw strength from the living people around them... from their feelings, I mean. He has a tiny, old, transistor radio that still works. I change the batteries every so often... make sure they never run down. He can manage to flick it on and off and rotate the tuning dial. Sometimes we hear it playing quietly downstairs. He likes talk shows. Loves listening to people discussing things. And please don't think that the basement is a cold, bare-stone cellar. It's not. We have it set up as a series of small chambers with regular plaster walls, opening up on a narrow, corridor. Some of the vampires sleep down there. Ghost boy has a room too. Edith set it up for him. Not just her. Sarah, my consort helped too. Actually, we married with a real ceremony and everything. But 'wife' seems such a mortal term and although I am in most ways still basically 'human,' mortal I am not.

Truthfully, none of us are mortal. By 'us' I mean both night-folk (me) and day-folk (you). The only difference is you shed your fleshy parts right away and we don't. That's all. (thinks for a few moments) I suppose there are other differences. You know how it is.

I'm sitting in the den watching late night reruns of that show where Bob Newhart has a cozy inn in a picture book Vermont town. I love shows like that. Believe me, the early middle ages were anything but calm and cozy. I like the den... not the larger 'family room' we sometimes call the den. I mean this little place. Really more of a library. No big flat screen over a mantle piece.... just dark wood shelves full of books, a couple little tables & lamps... a sofa just big enough to stretch out on... a wing chair... nice 'Turkey' rug. TV's a little old one. I like old things. Sometimes I doze off in here. Sarah always comes down before dawn to see if I'm alright. She wakes me up. We go upstairs. In case you don't know, we sleep in a regular bedroom. But it's fitted with special shutters, draperies and shades. Nobody bothers us. Edith put a hoo-doo on the house and the cops look out for us. Not all of them... only the 'familiars.'.... only the ones who know.

Vampires can live rather quietly. And I haven't worn a red lined, black satin opera cape in umpteen million years.. Sure there's drama from time to time. Pig Blood what's her name, the born-witch goes on a rampage... Ethereal, unbelievably advanced alien entities might encase the Earth  in a salt water, oceanic-like shell roiling miles above the clouds. Edith might forget to buy aroma candles. Night-folk love aroma candles. We don't normally eat, so we have to get 'flavor' somewhere.

I'm worried about little Timothy. He helped Ca-Ca kill Esther, but in his heart, he's not a killer, just a scared insecure, ten year old, assistant killer. I'll talk to Doctor Franklin tomorrow night. Hope he hasn't experimented on him too much already. You know, three hundred and eight year old patriot reprobates tend to get a little ripe over the years. You ever see him ride that little electric scooter around town, dressed in his green, Eagles sweat suits, with his wispy, stringy hair flying out in all directions?

I'm beginning to feel something. Night-folk (vampires and such) are fairly telepathic. What do you expect? October's a strange month...

Dark things always happen.

(with that he dozes off, as the little ghost boy from the basement, rises up through the floor to sit on the rug and watch ancient, black and white reruns of TO TELL THE TRUTH)...

<more later>

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PHILADELPHIA IS THE SPONTANEOUS HUMAN COMBUSTION CAPITAL OF THE NATION... 10/5/15

It is I, Jonathon. Come, walk with me. I love Philadelphia after midnight, especially in the autumn. Does the chill get to me? Of course it does. It cannot harm me, but I still feel the discomfort. So I wear a soft, black cashmere sweater over my white shirt and the zipper of my , trim, black, leather jacket is almost all the way up.

Look at this place... cobbled streets... old churchyards. Doctor Franklin's 'grave' is right over there, through that black, wrought iron fence. Oh, he's not in it. But if you're an old friend, you know that. I love the grand old apartment residences, all beaux arts and the like. Who's awake up there? I see the lights. Speculation is fun. Sometimes I hear thoughts. Sometimes I don't.

Oh, Billy, the one who transcribes this for us, wants two chocolate chip cookies. You'll hardly notice the pause. He'll be back. (pause) OK, he's back. Had three cookies instead of two. That's bad. The doctor said he should lose twelve pounds. Help his blood pressure. Oh, you don't see it, the weight, I mean. He's tall. But it's there. I've offered him a drop or two of my restorative blood. He says 'no.' Afraid to mess up his precious humanity. Think he'd know by now.  See that little park over there? I have a thing for tiny pocket parks. Once culled a particular bastard right behind that bush. A cop saw the cold, blue flame. They light up like that and burn up after the blood is gone. But he was one of ours. Not a vampirino, but a 'familiar.' I nodded to him. He nodded to me... and that was it. After, I had a nice mug of tea in that coffee shop we go to near the Warwick. Might have one tonight too.

You came after the big event. Already culled someone this evening. She poisoned the girl next door... a loud mouthed cheap thing... 'ran with the boys' and all that. Insulted people right to their face. Called my victim a 'God damned, ugly, old witch.'.... Right out on the front steps she said it. Some of the other neighbors laughed. That's the kind of street it was, especially in the summer, when everyone was outside. Feud started. Everyone began calling the old witch 'F#CK Face.' So two weeks later, at the block party, she slips a real nice cheeseburger 'pie' in with everything else. Got the recipe from a free magazine at the Giant food market. She put onions in it... tomato sauce. I don't know what else. It was good... Baked it real nice.... Only the meat was recalled. She knew it. Came from a tainted ranch somewhere in Minnesota, or Manitoba, or someplace like that... Mad Cow Disease... Extremely microscopic bits of DNA, prions, they call them, lodge in the brain and eat it alive. Three weeks later the cheap, loud mouthed girl was dead. But so were four other people.... a cute, little toddler... the toddlers mommy... and some guy from the next block. F#CK Face used a scatter shot. That's why I  killed her. Did her a favor, actually. Cops were closing in. You know some people say vampirism might be caused by a prion?  But they're wrong. It isn't. What, a prion's going to enable us to sublimate and levitate? A prion's going to make us telepathic, or have 'divine' visions? I don't know why mortals can't accept the fact that 'magic' really exists.

As I sublimated into her bedroom I was mumbling to myself in Spanish... my ancestral tongue... well, one of them. Sometimes I forget. She wakes up and I'm there. Starts yelling - What are you doing!? Get the hell out of here, you Puerto Rican son of a bitch! HELP! HELP! HELP!.... I can't have that. So I vault onto the bed, rip her lower jaw off (God, how flesh and gristle shreds). Blood gushes out like projectile vomit. I go into a feeding frenzy and about twenty seven heartbeats later she's dead... Probably in shock the whole time, the woman, I mean. But her eyes... You should have seen her eyes.

Look, if anyone came running. If some neighbor started pounding on the door, I'd just sublimate up through the roof and get out of there. But older people have night terrors all the time and they already hated her around there anyway.... Don't feel sorry for her. There were other crimes too. She once burned a little boy on a charcoal grill. It happened when she lived in the country... a foster child and she covered it up and they never found the body and she moved away. I don't know what they thought happened to the little boy. I don't even know if they cared.

People thought it was a case of spontaneous human combustion. They always think it's a case of spontaneous human combustion. They can't accept magic, but spontaneous human combustion is OK.... It's like pizza delivery. It's common. And with an active vampire population, Philadelphia is ground zero for S.H.C.... Kids in town for college sleep with those blue, glass, squirt bottles of seltzer by their beds. I know. there're sites on line. I've seen it.

Had to race back to the townhouse and change because of the blood and all....

Now let me just walk and relax. You can keep up with me, but it won't be easy. Though at three thirty on a chill dark Sunday morning, I suggest you take a taxi. Look, there's a cab stand over there, right in front of The Barclay. Go. Run. Be safe.....

Then he just disappears. Either through sublimation, or other means, vampires can do that.

Man, he must have a whole closet full of those leather jackets.

<more next time>

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