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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