Monday, September 5, 2016


Doctor Franklin and Cressida rode through the nighttime city in a chauffeur driven, glossy, black Maybach.... Neither spoke. They just watched the passing scene. Crowds of young folk leaving the open air Labor Day Weekend concert streamed by the windows. Cressida studied the girls. How different they were... How casual... They laughed... They talked... They kissed friends. She never had a life like that. From 'mole girl' to vampire. That's how it was. From one specimen of exotica to another. Vampires are entranced by mortals, especially their contemporaries. They speculate on the mortal life that might have been. It's hard to pull back from that, yet still be very much dependent on it.

Doctor Franklin saw everything. The old reprobate never missed a beat. He said - How are you getting along with Jonathon's 'Sarah?'.... What, can't you tell? - asked Cressida. I'm civil. We talk. We shop. Vampires 'shop.' Doesn't that sound strange? She likes Boyd's. I like South Street. She never talks about her kills. I don't think she even enjoys them. You know what she told me?.... Franklin shook his head.... She said that 'thing' sees herself as Wendy, from Peter Pan. And not just now since that song came out. She's always been like that. First, when she had Philadelphia After Dark, her bookshop and all the 'nuts' came in. Then when she became a vampire, it got worse. Jonathon is Peter Pan to her. It's all good deeds. She has boxes of old, little, glass, perfume sample vials. I mean boxes. There's a store room. Like there must be a Sam's Club for night-folk selling vampire supplies. I mean it. Makes tiny cuts in her fingers and collects a few drops in each one. Fills maybe a dozen every night. Stops them up and gives them out to sick, troubled people all over town. Nurses in neonatology and pediatric wards wait for her.... Do they know what she is? - says Franklin..... Sure they do - says Cressida. I mean they used to watch True Blood. They used to read Twilight. Hoped it was real. Dreamt that it was. And then she comes along. A regular 'Miss Jesus.' You've heard the term. You know what I mean.... He nods... Well, what? I'm supposed to be best friends with her? Look, I don't hate her. Just want to push her in front of a train. That's what I want to do? Can we do that to a vampire? Will it kill them?... He shrugs, then adds - Perhaps she'd morph into sentient peanut butter and then slowly mend back to her usual form, or maybe tapioca pudding?..... They laugh..... Cressida says - And look at you, trim black suit, hair neatly swept back, crisp white shirt, silk tie... You look like a reimagined Bernie Madoff. No Eagles' sweat suits?..... No Eagles' sweat suits - he goes.

The young folk spreading out from the concert on the Parkway (the BENJAMIN Franklin Parkway, I might add) disappeared into bars and clubs, leaving the streets to the usual locals and dog walkers. Our duo in the Maybach sits in silence. Then the former 'Aura' (now Cressida) quietly asks - Where are we going?

To meet some people - He said. Just some interesting people.... Then why are we so dressed up? - she asked.... Well, they're 'dressed up' kind of people. Look, 'Papa's' been neglecting you and Sarah's not exactly your cup of tea and ,no, you can't kill folks every night of the week. You're not a 'noxious' vampire. You're 'noble.' We don't do that. Do you understand?... She shrugged.... Franklin said - How bout a little vodka?... She shrugged again... Franklin passed her his flask. She guzzled it down, turned toward the people on the sidewalk and said - Boy, look at all the delicious 'shitheads.' That's what Little Annie calls them, shitheads, because they're all full a shit..... An unavoidable biological necessity, my dear. Animal life is like that. At least they don't leave it on the street, like the dogs... and then, to himself he added, I was made for this life all along.... He blew her a kiss. She blew one back. The driver chuckled. He was a 'familiar.' He understood these things.

Soon after, the sleek, black car glided to a stop by the entrance to a new, stylish boutique hotel. A liveried someone or other smoothly opened the door. They went inside.

Then the night was as before.. warm, dark and enveloping. Even with the lights of the city there are many places to hide. A suite with high end finishes in a fine hotel can be a very good spot for anonymity. The powerful individuals occupying these accommodations knew that.

They knew many things... and many people too.

Cressida was quite impressed. In fact she practically peed herself, if vampirinas peed like mortals do...

<more next time>

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