The life-eater Jonathon speaks ~
His name was Kahan, pronounced with a strong and somewhat lengthened second syllable. It means Lord Krishna, or Warrior's Son, or Beautiful. I never knew if he was born with the name. Perhaps it came when he disembarked at that seventeenth century London quayside? The City does that to people. Even then it was unique... theatres... coffee houses.... clubs... brotherhoods... cat houses and cathedrals. My God, it was wonderful. Urban manor houses in Chelsea were all the rage. Most were smaller representations of the palace of Saint James. Some not by much.
That's where I had my adventures with The Brigands, an informal group comprising curious risk takers with, at times, more gold than sense. Spoiled sons from the landed class were like that. We saw live pigs fed to alligators imported from Spanish Florida. We sampled magical mushrooms from God knows where. I liked the moonlit cat hunt. Where they got genuine Arabians, I don't know and I know genuine Arabians. Those horses were fast. We pounded 'cross the moors after a beautiful matched pair of black panthers brought over from what used to be The Inca Empire (rightly called Tee-wan-tan-su-yu). I'm sure they were jaguars. Certain specimens exhibit extreme pigmentation, thus the rich, glossy black coats. I led the charge, being vampire and all, I could see in the dark..... Did we get the panthers?.... No, I told you, I led the charge. Night-folk have a feel for nature. But we had a good gallop and I paid for ale and meat pies at the inn, so everyone was happy... Did they notice I abstained?... Well... 'vampire eyes' can cloud the keenest mind.
One night we went to a stylish salon at the petit palace of a newly minted baronet. They had a reputation for the finest meals and entertainments of the first rank.... so eager to make their mark. But who doesn't like good drink and a savory grill? So people went... and after meeting that Nepalese monk I mentioned earlier... they went again.
Tantric magic will do that to people...
It's an early form of enchantment that made its way into the world of dharma. Hindus and Buddhists know it... many avoid it due to its bad reputation... a slight tinge of black magic, though true adepts know better. You see, magic of the tantric variety accepts all facets of the human organism. It recognizes our hungers and addictions, but looks for benign ways to satisfy them. Will social distinction, public acclaim and casks filled with silver ducats keep you from becoming a cruel, perverse autocrat? Well, this form of wizardry plays to the 'need,' for a craving sated is a crime forestalled.
The monk in the manor house did this ...
Tantrics manipulate the universe with sound. They chant. They repeat mantras. They create vibrations and thus cajole the universe.... Look at the video up above. You'll see....
The baronet and his consort ,who hosted that salon, were known as Sir Henry and Lady Asgood. He wore curled shoulder wigs of the finest Persian lamb and the fabric for her gowns came from the looms of the fabled Silent Nuns of Wallonia. Many tried to learn their secrets, but as they never spoke, all one could hope for was a very dirty look. The thing took place in Asgood House, a Palladian masterpiece at the end of a long, crushed gravel drive. They say it was bought on the backs of slaves. Asgood owned majority shares in three ships well know on the Cameroon - Jamaica run. Oh, it was all supposed to be hush-hush, but this was London... and people talk.
The night of the sublimation (passing through solid matter) the place was festooned with great names of the nobility and gentry. As cognoscenti know, a fair share of gentry families actually out rank many peers.. They have more land... more money.... longer histories... comelier daughters and finer stables. Everyone makes way for a Redmond, or a Castile. Shakespeare, if he were more than one hundred and ten years in the flesh, would dedicate plays to them.
Ladies in sumptuous attire and gentlemen in rich brocades graciously acknowledged each other across the wide, candlelit, parquet expanse, as they fed tiny mouthfuls of smoked eel to the pedigreed 'toy' spaniels on their laps. Some brought little monkeys. I told you about the monkeys. (Remember, this is vampirino Jonathon speaking) But simians are not as regular in their toilet habits as canines and most were left home where any shite balls they might fling at shrieking maids really didn't matter.
Social niceties went on for perhaps thirty minutes, then the monk appeared. They all went silent. A shaved head, coppery skin and a well formed body in a rough silk toga had that effect in these parts. Four disciples in lesser weaves took up compass points 'round their leader and began to chant in that low, rolling, vibrating fashion peculiar to their homeland. The 'ingles' (Jonathon often lapses into Spanish) were transfixed. Footman discreetly padded about the hall extinguishing three candles in five, lowering the illumination to an appropriate and mysterious level. Then the monk gracefully snatched a small songbird out of the ether and sent it flying up to the ornate, crown molding...In quick succession he conjured and released five more... People began to applaud.. The monk known as Kahan, who never opened his eyes, issued a low, guttural command and all went silent. A white lamb bleated as it tapped its way across the glossy, carefully fashioned wood floor. The monk scooped it up and hugged it to his chest. His disciples altered their resonating chant and it burst into flames. The monk's arms, shoulders, neck and jawline disappeared behind the fire. This went on for at lease twenty heartbeats, till the chant changed just a bit and the flames vanished. Man and beast were whole, unblemished and unharmed. .. The monk bent down, released the little ewe and listened to it tap its way into the shadows.
Those in attendance refrained from any type of reaction...
The hall was silent, save for the pants of a few small dogs.
Footman bearing wooden parts to some type of apparatus, filed out and assembled what looked like a large, seven foot tall, polished wooden table right by the monk and his four disciples. The supports seemed spindly and unable to truly hold up the platform, but the monk emanated a deep, rolling mantra and all was secure.
A trim, compact young man appeared. Whether he walked out, or was brought forth by some other means was hard to tell... Tantric chanting can cloud the mind. He might have been from what was called Hindustan, or Burma, or The Great Horn of Africa. He wore a seventeenth century, British representation of a crisp, Egyptian, linen kilt with the pelt of a young leopard tied around his waist. A medium, rich brown he was. Long dark, curly, glossy tresses reached his shoulders. How perfect he looked in the low glowing light.
Kahan, the tantric master, his eyes still closed, gestured toward a spot on the floor under the wooden platform. The brown skinned young man lay down. For a while nothing happened. Here and there a few ladies began to titter.
The monk clapped his hands. His brethren did the same, till they produced a fast, intricate rhythm, coupled with an harmonic, almost electric (if seventeenth century people recognized it as such) hum. The large 'table' thing began to vibrate. Little dogs held fast on their mistresses' laps howled. Steam rose from the man in the Egyptian kilt, as he slowly left the floor and began to levitate. The aristocrats crowded 'round the hall saw him bounce against the bottom of the table and stop.
A hissing sound filled the space. The wife of a Scots laird fainted dead away when blood spurted out from a throbbing red vein in the white of her bulging left eye. Two peers spontaneously voided their bladders. Atonal chanting can do that to people.
Ten heartbeats later the form of the man in the Egyptian kilt began to pass through the platform. First the tip of his nose ... then his face... his chest... the shoulders... his toes... his groin. The skin pulled back on his face. He slowed. The walls began to shake. A huge crack ran across the high ceiling, down the richly paneled wall. Heavy slabs of plaster rained down on the crowd, as the remainder of the poor man's body, devoid of face, pectoral muscles, toes, groin, plus almost every bit of flesh on the ventral side of his being fell down onto the floor with a sickening, bloody thud.
People raced for the doors, trampling the weak and elderly. Rafters crashed down from above. Sixty one people died. One hundred and thirty five of the survivors were questioned by Anglican authorities. Twelve were hung for witchcraft. Nineteen spent the rest of their days 'buried alive' in the foul dungeons beneath The Tower. Dead little King Charles Cavalier Spaniels were everywhere.
I gathered up my fellows, my 'Brigands,' stole four horses from the elite Asgood stables and spirited them away to my own manor near by.
When next the sun went down again I showed them what I was.
The vampire, Jonathon stops....
<more next time>
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