Saturday, December 31, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale part VIII

Night comes early in the winter. The Streets of the city shine with ice and hoarfrost. Bundled people make their way down into warm fragrant rathskellers filled with beer and laughter. The little boy watched from across the cobbles.  The hot roast pork smelled so good. Everyone had it for New Year's, dripping with piquant saurkraut and spicy, brown mustard. But he didn't. Dinner was a dry piece of almond toast. Max had the same. They had to save. They had to be careful. Lucky he took the sweater. It kept him warm.  Max had a sweater of sorts too, made from a soft, wool scarf wrapped around his middle and tucked into his collar. They peed behind evergreen bushes in a small park and the sexton at a little church let them use the spigot in the kitchen. He said they could sleep inside on one of the pews, but the little boy was scared. It was so dark in there and the candles burned so red, so he lied. He said his father was coming back from Vienna and that he had to meet him at the Charles Bridge.  The sexton knew it was a lie, but he pretended to believe. The boy would be back tomorrow. He was sure of it. Perhaps he could do something then?

Now respectable people pay little mind to a young boy out after dark. A few of the women may go tisk-tisk-tisk. They may even ask his name and if he's all right and where he's going. But they rarely do anything else. One pretty, young woman gave him a handful of nuts before disappearing into a fine carriage with her friends. Max barked at the well groomed horses. The people inside laughed.  The rest of 'night one' was fairly uneventful. He cried just a little.  Max whimpered and licked away the tears. They quietly wandered  up and down streets lined  with quality townhouses. Rich burgers lived here, perhaps even a newly made baron or two. Bright lights streamed forth from the big, multi-paned windows. Sometimes, if the angle was just right, he could see inside. People laughed. They drank. They ate. Serving girls in starched, black uniforms circulated offering savory, hot, open-faced sandwiches on silver trays. And even the children had hot, spiced wine. He thought about New Year's with his family.  Even though he was small, he still remembered a few. They had cakes and good, salty salami. They had beer, good thick pilsner from the venerable local breweries. His father's friends from the bakers' guild came by. Everyone laughed. One man, from across the Vltava played a concertina. A lady from Budapest (somebody's wife) sang songs. Max wasn't born yet, so the little boy sat down in a doorway, a linen shop, I think it was, and told him all about it. Soon, they fell asleep, wrapped up and warm, in that almost  cozy spot, protected from the wind. They stayed there til morning, when the jingling keys of the shopkeeper scared them. So they jumped up and ran away.

But the next door neighbor's eldest son was looking for them. He knew they had four silver crowns. And a scared, little boy with a pocket full of money was to good to resist...


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Friday, December 30, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale part VII

No one even looked at the scared little boy. The people from next door raced around examining things. The rough, loud wife liked the well kept kitchen. (she did give the boy a plate or two of hot food when his mama and papa first died). Her eldest son liked his spot in the second bedroom. The younger ones (there were two of them) would make do with cots in the kitchen. The husband and the landlord huddled in a corner 'discussing' things. And the lonely, little orphan sat down on a stool and waited. Max climbed up on his lap to keep him warm.

Then he heard a shout. The landlord yelled - You, boy! Come over here!...........He gently put Max down on the floor and walked over...... The landlord said - Get your things and clear out. These fine people will live here now.......... The little boy did not know what to say. He didn't know what to do. So he just dug into his pocket fished out the silver coins and offered them up........... The husband from next door stared down at the money. Then he looked at the little boy. How he wanted to grab those coins. But the landlord was there, so he just looked...........A few heartbeats later, the landlord said - What's this? Are you trying to tempt me?....And he laughed. The sly, sneaky husband from  next door laughed too. Then he said - I'm paying three times that! What cheek the little rat-a-kin has!............ And a bargain too! - said the landlord. Five minutes, boy and then it's all mine!!

So the little boy swerved past the evil men and ran upstairs. He did not have much, maybe a sweater, some socks, a change of under things or two. The pillow case made a handy sack. At first the eldest boy from next door tried to stop him from taking it, but when he saw the determined tears in the little boy's eyes he stepped back. Three minutes later it was over. He was out on the street. The door was locked and he was all alone. A few familiar faces peered out from behind closed curtains, but no one offered any help. It cost money to feed a child and he was so small. What could he possibly do in return? God would help him. That's what some of the 'nice' ones thought. The not so nice ones didn't think anything at all. And a few contemplated selling him  to a band of traveling tinkers.  Other children walked the streets alone. He would just be one more of them. Fortunately he had a few pieces of almond toast. The landlord did allow him to go back into the kitchen. But he stood there and watched, yelling - No spoons! No pots! No napkins!..... So the little boy had to leave without them. He almost forgot his new picture book, but  at the  last moment he remembered it and took it off the sofa while the two men were talking. And now he sat down on a curb. He was too shocked to cry. So he silently watched a brown, dead leaf float back and forth on a dirty puddle. Max jumped up and licked his face.

Prague is a very big place. The kings of old Bohemia once held court there. Good King Wensislaus Went Out On the Feast of Stephen..... Well, where do you think he went out from?.....Prague, he went out from right here. Indeed, the cathedral of Saint Stephen still towered above the city. Such a busy place it was, maybe the second or third greatest municipality in the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire. But the little boy did not know that. So he walked the cobbled streets searching for a place to hide from the cold, damp wind.. And the tiny puppy went with him....


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale part VI

He just woke up all of a sudden. There was no noise, maybe a carriage or two clop-clopped down the street, but that was normal in the city, no different than waves upon a shore. Maybe it was his mother's voice? Maybe it was his father's? He saw them in a dream. It was snowing and they walked passed the great shops with their beautiful windows. He stopped and ran over to admire a display of wonderful, multicolored blocks. Small, artificial, elfin children made castles with them just beyond the glass. Then they were inside. A young lady smiled at them, as she wrapped up the parcel. Papa wanted to carry it, but the little boy insisted. He was so happy. He was so proud. What wonderful cities he'd create. But then another tiny part of his  brain sprang to life. He saw a bent, boney man in a dark, dark suit step out of a crowd and glide toward them. Shadows veiled the face. A gnarled hand reached out, ready to dig into his shoulder and snatch him away. The small, frightened boy could not move. But then a great white coach, pulled by four sleek steppers flickered into view. A lady's hand, in a white kid skin glove came out from a window and pointed at the man, who withered down into a swirling column of dead brown leaves and blew away. The boy saw it all, but when he turned around, his mama and papa were not there. He was all alone. The parcel was gone. And then he woke up.

Max licked his face. The boy just laid there for a few heartbeats trying to forget. But he could not forget. The landlord was coming. So he ran upstairs to get ready (he did not mind being up there during the day, but at night it was  different.). Then, when he was all clean and all dressed, he came down the steps and sat. Max wanted breakfast. The boy went into the kitchen and crumbled up  a few pieces of almond toast for the hungry puppy. He thought about taking one or two for himself, but he could not. His tummy had no room for food. It was already filled with fear. Then he reached down into his pocket and felt the four silver crowns. He prayed they were enough. A yellow beam of sunshine sneaked in through the curtains. He watched it crawl across the floor.  Minutes went by..... many minutes. He looked up, but the small clock on the mantle was no longer there. Those who came to remove his dead parents made quick work of that, as they did with other interesting, eye catching trinkets. The wedding rings were gone. The mother of pearl hand mirror disappeared. A sepia-toned photograph of all three of them vanished too. The frame was heavy bronze, after all.

The little boy sighed. He got up and made sure the quilts on the sofa were neatly folded. Then he carried them to a small bench by the hearth and laid them down upon it. Maybe if the room looked nice the landlord would like him better?


RAP. RAP. RAP, hard against the door. A heartbeat went by, maybe two heartbeats. Then they did it again. The little boy walked toward the door and said - W-who is it?........... You KNOW who it is! Open up! - yelled the landlord, barely waiting for the bolt to clear the lock before BANGING the door against the wall and barging in.

The little boy jumped and stepped back. Max quietly growled as they stepped in. This was different. This was something new. The landlord was not alone..... The people from the house next door were with him. And the big, rough wife was already fingering the curtains, as her eldest son stomped noisily up the stairs.

His hands felt so cold. His throat felt so dry. He just stood there, looking down at the clean, wood floor, searching for the little, yellow sunbeam (he did not know what else to do), but the sunbeam wasn't there.


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale part V

The little orphan boy and his puppy had a good dinner. He knew how to build a small fire in the black stove. True, he did get scared every time he had to strike the match. He'd pump some water into a pail, not too much, or he would not be able to lift it out of the sink. But just enough to splash out a fire. Max thought it was for him. He always tried to drink it, but the sides of the pail were too high for such a little puppy. So after a while he'd curl up on the floor, waiting for whatever they had to finish cooking. And believe me, most nights it was not much. Yet this time it was different. The boy used a bit of the money he got from the sale of his mother's fine new coat to buy some sausages. How nice they smelled sizzling in the pan. The boy knew how to cook sausages. Mama taught him, although she always stayed right by. It made him feel so big. But now he wished he did not feel so big. Now he wanted his mama. And he wanted his papa too.

When all the cooking was over, he took his bowl and went back into the sitting room. Mama did not approve of eating in there. But he liked to sit on the sofa right by the fire. He knew  how to keep it going. They had wood in the back, right through the kitchen door. There wasn't much left, so he did not use much. Sometimes the older boy from the house next door, hopped over the fence to steal some. But the little orphan never said anything. He was afraid. Only right now, he was not afraid. He smiled, as he watched Max dive into his little bowl of sausage and potatoes. Puppies love good dinners. So do little boys. When both bowls were wiped clean, he took them back into the kitchen and washed them in the sink. Papa once made a strong, little stool, just for him. He needed it to reach the sink and when he pushed it over, he used it to reach the big glass jars on the wide varnished shelf. That's where the almond bread was. One piece for him and one for Max. Then he washed it down with a drink of water and curled up on the sofa to look at his picture book.Were there crumbs on the sofa? Were there grease marks? No, there were not. The little orphan boy was very neat. Max jumped up to sit next to him. They snuggled into the quilts together. The orange glow flickering out from the hearth made the cozy, narrow house feel like a robber's cave. If he was alone, he might have been frightened, but Max was with him, so he was not. Besides, the people next door were very noisy and he always heard the papa stomp and yell. Just who it was he was slapping was difficult to tell, because they all cried exactly the same way. You could tell they were related.

He opened the book. The pages were clean and new. The colors were very bright. Mama and Papa used to read to him. He could read some of the words himself. If there was a word he did not know, the picture always gave him a clue. But he pretended they were there with him now, one on each side. The arm of the sofa was Mama. Max played the part of his Papa. Pirates sailed 'cross the first illustration. He could see them up in the rigging. He could see them running across the deck. Each page held new delights. A battle with the Turks. A unicorn plucked from a circus. A monkey does a dance, as the king gives every pirate a hat. And that was only the first tale. But he soon fell asleep, safe under the quilts. The fire burned down to a few glowing embers. But it would not go out, for the fire loved the little boy and would never leave him in the dark. The curtains were drawn. The door was bolted shut. The narrow, cozy house settled down for the night, as the souls of his parents watched him sleep.

The next day, the landlord came.


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale partIV

The little boy just waited there while the grown-ups were talking. Frau Hochmann wanted a new waistcoat for her husband. The old one was too tight. And Mr. Pavelchek, the tailor, looked through his records, searching for  Herr Hochmann's measurements. When he found the card, he showed it to Frau Hochmann and said - Is this correct? How much bigger, please?........ She scrunched up her little owl eyes and thought. Then she said - Humph, better give him four more inches. One for the strudel. One for the schnitzel. And two for the kirschen mit schlag...... That was her big joke. She loved bragging about all the fine, rich food they had. Yet she did not have to say a word. You could tell just by looking at her heroic buttocks. The fabric of her long, full skirt could not hide that.

Twelve minutes later they were finished. The Battleship Frau Hochmann sailed through the door. Mr. Pavelchek watched her go. When he was sure it was safe, he said - Fet beetch. But the little boy's arms were getting tired. He held up the parcel as if on a tray. Now Mr. Pavelchek had to know he was standing there. He must have. Still, he went back to his stitching (on a fine, black, shiny Singer sewing machine), tucked into a corner behind the canvas remnant bins. Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, click went the needle. He bent close to check his work. Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, click it went again. Now Mrs. Pavelchek was not in the tailor shop today. Her roley-poley red cheeked Jan, had a toothache, so she had to drag him to the dentist and it was difficult dragging a boy weighing fiftyfour kilos, particularly one who was not ashamed to plop himself down on the cobbles and kick. So Mr. Pavelchek had no coffee. And Mr. Pavelchek had no cake What did he care for a scared, little boy when his stomach was rumbling? Yet curiosity reached out to stroke him under the chin and he said - What is it, boy!? Why are you here!? Speak up!..............The frightened little orphan, tucked his chin down on his chest, took a step forward and said - I have a coat, sir. It is brand new. My mama never wore it.............And you want me to purchase it from you. I know. I know. I know. People come in here with offers like that all the time. Don't they know I MAKE coats!? Go back and tell your mother, no, I don't need it...........But the boy just stood there. He did not know what  to do. He did not know what to say. This was not supposed to happen............Well? Go tell her - said the tailor....... I can't - said the little boy. I can't.....She is dead..........And he almost cried........... A merciful angel must have flown by at that moment and brushed Mr. Pavelchek with her wings, for he pushed himself away from the sewing machine,  slumped his shoulders and said - Come, let's lay it out on the big cutting table and see what we have. The little boy offered up the tissue paper bag and waited, as the craftsman carefully slid the fine garment out onto the smooth, wood expanse to examine it. He softly felt the quality fabric, a French, wool challis and eyed the careful stitches. The cut was first rate too. Coats like this graced shop windows over the Charles Bridge, where gentry lived. A baron's wife could hope  for none better. And the silver buttons were superb. The tailor knew he could steam it, dress it up with a bit of silken braid and sell it for perhaps ten crowns, maybe twelve. So he gave the urchin three crowns and ten pfennig, plus a thick, warm scarf, practically a shawl and felt quite pleased with himself, as he pushed the boy out the door..

And the temporarily happy orphan ran all the way back to his narrow, little home, clutching the money inside his mitten, next to his skin, only stopping once, for no more than a minute to buy two fat sausages, one for himself and one for Max....... Oh, yes. I forgot...and a little picture book too.

This day, compared to all the others, was a good day...


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Monday, December 26, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale Part III

Six pfennigs is not very much. And the days grew ever colder. The little boy bundled himself up and went outside. He missed the way his mother used to tie the scarf. She knew how to make it stay in place. She knew how to keep him warm. And one of his mittens needed mending, but he did not know how to do it. If he kept his fingers curled into the palm of his hand it was not  so bad. At least he had a cap. At least he had a coat. The warm, thick, woolen over-all's helped too. Still, the sole of one shoe had the makings of a tiny hole, but if he stepped lightly and did not scrap his feet, maybe it would be all right.

The man behind the vegetable stall sold him potatoes, little, round hard ones. The stout, fussy ladies did not like those. They would 'tut, tut, tut' and curl up their noses. They'd go 'humph' and plod away. So he let the poor,  little orphan have them...... five for a pfennig. If he had one for lunch and another for dinner, he might be able to eat for a while. Sometimes the woman in the dairy shop tossed him a cheese rind or two, one  for him and one for his puppy.  But most days she was too busy. Three of the big, glass jars on the shelf in the kitchen held good, sweet slices of almond bread. They were dry and chewy. If he counted them out carefully, they'd last for a few weeks too. But when he was hungry for meat, or perhaps a nice, fresh egg, there just wasn't any.

In this way he managed to survive a few more weeks. When the pfennigs ran out he searched through the bottom of the wardrobe. His mother had a nice pale, yellow spring coat with  real silver buttons. She won it as a prize in an embroidery competition. His father made her enter. He knew how  good she was. And when she won, he was so proud. .But she never wore it, not even when they walked down by the river. It was just too good. He liked it there by the river, especially when the locust trees were covered in tiny, white flowers.. And there was a colorful. little kiosk that sold sweet ices. The little  boy liked lemon. Most times his father bought him one. But mommy always said - Next time. She didn't want to waste any money for herself. The little boy remembered all that. So he carefully lifted the spring coat out from the wardrobe and laid it down upon the bed. He counted the silver buttons. There were seven of them. But he did not know how many potatoes they would buy , or if there'd be enough to pay the landlord. Tomorrow was the thirtieth day. He had to make sure the snug, little house was extra neat. Maybe the old man wouldn't take so many of his monies, if he saw how careful he was? But what difference did that make, when he didn't have any money at all? So he silently folded up the coat and managed to get it back into the fine tissue paper bag. Then he bundled  up and went out. Max could not go with him this time. He needed both arms to hold up the bag, so the coat wouldn't get dirty.Maybe the husband and wife who ran the tailor shop would buy it? Max didn't like to be left alone. He started to whimper. After a few lonely heartbeats he curled up under the sofa quilts and went to sleep.......


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Sunday, December 25, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale part ll

The stern old man, a true miser, if ever there was one, hobbled up the fourteen steps. Max wanted to chase him. The little puppy wanted to bite those stale, sour ankles, but the stout, shiny, walking stick scared him,  so he stayed right where he was, safe within the orphan boy's arms. And they hurried up the steps, only to find the man  poking his waxy fingers everywhere.......Where is it!? Where is my money!? You do have it, don't you? Don't lie to me, or you'll chew grass in the fields! -spat the old man. The little boy hated to see him touching his parents' things. He poked in drawers. He pulled open the wardrobe and crumpled all the clothes. There was not much, but he dug through it all.

At first, the sad, young orphan hoped he'd go away. Then they could run down the fourteen steps and burrow under the quilts. That's where he slept, right on the sofa. It felt safe there. He had the hearth. He could see the heavy bolt. He knew the door was locked. Nice, plain curtains (handmade by his mother) covered the windows. And best of all, he had Max.. But the landlord did not go away. He stayed and he yelled and he yelled. The little boy was scared the gendarme would come. Orphans fear the police. They'd scoop him up and lock him in. People said there was a special cubicle for orphans, far, far in the back of the damp, dark cellar, where only the crunchy bugs lived. And he was sure that was true. So he quietly crept under the bed and came out with a little box. The old man watched, as he opened it. His greedy eyes could not help but smile when he saw the coins inside......... Is t-t-this enough, sir? - piped the frightened boy..........Look, don't waste  my time! Let me see! Give it here! - barked the old man, who snatched up the box, as he plopped his boney self down on the carefully smoothed duvet to count it. The boy just stared at the floor and waited. Max laid down behind him and waited too.Finally, maybe twenty three heartbeats later, or perhaps forty seven (misers always count things twice) the knobby old goat shoved the box into the boy's chest and said - Here! Take it! Don't worry. There's still a bit left for you! More than you deserve, you little dust rat.............. The worried boy peeked inside. All the silver ones were gone. Only six copper pfennigs were left. And he just stood there, still as a gravestone, waiting for the old man to leave. He heard the bed squeak. Then the steps squeaked too, all fourteen of them.He heard the front door open and he prayed - Please let him go. Please let him go........ But the old man stopped and yelled - Thirty days and I'll be back!!..... Then he stomped out into the rain, banged the door shut and was gone.

The little boy straightened up his parents' things. He made the room right again. But the rancid smell of strong tobacco and bitter ale, left by the old miser, poisoned everything......... Then he picked up Max, held him close,stepped out into the tiny hallway and softly closed the door. They  quietly crept down to the carefully swept kitchen. He buttered a roll (the small, stone ware pot was almost empty) broke it into tiny, puppy sized pieces and fed it to his hungry friend. A dry crust of bread would be enough for him.

A little bit later, they went back into the chill, shadowy sitting room. He peeked through the curtains. The sky was still gray. Fat, cold raindrops continued to fall. A few people waddled about, mostly well fed matrons out haggling  for tonight's supper. But no one looked his way. So he closed the curtains and went back to the sofa. At least, under the quilts, it was warm......And Max thought so too.....


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

THE LITTLE MATCH BOY ~~~~ a re-telling of H.C. Andersen's poignant tale

Far, far away, across the wide Atlantic Sea and north of the Alps, lies the great, imperial city of Prague, an illustrious assemblage of fine stone mansions, wide granite thoroughfares and cuckoo clocks fit for a king. Yet the streets and lanes still trace graceful meandering lines through history. Princes live here, princesses too along with an endless supply of grafs, barons and boyars.

But not everyone in town is so well born. Most people live in neat, small, narrow houses lining skinny, little cobbled streets. And while some streets are more corpulent than others, the vast majority seem quite the same. Now a young baker and a young bakeress inhabited one such dwelling place. It had a comfy, cozy sitting room., a nice warm kitchen and two snug bedrooms up fourteen squeaky stairs. A fresh, clean bakery faced the street. There were smooth, cool marble counters and old fashioned ovens just right for making wedding cakes and pastries.

Each afternoon when school was over, children came in to buy huge, sweet sticky buns and cold, frosty glasses of buttermilk. They'd perch upon high, wooden stools lined under a long, polished shelf and there they happily ate their treats. Now the baker and bakeress had a nice, little boy with soft, honey-colored  curls and an ever-so-slightly chubby face. Neighbor ladies called him 'adorable.'  The little fellow always did his best. The Fraulein at his school was pleased with his work and so was everyone else.And the bakery did not make a lot of money, but they had enough for good hot dinners, nice warm clothes and plump-cushioned sofas that were just right for snuggling and dreaming by the fireplace. The beds at the top of the fourteen squeaky stairs were nice too. Max liked to hide under the beds. Max was the little boy's tiny, scruffy puppy.

One autumn day things began to change. A chill wind snaked through the town. Some people started to sneeze. A few of them got very sick. A few got even sicker. No one knew what to do. Did the people just have colds? No, this was worse than that. Doctors raced to the great houses of the rich. They gave them wondrous elixirs and said 'tut, tut, tut,' as they dramatically counted heartbeats and looked concerned. And those with plenty of silver coins to pay them occasionally got well, while those without silver coins often died.

People stayed inside their houses. Schools closed down. Shops never opened. Everyone was afraid. The little boy was very good and very quiet. His mommy and daddy were scared. They did have some flour, some dried fruit, some nuts and other ingredients used for baking, back in the pantry. But the large glass jars with their tight brass lids were getting empty. Soon they'd have no more. His father did have a box with some copper coins in it, a few were even silver. But those coins were for very bad times..

The little boy sat up in his room and looked out the window. He saw the great shiny, silver trimmed ,black coach of the prince, as it raced down their street, carrying the royal family to safety, high  in the mountains, to a place without sickness and death. Then he heard the coughing. Max heard it too. He started to whine. The puppy wanted to go into the other bedroom. He wanted to scramble up onto the bed. He wanted to make the baker feel better. But the old woman from next door, who knew how to care for sick people, kept him out. So he stayed with the plump cheeked little boy (whose cheeks were really not that plump anymore)  and listened.Sometimes, before bedtime, his mommy and the old woman permitted him to stand in the open doorway and talk to his father. His voice would shake. He wanted to know if daddy felt better. And every night his father said - A little bit.......but the boy knew it was not true. Five nights later, his daddy passed away.. And he cried as people came into the house and clomped up the fourteen steps to carry his daddy away. But his mommy squeezed him and said - Don't be afraid. Daddy still loves us.... Only she was crying too. And when she hugged him to her chest, the little boy could hear the wheezing in her lungs. Three weeks later, the same people who clomped up the fourteen steps to carry out his father took his mother away somewhere too. And then the sickness stopped. No one coughed. No one wheezed. And no one, or practically no one, died.

The little boy got up every morning.  He swept the floors, cleaned the rooms and fed the puppy. Then he washed himself up and put on clean clothes. No one came around to help him. His grandparents were all gone too. And the small cache of copper and silver coins in the box upstairs got even smaller. The old woman from next door did give him a plate of food every now and then, but after a while she stopped doing that. Now, whenever she saw him in the street, she'd go 'humph' and turn away. He could not go to school anymore, because lessons were not free in those days. Fraulein felt sad about that. Sometimes she'd come by and drop off little storybooks. He likes the colorful pictures. At night, he and Max would sit snug in the sofa and look at them, as they burrowed under piles of quilts. Wood was expensive, so he only burned it a few sticks at a time.

One morning he heard someone pounding on the door. He dug out from the covers and ran down the fourteen steps. It was raining. The windows were foggy, but he recognized the stern faced old man outside. His bare feet were freezing as he reached up  to unlatch the door. Soon there would be snow. But before he could even say 'good day, sir,' the angry, old man shoved him aside and barged into the house........"RENT, boy! - he said. Where's the money? You're late as it is. Pay me my money, or GET OUT!.......The little boy was scared. His father always paid the rent before and he didn't know what to do. Max growled at the old man, but he was such a little dog and too small to do anything else. Finally, after a few pounding heartbeats, the little boy quietly said - How much money must I pay you, sir?........... The old man stood there, rubbing his hands together as he thought, like a great, skinny spider in a worn, black suit. Then he said - have money boy?........... The frightened littler fellow nodded.......... How much? Where is it? - said the old man.......It's upstairs - said the boy. But before he could finish, the old man pushed him down and rapidly crept up the fourteen steps........ The nice, little boy picked up his puppy and went up after.............


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Friday, December 23, 2011


And Jonathon walked on into a different place. The being who was Eleanor Roosevelt was no longer with him. The Resurrected John Lennon was gone too. But he felt their presence as he went forward. The terrific immensity that is Saturn tempered. Huge clouds disappeared, til a soft path lay before him. He stepped down upon it and felt solid ground. Simple creatures, like unto the animals of the field moved through the bushes. Squirrels ran off before him and larks took to the sky. And it was a blue sky, lit by the light of a warm, gold sun. 

Vines grew upon the hills, each heavy with sweet fruit that perfumed the air with contentment and gladness. Soon he heard a voice. A man was quietly singing. And three heartbeats later, he saw the man, tall, spare and rich in years, though in no way bent with decrepitude. A vintner he was. Jonathon watched, as he lovingly pruned false growth. And when he was through, he put away his knife and held out his hand........Welcome - he said.........Jonathon took the hand and smiled.......What is this place? - asked the young Andalucian.........Do you not know it? - said the learned peasant.  Look to the hills. Inhale the vapors. Taste of the berries..........He offered of the choicest growth and Jonathon ate. Tears filled his eyes, as he remembered. 

These grapes are our grapes - he said....... For the bounty about him was that of his childhood. And the dry, rich wine made from this fruit was the drink of Andalucia and of the lands beyond the peaks as well. Now it was known that the Great Teacher, the philosopher of The Faith, Solomon ben Isaac, kept vineyards over the mountains in a place called Provencal. Jonathon, accompanied by his guardian-servant Johannan was bound  for that selfsame  land at the time of his transformation. And yes, he had encountered 'Rashi' (an abbreviation of Rabbi Solomon Isaaci) earlier in the quest, but never upon his native earth, if, in fact, this was that place. 

Now imagine not a sage dressed as Shylock, look to other dreams, for Proclaimers of The Unity were not like that then. The rabbi had a trim, white beard and his head was wrapped in a roughly woven sun cloth as any tiller of the field might wear. No robes. No silks. But a farmer's tunic over lose worn trousers. And Jonathon followed him up over a hill and down into a valley, toward a fine, stone house, such as chevaliers or bishops might own. A servant opened the stout doors and they went inside, passing through the great hall and into a smaller 'beit safer' (library or school). Other students, already waiting, nodded graciously as they sat down.

But twixt a heartbeat, Jonathon saw an anomaly. A small lizard scurrying 'cross the slate flooring had six legs, not as might be found on a creature suffering a life-long malady, but growing straight and true from a body meant to bear them. So he quietly said - Tell me, sir, what manner of place is this?...............

But the figure of Great Rashi did not answer, though one of the students began to chuckle.....

Thursday, December 22, 2011


The star gazers of  Mars began to see a wondrous thing. The Great Sky Sea...the concentric briny shell swirling two hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, was beginning to break up. A thin gossamer string, like spittle from an old crone's mouth, arced out into space, stopping perhaps halfway to the moon. At that point it commenced to spin in on itself, flattening into a disc, rather like a miniature galaxy dancing about a tiny black hole. No physical laws explained such a thing. It merely was. And so they watched.

Those humans still on their birth world saw it too.At first the darkness lessened, like a false dawn from 'before.' Then cracks appeared. Not wide. Imagine hiking through the cool dark gloom of a vast primeval forest. All is gray. All is still. But then a tiny freshet 'does something' to the canopy up above, allowing thin, sharp poles of sunlight to pierce through the verdant barrier and find purchase upon the earth.

People saw the miracle and they gathered together in prayer. The Chevalier Jean Michel was there when it happened in Jerusalem. But that special place fared better than the rest. Israel worked with Ishmael and the Daughter of The Magdaline too. Each 'House' helped the other, so that the time of darkness was not so dark.

Other polities were not  so fortunate. 'Wolves' roamed the far places and many people died. It was worse in the great cities. Minnie knows. Blackie knows. For they survived the chaos of Philadelphia. And their story will come out. But this night is not the time.

Lailah was 'schooling' her father when the first golden rays broke through. She didn't even notice, not the way a life-eater normally would.. Living with darkness had become natural. Vampires grew complacent. In fact, even though she still 'culled' unworthy souls from time to time, she had forgotten she was one. But her father knew. And he froze in terror as the first weak tendrils of smoke rose up from her flesh.. No others were near. They had the small, central patio to themselves. So he scooped her up and raced inside, scrambling down into the cool, black crypts below. Jerusalem awakened. So did the rest of humanity's cradle.

And the huge, reflective disc in the sky continued to grow, till all the water was drawn up and the Great Concentric Briny Shell was no more....... Yet that is  not the truth. For the water still existed. All could see it clear enough, spinning like a monstrous, round, polished, silver shield (about the size of the full moon) in the cerulean vault of a clean, fresh sky...... Some of the people thought it favored a compact disc..

At the time this transpired in the vicinity of Earth, Jonathon was being ushered into Rashi's study. And one of the 'Song People' went with him.........


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The star gazers of  Mars began to see a wondrous thing. The Great Sky Sea...the concentric briny shell swirling two hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, was beginning to break up. A thin gossamer string, like spittle from an old crone's mouth, arced out into space, stopping perhaps halfway to the moon. At that point it commenced to spin in on itself, flattening into a disc, rather like a miniature galaxy dancing about a tiny black hole. No physical laws explained such a thing. It merely was. And so they watched.

Those humans still on their birth world saw it too.At first the darkness lessened, like a false dawn from 'before.' Then cracks appeared. Not wide. Imagine hiking through the cool dark gloom of a vast primeval forest. All is gray. All is still. But then a tiny freshet 'does something' to the canopy up above, allowing thin, sharp poles of sunlight to pierce through the verdant barrier and find purchase upon the earth.

People saw the miracle and they gathered together in prayer. The Chevalier Jean Michel was there when it happened in Jerusalem. But that special place fared better than the rest. Israel worked with Ishmael and the Daughter of The Magdaline too. Each 'House' helped the other, so that the time of darkness was not so dark.

Other polities were not  so fortunate. 'Wolves' roamed the far places and many people died. It was worse in the great cities. Minnie knows. Blackie knows. For they survived the chaos of Philadelphia. And their story will come out. But this night is not the time.

Lailah was 'schooling' her father when the first golden rays broke through. She didn't even notice, not the way a life-eater normally would.. Living with darkness had become natural. Vampires grew complacent. In fact, even though she still 'culled' unworthy souls from time to time, she had forgotten she was one. But her father knew. And he froze in terror as the first weak tendrils of smoke rose up from her flesh.. No others were near. They had the small, central patio to themselves. So he scooped her up and raced inside, scrambling down into the cool, black crypts below. Jerusalem awakened. So did the rest of humanity's cradle.

And the huge, reflective disc in the sky continued to grow, till all the water was drawn up and the Great Concentric Briny Shell was no more....... Yet that is  not the truth. For the water still existed. All could see it clear enough, spinning like a monstrous, round, polished, silver shield (about the size of the full moon) in the cerulean vault of a clean, fresh sky...... Some of the people thought it favored a compact disc..

At the time this transpired in the vicinity of Earth, Jonathon was being ushered into Rashi's study. And one of the 'Song People' went with him.........


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So if you value your work and don't want to waste time playing a 'real world' version of Dungeons & Dragons, list these exploiters at #REFERRALSPAMMERS. If you know HOW TO GET YOUR SERVER TO BLOCK THEM, so much the better.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Annie was sittin' on a hard mound a dirt. She wanted somethin' to do. Already drunk up most a the blood in some old bitch squattin' in a old trailer. You found them, every once in a while, hidden in the Pines. I don't know what the leathery, wrinkle-puss did to warrant gettin' killed that way. But our stringy haired little freak had instincts about that sort a thing. She went after the 'Miss Hannigan' types, folks who tortures kids. So the knobby-chinned, hatchet face must a done somethin'. Maybe she pressed lit cigarettes up against  little kids' asses, or washed they mouths out with dried-up, hairy scraps a soap. Who the hell cares. Annie didn't.

Skeejus wanted to go with her. Oh, his little bat wings was shaken. He couldn't wait. Annie said that she'd take him, if after, he showed her the place where Jersey Devils stored all the souvenirs in they twisted off head colllection. That how them Jersey Devils do it. First they sneak in. Then they stand by the bed. Sometimes down by the foot. Other times along side. Depends how they got the room laid out. You know people got all different kinds a taste. Second thing they do is make a noise. They got this banshee thing they do. Wave they arms around. Kick over a lamp. Squeeze a puppy. Make horse farts. Then, when the dumb son-a-bitch wake up, they bug out they eyes and make 'emselves look real crazy. Now try to imagine how crazy they look normally, so this really must really be somethin'.Soon as the person finishes yodeling and all and shittin' the bed (lots of 'em does that), the J,D, grabs the sides a the skull, right in front a the ears, and twists the unfortunate head around and around til it just goes 'gook' and falls off. Do it right and what's left a the neck is all wound shut like an old fashioned sausage. They got a bone pit some wheres near here and Annie wants a see it. ......... Know how they navigate through the partially dead trees (what with no sunlight and all)? They looted a whole bunch a nine volt, key chain  flashlights from a  closed up CVS store down by the Black Horse Pike. Came with batteries and everything. Now being weird, little pseudo humans in their own right, night vision comes natural to 'em. But they like the little colorful plastic gadgets. Annie plays like they lazer beams. That how she woke up the old bastid in the trailer. Went 'woo-woo-woo,' jiggling the little light all 'round her face and eyes. Then, soon as they open, she says - Get ready to die,  you stinkin', old bitch you..... Old lady goes to slap her away, like she some low-life kid from that dirty muskrat eatin' family next door. But Annie too fast for her. Jumps up on her stomach. Grabs her face (jus like she gonna kiss her). Cracks it over to the side a little and chomps right into her neck. Old lady moanin' and groanin', tryin' to pull her off. But you can't do that to no vampire once they taste blood. Skeejus jumpin' up and down clapping his hands. Wings flyin' all around knockin' cheap, little knick knacks off a shelves. She did have a cat. But Skeejus squished it up real good soon as they broke in.

Then, when the show was mostly over, Annie lifts up a gray, stinkin' crusty foot and bites off a couple toes. Skeejus wanted one, but she wouldn't give it. Said he'd get it after he showed her the twisted-off heads..

But soon as they get outside, she notice somethin' funny. Sky not so pitch black no more. Oh, you or I would never a noticed. But she did. Vampires is sensitive to solar radiation. So she look up toward where Heaven used to be, 'spectin' to see the backside a the Great Sky Sea. And that Earth-shroudin' watery shell still there. Only it startin' to break up a little. Tiny baby droplets a brightness beginning to ooze down. Skinny, fuzzy cracks startin' to skate across the darkness. And she just stand there, all hypnotized by the show, til Skeejus ask her if she still  want a see the heads. She say - Huh?.... But then she remembers and runs off with him through the trees....... No foul-mouthed, little kid gonna pass up a free twisted-off head show, 'specially one what's also a vampire. It still dark enough....she got time.....


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generationwhynot-stupidgirl: Shameful Confession #2: "DJ Becky".....

generationwhynot-stupidgirl: Shameful Confession #2: "DJ Becky".....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The former First Lady gestured for Jonathon to slide into the booth and she scootched in next to him after he did. Resurrected John Lennon took a seat opposite them, but immediately lost himself scanning through the choices on the small, table-top, juke box. He did love his music, after all. A young man in a well pressed white shirt and black trousers came by to take their order. Jonathon couldn't help but notice how much he favored 60's crooner Bobby Darrin. In fact, his little plastic name pin even said Bobby. Eleanor ordered half a Monte Cristo sandwich and a small Waldorf salad. Lennon got a grilled cheese and bacon. Jonathon giddily asked for a hamburger on a toasted bun topped with lettuce, tomato and raw onion. Bobby Darrin asked him how he wanted it. The inexperienced vampire said - Right away.

Jonathon looked out the window as a pod of those humongus, pumped-up, sausage organisms passed by. Their undulating movements resembled humpback whales on Earth and he became hypnotized by their dance. How do you find Saturn? - said Mrs. Roosevelt......... The well meaning vampire thought for a moment and said - Big.......... Mrs. Roosevelt said - I suppose in this star system it is. Now, tell me, young man, why do you oppose us?.................... Jonathon sucked in a lung-full of laundered, artificially cooled air, held it for a moment, quickly exhaled, and said - To protect our world. To save our people.And do you mind if I ask you what Josephine Baker, Ghengis Kahn and excuse me, is that Danny Kaye?....... His table mate nodded......have to do with all this? ...... We find them amusing - said the willowy old broad. That's why we brought him back - she added, gesturing toward the British Grammy winner. Sing us a song, Johnny-Boy..... The unofficial spokesman for the four mop-tops cleared his throat, slid out, stepped into the aisle, gestured toward the crowd, got their attention, composed himself for a moment and launched into a rousing performance of Back In the U.S.S.R., with Bobby Darrin and Janis Joplin providing back-up. George Harrison, reportedly, was attending a dinner for the Eighth Dalai Lama and unable to assist.And according to  the The Akoshic Records, King Shaka Zulu liked it very much.

A few thousand heartbeats later, after thoroughly savoring his juicy, flavorful patty of  perfectly seared chopped beef, Jonathon released his first anal toot in over ten hundred years. The dinner was quite a success. Nazimova slinked over, inviting him to a party, but he had to demure, for his Democratic Diva of a guide had much more to tell him. So they stepped 'outside,' hailed another trio of flying monkeys and were off. Lennon sang We All Live In A Yellow Submarine, as they swooped and swirled through the unbelievable immensity of the giant, ringed orb.

Meanwhile, back on a dark, cocooned Earth, Annie began to see fuzzy, pale cracks spidering their way across the under-side of the Great Sky Sea.. And her playmate, a juvenile Jersey Devil, looked up through the pines and whinnied in agreement.


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The former First Lady gestured for Jonathon to slide into the booth and she scootched in next to him after he did. Resurrected John Lennon took a seat opposite them, but immediately lost himself scanning through the choices on the small, table-top, juke box. He did love his music, after all. A young man in a well pressed white shirt and black trousers came by to take their order. Jonathon couldn't help but notice how much he favored 60's crooner Bobby Darrin. In fact, his little plastic name pin even said Bobby. Eleanor ordered half a Monte Cristo sandwich and a small Waldorf salad. Lennon got a grilled cheese and bacon. Jonathon giddily asked for a hamburger on a toasted bun topped with lettuce, tomato and raw onion. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


Beyond the monstrous cloud bank was a diner, a quaint, steel and neon, 1940's ersatz railroad car. Of course there was a bit of carefully applied red enamel trim. That's only to be expected. Jonathon could even detect the aroma of sizzling bacon-burgers wafting through the exhaust vent. The inviting oasis hung suspended in a bubble, a very big bubble. I'd say it rivaled one of the mid-sized Jovian moons. And each and every swirling tide and eddy in Saturn's horrifically vivid atmosphere could be seen doing their war dances up against its non-existent membrane.

The three sojourners stopped and floated about a bit, puzzled as to the best way to proceed. After all, the glass and chrome portal was quite far away, at least one hundred and fifty miles. Eyesight must improve in these environs, for the inviting eatery glittered like an emerald cut diamond lying supine in a melted creamsicle sky.

Shall we attempt sublimation? - said Jonathon. I am almost sure I could manage it. And I suspect you two have secret abilities of your own. Besides (sniff, sniff) the fried onion rings seem especially appetizing and I'd like to have some............ And then it hit him.... He no longer perceived things as a life-eater. The smells drifting across the void were pleasant, exceedingly so. He wanted that burger. He craved those batter dipped cibolas. Were the victuals offered up Scripturally pure? Of course they were not. But he felt sure God would forgive this isolated indiscretion .

Eleanor Roosevelt turned, bathing him in a big,  toothy grin. The Resurrected John Lennon tumbled playfully about, as from off in the distance, their chariots approached. Except these had nothing to do with the single axle conveyances of antiquity, resembling nothing so much as the winged monkeys from Oz.. After about eighty six human heartbeats the simian mounts drew near.. In truth, they were approximately two and a half times larger that the hissing, screeching beasts in the movie. But they sported the same, spiffy bellboy suits (from the waist up anyway) and had vast feathered wings matching those of only the most regal, super-sized cygnets. The President's Lady said - Hop on......... And so they did, gingerly perching on the shoulders of the giant macaques. Jonathon took hold of his monkey's collar. The other two, obviously frequent fliers, adopted a more relaxed posture, as they sliced through the vacuum on strong dove-gray wings..... Distances seemed to contract, for soon they were there, landing upon a small asphalt parking lot. Each passenger slid off (best he or she could... these were monkeys after all) and thanked their rides profusely. Mrs. Roosevelt fished down deep in the bodice of her cheerleader's uniform, retrieving three gold banana tokens, which she distributed to the monkeys who were very glad to get them. One did manage a discrete little bite, meant to disclose the genuineness of his stipend, but he was new to this place, so what could you expect.

Jonathon quickly fell behind the other two, as they scampered up four very well pointed brick steps lined with a phalanx of robust, potted geraniums and entered the obviously very lucrative establishment. Oh! Now he wanted pancakes, for they smelled real good too. All the other customers certainly seemed happy, chomping away on mid to late twentieth century comfort food. And the coffee smelled rich and hot. They'd begun to experiment with it in Old Andalucia, so at least he was familiar with that.A neat, young waitress, chewing a big pink wad of bubblegum led them to a booth. As they perused the extensive menu, Jonathon looked up only to discover that the clientele represented almost every eon of human history. Rosie the Riveter winked at him Marcus Aurelius simply stared, while The Inca Atuhualpah, Lord of The Four Quadrants, favored him with an  aristocratic salute (more like a wave, actually), before returning to his lox and onion omelet.......


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Sunday, December 18, 2011


This will have to be done quickly. News is coming in from all over. I can't keep it all straight in my head. Some comes from Circus Towne City, on Mars. Another stream seems to originate with Jonathon, deep within the Saturnian atmosphere. The third one has a lot of static. I think it's a kid telling dirty jokes on a 'ham' radio. Now his father's calling him a 'lousy, little bastid.' Now the kid is wailing.Wait, wait, wait...Mars is back. Scientists on the Red Planet detect an incremental, but steady rise in gravitational level. It's as if the center of the 4,000 mile wide orb suddenly accumulated more mass. And the barely there Mars magnetic field is regenerating. A team of explorers reconnoitering remote areas report spotting a six foot tall, vaguely human looking person exiting a narrow, crack-like cave opening. His uniform failed to match any currently in use among the refugee/colonists. A small 'breathing apparatus' mounted on a ring around his collar bone and rising up to a point approximately two inches in front of his mouth enabled 'him' to breathe the inadequate atmosphere. A hastily made video of the encounter is currently being evaluated by Dr. Franklin and his team, who've christened the mystery man 'Squanto' in honor of  the Pilgrims first 'Indian' contact.


AND NOW FROM SATURN----- In all honesty, Jonathon expected to be completely crushed by the monstrous, coppery ball bearing. He and his companion, the Resurrected John Lennon, were forced to lie flat on their backs, as the huge metallic globe bore down upon them. The one thousand year old (though in his eighteen year old 'human' body) vampire believed destruction was imminent, since no 'life-eater' has ever survived such complete devastation, You can't build Mr. Peanut out of peanut butter, if you know what I mean. Yet the Resurrected John Lennon remained cool during the whole ordeal. At the point when the giant metal ball was about to literally pulverize their bones, he simply giggled with delight, raised  his head and kissed it.Approximately one six thousandth of a heartbeat later, it crackled out of existence and was instantaneously replaced by an elderly white woman bearing a striking resemblance to the Late Eleanor Roosevelt., though incongruently sporting a PENN STATE cheerleader's uniform, which did nothing for her, if you want to know the truth. The one-time First Lady said something to the former Beatle in a language unknown to our still unnerved vampire. Then she rolled off the long-haired Brit and laboriously rose to her feet, tooting out a few wet, slimy farts in the bargain. To Jonathon, they smelled like rancid meat balls. Our traveling duo followed the ancient cheerleader, as she led them into a thick, swirling, pale orange cloud bank rising five hundred miles above their heads. Remember, we're not in Kansas anymore {footnote - although the aliens do sometimes refer to our sun as 'Kansas,' since it is the only name ever given it in all of human culture via the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz }. The unbelievably vast golden platter (upon which they were walking) disappeared as soon as they entered into the gaseous, orange malestrom ...........wilkravitz (our Earth-bound channeler, currently residing deep in the Jersey Pines) was unable to 'hear' anything after that, but is prepared to speculate that the First Lady knows secrets relating to altered conditions on Mars and perhaps on Earth, as well....... Please forgive me for jumping from first person to third person, but it's freezing here. And YES, we have begun cooking cock roaches, though no one has actually eaten any yet. A few packets of Old Bay crab seasoning discovered in a kitchen cabinet promises to make the meal somewhat palatable. Our 'cooks' notice the flesh swells up a bit when boiled attaining a white, opaque look, close to that of shrimp. And the carapaces take on a dark, red, translucent appearance. Mr. Edith thinks he knows where there might be some old potatoes.......Oh, and one more thing. There's an ominous low rumbling noise, like thunder, but deeper, from far up above the sky...


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Saturday, December 17, 2011


It happened this way. Jonathon was walking through the maze-like corridors. The lights were turned down low. Almost everyone else, vampire and human, was asleep. Sunlight didn't matter much out here, even to the vampires. It was weak, producing illumination levels equal to those on Earth during the gloaming, that magical  time after sunset, yet before true nightfall. Look through a portfolio of Maxfield Parrish prints. You'll know what I mean.

He stopped at one of the quartz portholes, gazing out at a round shadow, caused by a Saturnian moon, as it drifted across the custard hued clouds. No human would have been able to detect any motion, but a vampire could. That's when he caught the reflection of someone standing behind him. He turned to face the Resurrected John Lennon. They stood like that for perhaps five heartbeats. Then he nodded in polite acknowledgement. The multi-Grammy Award winning performer and composer did the same.

Jonathon said - I thought you were still in Jerusalem?..... The Beatle said - I am...... Then he unfastened a button on his chambray work shirt, fished around in a nicely healed bullet wound and pulled out a tiny capsule. He offered it to Jonathon. The vampire said - Am I supposed to take this? I'm a life-eater. It probably won't effect me..... Let's try said the singer......Jonathon held the gelatinous orb up to a wall mounted fixture, examining the contents. Tiny, almost microscopic, human-like figures tumbled and swam through the viscous fluid...... The Brit put his hand on the vampire's shoulder and whispered - swallow it......And Jonathon did.

At first nothing happened. He still heard the low volume 'muzak' wafting out from the discreetly mounted fixtures. The score to Gypsy, I think it was. Then the platform seemed to evaporate, as they floated through space, two young gentleman adrift in a Peter Max universe. The 'muzak' was different now. I think it was Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds. After approximately twenty three heartbeats, our two travelers descended down to the cloud tops, piercing the thick, cloying mists, as they entered the Sovereign Principality of Saturn.

Colossal, gas filled, translucent, sausage organisms slowly rose up to meet them. They settled down upon the 'back' of one of the creatures (roughly four times the size of a great blue whale) and accompanied it down into  the unknown....The Resurrected John Lennon tapped Jonathon on the back and said - Told you it'd work. The vampire wanted to say something, but all that came out was one long, beautiful note. Yet the Beatle understood it and he smiled in agreement.

Jonathon knew they were about to meet some extremely important personage, so he straightened his clothes and tried to look composed. The Beatle leaned close and whispered in his ear - We gave you the moon. And our reverent life-eater was not quite sure what he meant, as their steed alighted on a vast golden platter, vanishing down into the surface, until they were quite alone. Then, from far off in the distance came the sound of a huge ball-bearing rolling toward them. How large was it? Oh, I don't know. Perhaps as tall as the Chrysler Building. but it stopped just prior to crushing them. Jonathon reached up and touched the warm, coppery surface. He could see his own troubled reflection.  But the Resurrected John Lennon merely stood there playing air guitar.


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Friday, December 16, 2011


Lailah began to remember, or perhaps it is more accurate to say she began to understand. True, she described some of the basic imagery to her father, but that was just talk. She was glad to be safe and home in her own bed. Few vampirinas have that. And even though the world, or some of the people in it, now acknowledge their presence, that's only a veneer. Doesn't go much deeper than urbane liberals in big cities and rebellious young people everywhere else. The rest of them, especially now that life is so rotten, would really enjoy a good auto-da-fe. But what about the vampires fighting on the front lines? - you ask. Well, what about them? The military types work with them because they need help and the life-eaters have certain useful talents. If the research and development guys could figure out how to synthesize those 'magical' abilities, new friends would be soon forgotten.

The Chevalier Jean Michel takes Lailah out walking. The City of Jerusalem is oddly peaceful now. Actually, it was never exceptionally violent. The Sacred Mist enveloping the place took care of that. But denominational resentments simmered just below the surface. Each group fantasized about a world without the 'other.'  The feeling laid low in some, but it was still there.

Every street corner had an oil drum and every drum had a fire. Used to call them 'bum' fires in the U.S.. But they weren't the only ones who gathered 'round the warmth. Laborers and guys who worked outside used them too.  They made winter bearable. Now it was winter everywhere. Soon, if things went on like this, it would be worse than winter. But people were friendly. Everybody helped each other. It's like they 'got it' all of a sudden. I guess a good confrontation with death-dealing, indifferent, god-like aliens can do that. But this, after all, is Jerusalem. In other places they were hacking each other with rusty shovels.

Lailah carried a little flashlight. So did her French, vampirino companion. It's not that they needed them so much. Vampires have natural night vision. But it made them less obvious. And you never know what people might do. Why advertise for trouble? She told her father she wasn't 'culling' now, just a little drink here and there. Nothing fatal. Everyone survived. But that was a lie. It's strange. Even though they could not see the moon, they still felt it. Every month came the 'need.' And seventeen hours ago, she felt it. They found a man looting sacred objects. Some were from a synagogue. A few were from a church. Silver goblets used for ritual libations. God knows where he thought he'd sell them. They descended on him in a dark chapel. I don't know who he thought they were. Like I say, vampires were 'around,' but most people didn't 'see' them. Kind of like illegal (human) aliens used to be in the U.S. and France. Was there a vision? Did they see him in a dream? No. But he was bad and they were hungry, whether for the blood, or the life, I can't say. I used to think I understood them. It's me. It's Zebulon, in case you want to know. Only now, I'm not so sure. The guy tried to fight them off.... You know how futile that is? He threw his satchel down on the slate pavers and tried to scramble away in the darkness. But Jean Michel grabbed his ankle and lifted him up, as Lailah cradled his head and tore into the neck. The aristocratic, thousand year old Gallic warrior let her have the lion's share, making due with a few choice bites from other vulnerable areas.When they were done, illumination from the pale, blue flame , the spontaneous combustion that consumes all vampire victims, lit up the little holy place. They picked up goblets, returning them to the satchel. Maybe her father would know what to do with them.

Afterward they talked. She told him the entities did not know how old they were, or how they came to be so omnipotent. They just drifted through the galaxies 'rearranging things.' She asked what they were truly like and she felt the god-like alien version of wry laughter. Corporal 'bodies' were conjured as needed, witness the threatening organisms on Europa. The well meaning manta ray people are so childlike...intelligent, but viscerally simple. They might very well have understood the truth, but why complicate matters? So scaly 'paladins,' not so different than Jean Michel's Crusader henchmen, moved among them. Enough said. On to the next question. What does the 'world' feel like to them? she asked. The answer surprised and troubled her, for they told her she already knew that. It feels just as the world feels to a vampire as he sublimates, however they exist in a permanent state of sublimation. And when she shared this with Jean Michel, he nodded, for he understood it too.....


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Thursday, December 15, 2011


It's cold in the Pine Barrens, truly cold. The snow began to come down late last night. Look, I might as well say twenty hours ago. The sky never changes. It's always dark. Some people claim to see a slight greenish tinge during what used to be the daylight hours. But that's just wishful thinking. And  you know how winter night- clouds used to reflect artificial ground light? Remember when they looked bright and crisp and vivid, like titanium white brush strokes upon a blue-black canvas? I wish we had them back. I miss them. Snow falls out of the darkness now. You barely see it on the ground. That's how dark it is.

They say mole people have been coming up out of the old subway tunnels. Their eyes are used to the dark. Some people use them as guides. Whether free, or slave, I don't know. Stuff like that goes on in the cities and we only get second hand information out here. A voice I heard in the dark once (turned out to be a chemist) said he can make luminescent mixtures and seal them in old mayonaisse jars. Baylah took him to an abandoned 7-Eleven. He found lots of jars there. Works in empty plastic Coke bottles too. Only thing, the mixture eventually eats through the petroleum based 'shell' and leaves nasty acid burns. You don't want to sit at a campfire with one a those things resting in your lap. But he's trying to come up with a sticky-gooey version people can carry around on twigs, something that don't burn. Baylah calls him 'the professor.' He calls her 'Marianne.' Actually, she's more like a ginger, but that's what he calls her.

Edith says she's pickin' up something from folks on the outside. Beyond the Sky-Sea she means. This 'morning' she got a vision from Mars. The Sky-Sea appears to be pulsating. Not a lot. Just a little, like the way bald heads do in cartoons when somebody smacks 'em with a club. And the whales are singin' somethin' different now. She heard that too. We're at least fifteen miles from the ocean, so I guess her ears get visions too.

Blackie swiped the little, original Great Armonica from The Franklin House. Not the cool place Doctor Franklin used to live in underneath the Navy Yard. Not the pimped-up crib he had at The Anti-Enchantment-Bureau. This joint is a museum the city built over the ruins of his house. They got the original armonica (bout as big as a small electric keyboard with legs) set up in a display case down the basement. Only they don't got it no more. Blackie does and he's comin' this way. Edith says. She knows. And Baylah believes her too. I do not know what we're gonna be able to do with that thing. The big ones didn't work. Remember that fiasco outside Jerusalem? And it gives me the cock-eyed shivers too. Sounds noise like a Tesla Coil. Makes me feel like I gotta pee every time I hear it.

They say some guys who work for what used to be the government got night vision goggles. A few other folks got 'em too, mostly looted ones from places like Brookstones or nice, little gun shops. The professor tryin' to make some outta junk he got from that 7-Eleven, but so far, they more like the X-ray specs you buy from the back a comic books.

Some people 'round here want a go out and 'kill' Johnny and Petunia.'  Shouldn't be too hard. She still blind and he hidin' in a dumpster back a old tampon factory. Guess he been burning 'em for light. It is illegal to sell them as individual units, so I know he ain't doin' that.

I miss Jonathon. Wonder what he's doin' now? Even Annie misses him in her own way. We know she goes roamin' around bitin' folkses toes off. Not a whole set. Just one or two to a customer. I mean like she IS tryin' to cut down. Nobody does nothin' to stop her. Life is so shitful now they think 'what the hell,' let her have her fun.

Just don't fall asleep without no socks on...


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The cherubs peeked out from behind a small, knuckle of rock. They watched Petunia take little tastes of the sad, helpless pin head boy. Actually, if you looked at him real fast, you might not even notice. I mean his face was goofy, but not that goofy and his cranium wouldn't take no blue ribbon at the four aitch or nothin', but it wasn't that far off the mark. Folks in the Pines just called him 'Pin Head,' 'cause his brains were a little slippery. That's all. Nothin' seemed to stick. But he was a good kid and he did not deserve any of this crap.

Now cherubs are a soft hearted lot. Comes from losin' their mamas so young. And they could not abide the 'bad touch' attentions of that sloppy, gluttonous, blood-whore, so they screwed up they little selves, commenced to screechin' some high-pitched baby wails and flew out at the Petunia bitch like hell-in-a-layette-set. You know how they does things with them little tongues? The tips are keen and diamond sharp. Has to be since they ain't got no teeth. Most times they just goes tickle-tickle on a neck or like the top part of a tittie, take a little sip and that's it. Sleepin' folks don't even know they was bit. Nobody dies, 'cause that ain't the way they do business. I think God wants 'em here to spread understanding, 'cause a little bit of each individual's pain and suffering gets passed onto the next one what gets bit. Still, they can be mighty defensive when some bastid gets they talcum up. And they were real set on hurtin' that vampire tramp real bad.

I want you to know this all went  down in like two heartbeats. Each cherub takes an eye. Zooms in wit' them little razor tongues wiggling like crazy jitterbugs and bores right in. She start screamin' and battin' 'em away. They fly off a few yards and come right back. Blood drippin' down her crumby face. She cursin'. She cryin'. Johnny, her vampirino 'fancy man' wakes hisself up from a drooly-mouthed stupor (you see, light from candles or like little Dora the Explorer battery powered lamps tends to hypnotize the man) lunges for his big. ole shotgun and prepares to pump off a round. Pin Head Mel don't do nothin'. He just lookin' and laughin' and clappin', 'cause he like a good show and this better than his most precious favorite, Jerry Springer. That dumb, little son-a-bitch near peed hisself.

But Johnny can't do nothin' with that ole gun. You know most vampires can't finesse no firearm worth shit. And I do not know why that's so, but it just is. So next thing, he gets real mad and starts swingin' it 'round like a baseball bat, or something. Now he aimin' for them cute, little vampire babies, but they fast, so BAM! Petunia takes a hit., right on the least ugliest side a her head. He tries again, only them flyin' babies go zippin' 'round like a couple regular kamikazes. It the Battle a Midway all over again. Pin Head laughin' and laughin'. Petunia wrigglin' down in the dirt, cryin' 'My eyes! My eyes! That's when them babies take off after the man, 'cause she gonna be blind for 'bout a million heartbeats 'fore her eyes grow back. And when they do, it gonna burn and itch like hell. So he get  up and go runnin' down some side tunnel like Curly (you know, from The  Three Stooges?) wit' a gorilla after him. Babies figure that mus be a fast way out. So they rouse the moron. You know, kick him in the face a few times, like to get his attention. First he look angry. No, more sad like he 'bout to cry. Then he smiles, 'cause they keep flyin' at him and bouncin' back like it a game a tag. Morons like games. You know how he is with Yahtzee?

Forty one heartbeats later, they got him outta that mine and led  him back home. Hardly tripped in the dark, or nothin', 'cept for that semi-rotten, ole mafia body. But you know you gonna find them in The Pines.They like the national flower or somethin'. They planted everywhere.

Folks is so happy to see him, they had a Yahtzee party went on for like six hours.

Ain't nobody even noticed when it begin to snow....

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Lailah opened her eyes. She was home. She was back in her room. The cozy, tiny rectory looked the same, rough, old plaster walls (some actually made from stone) thick, antiques pieces warmed by generations of human touch. A candle sputtered upon a small night stand. Was it day? Was it night? Did it matter? She heard voices out in the little plaza, just people, just normal Jerusalemites trying to survive. People were eating mushrooms now. Root vegetables were almost gone, though some said hidden stores existed in rediscovered underground cisterns. But then the people hurried on and all was quiet.

For a moment she thought it all a dream. She was herself. She was unchanged, just an ever so slightly rebellious young girl. But then she sensed it. And then she knew. Vampires occasionally 'hover' in their sleep. It's a type of minor levitation, causing life-eaters to rise up a bit and float perhaps a tenth of a cubit above the sheets. So there she was, suspended maybe two inches up from her cot. Then the magic evaporated and she fell back down. She burrowed under the blankets and curled up on her side, staring into the candlelight.

Far out among strange worlds, in the region of gaseous giants, Sarah stood by a thick, quartz window gazing at the immensity of Saturn. Tiny cyclonic storms, each no bigger than the Earth danced across the creamy, golden 'surface.' She watched as a baby asteroid zoomed down, punching it's way through the highest cloud tops, only to disintegrate in a small, violent explosion. But that was Saturn. On Earth, such an event would be Judgement Day.

They made a few other half-hearted forays out to the aliens. But what could they do? They were just like that asteroid. It was just like punching clouds. The people from the Anti-Enchantment-Bureau (odd, that they still used that name) hoped to try something. They still wanted to attempt a kind of tandem attack mixing vampire sublimators with certain frequencies from the Great Armonica. But privately, Sarah and the others didn't think it would work. Maybe they could chip away at the entities, in perhaps about five hundred years. Jonathon didn't think they could even do that much.

People thought about family back on Earth. Once in a while a signal made it through, so they knew it was bad. But the aliens hadn't caused any more least not through any distinct, violent episodes. A few investigators were beginning to suspect such things may have been 'accidents' or acceptable collateral damage. Maybe humans couldn't understand the big picture? Maybe our limited senses just perceived things that way? Who could tell? A few of the telepaths among them (yes, they brought them out here too) had 'dreams.' They saw swirling visions...dancing embers and silvery mists. They saw the birth of our star system. And the entities were there even then....... Imagine, a coherent intelligence enduring for more than five billion years. The reality of it troubled some, though others were deeply moved and inspired. A young vampire from Papua New Guinea said that new stars form constantly and we will be 'old ones' to organisms yet unformed.

But still...these aliens must have been ancient even then........


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Monday, December 12, 2011


So there was two of 'em. Ugly noxious life-eaters. Them what got buried with the .night kiss. and had to dig their way out. That's what does it to 'em. Scrambles the brains a bit. Makes 'em all looney. One used to be a woman. The other kind a favors a man, only now you'd never taken 'em for such. Wild animals is what they is. Look at the eyes, all glassy and hot. It's the fresh blood, the drink they got from them two bald headed Jehovah's Witnesses what does it. Disgustin'. Got hair like unrepentant hags. Grandmama Addams had better. Oh, and you can tell a noxious, even when they quiet, even when they sit still and give you that slimy toothy grin. Dried blood caked in the corners of their mouths. Look at the tongues scraping it up. Must be like bacon bites to them.

I think the almost female bitch is winnin'. She wavin' those cards 'round like a drugged up swami or something. He gonna kill her one a these nights, or do whatever it is they do instead a killin'. Take a peek at the crud they got under those nails... and jammed in them wrinkly knuckles too. No noble vampire would ever go 'round like that. Probably sleeps in coffins, they does, or did when they had 'em.She got a taste for the kiddies. He likes a good, hot rum-pot, don't care snot what the plumbing's like.Been foulin' up Creation for two hundred years, they are. Dripped down from somewhere's up north when the trouble started.. Don't know what names they was born with. She goes by Petunia. He answers to Johnny. Bet they was planted in them rags. I sees bugs dancin' up and down them creases...little brown, shiny ones, politely scroungin' for snacks. Maybe they keeps 'em for pets?

Gave the pin head boy a coloring book, plus a little four-pack a crayons they filched from the pocket a their last entree. Used to be a waitress in an Applebee's, she was. Back before the dark time. Brought 'em home for her little boy, a sweet, chubby tot with warm brown curls. Kind you could just eat right up....which they  did, with gusto and relish.

That's why the cherubs hates 'em so much. Ain't been flying 'round lately. Mostly stays close to the cabin. Pathetic lot they are. Remembers the cradle. Remembers the soft, warm swaddling. The devoted mama. The pleased as punch papa. And the red eyed night fiends what did it to them. So they flies out, tastin' the air like sad spaniel puppies.

One a them sees the opening. Picks up a bit a grave stench too. Gurgles something to the other. Three heartbeats later they tumble down (cherubs can be sloppy fliers at times) and silently toddle into the old mine. Then they get down on all fours and begin to crawl.....two vampire cuties bundled up in them cute, little outfits Edith and Baylah knit for 'em.

Petunia pulls her flabby self up off the stool and waddles over to the pin head. Oh, he's real scared. You can see it. But he pretends not to notice. Acts like he's concentrating on what color Astro should be. She smacks her ass down next to him and shifts it around tryin' to find a comfy spot on all them bones. He inches over toward a lumpy wall. She does too. He exhales and shudders. Might a peed a little too, but just a little. She smiles and strokes his pin head hair. Must a learned her act from a spider, 'cause she does it so good. Then she lifts up his leg and hefts it, like she's tryin' to estimate how many pounds it is. He just lowers his head the way little boys do,  resting his chin upon his chest. The virago vampire woman hums a little ditty, as she rolls up the corduroy pant leg, exposing the helpless, white flesh. Then she leans down and kisses it.

Pin Head Mel begins to cry...not a lot....not so you could hear ....but a few salty tears run down his cheeks, dripping onto his carefully laundered, long sleeved cotton tee-shirt. His mama loves him and even in these trying times, she wants him to look nice.


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Sunday, December 11, 2011


No warning. I know that the wilkravitz sometimes tells you to wait for a post in say 90 minutes or seventy five minutes, but not tonight. Zebulon has been flickering through the Akoshic Records and he has found , or remembered things you should know. Many of the vampires are privy to this information due to their long lives and other such advantages.Now... you will be too.

What I will tell you this time comes from a place where our story and curiosities of the future intersect.You' re already seeing bits and pieces of this eternal fandango every night. Some have said those events transpire in another place, another universe. Well... are you so sure of YOUR location? How  do you really know where you are?. Individuals drift, you know. There, I said it. Now you heard it. Look around at the people snortin' and belchin' near you. True, they may have been there last night. But are the details the same? Maybe the flavor of the ice cream in the freezer is a bit unusual, or the dog has a different collar. Do you detect a slightly more exotic variety of B.O. wafting through the family room?  Perhaps you've drifted. Maybe you'e slipped through the space-time continuim. Could be you popped up in another universe. Odds are it's gonna be essentially just like the one you left.But maybe in this one you DO become a successful businessman, or who knows, an eight hundred foot tsunami rearing up off the Outer Banks one summer day might slap you like a gnat.  Quantum theorists believe in such things.. We're  like static in the atmosphere. sometimes God tunes us in. And sometimes He don't.

Now, I'm gonna learn you about stuff on Mars. They already got a town going up there. You regular people know that. What's it called? Wait a minute. I know. Circus Towne 1. That's it. They call it Circus Towne1. But that stellar community mostly occupies one building. Sure it's a big building. A basketball/hockey arena, I think it was. Only some folks are making it out.  They are sayin' sy-o-nara sucker off that locked in a Faberge egg world you call home. A few ships broke though the Sky Sea.. They had the speed. They doused the engines and just barreled through. I don't know how deep it is. A lot of people figure it goes on for maybe a few thousand feet.. A top of the line ion-turbo-drive ship like they use now could zip through that in no  time. I can't say who organized it. Of course all the government fat asses got golden tickets. But so did a lot a rich folks. Now look, I'm not talkin' 'bout a Lexus and a condo in Lauderdale rich. I'm talking about people who hold the leash on jumped-up creeps like that.... Billionaires, I mean. Guys who share urologists with Warren Buffet. And not just them, but their Chatsworth Osbourne Junior bastard offspring  too.

So according to what it says here, they're out on Mars, living like high-tone cattle barons in old Virginia City. They got all the supplies. They got all the juiciest commodities. You need insulin? You wanna live? Or better yet, do you want your kid to live? Then pay up in goods, or currency, or services. Even the government plays ball with 'em. Remember them old movies? Remember Silverado? Remember that one with Sharon Stone and that Crazy Harry guy? Well, Ponderosa times is back again. Hell, they even raisin' horses. Now geneticists do think it's possible to put wings on 'em ( the horses, not them Chatsworth Osbourne Junior bastids), but that's just in the planning stage. Right now, them what can afford to are cruisin' 'round in fiberglass kit versions of 1964 Pomtiac GTO's. Pressure suits  kind a defeat the whole convertible vibe. But they workin' on terraforming the place. That's when I figure they'll be ready with them flyin' horses and all. Got some spiffy subterranean houses gone up on Scaparelli Drive. Palm trees ain't real, but they sure do look nice.

Shit, I gotta go. That hatchet faced, giant, all-most-a-goddess fat lady they got at the front desk says my time is up. Some other son-of-a-bitch disembodied spirit is waiting for a turn to browse through  Records. I am sick of it! When them Akoshic sons-a-bitches gonna get some more research stations 'round here!?  Look at that bastid... reading all about Natalie Wood.. Like  to flush his head down a real bad black hole and give his mouth a shit bath. That's where we do our business up here (when we want to, 'cause with passed-away-folks deficatin' is not mandatory). In black holes, I mean. And I  find the black holes at Stucky's for Dead Folks to be the best.

So now you know. Soylent Green is people and black holes is toilets. Don't ask me about no pulsars, 'cause that is just gonna make you  sick.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011


Used to be a lot a iron foundries scattered through the Jersey Pines. I'm talkin' 'bout a hundred and fifty years ago. In them days folks'd grab chunks a metal outta the streams, or dig 'em up like wicked, hard taters or something. Kinda like the California Gold Rush, 'cept nobody invented Levi's, or did anything real glamorous like that. And when they all left (guess they hopped a train to Atlantic City, maybe), the forest got up off its big fat ass and just came back. Now, ain't nobody can see any iron foundries. Yeah, they got a ghost town or two all done up for day trippers, but most day trippers got other priorities now that we all locked into a watery shell. But you still gotta be careful . Dead, old mines like to hide out there. Chubby, little careless boys go WHEEEE, all the way down  bone crushin' mine shafts all the time. Local paper used to list 'em. Kept records and everything.. Gave a prize to the lucky subscriber who came closest to prognasticatin' how many chubby boys'd go WHEEEE, all the way down to a reasonable facsimile of hell. One year my grandma won two fresh-killed turkeys. 'Cept one was only mostly dead when she got it and it shit all over the rug 'fore she could kill it a little better. She asked the paper for money so she could buy a new rug. Sears had  nice oval ones for two dollars and ninety eight cents. But the wife a the man who ran the paper told her to go to hell and drop dead, which she subsequently did, although not necessarily in that order. So we just made do and learned to live with the stains. Reminded us a how lucky she was that week.

Well, anyway, that's where Pin Head Mel is. That boy got hisself flushed down to the bottom of a cold, damp mine shaft. Not that it was completely his fault. He was just runnin' 'round, bouncin' off tree trunks, gettin' pine needles in his eyes (which is a common occurrence, now that it's never light or nothing.) when two, nasty, slobberin' vampires ketched him. Not the good ones. Not the 'nobles.' These are the bad ones, the 'noxious' ones. Kinda like zombies, only they don't stagger 'round like drunks so much and they pants ain't all peed in, 'cause like vampires, you know, don't piss or nothing. Guy up in Ocean County says they have been known to fart once in a while,  but I don't know...

So now that sweet, little, weird, old Piney boy is sittin' on a mess a molderin' hoomin bones (lotsa folks done fell down that one), whimperin' for his mama and singin' Happy Birthday over and over and over again. (it's the only song he knowed all the way from beginning to end.). And them 'noxious' bastids just sit there playin' canasta by the light of a Dora The Explorer battery powered campin' lamp.(it got a real pretty shade. makes them bones look all pink and homey-like). Oh, they do mean to drink him all up, 'cept they just finished vampiring two bald headed Jehovah's Witnesses, so they savin' him for later. You know, the way real people would do like with Velveeta cheese or Ritz crackers?

It's pathetic watchin' that jug-headed, l'il honey-bunch sittin' there rockin' and singin' and all. Genuine hoomins woulda gone crazy by now, but vampires seem to have the ability to ignore such things. Wish I'd a been like that, 'stead a lettin' my husband's bonafide f#*kface grandmother shove one too many heart-attacks down my throat. That little bedbug, Popeye the Sailor woman kept pickin' and pickin' and pickin'....... Why I ain't got no fancy titties?... Her granbaby like fancy titties, don't you know....  Why I make cornflakes like a real dope?... Don't even know how to pour out cornflakes... Why I ain't got purdy hair like Judge Judy?......Why my left arm pit smell like Doritos?.... How the hell am I supposed to know scientific shit like that!? I ain't never graduated from no Girl Scouts!......... I am just a jittery, newly dead, disembodied spirit what got buried in a old house dress, without no cigarettes. And if you  all want a find out what them scabby-teethed suckers gonna do to that poor, little singin'-boy, you better zip it and go hide your lumpy heads up vacant asses, where they belong!!


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Friday, December 9, 2011


Pin Head Mel is missing. People are out looking for him now. The elves are flying around trying to pick up his scent. That shouldn't be too difficult, since he's been living on old tubes of Hickory Farms beef-liver pate and store brand peanut butter. We're all on stuff like that. Food is scarce in the dark. But I already told you that.

It's me, wilkravitz. No... wait, wait, wait...that's my twitter name. My flesh and blood one is Billy Kravitz. And I'm still stuck here in this parallel universe. You know nine percent of the male population in  North America is named 'Billy.' And Gladys Kravitz' husband, Abner, was a retired cantor. Now, why did I say that? I think the fever is making me delirious. I'm sweating and shivering too. Edith says it'll pass. But her husband, Mr. Edith ain't so sure. Says I may not be used to all the 'bugs' they got in this place, like Tijuana Poo Poo, or Ga-Ga-Fritzie disease. Can't even get shots, 'cause lotsa docs grabbed what they could outta hospital pharmacies before running away to hide with their families. The Red Paint people have some herbal remedies. I'm on one now. Tastes like rancid garlic and Fluffer-Nutter. Could use a little more rancid garlic, if you ask me.

A lot a folks are scared Pin Head Mel got caught by a band a 'noxious' vampires. The cherubs been crying lately... too scared to fly around. They sense something. It's pathetic. They're so scared. Edith and the other women hold 'em and rock 'em and sing to 'em.We all got itchy,little bites from 'em. The elves and cherubs, I mean. Nobody minds, 'cause they don't take much blood... just little nips. You should hear 'em gurgle with delight when they get some.. It makes me feel good. The only adult vampire, a 'noble' one, I mean, we got with us is Baylah. She slinks off into the dark once in a while, hunting for 'food.' But the noble ones are all right. They just go after weird perverts and evil shitheads and stuff.. So far she ain't complaining. I guess the Jersey Pine Barrens got an adequate supply.

Baylah picks up like little mental tweets from Blackie and Minnie back in Philadelphia. It's worse in the cities. People got guns. People got pepper spray. Gangs roam the inky blackness armed with big, super-sized cans a Aqua Net and Bic lighters. All you gotta do is ignite a spritz and you got a cheap, but serviceable flame thrower. Who knew they carried such cutting edge military equipment at the dollar store?

Mr. Edith picked up a story on the radio. Government's gonna send a few a the gung-ho vampires they been keeping in the Pentagon on a mission. Look, that ain't no secret anymore. Everybody knows about vampires now. At least in THIS dimension they do. I don't know how it is in my real dimension, 'cause I can't tell when we branched off. Happy-the-Clown could be running for President of the United States  there right now, for all I know. But the  guy on the radio says they want to send some a the vampires with good 'sublimation' skills on a mission. Want 'em to fly up outta the atmosphere and explore the Great Sky Sea we got surrounding us. I don't know what the hell they can do about it.

The people they got out on Mars, the ones in Circus Towne1 sent back pictures. They got 'em just before the sky lakes expanded and merged into the Great Sky Sea. But nobody likes to look at them, 'cause it's too scary.

Them what knows says it's gonna get even colder. Earth's givin' up its last little bit a solar radiation. It rises up into space, warming the waters of our briny shell. Then it goes wanderin' off into the cosmos. But we can't get no more warmth from the sun. Oh, the sun sends it, alright, but it just bounces off them shining sky waves and goes poof.  Might as well just flush it down a giant toilet.

Earth must look real pretty from somewhere's else right now. Must look like a real big, glittery mirror. Bet it even outshines Venus. You will have to excuse me, but I gotta stop typing this. Them elves is pesterin' me to play Yatzee with 'em. No sign a Pin Head Mel, so they called off the search til 'morning.'...... God knows when that'll be....


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