Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Jonathon sat in a small ice cream parlor. It was a cozy, traditional space on a little street in Center City. It was easy to fake eating ice cream. It melted so fast people could hardly tell. But he went in there to look at the humans and to think. The death rate in certain hospitals had gone up lately. Blood gifts were hard to come by. The elves no longer made their nighttime, bedside deliveries. No more happy endings. No more 'cured' grannies. No more 'healed' children. Funerals, funerals, funerals.  The magic had left the world, the 'good' magic anyway, at least in his part of it. He did manage to provide  the occasional vial or two. But he was scared. Unknown forces (or at best, slightly known) were abroad in the city. The people from Rome were determined to recover their 'possession' and the U.S. government agents, the Anti Enchantment Bureau, knew how to make their own kind of trouble too. So Jonathon spent most of his time underground with the mole folk. He had his harem. That wasn't hard to do. Yet every once in a while he rose to the surface and culled a 'baddie.'  Sure, he could just rely on the mole men to catch him a worthy meal or two. But the chase was the thing. He enjoyed the tightening of the noose. And it is not as if those so condemned did not deserve it. So he got up, threw his cup into the trash, straightened his seat (most vampires are neat freaks), zipped up that sleek, new, black leather jacket and walked out into the night. The scent was already upon him. He knew exactly where he was going. And he knew exactly who was going to die.......Now approximately thirty or forty miles to the east, the Piney folk and the Red Paint folk had another problem. They could not decide whether to come back out into the world, or to fashion a more permanent retreat from it. So they stayed snug, deep in the evergreen forest, securely hidden in their unexpected, mysterious woodland. They and the Jersey Devil. Evenings were spent sitting by the wood stove, listening to banjos (yes, banjos) and arguing over the efficacy of such obtuse rites as a 'throwing of the bones' or some old Pow-Wow spell.  It  was not a case of one group against the other. There were 'inclusionists' and 'isolationists' in both camps. Still, it was difficult to read the Red Paint folks, what with their supposedly collective mind and all. Who was talking, the individual, or the clan as a whole? I'm telling you, it drove the Pineys crazy. But they were good to the vampire 'familiars' hiding with them. The humans, I mean. And wilkravitz started keeping a journal. He wrote it all down, even learned a little banjo pickin' too......Now if you go a little bit more to the east, say twenty, twenty five miles or so, you come to the sea shore. That's where Baylah is. She's still there, shacked up with her financier 'husband' in his showplace, beach front home. And she passes for human. Does a good job of it too. Those neighbors wintering over don't suspect a thing. So she stays out of the sun. Well, that's just because of a severe drug interaction. She doesn't want to. She has to. And she's become quite adept at miming the act of human dining. Cut, cut, cut. Push, push, push. Smear, smear, smear. And when absolutely necessary, she manages  to swallow a morsel or two. It makes her sick. Could you take a bite out of a moldering human corpse and enjoy it?  Well, you know what I mean...most of you. But with frequent trips to the restroom (always solitary. believe me, the other wives picked up on that) for much needed barf-breaks, she gets by........And what's up with Annie? Just the usual. She manages to entertain herself. Likes to sublimate into bedrooms, stand by the side of the bed and listen to the snores (I guess she learned all this from Papa). Single parent households are her favorite. She gently pokes the mommy or daddy in the belly. Then she whines - I wanna drink a water..... The victim grumbles, but sleepily shuffles off to get it. Then, when they come back, fully awake from the bathroom light and see her clearly for the first time they freeze and say - Hey, who the hell are you? You ain't my kid.......That's when she innocently shrugs and smiles. Only the smile isn't so innocent. And they can see the fangs. That glass of water usually drops to the floor and she's on them in a heartbeat. They go fast. You know the drill. She waits for the blue fire. She watches them burn......Then, from somewhere down the hall, she'll hear - Mommy?.....or....Daddy?......So she wipes her lips, smooths her dress and happily skips off to finish the job............

No comments: