Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Jonathon led Sarah into a small room off the central patio. It was empty. The historians had not gotten around to this area yet. He was relieved to see original tiles on the floor. They were, as yet, undisturbed. And one of them, in a corner was loose. It had always been loose. The workman left it that way. An eight year old Jonathon (they called him Yoni then) would bring him cool pomegranet juice. The man was appreciative and he said - Would you like a special hiding place, boy? Every little fellow your age should have one.......Jonathon nodded. So the artisan created a snug, tiny niche, right in the corner, where no one would ever tread. When it was done, he raised his finger up to his lips and went shhhhh. Jonathon giggled. He was happy to have this secret place. The grown members of the family rarely went in there. It was a spot for the children to prepare for their lessons and play their games. So when he was alone, he'd hide things....a small saint's statue from the Trinitarian quarter...two silver coins....a piece of Pascal Bread (matzoh) blessed by a revered Biblical scholar.....the skull of a tiny bird.. A thousand years had gone by. What was left? What could be left?

So he  got down on his knees, carefully pried up the orange-brown clay tile and looked. Sarah sat down and joined him. Well, the two silver coins were gone. Maybe someone else knew of his stash after all? Or maybe he'd spent them in the souk. Children so often forget. But the saint's statue was also missing. Did it have value? Did someone take it? Yet another mystery in the life of a vampire. The bless-ed piece of Pascal Bread had long ago fed tiny, hungry mouths. But the linen scrap of napkin used to wrap it was untouched. Odd, though far older cloth used to dress Egyptian mummies often survives. So why not this? He carefully picked it up and reverently began to examine it. The color had changed. No longer 'ivory,' it was now the shade of tea. Sarah asked - Is this what you were hoping to find?.....He whispered - Yes. He wrote a blessing on it, a blessing for me. He said that it would keep me safe and steady on the pathways of the Lord.......Jonathon laughed - I don't know? Did it do that?....Sarah leaned close and kissed him. But then they heard the watchman, as he stretched and moved his feet. So Jonathon carefully tucked the cloth into his pocket. They sublimated through the building and joined their guide, silently waiting out in the cool,still, ghostly moonlight.

Now, I recall something of that Biblical scholar. I remember that Pascal Meal. For Johannan is the teller of this tale. I am the 'disembodied spirit' here, in the Old World. And I was already in service to the ben Macabis went it took place. Let me drift about a bit. Allow me to collect myself. I'm sure I will remember what it was..... 

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