Monday, April 18, 2011


Jonathon and Sarah got their stuff together and left the shuttered fitting room of the old Value City Store on Tilton Road. Six more miles and they'd be in Margate, right by Lucy the Elephant. Lucky the sinks in the restroom still worked, so they cleaned themselves up a bit before hitting the road. The pressure was low, but that was all right. Vampires don't attract too much dirt. Sarah was nervous about the sea crossing and all. He told her they didn't have to do it that night. It could wait. Besides, The Passover was starting. And you know how Jonathon feels about that. They hoisted their knapsacks up into place and set off, walking through the 'off shore' town of Northfield, past neat, little strip malls and cozy neighborhoods of well-kept, sea shore cottages. Next came the meadows. Wet lands really, bisected by a narrow causeway leading onto Absecon Island. Atlantic City commandeered the northern half. The picture book hamlets of Ventnor, Margate and Longport held down the rest. Things were quiet when they reached Margate. Some folks in town were celebrating The Passover. And Jonathon had something special planned. I guess you could say he was gonna stage a little miracle. You know, like he and Baylah did a few months back at The Olive Garden Restaurant and that synagogue on North Broad Street. Papa don't like that kind of stuff. He's gone through a 'low profile' stage. Jonathon too. But this night is different from all other nights. So they quietly walked through the chilly, cozy streets till he saw a house with warm, golden lights shining out from the diningroom windows. A family was inside. You could see through the glass. Looked like they were having a Seder.(a passover service in the home)  Some nice old guy, probably the pop-pop, appeared to be leading things. And one chair, pulled up to a carefully arranged place setting , was empty. In case you don't know, that's the seat for Elijah the Tishbite, the prophet charged with announcing the coming of The Messiah. They say, he'll miraculously enter the homes of the faithful on this blessed night. You can tell if people observe this practice, because they'll leave the front door slightly open. Just like the folks in this house. So Jonathon whispered to Sarah - Just stay quiet and follow my lead...... Now some of the people in her mortal family were Protestants and a few were Jews, so she sort of had an idea what he planned to do.  Did she approve? Well, I don't want to get involved with that. But she went along with it and quietly followed, as he went up to the storm door and knocked. Right away, some nice floppy-ear dog bounces up barking and wagging its tail. Some guy pushes his chair back and runs over to see who it is. Jonathon gives him his best 'demi-angelic-host' look and says - Good holiday, my friend. Have you a seat for a weary traveller?...The guy's mouth falls open. He can't find any words. He doesn't know what to say. He can't believe this is actually happening. An old lady chimes in from the diningroom - What? Who is it? What does he want?.....Jonathon and Sarah stepped 'round their speechless greeter and entered the crowded room. Small children gigggled. Adults looked puzzled. The pop-pop put down his wine glass and stood up. He said - Who are you? What can we do for you, my boy?......The old lady cackled - Didn't I just say that??...But her sister-in-law gave her a pinch and shut her up quick.......Jonathon beamed forth with his most beatific smile and said - My name is Eli...May I rest at your table?.......Then he sublimated through a corner of the over-sized, mahogany buffet (in truth, that room did have a little bit too much furniture) and sat down in the empty seat. They all saw it. The sister-in-law almost fainted. Pop-pop plopped down in his chair. The old lady broke out in a fit of crazy, nervous laughter and said - Does this mean you're gonna bring Lou (her late husband) back??...Jonathon just smiled and said - All in good time. All in good time.I think she was actually a little relieved....And then there was silence...No one knew what to say.....An older kid, about ten, pointed at Sarah and said - Who's she?....Don't ask questions! - yelled the sister-in-law...Yeah, don't ask questions! - echoed Pop-pop. She's probably like his, uh...his, uh...secretary!...That seemed to satisfy everybody. And the 'secretary' was lead to a spot at the children's table. Then a little boy with loose, curly, honey colored hair climbed down from his place, went over to Jonathon and tugged on his sleeve. Our benevolent vampire leaned down. And the wide-eyed, little fellow said - Do you wanna help me say The Four Questions?....Everybody laughed good naturedly. Jonathon lifted the cuddly bundle up onto his lap and the Seder continued, as the floppy-ear dog curled up by his feet. Now, I really can't say that Jonathon and Sarah 'ate' much. But they were miraculous beings after all, not pigs at a buffet. What would you expect?....Pop-pop appreciated Jonathon's authentic Hebrew accent and he never noticed when the enchanted traveller tapped a tiny drop of blood into the crystal decanter of wine. But no one at that table would ever get sick for a very, very, very long time.......And thus did our magical twosome spend the First Night of The Passover and their last night in The New World, before continuing on with their special journey........So if you observe The Feast of The Exodus, or The Feast of The Resurrection, please accept Zebulon's wishes for a nice one.

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