Monday, May 9, 2011

BOHEMIAN RAPSODY

I am so tired. I want to sit in front of the television and doze. It is me, wilkravitz. And I do not even know who is scurrying through my neurons. I cannot tell you who is squatting in my skull. But I will enscribe their tale. Hopefully, they will talk fast. And I will yet be able to nod off during The Larry David Show..

Jonathon and Sarah sat in an old dark study. Two or three sputtering candlles gave out a weak, none to steady light. The old man with the gray beard, the rabbi, was with them. He smiled indulgently to see a female at his table, even a vampire female. But he shook his head  said a prayer and began to speak. ... He said - Those around us were cruel back then, very cruel. It was no crime to kill one of our children, or defile any of our women or to destroy and mutilate the men. But the rulers of the city usually protected us. Not because they felt spiritually compelled to do so, but rather because we paid taxes. Why burn your own fields? Only this timme it was different. Occasional murders we were used to. Strangled toddlers, disemboweled mothers...We endured and we went on. Yet this individual lived for death. Not just any death. Our death. He commandeered a church. Was he a priest? Some said so. He claimed to be. Yet no proof was ever forthcoming. And he drew many followers. They rallied around, cheering every speech and spitting with red hot rage.

Now life was complicated...complicated for everyone. The Turks were on the march. Old Serbia fell. The lands of the Hellenes were absorbed. And storied Budapest kneeled at the foot oof the Purple Throne. Courtiers of the sultan were everywhere. And the word from Istanbul...was 'the word.'..We expected to be invaded at any time.. People were nervous. How could Bohemia prevail against such a foe? Would we (or those of us permitted to bear arms) die in battle?  Does slavery await us? You know many were kidnapped and sold off to the East over the cennturies. Many...countless. Fear gnawed at every heart. All felt helpless...And we of the ghetto were most helpless of all. Some of us did look to the Turks for salvation. They took in refugees from Inquisitional Spain and P:ortugal  after all. Both communities could agree on the Allah Ahkbar...the part about who was and who was not a thoroughly credentialed Heavenly spokesman was a bit problematic...But we could live with that. Their dietary laws and Sabbath customs were also quite familiar. The Land of Israel was in Ottoman hands, yet the Holy Ciity of Safed was thriving. But God would decide. We lived in Prague. And we loved this place.

Still, the misguided 'priest' did not love us. He blamed us for the Turks. He blamed us for the Hapsburg tax collectors. He blamed us for his sharp-tongued, cross eyed sister. And he rallied the coarser element against us. Not a difficult task, to be sure. But he built things to a fever pitch...We had 'money.' They could righteously grab it. We had homes and livelyhoods. They would confiscate them. We had lives. They would crush them. And God would bless them. And that would be the end of it. Isolated perversions had already begun, when we learned of their true plans. A huge massacre, to coincide with their spring Resurrection  Festival. Where could we hide? Nowhere. Who would help us? No one. Even if we did barricade ourselves into the cellars, they'd burn everything anyway. Well, no more killings. No more human torches. I'd heard testamony from survivors of the Chmelnitzki Raids in 'Little Russia.' The same would not befall us here. So I went to work. I 'created' a champion. I shaped and contructed a 'superman' if you will.

How did I know this thing? There was a man, latelly returned from the mystical towns of The Galilee (where Safed is). He was an unlearned sort, but his dealings in those places brought him into contact with true disciples of the Kabbalah, the Road of The Righteous, a traveller' guide into the very heart of God. Yet what he overheard and who he heard it from, I do not know. Was it truth, or was it something else? What did I care? I was desperate. The choice was mine.

So I fashioned a figure, a large figure in the shape of a hulking brute. I used the clay of the Earth and the dust of the field and I made it. Then I said the prayers. I wrote the word. I wrote the most sacred Name of The Lord upon a small piece of parchment, upon a small portion of lambskin. and I pressed it into the figure's mouth. I fed it to the golem (unformed one). After that I stepped back, waiting for him to quicken....But he did not quicken.......The old rabbi fell silent, his eyes resting on Jonathon.....The 'young'  Spanish vampire cleared his throat and took up the thread.....

No, in a manner of speaking he did not. - Jonathon said. But I did. For at that instant, I stepped out of the shadows, a co-religionist of sorts. And I offered you my assistance........Tears dripped from the rabbi's eyes, as the vampire went on.......The blessed magic did work.- he whispered. You said prayers and God sent me...

Did you help him? - asked Sarah.......Yes, - he said.......Did you kill for him?..... He just nodded......And the three souls in the dim study in the Prague which was not Prague, sat there in silence.........

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