Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The Chevalier Jean-Michel feels his guilt. He too is a noble vampire after all and his daliance with Sarah was wrong. So he retreats into an old Christian chapel, a photogenic ruin actually, from the days when Muslims and Western Christians fought for control of this place and he prays and he prays and he prays. The religious sanctuary is buried deep underground beneath Ottoman  ruins. The caretaker knows he is a vampire, but he allows him to enter. Tiny blood gifts furnished by the french knight help with his daughter's asthma. Although the chapel was originally built by Roman Catholics, the current overseer is Armenian Orthodox. It's like that in the Holy Land. Dogma tends to drift. Teachings often mingle. So the thin, severe cleric with the pointed goatee stands off to the side. He pretends that his eyes are closed, but they are not, not really. Jean-Michel knows the man is watching him, but he does not care. These sessions can go on for hours. Knights are used to this. In the old days squires often spent the night before their investitures praying on their knees. And those cold, flagstone pavers were hard.

Water drips down from somewhere up above. The slow leak keeps time with the chanting, as primitive frescos of cartoonish saints appear to vibrate in the feeble, flickering light from  fat, yellow candles. But there is another aspect to this rite, an observance from Jean-Michel's vampire teachings. This is his time. This is the night. The monthly 'hunger' is upon him. He who must be 'culled' cowers in a corner. A greasy, leather gag stifles his cries. Tight thongs bind his wrists and ankles. His body looks pale and weak in the sooty gloom. Tears fall from his pleading eyes. A child killer, that is what he is. The victim was his own daughter, slaughtered to save his family honor. Her crime? She laughed and talked with a boy known to be a Jew. She walked with him to a place that sells frozen custard. Is such the norm in his community? Probably not. But he came here from Somalia with hopes of becoming a martyr. And he brought his family with him. Why? How can one explain the events that pepper this place? All things happen here. Scripture is still being written.

So the man will get his chance. He will become a martyr, but to fangs instead of sharp, rusty metal a kiss instead of a bomb. The chanting stops. The victim trembles, releasing a warm puddle of urine. The cleric shudders. He lowers his partially closed eyes, but still he sees. He sees it all....and so does his daughter, there to bring him coffee, a thoughtful remedy for a sore throat. She knows these subterranean chambers. She knows how to slip inside and does so silently. Yet this night is different from all other nights. And she sees things, new things, strange things such as she has never experienced before.

There is no sound. Even the air is still. The candlelight wanes, draping the saints in shadows, as our tall, sturdy, thosand year old knight contorts the neck of his victim, exposing the artery and breaking the skin. Did he know that she was there? Was he lost in faith and rapture? Did he care?

But that night, just before the dawn, the fifteen year old daughter of Father Kardashian failed to return home And ninety minutes later they discovered her empty bed...............

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