Monday, April 9, 2012

Marianne, the Elfin Demon-Saint of Philadelphia Loses It.......

And then she just lost it. She looked into their empty, grasping, insincere eyes and she screamed. The people froze. No one made a sound. And two pampered King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, cocooned beneath a fine, tufted, velvet settee peed on the museum quality Aubusson carpet........Eight heartbeats passed. Someone took a shot from a pale, orange, plastic rescue inhaler. A thin, stylish couple of indeterminate gender giggled. Ice settled in a glass, as the exotic creature continued............ Please excuse that thoughtless act of youthful self indulgence. But you must understand that although I possess more than three hundred and fifty years, I inhabit the form of an adolescent female - she said. So... do you forgive me?............ Some of the humans reflexively nodded. She found the gesture quite amusing and smiled....... And then, she went on....


The year of my birth was cursed. Plague was everywhere. You've seen the woodcuts..... so-called 'doctors' roamed the streets in long, leather cassocks and crow-faced helmets. They waved censors of incense and charged exorbitant fees for blood-letting, cupping and other masochistic semi-tortures. But the rats were everywhere and so were the fleas. Every feather bed infested. Every garment harbored death. People scratched till they bled and laughed til they choked. Circles of Death Dancers frolicked in the streets. Ring around the Rosy. Pocket full of Posey. Ashes, ashes. We all fall down..... You've heard that song. Mother Goose? Hardly, but the crazed ramblings of doomed children. A burlesque of the rash. A prayer for salvation. Play-acting the roles of worse-than-lepers collapsing onto the greasy, black cobbles...... Such fun......Such insanity. 


A man came to our house one night. He was tall and spare, resembling a dominee (preacher) of the Dutch Reformed Church. And perhaps he was, once. Yet now he was something different. The  sickness had already touched us. My mother lay pinched in a narrow lead box. The two girls thrashed among sweat-soaked sheets. And even the boy (they were protecting him) showed signs of impending, respiratory distress. A grandmother sat whispering to he who was my father. The tall dominee just listened. And then it was settled and I was sold. The churchman who was not a churchman told them to bathe me and they did. He produced the necessary  garments (thankfully clean) and I was dressed. Then he wrapped me in his cloak, placed the treasure on the table and left, bearing me off into a world of  twisted magic and dark conceit, among the alchemists and necromancers of the low country...... 


And what was that treasure? How high my price? Five vials...five small, glass vials, filled with the rich, red fluid of a vampire's blood.....You know the healing, protective powers that has?... I know you do. You've been well versed. So they took it and drank it.... The plague left them whole. They did not die. And my human line was preserved.


For fourteen years I was their pet, dancing by moonlight and tickled by ghosts. We talked to the roosters and slept with the bears. 'Where the Wild Things Are'? Ask me that.For I know.


But, please, please, finish your drinks. Have some more. Eat a cookie. The marzipan look nice. I need but a moment. So let me think twice. There's more that I'll tell you. It floats in the air. And hides in the vapors surrounding my hair.


So that's what the people did. They munched and they drank and they whispered and stared, as the 'young' elfin princess collected her dreams. And arranged them like stitches in mourning-wear seams.


After fifteen score heartbeats she started to speak. But come back tomorrow. I must take a leak. For I channel this story. The words are not mine. And the ice-tea runs through me like homemade, spring wine....


                 enscribed by - Billy Kravitz


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