Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The other vampires went out for air. Johnny Jump Up had that effect. They had to get clean. Tomas almost picked up the scent. There was a distinctive smell. The ghoul had it. Like rancid bacon and pissed up sheets. But it was only a homeless guy passed out in a bus shelter. Sarah took off her ring and slipped it on his pinkie. A flawless emerald.... Eight carats. If you know your way around gemstones, you know it costs more than diamonds. So now the guy was rich.

They went into a little jewel box of a place on Sansom Street. The Happy Rooster, I think it is. Bartender says they're getting ready to close. But he knows Tomas. He recognizes him, so he pours a round of vodka 'on the house.' And they sit there, gathered 'round the tiny bar, listening to Tony Bennett sing about 'The Good Times.' 

Nothing really happened in there. They just sat and decompressed. A foursome from one of the booths comes up to settle a check. Tomas says - Forget it. It's on me....... Guy don't want to let him. He don't like this. Starts making a big thing out of it. So Tomas just snaps his fingers (not that it's necessary, but it helps him focus). Four human heads instantly flop down to their chests, eyes closed and snoring. Then their well shod feet rise up four inches off the ground, as they silently file out the opened door and into a waiting taxi. Actually, they're just laying on top of each other in the back, but the driver don't care, 'cause he's sleeping too. Yet ten minutes later they all wake up and scramble out right outside some boutique hotel on Second Street. I guess that's where they were staying. I don't know. 

Sarah knows Tomas is thinking about his little mole-girl sweeties. He's thinking about Sylvia and Aura. These are the second two to use those names, but it's a tradition with him. Wander down to the subterranean tunnels. Find the wide-eyed, long haired beauties and spend the night (plus all of the following day) cosseted in the dark recesses of some never used, century old subway toilet giving each other long, soft, languid sponge baths. The mole people are so accommodating. Vampires bring them supplies in return for occasional sanctuary and other quite welcome favors.

But Sarah knows it's just because he's nervous. She knows it's really about the ghoul on the roof. So she takes his hand and leads him back to the townhouse. Conrad trots back like a puppy. He wants to duck into some bodega for a few scratch-offs. Mortal habits survive transformation, you know. But she won't let him. He pouts, til she promises to take him to gay-bingo some night.

They soundlessly move on, stopping only to look at their reflections in windows. Vampire vanity has no bounds. 

Then they climb the white, marble steps and disappear back into the townhouse. Edith is already sleeping. Annie is too. 

But Papa still sits there, bathed in silvery shadows, giggling into the dark. Invisible hands snake down his pants. Look, you can see the fabric move. And then he stops giggling. 

Madam Shang has found a new 'friend.'


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