Tuesday, September 18, 2012

AN INVITATION TO THE DARK TIME PROMENADE

She made no noise. Vampires can do that. It has nothing to do with any type of magic. It's just a physical ability. Dogs may or may not pick up a scent. Certain preternaturally tuned in mortals occasionally detect a little something. But to most of the great, wide world, she was invisible. Sarah liked that. Nighttime walks were special. She saw places few souls see, hidden pockets of depravity and wonder. The older districts of Philadelphia harbor human sized rabbit warrens, tucked away among the cobbles. 'Shadow Lands,' she called them. Tiny, little domiciles sheltering every form of eccentricity. A self-described 'witch' tosses handfuls of white feathers (freed from an old pillow) out into the breeze from the second story window of her narrow, red brick house. She sees Sarah. She nods and smiles. Sarah nods in return, but keeps going . A fat, wheezing, old man carefully paints his front door by candlelight. He wears boxers and a tube top. On his head rests a Burger King crown. When she passes, he says - The green looks nice. Don't you think?..... He also gets a smile. Then she's gone. 

The great Benjamin Franklin Parkway is almost empty. Few people funnel into Center City at this hour and the natives are mostly asleep, or engaged in other private activities. She crosses the wide, straight thoroughfare, built to mirror the grand avenues of Paris. If you saw the Jay-Z, Made In America concert on Labor Day, then you've seen it. Rocky Balboa surveys it after his heroic ascent. 

Her quarry resides on the other side, tucked into a gray stone niche bordering one of the many curiosity palaces  fronting this urbane processional. The Museum Mile.... that's the name.

She hums a little song, a habit picked up from Tomas. She hums Teddy Bears' Picnic..... When you go out in the woods tonight, you're in for a big surprize......

A sleek, brown rat scurries 'cross her path. But someone's obviously been feeding it. You can tell by the coat, plus the tiny, light wool sweater it wears like a shrug. Sarah giggles. The things people do. 

Then she hears the whistling. The young man, her quarry, does it. Knock, Knock, Knocking On Heaven's Door. Sarah's always liked that song. 

Three heartbeats later he steps out of the shadows...... I knew it was you. I felt it - he says. But she sees the sores and his weak, tired eyes. She offers a vial. He shakes his head and says - You know what I want. You know...... 

They've had this talk before. He drank tiny, little vials of her blood. But for some reason that magic no longer works and she doesn't want to lose him.

Do it - he whispers.... Do it. Do it.

So she takes his hand and they walk back into the shadows. Another bum snorts, farts and says - Hey, who's your girlfriend?...... But the young man barks - Shut up!... And he does.....

An artist, he is..... A poet.... A bard. His songs deserve to live..... And after this fleeting bit of magic they will..... But so will he...

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May He Who made the universe, make us forever one...... the Vampires' Creed
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