Saturday, October 20, 2012


The next night they stayed home. Edith made hot toddies. Annie forced Conrad  to take her to Foot Locker, so she can get these shoes she wants for The Revels. But I don't think too many of the vampirisi there are gonna be worried about sneakers, though. She'll learn. 

Sarah grabbed two thick afghans and they went out back. The small yard was snug and private. High, brick walls blocked the neighbors. Most properties on the street were like boutique professional offices, or trendy shops, so there really weren't very many potential Gladys Kravitz'. Tomas liked the quiet. They stretched out on chaise lounges, covered up and relaxed. 

The male vampirino gazed up and said - The big, still, white one is Jupiter. Imagine, manta ray people fill the oceans of Europa, yet no one down here knows.... Save for 'us' of course. ....... Did you ever have a love affair with them? - asked Sarah...... Don't be funny - he said. Do you want to hear more?....... She just looked at him and he knew that she did.

Lydia had a pet, a small creature. They kept it hidden, but she showed it to me one night. Rather like a human it was, but somewhat like a tiny ape-man too. Her father thought it the product of a coupling between a human and some outlandish being from beyond the River Sambation. The body was covered with short, glossy hair. The feet were human-like. The man-parts human, as well. A rabbity tale decorated the fundament. But the face was almost completely human... a bridged nose... a fine jawline.... and neat, little, swept back ears. The hair looked like what people now would call a buzz-cut. She called him 'Nudo.' It was short for something or other. I don't remember the full name. Some have tried mixing human and chimpanzee. This one seemed smaller, though. And I don't know what he was. He could say a few words.... mostly 'berry' or 'drink' or 'scratch' or 'kiss'. And he voided his bowels in a little celadon cup. 

But one night he died. So sad. So small. So strange. The alchemist thought it a stroke. I was there when he opened the body..... This is what a man looks like - he said. Have you ever seen the like?....... I knew he was trying to feel me out. Wanted to know if I was 'noble' or 'noxious.' If I fed like a beast, or drank discretely...... For some of the noxious breed, you know, actually tear a body to shreds. And granted, even we do so on rare occasions. But only on rare occasions...... So I told him I had not..... He seemed relieved. For some form of necromancy predicted his demise and he knew the validity of it. Churchmen in the town sought his death. And even rabbis of the Jewish quarter agreed..... 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live' it says. And that Bible verse has been the bane of many unusual folk. He tried to keep it hidden. His work, I mean. By modern standards all quite simple. The man sought a compass, for God's sake, a simple device to aid mariners. Yet these benighted souls knew none of it. ..... I did, for the Moors of Spain had many such things... And some showed up in other lands as well. But people there thought them cursed. 

He knew I loved his daughter. She had naught but him. And he asked me to guard her after. I said that I would. She loved me too... And he knew it. So two nights hence he read the words. I told him of my Hebrew faith. He was Christian, though belonging to the remnants of an obscure sect known as Arians. Please don't think I refer to the satanic interpretation extent during the Last Great War. For this was not that, but a slight variation (to me anyway) of the Nicene Creed. So the words intertwined and we were wed. I wrote her ketubah (marriage license-like record kept by the wife) myself. 

Rabbi Tam was in town, grandson to the self-same Rashi I was to study with only  a few years ago. So I sublimated into his bed chamber one night and asked him to bless our union. He thought me but a dream.... and he did.

Two moons later, my alchemist father-in-law met death in the arms of an iron maiden. They sealed him in and locked it tight, piercing him through in a most grievous manner. I did try to save him. I did pass into his cell, offering to spirit him away whilst there was time. But he refused. For the prophesy required his end.... or that of his daughter. 

They burned his body and gave her the ashes. But we were able to save two old tomes before they came and carted the rest away. I believe the remainder of his collection rests in the Vatican Archives.... That's what I heard. 

Lydia cried. She missed him. So I purchased some vellum and drew his likeness. Vampires have a good eye for such things. She thought it quite miraculous. Not at all like the flat, dead, stern medieval representations one saw in old codices. I believe she still has it.

One month later we boarded a wide, low ship and left. It was new, so rats were still in short supply. Obviously, I spent my days below deck due to a 'strange illness'... a chronic indisposition. That sufficed. Few were brave enough to interfere.  Not in those primitive and superstitious times. And two weeks later we disembarked at Fostat (Old Cairo). Such a place it was back then. Much different from anything the Frankish (old Hebrew & Arabic term for European culture) world had to offer. Imagine running water, clean, tiled hospitals with sedatives and anti-microbials. And souks filled with treasures from 'round the globe. 

For a while we were happy. I know I said I'd tell you more about the love we shared. But the soul sees what the soul sees.....

Tomorrow I'll conjure more.


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