Friday, August 31, 2012

DO YOU KNOW HOW PEOPLE REALLY DIE IN A MEGA TSUNAMI?

Most 'real' tsunamis are not like the ones conjured by Hollywood. The waves rarely reach more than twenty cubits (eighteen inches = 1 cubit, or the distance between your elbow & your fingertips.....on average). People die in the turbulence of a churning, foamy, 'high tide' and not beneath cloud-high, saline palisades. 

But that is not to say that Juggernauts never happen. When Krakatoa, east of Java awakened those on nearby Indonesian isles saw the sea  rise up, morphing into a monstrous, gelatinous, rampart, advancing on creation and pulverizing everything in it's wake. 

Few were afforded the luxury of aqueous suffocation. They were crushed like talc and scraped against the surface, til nothing was left...not even a scream.

Was that the biggest? No. Thera suffered worse. Most died terror stricken while still quite dry. Felled by a wave that washed the sun.

So why quibble? Two hundred feet is bad. Six hundred feet is worse. Ask the dinosaurs what they saw.

Well.... you can't do that. But Papa can. Madam Shang transcends time. She is beyond immortal. She is immune to entropy, existing like a flea in amber, or a tiny flaw in an otherwise, brilliant diamond. 

Yet she can radiate the illusion of change. And so she stands with Papa now, upon  a beach on what will someday become The Yucatan Peninsula, watching an island tumble from the sky. 

He stands transfixed, witnessing the seemingly impossible....... Do you like it?- she says....... He does not answer, but she knows he does. 

And the sky pulls back from the island, creating a black corona, as the atmosphere rushes 'way. One heartbeat later it happens. A light to shame the sun. A sound to shatter Heaven. Yet they remain, seeing it all, conscious of the heat, but feeling nothing.

Did you do that?- he asks....... No -says the demi-goddess. I had not reached perfection yet. Or more properly, he who made me, had not. This one's mortal birth was still far off. For the closest thing to humans were shrews. Would you care to see more?........ He nods...and she smiles.

Now Papa has seen great things. He's hovered near the surface of the sun. He's hob-nobbed with aristocrats on Europa (you may recall his sojourns with The Manta Ray People). But he cannot pierce the temporal veil. Though 'The Lady' can do that. 

So she takes him to another time, to places quite familiar. A cool, calm lake slumbers 'neath a yellow moon. Trees gird the hills and crickets fill the night. Wolves howl in the distance. And people chant and dance....

Papa is home..... The prodigal returns......

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I know we promised tales of Conrad's kill. But we do not create these things. We merely channel them. Perhaps tomorrow will be different.
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MADAM SHANG TAKES PAPA FOR A RIDE

Later that night, with the rising of The Blue Moon (two full moons in the same month) we discovered Papa was missing. His cubicle was empty, but his possessions were still there. Tomas ran his hand over the ram's horn, an old ram's horn and very large. It came from a long dead, prehistoric specimen. Ancient tribes from Celts to Hebrews and others quite forgotten used ram's horns as clarion calls. Indeed, modern Judaic congregations still sound the 'shofar' to herald each new Biblical year.

Papa's was from his mortal days. And it took thousands of years to recover. He found it sleeping at the bottom of chest, shoved off to the side, in a basement store room at the Penn Museum. You know how they (the vampires) hide there sometimes. And a small vial of his own healing blood passed on to the proper trustee ransomed it. The marks inscribed near the tip, glyphs actually, were his own, scratched into the keratin while still a boy. God works in mysterious ways. And who better to recognize that than vampires?

Annie said - The Chinese lady got him...... Edith knew it too. They all did. Powerful life-eaters can sublimate through many realities. And Madam Shang was a demi-goddess. ....... Annie said - Well, no more a that guy........ Tomas gave her a look. Edith wanted to smack her right across her pinched, little gutter snipe face. Even though the little bastid was a vampire, Edith didn't care. She was a true, Piney, witch in her own right. And no little vampire piss-pot was gonna scare her.

But Conrad had to feed. It was his time of the month. And he was scared to go alone. Tonight's meal is a thief, a skinny weasel who preys on the old, stealing their illusions along with the hard won cash. Did he see him in a vision? Of course. Conrad is still quite spiritual. So he readied himself and left. Tomas went with him and they silently walked through the city to a narrow street far down in South Philadelphia. You've seen the houses in SIXTH SENSE. And you've seen them in those Baltimore movies like DINER. You know what I mean. Like where Gina Davis lived in THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST...... 'Yuppies' (do they still say that?) like them and pay big money. But then they festoon them in hardwoods and granite. Skinny, weasel thieves, inhabit rougher diggs, complete with water-stained ceilings and drooping floors. And we'll witness the 'culling' tomorrow. 

Sarah wanted to know what happened. She wanted to know where he was. Annie didn't care, so they gave her a couple twenty dollar bills and let her go run the streets. She loved that. Anybody come near her, she hiss like a cat. Show 'em the teeth and scare 'em off. They sense she's a vampire. Her magic works. They know. So she walks around buying custard, gobbling it up, then throwing it back up. Vampires can't eat real human foodstuff. But she likes the smooth, cold flavor, so she puts up with the unpleasant part. And since her innards in no way digest it, the rats and pigeons have quite a feast.

Sometimes she sees Marianne, or Celeste, or Roland, or Albion. They wave. But the elferina-vampirinas and elferino-vampirinos have little to do with her. She may be near them in age, human age that is, but the magic rests very differently on her. And no one truly knows why.

Where is she now? I do not know. Probably scaring alley cats, or chasing loud mouthed whores. A little 'girl' at play. 
Oh, she'll be drunk before dawn. I can guarantee you that. Sarah used to feel guilty when they let her run like this. But enough is enough and you can only take so much. Even vampires have their limits.
Edith feels bad about it all sometimes, but even she says 'go. let her run and get killed,' every once in a while. Sure, Annie didn't have an easy life. Yet there's more to it than that....

At first they were gonna use the Wee-Gee Board. Not that she needs it. But it's a tool, a way to focus. Then, on account a Madam Shang's ancient Han heritage, it was deemed more fortuitous to use the old Mah-Jong tiles, 'cause there's a way to tell fortunes with them too. So Sarah dragged down the old wooden box (they conjured and reconstituted all their far flung possessions when they moved into the new town house)and opened it, spilling the smooth, yellowed tiles all over the granite island. Such a clatter they made. Then Edith pushed them around to like shuffle them. She said a prayer, something learned from The Red Paint People and began.

Two tiny cherubs (exceedingly rare, innocent, adorable, pudgy toddler/baby vampires) watched through the window. Sarah knew they were there, but she loved the wide-eyed young ones, and so she let them stay. Edith loved them too. Everyone did. And ten heartbeats later the tiles began to 'speak.'

Papa was still a coherent entity. But he was very, very far away.....

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LIKE SWIMMING THROUGH VISCOUS JADE

I am filled with a slow warm ennui. The house is quiet. Life-Eaters slumber. Edith slumbers too. My body floats between sleep and wakefulness. I fill a chair... a mohair club chair...placed in a sunbeam dancing into this den of vampires. 

But the 'lady' is still here. She tastes the air and licks the walls. I do not know what comprises the diet of all powerful (or almost all powerful) demi-goddesses. Apparently it is not generic raisin bran, for the bowl left as offering remains untouched. 

She waits for Papa. Madam Shang grows impatient. And I know she swirls about his body in the cubicle. But she wants him whole and awake. What plans (other than her own deep pleasure) I do not know. Humans and night-folk are as puppets to her. 

In the past, she and her kind manipulated kingdoms. They played Risk with actual thrones, both here, on the blue orb and on other worlds as well. I am told  (via chattering ghosts) she has enemies in The Seven Sisters. And please know I speak of stars and not some female colleges.

It is odd living with vampires. Toilet paper lasts forever. Orange juice does too. But they know Tomas in the market. He likes it that way. Seems more natural. He buys take-out hoagies for the homeless and distributes them to those encamped on steam vents. But during summer he  does not find them there, for they hide amidst the shadows of cool, dim arcades. 

I hear faint songs escaping from Annie's cubicle. Perhaps from her IPod or the television. She has a small one mounted on the wall and often falls asleep to MTV.

We think about the ghoulish one. We think about Johnny Jump Up. Tomas means to make the rounds. He means to visit caretakers. Cemetery caretakers, I mean. Sometimes they catch sight of him. He burrows in all over. Months go by without an attack. Years...and then this....... Maybe it's Madam Shang's doing. 

It's funny the way you hide from magic. Why does it scare you so? It's just a force...an intelligent force, though minus any discreet, easily discernible identity..... A nebulous, universal presence..... Not God..... Not demon.....benign and unattached. 

Do I dip my hand in the enchanted ethers?.... No, I don't. Not to this point. But I am considering it......  I spoke  to the air once. It was at a bingo game....a big bingo game sponsored by a casino in Atlantic City. Three thousand people filled the room.....the last game.... the cover all...... after thirty eight numbers I waited for one..... 38. And I asked the air dancing between the numeral inscribed ping pong balls to find it for me...... I asked reverently and politely.....And the air, cognizant of my sincere desire, obliged..... Three heartbeats later he found it. The caller found it and in a loud voice he said 'thirty eight!'........ I said - Bingo! and left ten thousand dollars the richer. 

Most cover alls run to fifty five numbers. Some even more. But that night was different. And I felt magic for the very first time.

Now, where is the Wassa crisp bread, for I am hungry. I hope we still have butter...

Oh, look! What luck!

(switches on a built-in stereo system...and the kitchen fills with Jiminy Cricket singing - When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires can come to you...).... Then he butters the crisp bread, sits down by the island and eats....

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A TWENTY EIGHT THOUSAND YEAR OLD VAMPIRE REMEMBERS SOME STUFF,

Sarah and Edith got him into his cubicle. Looked like a plush, little walk in closet. You know, with those dark wood polished built-ins? They got 'em on HGTV and Million Dollar Listing, L.A. all the time. His has a lounge, or a couch, but it's really like a bed. Got fitted sheets and everything. Some guy they're friends with, a 'familiar' I guess, gave 'em all these real special buckwheat pillows. Annie says they smell like horse feed. But I notice she still snores real good every day.

Papa likes to sleep the way he did back in them neolithic times, which is to say sans loin cloth. Edith don't care. Think she used  to be a professional diaper lady at an old folks' jail. That's what she calls it. Makes jokes about it. But it was just a regular, pissed-up, nursing home. 'Cept they gave 'em meatball sandwiches and extra clean diapers on Saturday afternoon. That's when the company came.

Only thing is, Sarah seed all this fancy, Chinese, calligraphy writing scratched into the skin he got south a his belly button and north a the briar patch. Edith say it means something. She got out a menu-flier from some Chinese restaurant to see if any a the writin' matched. But whoever scratched him up wasn't talkin' 'bout no moo-goo-gai-pan, or General Sau's Chicken. And if he the general, why he not eatin' beef?

They 'bout to walk out and lock the door. It a real special lock. You would never even see it. But he start mumblin'. Sarah don't know what he say. She can read his mind a little bit, but mostly (at this stage) like if they playin' cards and she wanna know if he got Gin and all. Edith can do better than that 'cause she a witch. So she go back in and put her hand down on his belly. 'cause that where she feel it from. Then she start talkin' like Froggy from The Our Gang comedies. Eyes roll back. Whites flip up. Starts sweatin' under her titties and everything. Soaks right through her apricot lady-tee-shirt.

She say - Love me up good, you troglodite bitches. And gimme that pot a bear grease....... But apparently, they don't wanna give him no pot, 'cause like bear grease must a been la-dee-dah carriage trade stuff back then. So he jus' grab the pot and smear it 'round where it do the most good. Then he (Edith?) say something else. But it don't come out in English no more. And Edith startin' to get embarrassed. So they fasten the door and walk out. 

Sarah say - Why it smell like rosewood and ambergris in here?..... She been wit' the whales, so she knows.

Edith ain't got no idea. She just sit down at the little desk they got in the kitchen and start snoopin' through wilkravitz' Twitter stuff. You can never trust an ole, Piney, witchy-woman, you know. 

Starts readin' 'bout some .@LillithKain who live in Las Vegas and helps save animals, like baby seals and polar bears and all.... a real dedicated person, with a real good site. but that ain't what she want. She wanna find the nasty stuff, 'cause Papa got her all juiced up. But he don't got too much a that. So she say - Son of a bitch!... and slam it shut. Then she open the refrigerator and get herself a nice, big ice cream sandwich. Sarah in wit' Tomas by then, learnin' him to forget all about them mole-girls.

But it do smell all rosewood and musky in there. And if you listen real quiet, sound like a Chinese lady tellin' jokes and laughin'...

I Mister Never you Mind and I met a whole lot a Chinese ladies in my time...but never one like this...

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MADAM SHANG IS GREATLY ENAMORED WITH THE POWERFUL VAMPIRINO KNOWN AS 'PAPA'

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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Monday, August 27, 2012

GHOSTS ARE NOTMONSTERS

When the last of her ashes rose up to the sky, the vampires came back inside. Sarah was quiet. She felt bad. Tomas repeated the prayer for the dead. Annie went back to coloring. Conrad had questions. He'd never seen the elusive ghoul known as Johnny Jump Up before. But none of the other night-folk wanted to talk. I really can't tell you where Mister Old Bones was. Neanderthals don't look that different. And Neanderthal vampires, apparently, are very self-reliant. He likes wandering around. Cities aren't his favorite, but he's still intrigued. Edith says he goes to the casino down by the river. I guess it's the lights and all the people. One night he won two hundred and sixty five bucks. Didn't know what to do when the machine spit out that voucher. He did bring it back though. They gave it to wilkravitz. And the next day he lost it. Not out on the street. In the casino, I mean.

He's typing this, but the words are mine. You know me. I'm the ghost from the cellar. And it's not that I go inside him, but I can work him like a puppet. You know, one of those marionettes.  The vampires are sleeping all snug in their beds. Boy, do they crank up the air conditioning. Edith don't mind, 'cause she's the hot flash queen of the Delaware Valley. And wilkravitz gives off more steam than a calliope. So he appreciates it too. Some ghosts gain strength from the cold. They're like electrical field ghosts. That's what I am. Winter time's my favorite. Hot, sluggish weather weakens me. Am I tied to this house? No. I can  go wherever I want. I ain't one a those crazy ghosts. Oh, yeah, right, I'm soon gonna moan. Still, they do know I'm here. Edith sees me. That little bastid, vampire girl does to. She hates when I touch her. Edith don't mind, though. Yesterday I made streaks in the flour. She was baking some kind a Piney crap... like flap-jacks, but different. The big, granite island in the kitchen was dusted with it. So when she looks up at the TV to see whether some goof from Michigan is gonna win the fifteen thousand dollars on that Meredith what's her name show, I write the answer on the counter. I write 'Mohenjo-Daro' (name of largest Harapan site in ancient India). Goof from Michigan said 'I don't know and I don't care.' Then she jumped up and clicked her heels, 'cause like she was 'walkin'.' That's what they do on that show. Lousy bitch. I would a won. Edith saw my answer and whispered - You got it...... I like Edith. She watches good shows. Some ghosts can change the stations. I can't. That's why I like her. It ain't the only reason, but it's one of 'em.

Papa's got a ghost too. But it don't come with the house. This one only sticks to him. Not that I know so much about it. I don't. I can't even see it. Think it talks Chinese. No, really. I ain't being funny. It really does sound like Chinese. I know from a short wave radio we had when I was a kid. I know what Armenian and Gaelic sound like too. They used to translate Burns & Allen (old radio show) into Armenian. But the guy who played Harry Von Zell sounded crazy. My dad said - Sounds like they're shovin' hot peppers up his ass...... My mother said - So, what do you know? Maybe it's a custom over there...... I miss them, but they ain't ghosts. So we don't run into each other that much. 

Look, I am not a monster. I am not a horrific 'shade.' I'm just some kid from the tenth grade, who died of polio. You might say I lost my body while I was still ,technically, alive. They put me in an 'iron lung.' It was horrible. Google it. You'll see. 

I'm gonna drift out to the backyard. It's real little. City houses don't have much. But we still got enough room for two or three chairs, some planters, an alcanthus tree, I think it is. You know, the ones they got growin' 'round train tracks. The birds, mostly pigeons, know who I am. I like to sit there and just look up at the sky. People don't think about ghosts being out in the daytime, but we are. 

I wish they had a dog in this house. Dog's like ghosts. There used to be a dog here, but they 'put him to sleep.' That means the doctor wanted too much money to keep him alive. So they shot him up with a whole lot a poison instead...... just like the Nazis.

It's been real nice talking to you. Oh, you wanna know what Annie's doing now? She's dreamin' she's killin' the kids on Glee. She dreams that all the time. She's nuts. 

But I'm not a monster. And I just wanted you to know.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

A GHOUL UP ON THE ROOF

Annie whispered that she wanted to go see. She wanted to sublimate her head up through the skylight and watch the gruesome feast. But Tomas wouldn't let her. So she sat on the edge of the large claw-foot tub muttering curses.

They could hear the ripping flesh. He smacked his lips (thin as they were). This night-ghoul had no manners. But he was smart. He knew the territory. Shadows bathed the black, pitch rooftops..... a small oasis of understated, Georgian splendor, set down amidst  the tiny mews  just to the east of Washington Square. 

Edith, who had crawled up  to be with them by this time, whispered - I can see him. I can see him in my mind.... a tight black suit..... a narrow jacket buttoned high, topped with old, yellowed linen. And ,oh, how thin he is.... like a scarecrow, or a marionette, or a skeleton bathed with skin...... Then she shuddered. His eyes were dark as coal. His nose like Michael Jackson's..... And no, I'm not trying to be funny. That's just the way it is. But the teeth were tiny, darkened points, like old ivory, or fossils from a long dead shark.

And the body just lay there. Edith could see the ribs gnawed clean and bright. The cheeks were gone, revealing a naked, pelvic girdle. She looked young, the arms so smooth and white. One wrist bore a bracelet.  Sarah cried for she could see it too. They all could to a point. 

Tomas began to quietly intone the Kaddish prayer for the dead. and even Annie grew still. Conrad mumbled - Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Now I cannot tell for sure who did it. Magic is a funny thing. No soul truly controls it. They just tap in and say 'may I?' But someone called the birds. Sleek, black crows, more like ravens, actually. And they silently condensed out of the darkness, flapping down to dine upon the scraps. 

The ghoul made a rasping sound as he tried to bat them away, but they went for the eyes. They always do. And even animated corpses shun pain. So he mumbled dry, dead curses, as he scurried away to watch from a distance. Shhh, listen. I think he's crying. But a sharp, hard cut from the obsidian beak of the raven king made him stop. And he lifted a knobby hand, attempting to smooth the tattered, piece of greasy  scalp back in place. Then he soundlessly arced up toward the stars, coming down to rest by a large, stone planter near the corner. They don't call him Johnny Jump Up for nothing. 

Tomas immediately sublimated through the skylight, just in time to see the creature vault to the fourth floor balcony of a condominium fronting the square. Then he scrambled up to the penthouse and vanished. 

The others soon joined him, sprinkling the tragic victim with drops of their own blood, to bring on the cold, blue flame. It helped her disappear. 

And the ravens rose up with the ashes.

While down in the sitting room, just off the kitchen, Papa shared jokes with a ghost.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

A NIGHT BEST SPENT AT HOME... the vampires hear things

No one left the house. They gathered in the kitchen, filling the late nineteenth century, reproduction windsor chairs, which were genuine antiques in and of themselves. Edith lit a few more aroma candles. Light lemon ones, I think. Something was wrong with the air conditioning, so she figured the fresh scent would be better. 

They could still hear the howling. Conrad thought someone was guiding the dogs, just as he used to do. They looked to Papa, but he just sat there staring at the mysterious painting. I told  you...you wanna see it? Go to @Twit__Trending on TWITTER. It's her background. 

wilkravitz filled his regular place at the little desk. That's where the computer was. It's a laptop, but they keep it there. He was browsing through the incandescent sites. Discount trips to the Cayman Islands..... talking dogs (raspy whispers, actually) from Saskatchewan. Edith thumbed through the book...the one Tomas and Sarah found at the cafe. She said - See if he's on there......... Who? - said wil...... The guy who writes this, Andrew Harding his name is....... Why? - said wil........ 'Cause I like it. It's sexy....... Edith blushed a little bit, but nobody paid attention. Annie claimed she smelled Johnny Jump Up..... Papa looked up. Maybe he was going to say something, but he didn't. 

wilkravitz said - Here he is. @AndrewHarding4 at http://AHardingBooks.com...... Wow, he's got a whole lot of them. Books, I mean. What are you gonna do, order 'em?............ So what if I do!? - barked the Piney woman. I'm done with that Fifty Grey shit. This is better. They got cops and vampires. Well, like almost vampires....sexy vampires. I ain't never heared stuff like this before....... What? - said Annie..... But nobody answered her...... Sarah mouthed - Get them for her. So wilkravitz tapped a few keys and did. 

Tomas softly played his guitar, an old, Spanish, handmade heirloom from Granada. Sarah took out her crocheting. Conrad read his Bible. You know, most vampires remain steadfast in their beliefs. It's easy to reconcile this. 'Not the Shepherd, but the sheepdog'.... You've heard them say that..... 'Cull the wicked. Preserve the worthy'.... You've heard them say that too. Anything can be justified. 

A vampire family at home. Papa sipped a bit of Scotch. He roused himself to do that. Tomas stuck to a light grappa. Did they give any to Annie? A little bit. Some weak homemade wine stuff Edith brings in from The Pines. She drinks it from a special, retro Flintstone's jelly glass. You know how she likes the Flintstones.

Then they heard the running on the roof..... sharp, hard steps, like from Cuban heels, or old fashioned Gillette boots from long ago. Annie whispered - Shhhh... smell him?

Johnny Jump Up, the mid-Victorian, cadaverous, hungry ghoul dragged his half dead dinner over the tar paper roof tops. They heard the muffled moans, as he scrapped her over the low, tiled barriers between the houses.

Tomas put down the guitar. Sarah switched off the lights, as they silently crept up through the venerable domicile to listen by the skylight. Annie whispered - I wonder what he does with the toes?...... You know how she dotes on the toes.

And the life-eaters stayed in that night, listening to a phantom crack through bones. 

Occasionally there'd be a howl, but mostly it was quiet. So they froze there in the bathroom, faces bathed in moonbeams streaming in through the milky, skylight glass.

But Papa remained downstairs, whispering to something in the dark. Perhaps it was a person in that painting?

And the only light came from the laptop, a bright and cheerful blogazine, http://twinaslatinas1.blogspot.com , featuring all the latest on Spanish culture the world over. The gazpacho sure looked nice. So did the trip to Baja, though no one living looked upon  the page.....

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

AUSTRALIAN 'DREAM TIME' COMES TO THE VAMPIRINOS AND VAMPIRINAS OF PHILADELPHIA

All that you see is but impulse, sparks and illusion.What we perceive as matter is an accommodation wrought by the Hand of God, or the Higgs Boson particle, as contemporary alchemists (presently known as scientists) call it. Dreams made manifest..... that's what we have. Someone has apparently 'wished' upon that star... and we are the result. 

But the dream continues. And a group of rather unusual 'night-folk' comes to recognize that. 

Edith stared at the painting. She picked the spot. Sarah didn't care, so it hung over the cunning, little Louis XV buffet in the dining room. How nice it looked up against the watered silk walls... so  vivid next to the coppery, bronze glow. The vampirinos and vampirinas never used dining rooms to feed. Occasionally they'd sit around the table (wherever they lived) sharing precious drams of liquor and trading tales of the old days. 

Tomas studied the colorful creation... a night garden, in a city park, shimmering after a sudden rain. He could almost smell the blossoms. Edith, their telepathic and somewhat witchified  mortal friend and housekeeper said it just showed up. Annie asked - Did it go BOOM and just pop out a the air?...... The juvenile, vampirina demon had been reading 'bout Father Devine, the ostensibly human, legendary, early twentieth century, Philadelphia preacher, hotelier and miracle worker who according to his own recollections, did go BOOM and 'combusted' fully formed upon a crowded, midtown sidewalk. (in her heart, the little life-eater was sure he must have been a vampire. yet he was known to be unquestionably diurnal, so she wasn't exactly sure.)

Edith said it did not go BOOM, but was delivered by a rather personable U.P.S. man. She offered him a piece of cake, banana nut, her specialty. But he only wanted an iced tea, 'cause he was training for a half marathon or something. Conrad thought he heard a little bit of this while he was sleeping. Tomas just smiled. Most newborn vampires fall into a death-like stupor when the sun shines (or even when it's cloudy, for that matter.) Conrad wouldn't have laid so much as a fart, even if a fully naked, ax wielding  Abraham Lincoln himself was standing over him..... Conrad feared vampire killers, 'cause he used to be one. 

Now the painting came from Australia. Brisbane, to be exact. The artist, a young, transplanted Englishster, named Debby made it. Sarah looked her up on TWITTER. She doesn't need wilkravitz. She's new too. The web ain't no big thing to her. And  she found Debby at @Twit__Trending, even followed her. You want to see the painting? Go there. You'll see it, or a reasonable facsimile there of. They say the artist has other ones. Sells them too. I hear a bunch of collectors out in Malibu got some. But theirs ain't 'magic' like ours.

Tomas stares and he stares. Sarah says - Can you see it?..... He nods. Two individuals with an uncanny resemblance to himself and his consort (Sarah, that is) hold hands and retreat from the camera, which in this case is the eye of the artist. And it's not just the physical similarity. The funny thing is they actually move. The male pulls her close. The female leans into him. Tiny ripples play across a nearby puddle, perhaps from a soft, warm breeze. 

I do not know if the artist is adept at such things, or if a subtle enchantment descended upon the painting after the fact. But how like a dream it is. Baylah's coming in from Margate just to see it. And you know how much she likes her time at the shore.

Edith had a brain buzz. That means she 'felt something.' Saw a bunch of white haired, brown folks sitting 'round a fire, all alone, out under The Milky Way, on the vast Nullarbor Plain. Funny how that name stuck in her head, especially since she ain't never heard it before. Sarah said she saw an article 'bout the place once in a National Geographic. Edith said - Well, where the hell is it?...... Sarah said - Australia........ And Annie started to laugh. 

Night-folk soak up magic like a sponge. It sticks to them like semi-dried-up sweat. Tomas knows that. He's seen a lot. Papa knows more, a whole lot more. But he's still quiet. He just sits and looks and sits and looks..... Annie says she's gonna bite his leg real hard, or like maybe throw hot water all over his balls. Edith says no seven or eight year old girl should talk like that, even if she is a vampire. Annie tells her to go to hell. Sarah says she better shut up, or they gonna throw her best, antique Barbies down the garbage disposal. So Annie sets down by the island in the kitchen. Flips open a coloring book and starts scribbling all over one a the pages. But you know she gonna do something, 'cause that page got Wilma Flintstone and she never scribbles all over her.

Now I am just a ghost what lives down the cellar, but that picture, beautiful as it is, give me the shimmy-shams too.... Can't take my dead, nebulous eyes off it.

Somebody workin' a hoo-doo. Edith knows that word. She from the Jersey Pines. She knows.

And now they got two dogs howlin' somewheres outside. Conrad say he know 'em from before. 

Tomas say maybe nobody ought a go out. They just look at each other. Edith lights a new aroma candle. Then they all sit down to watch a movie..... How The West Was Won, I think it is....

Tomas like Debbie Reynolds. He say she real good.....

Howlin' gettin' louder...

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

VAMPIRE LIFE IS QUITE LIKE YOURS

Those of you familiar with our milieu know vampires do not effect a kill very often. Most of the 'noble' breed feed but once every lunar cycle. Tiny supplemental drinks do occur....discreet, little kisses taken on the run. Crowded subway trains work best. You know how they sway? you know how the lights flicker? Well, that's all it takes. And most times the wounds go unnoticed. 

But they weren't riding subway trains tonight. Tomas and Sarah were out for a stroll. The air was warm and heavy, a typical summer in Philadelphia, just south of the fortieth parallel. How refreshing it was to sit down at a sidewalk cafe, order a tumbler filled with some sort of iced, carriage trade vodka and indulge. Alcohol seems to agree with them, you know. 

Sarah still had human taste. She'd only been on the night side for two years, so her attire was just what you'd expect.... a short cotton skirt, a pressed, white camisole, strappy, little sandals and cool, silver earrings. So right for a twenty eight year old young woman in Center City. Even her auburn hair was swept up in a neat, clean, high off the neck, pony tail. Her mother would have been proud. 

Tomas wore a blindingly white tee shirt. You know the kind...just thick enough to absorb the thin sheen of vampirino sweat thrown off from his torso, but trim around the neck, chest and biceps. You see it coming and going on South Street. Below the waist he had black jeans and rough, leather flip-flops. His signature bootkins could wait for cooler climes. 

Sarah wanted a spray on tan. She said pasty, white feet look bad in sandals. Tomas said he'd have a 'familiar' look into it. But I don't think he will. 

Such a striking twosome.... the beautiful, young aunt and her well put together, wavy haired nephew. She offered him a rubber band. A pony tail would be cooler. Though he demurred, preferring the look of his long, dark tresses. Tomas de Macabea is so vain, you know. I think he wants to sneak away for a sponge bath down in the deepest tunnels with his wide-eyed, mole-girl sex friends. But I am always suspicious of him. Sarah too, although he claims those randy nights are over.

The vodka arrives. I do not know the brand. They charge twelve dollars for it, so it must be good, or at least highly promoted. He takes a sip, savoring the crisp, icy drops as they run down his throat. Then he goes - ahhh.  Sarah does not like when he does that. He tells her it's an Andalician thing. And then he smiles. She likes when he smiles. He softy  flicks a tiny moth off from the lace atop her camisole. But being a vampirina, she is so sensitive to touch. And she likes when he does that too.

They study a sweet girl, perhaps twenty to twenty five years old at a nearby table. She sits reading a book and toying with the remnants of her salad. Tomas whispers - Tis pity she is alone........ Sarah gives him a look. He kisses her. She leans back, drawing in some vodka through a long, thin blood red straw........ A car pulls up to the curb. The girl sees it. She beams, puts a twenty under the plate and jumps inside. The vehicle (an Audi. I am almost sure) snakes out into traffic and speeds off.

Sarah sees the book...... What was she reading? - she says........ Tomas executes a barely noticeable gesture and the volume snaps through the air to his hand. He can do that, sometimes....... CRITICAL MOMENTS, book II of THE HYBRID SERIES - he says. Then he passes it to her. She studies the back..... Hummm, vampire tinged detectives solve gruesome crimes in dark, little British corners..... Quite erotic too..... Such talented 'vampires,' or almost vampires - she remarks. I'm gonna give this to Edith............... Let me see it- he says. She turns it over. He thumbs through a page or two..... apparently finding just the right spot...... O, Jala!- he exclaims. Edith can wait. Care for a little role playing, enamorada? 

She shrugs and chuckles. They pay and leave. But three hundred heartbeats later, he sublimates into a shuttered bookshop for 'book one.'  Vampires are very open to new things you know. And soon they'll play some games. 

So goes the nightly paseo. No one died, at least not by their hands. And all they had to drink was vodka.

Maybe tomorrow they'd draw blood? Or maybe they'd tantalize some willing mortal with games learned from the book?

Such a handsome couple. The air seems to kiss them as they pass.

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and as you know, we just pretend that this is fiction. the book in question is very real. follow @AndrewHarding4 on TWITTER, also at http://AHardingBooks.com .... you'll see..... THE HYBRID SERIES .... go look on amazon. good night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

YOUR BODY IS WONDERLAND.... the vampirino and vampirina rediscover each other

It was quiet in the subterranean bower... no traffic sounds.... no air conditioner noise. Just two completely bare, supernatural beings, the cool, dark, silence and the rose petals. God knows how the 'familiars' did this. Must of had someone down here stripping blossoms for hours..... A deep, soft, fragrant nest. 

He held her close and whispered in her ear. The words were in old Vahmpeerigo, or possibly just classical Castillian. Sarah didn't know. But that wasn't important, for she did not have to know.... She could feel. And he ran his hands down her body. She quivered. He pulled in closer, artfully preparing her for more.   Then she turned to face him and returned the favor, savoring the taste of his salty flesh. 

And in that special moment before the rapture they coupled..... a vampirino and his protege..... a sire and his offspring...... Did you know that Sarah  came from his human line? ..... One thousand years lay between them, but the link was there just the same..... A union like few others..... A pleasure rare and strong. 

He inhaled, breathing in the vapors of her pliant, smooth, young body. The night had been her world for but two years. Her youth was real youth and he relished it. 

They moved as one, sharing such sensations as only their kind can.

And when she trembled... and when he trembled, they lay quiet in the blackness trading nibbles, like hungry puppies waiting to be fed.

Soon they played again.

The others slept upstairs in snug, little jewel-box quarters, with teak wood, handmade shutters to block out all the light. 

Edith sat in the kitchen eating pancakes. A painting had just been delivered, all the way from Brisbane. Sarah saw it  one night on the internet, back when they were still with Doctor Franklin. A cool, damp stroll through a flower-filled, Australian, night garden. wilkravitz (the familiar responsible for posting most of this) communicated with the artist, one @Twit__Trending (on TWITTER), but other eyes and other ears were privy to it all...and so the gift arrived. 

Perhaps at dusk the 'boys' would help her hang it? Sarah could chose the spot.

Edith chuckled and wondered if the artist, all the way around the globe, on the continent of Australia, knew her work would grace the walls of 'night-folk.'

Remember.... we only pretend that this is fiction...

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Monday, August 20, 2012

SO LONG to DOCTOR FRANKLIN

They knew the vampire-oligarch was indisposed. They could feel it in the ether. Doctor Franklin sensed it too, but based on other means. After all, the venerable patriot, though enduring for centuries, is not in any way what might be termed a magical being. He is a scientist. Perhaps one of the first post alchemists in the world.

So all parties concerned decided that it was safe for the life-eaters (vampires) to depart. Annie said she'd miss playing  with the Sasquatch, or Big Foot, or whatever he was in the menagerie. She liked fixing up his hair, especially when she made it all like Elvis. 

Tomas regretted leaving the library. He'd sit transfixed for hours absorbing old tomes carefully maintained in the climate controlled chambers. A few of them were even penned in Ancient Vahmpeerigo (vampire dialect). One, written by the daughter of a lesser wife in Solomon's harem intrigued him. She knew so much.....And she spoke of the 'Lady Renate.' He said as much to 'Papa,' for she is his mother, in the vampiric sense. But Papa is in a quiet phase. He sits and he hears, but he does not always listen. Though he smiles and chuckles at old reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies....... Go figure. 

Sarah liked the merfolk. As you know, the old one, the sea hag, went back to join her brethren in a little known estuary somewhere near the Sea Isles off the coast of Carolina. Two others came to take her place, a male and a female. Very sleek and exceedingly comely. Sarah loved to watch them feed each other scallops. So sensual. So quiet. So loving. It was dim and cool and nice in there. She'd linger, under the surface, listening to them sing. Vampires breath from habit, you know and not from any need.

Soon after, they gathered up their belongings (Doctor Franklin presented each with a fresh, new, Philadelphia Eagles, sweatsuit. You know how much he enjoys the game. Occasionally he even joins the owner in a super-box, but that's another story.) snaked through the bright, white, sterile passageways, rode up in a completely silent 'magneto' elevator and exited via a small, nondescript structure. Then they entered a van (quite commodious) and left the navy yard, returning to the dense, fragrant streets of the city they loved. The driver asked if they wanted to return to their shelters in the basement of The Penn Museum on Thirty Forth Street. So that's where they went. Annie couldn't wait to kiss the mummies. and their spirits were quite fond of her in their own judgmental, desiccated way.

Now I am not sure who went with them. The 'old bones' was there. Conrad was too. Baylah might have gone off to join her mortal mate. She is so independent, you know.

I do know they left after forty eight hours. A certain savy 'familiar,' a lawyer with extensive knowledge of the local real estate market, arranged for a snug, secure  townhouse, tucked away on an almost invisible little street bearing the same paving stones since the seventeenth century. It even had a ghost. 

Edith, their mortal, Jersey Pines, 'pow-wow' woman, was there when they arrived. And she opened the door to greet them...

Aroma candles (vampires are hopelessly addicted to 'crisp, green apple) threw soft, amber light upon fine, polished hardwood surfaces. The clocks were wound and the air was cooled to sixty two degrees, just the way they liked it....

Oh! One more thing. Tomas shared chambers with Sarah once again. There was a special place for them down below the cellar..... a deep, quiet, cold stone bower (approximately 8ft x 8ft x 8ft) lined with a thick, soft, perfumed bed of velvety rose petals..... If Martha Stewart were a vampire, she'd heartily approve.....

They removed their garments and burrowed in, safe below a carefully balanced, concrete lid. It looked just like a floor.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you more. 

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Billy Kravitz' vampire wonderland: A 'Question and Answer' Session with Miraculous Be...

THIS FIRST POSTED ON APRIL 6, 2012, initiating an 'arc' that ran for a few weeks. ROLAND PROVIDES THE INTRO, BUT THE LADY MARIANNE TAKES US THROUGH THE EXQUISITELY PAINFUL TIME OF HER BEGINNINGS....JOIN THEM AS THEY CHAIR A COZY, LITTLE SYMPOSIUM IN A SNUG, PHILADELPHIA, SOCIETY HILL, PETIT PALACE. TICKETS WENT FOR $10,000 A POP (proceeds going to charity).... AFTER ALL, HOW OFTEN DO THESE AMATEURS GET TO MEET SOME REAL BLOOD SUCKERS? .... (so follow the story...scroll down a few episodes and explore)... Billy Kravitz' vampire wonderland: A 'Question and Answer' Session with Miraculous Be...: Roland studied the humans seated about him. How simple and facile they all were. How bovine. How easy to lead. Their clothes were all of a '...

A DIVINE TET-A-TET and a 'MAN' becomes a LAP DOG

I do not know how she achieves these things, but she can do them. Remember, this one is more than just a vampirina. So Madam Shang used her copious abilities to pluck the Russian, life-eater, bad-boy from off the fragrant, winding thoroughfares of the Nepalese capital and put him down in a warm, dark, moist safe place. 

For one heartbeat later, he found himself lying exposed and prone upon the rough, giant (to him, anyway) taste buds of her wet, red tongue.  Now imagine how that must feel, both sensual, yet terrifying. If she swallows he burns. The vampire body is a complete simulation of the mortal form. They have what you have... and more. But then she laughed... and the airy vibrations were wonderful, though the repeated collisions with her hard palate were a little bit difficult to endure. She sensed that and deftly spit him out upon her palm. 

What form of corruption vexes me?- she said. I must remember to flay the palace nutcrackers, for this is not a betel nut........ More than mere vampires ingest whatever they please, don't you know. And Madam Shang was partial to betel nuts, hotdogs, primarily of the kosher variety and anchovies.

The exposed and vulnerable little mannikin quickly jumped up to address her...... Why am I so tortured, oh Porcelain One? Am I anything but respectful and devoted?............. Yes - she said. That much is true, but I noticed you failed to mention 'successful.' ......... And he knew just what she meant. His plot.... his furtive plan to subvert 'western' power via lethal, germ-filled kisses dispensed among certain worthies at an upper crust Hamptons soiree fell flat. Another vampire foiled him, sharing little, blood-filled smooches with those so effected. And so the microbes died. 

Who was that noble 'Pimpernel'?..... Who could tell?....... But Madam Shang, sadly disappointed at the outcome of her plan, punished him. The little (and quite powerful in his own right) Russian, night demon 'crackled' into the shape of a Chinese, Crested, Hairless, which she gave to a functionary, who passed him on to the juvenile yetis. How rough they played. Such loathsome, hairy beasts. His hips and nether parts were already sore beyond endurance. And in 'Madam's' world the torture would go on. 

Yet cultivated demi-godlings are fickle things. And three heartbeats later she called to the palace meat-roasters, commanding them to prepare her favorite dish. How savory. How succulent and sweet. Baby mammoth, stuffed with trussed-up, fetal humans..... How toothsome and satisfying. Tonight she would have two. 

And a desperate trumpeting rose up from the mammoth stables, as a careful selection was made. 

The humans, on the other hand, kept in another enclosure, just moaned.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

THE THIRD 'BIRTH' OF MADAM SHANG

The plane came down in Kathmandu. He traveled sans 'Natashas.' And he stopped in the storied citadel that was the gateway to the heights for perhaps ten hours, strolling the bazaars and sampling the hookahs. Was he fearful? Por supuesto, (no, excuse my lapse into Old Vahmpeerigo. It is very much like classical, Castillian. Tinged with a bit of Catalan, or even a taste of Provencal.   But I will refrain from using my original, vampiric idiom and remain within the English. It is I, Tomas. They do allow me to operate this magical device on rare occasions. And I am quite adept at divining the thoughts and realities of other life-eaters, so I will guide you through the pain and pleasure 'suffered' by that notorious, Russian, 'vampire,' oligarch.) for he faced the cold, hard wrath of a near divinity.

Madam Shang was not always like this. The bony, little thing used to flit from rice house to rice house, all along the Huang Ho docks, furtively drawing tiny drinks from greasy boatmen and their rancid doxies. Some vampirinas are like that, hiding in shadows deep even for night folk. She was weak and she knew it. The magic rests differently on each and every one of us. And this sniveling bed bug (vampires too, you know) was but a 'rabbit.'

She slept among the unclean scabrous refuse. For those afflicted by the 'rot' crave darkness too, the better to hide their deformities, burrowing into damp, wormy dens below the wharves. They called her 'Spider' and 'Little Scorpion.' Some begged for healing tastes of the blood, but she always refused, preferring to keep it all safe and warm, beneath her own thin, vulnerable skin.

This imitation of life flowed on for centuries, from the age of bronze to the time of iron, til one night she met a curious, little godling. He was manipulating the dead, playing puppeteer to corpses and leading them through the latest steps favored by the pillow wives of the first Chin Emperor, himself. At first she hid behind a  tall, stone obelisk and watched. Graveyards can be such entertaining places. The not-quite-whores make pleasure there. But he saw and called her forth...... What manner of night-shit are you? - he said...... For she could have been a Lucid Wanderer, or even a Sloppy-Lu-Lu. (please COMMENT if you'd like me to elaborate) Was she frightened? Of course. Godlings are the worst divinities of all, no more than farts expectorated by The Jade Emperor, Himself. At least that is what the boatmen said. And having no choice she approached him, diverting her eyes from his sleek, green, reptilian form. Perhaps five heartbeats later (hers, not his) he shot out his tongue and tasted her. She laughed. It tickled. And he did it again, taking liberty with every part of her scared, little form.

That dawn she flew with him to another realm. And that dusk she returned so very much greatly changed. The 'Spider' was no more. Yet something worse spun out upon the world.

And now the vampire-oligarch had to face her...

She so did love these games.....

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