Friday, February 8, 2013

Herein Lies The Reason...THE VAMPIRE REVELS 2/8/13

Sarah just sat there. She did not want this thing to happen. But he wouldn't look at her. She didn't know. Sarah did not understand. If not for Sir Richard, he'd be with Sylvia and she'd still be a struggling book shop operator in Queen's Village.... mortal and 'pure' (in a night-folk manner of speaking) and free. I think she still missed that little place...cozy and cluttered and warm. The tick-tock of the clock collection serving as a heartbeat. He met her there. He wandered in one chilly autumn night. And so she became his new Sylvia.

But this night he'd fight for the first one. She lived in a time of change. The late sixteen hundreds saw many new things. Female actresses first appeared, giving the theater a new depth and outlook. London broke through it's ancient confines, conquering new lands across the Thames and out beyond the Aldwyck. Immigrants poured in from across the Channel and for the first time in four hundred years, those professing a rather more 'unitarian' creed, those known as 'Jews,' were 'officially' permitted entrance to the See of Saint George.

And new things came from across the sea. Furs from Muscovy.... Moorish boys from Senegal and spells from old Byzantium. Sylvia's people were merchants, tied to the great trading houses in Amsterdam, supplying coffee and tobacco to curious affluent Londoners eager to taste new things. 

She studied with a tutor, Sylvia did. Learned French, intricate needlework and calligraphy. Some said she had the best hand in the West End.  Made scented 'petal' bags for ladies' hope chests. Gave food to the poor.

In all probability she'd have married the first son of an equally affluent merchant... perhaps one of the new breed known as merchant bankers. A fine town house.... a small, but tasteful country manor.... Kept her own carriage..... Subscribed to all the proper assemblies, with gowns smuggled in from France.

Tomas understood this. He didn't press, content to dance in the shadows. At first she thought him a dream... a ghost, a being from some strange plain. But when plague came to the city, she knew he was something else, for none in her household died... even among the servants. 

Did they fall ill? Of course... the sores and the swellings and the sputum and the cough. But they never died. He pulled them through, each and every one, with tiny vials of his powerful blood. Did they know? Not really. But who wouldn't take such magic to escape the moldy grave? Maybe they didn't want to know...

Yet enemies did know. They saw and understood. Richard, not yet a baronet, but oh, so very ambitious, explored such things. He frequented obscure narrow lanes in 'The City,' and witnessed strange rites and obscene sacrifices, orchestrated by a man known as Stephan Panitzkyi. They met in old twisted rooms, high up under the rafters of creaking houses dating back to Wittington's time.

A blind girl sang songs to the tune of a medieval dulcimer, as the acolytes powdered their faces in chalk and antimony. Lips were daubed with coal tar. Eyes smudged with ocher. Black robes hid street clothes, as they swayed to the haunting melodies of witch-songs in the flickering, candlelit gloom.

Was the magic real? Who knows? Yet the desire truly was. This one wanted gold. That one craved honor. Some came for sex,  others just for fun. Panitzkyi might have been a charlatan. No one knows. History never said. Yet he put on quite a show. Some members of the Muscovite Company, an assemblage of moneyed gentleman, brought him back from the shores of Lake Lagoda. Who knew if he was even really Russian? Who could tell? The realm of the Great Brown Bear was foreign as the moon and just as elusive. Though his machinations filled Richard with ideas. And the ideas became suspicions. Why had death forsaken a certain house? Why did they all live? What power killed the plague? 

He respectfully petitioned Panitzkyi for answers and the mysterious person supplied them. Witchcraft... that's all it could be. Look for a nubile maiden and there you'll find your witch.

So Sylvia was doomed. Perhaps if she'd been more amenable to his advances the conclusion would have been different.... Yet that was not the case....

And so the witch must burn.....

Do you know what happens to living flesh upon the stake? 

Tomas does. Jonathon ben Macabi survived the flames, and the pain remained intact...

Thank you for reading my tale. If you're willing to help, please nominate me for a SHORTY AWARD... Just tweet this ~~> I nominate @wilkravitz for a SHORTY AWARD for #BLOGGER because of his stories and narratives...... Your COMMENTS are very welcome too.   

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