Sunday, June 23, 2013


I did shed my skin, but not in a pit. She, the one who made me scrubbed it off in an old claw foot bathtub. And a servant girl sworn to secrecy scraped up the wet, viscous strips and burned them in the furnace. I lay curled in a fetal position, moaning for days. Fortunately, the tub was in the cellar.

Now I know there were other life-eaters in London then, but we never fraternized with any and they left us to our own devices. She taught me to feed... when, where, and how.  Tiny bites above a blood vessel. Arteries are best. Always raise the head above the feet to slow the flow. Sedate the victim with alcohol before the ordeal. Fortified wines, like Sherry, work best. We didn't want to torture anyone, just 'eat' them. And she who made me didn't  confine her appetites to the wicked... not always, anyway. Though she preferred taking isolated souls who wouldn't be missed. I liked watching them ignite after it was over. I liked the 'cool' blue flame. Sometimes in the autumn, when the air was cold and dry, we'd watch as large, flaky ashes rose up into the sky and disappeared.

Do you know I never once addressed her by name. And to this night I'm not really sure how old she is. I did hear her talk in her sleep. She mumbled in  Vahmperigo.... an Eastern dialect quite akin to Old Slavonic, but with an admixture of Byzantine and even Hunnish words thrown in too. Being educated, I knew a bit of Greek and picked out some of the words. She was lonely. I knew that, but not overwhelmingly so.

'Jeanette,'.... The British people called her Jeanette, except when they called her India, or Tess, or Francine. She didn't care. 

But she dressed me like a prince. My linen was spotless and starched to perfection.... Not stiff, just white and pristine. My suits were fashioned from the best worsted wool.... long frock coats and all that. And my boots, ankle length, were of a high polished leather. Dragon skin, I believe they were. Vampires knew where to get it. Certain Indian rajahs and naywobs still kept select specimens in carefully constructed enclosures. But the Congress Party put a stop to it. I don't know why. Gandhi cried to see them go. Though I'm told a surviving root stock still survives high up in Nepalese valleys. Perhaps, one night, I'll go there.

Oh, did I tell you? Sometimes I drink from the wrist, or the breast, or the buttock. An affectation of mine. But usually from the throat like everyone else.

Tonight I'm having a Sloane Ranger. 'GOOGLE' it. You'll see what I mean. I'm really looking forward to it.

Now let me be. I have to dress... and Mordecai , my valet, takes such pains.

Where's that flask of sherry?....
(more tomorrow)

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