Monday, November 18, 2013


I left the Anti-Enchantment Bureau. Always hated that name. But according to Doctor Franklin, they had to call it something like that and pretend to be against the very thing they sought. Back then, simplistic bumpkins really did storm 'the manor' with pitchforks.

Of course they wanted me to stay... not so much for my company, but for what they could learn from me and I had given them enough. In his own way, the doctor understood. So I sublimated up through the below-ground levels and walked away. And no, I did not wander naked through the city. The good natured old reprobate gave me garments from his own supply, which meant I was outfitted in Philadelphia Eagles wear from head to toe... green sweatsuit...down filled jacket... knit cap... socks, underwear and sneakers too. Those abroad at this late hour took me for a rabid fan and I actually joined a bunch of them for drinks in a certain, well known after hours club. I do have a tolerance for alcohol, you know. Beer, not so much. That has food value. But alcohol, particularly vodka and gin, is something else. 

I like mixing with mortals. I enjoy studying them... smelling them and feeling their breath. Even their farts are novel to me. They seem so intertwined with the natural world. Oxygen truly means something to them. Organic food, not in the facile marketing sense, but in a visceral way, is life to them. Have you ever noticed how asparagus scents their pee? I love that. But after two drinks I left, preferring to depart before the ugly drunken part sets in. 

I went to a favorite haunt of mine, the dusty ruins of the old Gimbel Brothers Department Store, sealed underground, off to the side of the Eighth Street subway stop. It's still there in tumble-down disarray. The elferinos and elferinas (pubescent vampires) play among the remnants of the old toy department. Santa's Village, it was called. You can still see the sign. Know how they light the place? With hundreds of battery powered artificial, yellow, flickering candles. I believe they 'fell off a truck.' Our elfin caste is so mischievous that way, trading ancient night-folk intoxicants (obviously, I cannot give you the recipe) for whatever they fancy from the bad boys down Delaware Avenue.... No, I believe they call it Columbus Boulevard now. They trade for the batteries too. You see, mortals basically know about us, but pretend not too. Afraid of the 'mysterious' and all that. The police know we're here. The clergy knows. Homeless souls hiding in pitch black 'service' alleys know. Oh, I could go on.... In their truncated parts they do know. But 'humanity' as a whole... whatever that means, does not. It's easier that way. Magic frightens them. They want it, but they fear it.... Maybe we do too.

Night-folk live suspended in it. I know other denizens of this on-going tale speak of 'children from afar,' creatures birthed on other worlds and how they play with and change us, mortals, night-folk, all of us. Yet even those powerful beings are subject to it. Magic is everywhere and it settles on each and every one of us quite differently. Some manifest as witches, or vampires, or elferinos (a somewhat different form). Others grow into merfolk, or wolf-folk, or never-dies, or lucid wanderers. The variations are endless. Perhaps we can move from one phase to the next? Little Annie managed to escape. A vampire no more... 

I think about that now. I think about it a lot. Regular friends of course know that. And although a purely mundane life would drive me completely insane, some other enchanted resonance might suit me very well. I could be a very contented magi. The blood is not the thing. I crave it because I am made to crave it. But even vampires, true vampires, know it's the taking of the life that sustains us. The bloody kiss but a dramatic accoutrement. 

So I sit here on Santa's abandoned throne, pondering ruined displays of childless toys. The dolls seem very sad, Chatty Baby especially so. Sometimes I pull the ring just to keep her company. Sometimes I conjure forts out of Legos, or their elder brothers, Lincoln Logs, just to give them purpose. Ghostly children peek out from the gloom, but they have not yet learned to manipulate physical things, so I, or my little elfin brothers and sisters, do it for them. The flickering, electric, liar-candles shed a deathly glow. The nightmare after Christmas (or after one Christmas) this is... How the dust softens it all.


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1 comment:

John L. Harmon said...

Does he prefer loud and obvious or silent but deadly?