Wednesday, December 18, 2013


They all sat in a little room upstairs. I suppose it was meant to be a bedroom or a sleeping cubicle, but for some reason they weren't using it for that. Now it was a snug, cozy study with a thick 'Turkey' rug on the dark wood floor, shelves filled with books, an old library table (not a big one, a small one), wing-chairs covered in a subtle English upholstery and little lamps and pin-up lights which shed a low warm glow on the vampiric souls assembled there.

Tomas, also known as Jonathon, sat at the head. Sarah, Leo, Conrad, Baylah and the elfin types took seats around the room. For a while they were all quiet. Just sitting. Just waiting, as he slipped the ancient tome from an old, velvet cover and reverently put it down on the table.

How old is it? - whispered Sarah..... Well - he said - as far as I know this one comes from Frankish territory, where it belonged to Charlemagne's court vampire. But the contents were copied from even older scrolls and folios. Some go back to the Persians. A few stem from the Great Library of Alexandria and certain pages survived the second Roman defilement of Jerusalem about eighteen hundred and fifty years ago....... Wow - said- Leo. You know what that would get on Ebay?..... But Tomas just gave him a look..... Baylah said - We had books like that in Timbuctu. I never saw them. I was not a vampirina then and females never saw them anyway. One came from Abyssina. Melenik's Journal, they called it. But I don't think it came from him...... Who was he? - said Conrad...... King Solomon's son by way of the Queen of Sheba - whispered Tomas..... Yeah, I saw the movie - said Leo..... That's when Tomas lost it and went - SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Will you just SHUT UP!?....Leo did shut up... for a few heartbeats. Then he goes - That looks like a Harry Potter book, like a Hogwarts prop. Bet they made it in Taiwan..... With that, Tomas picks up the book and holds it out before him, like Moses with The Tablets and Leo's mouth disappears from off his face... No lips.... No slit... No nothing... Just skin, a nose and two real terrified eyes..... You can hear the desperate groans beneath the flesh..... Tomas goes - Please don't make me mad..... Everybody just sits there. No one says a word... Celeste, the quiet elferina starts to cry. Conrad erupts into nervous laughter. Sarah whispers - Do something... Tomas exhales, opens the book to a certain page, holds it up again and says a few words in Old Vahmperigo.... At first, nothing happens. He exhales a second time and holds the book a little higher. Four heartbeats later, Leo's mouth begins to erode..... First a little slit, so small he can barely get the tip of his tongue through. Then it expands, running back toward the natural limits of what used to be his mouth. Finally the lips form. Celeste stops crying. Everybody relaxes, but Leo just sits there, staring at the table top.

Tomas puts the book down, turns to another page and continues. I'm paraphrasing - he says, as he studies the ancient script .... Night-folk were called to serve. Every temple. Every chapel. Every prayer house had a guardian. And we were those guardians. Guardian vampires, that's what we were. Gargoyles and other fantastical figures were created to help us. We scared away the gold thieves, protected the faithful and plucked out the wicked from the beard of all mankind. Kings sought our counsel. Priests learned our songs........ Then he stopped reading and said - We have to respect ourselves and value what we are. Not just some nights, but every night. That's how it begins. That's what we are. You saw the power this book has. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I'm sorry, but now you know.

The elferinos and elferinas stared wide-eyed, waiting for more. So did the true vampires. After all, power tastes good and everybody wants a bite.

But Tomas, also known as Jonathon, knew he had to go slow. so he closed the book and slipped it back into the velvet sack. 

Edith came up with a large, gold and diamond, flask-like container of Russo-Baltique. Imagine, over one million, three hundred thousand dollars for a bottle of vodka. But vampire coffers are deep... and some things are worth it. 

They all had a drink, even the elfin-folk. Some had two. And then the night was over...


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