Monday, January 27, 2014


It didn't work. Nothing they did helped. Tomas drained almost all the blood out of the new body, the one they got from the Moscow haberdasher's assistant. Then he bit open his wrist (after keeping the apparently life giving elixir percolating in his own body for what seemed like a long enough period of time) and gave drink to the pathetic deaf and blind thing. Maybe some of the 'resonance' got through? Maybe he heard, or felt it, for whatever combination of human presence there was in that body took it in. And they did this over and over and over. Doctor Franklin dozed off a few times. He went into his quarters, watched some TV... played video games. He has all the latest versions, even some real good unreleased stuff. One game has these contact lenses. The player needs contact lenses. They create a world. No, they alter a world. You still see what you'd normally see, only changed a bit. Creatures condense out of the ether, mess with you...scare you... touch and move things around the house.... Some of what they do might even hurt. But via motion sensitive gloves and a few voice commands, you can 'get' them. Franklin loves it. He needs help with the contacts. Various domestics assist with that. I can't tell you their names, because he rotates them out of the residence and into other positions on a monthly basis. Doesn't like them to know him that well. I don't know why. It's a phobia.  But the recently incarnated one time Russian vampire-oligarch, known as Grigori Usipov is still up Shit's Creek. Vampires are such sensual beings, aware in so many ways . Now here he is, locked in a place devoid of light, imagery and sound. And he's not even a vampire anymore. Not yet anyway. Maybe they'll think of something else.

Technicians came and disconnected the trembling, more or less, human thing from all the tubes and crap. Tomas went back to the residence (an extensive area within the complex). Not where Franklin was. Let the old reprobate enjoy his gadgets in peace. The pensive vampire took his leave in the library... a real library, a book lined enclosure, a cozy sanctum, rich in leather and fine varnished wood. Wing chairs... it actually had wing chairs and crystal decanters filled with clear (or nearly clear) distillations just right for a vampire to enjoy. Actually, the space wasn't really that big, just big enough, with cozy corners and glossy, porcelain lamps providing just the right amount of light. They even had hand crocheted afghans, for God's sake. Look, the townhouse very commodious too, but this library is special... so special that Tomas actually cried.  And what did he read? Was it something so out of the ordinary? No. Three books... he took three books off the shelves. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, because he's a sucker for tear jerkers. The Catcher In The Rye, 'cause you know what a do gooder he is. Tomas identifies with the kid. Thinks he's a Sephardic, Jewish, Spanish, vampire version of Holden Caulfield. And some new edition of a men's dressing and grooming thing because vanity, or maybe just an awareness of his physical presence, is a big thing with him. Then he settled in, poured himself a nice, little 'old fashioned' glass of some high priced vodka and began to read.  Fourteen hundred heartbeats later he fell asleep. Soon after, someone came in, probably one of the domestics, put his feet up on an ottoman, covered him with an afghan (no, two afghans), freshened the ice in case he woke up and wanted more booze, dimmed the lights (which weren't so bright to begin with) and left. While on the other side of the closed draperies an eighteenth century, autumn winter night played out beyond the multi-pane windows on the realer than real, cutting edge video screens. All vampires should shelter underground, especially in quarters like this. Tomas dreamed of mortal days in Al Andaluz and the artificial heat almost felt like the sun.

Usipov spent a different night, strapped in a bed, locked in a damaged shell, buried in darkness. Human... he was human now, after a fashion. Well, he wasn't vampire, but he did have vampire blood in him. Tomas gave him that. He could concentrate. He could focus. You don't know how laser-like night-folk concentration can be. But Usipov does. And he 'prays' and he thinks and he weaves it all together, repeating over and over in Old Slavonic - Gospodi pomiluy. Gospodi pomiluy . (God have mercy). He prayed for the sweet, hot, light of God to find him and set him ablaze. He prayed to spontaneously combust and fade away.

Now most vampires don't believe in that. Spontaneous 'human' combustion is an illusion, a mortal explanation of the 'cold' blue flames that eat up all night-folk victims. Sometimes there are witnesses. Sometimes people see things. They try to explain, so a legend is born.

But Usipov believes in miracles. And in a world with 'magic' and 'resonance,' how could that not be so?


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