A rainy night. No fancy script, just plain letters. They are not here. Tomas and his Sarah are out, bundled against the cold hard wind, two silent, abiding souls walking through the wet, shinny streets. Boopsie is still lost. Little Joe, the rough, knotty witch-husband from The Pines claims he looks for her, his dear, tiny, step granddaughter. I suppose he does. But he's off with Baylah now, all bathed and dressed in city clothes, seated at a snug warm table in her piano-bar jewel-box appreciating a sizzling filet and the dulcet tones of an accomplished Michael Feinstein impersonator. And although his missus, hoch-witch, Pig Blood Annie, pines for her little dumpling, he doesn't care. The city has magic of it's own.
Our two night-stars, Tomas and Sarah, pass The Old State House, also known as Independence Hall. How dark and red the brick sidewalks look in the rain. Ghosts peek through the multi-pane windows. So far as I see, no one special. Not the great Jefferson, nor the vociferous Addams, but some mean little clerks charged with writing it all down. Such dedication. Still on duty after all these years.
I am an unnamed narrator. We haven't met. My appellation is immaterial to these events. I crave not glory like Mister Never You Mind, or Johannon. Sometimes I forget how I'm even called. But the night-folk of this place, these Philadelphia vampires are special to me and have been for centuries. And if I had to tell you why, I could not, for that would ruin the truth of it.
They've already had their meal. Tomas and Sarah, I mean... A dark soul, taken in what used to be an old cloak room off the small, paneled lobby of a Washington Square West, gilded age apartment house, for him. And a street hood with blood on his knife for her. Tomas tipped the doorman twenty dollars to vacuum up the ashy residue (after the cold blue flesh consuming flames died down). The man was a sometime 'familiar,' so that made it alright. Sarah avoided that complication, since her soul died in an alley. They are good, these night-folk and I love them.
She (Sarah) had jewels on every finger, fine 'dinner rings' from the twenties and earlier, Edwardian baubles too, taken from their coffers. Each meant as a gift for the poor. One went to a sad faced woman pricing bread and eggs in a small bodega. Just slipped it in her pocket and disappeared. Another helped ease the pain of single father, recently fired, with two, little girls. That's how it was. Tomas had three watches, two on his right wrist and another on his left. Any one would fetch three or four thousand in the worst 'we buy gold and diamonds' joint. Soon each will be gone. People call them angels. You know, they have this 'look' in their eyes, a more than mortal 'gleam' I suppose you might call it. So, in a practical sense, they are 'angels...
Sarah wants to go look for Boopsie. Tomas does too, but he's afraid of what he might find. Does he know all the details of Peter's years in Europe and his time in Istanbul?... No, he doesn't... But he feels things.
Then they dry themselves off in the glass entryway to a little diner. He has a bowl of hot, chicken and matzoh ball soup and a steaming mug of tea. Sarah orders the same thing. They're adept at mashing the dumpling (for that's what a matzoh ball is) into teeny tiny bits after finishing the soup, so it looks like they ate half. A few other souls are seated around the place, warming up after the cold dash over. There's an all-night drug and sundry store across the street. These days 'sundry' store's almost like a Sears Catalog (do they still publish that?) . Got everything from shampoo to handy, little, light-weight power saws and clean, bright, tightie-whities. Sarah and Tomas buy magazines. She likes thick, heavy glossies from when her mortal self used to own the all-night book-shop , Philadelphia After Dark. He likes science, history, GQ and This Old House. Oh, yeah, aroma candles... they always pick up a few of them. I think they bought a Seek And Find word puzzle book for Edith and a Start Prize Tomato Plants On Your Own Window Sill kit for Conrad and Leo. As vampires, they won't eat the tomatoes. But those two always do crazy things like that. Maybe Leo wants to throw them at a bus? Conrad saw a thing on TV about botany, so he's Luther Burbank now.
Look, Sarah's only been night-folk for maybe three years, but he's 'walked the shadows' for centuries. And this is how they spend their evenings..... murders, give-aways, chicken soup and shopping at the CVS.....
Sarah wants to 'on demand' an Idina Menzel special when they get home. If you like, you can cue the video up above and join them. Good video too. If you want more (and you will) subscribe to the great Hayley Hanson on You Tube.
Oh, Pig Blood Annie's been snoopin' around town. That ought to juice things up.....
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