Saturday, November 8, 2014

peek into another place and another vampirina we haven't encountered yet 11/8/14 .. Autumn - Vivaldi

Seasons change. Lives pass. There are members of the night world we haven't encountered yet. While Tomas and his band prepare for The Redemption of The Prey People in that strange alternate universe ruled by Giant Civilized Canines, let us explore another place...

Fall settles upon the land. Not the soft, warm, 'Indian Summer' variety of September or October. This manifestation cuts deeper. Leaves are gone. Most of the insects have died. Apples are in the barn. Turkeys say their last prayers in anticipation of ritual slaughter. Children hurry home from school under grey and darkening skies.

A fox takes up residence under a holly thicket, waiting for careless, fat squirrels and their acorn spiced flesh. Grandmother walks the grounds, cataloging every image, as she has always done. Some gnarled maples... Crayfish in a brook... Ravens in the branches of recently denuded oaks. She loves the place, two hundred acres of meadow and woodlands tucked away in an unspoiled corner of Bucks County.... America's Cotswolds... another Brigadoon. And on a rise, overlooking a rustic, though subtly manicured greensward sits  'the house' a late Federalist, Pennsylvania stone manor. Has it been in the family since the beginning?... No, they came after the Franco-Prussian War, 1872 or 1873. Great-great-great- great Grandfather arranged finances for the Prussian ruling house. His second son, never to lead the firm, since that burden always falls upon the eldest, was provided with funds and shipped off to America. Connections in Philadelphia and New York arranged a position with The House of Warburg in Manhattan, a private bank heavily invested in railroads and silver mines. Thus was the family's 'New World' fortune established. 

Heinrich became Henry and Eisenstein became Ironstone, as the family settled into nineteenth century Philadelphia. The Bucks County place was mostly for weekends then. For the most part, life passed within the confines of a commodious brownstone mansion on North Broad Street, not far from The Pennsylvania Academy of The Arts where Thomas Eakins taught, and hard by that bastion of New World Spirituality, Temple Rodeph Shalom, mother chapel of the Reformed Faith hereabouts. Indeed, the family still prayed there, if not every Saturday morning, or Friday evening, often enough.

Once, while walking home from Eventide (the sundown service) an Ironstone son, some say Reggie, others Barnet saw a young woman... little more than a girl actually. Her hair was lose and full, an almost scandalous rarity in those days. And her coat seemed a bit too insufficient  for a November night. Although lyrically beautiful, she seemed 'fallen.' The brothers tried not to make eye contact, though in her own soft way, the girl was quite brazen and she decided for them.... Please, sirs - she said - may I have some assistance?... Though instead of lowering her gaze, as other, still respectable, beggar girls might, she continued to look right at them..... Perhaps it was Reggie who gave her the silver dollar. She took it and laughed--- Not this. I didn't mean this. Please help me. Please help me. .... Then she trembled and sighed, as her eyelids fluttered and she collapsed against Barney's (well, that's what they called him)  velvet collared Chesterfield coat. He didn't know what to do... She began to slide down toward the sidewalk.... Grab her. Grab her! - said Reggie... So he did... And seven minutes later, in a deepening late fall chill, they carried her 'round to the stable entrance and put her in a storeroom by the kitchen. Did anyone see?... Not really. Gas lights soften details and provide, at best an 'impressionist' image of the truth.

Thus came Elizabeth. Was she a vampire then?... No, but quite far down that road.... They bribed the cook and hid her from the family, feeding her cold meats, buttered bread and hard cooked eggs. Though a fortnight hence she dined on other things.....

Grandmother knew the tale. They all did, for Elizabeth was still with them.....

<more to come.. please listen to the portion up above. it's Vivaldi and you might like it...happy autumn>


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