Monday, December 22, 2014

Jonathon InThe Bookshop Known As Philadelphia After Dark .. 12/22/14

Sarah does not like it when I go out alone. Mortals are easy to kill and I am still handicapped in that way. But she called for allies to protect me. And so Albion, an elferino, attends me from the shadows. He thinks I don't know. But I do know. Even mortals have certain talents. Edith says mine is telepathy. Witchy women from The Jersey Pines know such things and I trust her implicitly. 

I am Jonathon. These words are mine, though the one you know as 'Billy' types them. He's done do, on and off, since I first went public almost four and a half years ago.  We've taught him the rudiments of thought transfer. Well, mostly Edith has taught him. But the important thing is that he knows. 

Sunday night, or more properly the wee hours of the morning, are quiet. Streets stand as stage sets, populated by ghost-like clouds of steam rising, here and there from small, street level vents. I quietly pass shuttered stores, restaurants, theaters and counting houses. Excuse me. I mean 'banks.' Here and there a bodega shines out into the night. Cabs go by. I head for a special place, on a small street. We have been there before. It is the strange and cozy establishment known as Philadelphia After Dark. Sarah owned it during her mortal years. And we have led you to believe she was the first. We have lied. Others were there before her. The shop has a long, abiding past, going back to the time of William and Mary, almost three hundred and twenty five years. Indeed, it holds the oldest continuous mercantile license in Philadelphia. Far older than Franklin's Print Shop. Though the Old Doctor hates to admit it. I'll tell of the proprietors sometime.

At this time it belongs to a couple. One blind, the other deaf. Some night-folk call them 'Light and Music.' But neither seems hampered to me. 

They have a book... an old volume. They say I wrote it many centuries ago, during a sojourn in some remote European principality. But I have no memory of it. 

See how Albion tries to hide. He flits from darkness to darkness. How he works to preserve my vanity... to preserve my independence. I have always loved the elferinos and elferinas. How 'the magic' favors them.

There is the shop. A small warm lamp shines in the mullioned window. A singular place, like something from Dickens. PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK... We open with the dusk and close with the dawn. The sign, though carefully retouched, has been there for generations. 

Albion flies away. They buzz me in. I go inside. The deaf one nods to me. I nod back. The blind one shuffles off to get the book.

I settle into an old, chintz chair, one of several 'reading nooks,' each married to it's own tiny side table and small boudoir lamp.

Perhaps I'll learn something?


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