Thursday, December 25, 2014

THE BOOK OF JONATHON.. Old Words Speak... 12/25/14


I sat in the chair, there in that place, that book shop known as Philadelphia After Dark and held my old copybook. How dry the parchment was, though the pages still intact. I saw letters written in a child's hand and simple teachings from Scripture. I saw 'feed the hungry' and 'clothe the naked.' I saw ' love thy neighbor as thyself.' I saw 'And God took back the soul of Moses with a kiss.' That last one comes from Commentaries. Young ones do not study that. But I did. For I was precocious even then. 

The deaf woman said - Turn to the last page... I complied and that's when I saw the words. That's when I saw what the angel wrote. Such a 'hand.' No missed stroke. Angels are emissaries of the Holy Presence, so in a very real sense they were written by the Hand of God.... I think we've mentioned then before, usually obliquely. I'd say this one saw the words, or that one saw them. But this time is different. I confront it head on. I saw the words. I saw the angel write them. They say - Scottosh beedosh. Beedosh boposht. Boposht skeedosht... Like a child's rhyme they sound... Like a game. But that night , there in that unusual shop, I had an epiphany. Everything flickered. For an instant I saw that angel. He looked into my eyes and I knew. The words, though written in both Hebrew script and Arabic script (we learned both) were in a far older language than either of them. The words were in Malakh. They were in 'Angel.'  And I know what they mean. Here, let me tell you---
They say --- Know what you see... See the truth... The truth ye shall proclaim.

Then all was still. The deaf woman smiled. Her blind husband clasped his hands and smiled too..... Did he see it? - he said..... Yes. Yes he did - she whispered... But for a blind, old fellow like him, a whisper is enough... He clucked his tongue and went - Good, good, good.

I closed the book, held it on my lap and that was it. They went about their business, straightening volumes and shuffling papers, winding clocks,dusting here and there. It was as if they'd completely forgotten about me. I said - May I take this book with me? It is mine, you know...... But they never answered. I sat there in that cozy, chintz chair, listening to the ticks and tocks. It was still dark outside. The curtains were cracked open. I could see a bit of the night. The street was empty and quiet. I turned back, looked toward the deaf woman, but she was gone. Her papers, her ledger was gone too, as if she was never there. The blind husband? Him too. I knew, because I walked through the narrow aisles. I knocked at the cellar door.... Nothing. And let me tell you, in my mortal state, that scared me. I tried the door. It wasn't locked. I slowly pushed it open. The mournful creaking noise was unbearable. Over and over I whispered - God help me. God help me... But I went down. And there were no windows in those old cellars. However there was, at the bottom of the steps, an old pull chain and a rather antique, clear glass light bulb. Thirteen steps... You'll find that most traditional houses in old quarters of Center City have thirteen steps between floors. That's just the way it is. I stopped on each one, convinced a spectral hand would reach from the darkness into the shaft of weak illumination from the floor above and pull me down into terrors best left unsaid, or even worse, some other unseen force would close and lock the door from above....

Neither happened.

I found the chain, pulled it and washed the chamber in twenty five watts. That's when I saw the place was empty... No books... None at all. Just an old, cracked linoleum floor, rough, painted concrete walls (brown-red)... There were rusty, metal, shelves, once grey, against the far wall, maybe thirty five or forty feet away. Something small and brown rested three levels up from the floor at eye level. I approached. So like a huge spider it was. But it was no spider, rather a skeletal hand, neatly severed at the wrist with an old, oak tag (heavy yellow card stock) label tied to one of the bones with a short length of rough, stiff string. I carefully turned it over. In pencil, someone had written - Anatomy specimen... gravedigger's hand... University of Pennsylvania Medical School 1908. It seemed to be pointing at me.

I stepped back, wishing I was already vampire again so I could sublimate out from that place and escape. But that was yet to be...

I turned and made my way back to the stairs. Let me tell you, when I pulled that chain I raced up those steps.

My book was still there, right where I'd left it. I picked it up, zipped it into my jacket and left. The door clicked and locked behind me. Fortunately the sky was streaked with the first drab clouds of dawn. I walked down the street. After a bit I pivoted 'round to look at the place. The small, red light above the door had been switched off.

Who could have possibly done that?

Then I went home, desperate to be night-folk once again...


the link to my RSS feed still isn't working right. But if you google Vampire Wonderland by Billy Kravitz... and then ad ANY word, you'll find SOMETHING (hopefully) interesting. It's like a game. Explore. See what you get.

To join me on Twitter, click TALK .
Bring your friends. We follow back.

No comments: