I will channel this. It's only fitting. We were together when it all started, so I should be here now. Jonathon knows me. He trusts me. I am Johannon, his servant and companion. At least I was during his mortal days.
That which you call 'magic' is not constant. It rises and falls like the tides. Sometimes it vanishes altogether. I suppose last night was one of those times.
The thing, the elferino known as 'Peter' caught him. Sarah tried. She did. She dug her nails in under the skeletal claws and attempted to pull them off. But every time she touched the bones her hands burst into flames. And the thing pinched off chunks of flesh and devoured them. Tomas trembled. He tried to sublimate... through the floor... up to the boxes... anywhere. But at this time and in that place he could not do it.
When he tried to speak the thing grabbed his tongue. Skeletal finger tips are very sharp, you know. (Primitive fisher-folk used them as spear points. They worked very well). And he tore it out by the root. Tomas groaned. ... It was odd watching the thing eat. He slurped it all up and chewed. But where did it go? But for the eyes, the skeleton had no parts. Though as he ate 'tissue' materialized on the ivory frame . Pink,wet, elastic membranes stretched across the ribs. And ghost-like, gristly tubes, perhaps two, ran down from the neck to a roiling knot of guts.
Through it all the four or five faint, silvery ghosts did nothing. They just sat... And I can't be sure they were even aware of it all. Maybe their minds saw something else?.... But the thing called 'Peter' is essentially an elferino. And an elferino is nothing but a slight, pubescent vampire, so then he went for the neck... a partially flesh covered corpse, like a living representation of a plastic, 'Invisible Man' toy from your nineteen sixties, though much more ambulatory and hungry. Tomas' eyelids fluttered. Sarah whimpered. She crawled over and cradled his head. The thing let her do that. A strange Pieta, composed of not just a victim and mourner, but the Grim Reaper as well..... While a few yards up the aisle a multitude of blue-black, metallic horse flies covered the body of the 'born' witch, Pig Blood Annie, and worked a little blood 'sucking' magic of their own. Actually, in the darkness, the electric hum was more apparent than the sight, but their rigid, insect bodies did reflect a bit of light... thousands of swarming demons in the dark.
Although 'young,' Tomas was still a full vampire. Elferinos, even monstrous evil ones, can't hold all that blood, so the thing just stopped. And Tomas might have fared better had it ended there. But Peter took the heart as well. Just pulled it out from under the rib-cage. How the connective tissues and blood vessels SNAPPED. Then he stuffed it up under his own sternum. After that, Tomas didn't move at all. Sarah didn't either.
The elferino, Peter, more or less fully reconstituted, got up, straightened his clothes (an outfit was part of the magic too), turned around and left, walking up the aisle, toward the lobby. When he neared the exit, the nine or ten months old 'born' witch, Pig Blood Annie's 'grandbaby,' Boopsie, flew out of the darkness and into his arms. He cradled her. She gurgled. They left.
Sarah was afraid to move. She sat there in the shadows, on the dense patterned rug, between the first row and the orchestra pit, holding the upper portion of Jonathon's tortured body (that's the name I know) on on her lap. The 'man in the box' quietly mumbled in the dark, while one by one the ghosts in the seats slowly vanished.
Then just before dawn the doors opened again. Sarah jumped (apparently she'd fallen asleep or lost consciousness), as Baylah and her mortal boyfriend hurried down the aisle. They had a few 'familiars' with them. No one said a word. Someone wrapped Tomas (also known as Jonathon) in a blanket. Baylah helped Sarah get up and made her drink a tiny vial of blood. It fortified her. But after that she began to cry. Then they hurried up toward the door, went into the dim, gas-lit lobby and out an inconspicuous side entrance. A small paneled van waited. They entered and left.
Edith cried when they brought him in. Doctor Franklin was there too. Leo and Billy just sat in the family room and didn't say a word. Sarah broke down. She scratched at her neck til the blood ran like sweat and cried - Here! Here! I'll save him! I'll save him!.... Doctor Franklin,( the old scientist) just shook his head. Baylah looked up. Edith looked up. They all hoped. But the wispy haired gentleman explained - He has no heart. It won't grow back. The blood has to move. Even vampire blood has to move. And I can't tell you why. It carries no oxygen. That's just how it is. It can't just pool in his legs. When he dries out. When there's no moisture left. When the last bloody residue is gone he'll die...... (silence) Now, do you want that to happen down here in the dark, or upstairs on the roof? Please, let him at least have the light...... Will he be able to see it? - whispered Edith..... A bit - said Doctor Franklin
So they gently carried him up to the flat portion of the roof toward the back of the house, where none could see and laid him down on quilts. Sarah managed to keep it together. She covered him with the thick, down comforter from their sleeping chamber and tucked it in around his body. Then she kissed him. His eyelids fluttered. ..... They all said prayers. But the vampires left with the first blush of dawn, though Edith and Billy stayed with him. They said he seemed to sigh and smile, as the sunlight kissed his face and God took back his soul.
If my recounting of this sad event seemed dry and clinical, please know I just want to be accurate. An almost thousand year old presence died tonight.... an abiding decent light is gone........ at least from this plain of existence....
But know that he sits in the warm yellow sun of Al Andalus even now.
The red brick townhouse, on the narrow cobbled street will endure. The long clock in the hall will chime. The hardwoods will still gleam. Sarah and the others will take care of this house.
And the almost angelic, night-folk of Philadelphia will go on.
If you didn't listen to the music before... please listen to it now.
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