Friday, January 16, 2015



And then we slept. That's all I know. When I awoke, we were in a large, carved bed, snuggled into the hollow of a straw filled mattress, made up with a homespun linen sheet and covered by two down filled comforters. The round, tower room was still dark and chill. Papa still sat in his throne-like chair, there by the foot of the bed. Still in full, Scots regalia (though of a seventeen forty five type). And I thought, how strange for him to observe us like that. But then I noticed he wasn't there. I climbed out of the bed and went closer. The eyes, his eyes, were glass... clear glass. I fished a long piece of straw from the mattress and lit it on the brazier. Then held it up before what passed for corneas. I peered inside and saw weak, orange light reflecting back from the interior surface of his skull, if it was a skull. Papa had left the building. His skin looked like fine, bisque porcelain. The clothes did too. 

Sarah opened her eyes and whispered - What are you doing? ..... I said - I don't know.... She said - Is he conscious?...... I said - I don't even think he's here..... She threw off the covers and joined me. I blew out the tiny flame, lest it burn my fingers. She softly ran her hand along his jaw..... Where is he? - she asked.... I just shook my head. I'd seen magic, horrific magic. I'd seen the Earth encased in an over head ocean. Above the clouds, a shimmering, translucent, emerald shell. I'd seen a girl in Medieval Jerusalem consumed by what was essentially a huge maggot. The crushing immensity of Jupiter's lurid cloud decks.It's all here. It's all in the record we call Vampire Wonderland. Google it. Search for it. You'll find it.

And you want to know what magic is? It's manipulation. Everything is everywhere, like pages in a vast eternal book. 'Magicians' just have the ability to leaf through it and find things. I could do some as a vampire... telepathy... sublimation... the manipulation of small things, coins, knick-knacks. But Papa was something else all together. And time meant nothing to him, or those like him. He could sit at the bottom of the ocean, beneath the crushing sea, watching little crabby things crawl over giant tube worms for decades. Perhaps he conjured just a bit of weak illumination to witness it all? Maybe it emanated from his skin?.... He could climb to the heights, throwing himself from a mountain top, arms outstretched and sail around the world on thermals and jet streams, always staying in the dark. But sunlight didn't harm him. They say he could 'transfer' himself to the vaccinity , of our parent star and hover there, transfixed, encased in a sphere of ether, inviolate and unchanging, staring at the planet sized 'mountains' roiling 'cross the surface, as monstrously huge flares arced over his head. Why did the light not blind him? Well, let me put it this way. In your world it would. But God knows what world he was in. And God knows what additional 'tricks' he'd acquired from Madam Shang. She's even older than the Lady Renate. I don't know if she was ever human. Which is not to say she was not mortal, just from some other place.

Had he already forgotten us? Were we stuck here, imprisoned like Rapunzel in a high, remote tower far, far away? Would he return in a timely manner, or wander back after centuries? Were 'centuries' even the right frame of reference?

I was getting hungry. I was still mortal, after all. Would Sarah, being 'night-folk,' become desperate enough to feed on me?

Do you see how complicated 'magic' can be? Precision is everything. So much can happen. There are so many variables. There are so many pitfalls. 

Yet I want to go back there... to that special place... where all things are possible and everything is everywhere.

That's when the room began to grow warm...

<more next time>


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