Friday, March 6, 2015


This is Doctor Franklin. They don't know I can commandeer their system. They don't know a lot of things. The vampires and their like, I mean. But if you're loyal to the tale, you know how many times I, or others attached the The Bureau have pulled their chestnuts out of the fire.  And this 'Billy' thing is just the latest example. To them, I'm just another 'familiar,' an exalted one, at least I like to think, but a glorified servant just the same. You probably think so too. Do you identify me with the gentleman from history class... with the, well, for lack of a better term, the 'midwife' to the birth of our American Republic? Or do you just see me as that old guy in a strange painting with a Davy Crockett hat smashed on his head? Remember, ladies and gentlemen, it's I who grace the one hundred dollar bill.... Which one are you on?

And even I have a dark side too. How do you think we beat the British? (he gazes off, focusing on a what-not artfully placed on a fruit wood table in The Residence, before continuing) Let me relate one instance. Captains would bring back things. Ships' captains, I mean. We had spices and fabrics and ivory carvings and carpets from the Turkey trade, Chinese porcelains too... and then there was the 'quickened' cargo... the live trade... exotic animals.... small, wildcats, such as ocelots for aristocratic menageries. We had our landed class too. Hereditary patroons in New York. Manor-Lords in our Pennsylvania. Not to mention those troublesome, cavalier, slave holders farther south. The New World didn't come with ready-made serfs, so they willingly compromised our ideals and created a beaten down peasantry of our own. God, how we were blind to those things. Even me. (he toys with an enamel snuff box in his vest pocket before going on) What were we talking about? Oh, yes... my dark side..... 

There were these crabs. I can't recall whence they came... an island in the South Atlantic, I believe. Rather large and 'muscular' for crustaceans... about the size of a farmer's fist, not counting the claws and legs, which were stout in their own right. And the most hideous mouth parts all working and working to tear away the flesh... Ah, yes! Shiboomi Crabs! I remember....Dull green and purple creatures. Natives would dig a pit... smear a victim with pig's blood and honey... Can you imagine such a concoction? Then they'd do a dance, sing a song, line up, spit in the victim's face and throw him in. Did I mention the pit was filled to approximately thigh level with the crabs? Well, it was. Screaming started right away. They'd thrash and try to climb out, but that was impossible. Then they'd slip in the whole bloody mess and fall into the hellish maelstrom, sending the horrible scavengers into a frenzy. Like being devoured by living quicksand. Hands and limbs went first, along with the gentleman's bits and pieces. Oh, the bones were left... tendons too. But without muscles they were, shall we say, somewhat passed their prime. I'd say it took a good quarter hour to die in that pit... at least. Then a few minutes more to thoroughly clean the bones. They'd fish them out with a hook... the bones, I mean.. and  worship them in the bonehouse. 

Well, we did the same thing. Had a pit right where 'The Wedding Cake' is today. That's a term some people use for City Hall, since it looks like a gigantic, Second Empire, French wedding cake. Politicians just say 'the cake.' Who's got the cake? -means who's got the power. In those days it was our Tyburn... our killing field... where we did executions. Mostly foreign spies and the like. Kill the first and the rest tend to become quite blabby. Had a gallows there too. Readers know this. Right in the middle of City Hall Courtyard. Right where the big, inlaid, bronze compass rose is today. That's where they 'dropped.' Crab pit was right nearby. I think just off to the northwest. We did the crab thing at night, lest children and ladies see. Occasional doxies didn't count. Kept the pit locked under a thick, oak slab when not in use. Constabulary chased people away... (nods and sighs) Yes.... Shiboomi Crabs. I forgot about them. Today, I use other means. (lowers voice) Enemies are all about us, you know... contemporary Redcoats... even worse... a lot worse and 'magic' has nothing to do with it.

Now let me go speak to Jonathon and Sarah. I'm sure they're at sixes and sevens. Let me tell them how goes it with their Billy and his vexacious spirit. After that, I'll come back and we'll continue our conversation.

With that, the old reprobate gets up to leave... heads toward the door... turns and says - 
Pig's blood and honey. Can you imagine such a thing? heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

<more next time>


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