Tuesday, May 26, 2015

OLD SOUL ON A MOONLIT TERRACE ... 5/26/15

Memorial Day has become, in a sense, America's answer to Mexico's Day Of The Dead. They remember martyrs of war and battle with savory feasts and beachy stuff. I know. I saw first hand. 

Baylah and her wealthy, mortal paramour had me down to their sumptuous retreat at the Jersey Shore. We go from time to time. It's only a ninety minute ride from Center City, pending traffic and all... Even less if I sublimate. It's not as if I have to pack. Local banks know me. My debit card's good there. And I like the feel of cool, pine air through my body. Sublimation is one of the best parts about being a vampire... That and near immortality. 

We had a dinner... a late night party. The only two vampires in attendance were Baylah and I. Sarah stayed in the city ordering books for Philadelphia After Dark and reviewing galleys. She loves that shop. Picks out the down, upholstered chintz chairs. Decides which one goes in what nook or corner. Chooses all the cozy pin-up lamps. Arranges the old fashioned shop window. She's known for her marketing, or rather the mortal girl who fronts for her is. She'll come down next time.

The house has a roof top terrace. It's not directly on the beach, but only two houses away... The boyfriend's afraid of storms. But from up there the view is breath taking... even at night... maybe more so.... silvery moonlight on the calm, dark surf. When they put the lights out, uninitiated guests are scared. I can tell... So many stars and each an unimaginably vast, monstrous inferno. For us, vampires I mean, they're the only 'suns' we can see. Distance matters.

The mortals had steak and ribs seared on rough stone braziers. We had chilled vodka. Baylah knew them all... 'familiars' there were. I knew some too.

For a town its size, strange things happen in Atlantic City.... And please know we were not 'in' Atlantic City, but one of the carriage trade towns to the south. Do they still use that term?... 'Carriage trade,' I mean. (he smiles) Vampires so easily lapse into archaic speech.

There was a woman there... and she was not a familiar, although she was quite at ease with night-folk. I could tell. She was old, or appeared old. Her hair was long and white... loose, not at all how you'd expect one of her age to wear it. Baylah wanted me to meet her. Later, when the others left, she remained on the terrace... 

And so did I.... 

How white she looked in the moonlight... Like an ethereal being. But the veins on her hands were real.

She nodded... and I moved closer.

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