Monday, July 20, 2015


Some people mistake us for graveyard ghosts. We are not ethereal, but we do frequent cemeteries and given that we have the power of flight, it's easy to understand. It wasn't always like this. Large cemeteries have only been around since the mid nineteenth century. In Philadelphia, that means Laurel Hill, an enchanted, bucolic, thickly wooded, death-land, strewn with poignantly eerie statuary depicting weeping angels and pensive cherubs. I like it there. The caretakers' wives look out for us. One, in particular, used to knit us sweaters, hats, gloves and other winter fare. Not just us. The cherubs too. I don't think I should talk about them. We used to talk about them around here all the time... pudgy, adorable, baby 'vampires.' But they're such innocent creatures. They gurgle, clap, laugh and hug each other. One of the caretakers leaves the heavy, bronze door to a never used mausoleum open just before dawn. Filled it with piles of quilts and baby toys too. They have these little, stuffed glow worm things. The faces light up when you squeeze them. That's how they see, the cherubs, I mean. The small windows up by the eaves are blocked out with dark green paint, but every once in a while a barely perceptible, faint green 'sheen' leaks out. Sometimes the caretakers' wives buy them  flamless l.e.d. candles. You can get really nice ones at Target for around six dollars. They have a little tv in there that gets 'stolen' cable, mostly SPROUT and the elferina girls make a big fuss over them. You'd think, after years and years, they'd acquire something like an adult personality. Yet they don't. Innocent babies forever... That's what they are.... Cherubs in every sense of the word.

Elferinos and elferinas stay childlike too. Yes, death happens. You know that. We've talked about it before. But some people need to die, or at least be sequestered from those who don't. 

We appear by bedsteads, usually between the hours of one to four in the morning.  They see a wann little sad faced spirit in the dark, if they can see us at all. To some we're merely shadow people. A few whisper old French or Flemish hymns... The elferino folk, I mean. Some hover up by the ceiling. Quite an eerie sight in the dark... You know how it is at that time of night. Maybe the moon sneaks in through a gap in the draperies, or ambient, outdoor illumination bounces off the clouds. Everything has a weak, shadowy nightmare wash to it.

Some gasp, or make moaning sounds. Some beg and cry.  We move closer, to the head, I mean and bend down low. They freeze, just like prey when resistance is futile. And then we bite them. It's a relatively easy death... a soft suffocation. Loss of blood means loss of oxygen. The body doesn't dry out. There are other fluids, lymph and such, but they're not blood... and we all need that. Still a rather terrifying death. The body goes numb. Some are still alive as their toes ignite with a 'cool' blue flame. If two share a bed and we kill one first, the temporary 'survivor' lies there next to an oddly burning corpse. Yet the flames never harm them. At times they whisper - Please, what are you going to do to me?..... We never respond. Sometimes I'll stroke their hair and go - Shhh..shhh.. shhh... Then, when they 're quiet, I kill them.... But please know these are dry, self-proud miserable souls who deserve to die. We can sniff them out.... Good sniffers. We got good sniffers, just like bloodhounds ... And we don't do it often, but we do it...

Then we retreat to our dark, mossy necropolis and dance like elves. One of the caretakers plays a concertina. His wife sings old Basque folk songs.

And thus we pass the nights. 

I am the elferino, Albion and I whole heartedly approve of this ongoing, nocturnal communication. You can't imagine how liberating this for us... for all of us...

( the keyboard cools and he is gone...)


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