Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A VAMPIRE REMEMBERS A GRUESOME VISIT TO A RUSTIC COURT... 9/30/15

Our vampire hero dreams. Sometimes he sees visions of those who should die. But sometimes he just dreams. He lies there intertwined with his consort, Sarah, in their (occasionally) rose petal strewn bower and he relives things. Jonathon ben Macabi, also known as Tomas de Macabea (both names, totally, his) remembers everything. Vampires are like that. They can pretend to forget, but sometimes the forget to pretend.

He's in the high, granite redoubt of an Ossetian king, in lands once held by the mighty Khazars. The ruler, a mustachioed brigand from The Caucus, given to high, black boots and proto-Cossack garb, knew his guest was 'special' though he wasn't sure how. And Jonathon wasn't about to destroy the mystery. One courtier thought him to be the once and future King David. He has that look, you know. Another said he came from a lost remnant of the Magi, far to the east of The Persian Empire, for he saw him levitate toward the rafters one evening when he dozed off in the mead hall. Ossetian 'long song' epics can be quite dull when compared to the bards of Al Andalus.

But what came next changed all that.... Justice Night in the Hall of The Mountain King. A HUGE entertainment in those parts. First some functionary, dressed like the Munchkin coroner from The Wizard of Oz, purposefully strides to the middle of the flagstone expanse, produces an ass-hide scroll, opens it and announces the proceedings.... Two routine skull smashings... a death-dance and a 'stone jacket.' ... The skull smashings were 'meh.'... They manhandle a trembling, skinny man, who I figured was a shepherd, loose, pajama-like garb, some kind of small pillbox hat, sheep stink, sheep stink, more sheep stink. The Munchkin coroner reads some more. The man begs and begs. The invited, big wigs, sip their intoxicants. I suppose it was some type of mead, or horse urine. Graces fall off sharply east of Byzantium, save for civilized Muslim territories to the south. They picked at grilled lamb chops too. The rustic 'aristos' I mean....

Then they make the victim lie down on the cold, hard floor. Some lackey hustles out bearing a stout, wooden box, minus a lid, plus one side is missing too. They lift the incoherent victim's head and position it inside the box, lidless side up. The Munchkin coroner looks toward the 'king.' The king nods. The functionary beckons and a husky warrior, stripped to the waist, comes in with what looks like a big, rough, stone cannon ball hugged to his chest. It could weigh a hundred pounds in your measurement system. The Munchkin coroner functionary nods. The big warrior moves closer, holding the death-stone right over the poor man's face. He shrieks and tries to get up. Some plain generic 'palace boys' jump on he-who-is-to-die and pin him down. The functionary kneels and whispers something. Jonathon asks the king what he said. The ruler leans in and responds - My poo-bah (not a grand poo-bah, but a poo-bah none the less) has told the wretched beast that if he fears the skull smasher, we can always slow roast him in a cramped, closed, copper oven.... Jonathon exhales... Vampires, especially 'noble' (moral) vampires are paragons next to what so called, God fearing humans do. So the man grew silent. The king clapped and the stone fell, causing a rather large splash of blood and bone and tissue. They removed the box, sliding it back from the fatty gore. The head was destroyed. All that remained was a slushy mess.... For a few heartbeats there was silence. Then the warrior struggled to pick up the now stained and slippery stone and carry it away. Slaves crawled out on their hands and knees to clean up the remains, as others dragged the body off for to be burned.

Then court musicians struck up a lively tune on their drums, flutes and bells. Servants groaned under huge planks of sizzling meat. Their 'betters' continued eating. The king blessed all with smiles and waves, while behind the scenes they got ready for the next sad performer.......

<we'll share more of Jonathon's dream later this evening>

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