Friday, October 16, 2015


The next day, if it was a day, they brought me hard boiled eggs and caviar. Never had caviar before. Good actually. And there must have been some kind of drug dissolved in the juice they gave me, because ... well, I just didn't care about anything. Escaping? Who the hell cared? Being imprisoned in a dark, cellar closet? Oooh, cozy! I can't even tell you what kind of juice it was. It was cold and sweet and vaguely fruity. Could have been Kool Aid, but I don't think they'd have given me Kool Aid. Czarist Russians did have standards, you know.

A bit after that, the silver eyed 'man' came back and led me to a small tiled room that was apparently for showering. He turned on the water (comfortably warm) and stood there as I washed. There was a fat, sputtering candle in a far corner so I could see. And you're probably wondering how that ballerina-vamperina from last night got battery powered candles back in nineteen seventy one. But there were a lot of anomalies like that. To be truthful, I still can't explain them all. I have theories. I can tell you what I think. They tell me the 'burden' (vampirism) settles differently on each and every one of us. Some sublimate with ease. Others manipulate matter. Elferinos are natural fliers. While a few... a very few... can smear themselves through time. And I've only heard of two or three. One saw the Exodus... another the burning of Saint Joan. That's all I can tell you. I live a fairly independent existence, vampire speaking. But some rules I will not break. Catch me sometime when I'm in my absinthe ... maybe then... maybe.

After my ablutions, the silver eyed thing gave me a big, thick bath sheet. I dried off, expecting to be led back to my prison, however my guard threw me a paper bag containing two packages. One held three pairs of tightie-whities, the other had three matching t-shirts. The shrouded figure said - Get dressed. I pulled on one of the shirts and snapped on a pair of the briefs. The 'thing' quickly gathered up the opened packages and put them back into the paper bag. He scrunched it closed and motioned toward the door, then shepherded me back into the darkness.... More passages...whether the same ones, or different I can't say. We came to a room lit by the screen of a small, black and white television. It must have been twenty years old even then, a twelve inch picture in a wooden console, square, cloth covered speaker at the bottom, two chunky, black, plastic knobs, one on each side. The Russian ballerina sat on an equally vintage mohair sofa, chuckling at a morning rerun of The Dick Van Dyke show, wearing the same dusty tu-tu as before, though topped by an off-white Playtex bra. And if you question the cadence of my speech, or the words that I use... If they sound wrong for a sixteen year old boy, please remember I am night-folk for almost forty five years, which makes me officially sixty one. And as I've already stated, drama club kids were different to begin with.

She left me standing there, the Russian dancer, I mean, till commercial, then gestured for me to be seated. She took a long, deep swig from a bottle of Stoli, before passing it to me. I took a neat, little sip and passed it back. She moved closer and began to kiss me. Then she tickled me till I laughed and began to kiss her back.

But I couldn't help but wonder, if they had electricity for the old television, why no lights... why no lamps? Then I noticed the cord, wound round toward the front of the console... It wasn't plugged in.

She saw that I'd noticed, pulled back and whispered - Do you want to see my home?... I nodded. What else could I do? She stroked my hand, turned to face the screen and sighed. Then she trembled. Her eyes rolled back in her head. The television screen went dark for a few heartbeats. You know how those old TV's were. There was a white horizontal line in the middle, then a bright, white dot, then nothing, till the screen began to quicken with an image... a house made from rough, stones... plain and somber... maybe larger than an ordinary house, with two white marble steps leading up to a darkly painted door. There's a brass plaque off to the side. The inscription is in Cyrillic. I couldn't read it. But the door opened and a woman who might have been a nun, or a nurse, led twenty little girls out onto the street, each dressed in a dark uniform.... long skirts topped by long cloaks, buckled shoes.... It was summer and the new capitol of St. Petersburg shone under a temporarily benevolent sun, as the girls of the foundling home went out for a morning walk. Great carriages rolled passed, pulled by matched pairs. Old women sold flowers. Tall, spruce officers from elite regiments trod the streets with an entitled air. An ancient peasant did southern, Cossack dances on the corner. People threw coins.

In a hoarse small voice, with her eyes still rolled back, the Russian ballerina said - Can you see it? Can you see it?  ... I told her that I could. And she whispered - Gut... gut... gut...

Then she showed me more.....

I could not look away.....

<more next time>

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