He doesn't care anymore. It's like he's riding a wave. Wherever it breaks, it breaks. This is the moment. Vampires get like that. In Byzantine times there was Stavros of Cyprus. They drowned him in molten lead. When the Black Death came through, Joachim of York tried it. Some say the British royal family still has him imprisoned in a lead-lined cell deep beneath a castle in Scotland. Look, I didn't refer to 'lead' twice due to lack of imagination. Lead is vampire krypton. This isn't fiction, you know. We pretend it is, because we have to. Some of you know that. Some of you, especially among the Philadelphia people, have SEEN vampires out on the street. We tell you where. Our locales are real. They've seen what you post on line, the photographs and all. Once two girls showed up at the townhouse. How they got up on the roof, I can't tell you. Maybe they parachuted down? God knows. When Jonathon sublimated up through the house, they almost died. When he hugged them to stifle their cries, they swooned. Edith helped him get them inside through the skylight and after some wine and a keep sake, he kissed them. They giggled and left. At first they asked for autographed pictures. He told them his manager was Scooter Braun and they'd have to contact him, sine the residence was, due to written agreement, a no photo zone. The taller one said she would, because she already knew his link from Justin Bieber's tweets. The little one asked him if my site (it's me, Billy) was really his. He told her it wasn't, which actually is the truth. I was sitting right there, in the kitchen, with them, but they didn't know it was me. Had the black baseball cap on and everything. Think they thought I was a whacky neighbor, or something. Do vampires have whacky neighbors? I don't know.
But I do know Jonathon made a phone call. Sometimes he uses store-bought throwaways. This call was on one of those. I think it was to Canada. He mentioned Whistler. I heard him say it. That's a ski resort in The Canadian Rockies. Must have something to do with The Vampire Revels. Told whoever it was about Conrad. Apparently they weren't surprised. I don't even want to think about his punishment. He'll cry. He'll sniffle. He'll tremble. But he killed four innocent people. Vampires, at least the ones we know, don't do that.
Then Jonathon prepared to leave the house. Sarah asked if he wanted her to go with him. He told her he didn't. When he was ready, when his 'Jonathon vampire suit,' as we call it, was just so... the black, leather bootkins, black jeans, white shirt, black sweater, black scarf, gloves, knit cap, trim quilted, leather coat (did I mention that it's black?), he put a few tiny, sealed, glass vials (formerly used for perfume samples) in his coat pocket and left.
The air was frigid, Polar Vortex and all that. No wind. No people. Just cold. Taxis seemed frozen in place. A few coffee shops and bars were open. Hardly anybody walking around. February in the city. A few blocks down he passed two sullen whores in tiny skirts and short, rabbit jackets. How do they do that? - he thought... Not the sex part, but the outfits. Had to be freezing. That was skin between the jackets and those skirts. Yeah, they had scarves and gloves, but still. Pimp dressed them both alike. Probably dressed all of them alike. That way cops could spot them. Know who they belonged to. Know who's been paying and who's not paying. A lot of pimps do that. You know how racing stables have 'silks?' You know how they have 'colors?'... Pimps too. And God help the girl who tries to imitate somebody else's colors. She gone be partly dead, if she's lucky, or all-the-way dead if she's not. Secret dead, too. No one knows who she was. No one knows where she went. That is just how it is. They whispered and giggled as he went by. Then one said - Hey, you. You want a date?..... Jonathon smiled to himself. He knew it'd go down like that. He backtracked and said - With you?.... She went - Yeah, with me... Then she struck a pose..... Jonathon leaned in close and whispered - You're sick. You have a disease. I know. I can tell. I can smell it. I'm a vampire..... She went - F*ck you, you crazy bastid..... He just stood there. Didn't move. Kept his ground. Vampires blink, but they can stop blinking when they want to.... Sick girl flinched a little, but she kept her ground too. Went 'F*ck you,' again, but this time you could barely hear it... Jonathon smiled, just enough to let her see his fangs.... The other one came in close. She saw them too. The first one whispered - Are they real? Can I touch them?..... He nodded. She took off a glove, raised her hand and explored, just inside his lips. Then she gulped and said - Not dental work? Not caps?.... Jonathon shook his head.... Nobody moved. The first one whispered - What are you gonna do? Are you gonna kill us? You don't scare me. I'm sick anyway..... I know - whispered the vampire. That's why I stopped..... The girl moaned and cried a little. Her friend moved away. All was quiet, save for little clicks when the traffic light changed.... Jonathon said - I'm not here to kill you. I'm here to save you.... He took a vial out of his pocket and held it up to catch the light from the streetlamp.... She whispered - What's that?..... Your future - said the vampire.... He held it out. She took it.... He whispered - Open it. Drink it.... The other one said - How do we know it ain't poison?..... Jonathon went - I'm a vampire, a ten centuries old vampire. Why in the name of Barnabas Collins (figured they'd know that) do you think I'd bother with poison?.... The second one shrugged.... Jonathon turned toward the sick one and said - Take it. Open it. Drink it.... She hesitated.... He said - Just put it on your tongue. It'll sink right in. I promise.... She looked into his eyes and knew he was telling the truth. Five heartbeats later it was done. Then he slipped her two, gold Kruger Rand (South African coins worth more than $1,200 dollars each) and left. She'd live and she had enough money to clean herself up and get home.
Eight blocks away he played a similar scene in a coffee shop. Gave a vial to an old cashier on borrowed time... Bad lungs...Nobody else was around. Just her, some waitress reading OK magazine and the cook in the back. But this woman knew him. Even knew his name from when he ducked in there for hot tea. She was leary at first. But he ran through the same lines as before. Showed her the fangs and everything.... Old woman goes - Jesus Christ, Jon, when the hell'd you become a friggin' vampire?..... He goes - 'Till,' trust me. Take it. You want to see that new grandbaby you got coming, don't you?.... She gives him a look. How'd he know that??..... He mouths - Take it. I'm a friend..... She does... He leaves....
But now the jig is up. She knows his name and she knows what he is...
Soon other people will too.
But that's all right. That's what he wanted. That's what he planned all along.
Guess this really IS the 'moment.'
And don't ask me how I can write all this when I wasn't there. Well, you know how Vulcans meld minds? Vampires got tricks like that too. So don't bother me.
<more next time>
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