Thursday, June 9, 2016

MOONLIGHT with the ELFIN FOLK .Clair de Lune Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra 1937

We just sat there on the slate floor of the mausoleum. The elferinos and elferinas seemed to have some sort of telepathy. They were talking about me. I know that. Then one of the males (I saw two males and two females) got up and stood before the massive, verdigris door. He said something, very quietly, but I heard it. He said something in Dutch, or Flemish and the heavy, copper door opened. How fresh the air felt, how cool and alive. The trees whispered, soft and low in the dark, silvery night. There were no crickets... too early in the season for that. Newborn, tiny nymphs can't sing.

The male elferino, I think it was Roland, led us out and down a narrow path toward a place without graves... a small clearing under a creamy moon. The four elfin folk sat on the grass and I joined them. How young they looked... like street waifs... like vaguely 'Gallic' characters from a nineteenth century novel, although they were one or two centuries older than that.

Marianne whispered. She said - Billy, are you alright?... I said that I was. She asked if I needed 'fortification.'.... In vampire parlance, fortification refers to little drinks of night-folk blood given to mortals. Not enough to bring them over, but enough to fend of illness, or age, or stress, or the infinite abrasions life can bring. I shook my head. She didn't say anything else.

Celeste, the other female, began to sing an old Low Country song. Ordinary mortals, unatoned to vampire habits and ways, wouldn't have heard her, but my time with the night-folk refined my senses and I could just about pick it out.... a rhythmic peasant chant. The others joined in too. The second male, Albion, took out a little ocarina, like a fat, varnished, wood, whistle, flute thing and played along. I smiled and nodded. A small, short eared rabbit nibbled clover nearby. Such was night in this hidden part of the city.

When the song was over they walked off through a warren of tombstones and small statues toward a distant, tall, wrought iron gate fixed in a grey stone arch from the eighteen-thirties. Soon we were out. Roland led us along a runners' path by the banks of the Schuylkill River, Philadelphia's other waterway. We passed the venerable boat houses belonging to old rowing clubs on 'Boathouse Row,' and saw a black, ghostly coach pulled by four spirit horses, as it silently made its way into Center City. 

Before taking up with night-folk, I couldn't see ghosts, but now I can. The little polio victim who lives in the townhouse cellar is a special friend. But regular readers already know that.

Soon we passed the great fountains on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A few furtive homeless types washed in the bubbling water.

I asked Marianne where we were going. In her ever so slightly French-Walloon accent she said - To taste the city.....

And that's what we did, or rather they did...

I was just a witness, meant to pass the tale along.....

<more next time>


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