And now, I tell you about Long Night, quite possibly the oldest, continuously celebrated 'holiday' in the world.... or in our part of the world. I'm sure denizens of the Night Wood in Patagonia, the Antipodes, or the old lands of The Zulu Empire, possibly the Maoris too dance a mean Stampanada on June twenty first. Our globe is but an exercise in opposites. One end 'north,' another 'south.' One side light, the other dark.
Well, this is our dark time. How the very physical particles of our bodies revel in it. I am Tomas de Macabeus, also known as Jonathon ben Macabi and I know. We all do. Little Annie capers about like a giggly, stringy haired spider, scampering up walls and skittering across ceilings. The wan, pubescent elferinas and elferinos drift through the streets and walls and mausoleums too.
I find others, vagabonds, from different shadows. They don't threaten us. It's Long Night, after all, a time for freedom and pixilated wonder. The bright, white heat of summer will be here soon enough.
The glass-like, icy cold, how it calms me. No garment sheathes my body, nor the bodies of any other Life-Eater. Our vampire flesh delights in each freezing caress. We resonate with a frequency undetectable to mortal eyes. We pass unseen among you, stopping only to cull the wicked as they sleep... a bad dream... a hungry incubus... a parched, dry succubus. How they purr as we lap them up... an easy death and quite undeserved. But their wickedness is gone. When they die, hallelujah, bye and bye, they'll fly away. Where to, is not our problem. Therein lies our purpose.
At other times, we dine but once each moon. On this night, rules are few.
We do mischief, flitting by those not foul enough for death, yet deserving of some troubling penalty. Snatch a heavy, golden wristlet. Pluck a diamond ear-bob, a fat wallet, or precision trophy watch. After centuries of such harvesting our casks are full. It's not leprechauns who have treasure. It's us.
The feast goes on... madmen and monsters... fools and mountebanks... heartless courtesans... poisoners and liars. Something for everyone. Such comedy tonight. Not all things 'funny' are clear and bright.
Little Annie, our sly child vampire, returns with an old Flintstones jelly glass filled with toes. She bites them off just before the 'finality'... just before death comes and spits them out, gristle, fat, moldy nails and all... There are dozens of such glasses on a little shelf in the cellar...all closed tight and sealed with wax. I suppose they are her treasures.
Now, please know that some 'cullings' are effortless. The bad folk slide into wherever it is they slide into. But every so often one fights. We're forced to persuade them. Ripping out livers works for me. You should see how surprised they look. Sometimes plucking an eyeball works. Sometimes it doesn't. You know how that is.
Then, with bellies filled we reconnoiter atop an urban tower, or in some small, unseen clearing in the park, to dance the Stampanada and howl. None can see. We're still invisible. Some mortals pick up the sound. They talk. They tell people. The press blames ghosts. Let them blame ghosts. Ghosts don't care.
But I do care for our ghost. I do care for the nice, little boy, the polio victim in the townhouse. We all do...
Now excuse me. I have an appointment to eviscerate and destroy a rather evil, toothsome loan shark in the Northern Liberties ( a nineteenth century district hiding narrow, cobbled streets on the northern ramparts of Center City). He doesn't know, but I do.... Vampires are privy to so many things...
And I want to dance the Stampanada once more 'fore the dawn...
<more 'Long Night' accounts next time>
click bit.ly/297pDxg ... to browse all episodes of Vampire Wonderland, but the way they changed the site, we have to click on the 'subscribe' rectangle in the upper right part of the screen. there might be a one-click way to get there (they say) but I haven't found it yet. I'll share when I do.
click Twitter.com/wilkravitz ... to join me on Twitter and meet lots of interesting people on the time lines around here. And, look, who knows?... Lot a networking goes on too.. No, really. I'm not just saying it.
maybe leave a comment? thank you.... and uh, have a real nice Season of Miracles.
God bless us EVERY one.