By some twist of Night Magic we are privy to the Vampire, Jonathon's thoughts ---
I didn't go back to the townhouse. I walked. I just walked around the city. Don't ask me where. I didn't look at the buildings. It was cold. I like the cold. And I just put one foot in front of the other and kept going. Traffic did not stop me. My heart was pounding. I was in what vampires call 'an agitated state' and when we get that way, those that can, remain 'energized.' It's on the sublimation continuum. Did I fly? No, but cars are no barrier. I pass right through, or rather I let them go right through me. Horns blare. Guys holler curses. People scream.... Well, f#ck you! You bastards. At least you're still living.
I've seen martyrs. Martyrs are not rare. Humanity manufactures them at an alarming rate. Indeed, in my last mortal moments I almost was one. But I never get over it... innocent souls destroyed for the vanity of demons. The people at the 'Bureau' looked like dolls. Some wore lab coats. Others looked like Silicon Valley tech geeks. There were families too. They had living quarters there. It was like a town. I saw babies. I saw toddlers. I saw little children with backpacks.... All twisted and piled together, trying to get to the elevator... trying to get to the surface... trying to breathe.... dried green foam caked 'round their mouths and noses.... glasses broken... fingers smashed... Gassing is not quick. It's not just a lack of oxygen. The lungs burn, not from heat or fire, but from acid. Lips turn blue. Fingers blacken. Blood vessels within the eyeballs rupture. It can take more than thirty minutes..... Please, I don't want to picture that anymore.
When I stopped. When I 'woke up,' if you will, I was sitting on a bench in Washington Square, a six and a half acre, grassy landscaped park with mature trees, winding walkways and a monument in the center marking the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier of The Revolution. There are no leaves on the trees now, but even with the lampposts the dense branches throw lots of shadows. In the seventeen hundreds, they buried nameless indigents and slaves there. During the War For Independence, casualties were added to the mix. Some claim most of the dead were evicted generations ago, but some claim a lot of things. Look, that poor, dead soldier is still here. They admit to that. How did he get overlooked.
I know I see ghosts every time I come here. They rise up from the ground. Some just stand where they are, never moving, unaware. Others walk off through the park and out into the city. A few are 'reactives.' That means 'ghosts' who see their surroundings and know where they are, in effect, the 'sane' spirits of the dead. They sit on benches, turn their heads and focus on the living. I spoke with a soldier named James. By the look of him somewhere around sixteen when he died. The first thing he did was ask me what year it was. He always does that. We've talked before. I told him. He thought and said - Gone almost two hundred and forty years..... I nodded. He thought some more, then told me he supposed he had great nieces and nephews in the city, considering he was one of seven surviving children. I said he was probably right. I'm told he asks everyone what year it is. A professor of my acquaintance has a theory. Time on the 'other side' may not be like the regular, linear progression we know here. One day (to a ghost) might be the year twelve sixty seven. The second might be thirty two twenty five. While the third might transpire in fifty four B.C.. Who knows?
Apparently some of the 'reactives' are a bit telepathic. James is. He knew about the Anti-Enchantment Bureau. He knew about the strange zoological and quasi-human specimens. And he told me, if I desired, he could tell me the name of every one who died there.... I shook my head.... He said - Even the name of the poor, little one who perished all alone?.... I didn't answer... He whispered - David, his name is David and he just turned three years old.... I teared up. The ghost said - He's with his people. No need for that.... Then he spoke about the Revolution and all the unnamed dead lying there. I learned he knew their names too, but stopped him after the thirty second one... He nodded and almost as an after thought told me they died for a cause.... I didn't respond... The Spirit of James leaned closer and in a low voice said - Sometimes rebellions are necessary. Then in an equally throaty whisper, regaled me with a rendition of that old Irish war song, The Rising of The Moon. When he was done we fell into silence. Twenty four heartbeats later, as if on cue, a cloud set sail and we were bathed in the weak, silvery light of the aforementioned orb.... He put his hand on my shoulder. Odd, but I felt it.... Then he called me 'Moon Man.' Celtic peoples often call vampires by that name.... Moon Man, or Moon Woman, for we live by the light of Selena.
I caught his game. He was making connections, binding me to a purpose. He called me Mr. Macabi. He knew my name ... the descendant of all those long gone rebels immortalized in the scriptural Book of Maccabee .... I gasped... He smiled... a disheveled revenant in a soiled, bloody coat of The Continental Army. A sixteen year old boy.
He mouthed the words - Do it..... and disappeared.... The square was silent... just a small, city park surrounded by tall cooperatives and condominiums, all canopied by the clear, dark sky.
I got up and left, secure in my new role... no longer a dabbler, but 'an independent actor,' a rogue knight, if you will, bound by the motto -- Tikkun Olam (Complete The Universe or advance the Coming of The Messiah).....
Tomorrow I'd go to the Capital and help to set things right.
But I contacted a certain 'familiar' before I left, an amateur genealogist, and asked her to research all Philadelphia Delaney's collaterally descended from a certain, Continental Soldier by the name of James, dead at the age of sixteen, a casualty of The Battle of Germantown. Then she was to send copies of her findings to all concerned, notifying them of their many times great uncle's resting place. Perhaps some night they'd gather there for a family reunion?
<more next time>
If you have any questions concerning terms or references made in this post, or any other post of Vampire Wonderland, please ask me. Click Billy Kravitz ... and leave a tweet on my Twitter site...
click bit.ly/297pDxg ... to see all episodes of our ongoing tale, but when you get there click on the 'subscribe' rectangle near the upper right corner of the screen. Feedreader OnLine changed things. you can also subscribe via the 'posts' and 'comments' bars scattered all over. When I first put them up, I didn't think they 'took.' (I always think that) and kept putting them up all over. My bad... Now I have to remember how to take them down... Writing, I love to do. Tech stuff makes my stomach hurt.
Thanks for taking the time to visit.