This morning two beautiful women came to my door. They asked me if I had thought about death. I told them “Not lately.”
Then they asked me what happens to us after we die.
I said, “If you’re lucky you’ll become a Vampire.”
They did not appreciate or understand my answer.
When the young men with white shirts and bicycles came later in the day I was perplexed.
“Why are you not in college, or learning a trade?” I ask them.
I tell them that they travel far from home but learn nothing of the world.
When I was young I traveled with my friend Randolpho to the great cities of Europe. We thought we knew everything when we left home, but soon discovered that we knew nothing. We saw our existence only from the viewpoint of the Vampires we were, and the Vampire culture we lived in. We had no reason to think there might be other ways to think about anything, or feel about anything.
I looked at the young men who had parked their bicycles at the end of my walkway. Then I said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
The boys stood in a stupor as if they knew not what to say. One would think I had shown them my fangs.
“You are but children,” I told them. At that point I saw a Demon sitting in the top branches of the oak tree in my front yard, stretching it’s leathery wings. So I slammed the door and left the young men alone, on my front porch, under the tree. Since I did not hear screams or the sound of running feet slapping against the brick walkway I put it out of my mind.
I am a Vampire but I am not devoid of the teachings of scripture. On the other hand I avoid all dealings with Demons. All dealings.
A few minutes later, as I was pouring a bit of blood into my coffee I heard a scratching on my door. I thought that I must face the Demon and went to the front door fangs out with a large kitchen knife in my hand. It was only my cat. The Demon was gone. Good kitty.
Today a buck was in my yard eating fruit off of a nectarine tree.
In my time… no that does not make sense for this is my time still, in a different time, a long time ago, when I lived in my Vampire castle as King of Vampires we had no nectarines. Nectaries are the fruit of the Gods and I have one of their threes.
My friend Randolpho and my love Gillian were at my home. I summoned them to the window to see the young buck with his downey horns.
“Bambi,” said Gillian.
“Indeed he is like Bambi,” said Randolpho.
“Who is this Bambi you speak of?” I asked
Gillian and Randolpho smiled, both showing a bit of their Vampire fangs. “We will show you,” they said together.
Upon the screen they showed me a story of uncompromising beauty. I sat on the couch, my hand in Gillian’s, transfixed by the story of nature and power.
When it was over I sat for a few moments to gather my thoughts. “You told me this movie was for children. Would they not be afraid or saddened by this story?” I asked Gillian and Randolpho.
“Oh Vlad,” said Randolpho. “When you were a tiny child your BaBa told you gruesome stories of death and you loved every single one of them.”
Yes I remember her stories, and many concerned fire. She told me of Glago the Inhaler who would have his men lock up a building, set it afire and roast everyone inside. Then Glago would open his great wide mouth and suck out the roasted folk, then spit out their bones. Then the trolls would come gather the bones to build the foundations of their bridges. No screams or cries of mercy would stop Glago the Inhaler when he was hungry, or even when he was not.
There were also many tales of Robert the Gnawer who would make lovers of men’s wives. If the man came in when Robert the Gnawer was in his bed with the woman it would not go well. Robert would jump up out of bed, grab the man, then then gnaw his head off, then slurp his brain through his nose, and spit out his teeth while the woman watched in horror. Then he would bid the woman goodby and leave her. Of course Robert would always send large bags of gold so that his lovers would never have to worry about being left out in the wild. So it was not all so bad.
“No,” I said. “Bambi is not like Glago the Inhaler, or Robert the Gnawer. They have no families, or mothers, or honor. They have no true friends such as Flower or Thumper. They are without mothers and without souls. They are only wind. Bambi is noble. If Bambi was a Vampire he would have taken out Man and his parent would have lived another day. Alas, he was but a small deer, but through his courage and wits he grew to be a great buck and saved the doe he loved, and then became Prince of the Forest.”
“I thought I saw you rubbing your eyes during the movie,” said Randolpho.
“Allergies,” I said. “Just allergies.”
I think sometimes of old stories. After being locked in a crypt for three hundred years I find I am also learning many new stories both true and false. It is now that false stories are called fiction, that is, unless they are lies and meant to deceive. It can be confusing but I am learning.
Or at least I think I am.
As the sun came up I lay in bed with my love Gillian curled around my, her arm across my chest, her leg over mine.
I kissed the top of her her head and whispered thoughts of love in her ear. Her skin was cold. It was a welcome thing in this hot summer weather.
I thought about what a strange week it had been. Then I thought of back when I was the King of Vampires standing on the wall of my castle with the wind in my hair, looking over the vast horizon that was mine. I put that out of my mind and thought about the fact that I had to get a new set of tires for my car and take the cats in for their shots. The world is a different place. It will continue to be a different place.
The only constants are that Werewolves will turn on full moon nights, Vampires will drink blood, and lovers will love on hot summer nights.
I got up and closed the curtains to the sunrise and crawled back into bed with Gillian, to sleep and dream of what will come tomorrow.