Vampires In A Paris Garden

June 4, 1996: Minor editing and spurious title was added later. Beware of large thorny things...they could be teeth.

The gray that had taken the blue from the sky, found it difficult to rob the other colors of their hue. It could only linger behind the green of the late spring leaves that adorned the trees. Even the rain didn't appear as a curtain, that would normally mute those same trees. They prevailed, and scattered among them were the explosions of colors that were the first of many summer flowers.

His temptation increased. His olfactory senses longing to partake of the scents of the spring, held so close to the ground in a summer shower like today. But he knew what that same rain did to the scents of train that he now road as he looked out the window of the train doors as he rode between the cars. He closed his eyes and continued to breath through his mouth. The whistle blew. To work.

To work in the royal gardens of the queen, one had to be a direct descendent of the line of Santara...and Gordie was anything but that. Gordie grew up hanging around his grandmother's gardens as she worked. He watched her every year as she pruned roses, fertilized azaleas, sculpted the hedges. And each year he grew taller and wiser and more addicted to the beauty and scents of a well-cared for garden.

It was in his blood, royal, or not, and he was on his way to help in any way he could at the fragrant walkways behind the palace. No one knew where he had gone when he left home that day. He had left well before dawn to meet up with the train and the station three miles from home. And no one knew he was sitting on the most crucial and dangerous connection possible between the last passenger car and a car full of lye.

Amazing enough as it sounds, Gordie was on the train to assassinate someone. You might think, "What kind of a horticulturalist could stoop to something so low-grade- assassination?" The answer to that question would be, simply, "Gordie." Which is not to say that Gordie was an evil person...quite the contrary. Gordie was as any other run-of-the-mill man in his young twenties who holds a fascination with gardening (was as normal ::gaff::).

He had been passed by a man on the street, someone he had never seen before, and was promised a job as chief jortaculturalist of the President's PERSONAL arboretums, a job every gardener lies awake at night dreaming about. The catch was, he had to assassinate someone on the train. The key to Gordie's role as assassinator was simple... No one suspected him. Heck, no one NOTICED him. He was the most utterly non-descript person you could ever meet. He looked like a million other people, who all looked like each other, and who lived EVERYwhere. He was almost like scenery, no one took that much notice of him.

It was this that would enable him to get close enough to the Prime Minister, close enough to stick a knife in his back, and forgettable looking enough that no one would remember ever seeing him. The plan called for an emergency stop of the train at exactly 1:23. Gordie's employer was not an imaginative man. At 1:22 Gordie braced himself just inside the door of the last passenger car. At 1:23 the train STOPPED. At 1:23 + 20 seconds the car behind the last passenger car HIT the last passenger car. At 1:23 + 25 seconds the entire cargo of lye had entered the last passenger car's door and had spilled all over Gordie. At 1:23 + 27 seconds Gordie screamed.

After digging himself out of the pile of lye he slumped against the wall of the train-car, his hands beating at a face that was on fire, his fingers feeling no heat, but the nerves in his cheeks and his forehead were practically leaping out of his face in pain. The pain subsided slowly, and Gordie wearily staggered into the middle of the train car, and immediately noticed that everyone was staring at him.

"Oh my word," he thought, "what happened to my face?" - "Why is everyone staring...?" And then the people around regained their power of speech, and they started muttering at each other...

"I can't believe it..."
"I never thought I'd see..."
"This is just too much..."
and then one teenage girl farther down towards the front of the traincar turned around and at once screamed, "MICHAEL JACKSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"---

"Dang," thought Gordie, "there goes my cover."

Back before the Romans came, there were the three. It had always been so, time past and time future, the three were of the clan. The old one, the mother and the maid.....symbolizing all that was strong in the heart of woman, nature and birth, care and the easing of the dying.

The three sat in council with the warriors and the wisemen, and their thoughts were part of all the things that were decided, for the benefit of all. They never married, it being unthinkable that they could be life bonded with one, when they belonged to the clan.

The Romans changed many things.....children were named for the father, a roman custom and the gods that were given honor were not the old gods. Change....The men that brought word of the one god changed many things too. The clan continued, within the changes. Keeping some things from times past and turning new eyes to the future.

****Red Merlyn****
But with change comes conflict and a war of wills. Change is not always accepted or even welcomed. The original triad learned to follow the flow of changes and adapt them to suit their style and design. They refused to balk against the new customs and, instead, forced them to bend and become pliable to their wishes.

These were indeed wise women whose knowledge of the past and precognition of the future lent much to their serenity of the present. Those who would desire to follow the path set down by these three, however, were not accepting and not so conductive to follow as the river might flow. They raged against the new order and plotted amongst themselves to take control of absolute power. The three of wisdom frowned on these actions but decided to do nothing. Sometimes the best course of action is to take no action at all.

The only ladder to the stars is woven with dreams...
Life is the music, born of dreams, that dances
through our days, our nights and our years...
Imagination is the seed of dreams.
Nurture it and you will harvest its rewards...
Never be afraid to reach for the stars-the sky is filled with music...

KKnight231 : Each of us was born to hear music-for the heart dances each time it dreams.....and to believe in life is to believe every wish will be heard...
Dreams take us into our tomorrows...and carry us to faraway places only the heart can see.
It is never easy reaching for dreams-but those who reach touch the stars...
Life is brief and very fragile. Do that which makes you happy...
This is your time and you are a part of the world.
Take the risk of living...
The spirit within you remains a free thing with boundless dreams to share... Cut not the wings of these dreams, for they are the heartbeat and the freedom of your soul.
Into each heart is born a spirit filled with wonder...
...and wonder is the stardust of our dreams...
Make a wish. Your dreams are waiting....

Awakened by rattling of a branch on the shattered window of a room, Devon yawned, baring his teeth in the manner of all cats -- yet this was no feline -- a human or what once was a human. His breath no longer fouled by the eating of flesh and his skin pale in the moonlight that streamed through the shattered glass, he turns over his hand and watches in amazement at the play of light across the spidery flesh that no longer beats with the pulse of a heart or the soul of an angel. Stretching once more, he shivers as the cool air touches his skin -- not due to the frigid wind but due to the heat it brings to his body. He stands, straightening his crouching form from its sunlight hidden space and walks to the shattered window and peers out into the foggy San Francisco night.

The mists part as if he were its true master and he silently watches the people course through its streets and down its winding paths. From the swirling fog steps a woman, her blonde hair parted into two youthful braids though her face speaks of a travel through time that is not shown in her step. Devon smiles, his pearled teeth cutting through the darkness and glistening in the shards of light coming from above. She stops on the street -- his maiden, his love, the one he would visit death upon and dance her back to life before she can pass from the world -- as if to reckon with the wolf that stands in the broken glass frame surrounding him. She shrugs off the watcher as he stalks her, moving from window to window -- at times, clearing away dirt and debris to catch a better glimpse of the liwuid gold of her hair and the fine porcelain of her face. A moment passes when she is no longer in sight yet he can hear her breath, taste her skin upon his tongue and he quivers, shaking for the delectable sweetness of her lifeblood coursing down his throat. Climbing from his perch on the second floor, he leaps down, his fall broken by a pathetic collection of shrubs that his long-dead mother tenderly cared for -- much more care in their upbringing than his. She turns the corner and he scrambles to catch his footing, pressing people away from him as he hurries to catch up with her. But the fog is a jealous lover and swirls to cover her tracks -- the only thing left of her passing is the scent of her on the wind and the imagined taste of her against his mouth....

Devon is awakened by a searing pain - his cigarette. Grandeur blistered his fingers and shot him back into consciousness. He stood up, scared, sweating his heart racing the dreams where coming with continued frequency---love sex pain confusion danced around in his subconscious world, but now it was different.

He walked over to the bathroom and looked into the mirror. His hands shook as he dabbed the blood from the coroners of his mouth. He had been asleep only minutes but the blood was real. He pulled a long blond hair from his faded mohair jacket, but-Devon knew he hadn't left the room. It was a dream. It had to be.

The night was dark and the moon full... it was cold outside the Lighthouse with an icy ocean breeze blistering Devon's face with salt...

With a sigh, he walked the length of shore that led to a break in the cliffs. Dressed in black, he climbed the rocks two at a time... fearing the return of Randol. Two weeks ago, his life had been normal. He worked in a dance club, the hottest one in town, as a manager. He lived the good life, drove a Beemer & all that, but he was always sure to help out the little guy... If he could. So why had Randol chosen him?

He reached the top, and could see The Forest in the distance. It welcomed him.

Willie sat in front of his locker.
He was nervous.

In the past 24 hours, his life had taken dramatic turns. Just yesterday, he was riding the bus...playing in second rate ballparks. Tonight, he was to make his major league debut. He did not like the way it injury to another player....but he also understood that baseball lived on the principal of survival of the fittest and he would prove he was the fittest. But for now, it was time to sit and be nervous. The game was still hours away He had arrived at the airport and been driven straight to the yard.

He lit his 18th Marlboro Light of the afternoon. "How many more can I smoke before the game," he asked no one in particular.

"Smoke 'em while ya got 'em," came a southern voice from behind him. Willie turned to look straight into the fiery eyes of the veteran... the best pitcher in the National League...the man Willie was going to catch tonight...Bob Johnson. Johnson was a tall man. He seemed as tall as Michael Jordan. He wore his hair long and had a goatee. No wonder he was so intimidating.

Broken bottles everywhere, kids playing
people loving, beautiful nakedness conversing
love you, love you fool
love you friend, be with you always
be my support
be my affection
carpet is torn - incense is burned
love is lost, spankings are taken, violence is issued
what happened to you?
Physical hurt should make me crazy
you push harder and harder, do you break me?
you shred me -- but I do not collapse.
I shudder but it is good
I will find the answer at the end of this journey

For thirty years (again) he had waited, the revenge smoldering in his heart. The only contact he had with the demon was through his ghoul, Devon. He called upon him through the power of the charm given to him by the great necromancer Camereon. With it, he could control the simple mind of the vampires flunky for short periods of time.

The demon, carrying out his black desires on the unsuspecting people of the ocean front resort had no knowledge that his very existence was in danger. Johan followed him, both in the physical sense and through the news reports of the ghoulish slayings that seemed to plague the town. Johann had gathered some strength and a few tricks along the last three decades. He also had two sworn compatriots: Plietta and Jason. Two waifs that Johann had saved from the work camps. Together they plotted the demise of the dark one.

One evening, as the moon was on the rise, Johann went to the cave on the beach... The dwelling of the dark one, count Boran. He had with him the general tools of the trade, holy water, several stakes and crucifixes. Devon had informed him that the count had a new concubine--a young village girl that he was draining and generally having his way with. There was a storm brewing, and the salt spray filled the chill evening air.

Plietta and Jason had taken the high road, planning to enter the cavern from the small vent at the top of the summit. Slowly Johann crept up to the entrance. He could smell the earthiness and musk of death and freshly turned grave dirt as he crawled inside. His heart punded in his chest, and he could swear that his breathing was magnified at least ten times. He could swear that the demon would be upon him at any moment. Still, he crept on. Muffled sounds came from the back of the cave. Slowly, as his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he could make out some of the shapes in the cavern. A few crates, some furniture scavenged from the surrounding area, and a candellabra in the corner, throwing of eerie shadows upon the walls and ceiling.

Then, he saw the count. Bending over the limp form of a shapely young maid, his mouth clamped on the milky white skin of her neck. Johann braced himself, and made ready to pounce. His knees felt weak and his heart felt as if it would strangle him--so far had it climbed into his throat. Finally, a count of three and he silently rose from his place of hiding. It seemed as if time stood still while he inched his way towards the huddled form. His breath, long held in his struggling lungs, cried to be released, or at least replenished, but he couldn't take that chance. Too long had he waited for this opportunity.

A few steps left... slowly... he raised the stake he held in his hand... At that instant the count turned upon him in a flash. He had heard the approach of the youth and had lured him closer. He dropped the inert form of the maid and rose to his full height. He towered over Johann and prepared to take the young man's life. Suddenly, Jason dropped onto the vampire's back, driving the stake through his mid-section. A putrid odor filled the room as a look of alarm spread over the count' face. He turned toward Jason and his talon like hands clamped down on his throat. Slowly, a smirk seemed to crawl over the demon's countenance.

"You missed my heart, fool!!"

The life drained from Jason as the vampire squeezed his throat like a ripe melon. Johann awoke out of the shock that had overcome him and plugged his own stake deep into the vampires chest. Panic spread over the count's face as he collapsed on the earthen floor.

The quest was over the debt was paid. Johann had collected the debt incurred when his parents had been killed years ago.

Sam lit a match and dragged his hand up to light the cigarette dangling from his mouth. Paris had been too hot that year, what with the tourists begging him to run them from site to site in his small Renault.

He heard a voice call to him, her accent definitely American--probably from the left coast since most of the Continent crawlers seem to be sporting a California lingo. As he turned to see the woman tottering towards him on tall stiletto heels, he winced as she caught the edge of the sewer grate with her shiny black pumps. His brother had always told him that a woman in black heels was trouble and now he knew for sure that Michael was right when this small, petite female barreled into him and clutched at his grimy leather jacket.

"Oh, excusez moi!" replied the small woman in a very bad accent. Sam had gotten used to this as a cabbie, but she begged nothing but trouble of his tired, hot patience. Grabbing his coat should have felt good coming from a woman like her. She was dressed very well for an outsider. Her hair fell softly around her shoulders and she smelled very attractive also. But he just couldn't handle the rudeness, the disrespect of another American right now.

He politely helped her back to her feet. Then he methodically made his way around his vehicle to help her in and toss the luggage into the back. Sam got seated again and asked her destination. Again in grating French, she requested to be taken to La Chateau Bouvier at the edge of town. No one ever requests to be taken to that place. Not even the drunken suicidal who'd often requested dangerous trips to the edge on the last of their francs.

Sam turned around with amazement and politely asked her to repeat herself, sure that he had mis-heard her. "Excusez-moi, madame, mais La Chateau Bouvier n'est pas la place bonne pour unefemme qui travers seul la cite."---

"I know what I'm doing," she replied. Now speaking in English, Sam understood, and he knew it was no mistake.

"Just get me there--there's a bonus in this for you," she added.

Here we go...Alex stood alone on deck...what was left of it. In his fist, he tightly clutched the ring his father gave him, just before he was captured. The memory of how his father looked at him when he pulled it off his finger made his eyes swell with tears and he began to cry. The wind howled over his sobs, and the salty air stung his wet cheeks with such a force that he winced at it's icy touch. Standing motionless, with the smell of soot and cannon-fire still rising from the mass of torn sails and splintered wood surrounding him, Alex peered out over the water at an approaching speck barely visible on the horizon. As if in a dream, he opened his fist and carefully slid the oversized ring on to the thumb of his left hand. Then he took the sleeve of his filthy shirt and rubbed it over his cheeks, streaking them with soot. Alex walked over to a toppled cask, stood it on end and sat down to wait.

Slowly the tiny speck on the horizon grew bigger and eventually became an enormous galleon with billowing sails and a wood carving of a woman straddling a dolphin at the stern. As the ship drew nearer, he stood up, tucked his shirt in and pulled his hair back from his face as best he could, tying it off with a scrap of cloth.

"Ahoy!" called the lookout from the crow's nest of the oncoming ship. Alex clamored onto the broken railing of his father's ship, and simply raised one arm and waved.

"Captain! There's a young lad on that wreck." Shouted the lookout.

"Is he injured?" Asked the Captain.

"A little disheveled maybe. Otherwise he looks fine."

The Captain paused a moment, cleared his throat, then spoke, "Take some men over to fetch him, then bring him aboard." The crew did as their Captain ordered, and Alex went with them willingly. When they returned, he was ushered straight to the captain's quarters and told by a short bald headed man with a limp to stay put.

"The Captain will see you shortly. Stay here and don't touch anything. The Captain likes to keep his things the way they are. IF he finds something out of place, he's likely to use you for shark bait." The man smiled kindly and winked at Alex. Then he turned, closed the door, and locked it behind him.

The room had a masculine air, with ebony paneling, a large messy table, and a rumpled bed. The place was lit only by soft moonlight glowing through a tall window, with gilded woodwork decorating its sill. Alex could feel his fatigue catching up with him as he sat down on the bed. He let out a yawn, and shortly after slumped down on the pillow, drifting off into a deep slumber. Alex awoke to find the cool touch of moonlight from the tall window replaced by the searing heat of the afternoon sun. He squinted in the blinding light and sat up. He was startled suddenly as the door creaked open and a broad shouldered man with scars etching his jaw entered the room. the man stood for a moment sizing him up, then he spoke...

"What's your name boy?" He asked in a husky bark. Timidly, Alex replied "Alex Barton,sir."

"Well Alex, if you're going to stay on my ship you have to earn your keep! Can you load a cannon?" Drawing a deep breath Alex stood up and stated simply, "Yes sir."

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