Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Witching Time is almost upon us

And you know, I love October. When I'm in the Carolinas it's a time for watching the leaves change, having bonfires at night and staring into the flames to see what imaginary worlds I can find.

When I'm in Florida it's the time of year when we finally start to cool down, the light does that subtle shift into "less intense and blinding" and the breeze kicks up.

And no matter where I am, I think about creatures of legend and myth and the people who will be masquerading as them come Oct. 31st. So as a pre-kick-off for what I like to call The Witching Time, here's a little story about one of my favorite creatures of myth and legend - something I call

Greed and Shadows: Architects of Our Own Demise

You glance over your shoulder as you stop before the door, you hand sliding into the pocket of your dark jacket for the small pouch bearing the tools of your trade. I slide back an inch or so even though I know I’m well hidden in the shadows. Still, I’m one to err on the side of caution. I’ll reveal myself to you in my own time and manner.

Admiration for your skills flashes through my mind as I watch you pick the lock and enter the dark building. Were I simply an innocent passerby I’d assume you’d just inserted a key into the lock. That the handsome man in the dark suit was just another business owner having to burn the midnight oil to balance the accounts or complete inventory.

But I am no innocent passerby. I’ve been tracking you for weeks, documenting your nocturnal forays and tallying up your take as I listen to the news reports in the ensuring days. You’re amassing quite a tidy sum; and taking increasingly more risks.

Like tonight’s venture. It’s not difficult to learn that the owner of this establishment is prone to putting the week’s till into his safe until Monday. Or that due to his less than reliable ability to remember numbers, he keeps the combination written down on a piece of paper that’s tucked behind the photograph of his wife and son on his office desk.

You don’t see this as an unusual risk, but I know better. I know that the forgetful owner has a brother-in-law in an elevated position on the police force and that his loyal relative dispatches one of his underlings every Saturday night before the change of the shift to pick up an envelope that’s always tucked beneath the cash register. Inside is a stack of cash. A payoff. Protection money so that law enforcement doesn’t look to closely at the owner’s business practices. So that no one discovers he’s fencing stolen jewels.

That errand boy is due tonight. In less than five minutes. If discovered you’ll spend the next ten to fifteen years watching Saturday night television with the other inmates. Not something a man like you could easily tolerate. I could leave you to the fate you’ve constructed, a victim to your greed, but I am a selfish creature, slave to my own desires. And at present my desire is for you.
Sure that you’ve had time to navigate your way to the office I leave the shadows. A locked door proves no barrier to those of my kind. Shadow dwellers, creatures of the night, we’ve been labeled with many monikers over the centuries, the most popular, of course, being that of Vampire.

Personally I detest that word. It has no elegance, does not flow off the tongue easily or musically. And the definition assigned to the word offends my sense of self. I’ve never ripped open anyone’s throat, or drained the life from them. Yes, I’ve taken my share of blood, but what I’ve given in return lasts a lifetime; a memory of the most sublime sexual experience my subjects have ever had. No other experience will come close. No other lover will ever measure up.
No, that’s not a boast, simply a fact. I do not claim credit for the abilities I was endowed with. It’s as much a part of me as my silky mane of hair or sky blue eyes. What my subjects receive is not something I choose to give. It’s something over which I have no control.

And why humans find my kind so irresistible.

I find you bent over the safe, swiftly removing stacks of cash from its dark interior. On feet as silent as a tomb I move up behind you. “Your greed is about to become your undoing,” I whisper.

You start, whirl and look upon me with eyes wide and startled. That changes rapidly to a look of suspicion and lust. “Who are you?”

“Why your dark angel of salvation, of course.”

You raise your hand as if to take hold of my arm, anger lancing through you and false bravery making you bold. How could I be a threat to you? Someone as small and unimposing as I could not possibly overpower a man as big and powerful as yourself.

I smile and raise my hand in a gesture I know to be both casual and elegant. And the force propels you back, slamming you into the opened safe, packets of money spilling from your hand.

“Who are you?” You whisper, this time not so bold.

“I’ve already told you. Now decide. Within five minutes a police officer will unlock the front door. Stay and you risk losing everything.”

I can see the thoughts in your mind. Am I lying? What if I’m telling the truth? Why would I want to save you? What do I want from you? Five minutes? That’s enough time to grab the cash and get out.

“Stupidiy is an unappealing trait,” I comment and smile at your expression. I offer you my hand. “Come with me now.”

You hesitate. Greed wars with lust, fear providing the weight to tip the scales. You place your hand in mine. And before you can blink, I’ve pulled you to me, wrapped one arm around your waist and run from the building to the shelter of the park across the street. The deep shadows conceal us even from the oncoming headlights of the patrol car that pulls up in front of the store.

“How'd you do that?” You ask, stepping back from me.

I shrug and step toward you. “Have you no words of thanks for being saved?”

“Uh, yeah. Thank you. What the fuck are you? How did you do that? Why did you—“

“Shhhh,” I place my finger to your lips to silence you. “All will be explained.”

“You want something.”

I smile. Your quick mind is one of the things that attracted me to you. Not only are you a handsome man in his prime, but you’re intelligent and inquisitive. Curious enough that when I smile and display my pristine fangs, your rush of fear is tempered with a rash of questions.

“You’re … is this for real?”

“Quite real.”

“Are you going to kill me?”

“Of course not.”

“Are you going to bite me?”


How was I to know that one bite would seal my fate? That his greed would become mine and that together we’d traverse the world, living in the shadows from one heist to the next. How was I to know that I would become as much as prisoner to him as he to me?

Shadow and Greed. We would become legendary.

Hope you're dreaming up your own vampish delights:)



N.J.Walters said...

I love this time of year, when the shadows grow deeper and the crisp air fills the air.

This is the time of things that go bump in the night!

When do we get the rest of that story, Ci? :-)

Nicole Austin said...

I wish the leaves changed here in Florida!

I'm with NJ! We need more of the story, Ci.