Monday, April 28, 2008

You Can NOT Have

You cannot take from me
What is mine,
For I will never tell you where to find it.

Do you even know
For what you seek?
I thought not.

Search high and low.
It won't be found.
Not in your lofty thoughts.
Not in your basest moments.

I know that you will never find my treasure.
The sparkling glass gems , the gleaming metal coins,
The Chalices of historical value.
Warehoused like Alladin's cave
Attractive, yet untouchable distract your magpie eyes.
You only want what you cannot have.

Didn't you know that I was the setting,
Long before you defined
The jewels?

You are a fool .
You do not remember that
Sometimes ugly ducklings
Make regal swans !

You cannot steal from me
What is mine.
Sonambullistic predictions will not
Find it for you.

You have no idea what you seek.
You donot know it when it stands before you.
Cardboard oracles keep my secret.
You cannot see the light
Yet you fear the Darkness.
You are pathetic. But then,that is YOUR choice.

My treasure is for me alone.
Hard won in battle.
Hard kept in defiance.

Beat me.
Starve me .
Deprive me of sleep.
I will not crack.
I am made of sterner stuff.

I am as pliable as kindergartner's clay.
I am as hard as titanium.
My treasure is for me alone-
My life shall be lived in joy.
And That choice is mine.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Choice ( a serial work of fiction) Part 2

My uncle threw my suitcase into the trunk of his car- its not many vampires that drive a Volvo C70 convertible. He had arranged for it to be purchased through one of his new aquaintances ,after everything had changed. I guess his transformation could be a kind of midlife crisis prompting him to buy the small coupe/convertible. I couldn't tell in the dim light if the car were black or very deep blue. It seemed to be the smallest of my need to know items at this time.

"Seatbelt, Rae!" In my fascination with his new toy. I had sat dumbly in the front . We were going nowhere till I snapped that belt. Family Rules, it appear , would continue to apply in my life. Mutely, I nodded and the belt clicked.

"You can still change your mind," my uncle offered looking at me. I turned my face so that it was lit by the dashboard lights and whispered "No. I AM up for this." He nodded , waited for a white and blue city transit bus to pass and then pulled into traffic. I had been through this adventure before though not exactly in the same way. It would be different this time. Everytime was a little different but this one had new elements in it with which neither of us had dealt in any of the others.

" Do you want to change yours?" I asked looking at him. Mutely , he shook his head . Taking what appeared to be a deep breath, he added , "I am not sure of the sanity of this. Perhaps I should have just let you think, like Adrian , that I was gone for good. Perhaps that would have been best for you. I don't know. I just liked having something normal in my life. There have been many changes in my life-and I am not sure how good keeping secrets will be for you. "

I watched as Powell and Fell became Erie and Ocean. Maria's was far away from me now both in distance and lifestyle. "Secrets? Like where you hide your coffin and stuff like that?" He began to laugh " Oh , you HAVE seen one too many Christopher Lee movies, " He choked between laughs. " We are going to have to talk." I stared at him as if he had lost his mind.

Route 24 going South was dead. Barely another car to be seen anywhere. Once in awhile , an eighteen wheeler would pass us and the car would shudder from the suction and breeze as it did.
I had been this way many times in the summer. But it was too late to be going to the Music Circus further south. All of those cars were bottle necked going North back into the city . He looked at me, amusement shining in those dark eyes.

" Have you eaten?" he asked as the turpentine pines and scrub oaks passed us on the right. Even the cars across the meridian strip going North , were virtually nonexistent. The landscape appeared darker than one I had ever before seen.

" Yes, meatloaf at Maria's at six."

"Could you eat now? Its almost one "

"Could you?"

"No, " he started as he gently shook his head. "I thought being too late for Music Circus and too early for the bars to be closed, that we might be able to get a table to ourselves in the restaurant up ahead. If we can , then some of the immediate issues might be addressed. I could use a break from driving for awhile. We will need gas soon anyway."

" Sure. "

Almost the minute that I had agreed, the lights of the restaurant were upon us. As predicted , the parking lot was almost empty. We parked by the door. The sign read that the restaurant was open 24/7. I wondered if my uncle had recieved an orientation packet to his new life, that listed, among other things ,restaurants like this one.

The seats of the booths were faux turquoise leather . It went beautifully with the almost wood table between us. The bored blonde moonfaced waitress , not much older than I , handed us a trifolded laminated menu, as I slid into the booth, shucking off my studded denium jacket . The restaurant might be open 24/7 but not all of the food was available. He ordered black coffee. This will be interesting, I thought.

I ordered a ham and cheese omelet and square flat corn muffins called toasties.An individual pot of tea with lemon completed my meal.. I really wanted french fries, but did not want to get into a discussion about food choices that would delay my already growing list of questions. I smiled to myself- great one he will be NOW about food choices. The waitress served the food with all of the good grace that one sentenced to live a lesser life could , managed a smile and went into the kitchen.

"Well?" I peered at him- waiting for instruction.

He stirred the coffee with his spoon. Looked at it , then at me and shook his head, " Believe it or not, I am not sure how to do this." he tapped the spoon as he had always done on the side of the saucer , as he laid it in the saucer. Folded his hands and squarely met my eyes. "Ask, " he said.

' You do not sleep in a coffin?"

" No."

" Well, then where do you sleep? "

" Away from the light. I seem to have developed an allergy to direct sunlight in large doses. However, I can manage parent teacher conferences in the afternoons, if needed. I won't feel terrific afterwards but you will not need a dustbuster to take me home."

" Am I going to live with you? "

" Not exactly. I will be living with you but not living with you. My intention is not to bring my business home to you. There is enough danger just you knowing. I will maintain two residences. That's where the right housekeeper fits in.

"Can you do any neat stuff like turn into a bat or mist or become invisible?"

" Not anymore than can you."

"Drat , and I was so hoping to use you for show and tell," I whispered teasingly.

" Are you really dead? "

" I am changed. Simply put, its genetic. But there has to be a trigger, a catalyst for the change to happen."

" Will I change?"

"Maybe, time will tell. "

I made a show of squeezing the lemon into my orange colored tea in my cheap white diner cup. Maybe Gypsies could read tea leaves but it did not work very well with a tea bag. There were no answers in the cup.

" How will I know? When will I know? "

" It may never happen. If it does, we will deal with it. "

The waitress appeared like an obedient genii , and whisked cold coffee away to be replaced by some that still steamed. Then she vanished as quickly as she had appeared.

Deep breath. I was beginning to think that this was a stalling tactic because he barely drew a breath all of the rest of the time.

" I have to think about it more- its not so automatic as it is for you." He took a small sip of the coffee and made a face. "Rules, I guess some of them should be discussed now."

"You mean special rules . Pertaining to the special situation in which we now find ourselves?"

" Exactly" Another deep breath.

" You will go to school. You will maintain your grades. If you cannot function independently - you can always go back to Maria's. She has offered to have you for as much of your vacations as you choose to go. She and I , we talked about wanting you to have as much of a normal life as possible. "

" I see"

"You have always been self sufficent. This is just the next step that nobody saw coming. I will contact you- and as soon as I can work it out , provide you with a way to leave a message for me. You will not follow me. you will not seek out my other residence. If someone approaches you and said that I sent them- living or changed - the same rules apply. I will tell you ,in person ,if there is to be a change. Otherwise- do not listen and get help . Understand?"


" Holy water, crosses, crucifixes donot affect me. Still telling people is probably not a good idea."

" Not tell anyone? Who would believe me? They would think that I had gone over the edge!!!"

His hands seemed a little more pale in the florescent light. Bill in hand, He stood , and motioned for me to do likewise.The bored waitress had materialized at the cash register. He handed her the money . adding another few dollars tip to the balance. I noticed that she had a hole in her nose. " the manager makes me take it out when I am here. Wants everyone to be like everyone else." She flashed a real smile as she thanked him inviting us come again.

Together we walked back into the night and towards the Volvo.