dontravis.com blog post #401
|Courtesy of Pikrepo.com|
As a matter of interest, I went back and checked and this is actually the 459th post on this blog. I didn't bother counting for the first year, so am coming up short.
Hope you enjoyed the beginning of Tancready’s story last week. Have you looked up the word “prescient” yet? Don’t worry, Tancready will tell you what one is. Could be a bane… or a boon.
Let’s get to the second installment.
Born the seventh son of an Upir, a Russian Vampire Prince to a mother who was also an Eternal, I came squalling into this world with my head hidden by a caul. Thus was my fate sealed; I was given the kinetic challenge of all Vampires, inverted circadian rhythms and odd body cycles that bring temperature peaks and sleep hormones at unusual times, thus dictating that I was a night creature on a biochemical level. Even so, I can function in daylight, although with difficulty. Sunlight is painful, whether or not it reaches my skin. My eyes are ultra photosensitive, which gives me marvelous night vision, yet renders me myopic in normal light. Although shaded eyewear lessens that condition, I am most comfortable during sunlit hours in repose, not in some draconian coffin, but comfortably abed in a well-shrouded room.
Amassing huge amounts of wealth during an endless series of lives presented no difficult challenge; however, reclaiming it upon each new emergence was trickier. I was careful that adequate assets remained available to me regardless of where they were concealed at the time. Most of my many lifetimes were spent ranging from Russia to Europe, with long periods in the Hungarian Carpathians and Transylvania. The persistent, amorous pursuit of a Romanian strigoivii, a live witch who became a Vampire upon her death, hounded me out of the Old World and into the New. I had been in the Western Hemisphere for the past century and in this unassuming place called New Mexico for a fifth of that time. Why this place? Why not? Except for some of the more remote northern mountains where Penitentes held sway, Vampires, even pranics, were merely the stuff of novels and films.
Now, as I prepared for the ordeal of a daytime pursuit of the fair Boris, I examined one of my more exotic treasures, an ornate Arabic chess set, observing its intricate carvings with renewed pleasure. Then, moving through a secret dimension denied to ordinary mortals, I arrived instantly on the university campus in a sheltered spot near what is quaintly called the Duck Pond. Recovering my equilibrium, one of the effects of my unorthodox mode of transportation, I scanned the area near the near the path Boris Balint would shortly tread if the past was any true measure of the future.
Troubled by our near encounter last night, I puzzled over the possible reasons for my disquiet as I placed the inlaid board on a backless concrete bench shaded by an evergreen bower. Carefully arranging pawns and pieces, all fashioned of ivory, ebony, silver, gold, and Persian turquoise, I grew irritable over the unwelcome attention of passing students drawn by the marvelous old set. I discouraged most with subtle tendrils of hostility and put off the boldest with a display of cold curtness. Anticipation always brought out the unpleasant side of my nature...unless, of course, it is narrowly focused on a particular target. At last, a long, manly stride bore the beautiful Boris into view.
As he came within eyesight, his calm aura flickered. At fifty feet, I washed the boy in the aura of friendship and congeniality, seeking to smother the orange of his alarm. Gradually, his emanations subsided, and he slowed as he spotted my irresistible bait—the ancient set. Appearing reluctant, he nevertheless approached across the horribly bright green grass.
“That’s a gorgeous set. Unusual,” he observed in a voice that came up out of his belly like a mature man’s. His slate gray eyes examined my present persona, a slender, aristocratic man of approximately thirty, possessed of dark good looks.
“I acquired it years ago at a New York auction,” I lied smoothly. In truth, I took it as booty from a slain Moorish emir when Ferdinand and Isabella’s troops, of which I was one, sacked a castle in Leon. “You may examine it, if you wish,” I added graciously.
Instantly, he laid the camera he carried on the bench and slid his long legs astride the concrete slab. Rather than touching the board, he examined the positioning of the pieces and looked up at me with a question in his eyes. Regretting my need for the dark glasses that prevented me from directly engaging his beautiful orbs, I satisfied his curiosity.
“Capablanca versus Corzo, 1901, Havana. End game. Ninth match game.”
“Capablanca was just a kid, wasn’t he? A prodigy.”
“Twelve at the time. He won.”
Only then did Boris carefully cradle an exquisite ebony Knight trimmed in gold and silver in his strong, brown hand. Gypsy blood likely coursed with the Hungarian in those pulsing veins.
“Beautiful. How old is it?”
“It is likely Arabic, but possibly Persian, dating from circa 1100.”
“Geez, almost a thousand years old!” His husky voice was rich with awe.
“Do you play?”
“Love it!” he enthused. “But I’m not very good.”
“Black or white?” I asked by way of invitation. He hesitated only a moment before claiming the white.
The boy was an instinctive player, and with tutoring could become quite good. I beat him readily the first game, and then critiqued his handling of the pieces. His enthusiasm fired, we undertook another game while I nearly swooned from the effort of refraining from draining his energy. Eventually, onlookers gathered, and I sent my thirsting quests toward them, sopping up their energy while refracted sunlight bled away my own.
By the end of the third game, I was sweating and weakened, but by the effort of pure will, I held onto the self-possession needed to advance to the second phase of my plan. “You carry a camera, I see.” I pointed to the instrument between his exciting legs. “Canon Z155 thirty-five millimeter. Nice.”
“I’m sort of a shutterbug,” he said with a depreciating grin that sent blood rushing to my head.
“I have some equipment that might be of interest. I own some Leicas. A M7 Rangefinder, for example.”
“Wow! That’s worth a couple of grand.”
“And a Hasselblad 205. Also some Japanese equipment, but I prefer the German lenses.”
“Man, I’d give my eyeteeth for a Leica. I found a Minilux Point and Shoot for five hundred the other day, but my budget doesn’t stretch that far.”
“Perhaps you would like to go shooting some afternoon. I will be happy to allow you the use of some of my cameras.”
Uncertainty scrolled across his fine features. His aura flared in warning. He ran an agitated hand through his shaggy brown locks. He was fighting a furious battle without knowing or understanding it.
I quickly extended my arm. “My name is Tancready,” I announced, exuding all the magnetic charm I possessed, which was considerable. His hand closed around mine firmly. Washed in the yellows and golds of my will, he relented.
“Sure. I’d like that. My name’s Boris. Boris Balint.”
“Ah, Hungarian,” I noted.
“Way back, maybe,” he grinned engagingly. “Well, my great-grandfather, I guess. I probably know more about my mother’s people.”
“Spanish?” I ventured. “No, let me guess. Pyrenees Gypsies.”
He laughed. “Right. Mountain people all the way.” He began to look uncomfortable, so I reluctantly released his manly grip.
“Tomorrow is Saturday, and I am free,” I ventured.
“I guess I could,” he said hesitantly. “No classes. Can I try the Leica?”
“Of course. I have a Minilux such as you described that I will bring along.”
“Great!” he allowed his enthusiasm to surface, costing me my control. I drew energy from him before I could stop myself. He wilted visibly, but quickly drew on reserves. After we made arrangements, he walked away with vivid, warning blues among the more pacific hues of his halo. I watched him hungrily.
In years past, I was a bloody Vampire, although my donors were voluntary and survived my feeding without lasting harm. None, for example succumbed to that ridiculous old wives’ tale that the bite of a Vampire created a Vampire. Preposterous! Were it so, the preponderance of the global population would be Eternal after all this time, undoubtedly overwhelming the world’s resources and dooming us all … Eternal or not.
It took half a millennium, but I discovered another powerful source of pranic energy and rarely opened human veins thereafter. That source was semen, the distillation of the essence of a man…his cum. Since then, I prefer the company of men, young men, mature men, seniors. But the most powerful and intoxicating elixir is the seed of a youth in his sexual prime. And this I needed from Boris Balint. But there was also a strange, long dormant stirring deep within me that I recognized as a yearning for the taste of his rich, ruby blood. Only a Vampire can directly absorb the life energy of blood. After all, as the Bible correctly states, the blood is the life!
Harvesting a man’s semen for the maintenance of my life force exposed me to yet another danger. The human’s irrational terror of Vampires is matched only by his homophobic fear of deviants. The pursuit of a man’s seed resulted more than once in the hasty use of my other dimension to escape the wrath of closed minds.
I sincerely hope there wasn’t too much black space in the foregoing, but hopefully, you persisted. Tancready has now made contact with the beautiful Boris. Determined two areas of common interest—chess and photography. Now can he reel in the young man, who seems unusually aware of the vampire… given his aura’s colors and tentacles. Could he be a prescient? Patience, an explanation is coming.
Next week… more Tancready.
The following are buy links for my last BJ Vinson mystery The Voxlightner Scandal.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-voxlightner-scandal-don-travis/1132632844?ean=9781640809260
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4AxPDo
Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have something to say, so say it!
My personal links: (Note the change in the Email address because I’m still getting remarks on the old firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buy links to Abaddon’s Locusts:
See you next week.
New Posts every Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. Mountain time.