Monday, November 30, 2015

2,000 years old but not much has changed

People steal.  They kill.  They are dishonest.  Those in power abuse those under them.

All is as it has always been.

Why do I persist?

Pierre Leblanc, Vampire Esquire 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Vampire Esquire prologue

July 19, 64 AD, Rome
No one knew what caused the fire.  The fire separated Quintus from his wife, Quinta, because Quintus had been in the Roman Law Courts when the fire started.  Although only a few miles away on Quirinale Hill, one of Rome’s famed seven hills, Quinta might as well have been hundreds of miles away.
            "Over here," a voice shouted from a door set between two Doric columns.  Quintus had passed by the door many times on his way to the law courts.  He had always thought it a facade and not a working door.  Now it sat open with faint light coming from it as people, citizens, plebs and slaves alike, scurried amidst the growing inferno, their shadows bouncing off the marble buildings and the dusty pathways.
            "Are you talking to me?" 
            " tall one.  My name is Servus Marcellus.  Follow me."
            "Follow you where?"
            "This way.  There isn't much time.  We must hurry."  The mysterious man pointed to the narrow, torch-lit passage.
            Quintus turned down the dim passageway and followed the man as he carried a glowing torch in front of him.  Quintus did not know why he followed the man, for he had never seen him or at least he didn’t recall doing so.  The man’s dark eyes shone with certainty, an absolute certainty that he alone knew the way out of the inferno.  His eyes spoke with confidence words could not convey for in their dark implacability they allowed for no doubt.  Ultimately the conviction in the man’s eyes made Quintus trust him.  The conviction Quintus thought he saw told him the stranger knew the way to safety.  Quintus acted out of instinct, and his instinct usually proved correct.  His instinct and the man’s conviction told Quintus to trust the man.  Quite frankly, he didn’t have many other good options.  He could panic among the hapless rabble of people or take a chance and follow the man.  Besides at least there wasn’t fire in the passage.
            Quintus felt like eons passed as they raced through the dank passage.  His sandaled feet hit hundreds of bricks as he ran deeper under the ground.  Occasionally his arm brushed against cold, wet stone, and he heard the constant drip of water around him.  Probably from the aqueducts he thought.  In spite of the coldness of his surroundings, he felt a warm aura from what he assumed was the fire above.  The passage smelled of wetness and burning simultaneously. He ran for at least half and hour, and the distance along with the heat, wetness and cold meant he must have been deep under the earth because he soon felt no warmth from the blazing Roman inferno.
            "Almost here.  We are going to make it.  This way..."
            That glowing torch was Quintus’ last human memory.