Kev the Vampire
by Phillip Donnelly
|Cast of characters|
|Chapter: 13 : Union|
‘The blood is the life! The blood is the life!’ That is all the mysterious Patient K would say at first. Dr. Mac Pherson gradually pieces together the story of K’s life: his gruesome school days at the Holy Bleeding Pelican; his drug- and alcohol-induced visions; his wars with Social Welfare zombies, and his attempts to use his meagre housing allowance to rent a castle. Dr. Mac Pherson learns of K’s romantic misadventures as a dishwasher in Bavaria and how comically difficult life can be for the quixotic would-be vampire in the 21st century.
I am once again indebted to Inaction Man in this chapter, since I have no other real witnesses as to what transpired in the depths of the forest. While his testimony must be taken with a great deal more than a pinch of salt, it is nevertheless the only view of the events leading upto Kev’s arrest that we have at our disposal, and I therefore quote it at length below.
I have, nevertheless, excluded a score of pages in verse that are concerned with Inaction Man and Kev’s shared ‘visions,’ following their daily ingestion of near-lethal quantities of methylated spirits in the mountain town of Fussen, while they awaited the winter solstice, since the verses are not germane to the case at hand.
The reader may ask, as I asked myself, why the authorities did not apprehend K. following his exploits in the hotel. And dismissing Inaction Man’s claim that he shared his cloak of invisibility with K., one can only conclude that the police and society at large pay little attention to the vagrants who inhabit their streets.
(Extract from letter from Inaction Man to Teacher G.)
As kinsman to Kev, I led him to the place of visions, locked high in the mountains, far from the maddening crowds, high up in the ancient Black Forest of Bavaria. The going was tough, since neither he nor I were dressed for hiking, and ragged street denizens such as ourselves could hope for no succour from those blest with petrol-burning carriages. I have read that in the time of Christ, people were more charitable to roving messiahs, but alas in more modern times, they call us raving, and it seems to me that visionaries can no longer rely upon the kindness of strangers.
The bone forest welcomed us. Each tree, a skeleton frozen by the winter, stood solid like the mythic erection that brought life to the barren rock in the time before time. Befrosted snow on the branches glistened in ice tears, stuck in the grimace of adieu; and, like frozen semen in a bank of sperm, the banks of trees waited in the vault of demimortis life that is winter.
‘It is time, brave knight errant, Kev of the Dracule. Rest you here, at the base of this depression, while I ensconce myself higher, behind yonder arras, hidden by the lone pine of the evergreen. Snd there shall I cloak myself in a shield of invisibility, to better watch events unfold.’
‘Will you not wait with me, Inaction Man?’ he asked.
‘Alas, it cannot be. The Philosophy of Inaction precludes such wanton interference in the affairs of others, and I have stretched its laws almost to breaking point by even leading you here.’
‘Are you sure she will come? Why here and not another place?’
‘Divination of deification, materialization through defecation,’ I replied.
Noting the puzzled look on his face, I explained further. ‘You will recall that some minutes previously I hid myself behind the gnarled cancerous bulbs of an ancient blackened ash tree. There, I did release my bowels of their precious cargo and studied afterwards the worms of the faeces oracle, and through their wriggling I saw that a close companion would soon face a test of strength. And what else could it mean but that the last-born knight of inaction would now face his challenge. Prepare yourself, noble kinsman, and keep the blade of your wit sharp, for in this battle, you may as easily lose your life as win your love.’
He nodded wisely and bid me make haste away, for as the hour of his reunion approached, he grew ever more restless to see it realised. I climbed a hill and urinated a protective circle around myself, and dousing it in holy water borrowed from a chapel we had visited en route, I achieved invisibility.
‘Tell her I have come!’ Kev shouted to the trees, but they did not answer.
At least they spoke no words to him, but a dry wind whistled through the branches and scratched his face, and he knew that his message was being carried by this wind to the dimensions that lie hidden behind the known visible one.
He turned and turned and whirled through all the points of the compass, as I had taught him to do. And like a dervish he sought to see through the cracks that evolution has hidden from us to make our stay in this pale grey world more palatable. If it were not for the nausea, who would not prefer dizziness?
Oh homo ignoramus! Oh ignorant senile gene carrier! Oh donkey hominid. Would you know the truth? Would you know what he saw?
With each degree of the compass, he fathomed 360 other universes, and each one of those split into 360 more; and on and on the splitting universe fractured. He saw the sparking universe crack outwards to infinity.
You too, goodly teacher, will see this fearsome pane shatter one day and feel its biting pain, but pray it will not be soon, for we see this fractured infinity only at the moment of our death, and it is this sight that stops our hearts in awe and wonderment.
As a man of letters, you will no doubt scoff at this revelation, so let me frame it in a manner you may better understand it. But I fear you will never accept it; not until you have borne this vision yourself and enjoyed a heartbeat’s worth of knowledge.
The dreadful truth is that life is a gaoler which conspires to bind us to one world by blinding us to all others.
Let me dazzle you with the light of truth!
You need only open your eyes to see the white light. You are a prisoner. You may walk your life away and head in only one direction, but at some time you must find yourself back in the same place.
A cell as large as a planet is still a cell. Life in a single point of space, and time is a great deal easier to bear for those creatures unaware that there are millions of better worlds lying just out of their reach, and creatures such as these have many advantages over the mystics that can see into many worlds.
Those who are bound in an earthly nutshell can only think themselves kings of infinite space because their ambition is limited by their ignorance. Evolution has favoured the selection of these blind fools, for only idiots would wage war to wield power in this weary world of ours.
Would the parasite that lives in the guts of a maggot continue in such an environment if it knew of our own? And by extension, would we grunt and sweat and toil through days interminable if we knew of perfumed leisure in dimensions distant?
Indeed, we would not and I do not; and only poor souls such as I are lumbered with the heavy burden of sight. And hark what havoc these visions have wrecked upon my life, living as I do now, a land-bound shipwreck, a wailing indigent on the cold streets of Bavaria.
I have seen too much and have been cast out of a society that can survive only by wallowing in base ignorance. The pig who looks beyond the black holes will find no food left at the trough when he has finished his musings.
But I am not alone. Not all hearts stop beating when they tear through the mort-placenta and throw off the second afterbirth, the catheter of reason. Some, at the moment of death, feel the ice of reality crack beneath them and, through a supreme force of will, rise above it and fly off to the ghost world. But it is a lonely void that imprisons them in a shard of time and space and almost all wither and die there, slowly and painfully, screaming out in pain to the deaf world of the living.
With some tortured souls, however, the pain they feel at being separated from that which has given their life meaning is so great that that cannot be trapped in glass, and they instead live on in the mist and fogs of dawn and dusk and their tears add moisture to the cloudy essence. And so it was with her, the Dracule’s immortal beloved, Elizabetha.
‘Tell her I will wait for her. Tell her I have come,’ he said again, more softly this time.
Shivering in the cold mountain, he lay down and wrapped himself in a blanket of frozen brown leaves and a duvet of snow. The leaves rustled as their desiccated shells cracked and crumpled, and they did not take kindly to being disturbed so in their open grave.
The earth itself, frozen almost a foot deep beneath the snow blanket, began to stir and prepared to welcome home another prodigal son. She knows that in the end, we all return to her, and I moved from foot to foot to let her know that my time was not yet come.
As the weak sun grew even weaker, sinking over a distant hill, a mist blew in from the east and it sang a song of the ancients. But now there are no more ancient ones to hear it, for we have grown deaf as well as blind. It crept towards him, covering all objects in its path, wrapping them in white oblivion, as sleep covers consciousness.
‘Has she come? he asked the mist.
The white earth cloud kissed his face he knew that she was near. He fought to control his chattering teeth so that he might speak to her properly and his face gleamed with the perspiration of anticipation.
‘Deliver unto Dracula what is Dracula’s! She is mine and I have travelled through oceans of time to claim her. Shatter the the glass prism prison and suffer her unto me.’
A nearby bough was drained of its white shroud cloud and he saw the grey shadow of an outline of a form seated on it. It was moving dimensions. She was coming.
He tried to stand to move closer but his legs buckled under him, as the force sucked energy from all surrounding matter to assemble the energy it needed to materialise. The trees shrieked at having their marrow sucked out of them in this way and the leaves rustled one final time and were deprived of even the memories of life, which was all they had to give.
Dracula would deprive her of nothing. He would have given up every living thing in the universe just to see her one more time, and he felt nothing for the puny life that was in the body he currently inhabited.
Kev, sensing the life force being sucked from him, shook all the more violently, as if he unconsciously wanted to shake off the Dracule. I stood fast in the distance, wrapped in my cloak of invisibility, but I feared its power was waning, and I had no more urine left in my bladder armoury to replace it.
And then I saw her and knew why the Dracula had sought her so assiduously. Her beauty was truly breathtaking, and indeed, so long did I hold my breath that I began to suffocate, and it was only through an unsightly opera of coughing and spluttering that I was able to regain it.
Wiping the spittle off my mouth and removing the phlegm that clung to my nose, I looked once more upon this second Helen and beheld this beauty that men would both kill and die for.
Her rich red hair flowed long down her back like a stream of rose wine, and her slender frame seemed to be proportioned by the gods, so perfect were its aspects and ratios. Her face spoke of a different braver age, with high cheekbones and hollow cheeks, and an aquiline Nordic nose stood guard on the visage. Her eyes, too, were of a blue that is no longer seen. And a sapphire paled in comparison, and would no doubt cry out its own colour rather than be surpassed so totally.
I could wax lyrical on this beauty till all the trees in Christendom were felled to make paper for my eulogy, but what would be the purpose? No scribe alive or dead could paint a picture worthy enough and until you have been confronted with such beauty you cannot imagine it. It was, like the worlds beyond our own, ethereal and unknowable to those who have not known it.
So let me instead continue with the tale. She descended from the bough of the timeless tree, floating downward with so much grace that a butterfly would curse itself for clumsiness. She knelt beside her love, who also knelt in homage to their mutual adoration. The held each other’s hands, their hearts beat in time, and they were joined. Union was achieved.
The ghosts of birds sang out and when she spoke it was through their twittering voices that her words echoed and chimed round the empty forest.
‘This world cannot hold us. Join me in a better one, and in this abstract plane shall we sing a note that will never fade. Let us be a choir of two in the universe made of love, in the cosmos where atoms dare not tread. Lie down with me and cease to breathe, and let the pain that is life afflict you no further. Cease and decease.’
She kissed him once, and the leaves, the trees and the earth itself hissed, noting the extraction of matter from our dimension and its transference to another. And then they were both gone and only the lifeless body of Kev remained.
I walked toward it to place a penny on each eyelid so that he might pay the ferryman. But with only one half of the fare paid, I heard the holler of two groundlings behind me.
‘Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing, man!? — these interlopers demanded to know.
They were dressed from head to toe in the attire of hikers and spoke with that twang that is noted in the Anglo-Saxons of the New World. They ran towards me, in haste and in anger.
‘Stand off, churlish strangers. This rite does not concern you!’ I warned them.
‘I’m calling the cops! You’re trying to kill him,’ they incorrectly concluded.
‘I am helping this reincarnation of Dracula pass to another dimension with the ghost of his immortal beloved, Elizabetha. Now kindly move away from this sacred place, lest your presence disturb the transfer and lock both of them in the limbo between dimensions.’
‘You some kinda Satanist or something?! Move away from the body, right now, good and slow,’ one of them ordered, and to further convince me, he took a pocket knife from his backpack and pointed it at me.
Finding myself unarmed, I was forced to accept their terms and I moved off into the distance and attempted to cloak myself in a field of invisibility to make good my escape, but hardly had I removed my magic hose from my doublet, when one of them, red with rage and horror, demanded I return my member to its prison, on pain of dismembering said appendage, or as he put it himself:
‘You stick your dick back in your pants or I’ll cut it off, perv!’
The calamity grew all the greater when one of them, examining the vessel that was Kev’s body, exclaimed that he was still breathing but was suffering from hypothermia. I entreated them to let the transfer finish, but to no avail.
The Dracule awoke, enraged to find himself still in this plane, but such was his pain that all he could do was whisper the name ‘Elizabetha’ over and over and repeat ‘The blood is the life, the blood is the life. Salvia Salvation.’
The rest you already know. The police arrived on the scene, brought Kev to hospital and soon dispatched him to his native Dublin, where he is forced to reside in the company of lunatics.
Oh what heavy burden our friendship has bound us to. I also find myself incarcerated, but what aggrieves me even more than this is that I am having the greatest difficulties convincing the medics of this asylum that I am of sound mind.
And so I am writing to you in the hope that letters of reference from distant lands may aid Teutonic physicians to better tell reason from lunacy. Please reply forthwith to the esteemed Dr. Frudovsky, who has been charged with my recovery, and tell him that I should be released forthwith and sent to Hibernian shores, so that I might once more attempt to exorcise and release the Dracule, that he might find union with his Elizabetha, that Kev might know peace eternal.
With only one death, three souls may be saved.
(End of letter from Inaction Man to Teacher G.)
As I mentioned before presenting the evidence from Inaction Man, the testimony is highly suspect, and we need not summon a confederacy of doctors to know this we are studying the diary of a madman and not the true genius he would like to appear to be.
In spite of this, we can still use the testimony presented, flawed as it is, to know more about K.’s life prior to his return to society. Corroborating evidence of his life of dissipation in the Bavarian wilderness comes in the form of blood tests analysed by German physicians upon his admittance to Fussen hospital. These showed an almost toxic level of alcohol in his system, combined with a noxious cocktail of poisons commonly associated with ingesting impure forms of alcohol not intended for consumption, such as turpentine and methylated spirits in general.
His constitution, weakened by this crazed excess, no doubt further abetted his mind’s decline into madness. Body and mind are one and indivisible and he who poisons one will poison the other.
When he returned to consciousness, questions concerning his sanity arose immediately, due to his refusal to eat and his repeated requests for blood transfusions; and when he was well enough to stand, his bizarre attempts at bat flight led to his immediate transfer to the psychiatric wing.
In his case-file photo, he is the very image of the raving hopeless lunatic: disheveled, bearded, hunched and hideous; with eyes that seemed to claw at all who gazed upon him.
To be continued...
Copyright © 2011 by Phillip Donnelly