Vampinore: IV - Emeric
Caked by the Dead Bodies of Spiders
This treacherous and tenebrous tomb of tunicate integument torn from time and the terrene is truly a topology for trials in thanatology and teratology. Attorn from an Augean aularian of alamort I wish to be, for it aggrates my agromania and desire to acquire anosmia and apselophesia. Outside of this obsequy, my obstriction gives me no oblecation to obtend myself to an odeum of onolatry, ophiolatry, and onanism. It is our Tao that made this world what it is today.
Special is this day for it is the first day I take my father’s seat at the Council. Youngest of them all, but early 40’s isn’t too young either. My age will not be a factor and I will not let them have contempt over my position for my late father has taught me well in our ways. Many years walking this planet, now he can finally put his troubled mind to rest.
Only a few feet away before walking through that door and ascending to my place, I stop to dust off the webs that cling to me like my women. Though I will say I care less for the women of this city for their horrendous flavor brings me to near disgorging. The catacombs I had to walk through aren’t any cleaner or delightful. Perhaps the chamber before me is more suited to my liking. The finest of carpets, the richest of oak chairs, and the oldest of liquors await!
A Tomb within a Tomb
My desires defeated by sight! Walking, murmuring skeletons risen from their sarcophagi, bearing suits and medallions indicating their statuses are shuffling through another freezing and dust-raining room. This chamber is much wider and taller, and with a long table of 32 seats along one side. Before the table are several chairs, maybe four dozen, filled with various individuals of multiple ethnicities and ages. The chamber is lit by a mix of candles, torches, and dim lights hung from up high, centered over the table – a table at which I was to finally take my seat. Chin held high, I walk over toward one of the recognizable near seven-foot-tall security watchmen dawning the head-to-toe black suit and an expensive looking earbud.
“Pardon,” I said.
“Good evening, sir,” he said in a deep, gritty voice. “We’ve been expecting your presence.”
“Of course,” I quickly replied in surprise. Why should I be? In a gathering such as this, he must be trained to recognize every face, including the new ones.
“It was an honor working for your father,” he said while smiling. “He was an outstanding loyalist.”
“Indeed. I hope to create my own legacy here as well,” I said.
“Faith before you,” he said with a nod. “They are about to begin. I will show you to your seat, Mr. . . .”
“Emeric! Just call me Emeric,” cutting him off, as I will so many I presume.
Ascending the Throne
Well, not a throne, but a place of higher power. I’ve waited years for this. I slide into the chair at the stone slab called a table. Actually, it’s a sacred stone carved centuries ago from one of the Old Cities. It’s a symbol of where ‘what was right’ began. The reason we are all here: the Council whose name is only spoken in gesture and symbol. I’ve heard through talebearing that such a name is spoken, but only to those of tenure. In times such as these when leaks through electronic communication travel faster than we can, secrets must bury deeper into the earth . . . or rather into darker catacombs such as these.
At the far end I take my post for now. One day, I will be seated center, commanding us to that ‘Brave New World’. Hee! Hee! Hee! Ha! Ha! Ha! Heh! Heh! Oh, I can’t help such thoughts that I know will manifest from fantasy into flesh! It’s not that I’m not devoted to the Purpose, because I am to the survival of our species. I just feel a change needs to take place, swiftly and unalloyed.
Glancing down the slab, I see the decaying meats slouched over in their seats of power, all grumbling back and forth like hushed tones of a brass section and cellos warming up before a symphony. Am I just naïve to what I am to learn? Poppycock! Tommyrot! Codswallop! Ha! Ha! Ha! No, no! I know my share, my knowledge to lead us to greater things than meeting in dark underground crevices. We can no longer be the ants we have de-evolved into. ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust’ we are not. So why should we return to the depths of the dead?
Interrupted by the Abrupt
“Councilpersons, please reserve conversations for later,” said the American rising from the, my, center seat. “Time has come for our annual banquet.”
“Preparation for this year’s assembly has already begun,” said another elder Councilman in Italian.
“We’re expecting up to twenty new members this year,” said the American. “All necessary precautions have been taken. The contacts have yet to give the new advocates the location.”
“All of our current members have been given the date, but await the location,” said a German Councilwoman. She’s rather breathtaking, but too strong-willed of a persona for my taste. Maybe in time, I could break her.
By first glance, she isn’t that much older than me. Perhaps she hasn’t received her ‘just dues’ in quite a while either. Her appearance is very healthy and vivacious. Her long dark brown hair crisscrossing with pretty white strands of web-like grays pulled up into a tight bun upon her head is absolutely begging to be pulled apart . . . just like her. She’s been surrounded by these bloodless, lifeless, money-grubbing buffoons for years, her body is begging to be taken. Her shoulders, pulled back, exposing those fruitful breasts that have been untouched for years. That German tongue is begging to slide over a long, throbbing wurst. The best thing I tend to find about the older women is not only the experience, but the desire to be wanted again. They want to feel young and full of vigor, to the point they would do almost anything commanded. I do what I can to hide such a grin on my face. I mustn’t let them know my thoughts about anything, including thoughts about alluring German gem. I tune back into the conversation in case I’m called upon.
“Now what of the traitor?” asked the American. Oh my, a traitor?! I haven’t heard about this situation and my curiosity always vanquishes the judgment for reservation of my thoughts.
“Who is this traitor?” I asked. The Council turned their heads like synchronized puppets in a cardboard box theater to entertain children, or rather minds that are childlike.
“Where are my manners?” boasted the American. “With the recent passing of our dear Councilman, please let me introduce you all to his son, Emeric . . .”
“Please!” I intervened. “Just call me Emeric.” Without command, my lower mandible pulls back as my lips crack apart to bear my teeth in a cunning smile of pleasantry and power.
“This traitor, Emeric, was once a contact, a messenger, for the Council,” said the American. “Unfortunately, he lost our trust, betraying this council, and revealing secrets to an outsider that would greatly interfere in our Purpose.”
Yes! The Purpose! Why we are all here is about the Purpose. My father spoke to me the history of the Purpose and what it meant. The older I grew, the more I feel that we’ve truly forgotten our absolute Purpose and follow this watered-down version of it. Meaningless wars and passing around currency, all for what? So that our species does not travel down that ‘dark path’ again? So that we cannot retake the power we once or could have had all along? Goddamned every one of us! Our hands were really never clean! Our hands are dirtier than the ashes! And the dust!
“Our man should be here shortly with the traitor,” said the Chinese councilman, one of the oldest. His comments broke my train of aggravation. These thoughts have consumed my mind some nights until dawn breaks, or until one of my women disturbs the settled sheets across my person. They suffer my vengeance, for I believe every action does result in a reaction. Again, thought is broken in my mind when the Council continued.
“Excellent to hear,” said the American. “When shall we expect his . . .?”
A Whisperer in Darkness
Coming forth from behind the seated guests before the Council, a voice echoed in a tone that seemed different from all the rest.
“That man is now here,” said the figure hiding in the darkness in the back of the chamber. “And so is the traitor.”
Out of the shadows, a large object is hurled down the center aisle of seats, crashing and rolling until it comes to a slumped-over stop before the Council’s table. Such the speed I couldn’t make out what it was until it had ceased acceleration, and then it began to move about. It was a younger man, Caucasian and wearing a tattered buttoned-up white shirt. The shirt has been dirtied up quite a bit with small stains of blood, which I assume must be his from the beating he had taken. He groans and chokes on his own mortality. Fresh blood flows over his lower lip from the internal injuries he sustained. On all fours, the traitor pushes himself up to a kneeling stance with the last bit of strength he had. Facing the Council, his eyes are correcting has he looks around. The expression of terror in his face when he sees he is surrounded by many overcomes his ability to escape. He breaks down in tears, sobbing uncontrollably before the Council.
In my astonishment at such an event, I glance over at the rest of the Council. All of their heads raised, but eyes drawn down in disgust of the traitor in their midst. What of the other voice, the voice of ‘our man’ that reverberated through this abysmal chamber? Patience is not a prerequisite of mine. Compelled to ask, I lean over to the Councilman next to me.
“Who is that voice which speaks?” I asked of my fellow tablemate.
“I am the keeper of secrets . . .,” the voice rang back. “. . . in the shroud of darkness.”
Out from that darkness steps forward a man cloaked in a black duster with an old black Renaissance doctor’s elongated hat slanted forward over his head to hide his face. The only sound that could be heard is his steps as he clomped forward, louder and louder with the plant of each foot on the cobblestone. Just behind the traitor, the man stops and slowly removes his hat. I would swear the chamber grew colder as if the door to winter was left opened, but we were in the early summer, and deep under the ground.
Casting his hat aside to the nearest onlooker in the seated audience, he raises his head to the dim light. Another man, slightly older than I, stands before us, dauntingly tall, pasty white, with dark brown hair slicked back. His omnipresence rings through the room as if he were a god himself. He turns his gaze over to me while grasping his left hand onto the back of the traitor’s neck.
“To protect such secrets,” he said without the slightest stutter. “I must maintain the balance of our order.”
This foreboding figure, with his clenched grasp around the back of the traitor’s neck, lifts him with ease high above him, presenting him as a trophy to the Council.
“And the only way to maintain the balance is to remove the dead weight,” he continued.
The American, excuse me, Premier of the Council, leans forward over the table, addressing myself, the other ‘slabsters’, and the attendees.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, here, before you, is a man who has made contact with those who do not represent our sacred order or our Council. He has revealed information regarding our banquet and assembly, including some of your names.”
The audience in attendance begins to turn heads and gasp. The Premier throws an open folder onto the slab, with photographs and documents spreading out for anyone to look upon.
“What do you have to say in your defense?” the Premier asked.
“Please,” begged the traitor. “I’ll do anything to make amends!” His sobs grow louder and the tears pour down his face like a broken faucet. Just as weak as the women I had recently, pleading and begging for mercy, it’s nauseous and pathetic.
“There’s nothing you can do to atone for your crimes,” said the German minx, full of fury ready to be unleashed. Give me time, my dear. Give me time.
“A predetermined verdict of guilt has been decided,” said the Premier. “Unless anyone on the Council or any of our attendees wishes to object.”
The silence was more deafening than the sonic screams of weakness coming from the traitor, held up high by this gloomy guardian.
“Very well,” said the Premier to the traitor. “Your rights and privileges as an outside contact have been revoked. You are hereby excommunicated from our sacred order, the Council . . .”
A pause in time, the single choke of air from the traitor, the stillness in the atmosphere: it was all part of the moment that both bewildered and bestirred my body and soul.
“. . . and from this world,” he finished.
In a quick snap, what one would see if one slowed down the replay of a squid pulling in its prey by its tentacles to its beak, the traitor’s neck retracts into the mouth of his captor. I couldn’t see what had happened, but I knew what I was watching. Gargling on bloody breath, the crimson river of his rueful life flowed down his neck like darkened lava. The rest of it was consumed by the executioner, draining all that he could. I glance around once more to see the Council is not perturbed by what is going on. Is such a thing allowed before the Council without reprimand? An execution by such an act goes without objection?
Inquiry quickly halted as the traitor’s empty carcass is hurled over the head of the hunter and cast back like a ragged doll into the darkness with only the sounds of his bones wrapped in dried out skin clanking off the stone floor. Ever so quietly snarling and sniffing the air, the man before us reaches into his coat pocket, draws out a clean, white handkerchief. He slowly wipes his mouth of excess blood while keeping his eyes closed. I assume he is enjoying this moment more than anyone else in this room with a stomach for such an event. Casting handkerchief to the ground and taking back his hat, he resets himself to what how he was when he first introduced his presence to our sight. He turns around to leave, stops, and gives the Council an eyeshot back.
“I’ll send for the cleaning lady,” he said without a grin at his own mockery. With that, he exits back into the darkness, this time without making any noise at all.
Overwhelmed and awestruck, I lean back to the Councilman next to me.
“Is he a . . . ,” I began to ask.
“He’s one of us,” he replied quickly. “He’s the oldest and the strongest. A true believer, he’s the right hand of justice to this Council.”
If there’s one thing that is absolute, it’s that he is not one of us. We are human, and he is a vampire . . . and I want to know more about him, especially about his power. I’ll arrange a meeting with him for tomorrow night. I much enjoy making new friends. I also enjoy acquiring higher power, too!
DO RETURN FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER OF VAMPINORE . . .
What do you find is Emeric's most defining quality of it charcter so far?
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