I pulled another cassette from the old box. Things were beginning to go in slow motion for me now during these listening sessions. I imagined the classical ambient musical score at the end of a war film. The brave solider you fell in love with getting killed in a hail of gunfire. Red mist exploding from each new bullet hole as the actor convulses from the supposed inertia of it all and you living that split second of life in minutes on film.
Bach’s Cello Suite One in G major suites me just fine. I hear it, as my hand clutches the plastic tape of the blind man. Each quick pull of the cello’s bow resonates within me and I slow my breathing. I rub my thumb on the pattern of scratches in the plastic. None of these tapes have numbers, just a series of scored hash marks to indicate their order in the sequence. I put on my headphones and push play. Bach fades out and the black curtain descends as the blind man once again narrates our life.
“Eighteenth of July, two thousand four. Today we will examine my interaction with the Vampire last night. I’m fortunate to be able to interact with the true etherical nature of the beast. Most sighted people are not able to focus enough to channel and grow their energy like I am. My gift of blindness makes me an ideal source for the Vampire. I let him feed off my energy to sustain his corpse and he in turn helps me understand the other entities of the etherical . He is desperate to not cross over and feeds much more than I would like. It leaves me drained by dawn and I must sleep well into the afternoon to regain enough strength for the simple life sustaining tasks.”
I stopped the tape and took off my headphones. The map of the city on my wall had many various colored thumb tacks but only one black one. I reserved black for the blind man’s last known residence. I walked over to the wall looking at the area around the tack. Hide Cemetery was very close, not cut off by any running water, and still very much in use. That is where the Vampire would be buried. If I was to contact the spirit I needed to know the name, for sure the Vampire would be a spirit by now. If he had sustained this long, he would be very powerful, I needed to be prepared for that.
I grabbed my camera, notebook, cellphone, and a bag I pet named The Tool Kit. The Tool Kit had everything I needed for dealing with Spooks. I went downstairs in the dark and opened the front door. A light flicked on behind me, it was Mom.
“Little late for band practice, where you headed?”
‘Shit. Not now. I can’t deal with this, I’m so close. Have to think quickly, pacify the overlord.’
“Jake isn’t doing so hot and wants me to keep him company tonight,” I said.
“What’s wrong with him?”
“Look. He just has a lot going on right now and needs me.” Her eyebrows raised as if to say, ‘not that tone, not under my roof sonny boy.’ I had to cover my ass.
“Sorry Mom, it’s just personal stuff you know. Its got me worked up.” She curved one side of her mouth and wrinkled her forehead down. She wasn’t buying it, but would she call me out on it? Don’t know don’t care. But I do care. I’ve worked hard to keep up my illusion, worked hard to only let people see my mask.
“Alright, well be careful. Watch out for the ghouls and goblins.”
‘You have no idea.’
She smiled but looked scared for me. Mom has been a worrier all my twenty nine years, that will never changed.
“Yea, I will. Get some sleep, I’ll see you in the morning.” I walked out and stood on the porch, she shut the door behind me.
‘I hope. I love you.’
I drove my aging Ford Fairmont to the blind man’s old address. It had become ritual for me now. I start all investigations at his house and retrace the steps he himself might have taken. I parked on the curb and took in a breath. Starting to get scared now.
‘Doesn’t matter what happens Brandon. You’ll have your proof one way or the other,’ I thought.
My cell phone vibrated in my pocket. A text message.
‘Really Son, be careful. I trust you have what you need. Love, Mom.’
She couldn’t know, could she?
Danny Machal July 23rd, 2009