Midnight walking, homeward bound. Paul saunters through a nightmare daydream. He is a man who lives in dreams, weaves fantasies. Yet he believes. He knows. Knows that they can cross the border, tear the temple’s veil and invade reality.
Gold crucifix weighted at his neck.
The folds of his rain coat flow around him. In his coat’s inner pocket, banging securely against his thigh is The Book. Words of fact now read as fiction – the classic work of Victorian literature. Timeless. Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’.
Old Bram knew a thing or two, he saw beyond the gossamer veil into the truth of the dark.
He dreams of hunting the evil, he is the saviour of civilisation as we know it. Defending mankind from the encroaching army of Satan. The undead, darkest of living corpses. The suckers of blood, polymorphs who possess an ancient evil knowledge.
…He wades across the stagnant pond towards the open yawn of the grave. Rising through the pungent mists, the vampire mistress. Scars from her wolfen claws, evidence of his previous narrow escape, burn in warning.
She leaps at his throat, hungry for his blood, eager to drink his mortality.
With reactions of lightning, he pins her to the sky with the wooden stake. A thorn from the true saviour’s crown.
He is the hero, the new myth…
The dream shatters. For a second he stands confused until he comprehends, the scream echoes along the dark alley.
He races to the rescue, the hero who runs with God’s grace… and freezes as his fantasy and reality clash before him. Suddenly destiny weighs upon his shoulders.
Already do the foes reveal themselves. Now the hunter shall be the hunted.
In rotten clothing bends the man, the beast, above the now limp body of innocence.
The hero holds forth the crucifix and steps forward boldly. The faith in a golden image.
The glow of evil is the only spark within the frozen azure eyes. The enemy grins revealing bloodstained ivory daggers.
Not now, it is too soon, mark my time.
He effortlessly picks up the rag doll prey, his muscles now warmed by her blood. A child with a toy.
He mocks the symbol of faith on Earth before him, his lips spill a mocking laugh of disdain, his free arm lifts the brave hero. He looks at him for a second, narrows his eyes then shakes his head slowly before throwing God’s soldier violently into the far alley wall.
The hunter vanishes into the dark whilst the hero lies motionless.
Above the alley a curtain twitches. The witness does not move, but simply smiles. The gift is here. Thank you, of Lord.
The lamplight swims haphazardly as the pain swamps his body. Paul lifts an unsteady hand towards his face and wipes the blood that trickles from his nose. He tries to stand, staggers and then uses the wall as support. He staggers again, this time through the realisation that floods through him. The ache through his body offers evidence that this was no dream.
Across the alley is a poster, smeared with a hand trail of blood, but still legible. A clue?
Live at the Raven Bar
© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan