Dearest Pellicio II

[I finally got around to the second installment in the Vampire Serial, Dearest Pellicio. Enjoy. The first part of this segmented short-story experiment is here.]

After I had puzzled over the other documents in the packet with the one I posted here, I decided I was so intrigued that I would spend some time attempting to discover more.

Another visit to my great uncle revealed more information about this particular packet and the name Tindale. It turns out he had run across additional information on that part of a different Irish family, but had never been able to run to ground a reasonable connection between our lineages and those of the Tindales. However, in his efforts he had contacted a gentleman named Elias Tindale, who had done a little asking around and then told Ted that Johnathan Tindale had never had any children, and so we couldn't be descendants of his since he was an only child and his blood died with him.

I got the contact information for Elias Tindale from my great uncle, and made a few calls. He'd moved since Ted talked to him last, and was now living in a nursing home quite near the law offices of an old friend in Atlanta. I decided that going down to see him might be best, and arranged to hit two birds with one stone.

The meeting with him was short and uneventful. He explained that John had died a bachelor on an expedition into the western frontier of America near the turn of the century. A dead end. I asked him if he knew anything about a man named Alexandre Viajante or a monastic order called Sangue Amantes. He said no, and I thanked him, took my hat in my hand, and made for the door.

I have continued to search for other information about these two men, but have turned up nothing yet. In the interim, here is the second letter from the packet. The exterior of the envelope holds a date of December, 1873. I suppose that when Tindale recieved the letters, he marked the date so that he knew how much time they spent in transit.

Dearest Pellicio, October, 1873

I know that my first letter, coming without warning as it did, probably surprised you, and that perhaps you haven't yet made up your mind about contacting me. However I'm also sure I have some information that will make you consider it further.

You're having trouble sleeping. The mid-day sun makes your eyes water. Your skin has darkened slightly but you begin to experience burning if you stay in the sun for long. Your working schedule is becoming increasingly difficult to manage and if you retire from the heat of the day you find yourself falling into a deep sleep almost immediately. Your hair is beginning to darken in shade.

Your eyes are changing colour. It's subtle, but you've noticed it. You can hear things. Grandfather clocks bother you because you can hear the grinding of all the gears, not just the tick-tock of the pendulum. You've taken to attending church less. You even change your route on your way home from the docks so that you don't pass in front of St. Paul's.

You are growing up and growing into something new, my boy. And I, because I was foolish and impulsive, am not there to welcome you into your new life as I should be. I am attempting to make arrangements to return to England within the year but my position here requires me to attend to a great deal of business and the organization of the local branch of government on which I'm working is horrendous and needs a complete overhaul. It will be some time before I can embark for England again. Until then I am afraid that these missives are all I can send you.

There is much you need to know, and I will try and let in a little light on your condition. You are not sick. Nor are you cursed. A doctor is not needed and a priest would only condemn you for what he doesn't understand. There are some physical issues that I must address, however. You have had your blood mixed with mine, and it is making you into something else.

You may have noticed that your face is changing shape slightly. Your body is developing a set of muscles in your upper mouth and jaw line. They will control your canines, which you may have noticed now grind oddly. You may have also noticed that the top two appear to each have a tiny whole you can feel with the tip of your tongue. These are normal. They might bleed periodically during the coming months as you learn to move your teeth, but they will eventually heal. I imagine you've seen many stray cats on the docks and know how a cat's claws work--retracting while walking and extending to grip when climbing or fighting. The new muscles in your mouth allow your improved teeth to work the same way. Each morning you should spend some time attempting to control their movement. You'll find their range of motion and that their most comfortable position is one that allows them to look similar to normal human canines.

In addition to this, your night vision will grow better and your strength and stamina will increase. We are not a shape-shifting race. We are not magicians or sorcerers like those bastard Turks and Slavs that can make themselves into a creature or a fine mist--we must retain our natural form. But you will find that you possess the ability to change the weight of your body as you move, giving you a speed and a horizontal spring much like that of a hunting panther. You will find that when cut, your skin heals quickly. This speed will increase for most common types of cuts. Be careful, however, for there are a few elements that will have a very negative effect on you. For example silver will cut you more effectively than other metals and the cut will heal slowly. Garlic also will send you into coughing fits if you consume it, and if you get any in an open cut it will burn you badly.

Your reaction to sunlight will worsen over the coming months and I recommend you seek a new profession, as the dock work in the midday sun will not agree with you for long. I know that there is a great deal of business conducted at the docks after the sun has set for the day, and much of it appreciates the discretion that darkness provides. I am including a short note sealed with a wax symbol. If you deliver yourself to the offices of a certain Harold Shande, an import and export man there, you might find that he has use of you in a job more suited to your new condition, my note will grant you access to him and contains my letter of recommendation.

Now I must speak of something that will seem to you unholy and evil. I regret that it is a necessity and that I cannot be there to reason with you and reasssure you as to your new nature. If you plan to continue with the Giröshke, you'll need to begin to feed your thirst for blood. You've probably noticed that it has begun to take on a new flavour for you when those channels in your upper canines bleed, and you'll find this flavour is important.

I wish I were there for what I must tell you next, because I remember my own mentor and how he guided me through the process of becoming brave enough to drink the blood of the living, and it is a difficult and frightening process for a young lad, even with an old and wise one by your side. You will just have to be strong.

Each night as the moon approaches fullness you will find the thirst strengthens, and as it wanes your thirst shall decrease. I recommend that as the next full moon approaches, you seek out a young lady from the neighborhoods around the docks. I would advise you against learning her name, for this first one's purpose is only to cement the process of the change in you. If you grow to love a woman your desire for her blood will kill her in time, and the results of your actions will fill you with despair. Choose carefully, and drink deeply. Spend the evening making sure she is empty. When you are finished she should be as white as fresh snow.

I leave the logistics of the task to you, for you know of the repercussionss of capture. You're a bright boy, and I am confident that you can plan your own actions with great competency.

If you do this properly you will not need to drink of another for two moons, and you will have time to adjust to your new body and seek out a lady of stronger constitution from whom you can collect with more decorum. I will write to you with additional advice on these matters in the time that follows.

Now, let me speak of the gifts.

There are three gifts for each member of the order. A brother in the fold of Sangue Amantes does not age at normal speeds. I was born in the year 1513, and turned in 1547 by a sailor freshly returned from the new world. I am now nearing the middle of my fourth century and if I am lucky I will savour the taste of two more before the life flows from me. You are younger than I was when I turned and may live longer. Remember, you have not been granted immortality, but if you are careful and wise and keep your health you may live to the ages of Methuselah himself.

Second, the physical properties of which I have already spoken will be your second gift. The speed of the panther and the eye of the owl. The ability to heal most wounds and draw strength from within yourself to crush wood and bend steel.

The third gift is always specific to each member of the order, but they fall into three broad categories: the power to disturb the elements, the power to tweak fates, and the power to enfold minds. My gift lies in manipulation of physical fates. I can modify the possibilities of games of chance and adventure. I was a gambler by nature, and my new gift gave me the ability to win fortunes and establish an estate for myself.

You, I believe, will receive a gift from the third category. I feel confident that you will find that your ability to influence the minds of others becomes more and more pronounced as your thirst is made manifest. More on that in my next letter.

Now I regret that I must finish here for the time being. I'll begin organizing my thoughts and instructions to you soon and include them in my next missive. For now I must tend to some governmental details. Fools! So much red tape, so little blood.

Alexandre Viajante

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


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