Thursday, June 20, 2013

SM Johnson ~Thursday Morning Coffee ~ Interview with the Vampire DeVante

"How can I help?" I ask, feeling her restless anxiety, as her desire to curl up and sleep attempts to overrule her sense of blog obligation.

"Really, DeVante? You would write something for me?"

Hm. Writing in her stead was not exactly what I had in mind. I had thought I might wrap my arms around her and breathe sweet sleep into her, hold onto her for just a little, while sending her odd and quirky dreams. It is good for us to connect that way. It serves purpose on both our parts. But no... she has a new boy she stays up too late with, and a husband she neglects far too often, and he gets my bedtime girl. She does not need my help to sleep. Not now.

"You've been gone for eons," she chides. "It would be lovely if you wrote something for my blog."

I care not about a blog. I think it is silly that she stresses and worries about such drivel. But that is me. And this is all about her.

"First, pick a coffee cup," she suggested, "and then write about whatever you want. And interview might be fun." It was not a suggestion, neither the choosing nor the writing. Even I know that. Utterly ridiculous, this choice, considering I do not drink coffee and have not since my youth, which is far too long ago to reminisce about. Even then, I would have consumed raw coffee beans long before ever partaking in some kind of brew. What matter, now? I drink blood. The witch's unnatural son was never invited to the kind of ceremonies or celebrations in which beans were roasted, crushed, and added to water for their energizing effect. But no matter.

I was able to discover a tolerable cup photograph among the offered choices. This particular one highlights composition rather than content. That will be acceptable. Secondary to being a vampire, I am a photographer, after all. I would adore sharing samples of my bloodier work, but when I suggested this as an alternative to writing words, her face developed that little frown that indicates I am being inappropriate.

Still, blood porn is not hard to find, and when I finish here, I may indulge. Or perhaps I shall hunt and indulge in actual blood. Perhaps..... just that. She is sleeping. It would be so easy.

The blood is the life, after all, yes?

I am no writer. Clearly this is obvious.

An interview with DeVante would be nice, SM suggests.

Ach. No. There is no question and answer period here.

If Emily were to find this, she would stamp her tiny foot and rail at me for spending time with SM and not with her. Emily forgets that the human lifetime is finite, however, and often I leave my precious SM for longer than I should, long enough for her to wonder if, this time, perhaps, I shall not return. 

I shall always return.

On some level SM understands this, even if she fails to trust. And why should she trust? She knows me better than any other of her kind, surely, because the record she keeps entertains me. Why else would I offer her these stories? It amuses me to watch her struggle to put them properly in written form, and it amuses me to allow her to fling them, flawed, out into the world.

This is not cruelty, dear readers, it just... is.

We all crave cessation of invisibility from time to time. On some sadistic level, we want Them to know we are out here, to pick up the pace when walking alone at night, to understand that even a small transgression might, in fact, be punishable by death. O, lovely bloody death. Things that go bump in the night. I am here, my lovelies, oh, yes, I am here. 

You may soothe yourself by remembering my code of honor, but a human should never trust that. It is, after all, my personal code, and not of the kind of morality that would ever be embraced or understood by human society.

(I pause to think on that, and find myself laughing. It is not a nice laugh, not one you would care for).

It takes only that one, small asshole-ish thing you do, that one tiny and thoughtless unkindness to earn my wrath, my retribution, my craving for your blood. Because if I catch you with a small transgression, I tend to ruminate, and when I ruminate I wonder... how much bigger are the ones you hide? You know who you are. 

I am out here, waiting. You are... my cattle. My food. And I am hungry.

I.... think... I am perhaps finished with this blogging thing. My appetite is awake and must be tempered. Thinking about you is no help at all.

Perhaps SM will post this, perhaps she will not. I shall leave it for her, and we shall see.

Goodnight, all of you darlings. Sweet dreams.

Good morning, Darlings. 

DeVante has been gone for quite a while, but it was lovely to see him for a few minutes in passing.

He certainly didn't provide the sort of interview with the vampire that I was looking for, but... ah well. He isn't one to be forced or ensnared in obligation, or adhere to promises that don't have anything to do with what he considers reality or trust.

The only thing I will add here is an excerpt from DeVante's Children, which DeVante says is "flawed" (bastard) - to which I reply, "I can only do my best."

Excerpt from DeVante's Children

How to court a girl

The nightmare again, and grief pushed her into the Minnesota night. Emily stumbled out the door and came face to face with a cold rain. It drove her back in for a coat. Then she walked, the edges of her full-length coat swirling about her ankles, hands in pockets, chin hunched into her coat collar. She was wet and shivering, but clear of head and empty of emotion. It was peaceful somehow, and the clean cold gave her sweet respite from grief.
Two blocks into her walk, he stepped out of nowhere and into the glare of a street lamp. His face glowed, just as it did in the self-portrait on her wall. The hair on Emily's arms inside her sleeves stood on end.
He was completely still, staring at her. The artist. DeVante.
She stared back, frozen in mid-step, overcome with paralyzing fear at the sight of him. He was a quarter of a block away, yet loomed like a stone monster in her path. Her heart fluttered and she heard her breath escape her body with a tiny squeak. Her rational mind knew he was no larger than a normal man, but his presence gathered around and above her like a great, dark cloak.
She did not move. He stepped toward her, his heels clicking on the pavement with each forward step, a sound that moronically reminded her of tap shoes she had worn as a child.
He was near now, much nearer than two small steps warranted, his black hair sprawled across his shoulders and framing the sides of his impossibly white face. His features were etched boldly, as if drawn on white canvas with thick, black ink. He looked meaner, she thought, harder, than even the self-portrait on her wall.
He was suddenly in her face, close and terrifying, and she thought for a moment that she might scream, or worse, faint silently there on the sidewalk, at his mercy.
He stared at her, into her, gray eyes stinging bright streaks into her soul, knowing her. Owning her.
She was both unable and unwilling to look away, trapped in him, held captive by his eyes, by his daring to accost her like this.
When he spoke, his voice was smooth, caramel. "Little girls should not tempt the dangers of the night."
Breath came into her and she wanted to pant with need for oxygen. She'd never before felt this exact tremor in her belly. The voice oozed through her mind and anesthetized her body's adrenaline response.
Before she could reply, he was gone.
Emily turned a slow circle on the sidewalk, staring into the shadows. Completely gone, as if he were a genie and some magical master had called him away. She shuddered and turned toward home. The night no longer felt peaceful, and she thought her mind might never be clear again. But even as she reached her house, the memory of how terrified she'd been in that one instant before he spoke was fading.
And by the time she snuggled into her blankets, she felt giddy and almost giggled, laughing at herself, at him. What kind of man walks the streets at night and attacks lone women with cryptic words?
She had seen his elusive face.
How charming.
She had not expected to see him again. Not on the street, and certainly not in her dreams.
But she did see him. The next time she awakened from the nightmare – that damned same nightmare – she opened her eyes to find him standing over her bed, staring at her, one hand frozen in the air, as if he were about to wipe her tears away.
Then he disappeared.
He was there almost every time after that – if not in her room, then outside her window. He seemed filled with a sadness of his own, yet the stillness of his presence soothed her and gave her comfort. She knew hardly more than his name, DeVante. And she wondered about him, wondered who he was, and why he was sad.
And one night he talked to her, sitting on the edge of her bed, his caramel voice telling her that the memory would fade, and the dream would someday be gone and never come again. She hadn't felt fear or thought him a fool. "Aren't you going to disappear?" she had asked.
"No." His voice was a ragged whisper.
She collapsed and wept, desperately wishing he would take her in his arms so she could cling to him as a little child might.
He did. He held her and murmured into her ear that she should sleep without dreams. After only a few minutes, she did sleep. She slept for eighteen hours, uninterrupted, and woke ravenous and feeling alive.
He was a mystery, and Emily hadn't quite got up the gumption to ask him any questions. She was grateful for his silent presence. It helped, having him break into her loneliness, and she was afraid that asking for or expecting conversation might ruin it. She was more motivated, able to at least get the dishes done, run the vacuum across the floor, and straighten up without collapsing into tears every time she came across something that had belonged to John or Sasha.
Now when she walked alone in the night, her thoughts strayed from her sad life to him, hoping he would appear from the shadows to lead her home and help her fall into the sweet oblivion of dreamless sleep.
Sometimes he did. 

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