Tales of a Night Walker
By Bert McKenzie
Copyright 2010

Chapter 35

"Hey, Mr. Smythe," an older black man with snow white hair said as he
opened the gate into the parking garage.

"Willie?"  I was surprised to see him.  This was the doorman/concierge to
the apartment building I lived in when I was in New York before, doing the
play and living here with Kelly and Tony.

"Yes, sir.  I'm security for this here building," he said proudly.  "I've
been working here for ten years and these here folks know they can depend
on ol' Willie to take care of them.  Don't you ever worry because I'll keep
y'all safe."

"Thanks, Willie," I replied.  "I know we can count on you."

Craig drove the car into the underground garage and we climbed out, going
to the trunk for our meager luggage.  He led us to the elevators and we
ascended to the 14th floor.  The doors opened on a pleasant hallway.  Craig
led us down to a door and opened it with a key.  We walked into a very nice
and roomy apartment.  There were floor to ceiling windows of specially
treated glass, and a wide open living room furnished in plush, modern
furniture in earth tones of deep browns and greens.  There was a small
kitchen and bathroom, not essentials for the typical vampire, and two very
large bedrooms, as well as a separate office room, already set up with a
computer.  "This is very nice," I remarked.

"We try to do our best," Craig replied.  "Now you guys make yourselves at
home.  My number is on the desk if you need anything.  I'm really beat.
I'm going home to get some rest.  I'll have Willie call me a cab.  If you
need anything call me, but the car is downstairs as well.  Just be careful
if you go out.  I'd prefer you wait till I can get here to escort you."

"Thanks," I replied, "but I'm 210 years old.  I think I can take care of
myself."

"That remains to be seen," he quipped and then looked over to Willow.
"I've saved his ass three times now," he said and then he went back out the
door.

"Well, welcome home," I said to Willow.  "What do you think?"

"It's nice, but it's just another hotel.  It doesn't feel like home."

"I know.  But let's make the most of it until we can decide where we want
to live and what we want to do."  I spread my arms out and he was instantly
in them.

We embraced for a few minutes, and then Willow jumped back.  "This must be
making you hungry," he said.  "I wonder how well stocked Craig left the
place."  He pulled away and walked to the small kitchen.  Inside the fridge
he found several bottles.  He quickly tossed one in the microwave and
warmed it for a minute.  "Here he said, handing it to me."  I opened it and
drank, quenching the fire in my throat.  This tasted very good.  Apparently
they had a fresher supply here in New York.

"You didn't sleep at all last night, and the sun will be up soon.  Come on,
let's go to bed," I encouraged and took Willow's hand.  We went into the
larger, master bedroom and instantly fell on the king sized bed.  "This
feels nice," I said laying back and relaxing, but Willow had other ideas.
He was instantly on top of me, kissing me and unfastening my trousers.
"Don't you ever get tired?" I asked.

"No, do you?" He returned as quickly.  We made love again and then fell
asleep in each other's arms.

Sometime later I slipped off the bed and down the hall to the office.  It
was about 10:00 in the morning.  I dialed the number I had and reached
Kelly in Kansas.  "Yes, I've been waiting for your call," she replied to my
inquiry.  "Here's the number of the man you need.  He said he can do the
job for you and will be happy to do it as a favor to me.  Just be sure of
what you are doing."

"I'm quite sure," I said.

"Then I guess this is our final goodbye," she replied.  We both hung on the
line in silence for a minute.  Then she said, "Jeff, I love you," and hung
up before I had a chance to reply.  I then dialed the number she gave me.

"Hello?" a man's voice answered.

"This is Jefferson Smythe," I announced.  "Kelly Monroe gave me your
number."

"Yes, Mr. Smythe," he said.  I could detect the excitement in his voice.
"I've been expecting your call.  She explained what you want and I told her
I would do this as a special favor to her.  Kelly has been a good friend to
me and a mentor.  When do you want this?"

I made all the arrangements with him on the phone.  As I was hanging up I
felt someone staring at me.  I turned and saw Willow, standing in the
doorway.  He had a curious look on his face.  "What are you doing?" he
asked.

"Just making a phone call," I replied.

"Something's going on and you're keeping it from me," the boy replied.
"Look, if you want me to leave I will."

I jumped up and quickly crossed the room, faster than a human would.  In a
moment I was holding him in my arms.  "I wanted it to be a surprise," I
told him.  "But you are so paranoid and determined that I am plotting to
get rid of you, I guess I'll have to tell you all my plans."

We moved to the living room.  I stopped by the kitchen and heated a bottle
of blood in the microwave and then brought that with a soda into the living
room and we sat on the couch, facing each other.  "Willow," I began slowly,
"I think I may know where your father went."

"What?" he asked in surprise.

"It's just an idea, but I thought he might have returned to where he came
from."

"You think my father went back to that magical fairyland you told me
about?" the boy asked.

"Yes I think so.  And I thought maybe we could try and find him."

Willow just stared at me for a minute, blinking in surprise.  "Wait, you
think my father went to another world, and you think we can just go follow
him there?"

"Yes," I replied.

"But...but why?"

"Well, wouldn't you like to see your father again?" I asked.

"Sure, but why would you do this?"

"One, because I love you.  And two, because if we went to this other world,
we might have a chance to live a normal life."

"A normal life?  What are you talking about?"  My young lover was totally
confused.

"I had a friend long ago named May.  She was a Celtic witch.  She said that
night walkers, that's what she called vampires, would be able to become
humans again by entering the fairy world."  I could see that Willow wasn't
sure about this.  "You see, May said, if a night walker were to cross over
to the fairy world, his heart would begin to beat again and he would be
able to eat and drink normal foods, and he would be able to stand in the
sun of that world.  Don't you see, we could live together as normal people
there."

"And you think this place really exists?"

"I know it does.  I had a couple of friends who came from there and I saw
them return."

"If you believe this, why didn't you go with them?"

I laughed.  "Don't think I wasn't tempted.  I really thought about it, but
I felt that there was something holding me here.  I think it was my future,
my destiny with you.  But now I have no reason to stay.  The two of us
could go to this world and maybe find you father."

"You think my father is just going to be waiting there for me?"

"No, but it might be a good place to begin a search.  We might find out who
he was, where he went, if he ever came back, and so on.  It's the best lead
we have on him, and it's a chance for the two of us to have a normal life."

"But you'll be human again.  You'll be mortal.  It will mean you will die!"
Willow's eyes began to fill with tears.

"Yes, I will die, but not until I've lived a full life with you.  We will
grow old together there, and when the end comes, it won't be a fanatic
driving a stake in my heart.  It will be you and I together, passing on to
the next life as is the natural course of things."

"Well, when you put it that way..."  We kissed each other and held each
other for a long time.

* * *

"Are you fucking nuts?!" Craig shouted.  He couldn't believe I had come up
with such a plan.

"Craig, this is my chance to have a normal life."

"And what am I supposed to do, wire all your assets to the First National
Bank of Never Never Land?"

I tried to calm him down.  "You'll go on managing my affairs like you've
always done.  I'll make you the heir to my estate, and when enough time has
passed that it is evident I'm not coming back, you will have me legally
declared dead."

"You can't just give me everything you have."

"Why not?  It isn't going to mean much to me in a different world.  If
things don't work out like we expect, we'll come back.  But if they do work
out, we'll have our own lives to lead and we won't need the office and you
to protect us, or all the money in the world to be there for us.  It's all
yours."  Craig could see I wasn't going to relent.  He sat in the chair
with his one arm still in a sling and his other hand drumming his fingers
on the desk top, a sour look on his face.

"Now how long will it take to set this all up?"

"Just a few days," he grumbled.  "I'll have a lot of papers for you to
sign."

"Alright then, on Friday I want airline tickets to Virginia or as close as
we can get to our destination outside of Jenkins and we'll rent a car to
drive to the site in the Appalachians."

"Okay," Craig said, still unhappy about all this.

Four days later, the papers were all signed and Craig picked Willow and me
up at our apartment.  "You leaving already, Mr. Smythe?" Willie asked
disappointedly.  "You just got here and I was looking forward to you
sticking around for a long, long time."

"Willie, I appreciate the sentiment, but I've got a life to live elsewhere.
Thanks for all you've ever done for me.  You take care of yourself."  I
gave him a quick hug and then jumped in the car.  We drove out of the
parking garage and into the evening for our trip to Kennedy.  At the
airport, we got out and headed for the check in with Craig right behind us.
Willow and I had each packed a full backpack but that was all we were
taking with us.  There wasn't any luggage to check.  I was surprised to see
that Craig had a bag.  "What's that?" I asked.

"It's my luggage.  I'm coming with you, as far as the doorway to your other
world, anyway."  I was truly glad to have him along for the start of our
adventure.  We checked in, boarded and in no time at all were arriving at
Nashville, Tennessee.  That was where we picked up Herve Sanchez.  He was
the man with whom Kelly had put me in touch.  He joined our party as we
boarded the next leg of our trip.  From Nashville we had to take a small
commercial plain to Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Blountville.  We then
rented a car and drove into the Appalachian Mountains.  About two hours
later we finally came to our destination, several miles to the west of
Jenkins.  Parking on a little dirt access road, I led the group up into the
hills and found Frank's grave.  I spent a moment there, remembering the fun
times we had and paying homage to his memory.  We then trekked back into
the woods and came to the little grove where all those years ago Kelly had
opened a portal to the other world.  Herve nodded and began to lay out the
stones and crystals he had brought with him.  He sprinkled herbs in a huge
circle and chanted as he did so.

"You'll see that Herve is well compensated and gets home alright?" I asked
Craig.

"Of course.  You're still determined to do this?"

"Yes," I said, a smile spreading across my face.  "This is our chance for a
good life, a real life.  And it's Willow's chance to find out something
about his father."

"And you want this too, kid?" Craig asked, looking at my young lover.

"I want to be with Jeff, and if he thinks this is the way to do it, then
I'm all for it.  And it will be a cool adventure.  Besides, if I find my
dad that will just be a perk."

Craig shook his head as if he didn't understand any of it.  He sighed and
said, "Okay, you're the boss, at least for the time being.  If you come
back you call me, understand?  I'll take care of your business here till
then."

"It's time, boys," Herve said as he looked at his watch and glanced up at
the stars.  I could feel the dawn approaching in the east.

"We're ready," I replied.

Herve lit some incense and tossed it into a brazier and then chanted the
last of his incantation.  There was a loud boom like a clap of thunder and
a bright flash that looked like lightning.  When the after images
disappeared and I could see again, I beheld a bright blue circle in the
middle of the field surrounded by his crystals.  It stretched between two
of the crystals and almost looked like a window but it wavered and
shimmered.

"What is that?" Willow asked, looking at it.

"That is the portal," Herve replied.

"That's the doorway to our life together," I said.  I looked down at the
young man I had fallen in love with.  He stood at my side and looked back
up into my face, a warm smile lighting his.  I could see Sarah in that
smile.  After all, he was an imprint of part of her DNA, being her
grandson.  "Are you sure?" I asked one final time.

"Oh yes, I'm sure," he replied.  We stepped close to the wavering blue
light and then turned to look back at Craig.  I waved and could see tears
in his eyes as well.  Then Willow and I turned and walked through the
shimmering light.

We were standing on a flat plain with tall grass waving about us.  Not far
to the west we could see the peaks of a mountain range poking up out of the
land.  I looked up and for the first time in one hundred and eighty seven
years, I stared at the bright sun.  It was shining down on me and I wasn't
suffering or bursting into flame.  I began to laugh.  Willow looked at me
with a huge grin on his face and joined in the laughter.  After a few
minutes I was able to control myself, but he just kept giggling.  "What's
so funny?" I asked.

"You," he replied.  "Your stomach is growling."  And indeed it was.

"Yes and my heart is beating too!" I said as I felt it thumping away in my
chest.

"Well I guess that proves that you aren't immortal.  We better find some
food soon before you starve to death because I don't think you can just
bite someone here."  I agreed with him.  We began to walk across the
prairie toward the distant mountains.  We were walking into our new life
together.

 

 

 

 

 

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