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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ol' Papa

            Timeaus stared at the crumbling mausoleum in front of him and looked over at Ol’ Papa. The vampire king of the Bayou titled his head to gaze back front under the brim of his hat and he grinned at him, “You aren’t afraid of dead people, are you?”

            He laughed at the bemused expression on Timeaus’s face and pushed open the door to go inside. The crypt itself was a large Temple-tomb designed to house up to two coffins are once, and when Timeaus walked inside he could see the wall-vaults the lined the inside despite the complete darkness.

Ol’ Papa walked to the coffin that lay out on the stone slab in the middle of the room and put a hand on it almost lovingly. He then looked at Timeaus and nodded, “Time to get to work.”

“Doing what, exactly?” Timeaus put down the shovel with a grunt and folded his arms, “What are you doing, haunting cemeteries like this?”

“This is my job,” Ol’ Papa said with a shrug, “I transfer the bones from the coffins to the vaults. It is how I take care of those lucky folk what get to cross over cleanly, not like us,” he pointed to Timeaus intently, “Not like us mixed up folk who have to stick around.”

Timeaus rolled his eyes, “You asked me for a meeting and here I am. What was so important?”

Ol’ Papa turned his luminous red eyes, and Timeaus felt himself tremble slightly. The leader of the Ge-Rouge was tall and heartbreakingly beautiful like all of the revenants, but he had a wildness about him that made other vampires look like meek altar boys. His long, shining hair was twisted into intricate dreadlocks that ran down his back and where his white button-down shirt was opened to his ribs hung a plethora of necklaces, all of them someone sporting the color red and some sort of bone. Beyond that, his clothes were almost strikingly unremarkable: he had on a pair of black pants, worn formal shoes and his fedora-esque hat, as well as an open grey vest and a hammered gold bracelet. His face was young and beautiful with a single pale scar marring his dark copper skin, a scruffy, mane-like beard hanging from his chin.

Staring at him was like looking a hungry wild cat in the eye, and Timeaus awkwardly looked away. Ol’ Papa’s voice echoed slightly in the tomb, making him seem all the more God-like and imposing, “I called you here because there is a new danger in the world. Our two clans can no longer huddle in our territories and pretend to not see the bigger picture.”

Timeaus swallowed hard, “You are talking about Zuriel.”

“I am talking about Zuriel, as well as what the future holds for our kind.” Ol’ Papa cracked open the lid of the coffin, and Timeaus tried hard to ignore the stench of putrefaction that suddenly spread through the building. The Ge-Rouge vampire carefully, almost lovingly, swept the remains of the coffin’s inhabitant to the edge with his shovel and looked over at Timeaus, “This one’s been gone for over two years. There is not much left inside to be disgusted by.”

“I am not disgusted,” Timeaus glanced inside the coffin, winced, and looked away, “Alright, I am not overjoyed that you picked this place to meet, but I am heartier than you think.”

“Excellent.” Ol’ Papa said as he handed Timeaus a large box, “Then you will not mind helping me to move the remains into one of the wall vaults.”

The white collar vampire tensed as Ol’ Papa scooped what was left of the body out of the coffin and into the box he held, trying his damndest not to retch. When Ol’ Papa had finished, Timeaus gasped, “What is the point of this?”

Ol’ papa didn’t answer. Instead, he took the full box from Timeaus and placed it into one of the empty holes in the wall with a great deal of care and grace. After a long silence, he said, “You and I must put a stop to Zuriel. I know that you have connections to the FBI and other human organizations. I am prepared to lend you some of my assets as well, but we must work together on this. The Choir of Zuriel is gathering followers and soon it will be impossible to remain hidden from the human world. That cannot happen.”

Timeaus nodded, “I agree.”

Ol’ Papa looked at him intently, “The world is changing again. This time, if we do not make way, all of the future generations will sleep atop our corpses.” he nodded to the empty coffin, and the metaphor that they had just enacted made the hair in the back of Timeaus’ neck stand on end.

“You have my cooperation,” Timeaus’ breathed, “Let’s get to work.”

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