2 - Vampire The Masquerade
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Hang On to Your HeadI don"t remember a whole lot about that Saturday night in April. I had gone to the Last Confession to party. There was a band whose name I have forgotten. They were doing late 1960"s and early 1970"s hard rock. They were loud, and they were good. The crowd was wired and most of them were high. That"s where I met Casey. She was a petite brunette, with huge, dark eyes. She had a cute wiggle that said she was probably good in bed. I fell in lust instantly. We had a few drinks, danced, went outside in the alley and smoked a joint, went back inside and had a few more drinks, and we danced. And I liked her. I liked her a lot. Around midnight, we went to her place, which was close. I don"t remember the sex at all. My guess is that it was pretty hot. I do remember waking up, and sitting up in bed. Casey was on the chair across from the bed, wearing only the red silk blouse she had worn at the club. And she was smiling. My senses cleared all at once, and I was shocked, but shocked in a pleasant way. My vision was much clearer, my hearing sharper, and I could smell quite keenly. I looked across at her and said, "What is going on here?" "Welcome," Casey replied. "Welcome. I have just made you immortal. I think you will enjoy it." My improved hearing heard footsteps on the landing to the apartment. The door was kicked in and Casey"s expression turned to one of alarm. The bedroom door was shoved open and four men burst into the bedroom. Two of them were carrying nasty-looking wooden stakes. One of the men jammed a stake into my heart. The pain was excruciating. I blacked out. I did not know it, but a wooden stake does not kill a vampire. It only immobilizes. Once the stake is removed, the vampire returns to life. When my stake was removed, I was in a different place. It appeared to be a dressing room in a theatre. The man who had staked me was standing near the door. "Get dressed," he said. "Your attire is on the dressing table. Then please follow me. Do not become violent, for that will not help your case." I dressed, and followed the man out onto the stage of a well-lit theatre. Casey was dressed and kneeling near the front of the stage. I was forced to kneel beside her. Six men guarded us. A well-dressed man was addressing a very small and varied audience using a very educated and pronounced tone of voice. "A respected member of the community, until now," he said. "Permission to Embrace was never requested. This is a violation of our laws." I looked at the audience. There were a wide variety of people, including a few biker and hippy types sitting together. All were silent and listening to the man. He turned away from the front of the stage and approached Casey. "Forgive me," he said, his voice very soft. A large black man with the biggest meat cleaver I had ever seen raised it high over his head. Another man held Casey by the hair and stretched her neck. The cleaver dropped, and, in one slice, separated her head from her body. Her head and body burst into flame and the flame flared out. Everything turned to dust. I was shocked. "Now, as to the Childe," the man said, facing the audience again, "this Childe is obviously Caitiff, with no proper Sire. Therefore, ; " "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" shouted one of the biker types. He stood quickly and tried to run toward the stage, but his friends restrained him. The man on stage paused for a moment, turned, and looked at me. He smiled. Then he turned back to the audience. "Now, if Mr. Rodriguez will allow me to finish," he stated, "this Childe is obviously Caitiff. He will be allowed to live. We will educate him in our ways and our customs, and bring him into Camarilla society. That is all for now. I thank you all for your attendance." I was pulled to my feet and I watched as the small audience filed out of the theatre. Next I was guided offstage, where the gentleman who did all of the talking addressed me. "I am Sebastian LaCroix, Prince of the Camarilla in Los Angeles County." His tone was one of command. "You will be taken to a safe haven in Santa Monica. Once there, you will make contact with an agent of mine named Mercurio. He will have a small task for you to accomplish. Once you have completed this task, you are to report back to me, at the LaCroix Towers building here in downtown Los Angeles. Please be prompt with this task." With that, I was escorted to a stage door and shoved outside into an alley. On the other side of the alley, leaning against a wall next to a dumpster, was one of the biker types from the audience. He looked at me and laughed. "Wow! What a fuckin" scene!" he shouted. "They just toss you out in the street like a used condom. Okay, I have about this much time." Here he held his fingers roughly an inch apart. "I"m Jack. I can help you. You interested?" I sure was interested.