Eight: Alone with my Vampire Queen
The murmurings of Perveen’s court faded into silence as we walked, still hand in hand and swinging like adolescent boy- and girlfriend, alongside the towpath of the canal. Nary a stray dog howled nor Tom cat cried; the slow, stagnant stirring of the sedentary waterway was the solitary sound in the impossibly still night. It was as if all of nature was cowering at Perveen’s approach.
The atmospheric tension was tangible; my mind, already opened wide to possibilities incalculable since my ‘making’, was exploding with questions.
However, it seemed that this new intellect with which I’d been bestowed answered each question as soon as the subject was broached. Was this knowledge inherent in my new being or was Perveen somehow pre-empting this logical FAQ session and implanting the answers as soon as my inquisitive mind raised the query?
I looked down at her, fearful of another glimpse of that gagging love that I had felt in her eyes moments earlier choking me once more, but she was simply staring at the pebbled path before each imminent footstep, as if examining her shoes with every pace.
She sensed my attention and turned to greet it, the love-rays that had beamed from her eyes with such overwhelming iridescence were reigned in. For now.
“Why?” I asked. Her smile would have melted the Polar ice cap, had we been in its territory.
“Come with me,” she began, quickening her pace, never letting my hand go, indeed, gripping all the more tightly; I was duty bound to follow. Although, wild horses would not have stopped me tracing her steps at any rate as she continued, “to a place where we can be alone.” She nodded to the next bridge, our next destination distant in the darkness.
The acceleration came without warning and with an impossible speed, as if our feet did not even scrape the ground, the cool night air chafing our faces as the landscape blurred past in strafing streaks and strips of light.
We arrived at the foot of the bridge in the popping of a corn, strangely, the sound of which our journey was not unlike as we came to an abrupt halt, the rest of the world seemingly carrying on a yard or two before it too was able to apply the brakes.
Her grip tightened yet further and the assurance that I was not going to topple into the water came to me through the very palm of her hands. I phewed. She howled, bent almost double, clutching her stomach with her free forearm and for all the world enjoying every lingering moment of my uncertain equilibrium, then slowly raised that hand as if in apology. I returned the smile, although not quite sure whether I fancied being so fully at her mercy.
Of a sudden, she stood upright, simultaneously serious. As if wiping an invisible window, Perveen waved her hand. What happened next was magical.