It was Mah who saw it first, over the neck of the dimorphodon on which he was feeding. Startled, he let his lips’ pressure on the vein lessen, and a gust of blood spurted into his right eye.
How we laughed.
We were in lively spirits – despite having been dreadfully ill for forty days and nights with ‘running water sickness’.
The giant Coffin Barge, its wooden decks spread with a layer of our native soil (from the land of Nod) had sustained us, and now we were safely aground again: one valley along from those self-righteous Noahs.
The vision was a marvelous sight, a band of curdled anti-light across the night sky, seven bands of virulent non-colour. Dead, Outrage, Gallow, Spleen, Grue, Indignant, and Violent.
Mah’s brother Mehs came up with a way to remember them – ‘Dracula’s Orphans’ Goodness Slurped Greedily In Veins’. (Dracula is a descendant of ours - promised unto us by Prophesy). Ma gave him a disciplinary thwack with the old silver, for saying “G**dn*ss”. We chortled to see him jump with a singed behind.
Pa suggested: “Devils Often Generate Significant Gains In Ventures” – which was worthy, but awfully dull. Obviously I’m glad we didn’t dissolve in the flood-waters, and it’s marvelous that Pa is in like Cain with the Dark Angels – but I can’t help wish he was a bit more romantic.
H’tepaj - said *he* couldn’t see the difference between Indignant and Violent. Mah said that “There wasn’t a difference - with him” – which was funny because it was true. That started a fight.
My name? I’m Babeleteqedes, and I generally run with Mehs when the blood-mood takes us. I’m named after the Great Unholy Project that the Tyrant blasted just before the Flood – which is lovely (I don’t think). I might as well be called Incomprehensibil or Glossolalaura. Actually I wouldn’t mind ‘Gloss’, my hair is my best feature, and my teeth are nice and sharp unlike Mama Arazme who has false ones. (She thinks we don’t know.)
Mah’s blood-mate Kuamataleen, and H’tep’s Sesenatada like to shorten their names to Kuama, and Sesen, but I call them K, and S for shorter still.
Aside from the Unholy Beasts (we took the ones the snooty Noahs rejected) that’s all of us. Eight vampires to carry on the tradition of the Night.
It’s far too many. Now that we’re ashore and not pink and horribly flushed with ‘running water sickness’, we’ll soon prune the ranks a bit. Much as I find Pa dull, we probably can’t stake him yet – at least until we’ve got the recipes for Blood-wine, but Arazme the toothless, silver-cane wielder, and K and S, are prey. There can be only one Vampire Queen.