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Franz L Kessler

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Beneath the Wings of the Vampire
By Franz L Kessler
Monday, September 27, 2010

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On a lone ride on my motor bike, I felt the presence of some mysterious entity above my neck

This evening I had finished my classes at 20:00, and my old 1986 model Mitsubishi car was, once again, in the workshop for repairs.
Hence I used my ‘Jagu’ motorbike for the forty mile ride from the university campus to my farm that is located at the end of a lonely valley at the foot of the Lambir Hills. It is a rather lonely place, often haunted by several categories of ghosts, mostly of an annoying rather than threatening kind; somehow one gets used to these apparitions, and one can reconcile with their paranormal presence – humans are often far more frightening.

When I left the main road I realized how dark the night was – pitch black, New Moon, a few islands of starry sky sparkling behind opaque puffy clouds, some of which had retained a sniff of dying sunlight. As the motorcycle rumbled along the winding road, passing the first, then later the second flickering-orange light at the branch-road to Siwak Jaya, an image came to my mind – here I had seen, a few weeks ago, a lady in a very strange, old fashioned costume. She stood there, immobile silent, long brown garment, a rotan-basket in her hand, her face hidden behind a pillow lace scarf.

“Who is this,” I remember having asked my wife, in a surprised though casual tone, but she had remained eerily silent, and so did the others in the car, frozen in horror. Later my wife told me, in the spiritual safety of our house, that the lady under the lamp was a well-known local spectre; villagers had seen her appearing out of nothing and disappear again into darkness, a strange and spurious visitor from a long forgotten past.

Now the road ahead plunged into a valley, and large underbrush and high grass on either side of the narrow lane made me feel more exposed and lonely. As I rumbled ahead, my headlight illuminated a tunnel-sector view of shivering shadows – bushes, trees, and high-growing grass that nobody bothers to cut, the sparkle of a bird’s eye. Surrounded by complete darkness, I penetrated a space of sounds -geckos and bats?

That’s when I felt it first. It was there, behind and above my neck, gently flying above me, I felt its breeze that gave me a shiver. I pulled the throttle, but it kept relentlessly following me at equidistance. Strangely though there was a soothing sensation - a kind of charming attraction of some intimate beauty, and even closeness.

“No, don’t look up,” an inner voice told me. “If you turn your head upwards, you might fall and smash against the hydrant, hidden behind the elephant grass.” I struggled to concentrate on my motorcycle, the bumpy road ahead – this was the bent with the seeping hydrant, where the road is always wet, and where I had slipped and fallen, once ago. I slowed the motorcycle and passed the bent without braking. I saw the green fence of my farm appear, and the inviting lights of the farmhouse beyond the fishponds. The spectre above my neck was gone.

I had come home, at last.

© 2010 by Franz L Kessler

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Reviewed by Regino Gonzales, Jr. 9/27/2010
I like this one. I have always liked reading about witches of the Asian kind. I actually met one myself before she became.



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