Black Petals Issue #79 Spring, 2017

Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man

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Mars-News, Views and Commentary
Cellmates-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man-Fiction by Mike Mulvihill
Feral Rage-Fiction by Dave Anderson
First Bite-Fiction by Jeff Dosser
For Sale-Fiction by Dave Anderson
Get Some Shelter-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Last Leg-Fiction by Dave Anderson
Surviving Montezuma, Ch. 7 & 8-Continuing Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Turbulent Silence-Fiction by George Economou
3 Haiku by William Landis
A Mother's Delight-Poem by Liz McAdams
4 Poems by Brendan McBreen

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Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man

 

By Mike Mulvihill

 

Vampire vs. Irish island

 

 

Drogol admitted he was furious with Marianne, whom he’d staked for not following orders. Just how mad had he been to give her vampire powers? But he remained hopeful of finding loyal servants. 

“Why do you need others around you?” I interrupted. Although my hands were tired from transcribing notes, my mind was buzzing with more questions.

“Why do you want to know that?” he replied, sneering.

“The Drogol you depicted in the USSR was strong, decisive, and liked to feast, getting a taster to fetch his dinner before devouring it. The Drogol you showed me when you followed me can stalk a human at length without help. The Drogol you are in Dublin can coolly kill those who disagree. The only sensitive version we see of you is in New Orleans. But we both suspect that this may be a false memory.”

“It seems I’ve presented so many versions of myself that you are yet to reach the core.”

“Yes.”

“Then tonight you need to speak with Death.”

 

According to Drogol’s associate, Death, someone suitable to serve Drogol had existed. Working in a secluded university laboratory, in what felt to the researcher like too many empty lab hours, the ignored scientific genius, Doctor Levine, spent his days underutilized and distressed by “the career suicide of being a public servant.”

Always too cautious and conservative, he kept berating himself, “I should never have settled for this; for a PhD I am the world’s biggest idiot. The private sector would appreciate my knowledge and talents, pay me accordingly, and promote me intelligently.”

Levine felt like an outcast whose work could be done easily in his sleep. Left to his own devices for whatever he chose to do, and with no one around to bother him, he was embraced within a silence which courted madness. The only break in that silence was noise ignored by ninety percent of the other people who passed through the doors of the university. At 6 am he could hear the old gate being opened from where fresh Luas lines were under construction. At 7:30 am he could hear milk bottles being placed outside certain offices. The list went on and on. His loneliness caused him to study the noises’ pattern.

The early morning seven o’clock swinging of the gate indicated a retired professor walking through the front doors of the college. He wished he could be a professor, or even just a lecturer, instead of being locked in a box. In a quarter of an hour he would hear church bells. More little noises continued until evening.

Tonight he decided to abandon the familiar noises of the college for those of the Dublin’s streets. Leaving the college from the front entrance of the laboratory and out through the lavish gateways, he walked for an hour outside the college green and around the Temple Bar. Passing Fitzsimmons Bar, he contrasted its daytime with its nighttime activities. During the day, Irish music played, creating a languid atmosphere. Daylight meant less iniquity, but less fun. Night brought out playful devils and their friends.

The researcher walked briefly into the Fitzsimmons and observed patrons dancing, flirting, kissing and talking, while outside the tide of humanity flooded the paths of Temple Bar. 

 

Two miles away Drogol the Nosophorous left what had been Marianne’s house to walk the streets of Dublin. In an intense state of confusion, his gaze grounded, he turned the corner into the red-brick-storied streets of Brighton Road. He had been summoned by a well-dressed, familiar figure with steel-blue eyes and skin of grey fog. This entity would change to a more substantial form if he accompanied Drogol into an establishment, and blend in as they sat down to converse. Death was his name, and he intended to urge Drogol to reach out to the talented Levine, and, by stopping him from wasting his life, gain thereby an invaluable ally. 

The Nosophorous followed Death into the city centre. There, the researcher, who Death so dearly wanted to introduce to Drogol, stood outside the Fitzsimmons, smoking a cigarette (possibly his last). He stared at the half moon in the sky as if transfixed by it, unaware that the Nosophorous’ dark soul overshadowed half of the moon.

The well-dressed figure of Death pointed at the pharmacology researcher and said, “That is your man.”

The Nosophorous was familiar with sensing suicidal intentions. Familiarity did breed contempt, so he was tired of such souls. Besides, he felt most powerful when he brought death to people, instead of leaving them to their own devices.

“I don’t find suicidal souls interesting,” he told Death, “because of their grim outlook, but…maybe in their darkness they’re as strange as I.”

“They are more than strange,” Death informed him as the two watched the researcher. “They are so isolated from the rest of humanity that they experience neither purpose nor meaning in life.” 

Death, dapperly dressed in black, save for a white bow tie, certainly stood out as he spoke to the attentive Drogol. “Oh, listen here, my friend; this human is not like the others.”

“Come off it,” said Drogol.

“Follow him; we may be able to stop this one.”

“We’ve never stopped one of them before.”

“But he could be so helpful to you.”

“What do you mean?” Drogol asked, now curious.

“Dr. Levine is a gifted scientist.”

“So what, if he’s mad?”

“He’s pursuing a pharmacological remedy for people who have a severe allergy to daylight. I have been studying his ‘unofficial work’ in the lab when he leaves at night.”

“Death, don’t you realize that he doesn’t care about his research enough to stay alive to complete it?”

“He’s only looking for a purpose, in that he thinks his work has no practical application. You will give him a purpose.”

“How will I give him a purpose—show my fangs and say look at me?”

“He’s not insane, just despondent. You also underestimate what you are. You remind the arrogant of this world that they are not bigger than the supernatural.”

“But he surely does not suffer from arrogance,” Drogol said, confused.

“If you display your supernatural self to Levine, he’ll see a dimension to existence beyond what he knows, and will that not turn him from self-destruction?”

“I don’t see how manifesting my true nature can wake him out of his tango with death.”

“Change him by inspiring him. And if you inspire him, let me make this clear, he will invent the formula that will cure your allergy to daylight.”

The two followed the researcher from the Fitzsimmons to the path beside the River Liffey. The river was particularly turbulent. The water looked like it could drag Levine into it, bounce him to the bottom, and toss his corpse about all night long.

Levine’s heart shuddered as his body shook from the biting wind. He felt like there were a million pests pecking at his dry flesh. Go into the nice cold water for relief, his personal demon instructed him.

Just as the researcher went to take the plunge, he saw a face on Ha’penny Bridge. The young man looked truly repulsive, red spots on his bearded face bulging through the skin. The infested face glared at the researcher.

 Without even thinking, the scientist moved away from the river edge. An Offaly-registered car pulled up beside him. A young girl in a track suit opened the car door, stuck her head out of it, and began spewing a white, gluey vomit. Between the man’s face and the vomiting girl, Levine decided this was not the place to commit suicide.

 

Drogol followed the researcher. He began to think about what Death had said and started to believe that this suicidal person could cure him. Drogol so deeply wanted to see the light that he thought maybe his salvation was tied to conquering his fear of it. Reaching Levine’s house, he noticed how similar the front of the house was in colour to the post boxes on the Isle of Man. He loitered outside the house for a full hour, wondering if he had to be invited in, then decided to kick in the front door and enter. Though it was pitch black inside, Drogol, with his supernatural vision, saw everything clearly. He marveled at how the walls, floor, and ceiling were painted in gold and black. The living room was similarly painted; oddly, in the centre of the room was an Isle of Man post box with the black marking ‘GR’ and, in gold, the words ‘Post Office.’

Drogol had hunted Manx before. If he could be cured of his aversion to light by this researcher, he would explore this beautiful island by day. He would walk slowly enough to enjoy every aspect of it…even the cats.

All too soon, Drogol kissed this dream goodbye, for Levine had just hung himself. The researcher’s tongue was blue; in a disappointed frenzy, Drogol climbed up, sliced it off, and stuffed it up his anus. He cut Levine’s leg arteries and drank. Drogol now felt a manic resentment towards the Isle of Man.

A highly distraught Drogol departed the Inner City and followed the River Liffey past its great Docklands and onto the coast. Fanging to leave, he was unsure how he would do so.

Finally, the vampire sought a coffin in an underground bunker off Bull Island. The lapping of the waves coming from the Irish Sea made his head pound. His soul ached for answers. All of that angry desire to know what was unknown, and longing for self-knowledge, caused him to clench his fists and bang them against the coffin lid.

The reverberations of Drogol’s fists caused the Irish Sea to go into such a violent storm that the Isle of Man, Anglesey, Holy Island, and the Calf of Man started to experience an unexpected pounding. Alarms rang out across these islands and ferries ceased operating for the day.

Ignorant that Drogol held power over their seas, the inhabitants of islands like the Isle of Man and the Calf of Man, who’d lost their ancient Manx Gaelic and connection to their Druidic ancestral Viking/Celtic heritage, had only one way to interpret what was going on: the logic of science. They had no idea that the ancient terror depicted in their caves was ready to reach out to them once again.

 

Among the Manx was twenty-five-year-old William Cubbon, who, with a thirst for photography and art, was seizing the day. Fearlessly, he crossed one of the most violent stretches of water in Europe off the Calf of Man. (In comparison to the Isle of Man, the Calf looked like a small child.) William was truly in love with the place. The Manx Government gave him grant aid on an annual basis in return for paintings of one of the most stunning parts of the British Isles. He could not resist going to Creagneash to take in the Calf Sound. He planned to take some pictures and, afterwards, eat lunch at the Harry Kelly’s thatched cottage off the Calf of Man.

William had the keys for the cottage. He would fry sausages, bacon, black-and-white pudding, and cut up a few potatoes to fry along with bread. He would boil a pot of tea, sit in the cottage, listen to the wind and the waves going wild, and thank God he was on land. 

The Loaghtan four-horned sheep, pastured there, looked disturbed by the violent sea. What would they have told William if he could have understood their bawling? The seals in the Strait of Kitterland sounded equally perturbed. William fantasized that his artwork would be displayed in the National Heritage Museum. He was unconcerned with the distress of Mother Nature—an island boy whose dreams overcame caution.

 

On Bull Island, Drogol’s coffin, situated under a bunker, left its subterranean home for the floor of the Irish Sea. When the coffin was surrounded by water Drogol emerged. The sea obeyed him. Protected by its water, Drogol knew exactly where the land of the Manx lay. Eyes blood red, his hands were like steel with fingers like sharp knives ready to slice up any sea creature that crossed his path.

The Nosophorous knew how to deal with the Manx descendants of ancient islanders, whose dolmens and cultures go back centuries. He believed the dead researcher might have been a rebel son of Man. This apostate had been developing a drug that would, if marketed, help the ‘ancient enemy’ depicted in his island’s caves. Outsiders would never be privy to such knowledge, since islanders are expert at keeping others ignorant of their inner world.

The Nosophorous was neither logical nor rational, since it was his nature to be wildly aggressive and senseless. Therefore, towering waves started attacking the rocks.

The storm finally prompted William to stop taking pictures. This was like none he’d ever experienced. He even thought that the waves might cut little Calf Sound in two and break it into the sea. What on earth was he doing here on an island beset by such unnatural violence? 

The Nosophorous had traveled the bottom of the sea from Dublin to the Calf Sound as if this were just a walk in the park. His whole being was a furnace of aggression. He wanted to sacrifice humans who lived on the Isle of Man for no other reason than that its signs were the last thing he saw before his dreams of light shattered.

William looked at the sky above the water with a horror that encompassed skies growing blacker and blacker. His dream of being esteemed by the Manx Wildlife Trust seemed utter folly. He wanted to leave this place and not return until summer. He could not explain his inner disquiet, but knew that he was truly stranded. He had come here by boat, with no way to return by boat.

He started to run to the Lower Lighthouse, where he could stay safe for the night. Climbing away from the violent sea, he cut his hand. The bloody backwash seemed harmless, but, all of the water of the sea could not dilute the lure of William’s presence for a certain predator.

The Nosophorous detected the blood of a human on this usually uninhabited island. A Manx Shearwater swam hurriedly over him. It escaped, thanks to the cursed daylight. The vampire stayed submerged, sure that he would burn up if he emerged. He circled the edge of the sea like an awakened addict. Manx…Manx…Manx he kept thinking, and pictured grabbing the fool alone by the sea, dashing his head against the rocks, cutting it off with his sharp nails, and draining every drop of blood from his body.

The rain drenched William and the wind nearly dragged him downhill into the sea. But gallantly he ran to the lighthouse, worried he would never make it before the sea took him. At last William reached the end of the path and ran towards the rock where the rusty keys were held just in case of an emergency like this. The sky darkened as he approached the mysterious place. William’s gut told him that supernatural forces had the Calf in its grip. Even a lighthouse which had guarded the island for so long might not be safe.

Nobody could tell the vampire Drogol he could not survive seas made turbulent by his very presence. Well, they were under his command now. Still submerged, he shouted at the sky above: “Come down, darkness, and cover my skin with the protection it needs.”

The Nosophorous, crazed as he was, still feared UV damage from daylight exposure, however dim. He’d proved that the sea was an alternative daytime venue for his ilk, but here it was freezing, wild, and salty. He did not want to make a habit of hanging out long in the Godforsaken depths. 

The pounding was one of the worst that the islands ever had to endure. The Irish Sea around the entire Isle of Man had become so aggressive that anyone venturing near the shore would be sucked in and drowned—as if the sea too wanted its pound of innocent flesh.

With night fast approaching William’s body shook as he legged it upwards to the top of the lighthouse, for he sensed the danger, not only from nature, but also the demonic. When he reached the round tower room, he huddled in the corner and whimpered to himself, “So that stuff in the caves is true!” Then he prayed.

The Ancient Manx had not lied. A hideous sight, just after dark, slunk onto land. Predatory and depraved, Drogol had transformed into a rabid, chittering creature of the night, fueled by insane rage. Once he found him, he would tear his prey limb from limb.

The raging vampire prowled every nook and cranny, but not the most obvious place, where William Cubbon was sure if he could survive the night, his next duty would be to wage war against this supernatural predator.

The reality of being stuck on an island began to oppress Drogol—the waves, the smallness of the Calf amid them, and its remoteness from Dublin. The thought of staying here disgusted him; he despised the whole look of it.

He finally sensed the flickering presence in the lighthouse, and roared, “Come on down, human!”

The Nosophorous, about to kick in the door, stopped. A deep, throbbing pain told him he was standing on previously consecrated ground. Even if he didn’t enter, there was also the bright light in the tower to consider—it was on an automatic and light-sensitive control.

Drogol, roaring in frustration, backed into the sea and returned to the Emerald Isle and familiar haunts.

 

“His prey was lucky,” I said.

“Very lucky...and so are you this night,” whispered the Angel of Death. “Hungry vampires are not famous for their mercy.”

 

The End

 

 

Michael Mulvihill, info@rathgartherapy.com, &mulvihillp@ymail.com, of Dublin, Ireland, wrote BP #79’s “Drogol the Nosophorous and the Calf of Man” (+ BP #78’s “Self-Immolation,” BP #77’s “Lupine Savagery”; BP #76’s “The Watchers”; BP #68’s“The Toasters’ Tragedy” and “Ziggy’s Afterlife Analysis”;Homeless” & “Why the Hell Siberia?” for BP #67; was featured author for BP #65’s “Ethagorian Evidence (Parts 1 & 2)” & “Uninsured Assurance”; VAMPIRE HORDE, Ch.1… for BP #63; BP #61’s poems, A Love Story Beautiful, Capitalism’s Modern Architecture of Love, Red Brick, The Securocrats, and Toxic Addiction; the poems, “Fatigued,” “O Mother,” & “Spike-Inverted Hearts” for BP #58; “The Cleaner and the Collector” & all 6 BP #56 poems; BP #50’s “The Soul Scrubber” and as featured vampire poet with A Vampire’s Dilemma: Love, Becoming a Vampire, Vampire Insomnia, and Vampiric War in The Kodori Valley; wrote BP #49’s poems—I, the Vampire, The Reluctant Vampire of Tbilisi, Vampire Observations, and Vampire Psychoanalysis). The 30ish author published a short story, “Ethagoria Nebsonia,” in BP in ‘98 and had a poem, “The Bombing,” in The Kingdom News about a domestic tragedy in Ireland. He has two 2007 poetry books out with Exposure Publishing: Searching for Love Central and The Genesis and Anatomy of Love, and has written the horror novels, DIABOLIS OF DUBLIN & SIBERIAN HELLHOLE

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