All Things In Good Time

© Joan Ann Lansberry

In The Mean Time

Even vampires lose patience. In the space between hope's beginning and hope's fulfillment, the MEANTIME, mean time stretched out cruelly.

Michael tried his old tricks of learning something new to occupy his mind from thinking about the lonliness. For all his greater freedom in attending concerts, going to art shows, and dancing in bars, he'd not had the courage to confront any human beings.

If someone showed the slightest interest him, he'd shy away back into the shadows, terrified. He simply didn't know how he should respond. Of course, FEAR had frozen his mind, which otherwise might give easy answers.

So it was like this, all waiting, inbetween bright moments of distraction. How could he hope to gain control over his fears?

He watched the trends. Tales were being told of a new medium, called the 'world wide web'. It was uniting people all over the world. Michael was most curious about this, and when the first computers came to the library to which he was resident at the time, he approached this web cautiously.

He learned many of its inlets and outlets. As it grew, there branched off various groups for discussion of varying things. Among them, were groups devoted to vampire lore and books written about vampires. Michael quickly got a e-mail address via the web, and he prowled the web as 'Blackcat'. He scanned every piece of data he could find on vampires, with his quick scanning eyes.

Where there any people who believed vampires were real? Day after day, he exhausted the search engines.

Day after day, his heart hurt with the hope of finding an answer.

How dared he hope to find kindred spirits in that vague new world of meeting minds via the 'web'? The glowing computer screens teased him with bits and pieces that led nowhere. He searched the web every chance he got hoping to find SOMEthing.

For years and years, he had wandered, a lonely thing, feeling quite ghostlike in those shadows he must keep to. How could he ever know? How dare he dream? For wasn't he a nearly weightless zypher by now? He surely must be. He'd roamed the libraries of a dozen cities. All such empty halls, with only silent wanderers. They'd take their books and go home. He'd once had a home.

He'd look at the lighted windows of the houses at night, and remember the warm fireside when he'd sit near his mother. He'd once had a home. ''Now I wander the earth, lonely. Now, in this age, I wander the 'web' lonely. How much more shall I stand?'' And tears would fill his eyes, and he'd sigh. How can I give up longing? How can I give up wanting?

''I want no longer to be a ghost, I want to be flesh and blood that can be touched by someone. I could be touched. I have been touched, all while yet with my strangeness. How do I reach? How can I know?''

''Must I be resolute, like a monk, and give up these needs? But I don't know how. I don't know how.'' Spirit-weary, he broke down and cried. Most of his wandering, he let curiousity take him. There was so much to learn about this world. Doubtless, vastly more remained. But he wanted TOUCH, he wanted FEEL. How could he touch the MIND of another? ''If not with my odd cold flesh, then can I with my MIND?''

To this, he strengthened himself for the search. He'd do what he could.

Go to Chapter 9, Courage to Meet
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