Halloween seems an appropriate time for this tale…
When I first met my friend Marcus, he stared at the silver, fleur de lys cross depending from a chain around my neck, and gave me a mischievous grin.
“So. You’re really into vampires, huh?”
My brain processed his question on a few quick-fire levels…all literary.
Did he think I wore this charm because of the traditional powers attributed to it by folklore? A cross…and silver…. Both supposedly effective weapons against the undead? Or, was Marcus referring to the jewelry design which sprang from the French Quarter of New Orleans? Was he drawing on the vampire legends of author Anne Rice and her ties to the same area that crafted my necklace?
Since I wore it because it was a gift from a loved one, neither supposition applied. My cat-curiosity gave him a sidelong look, inviting explanation.
So Marcus took it a little further, and immediately planted a firm foot on the path to becoming one of my most intriguing friends.
“Generally, people who wear crosses are Christians,” he stated. “That means Jesus Christ is at the foundation of your faith. And…” His grin grew wider. “…Jesus was a vampire. In fact, Catholicism especially, is a very vampiric religion.”
My bemused expression and the fact that I didn’t walk away, encouraged Marcus to elaborate.
“Jesus rose from the dead.” He shrugged. “Maybe if they’d pierced his heart instead of his hands and feet, he wouldn’t have. And there’s that whole bread and wine thing. You know…drinking the blood of Christ so you’ll live forever in him?” He gave a sage nod. “Vampirism. Pure vampirism.”
I forgave him the contradictions in his theory…that the cross would then burn and repel those who partook of this vampire religion, because it was, as I said, intriguing.
The second encounter I had with Marcus, he had another take on Christianity; a commingling of legends that I’ll pass on next time… But for now…