For The Writer's Cramp 6-14-20. A latter-day-vampire story from "Blood of the Garlic"
"Yes, I fell into a glacial crevice once. No, I don't remember much."
Lily guided us through the freezer. We were dressed in goose-down. She wore a pink cardigan. "It looks good on me Ajo," she'd once told me.
It did give her translucent onion-skin some color. Red-and-black looked good on our friend Meadowlark. On Lily it would've been frightening.
Not that Lily cared. She was beyond caring, had been for centuries...
"When was that?"
"Let's just say that the King of France had a thing for me." Lily flashed her fang. She'd lost the other one last week and was waiting for a replacement.
Lily like to rile people up. The well-coiffed lady in the grey business suit and pearls just smiled in reply.
"This is where we put uncured hams. Once frozen they handle like a block of ice. Everything is cut into proper size before freezing and sorted. It would take more than a chainsaw to hack through a side of hog." Lily pointed. "There we have pig's ears and over there snouts."
Racks of meat surrounded us. There was no smell in the bitter cold.
"We handle the dead-meat as little as possible." Lily wore thin leather gloves. We donned winter-mittens.
"Why do you freeze everything?"
"Good question. I prefer fresh blood-dripping meat myself, but we ship around the country. Can you imagine the stench if we lost refrigeration?"
Everyone but the old lady shuddered.
"Don't worry, we have back-up generators. More than one."
She smirked at me. "We even have an old fashion Ice House. I'm sure Ajo would love to show you."
Meadowlark was waiting for us outside. She never liked freezers. She wore her red-dyed hair up and her garlic necklace dangling over her black smock. Her collection of herbs at The Shallot was the next stop.
"May I have a word?"
It was the old lady discretely holding back, addressing Lily.
"You don't remember me." She smiled sweetly. "Just as well. I was there when they found you frozen last century. I'm older than the hills, but I suspect you're far older. I do remember King Louis as a decadent old fart." Her teeth sparkled. "At least you've out-lived him."
© Kåre Enga [177.91] (13.juni.2020)