Sina's Life Stories - Meeting Aheru
August 16, 1969
She could always feel that moment when the acid seemed to slip directly into her spine and really change the state of the world. The fabric of the tripping tent seemed a tapestry of the universe – thousands of strands woven into the same purpose. Sweat became a slow, sensual weight dripping between her shoulders, and she could almost taste Joplin’s wails on the air. Persephone settled into the corner of the tent, taking in Danny and Tina – tripping together on a love wave and touching each other like Adam and Eve must’ve done the first time, as well as Bobby and Mikey topping off the bong, and seeing who could out-do each other’s smoke blasts…but getting worse at it as the trip took them down as well.
With a smile, she sank into her own dream, almost completely hidden by the smoke and shadows, quietly watching colors fade into the world and swirl around her. Some timeless time later, another person came into the tripping tent. Tall and dark, handsome, but he looked like he was starving. His clothes weren’t right either – out of tune with the rest of hippies, but out of tune with everyone else as well.
Persephone thought a hello, but must not have been able to actually speak it, since he didn’t acknowledge it. She thought to look in her backpack for a granola bar to offer the poor guy, but before she could move, she decided he must be part of her trip.
He zipped the tent closed in a single swift motion, and grabbed Mikey – he was closest to the entrance. The dark man pulled Mikey close like he was going to kiss him, but then it looked like he kissed Mikey’s neck instead. In moments, the man dropped Mikey – apparently dead – to the floor. Then he grabbed Bobby – rinse and repeat.
Now his lips were glittering with thick blood, and he didn’t look as starved. Janis was still wailing – a million miles away on the stage – and Danny was getting a clue about his impending death, standing up to say “Hey!” when the dark man kissed his neck just as he’d done the first two times. He took a little extra time with Donna, seeming to savor her. Persephone could see the muscles in his neck working – drinking her.
It must’ve happened in seconds, but to Persephone – stoned as she was – her friends’ bodies falling was a cosmic, slow-motion dance, the drops of blood on his face were glittering garnets, his sure, swift motions reminiscent of some primal beast in the skin of a man. And he drank blood. Suddenly, she placed his clothes – reminiscent of Egyptian style, and she whispered, eyes wide:
“Are you Osiris?”
Persephone leaned forward out of the shadows, curiosity rather than fear on her face, and he turned quickly – startled. It wasn’t often a human could hide from him, but there were half a million of them crawling around here this night.
He took in her tiny, pale face, her large eyes – pupils alarmingly dilated – and the LSD in the blood he’d consumed began to take hold, making the tent swim and seem to him to fade in and out of existence. The hunger frenzy suddenly over, he sat down hard on the floor of the tent and answered.
“I am Aheru. But I suppose Osiris is close enough for you. What’s your name, little girl?”
“I’m not a little girl. I’m 20 years old. My name is Persephone.”
The Hierophant’s words came swimming back to him in his growing haze: “You’ll find the fruit of the underworld hidden in the land of the Dead.” That little piece of prophecy had turned into something of a nightmare, since few of his Coven kept up much with popular culture. Fortunately, one of the younger Acolytes in the Circle knew enough about music to think of the Grateful Dead and the hordes of people who followed them from concert to concert.
Only Aheru could find his own replacement and train his own guardian, and so it had been up to him to ALSO follow these so-called Dead, combing through the crowds of young kine. That’s how he’d ended up here, too hungry to function without frenzy – here, in front of her. His hidden fruit.
The tiny girl’s declaration that she was not a ‘little girl’ at merely twenty years old made him laugh and flash fang. Why was he so happy all of a sudden?
She had scooted closer, looking curiously at him. “You are a little girl to me,” he answered. “I have lived more than 30 of your lifetimes.”
Good question. Other good questions: How was she not terrified of him? And why did his tongue suddenly feel so thick in his mouth?
“Answer my question, and I’ll answer yours. Is there something in these humans’ blood that might make me feel strange?” Aheru gestured to the bodies on the ground.
“Oh sure – acid, bennies, probably some downers. Definitely weed. They were totally tripping, man.”
“I am not a man. What do you mean ‘tripping’?”
“Taking drugs to get high, to get out of your skin, to…I don’t know – to trip on the righteous stuff we usually overlook,” Persephone said.
She looked positively enthralled now – quite the opposite of scared. And whatever this ‘acid’ and ‘weed’ was, it was slowly surging through his vitae, twisting the world into a sensuous, velvety corridor. It occurred to him how lovely her skin would look next to his, like caramel on a platter of alabaster. He wondered what she would look like if she was wearing only her long, flaxen hair.
“So?” she asked.
“So how have you lived so long? You said you’d answer me if I answered you.”
“Yes, I did.” He smiled and pierced her with a somber stare. “I could show you, but it will hurt.”
“Life is full of pain. Most people waste a lot of time trying to run from it. Why bother?”
Surprisingly, he thought he caught a glint of lust in her eyes as she answered. How could he have doubted? She was meant for him, waiting here in the shadows.
For a moment, he seemed to disappear, and Persephone was afraid that he had been only the LSD talking, but then he reappeared – literally – around her. From behind she could hear his voice against her ear, but felt no breath. His arms around her were cool to the touch.
“I will give you Nephthys’ gift – this very night, for it is ordained. But if you wish for the gifts of Osiris, you must learn, you must excel, and above all – you must perform a task for me when the time is right. Do you understand?”
He laughed again, then raised his finger to his lips, bit into it hard enough to break skin. He squeezed the thick vitae onto the end, then put it in front of her face. “You will. Drink this.”
She didn’t question, she didn’t hesitate. She wrapped both her tiny hands around his, then wrapped her lips around his finger, tasting first – then gently suckling. It seemed she could taste his very memories, and as though their skins melted away. He sighed as he willed her to belong to him, bound by his blood, and he thanked the Gods for this gift – the end of his search.