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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.

The Seducer: A Gone From Daylight Inspired Story - 5. William Harker's Journal: Entry 5

Wednesday, September 5, 1989

Oh, dear Lord what a weird time I had last night!

After 'tea,’ rather than take me out to dinner he took me back to the dorm. I figured, perhaps, he’d changed his mind, but he actually hadn’t. Our tea ended about 10PM, and he escorted me back to the dorm to personally tell the ‘Dorm Mom’ that I’d be out for the evening and that I was not to be missed. I found that slightly disturbing, but understood with the dorm rooms being what they are, the Dorm Mom has to keep some kind of discipline or things could get out of hand fast. Dr. V had, basically, given me a ‘get out of jail free’ card!

As a matter of fact, she seemed to want to agree to anything Dr. V asked of her! She almost looked like she couldn’t help herself!

When done with her, Dr. V whisked by me tapping his cane on the ground as he walked. “Come along, Mr. Harker. The night only lasts so long.”

We drove into San Francisco, a city I’d never really seen at nighttime. It sparkled like a jewel in the distance as we rode up to it on the freeway. I found out that the nice car we were in was actually a Bentley! To be honest, I’d never been in a car so luxurious before! The leather was blue colored and thick on the seat! Everything inside was wood-paneled! Dr. V seemed to have a button for everything from the Dual-Environment AC to the state-of-the-art CD player he had in his dash! All my car has is a radio!

His CD played quietly what must have been classical piano music which I found very beautiful. I’d never been much for classical stuff, but then, I guess, I’d not had a chance to listen to the best stuff.

“Who is this that’s playing, if I may ask?” I knew I’d sound ignorant, but then . . . Dr. V is supposed to be my teacher, isn’t he?

“Alas, these past generations have been so enamored of the great Rhythm and Blues masters from the Southern parts of this great nation that they forget that there are other forms of music available to them. It seems they have not had a chance to explore the auditory heavens of other places and times. It is to be expected. Why should a culture not venerate its own achievements? To be certain, the great Duke Ellington is every bit a match for Chopin here. It is Chopin to which you are now listening. His nocturnes are like liquid gold in my ears! Do you care for this music?” Dr. V asked.

“Wow, yeah! I . . . never thought piano music could be this beautiful!” I told him honestly. I’ll have to go to Tower Records and see if I can find some of this Chopin stuff to get for myself!

“It delights me to know this! Music is the power of creation! It is by music that the harmonies of all matter and energy combine! Existence is a song, Mr. Harker! When men make their music they partake in the creation of worlds and of new life! It is a faculty I’d always wished I’d been able to develop, but then my skills with creating life are . . . lacking somewhat.” Dr. V said with sadness for some reason.

“Indeed, the nocturnes of Chopin, Czerny, Debussy, and others - this is the true music of the children of the night . . . and what music it is!” He then added with a kind of enthusiasm that was somehow infectious! For a moment, I could actually feel what it was that this music did for him! A bitter-sweet feeling, like falling in love! Despite myself, I felt a small tear trickle down my cheek. I covered it up by pretending to scratch the side of my head, but, somehow I don’t think I was fooling Dr. V in any way.

I have been trying to wrap my head around his ‘music as power’ thing all night! That is like one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard! Music as a force of creation? Who thinks like this?

Existence is a song’!

In any case, if the strangely hypnotic music and strange peace hadn’t put me to sleep on the ride over to the City, I’d have had more to tell of the journey. But, apparently, I actually did fall asleep in Dr. V’s car which I still feel a bit stupid about. He didn’t seem concerned at all, however!

“Alas, Chopin has this same effect upon me. Fortunately, I am driving and must remain alert. Not so much is the case for my dear passengers. But, my boy, we are arrived so rouse yourself!” Dr. V said while he shook my leg. It was surprisingly painful, like being ‘lightly’ grabbed by the jaws of an alligator and shaken! Dr. V seems to be a lot stronger than his thin body might suggest!

The car stopped in front of a large Row House on a corner. I could tell by the hilly landscape we were deep into the City. The area was a lot nicer than I was expecting since a lot of areas in San Francisco are, kind of, seedy these days! My Mom and Dad warned me about going into the City and to go only with knowledgeable friends!

I suppose Dr. V fits that category . . . in cards and spades!

Two attendants helped me out of the car in such a way that I felt like I weighed about as much as a feather! One just took me by the arm and I was up and out like no problem! I didn’t have to do anything!

Dr. V merely waved them off and they took the Bentley to a valet parking area. No money or anything was exchanged. They just, sort of, did what he wanted without him hardly having to raise a finger! I guess he has some pull at this place, wherever it was we were going. I didn’t know yet. I was to know shortly, though!

I was a little confused. We had stopped at the little corner place, and it looked like a condo complex or row house. It was very pretty and quite clean and well maintained! I could tell that even in the dark. No lights showed through the windows, though. It looked like no one was home!

“Come along, Mr. Harker. Do not dilly-dally. I believe you will find this place . . . interesting.” Dr. V encouraged me to follow him. I did, though not without a weird nervous feeling that was suddenly overtaking me! It was almost a spooky feeling, like the feeling you might get on a dark night on Halloween in front of that house. That one every town has at least one of that is obviously haunted!

Before he could knock or anything, a tall pale man in a fancy tuxedo opened the door to Dr. V as if he was expected.

Inside glowed with an almost unearthly red glow! Intoxicating smells of incense, perfumes, and other things I couldn’t define wafted out of the place! I heard the low thud of music, but more dance or pop-style music rather than Mr. V’s classical stuff. However, the bent and atmospheric sounds in that music were not something I’d heard before! It was a bit sinister-sounding, but at the same time seductively dark in a beautiful way! It sounded like what ‘night music’ should sound like and I expected a belly dancer or something to be dancing to it when I walked in!

“Who, however, is this . . . Doctor?” The tall attendant seemed to peer down at me with a mix of amusement and distaste. I felt like I was about to get carded, which is what usually always happens when I go near a place like this. I just look too young. I look like a kid a lot, I guess.

“He is my guest, Pennyworth. This should be . . . sufficient.” Dr. V intoned in a deeply commanding and suggestive voice. A voice like he was suddenly very displeased about being questioned!

“B-but, of course, my . . . erm . . . Doctor. But of course! Please enter, my young friend, of your own free will and leave some of the happiness you bring!” This Pennyworth said with a bow, pointing the way with an open hand. I couldn’t help but give Pennyworth a strange look! I could feel my face twist with it! What a very odd greeting and invitation!

The greeting and the person gave me the shivers! Then there was the fact that such an intimidating character virtually bowed to Dr. V! That was weird enough all and in itself!

The air inside was cool, but not cold. Everything was red! I meant RED! The wallpaper, the upholstery on the booths, chairs, and bar chairs. The light coming from the ceiling seemed more like candles than lightbulbs, but they emitted light like fire . . . which in itself is reddish! Toward the back were red curtains that were parted so that you could see the swirling purple and red lights of a dance area, but the DJ’s music was muted enough to where it permeated the whole atmosphere of the place but didn’t overwhelm you or deafen you. Inside the dance area, a foggy mist drifted, catching the light and making the people inside look like shadowy ghosts! They danced in graceful waltz-like ways rather than like club-style dance-wiggling.

I could feel a tangible sense of excitement in the air as Dr. V entered. All eyes turned to him and then to me! Women! Women, so beautiful I don’t even know how to describe them, smiled at me as did their equally handsome partners! They all seemed to have that same beautiful quality that Louis had! A kind of, luminousness to the eyes and to the skin that just didn’t seem quite . . . natural! Though the smiles seemed pleasant enough, I don’t know why, but I felt like I was being sized up for something . . . or like how a bunny rabbit might feel who had just wandered into the wolf’s den!

Honestly, the hairs on the back of my neck started to rise! I felt myself crowd in closer to Dr. V, as if, by some instinct, I’d know he’d protect me somehow!

I found it odd that almost everyone was dressed in black! However, they didn’t look like ‘Goths’ or whatever. They were all very elegant but seemed quite at home wearing fine clothing made in all black materials.

“Lord Vlad! You honour us!” Came the voice of an exception to this. This man was absolutely astonishingly handsome! His hair was light blond, long but it hung in locks around his head and face. He wore violet sunglasses similar to how Dr. V wears red-colored ones in class. This man was all dressed in white and purple! His suit, if you could call it that, looked like it was made all in velvet and his shirt looked like a pirate’s shirt with frills down the front and in the cuffs!

To be honest, he looked like someone pulled him from an old picture of King Louis XIV!

“Monsieur Lioncourt, I presume! It has been a great while since we last conversed! I’d say, years! You have been away from San Francisco for a time, now! Your singular . . . charms . . . have been quite missed!” Dr. V said with a heavy dose of his own charm.

“Quel Dommage, Mon Signor! C’est the way of my complicated life! Decades pass, but my perceptions of such things seem so concaténées, no? Alas, my graces fail me entirely! May I learn the name of our charming guest?” This ‘Monsieur Lioncourt’ came to stand and stare at me eye to eye! I swore he was actually younger than me, but his way of talking was so . . . refined! We stood a similar height, unlike Dr. V who, kind of, towered over the both of us! I felt the weird feeling that, in another setting, this Lioncourt guy and I would have been dressing in a locker-room together after practice!

Yet, he spoke of decades passing between the two men after their last meeting!

I suddenly wondered what weird cult I’d been dragged into by a man I hardly know!

Then there was the matter of ‘Lord Vlad’! Where did that come from?

All my overthinking must have caused a bit of awkwardness because it paused me in answering a question directed at me. Dr. V felt the need to step in.

“Ah, yes, indeed social graces have been much neglected all over the world in these dread times. Let me introduce to you one William Harker. He is a student of mine at Stanford. He and I have developed a certain rapport so I thought he might find this place somewhat educational.” Dr. V spoke for me which I found, somewhat, embarrassing, especially with his ‘social graces’ comment. I am not that dense that I don’t catch a little ‘corrective guidance’ coming from my teacher!

“Good to meet you, um, Mr. Lioncourt!” I extended my hand to shake, which the strange person in front of me was quick to take. His hand was ice cold! I felt like I was shaking hands with a marble statue! This was not the first time I’d felt this!

“Enchanté, Monsieur Harker! We are most delighted to see a new and handsome face to brighten our, rather, dark retraite, no? This Salon Rouge can be downright stuffy at times. New blood is always welcome here!” Mr. Lioncourt’s way of shaking hands was not something I was used to, particularly when he took my hand up to his lips and kissed it! I didn’t pull back for fear of offending him, but, somehow, I felt that in the restrained strength of his gentle grip, I might not have been able to take my hand away if I wanted to!

“Oh, do not let the theatrics of Monsieur overwhelm you, Mr. Harker. He has long been an inveterate flirt and indulgent in all things dramatic. He performs as much as converses.” Dr. V must have sensed my uncomfortableness because his way of ‘taking me back’ from this weird guy was as effective as it was cordial! Why did that dream of being pulled between Louis and Dr. V suddenly come up in my mind again?

“Et voilà. So it is! I am who I am and shall always be . . . forever! Bonsoir to you both. I shall be down below should either of you begin to get bored with the . . . rabble!” Lioncourt bowed a courtly bow and was gone as quickly as he appeared. I noticed Dr. V look into the crowd for a moment with a hard stare and I saw that cruel twist in his lips again. There was something about him, suddenly, that seemed to draw all the shadows closer to him, somehow, making his eyes seem to almost glow with intensity! Something inside me shivered instinctively! A chill of fear that I couldn’t quite place!

In short order, the crowd in the club began to thin out with only a few people who were, I guess, real regulars remaining. Each one was a character unto themselves with fancy dress and amazing makeup on the women . . . and a few of the men too! All seemed so pale, though. Like looking at alabaster come to life! Suntans don’t seem to be a thing with these guys!

“Ah, that is much cozier! You seemed chilled by the coming fog outside, Mr. Harker. Perchance, would you care to warm yourself by the hearth for a time? It is in through there. You will find comfortable couches on which to relax. This is a place to relax. A safe place to be away from the troubles of a harried world.” Dr. V almost cooed in a whisper to me. It was so soft, I don’t think I even noticed his mouth move to speak the words!

Relax. Safe. Yes . . . that was how I felt, suddenly. I also felt very sleepy and tired!

You know what I did? I can barely believe I did it myself, but I did find that comfy couch by a warm crackling fire and I completely fell asleep right there on that couch in a strange elite club full of weirdos! I felt safe and protected there.

I have no way to account for this.

When I awoke, about an hour later, it was simply by Dr. V saying ‘awaken’ close to my ear! I was up like a shot!

What was strange is that he was far across the hall speaking with a very craggy-looking man in a long black coat. I must have been dreaming again. How else can I explain hearing Dr. V at my ear when he was clear across the hall from me?

Dr. V beckoned me to come to him and I felt I just needed to do that.

“This is Dr. Desmodius, Mr. Harker. He is a quoted authority on antiquities and a fair acquaintance of mine. He and I have done many archeological studies together. Being a student of History as you are, I thought knowing such a knowledgeable source might be of interest to you.” Dr. V gestured to us both in a way that seemed to want me to make nice with this very strange dude!

“Ah, quite! Another young and eager mind to add to our ranks! I am most pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Harker. I will say, you have chosen a worthy mentor in your studies. I know of few others as universally conversant in all aspects of history than Dr. Valahi! He as much as embodies history . . . almost, as if, he’d experienced it himself!” The tall, gaunt man smiled down at me and I swear I felt like I was staring into the grin of a skeleton! He had a very pleasant English accent, though, that seemed to soften his generally creepy appearance, however.

“It is an . . . honor, Dr. Desmodius.” I offered and tried to make a smile of my own without showing my nerves.

“Alas, Dr. Valahi takes liberties as I am not big on titles. I am simply . . . Desmodius,” and he actually bowed at that!

“Desmodius is something of an elder statesman in the field of esoteric archaeological finds. Most devices and concepts in his findings tend to cause a great stir in our academic circles but are rarely quoted in standard journals. We find that certain knowledge must be kept reserved and only released when it is deemed ‘acceptable’ by a greater audience.” Dr. V said this strange thing to me as if he was bringing me into a certain ‘circle’ of confidence!

I was honored by this, of course, but also completely weirded out by it too! I mean, I’m just a little Freshman! Why would great luminaries like Dr. V and this ‘Desmodius’ guy give a damn what I know and what I don’t know?

“It would seem that ‘readiness’ is still pending in some places. I do not want us overwhelming our young friend overmuch with the breadth of knowledge that has now become available to him. If I could remember my youth a fair bit better, I should remember how overwhelming the world can be when one finds its horizons much broader than you ever thought possible.” Desmodius said as he looked at me with a strange but sad . . . tenderness, I guess.

It was really getting to be a ‘what’d I get my stupid ass into again’ moment around that place!

“Indeed, but that is the glory of a grand world, you can live lifetimes and only scratch the surface! Whatever seemingly little thing we may pick up in our time, we add to the vastness of our knowledge. This, Mr. Harker, is the joy of living! Wondrous experience: always new and always different! To learn and to do so for its own sake - this is what makes our kind grow beyond where we are. Discovery is the very joy of evolution itself! But, in any case, so as not to sound too much like - how is it known, erm? Ah yes, the ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ children’s program, let us move on to less lofty ambitions, yes? ” Dr. V motioned to the bar. I was wondering if I’d get another chance at that ‘wine’ Louis gave me the other night, but, nope. What I was about to have was wa-ay more potent!

“Alas, I feel I have kept you up so that you shall not have the chance to rest much before your morning classes, Mr. Harker. May I offer you a non-alcoholic beverage you might find stimulating? Simone, the Rock Star Cocktail, please.” Dr. V gestured toward the drop-dead gorgeous lady behind the bar! I guess I’m in no position to question things, especially in a place like the ‘Salon Rouge’, but I’d never heard of a female bartender before! It was just something that never occurred to me! Sexist as it might seem, you can forgive a guy since all of them on TV are men and the few I’ve met in the past have all been men. I just thought it was a kind of trade too ‘dirty’ or ‘low down’ for a lady to want to do! Dr. V is right . . . I do seem to have a lot to learn!

As for the Cocktail . . . um, GEEZE! I don’t know what was in that thing, but I’ve been like the Energizer Bunny all friggin day! Even right now, this little journal entry’s becoming a book because I just don’t know how to quit! The minute that thing hit me I was like super-awake, you know? I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight either! I hope I don’t burn out before Dr. V’s class tomorrow night. I’m almost afraid to ask if I couldn’t get a case of that Rock Star stuff of my own! I have a feeling, though, it’s a special secret of the Salon Rouge. A secret recipe with ingredients I probably don’t want to know anything more about! I worried, at first, that it might be an amphetamine cocktail of some kind, but, I don’t have any of the nervous ‘Speed Jitters’. I tried Speed once, and that was more than enough for me! I had a headache for two days! Never again!

I have to wonder if the Salon Rouge is full of other such secrets. That place seems to be nothing but secrets!

As I said, last night was weird with a capital -EIRD and, somehow, I think I like it and, somehow, I think I’ll be seeing that place again soon!

Dr. V called me something interesting before leaving me last night. He called me his ‘protégé’!

Why do I get the feeling he’s been planning something like this for a long time? Why do I feel like he almost seems to know me even though I’ve never met him before in my life?

Should I be careful? Is this guy some kind of sex murderer or pervert looking to get me under his spell? I hope not!

I’d hate to think that of Dr. V! He really is opening a world to me I never knew existed and, in some way, a world not too many others know about either!

I feel - chosen!

That sounds pretty vain of me, but - am I? Has he chosen me for something? If so, what? If so, why?

I think I’ll try to stop now. I think this Rock Star stuff is starting to make me a little paranoid.

I hope it wears off soon . . .

Copyright © 2020 MrM; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
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15 hours ago, sixxone said:

I really like how this story is pulling me in and can't wait for next chapter!

It’s on the stove cookin’ away! :P

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