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From Count Andreas Petofi: Exceeding the Grasp, an autobiographical gift of letters, lore, and lyrics.  

Afterword.

Using that method, you may, as I, render yourself eternally fireproof.  I had known it for years, but it took that evening in Tate’s studio to give it a bash.  You should expect other, concomitant great things when you join the fold of the fireproof.  To wit: your vision will improve considerably!  So, those cursed with spectacles?  Make a spectacle of yourself!  Chant the secret words (see appendix d), grab your scrying mirror, and leap into a bonfire.  It will be a fine decision.  One I endorse with hearty vigor!

After the thinner and other noxious elements surrounding me (including a particularly vulgar study of a troublesome Greek) created malodorous fumes and deadly flames, I was given pause to reflect.  And while taking that pause and being strangled by the chain of a maniacal Garth Blackwood within my own, toppling funeral pyre, I gently began to suspect that there was more sour than sweet about my days in Collinsport, Maine.  Yes, I was a tad crestfallen.  But, as I quickly learned, there is more than one family of aristocratic immortals on Earth!  That is how I found myself in the somewhat infamous underbelly of Vatican City.

Of course, a quick twist of the self-defense of Petofiatsu handily dispatched Blackwood, but such martial memories are somewhat crass and vainglorious to repeat.  All I shall say is that, yes, there is a maneuver that can shatter every bone in a man’s body at once.  Even a man from Hell.  Yes, of course, I know it.  And, yes, you may find it in the diagram on page 829 of this volume.  (Merry Saturnalia!)  I merely ask is that you use it with a modicum of discretion.  Should you be moved to triumphantly bellow the name, “Petofi!” while administering the strike, I will be horribly embarrassed, but not so much as to spoil your enthusiasm.

Eventually, having gained the Elixir of Infinity that I sought, I escaped the Vatican City catacombs as a man beyond death’s bony reach.  In the decades that followed, I found a renewed — and quite immortal — sense of purpose… as well as romances, follies, wars, schemes, triumphs, misadventures, changes of heart (several times over), a successful career in acting, and so very much more… not the least of which was the confounding, infuriating, and lasting friendship with my oldest enemy and dearest friend, the late Mr. Quentin Collins.

And the gypsies never caught up with me.

***

I leave you now, Gentle Reader.  You have my benediction to seize the zest of life! Learn all that you can, embrace those you love, punish the hated, indulge the senses, choose without fear, and approach each horizon as a wondrous, new land of devilish delights, ripe for conquest.

Who are we to deny destiny’s bounty?  We haven’t the time.

Go forth, my friend.  Conquer.  And love.

HELLFIRE!

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