I am a vampire. For centuries I believed I was the last vampire on Earth, that I was the most powerful creature in existence. That belief gave me great self-confidence. I feared nothing because nothing could harm me. Then one remarkable day, my supposedly dead creator, Yaksha, came for me, and I discovered I was not omnipotent. A short time later another vampire appeared, one Eddie Fender. He had Yaksha's strength, and once again I was almost destroyed. Yet I survived both Yaksha and Eddie, only to give birth to a daughter of unfathomable power and incomprehensible persuasion— Kalika,
Kali Ma, the Dark Mother, the Supreme Goddess of Destruction. Yes, I believe my only child to be a divine incarnation, an avatar, as some would describe
her. In a devastating vision she showed me her infinite greatness. The only problem is that my
daughter seems to have been born without a conscience.
Actually, I do have three other small problems.
I don't know where Kalika is.
I know I must destroy her.
And I love her.
I don't know which of these dilemmas is worst, but together they make a very dangerous combination. There is another child who has recently been born to rival my daughter. I don't know the child's first name, but he is the son of my friend, Paula Ramirez. The power of this child is still a mystery to me. I only know that a tiny vial of his blood was able to bring my closest friend, Seymour Dorsten, back from the dead. I don't know where Paula and her son are either. I don't know if they're with Kalika. If they are, I do know they are both probably dead. Above all else, my daughter wants this child.
But why? I don't know.
I am beset with problems.
They seem never to stop.
I stand outside the Unity Church in Santa Monica, Seymour Dorsten by my side. Three months have passed since we were last in Santa Monica, on the pier. On that day Kalika first chose to spare Seymour's life, but then threw a stake into his spine while he thrashed in the ocean water below us. She said she did so to make a point.
"Do you really need to know?"
"The knowledge will cost you."
The question I had asked was who Paula's child was. Killing Seymour was her answer to the question, a very curious answer. Had Kalika not killed Seymour, I never would have thought to use the child's blood on a dead person. I never would have known just how special the child was. Yet Seymour does not remember any of this. The shock of being impaled
has dimmed his memory of that night's events. He remembers being thrown off the pier and into the water—that's it. Of course he is still pressuring me to make him a vampire. He thinks then we will have great sex, or at least some sex. I don't sleep with him
because I am afraid it would destroy our delicate balance of love and insults.
For the tenth time Seymour wants to know why I have dragged him to a New Age lecture. It is entitled: The Birth of Christ—an Egyptian Prophecy Fulfilled.
The speaker is to be a Dr. Donald Seter, founder of the New Age group, the Suzama Society. I want to attend Dr. Seter's talk because of two incredible facts he has publicly announced. On a radio talk show he stated that Christ has been reborn—his birth took
place on the exact day Paula's child was born. Of course he makes no mention of Paula and does not know to whom the child was born. The second fact is his claim that he has in his possession an ancient
Egyptian scripture that supposedly gives details of this rebirth.
I would immediately discount the latter claim if the date had not been so personally coincidental, and if I had not happened to have known the original Suzama when I was in Egypt almost five thousand years ago. At one point Suzama was my teacher, and I know for a fact she was clairvoyant.
Yet I have never heard of the Suzama scripture before.
I wonder where Dr. Seter obtained it, and how accurate it is.
But these things I can't explain to Seymour without telling him that he was brought back to life by the blood of a three-hour-old Hispanic infant. I feel there is a reason for his memory block, and I hesitate to tamper with it. Besides, I am afraid he might not believe me if I told him the truth. Who would? It is difficult to contemplate God and His Son and
immaculate conceptions without feeling like a potential fanatic. Especially since Paula was not—in
her own words—a virgin.
"We could be at a movie," Seymour says. "We could be having dinner. Besides, this whole Christian thing bores me. They have been waiting two thousand years for him to show up. If he was coming back, he would be here already."
"Krishna promised to return," I say. "He said he would not be recognized."
"He won't be bringing his flute?"
"I think he will return in humble surroundings."
Seymour studies the poster outside the church announcing the lecture. "You are history. What can you learn from this joker?"
I have to let something slip or Seymour won't attend. Actually, I'm not sure why I've brought him, but I suppose I know that at some point I'll have to open my heart to him and ask his advice. I always
have in the past. I want him at the lecture so that he'll have all the facts when I need his advice.
Yet I hesitate before speaking. Every time I bring him deeper into my life, I bring him closer to danger. Still, I remind myself, it is his decision to stay with me, even after he has seen what my daughter can do. He at least knows that I am searching for her, even if he doesn't realize I am also desperately seeking Paula and her child. Yet Paula hasn't called the number I gave her to call. She should have tried to contact me two months ago, a month after I said good-bye to her. It worries me that Kalika may have gotten to her first. I am at Dr. Seter's lecture in the hope that he can give me some clue as to where they might be. It is unlikely, I know.
"Dr. Seter says he has a copy of a scripture Suzama wrote," I tell Seymour. "She was a real person, a revered priestess of the Church of Isis, a high adept in ancient Egypt." I pause. "I knew her, I studied with
Seymour is impressed. "What did she teach you?"
"How to bring the white light above my head into my heart."
"She taught primarily esoteric forms of meditation. She had many gifts." I grab his arm and drag him toward the church door. "I will tell you more about her later."
On the way in there is a registration table and a donation basket. I throw a few dollars in the latter. A young man in a dark blue suit and a red tie stands near the door greeting people. Actually, there are a number of people similarly outfitted— young,
handsome people, males and females, wearing navy blue clothes and shiny faces. They are Dr. Seter's followers, I realize, but I hesitate to make the judgment that the man has formed a cult. Not all New Age groups, or Christian groups for that matter,
signify sects. Besides, I don't care if he has formed a cult or not. I just care if he knows what he's talking about.
The young man greeting people pauses to say hello to me.
"Welcome," he says. "May I ask how you heard about our lecture?"
"On the radio," I say. "Yesterday night. I heard Dr. Seter's interview."
"KEXT?" he asks.
"That was the one," I say. "Have you known the doctor long?"
"I should say." The young man smiles and offers his hand. "James Seter—I work for my father. Have
since I can remember." He pauses. "And your name?"
"I'm Alisa. This is Seymour."
"Hi," Seymour says, shaking James's hand when I'm through with it. But James Seter only has eyes for me.
"Have you read Dr. Seter's book?" he asks me.
"No," I say. "I was hoping to obtain a copy here."
"They will be on sale after the lecture," James says. "Fascinating reading, if I do say so myself."
"What allowed your father to predict so accurately the birth of Christ?" I ask.
"The Suzama scripture. It contains very detailed knowledge about the next coming of the messiah. It predicted Christ's coming the first time very accu-rately."
I smile. "And you believe all this?"
He nods, "Suzama had a great gift. Studying her words, I have never found her to make a mistake."
"It sounds like a remarkable document," I say. "Why haven't modern archeologists, linguists, and theologians had a chance to study it?"
James hesitates. "My father will address all these questions in the lecture. Better to ask him. His knowledge of the scripture is extremely compre-