The recreational vampire:

The recreational Vampire:
The Mediterranean sun rippled over the beach. The Mediterranean waters rippled over the sand and lobster red people laughed played and ate crisps, rippled ones. There was one glaring exception to this, a man who even without the thick coating of Zink would have been paler than the sand. He reclined on a sun bed watching the ruddy people through the blood that swum like raspberry jelly through his staring eyes. Without the sunglasses he would have been able to see each of the delightful veins that gave the other holidaymakers their colour, even in the dark. In fact especially in the dark, dark had been his thing for quite a while but as he’d said to Grismar his faithful and somewhat twisted manservant. “It was time to see how the other half lived.” Of course he didn’t mention that his new enthusiasm for the beach had something to do with a psychic premonition that Dr. Van Bearing had finally got together a small army of aggrieved family members and a fair supply of napalm. He almost wished he’d told Grismar now, at the time it had seemed best that they find someone to vent their anger on while he was out of the picture, but now he felt a touch of remorse. He couldn’t help thinking how much Grismar would have loved all the flies. Well put a three hundred year old dead count on the beach and its probably to be expected he thought to him self ruefully, almost allowing himself a smile at the thought of his hunch backed assistant waddling round the beach in bright shorts devouring invertebrates. He didn’t smile though, no more than a twist of the lips, there was still a lot of sun out there and the last thing he needed was a cavity. Funny thing about the sea is it makes eating invertebrates alright he muses, poor Grismar had spent quite a while in a sanitarium for his habit while the holiday makers around him would be paying top dollar for something crusty that had grown fat on the local out flow pipes. They’d justify it to themselves by saying it was cooked but the count doubted may would go for tonight’s paella with crunchy king cockroaches. Still everyones diet was their own affair he thought as he brought the straw of his cocktail to his lips. “Blast” he announced loudly to the beach at large who thankfully ignored him and the thin trail of smoke escaping from the corner of his mouth, “Congealed again.” I have to stop nodding off the count chastised himself, it was of course understandable given his unique metabolism, but there was no excuse for wasted blood… it just didn’t turn so quickly at night. I’ll just have to drink it direct from the thermos he reasons as he wiggles the straw out of his glass. The blood in question had belonged to Trish, an enthusiastic young thing who may or may not have been a soul he had once loved. To be honest despite what Hollywood would have you believe there is very little romance in the vampire game, being dead for three hundred years can play hell with the woodpile. Still the count had always been a amorous man, the size ten socks secreted in his swimming trunks was proof of that and had been only to pleased to go along with the young woman’s infatuation he wasn’t sure if he’d respected her this morning but she was certainly really tasty this afternoon. His swimming costume was another area of concern for the count, it was of course black and small, designed to show off a physique, which had once been the talk of Eastern Europe to which death had lent an unwholesome but undeniable appeal. Of course black is always a plus but he couldn’t help wondering if the thin bit of material riding up his posterior and the hint of socks poking from the corners of an almost equally thin bit of material over his groin, wasn’t running a centuries old record of style and sophistication. Still the last place they’d look for me he reassured himself as the chilled blood slid down his throat, nothing to do but lie back and wait out the day. Directly in front of him a child strove to erect a castle from the ever-crumbling sand. The count idly watches the structure rise and fall until his eyes droop and an image of his own ancient home swims in the unfamiliar waves of heat. Oh those had been happy times, he’d been lord of the manor by fourteen and was slaughtering Turks by fifteen. There’d been that case of acne in between but one skips over such things in flash back montages. Then he’d met the love of his life. These days he was at a loss trying to remember her name but at the time he would have rather have had her than his best horse, the height of romance for the time whatever Merchant Ivory would have you believe. When he lost her (and the horse incidentally) in a hunting accident, cursing god and doing a deal with the devil had just seemed the next logical step… after all it was tradition. Of course he wasn’t really sure he’d done either really. He’d expelled some monks and signed a contract with an extreamly smelly pesant who would have given Grismar a run for his money when it came to an affinity for vermin. One way or another the regiment of blood that he had been on had kept him going for a long time and he was not about to let some over blown occultist ruin his run. Van Bearing had been a pompus fool when he’d met him twenty years ago and time had done nothing to improve his qualities. The man wouldn’t know a good suit from an elephants scrotum (he’d probably be happy with anything grey) and what kind of vampire hunter wears a toupee? It was shameful to be hunted by such a man, if someone had to try to kill him he could at least not try to bore him to death. As far as the count could see all this stuff about destroying evil came down to jelousy about the fact that even as a three hundred year old corpse he could still attract more women than the dimuntive Doctor. He was no Freudian in fact he hadn’t even liked the taste of the man but the count was sure there were some deeper issues there… the whole going everywhere with a twelve inch stake thing for a start. Poor old Grismar was probably being barbecued by the old sod and his ridiculous followers at this very moment. Why all the fuss, every parent was proud when their child grew up to be a lawyer but freaked out over them being a vampire. It was the whole cockroach vers. Prawn thing all over again. After all he was doing some of them a favor better dead than in marketing and as for the drugs some of them were taking! After one particularly dreadful meal, he’d spent the last week of February under the firm impression he was a chartered accountant… still that’s Prozac for you. Without warning he is jerked into the present by a sudden psychic summons. In his minds eye he sees a vision of a small man in a very grey pair of swimming trunks exiting his faded black Ford in the car park. BLAST the man, the count thought as he recognized Van Bearings pinched little aura, how did he find me here? It was Grismar no doubt the wretch was anybody’s for a handful of ladybirds, the prospect of not being burned alive was also probably also some kind of encouragement. Still at least he’d not brought along his little helpers, some of those grieving mothers could be quite shrill. Nothing for it now though, he’d just have to face his old opponent with dignity. He watched his nemesis pick his way down the beach with preternatural eyes, calmly sipping at his drink all the while. To be honest he was feeling just a little bit nervous and the liquid had become sour with death, but he hung onto his composure and even managed a wry smile his stalkers shadow fell over his face. “Why Dr. Van Bearing, what is it they say ‘is that a stake in your swimming costume or are you just overly excited to see me?’” “What on earth have you got in yours?” the Doctor responds staring helplessly at speedo’s narrowest and currently most woolly landing strip. “That is no concern of yours Van Bearing.” The count snarls trying to pull his towel out from under him in order to regain some of his former poise. “Say what you have to say, or do what you have to do but get on with it.” “Er erum yes,” The doctor continues his eyes still stealing to the incriminating bulge beneith the towel. In twenty years he’d not been better dressed than the count, perhaps today was the day, “Give yourself up count.” “To you? What in Satans name for?” “The sun is still high vampire, you are in my power, all I have to do is plunge a stake through your heart and you will be helpless. The world will at last know the truth.” “Your still bitter about the reception to your book I see.” “They called me a madman, but no more soon I will have you as proof, I command you, surrender yourself, your evil is at an end.” The doctor shouts sliding his stake from his waste band. The announcement might have gone over better in a darkened crypt but here in the bright sunlight it sounded melodramatic to say the least. Besides at that precise moment a stray beach ball hit him in the back of the head. As Van Bearing turned in response to the sudden impact the count sprung into action. He leaps from the chair and straight onto his distracted opponent, knocking him to the ground and straddleing him. “I do not think it is I that is I who shall end here my good doctor and you were truly as mad as they say to even think it might be three hundred years I have waited in the shadows, three hundred years I have had to endure fools like you, three…. Do you smell something burning?” At this late sage in his history the count learns three important and ultimately fatal lesons. The first is simple, a mistake that we can all forgive him due to his ignorance of beach wear: Never wear a thong in company. The second is the same one recently learned by the doctor: save the breathy, dramatic speeches for airless but atmosphere laden crypts and three, the real clincher, if you are a vampire interested in a day at the beach don’t leave your loyal henchman at home and eat your beautiful assistant… it leaves you with no one to rub lotion into your back. As the count realized in his last writhing seconds and as the good doctor postulated while sifting through the subsequent ashes, raybands, speedo and pair of size ten socks, this is a must for the recreational vampire.


Holy basil (ocimum sanctum) - “tulsi”

Maimes Report on Holy Basil Ocimum sanctum – Tulsi Version 1 – November 2004 – INTRODUCTION This report was written by Steven Maimes – SALAM Research (Rochester, New Hampshire) to advance understanding of the uses and benefits of the herb HOLY BASIL (Ocimum sanctum). It is a work in progress and will be periodically revised. Please note the disclaimer

State of the Art in Clinical and Anatomic Pathology Diagnosing Allergic Diseases in Children Practical Recommendations for Consulting Pathologists ● In the environment of managed care, children with al- form of allergic disease.2–4 This estimate includes children lergic diseases are increasingly likely to be evaluated by with cutaneous disease (atopic dermatitis), gastrointesti-

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