He is my brother, " I said. "I cannot desert him." "You can go to your own death, " William said. "Or you can survive this, bring up your children, and guard Anne's little girl who will be shamed and bastardized and motherless by the end of this week. You can wait out this reign and see what comes next. See what the future holds for the Princess Elizabeth, defend our son Henry against those who will want to set him up as the king's heir or even worse-flaunt him as a pretender. You owe it to your children to protect them.
But are his needs any more shocking than the needs of any other animals and men? Are his deeds more outrageous than the deeds of the parent who drained the spirit from his child? The vampire may foster quickened heartbeats and levitated hair. But is he worse than the parent who gave to society a neurotic child who became a politician? Is he worse than the manufacturer who set up belated foundations with the money he made by handing bombs and guns to suicidal nationalists? Is he worse than the distiller who gave bastardized grain juice to stultify further the brains of those who, sober, were incapable of progressive thought? (Nay, I apologize for this calumny; I nip the brew that feeds me.) Is he worse, then, than the publisher who filled ubiquitous racks with lust and death wishes? Really, no, search your soul, lovie-is the vampire so bad?
Actually, this is a poem my father once showed me, a long time ago. It has been bastardized many times, in many ways, but this is the original: The Cold Within Six men trapped by happenstance, in bleak and bitter cold Each possessed a stick of wood, or so the story's told. Their dying fire in need of logs, the first man held his back For of the faces round the fire, he noticed one was black. One man looking cross the way, saw one not of his church And could not bring himself to give the fire his stick of birch. The third one sat in tattered clothes, he gave his coat a hitch Why should his log be put to use to warm the idle rich? The rich man just sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store And how to keep what he had earned from the lazy, shiftless poor. The black man's face bespoke revenge as the fire passed from his sight, For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white. And the last man of this forlorn group did naught except for gain, Giving only to those who gave, was how he played the game The logs held tight, in death's still hands, was proof of human sin They didn't die from the cold without, they died from the cold within.
James Patrick Kinney