June 27th, 1947
A new development in the case of our little ghost friend.
At first there was nothing more than a few startling moments, where I might be in the bath and reach for a towel only for a young child to be sitting upon it. Or perhaps I’d be sipping my morning coffee and look over to see him sitting at the kitchen table beside me. However, two days after our haunting started, something a bit more substantial happened.
I went on a house call to a woman who wanted me to see about her husband’s cough. It wasn’t anything life threatening and I left after handing over some medicine and instructions for administering it. On the walk home I saw my ghost friend standing at the end of an alley looking incredibly forlorn. I stopped and peered in the direction he was staring, seeing two boys and a girl using sticks to poke at rocks. They appeared to be having a bit of fun. All three of them were filthy and shoeless, but seemed happy enough.
I kept looking back and forth between the ghost of the child and the playing children. I could not help but wonder if they might have been friends in his life. After a moment one of the children spotted me and they babbled to one another momentarily before racing over and mumbling in broken English a rather odd questions. They wanted to know if I was a man who ‘fixed people.’ I mulled over the question for a moment then glanced to my medical bag and chuckled. I answered yes, I ‘fixed’ people.
One of the children took me by the hand, and the other two got behind me and started to push. A few back alleys later, I was brought upon a startling sight. Under a tent made of garbage, guarded by a dirty dog and more garbage, was a fourth child. He was covered over with dirty blankets and some ripped clothing, but there was no mistaking the face; it was my odd little ghost. Only he wasn’t dead, he was barely alive.
The children did their best to explain the situation, gesturing to the dog and then their mate’s hand, which was swollen, fevered and blistering with puss. Apparently the child was playing rough and the dog gave him a nip on the palm. This wouldn’t have been a problem, were they not urchin with no way to bathe or clean the wound. Apparently the child’s hand had gotten infected and he’d become gravely ill.
I questioned the children as to how long he’d been unconscious and they all held up four fingers. This boy had fallen into a near coma-like state from infection for that long and now he truly was on death’s door. I had no idea how he was walking around as a spirit, but I could not linger on that part of the mystery if I was to save his life.
I really did not wish to move him, but there was no other way to get him proper treatment. I ended up carefully carrying him back to the apartment, with three urchins and a dog clinging to my heels.
When I arrived home, Cyrus stood at the door with both brows climbing up his face and his lip twitching with a grin he did not dare let show. He could tell that being surrounded in children along with an animal was taxing me to my limits. It is not as if I do not like children, it is just that I don’t really know how to act around them, especially in a crisis.
Be that as it may, Cyrus went quickly to work, filling baths and scrubbing filthy heads. He made food, entertained, and otherwise kept little ones and a barking mutt out of my way so I could clean and tend the patient.
He also somehow managed to breeze in and out, nabbing my wallet and gathering our valuables and putting them up in high and locked places. When I questioned him—he stated that these children were joys, but the reality of life was that they had nothing, and even if they were grateful to us, their stomach’s would rule over any sense of right and wrong.
It was a sad thought, truly. Even if I manage to save this boy’s life, and if we could give these children a few days stock of food, we can’t keep them. We do well to get by day-to-day ourselves. I don’t mean to say something bad about Cyrus, but he is a vampire, and I’m at best a functioning alcoholic. We cannot possibly raise four children and their bouncing dog. Besides, these are just four of probably hundreds of equally problematic children out there on the streets.
Perhaps once I’ve done all I can for the ghostly one, Cyrus and I can sit down and discuss what we might do to help these children in a practical sense, but for now there is the pressing matter of saving a life.
To that end, it was a late night. The three lively children fell asleep in piles in our living area along with the dog and I was able to ask the pertinent question. If the boy was alive all along, why was he appearing as a ghost?
Cyrus replied that it was probably that the boy was some sort of medium and when he fell ill he accidentally had an out-of-body experience. But since there were no other gifted people around to show him how to use his powers, he was wandering, unable to get back inside his own body. The danger now was if we could not save his life, he truly would become disembodied spirit. Cyrus assured me that if the boy woke up, his soul would simply rubber band back into his body.
However, the infection may be beyond me to repair with mere modern medicine at this point. I have drained his hand twice, flushed the bite mark six times, and filled him with as much antibiotic as I dare. I believe if he is to wake up we may need to look at supernatural means. I have a ‘mixture’ that could work to bolster red and white blood cells and immediately begin pushing out the infection and stop the fluctuation of his body temperature. However, I will need at least one, perhaps two, drops of vampire blood as a catalyst.
In short, I need Cyrus to agree to give the boy a drop of blood. This is something I do not wish to ask. Right now I am going to give the boy until sundown to show any improvement. If there is none, or if there is a turn for the worse, then I will ask. It is entirely possible that Cyrus will refuse. I know he gave me his blood freely, but the day we met I still cannot fathom what was going through his mind. In the time that I have known Cyrus, it has not appeared that he gives his blood freely, or very often. I am not certain if I was a whim, a fluke, or if the situation was just so frightening that he made a rash decision. Whatever the case may be, I get the distinct impression that vampire blood is somehow ‘sacred’ and asking for it, even to save the life of a child, makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
I am suddenly reminded of the young Jewish boy I saved against father’s wishes back during the war. He reacted negatively to giving the boy a bit of the blood that was stored away. I did not have permission from the vampire that Father received that blood from. I wonder if that vampire would have rejected the notion of saving the child. It was, after all, not the person that blood was intended.
At any rate, it is late, Journal. I must try to get some rest. I will be alone for some hours tomorrow with all these children and their dog.