Vittorio, the vampire

Dedication

Chapter 1 - Who I Am, Why I Write, What Is to Come

Chapter 2 - My Small Mortal Life, The Beauty of Florence, The Glory of Our Small Court—What Is Vanished

Chapter 3 - In Which the Horror Descends Upon Us

Chapter 4 - In Which I Come Upon Further Mysteries, Suffer Seduction and Condemn My Soul to Bitter Valor

Chapter 5 - The Price of Peace and The Price of Vengeance

Chapter 6 - The Court of The Ruby Grail

Chapter 7 - The Coop

Chapter 8 - Requiem, Or The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass As I Had Never Seen It

Chapter 9 - Angels We Have Heard on High

Chapter 10 - In Which I Converse with The Innocent and Powerful Sons of God

Chapter 11

Chapter 12 - Deliver Me Not Into Temptation

Chapter 13 - Child Bride

Chapter 14 - Through a Glass Darkly

Chapter 15 - The Immaculate Conception

Chapter 16 - And the Darkness Grasped It Not

Selected and Annotated Bibliography

Copyright

a cognizant original v5 release november 24 2010

DEDICATION BY ANNE RICE

This novel is dedicated to

Stan, Christopher, Michele and Howard;

to Rosario and Patrice;

to Pamela and Elaine;

and to Niccolo.

This novel is

dedicated

by

Vittorio

to the people of

Florence, Italy.

1

WHO I AM, WHY I WRITE, WHAT IS TO COME

WHEN I was a small boy I had a terrible dream. I dreamt I held in my arms the severed heads of my younger brother and sister. They were quick still, and mute, with big fluttering eyes, and reddened cheeks, and so horrified was I that I could make no more of a sound than they could.

The dream came true.

But no one will weep for me or for them. They have been buried, nameless, beneath five centuries of time.

I am a vampire.

My name is Vittorio, and I write this now in the tallest tower of the ruined mountaintop castle in which I was born, in the northernmost part of Tuscany, that most beautiful of lands in the very center of Italy.

By anyone’s standards, I am a remarkable vampire, most powerful, having lived five hundred years from the great days of Cosimo de’ Medici, and even the angels will attest to my powers, if you can get them to speak to you. Be cautious on that point.

I have, however, nothing whatsoever to do with the “Coven of the Articulate,” that band of strange romantic vampires in and from the Southern New World city of New Orleans who have regaled you already with so many chronicles and tales.

I know nothing of those heroes of macabre fact masquerading as fiction. I know nothing of their enticing paradise in the swamplands of Louisiana. You will find no new knowledge of them in these pages, not even, hereafter, a mention.

I have been challenged by them, nevertheless, to write the story of my own beginnings—the fable of my making—and to cast this fragment of my life in book form into the wide world, so to speak, where it may come into some random or destined contact with their well-published volumes.

I have spent my centuries of vampiric existence in clever, observant roaming and study, never provoking the slightest danger from my own kind, and never arousing their knowledge or suspicions.

But this is not to be the unfolding of my adventures.

It is, as I have said, to be the tale of my beginnings. For I believe I have revelations within me which will be wholly original to you. Perhaps when my book is finished and gone from my hands, I may take steps to become somehow a character in that grand roman-fleuve begun by other vampires in San Francisco or New Orleans. For now, I cannot know or care about it.

As I spend my tranquil nights,