Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vampire The Masquerade: Frank Goodwin Pt. 3

Frank's Backstory Continued...

I was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1924. I don’t blame you if you don’t know it. You probably have never heard it being Japanese. It is where all the American cars used to be made. My Dad used to work at a Chrysler plant, making cars on an assembly line. When I was a kid I never had too many problems and my dad always had enough money to keep us together. Well honey, that all changed in 1929. I don’t really know what they teach young kids these days in Japanese schools, but the Great Depression changed America forever. I won’t go into all of it, but we lost everything. My dad lost his job at the plant and we barely had enough to stay alive.

My dad moved me and my mom out to California. We barely had enough money to make the trip and when we got there, we had nothing. We lived in a little shack and dad found work on a farm picking fruit; I had to stop going to school in order to help out; hell, there wasn’t really much education to be found back then anyways. I worked in the fields and picked fruit as well. The work was long and hard and I always came home tired and hungry. I can honestly say that I never had a complete meal in any of those long years.

One day, mom got pregnant again. I was ten years old when that happened and I remember that day vividly. I had never seen my father more nervous in my life. There were going to be a new mouth to feed and there was no money to do the feeding. The depression was hitting us really hard. Workers had scrambled in droves to California and as a result the pay was getting lower and lower as supply of workers kept growing. Nine months later, my mom gave birth to twin girls.

The day the twins were born, my father went into a panic. He had barely enough money to put a little on the table for me and my mom. I’ll put it bluntly. He went insane. I had been out playing when the twins were born. When I came home, our little shack was covered in blood. When I opened the door, I saw the shadow of my father in the candle light holding a knife. He had killed them all. I don’t know what went through his head, whether it was desperation or mercy, but my mother and both of the twins were dead. I saw this image and I was struck with terror. At first, I couldn’t move, but then, my father turned towards me and I saw something of a frenzied beast in his eyes, if I didn’t run, I was next. So, I ran. I was only 11 years old, but I ran. I ran and ran and never looked back. Finally, I collapsed weeping in a field. I had lost everything and I was on my own.

I won’t go into all the misery I experienced over the next few years on my own. It was horrible and lonely, but in the end, inconsequential to my story. I managed to survive working on my own, barely eking out a pitiful existence. The only thing I was able to do over those long years was teach myself to read. I found books every once and a while, or a newspaper, and I taught myself to read over those years.

In 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I know you have heard all about the war in your schools. I know you have learned all about WWII in your history classes. The war in Germany had been going on for a while at that point, but when Japan made their surprise attack, that was when I decided to join in. I contacted a Navy enlistment officer in San Francisco and joined up to fight. I had very little to offer in the way of physical ability, but I could read, and they said I would be suited for working on a submarine.

They put me to work on the USS Drum, a very large sub. It sailed out of Pearl Harbor. I worked in the engine room, underneath the head engineer. Basically, I was supposed to do basic maintenance and help with taking care of the boat’s engines. I learned quickly and did this for the entirety of the war. It was dark and cold and attacks would come suddenly and last for a very, very long time. I lived those years in a very different kind of fear. The concussion of depth charges became my lullaby. I began to grow very afraid of closed spaces; it was very tight quarters living on that sub and I won’t lie, I grew to miss the sun, something I miss very much even now. I am still very afraid of being trapped in a box; it makes it very hard to sleep at night in my coffin. Yes, I sleep in a coffin. Even this plane is causing me a great deal of apprehension, but I am capable of suppressing this fear in order to survive.

When the war was over and the Japanese surrendered, I asked to be transferred off the sub. I was allowed to leave and transferred to the Navy headquarters in Yokosuka. I didn’t have much work to do then. The war was over and we were all more concerned with how the Japanese would deal with the disarmament and American occupation. I guess you could say that the occupation, more than the war itself, was the most important event in both my life and unlife.

There was a bar where all the foreigners drank and caroused. They had clean hookers and hard liquor. The Butterfly was where all the men went every night to drink away all the awful shit they had seen during the war and try to find a warm body to sleep next to. I went their every night I could, which was most of the time. I must have been to that joint a thousand time over the years. I grew into a man while I was there. My youth faded.

In that bar, the faces always changed. Some guys would get shipped out, get reassigned, or go back home, but for some reason, I never got those orders. It wasn’t like I had anywhere to go home to, anybody waiting for me back in the states. I had no family and nobody who loved me. It didn’t really bother me that I was stuck in Japan.

The faces of the girls in there would always change as well. I never really took to lying with whores. I don’t really know what it was, but something about it just didn’t sit well with me. It felt dirty. I wasn’t one of those guys. I came in for the atmosphere and for the whisky that hadn’t been watered down and more than anything, to simply surround myself with people. I hated being alone. The loneliness of my youth and the cold dark of that sub shaped me into a being in need of surrounding myself with people.

Then, one night in 1955, everything changed. I went into the Butterfly that night as usual. I sat at the bar, surrounded by beautiful women in sparkly dresses and army brats fresh off the plane. They were loving their quick vacation stay in Japan before shipping off to Korea. But, I hadn’t gotten any new war orders. I wasn’t shipping out to Korea. I was stuck in Japan doing the same shit I had always been doing, fixing ship board motors and such. I was thirty years old then. I had spent the last 10 years in Japan, at that bar, and my life had gotten to be pretty boring. I never bothered to learn any Japanese. I didn’t even really try to fit in with the other soldiers. I spent my days reading comics, magazines, and other books. I had a record player and sometimes I would listen to records, but I never really cared too much about music.

But that is off the topic. I was telling you about that night at the Butterfly. I went in that night and did all the usual stuff. None of the girls ever came up to me because they knew I wasn’t buying. I looked sometimes, but I wasn’t a paying customer so they never showed any interest in me, or my wallet. Every once and a while, some new face would approach and make an offer, but the other girls were always quick to fill her in about me.

That night however, a girl did come up to me. I saw her enter from the back. She had on ruby red lipstick and a slinky red dress, not unlike the one you are wearing now. It showed off all of her curves. She had long black hair, very different than all the other young strumpets in the place. I couldn’t say that I had ever noticed her there before, but something about her exuded confidence and she made it through the room like it was her own home. She knew every step to make to get from that door to where I was sitting as quickly as possible, but she took her time walking over to me. I don’t mean to say that she walked all over the place; she just walked real slow.

She came over to the bar and sat down next to me. For a few moments, she just sat there really quiet, resting her hands on the bar. She didn’t order anything or say anything. Then, something inside me urged me to make a move. “Can I buy you a drink?” I asked her in English, hoping that she would understand. She waited for several seconds, then, she opened her mouth as if to speak, but decided otherwise. She turned to me and looked into my eyes. She had beautiful black eyes. They looked like black diamonds and they sparkled in the light. She took me by my hand and led me fluidly into the back. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t resist.

She escorted me through the back doors. There were many rooms, doors open, where I could see various sailor and soldiers, some that I knew, making love to their Japanese hostesses. They looked unbelievably happy, as if they had found that special something they had always been waiting for. I had heard that Japanese girls made great lovers. Even during the act they were wholly concentrated on their man. The other guys would say that they really knew how to take care of a man. In the ten long years I had been in Japan I had never slept with a single Japanese woman. I never enjoyed their touch or the delight of their flesh.

She ignored all these rooms and led me up the stairs and to a suite. She opened the door and led me inside. The room was, to say the least, very unique. It had no windows and was lit by candles. The room had traditional Japanese tatami floors. She took off her shoes before stepping into the room. I acted accordingly. There was no furniture in the room accept for a pair of large futons laid in the center. She stood over one and pointed with her hand for me to lay down.

I pulled back the blankets and lay down. She lay down beside me on her side. She propped herself up on her elbow and rested her head on her hand. I turned over to her and did likewise. There was just something about her that made me do the same. I must have simply just stared into her eyes for ten minutes. She was enthralling and beautiful. I couldn’t look away.
Then I could hear her voice. She was speaking to me, but her lips didn’t move and she spoke in perfect English. I looked over to the door and around the room, but there was nobody else there. It was undeniably her. It could only be her. I was startled at first, but I was more intrigued. I will never forget what she said to me.

“I have watched you here for more than ten years now. You may have never seen me, but I have always seen you. In these ten years, you have never once laid down with any of my girls, but yet, you still desire the company of women. There is something inside you that I want to know. I want to know the darkness inside you. I will have you teach me. Tonight you will leave your mortal coil and join me forever. I will make you my childe now. You will be mine and I will be yours. I know you don’t understand this, but you will in moments.”

After I heard those words in my head, she moved over into my futon with me and unzipped her dress. She took off all her clothes and then began to relieve me of mine as well. I could feel her body against mine then; it was not the warm thing that I had thought it would be, but instead, it was very cold. She kissed me all over my body. I’ll spare you most of these details as not to spoil your virgin ears. I can’t imagine you need to hear about all that. But, in the end, I felt her bite me. I could feel her teeth in my neck, draining me of my essence, my precious blood. Then, she gave me the embrace. On that day I became one of the kindred and would be forever cursed.

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