This probably won’t make much sense to people who haven’t read the Tim Powers novels The Stress of Her Regard and its fantastic brand-new sequel, Hide Me Among the Graves. Especially the latter.
Remember that time when I almost got caught in a ghost trap straight out of a Powers novel, and I started to wonder if maybe I wasn’t a real person but instead a character in a book?
And remember that time when somebody found a pair of handcuffs buried along the foundation of my house?
Yeah, well, it’s happening again.
To put things in context, I just finished reading Hide Me Among the Graves a few days ago. This book, and its prequel, revolve around vampiric lamia creatures—the siliconari—that take the form of statues or fragments of stone when rendered inert. But they can be revived by human blood. Without spoiling anything, the plot of Hide Me springs from a sequence at the very beginning of the book when somebody bleeds on a tiny statue (about the size of a chess piece) which is actually a dessicated vampire. Adventures ensue.
Also, it should be noted these novels revolve around a passel of 19th Century poets: Keats, Shelley, Byron, the Rossetti clan, Swinburne… All of whom, according to the Tim Powers school of frighteningly plausible magical secret history, were the intimates of vampiric muses.
So anyway. Loren (he of the handcuffs) was doing some work on my house this week, when he found this buried in the front yard:
The quarter is there for scale.
Yes, that’s right, he found a tiny statue about the size of a chess piece. This wouldn’t have struck me as odd if it hadn’t synched up so perfectly with my pleasure reading. And apparently this is a common practice here in New Mexico, a means of blessing a newly-built house. (Which doesn’t explain the handcuffs, but whatever.)
But part of me can’t help but think, Holy crap!
And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling tempted to bleed on this thing. My writing can use all the supernatural help it can get.