During the gay, roaring twenties there lived a celestial blue blood named Heiress Claire Voyánt. During the Jazz age, she was a regal flapper in her early thirties.

Voyánt had icy, thaumaturgic features: her hair was moonshine liquor; her eyes were tobacco, or maybe a smoldering, gun barrel color; her skin was ethereally white, and tactilely cool.

The heiress’s wealthy relatives regarded her as The Platinum Vampiress. Similarly, some of the beaus from her phalanx of gold digger suitors termed her, rather affectionately, Mar Belle, for her glacial integument. Nobody ever seemed to call her Claire.

On top of that, nobody ever seemed to survive long enough to tell the secrets of her pharaoh treasures. Her boyfriends always perished by turns both violent and occult.

As for her family, those who were left in the land of the living all had one thing in common: they kept their yaps off of Claire. Mum was the word.

A friend of mine who thought himself charmed in life, coincidentally became one of her favorite beaus. He met her at her pretty cousin’s debut. Voyánt had worn a leggy, sequined number with a split up to her hip. Devon couldn’t resist her curvaceous hypnotics.

He spoke of her and their burgeoning quasi romance one evening, while we were having a postprandial smoke. Their fling looked more like one sided polyamory to me, with him being just another biscuit in her tin.

“Darlington, this girl’s my golden ticket, she’s a genie in a black dress!”

“Dev, I think it’s too soon to be planning pensions.”

“Oh no it isn’t, Darl. She’s bored to death, and she thinks I’m exciting–”

Devon took a deep, excited drag from his steaming fag. I just looked at him. Dev went on,

“The heiress has been sated in gold her whole life: she’s got a mausoleum like trove of precious jewels; she’s got vaults of endless money;

She owns an oyster farm that produces rare violet pearls, she sleeps in fine black silks, and even owns The Scarlet Eye of Re, an enormous ruby that she calls her ‘pet blood sapphire’!

A woman like that doesn’t know what to do with all that money. Nothing is novel to her except for poverty and white bread.”

He stares into the misty gray night, his nostrils spilling elongated curls of smoke.

“I’m going to marry this girl,” he says resolutely, “if it’s the last thing I do.”

Suffice it to say that he was crazy about her Grace Kelly looks, and crazier about her money.

He intended to live like a neo-monarch, but wound up, not surprisingly, dead.

In the weeks following Devon’s passing, I hired a private eye to dig up some dirt on the Platinum Vampiress. Her records were squeaky clean thanks to her ablutionary money.

It was a Tuesday afternoon when she called to invite me to a private dinner party. I couldn’t refuse, she insisted, as the last relic she had in the world of Dev’s.

I told her that I could eat and she laughed.

Her property was a lush hillside château with Gothic fixings, featuring a grandiose rose arbor; this garden was smattered with marble angels, empty champagne bottles, and fairy lights.

On her estate, I drove under a contrived canopy of flowering trees. The mist took on a strange, necromantic tint. Purplish petals accompanied the emerald rain as I knocked on the large doors to her castle.

The castle doors moaned as they opened, revealing the Vampiress  bedecked in a stunning floor length evening gown of glimmering gold and silver.

Around her neck was a choker of large rubies, and in her hand a limpid quicksilver weapon: She clutched a dagger with a hilt of blood sapphires.**************”



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