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CONVERSATIONS WITH REAL VAMPIRES by John Edgar Browning “10 August. New Orleans. — On the eve of the second Tuesday of every month, I have become, to the watchful bystander, a familiar presence in the French Quarter. Flying through the dusky sky over Bourbon Street, as I strolled along casually, were fast, sweeping brown bats: An homage, maybe, to the business of interviewing vampires? To my side hung the trusty brown leather satchel that housed my pen and paper, and digital voice recorder. I left politely at home, of course, the crucifix I didn’t actually own, and the short wooden stake carved for me by an older brother when I was younger. For indeed the vampires with whom I was meeting tonight were not prisoners of lore and legend: theirs was a new lore, and they were becoming very quickly their own legend. “We are meeting an hour later than usual for the third month in a row, because the sun, during the summer months, sets closer to 9 instead of 8. Tonight, I will ask for the first time if I can watch them feed.” The passage described above is not the work of fiction, I assure you. Rather, it is an extract from my

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