The rain came down and the smoke went up on a sticky southern eve
And that night a thing happened, a thing you won’t believe
And just cause I tell ya what went down way back then
It don’t mean in this life or the next it will happen again.
He was no shark nor a business man, just a drunk and a fool
So, Johnny Mark finished his drink and his game of hustled pool
And then went out with pockets full into that sticky southern air
But the lights outside the pool hall doors showed his wear and tear.
That’s when Johnny walked to the road in the foggy shade of night
Towards a lonely highway and a flickering traffic light
If Johnny wasn’t so drunk and stoned he might have noticed quicker
That nothing stirred, not even a fly, around that empty flicker.
But there he stood like a drunken guard in some perverse tableau
When another man with a cigarette escaped from some shadow
“My name is Vlad,” the stranger said. “It’s nice to meet you, son.”
Then Johnny shook his hand and the formalities were done.
“I’m different than any man you’ve met, cause they’re of the mortal sort
And I can see you take some risks in life so I’m gonna keep this short.
Most the times I do the biting first and save the chat for last
But tonight’s the night I’m gonna turn my back on my lonesome past.
You see, Johnny Mark, I’ve prowled this world for more years than you know
And I’ve tasted the blood from the neck of every Jane and John Doe
But as their blood runs down my throat and fills my soul with fire
I swallow deeply and think to myself ‘What did they desire?’
So you are the one, the momentous first, that will have his rightful say
And get to choose whether or not this is his judgement day.”

“If I were to bend my neck for you and let you drink from me
What kind of life are we talkin’ about, what would my future be?”

Vlad the stranger squinted his eyes and took out his pack’a smokes
And knew deep down that Johnny Mark was different from other folks.
“Well, Johnny, listen here: The life I sell is full of sin
So if you ain’t down with goin’ to Hell, I won’t even begin.
Just believe you me, that place down there, it ain’t all that hard
And the fire and the screams, well, you come to disregard.
But you will trudge upon this world forever in a lonely daze
With all the power in your immortal hands but very little praise.
Women, money, drink and joy; these things will come with ease
And you’ll never come to know things like sickness or disease.”
And then Vlad said “Take a look around ya boy, tell me are ya scared?”
Johnny Mark took his look around and then he did declare:

“You say I can have women and all the money I could ever need
But I work upon a farm and know what it is to overfeed.
What good are all the mortal women if they die within my arm
Just like the livestock in the prairie or the horse upon my farm?
And what was the other thing? Oh, yeah, all the money I could find?
No fortune alive could buy a soul, not all the riches of mankind!
So, Vlad, I say to you, go find another sap
Who’ll dive in to your sinister ways and your wicked trap.”

Vlad stood there in the twitchy light and said ‘Farewell, Johnny Mark’
Then he lit another cigarette and disappeared into the dark.