both sides of the same coin [story part 10]
January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
Really want to apologize for using the image on the right but that really is hands down the best representation of the snarl I had so many times in my face. It sent shivers down my spine just thinking about it and remembering what comes next. It’s a snake bite and a black panther snarl. The mouth is open to such an extent that you rarely see, however, the fangs are completely wrong, thus, the image on the left which I found recently is a perfect representation of the fangs. Now I don’t know how are these two possible to be guessed, but I’m thinking trial and error. Those fangs are truly a match for Regina’s. Long, thin and curved. Snake speed and panther strength in the same bite. Combine that mouth with the snarl on the right and there you have it. It is not pretty – nature gave us instincts to fear that – run and hide, however, seeing it shakes you down and immobilizes you on the spot. Your power leaves you and all you can do is watch, gasp and hope for the best. Know this, seeing a black panther 2 centimeters from your face with fangs fully extended WILL NOT prompt you to run. You will not turn brave. This is not the same with watching it on Discovery thinking that you could run. You will stop breathing just so you’ll be sure it won’t upset the panther. You will not even look it into the eyes of the animal. You will just stay there, frozen, feeling its breath on you and seeing the fangs, hoping for the best. You stop thinking. Your body stops working. You get used to it, barely. But how many people faced an angry black panther 2cm from their face and lived to tell? Picture yourself in that position, see if I’m wrong.
The last post that I had needs a closing:
It was the 28th of December and I had forgotten to write in my journal anything else about that night – maybe made myself not to – for almost a week. That night of December and the following days were perhaps the start of my saga, on how I started to change, mentally, on how I was forming an idea of what’s around me and started making heads and tails of the situation. Up until that point it was like I was living in a romantic story – maybe now brainwashed by too many romantic movies – and maybe because my stupid mistake of watching Twilight later on.
Speaking of Twilight – here’s a fun fact: Later on, when it was released, Twilight had such a low income in Romania and was so hated that people actually considered riots. For real. We hated the damn thing. Mainly because they don’t sparkle, and other things too. You have to understand, vampires are feared in Romania and the traditions and folklore is so deeply tied to our culture that it’s hard at times to distinguish between myth and tradition. For example, old people in secluded villages (and this actually was the case with my grandmother which passed a few years before this) stay over night with the body of the deceased. It is not left behind not even for a second. They do this because they fear he’s not really dead and might come back – or someone might come for him. This especially, was tied to what I had just witnessed in the church, on how both of them, the human and the vampire, fell down to the ground, unconscious for hours – playing dead for all I know. It made me wonder if the old really did know something we didn’t. Most just considered them crazy, but then again, nobody ever opposes “staying with the body” because… like I said: It’s tradition. I had to put and end to my doubts once and for all.
You might think this is crazy, but it’s just because you’re used to a certain lifestyle, but I assure you, things are different in Transylvania, for example, just a year before these events were unfolding in front of me, some hundred miles away a body was exhumed by villagers and his family and proceeded to stake and burn his heart. It was in the news, here. Apparently the dude seemed dead and then clawed himself out of the grave and started biting into people from the village and acting like everything was normal. He was confused and pale and the villagers decided he’s a vampire and went back to exhume him, which they did. The part where he got out of his grave and why he went back is still fuzzy. My guess it was just mass hysteria, by what I know now, but ask anyone else in a hundred mile radius around that town and you will get the same response: it was a moroi – which is a young vampire – inferior rang – easily killed – confused at the beginning and all that. More on it in a later post.
I just needed to get this out so you know where we stand with things in vampire country. Transylvania is not known as vampire territory for nothing. Shit goes down. Seriously.
More on this also in a later post.
4th of January, 2005 – 13:00
I wanted to post the exact transcript from my diary but decided it’s not detailed enough. I will however do that in a following post with another entry which is more than enough but for now here is what happened next:
It was yet another cold day but clear blue skies were covering the horizon from east to west with no clouds in sight. We call it “sun with teeth” in Transylvania, with no relation to vampires. We call it that because it is deceitful, and “it bites your ass” – it tricks you thinking it’s warm outside, but when you do go out, you realize it’s -15 again. This was the case.
I layered up a bunch of clothes on me feeling pretty sure it’s not warm outside and took an old untreated raw brown leather jacket on top – which was back in style apparently – and called for a cab. I was going to meet Sophia and Viktor – felt bad that Blanche won’t be there, she was gone for the winter holiday in Austria for skiing and whatnot with her parents. She loved skiing.
I hadn’t seen Regina “Engel” (which was how she named herself apparently, funny because Engel means Angel in German, even funnier because of her first name, which together with her last name makes a weird combination that yields “The Queen of Angels” – kitsch if you ask me, but what do I know, right?) anyway, I hadn’t seen her since the night of the church (28th of December previous year) – she left me at the side of that church as soon as our talk was over and with one look from left to right, she straightened her body, tilted her chin up and announced flatly: “I have to attend some duties now.” – and poof she was gone. I remember I really wanted her to stop doing that.
I was really decided on telling my friends about her, even if I wasn’t sure I’m ever going to see her again. I was pretty confident they would support me and trust me enough. On the ride to the Concordia cafe, the cab driver tried to make some small talk, asked me about how I spent New Year and murmured something about his youth and how he was “still partying if he was me.”
I had spent New Year with family. It was a rather awkward gathering and all we talked about was the weather and how they all liked Regina, even if she was a vampire – continuing to make fun of me of how from all the girls I picked someone who likes to bite me. We were a kind of liberal family, sex was an open subject even though I was really young – however my mother wasn’t that amused – she had seen the bite marks, and met her personally. Father and brother didn’t met her but liked her anyway already. I tried defending her but then I figured she should do it herself – where was she? I was angry she wasn’t here.
Arriving to the cafe, my best friend Viktor was already there – he stood up, shook my hand and hugged me (no, it’s no weird, we’re that good friends) then shortly Sophia came in – with apologies blaming the weather for the delay. It didn’t take long for our coffee to be there also, just like we wanted it. We didn’t even order. It felt good to be known and be a regular in a place you could call a second home.
Oh, the coffee… it had her name. They should change it from Regina to Concordia, the name of the coffee, or to something else. I hated it now. You have to understand, Regina is a pretty common name for everything in Romania. From a coffee to a hotel room, to a corner shop and mostly used as a girl first name. It also means “the queen” in Romanian. Actually that’s the only word for “the queen”: regina.
Whatever I did my mind kept creeping back to her: not because I was in love – hell I didn’t knew what I was feeling, and it didn’t really matter for me. This wasn’t Twilight nor Vampire Diaries, and I was not a girl. In a way I was more sexually attracted rather than emotionally, which is understandable. In any case, as soon as we started sipping our coffee and after going the usual chat subjects, like how was your New Year and all that, I jumped right in:
“Guys, remember Regina?” I said, looking down at my coffee like I was trying to guess in it.
“Yeah, how is she? Where is she?” – Viktor said enthusiastically. Oh man he already blushed.
“I don’t know, but that’s not the point. I…” and I trailed off. Did I really need to do this?
“Maybe she went back to Vienna to be with her family.” – Sophia said, and then added “Maybe she can hook up with Blanche, she’s not that far from Vienna also!”
“Yeah, see, that’s what I need to talk with you. I’d rather her not meet up with any of you.” I said flatly, with a flair of commanding tone in my voice.
“Why not? Did you break up? We didn’t really talk about her because we didn’t really saw you that much so we’re not actually sure if you… but we did speculate.” Sophia said again. Man I wished she’d just shut up so I can get it out already. It was choking me. It was like asking a girl out for the first time in my life. That feeling.
“Listen. Regina is… special. She’s not human.”
Laughter. Of course they would laugh. I should have figured.
“Oh come on, don’t be mean.” Viktor said. Was he trying to defend her? I hoped not.
“No, listen – I’m not mad at her and we didn’t break up, and that’s not a metaphor.” I said.
“She really isn’t human… well she is… but she’s not really…” – By this point I remember how both of them were looking at each other, then at me, then at each other again… and then raised eyebrows, both of them. Towards me.
Sophia with her blonde silky smooth hair had seemed more interested than Viktor, which by now was feeling rather irritated. I guess deep down he wanted to punch me already for talking bad about Regina. For god’s sake I thought, he only met her once.
As confused as they were, I raised my hands in the air like a “Fine! Fine!” gesture and then gestured them with a flick of my hand to come closer. They both leaned towards and above the table, carefully pushing the lonely fake rose on the table towards a side, and by now we were all so close we were actually touching each other’s foreheads.
“Regina is a vampire.” I whispered.
They both stood there for a few years, for that’s what it seemed like to me, and then backed up still looking at me with eyes wide open.
“You’re messing with us right?” Viktor said, and before me trying to explain he continued “Listen man, you’re my friend, if you broke up just tell me you don’t want me to go after her and I won’t. You don’t have to make bullshit up.”
Sophia was still looking at me and to my amazement – because she was the shyest of us all – and the most unlikely to have followup questions to anything that came up, ever – she said: “Did she… bite you?” – felt like she barely got it out but she did.
“Yes she did. Here…” I said that as I touched my shoulder. I decided not to tell them about the other unwanted bite I got as a present from someone else.
And then she started laughing maniacally. She was playing me. Viktor too. They stood up and started getting their clothes on. I couldn’t believe it – and it still makes me angry to this day – that they were ready to ditch me just like that, for saying something like that.
“Man, grow up.” Viktor had said to me and ushered Sophia in front of him with a hand on her lower back. Sophia didn’t even look at me as they left.
I had an eerily feeling this will be the case most of the time from now on – I never wanted to try and tell someone again something like that. I was damn determined not too. What did I had to gain anyway?
Again I was reminded that this was no romance novel – friends didn’t jump in for my help and supported me in my quest for true love or happiness or whatever I was after – they felt creeped out and offended – both because they felt they didn’t know me anymore for talking like that – and they knew I was serious, otherwise they would have taken it as a joke and moved on – and offended for the fact that they thought I thought they are so naive that they would actually buy that. I can’t blame them, I would feel the same way.
I was alone in this and maybe it was better. Vampire secrecy made much more sense day by day – of course nobody knows about them – they all seem to enjoy stories, but when something actually gets serious they dismiss it, make fun of it and throw it away as being nonsense. And can you blame that with all the movies popping up like mushrooms after the rain lately? Movies that make vampires sparkle. Sorry. I just can’t hate on it enough.
Again I want to remind you – this doesn’t feel like reading a book because it isn’t – it has personal opinions, it’s a story mixed with my thoughts about it and you should treat it as such. If you expect a children’s story with “what’s next, what’s next” you won’t get it. You have to fish it out from what I’m saying. Some parts (like the last posts) are more like that, some aren’t.
That very same night I decided, against my own stupidity and my curiosity (heh, curiosity killed the cat) to have a walk up to the Old Church, make another breaking and entering inside it and check out the crypt.
How crazy that was? I know. But I couldn’t be scared enough of some bones, not after what I witnessed in that church anyway. So I went. I took the stairs that not long ago nearly brought me to meeting death, but at half of the stairs, a small path sticks out to the right. It’s a man-made path, the kind that forms by itself by people regularly walking through there. It goes right around the base of the citadel wall and through the forest and if you keep going forward, you finally arrive to the half of the road where it forks and which leads up to the hill – where the church is. I took that road and went through there: I decided to go on this path because I figured there will be nobody to see me going through here, but there might be people in the citadel, which I had to pass if I would have went the normal way.
In any case, I was at the church door in no time and with a feeling of “just go back and forget about it” I pushed the massive wooden doors and to my amazement – they had actually opened. Apparently someone didn’t lock it – or maybe nobody was here for the past week anyway since the “events” unfolded, with Christmas and all I figured that would be plausible. I swallowed my breath.
I went inside and approached the altar slowly, at the base of which was a small rock hatch. The kind that is part of the floor – but it has an iron ring attached to it and with enough force you can pull it up and descend into the crypt.
I looked around with the flashlight, there was no sign of blood, corpses or such. No vampire and no blonde girl. They were gone. I felt relieved and scared in the same time.
With no time to waste – I felt like a burglar – and by all means, I was. I grabbed the iron ring and start pulling on it as hard as I could. Sure enough the square rock hatch in the floor moved – it was thinner than the rest and was actually lighter than I had imagined. I kept pulling and then shoved it aside. I made sure the flashlight is still powerful by looking at it – right before going into darkness. That couldn’t have been such a smart move. I wouldn’t want it to go out while I’m down there, and I started descending.
This crypt is rather small. It’s just a 20 meter tunnel, with an arched ceiling, and it’s very narrow, dark and damp. On each side, on three rows, there are skeletons, and I shit you not, if you are a big guy by any chance, your clothes are gonna touch the top of their heads as you walk by them. They [the makeshift tombs, because they really seem temporary] have no doors or anything, they are just deposited skeletons, each in their own little spot.
In total I would guess there are about 120. It seemed to me that there were about 20 on each row, and with three rows on each side, that makes a total of 120 skeletons. Some were missing, so might be a bit less. However, I wasn’t in the mood of counting dead people.
I was actually searching for the dead vampires. I had a really terrible itch in my ass (metaphorically speaking) in knowing what happens with them after they die. Blade had taught me they go puff in flames, other movies had taught me they turn into pink goo, or they explode, or they burn in flames, or they turn into fine ash and so, so many more.
At the base of the crypt, two heads were sticking out more than they should be – they seemed not to ‘fit’ into the landscape. Different color. I immediately went there and I put the light on them – and there they were – two bodies, heads detached but somehow put over the body to seem ‘normal’ were lying there, but they were in such a state that you would think they were dead for at least 5 years. They were literally almost pure bone, except the tissue that was still there which was brown to black. It seemed to me like the last step of decomposition. There was no smell, I remember I had my hand over my mouth and nose but then put it down because I didn’t seem to smell anything.
By all means – they looked exactly like the other bodies and I was rather sure that in a matter of another two or three days nobody could tell they weren’t a part of this crypt – not without forensics at least. For me this was another debunked myth. Vampires died just like humans, if you cut their head off that is, but they seemed to decompose much faster. I wondered if staking them would make them burn.
I didn’t really spend more time in there – I was satisfied with what I’ve seen and I started going towards the exit of the crypt, happy that nothing came to bite me from behind. I had ‘that feeling’ which we all know. The one you feel there’s someone behind you when you walk down a shady street in the night.
As soon as I got to the entrance of the crypt and looked up towards the exit I saw a familiar face.
“Hello.” Regina said.
“Hi.” – I acted like I was just greeting her in the park. Nothing to see here, move along.
“Nous sentir ce soir curieux?” – She said with an air of aristocracy and superiority – like a true French would, however, her French could be better I thought.
“Oui.” I said and that was it for me with French. I switched to native tongue.
“Did you stalk me all this time?” I asked her, with a tone of “I like it” and not with a tone of “How dare you!”.
“Not really… just tonight. I wanted to visit you but you crept out at midnight and I was really feeling anxious to see what you were up to.” She said smiling.
“Are you satisfied with what you found?” She continued.
“As a matter of fact yes I am, I wouldn’t have come here if you would explain better – you know I’m curious – plus this doesn’t answer my question anyway.” – I was feeling rather irritated now, seeing her smile on and on and making me feel like a child.
“What is your question then?” Regina said imitating me in my “irritation”. That actually softened me. But she was still playing.
“How do you… kill a vampire?” I said, instantly feeling nervous, scared and ashamed for what I just asked. Mother of god I just realized I’ve asked the oldest vampire how to go about killing her.
“Am I that much of a bother that you already consider taking my life darling?” She said this with a tone of… jealousy? I couldn’t really tell at the time, but much later I figured out that expression of hers also. It was something like “I’m keeping the game up and making myself seem comfortable, but I’m not pleased with the position I’m in.” – I know it’s much to say about someone from an expression, but think of a false smile. That should paint a good picture for you.
Then she started:
“I told you to get your mind off movies and books. We don’t have our own little secret society where we meet and discuss evil plans. We’re not that different from you, we live in the same world, obey the same laws, well, more or less, and we try to be the same. By all means, we’re rather more alike that different.”
She was furious. Which was rather interesting, seeing how a vampire, the queen of them for that matter, was trying to prove a point: that she’s more human than she is a vampire. That really didn’t hold, no matter what she said. Her big knife and killer instincts a week before would make a strong counter-argument in my head.
“You already saw me walking freely in the sun. What else do you what?” She asked.
“That doesn’t answer my question for what I came here tonight. I’m not asking this for use against you, but I don’t want to be in a position of being attacked again and not knowing what to do.” I said feeling proud of my answer.
“You really think that you could kill me, or any vampire for that matter, if you knew how?” She said. She was actually waiting for an answer, it wasn’t a question to defy me, it wasn’t a rhetoric question.
“Yes I do, so if you please…” and I trailed off.
“Fine. But just so you know: this is the most well guarded secret of them all. Only the fact that you know what I am could get you killed, but it doesn’t because I would have to kill you myself, the others won’t dare.”
“I understand.” I said.
“We die like you. Just harder.” She said and I had a feeling that was it.
“What does that mean? Explain. Details.”
She didn’t want to go on, but I pushed and pushed and pushed and without realizing I made her angry. Really angry.
With one gust of wind I felt her hand on my neck, just the way she had done to the vampire a week before, she was hissing at me, fangs started coming out, I could actually see them elongating, and her eyes now looked like a cup of water in which you poured black ink into. They were swirling inside with blackness and were getting darker and bloodier by the second. This was her transforming into what I revered, worshiped and was scared of in the same time. The fact that I was out of air didn’t help.
She raised her hand as easily as you pick up a kitten, up in the air, with me in it, and slammed me to the left column of the church. Within a second her face was almost stuck to mine. Her nose was poking into mine, her eyes drilled holes in my very own eyes and I could feel her breath on my lips. I hoped she would kiss me.
Once again her fangs dug deep into my throat – I was now her own endless blood bag which just replenished itself over and over – I felt a lot of pain this time – burning sensations like you’ve never felt before. You feel it deep inside your whole body, you feel your eyes burning and your mind melting. The pain in the neck is so great that you stop breathing or swallowing. You cannot move, not because you’re compelled or something, but because it’s so much pain to even think about moving that you give up instantly, before even thinking. You do not breathe. You sit there and hope you will not die. It traumatizes you every time it happens, but it doesn’t hurt every time. It seemed to me it only hurts if the one biting is angry and I wondered if you can control the pain – as in if she could intentionally make it hurt or not.
She didn’t drink – she just bit me, and then released, pulling me with her and then slamming me again in the column.
Her mouth full of my own blood and eyes deep black by now with the rest of them so red they were almost bleeding themselves, countless veins pushed to extreme – it looked like my blood – I really hoped that wasn’t the case.
She came close to me once again, just like before she bit me and said: “I will die on my own terms. You can’t kill anyone, but if you really must know. We die just like you.”
I gave up on asking her what does that mean – I didn’t want to go through all that again, but I didn’t have to because she continued:
“You can cut off my head and I’ll die. Fire can kill me but only if it’s strong and lasts long enough, otherwise I’ll heal through it. Stabbing or shooting me doesn’t work because I heal through it, not because I’m some creature of hell.”
I took a large breath of air – she studied my face and then to my amazement once again she continued:
“I own my eternity to my power of healing. That is why I cannot die. Overwhelm it and you can kill me.” She looked at me once again, trying to figure out if I’m satisfied. This was somewhat payment for what she just did to me. I accepted the payment.
“How about stakes?” – I asked.
“Wood? That’s a fabrication. Our heart beats just like yours, and it is damaged by wood or metal alike. However, if the stake is pulled out, we heal through it and do not die. It continues beating on, and on, and on, and on…” and I had to stop her before saying that again.
I was satisfied. More than satisfied. I could now paint a more accurate picture of what I’m dealing with, in my head. However, there was much more that I didn’t know, and the worst part was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, if that makes sense. At least I knew that vampires do die by stopping their heart long enough – that is – leaving the stake in there for a couple of days, until decomposition sets in and then you can safely pull it out without risking the heart starting to beat again.
I was still fuzzy on the details – like drowning. Or limbs, did they grow back? Man what was I thinking. Just a month ago I was worried about how my hair looked and now – oh totally different set of problems – out of this world.
This is a long post but I can’t stop it here, have to get to the end otherwise it’s like saying a joke into two different parts, one today and the other tomorrow.
After saying that, I saw her biting her lip, piercing it slowly, as slowly as possible: it was intended for me to see it. I was actually aroused by this – what’s wrong with me I thought – and then I saw her blood.
She bent over and kissed my neck where she bit me and just like that, I could actually hear and feel my wounds closing in. I didn’t know whether I should thank her or get the hell away from her. I didn’t say anything. I just wanted to bottle the damn thing and keep a steady supply with me, wondered if that worked anyway.
I remember I actually wanted to make a joke or tell her something about the crypt below – but before I could even open my mouth, the doors of the church were closed shut – as by a gust of a really strong wind, because they were themselves really big heavy doors and by the time I turned to look at Regina with a “what’s going on?” look, she was already in her defense/attack stance. She had a really straight back, head tilted upwards, but her knees were bent pretty much and her hands were extended to each side for a bit, with her marvelous golden knife held in a not so tight grip in her left arm. She had her fangs fully extended and was scanning the place with quick glances from one corner to the other.
She stood perfectly still and for a moment it seemed to me she’s not even breathing anymore. She was a real statue with eyes that moved. Needles to remind you, this church was pitch black except my flashlight and the moon which was shining exactly on the altar, engulfing the whole place where we stood, through a window. The rest of the church was uncharted territory tonight.
I was looking at her and really taking in every single detail – I thought this was a great pose for a photo, or a painting – or a really good sketch. I really wanted to remember every single detail so I can draw something later – too bad I can’t draw, haven’t figured that out at the time.
As I was watching her NOT MOVE she turned her head in a really quick glance upwards towards the top left corner (opposite one) of the church. She fixated on something, and sure enough, something moved. For me, it was like she noticed it before it even moved – that wasn’t possible now – was it?
Something was in the church with us – something that was defying Regina! That was not good – anything that fast – and anything defying its queen must be either stronger and faster – or crazy. I wondered if vampires can be crazy. Then I pictured a whole new set of ideas in my head.
Werewolves – SHIT – I thought – What if Underworld (the movie) was right and the vampires actually had a war going on with the werewolves? No way.
My imagination, thanks to Hollywood, was too rich. I often wondered what else I didn’t know about, after I had found out about Regina, but I wasn’t prepared to accept werewolves, not in a million years.
And I was right.
- Vampire History (socyberty.com)
- George Takei Jokes About The Twilight Saga: It’s SO Bad! (thehollywoodgossip.com)