all downhill from here [story part 12]
January 30, 2012 § 4 Comments
Still January 5th, after noon.
that very same night Regina and I spent the night at her manor. she was renting the whole second floor from the family living there who made extra money renting the place year round to tourists who want to stay a while in a 16th century manor, in the hometown of the infamous Dracula. It’s gorgeous, inside and out, you can check the photo from an earlier post.
I had spent almost the whole day sleeping, both me and Regina. She truly loved sleeping, almost too much for a vampire.
I once heard of a saying that went like: you only have one life, so do you really want to spend it sleeping? I guess it didn’t apply in Regina’s case.
When I woke, she was still sleeping but as I opened my eyes and gazed at her sleeping – she seemed so innocent – which is the understatement of all time – she had opened hers too. We didn’t say a word to each other and we didn’t romantically smile to each other either. We just stared at one another for a while there, after which she went downstairs to make a phone call. Public phones? Really? I smiled.
“What, you didn’t think we still used carrier pigeons now, did you?”
I didn’t answer.
In turn, I also remembered how I just… didn’t go home last night. Pulled out my mobile, 17 missed calls and 5 messages and three e-mails. That was a record for me.
All of them were either from my mother, my brother or Viktor. I called home and checked it. All was right. One message was from an unknown number. It read: “message sent”.
I instantly realized that it had to be Viktoria, and I showed it to Regina. She nodded.
“How does she have my number anyway?” I said.
“She’s resourceful.” and with that, she elegantly continued “Now you need to leave.”
“What? Why?” I asked confused – somewhat angry.
“Because it’s still daylight and I’m hungry.” She plainly responded, and that would seem totally normal and almost banal for anyone that might have heard this, but both me and Regina knew the implications behind that sentence, which would have been a true grim story for anyone else, except me. I felt giddy yet horrified with myself for being able to get used, almost like it was the most normal thing in the world, to this.
“Plus, the sun I’ve got these past days will be enough to last for a year, I’ve grown rather tired of feeling like a critter.” – that meant she won’t leave the house until sundown.
I remembered the night before and the pain. I remembered how she just bit me, and didn’t drink. I was balancing in my mind whether to be her meal for the day or just go home and come back later. It didn’t take long for me to decide. I went home.
I had no guilt in me like you see in the movies, for letting Regina feed on other people. I had no desire of saving mankind nor did I have a hero complex. I understood plainly and clearly that it’s a biological need for her and not something that she enjoys, although she did enjoy. I understood that she had been doing this for five centuries, and me offering myself would have made no difference to anyone, except maybe me – which I was sick of being tired all the time. Plus, I was hungry myself. Too bad we didn’t share the same culinary taste, we could have had a nice dinner (lunch? oh hell) together.
I was dressed and on my way in under a minute, and Regina seemed pleased. I was pleased also. It was a pretty winter afternoon, warm actually for this time of the year, and I was glad to feel the sun shining on my face and NOT feel any weaker. I had a “in your face” feeling in me, when thinking about Regina.
Instead of going home I decided to head for the cafe, Concordia, for it was a merely 200 meter walk away, and I did. As soon as I entered I realized the mistake. I was planning on having a coffee and a nice lunch all by myself, think about everything that I failed to think in the past few days, or that I kept putting off.
Instead, there they were, all three. Blanche, Sophia and Viktor.
“There you are! Why didn’t you answer the phone! We thought the bad vampire got you…” Sophia said, Blanche and Viktor giggling under their breath.
“Very funny.” I said and sat down next to them.
“They told me – of course they did I thought – and I came up with an idea.” – Blanche said, like always, she was the brains of the whole operation – our friendship.
“Amaze me.” I said with an obvious sarcastic tone in my voice. Sophia and Viktor were looking anxious.
“Well… You can’t prove what you’re saying, and we don’t believe you either, even if we should, because we’ve known each other for all our lives and you never were the one to lie without a reason.” – true.
“So, we thought Regina herself could prove it to them (Sophia and Viktor) and quite frankly, I’d love to see it too for myself.” Blanche said, having a look of “so?” on her face.
I stood there for almost what seemed an eternity, for that was what their eyes drilling hole after hole in my skull did, and, after a while I was sure I had the perfect answer.
“Prove what exactly? What do you expect to see?” I asked them, all of them, looking from one to another.
And then the bomb dropped.
“Well, I haven’t quite been honest with you guys also. I mean, I didn’t actually lie to you, it’s just something you didn’t know about me…” Blanche said.
OH GOD PLEASE DON’T LET HER BE A WEREWOLF.
Ha, my imagination was running wild again. I smiled and let her continue.
“I’m kind of into this vampire thing, really bad. It’s grown to be an obsession to me.”
What? Blanche?! The brains of everything – she was the one to believe in superstitions and myths? This didn’t seem like her. But then I realized: Hei… Wait a second. “The brains” was still “the brains” because they weren’t myths anymore, it was true, and she knew it before everyone. Damn her! And her perfect grades too for that matter! (I was always jealous of that, childish, I know).
“And I love Twilight.”
Sophia had just slapped her. Hard.
Again, if you’ve read the part explaining what Twilight did to Romania, you would understand. If not, let me summarize it: Twilight was such a disgrace and such a failure in Romania – for making vampires sparkle and everything, when Romanians saw them as monsters and creatures of evil and death – that it almost caused riots. It was now a taboo subject, and anyone who actually enjoyed it was ostracized and looked down upon.
“How dare you!” Sophia said, in a mocking, funny way.
“I know, I know. I’m sorry, but I just do. And if what he is saying, then I want to meet her.” Blanche said raising both her hand with her palms towards us into a “Ok, ok…” gesture.
This was almost starting to sound promising for me, getting them to believe what I told Sophia and Viktor, that Regina was ‘a’ vampire.
“And I want her to turn me.” Blanch added, taking a long sip out of her cup of coffee, almost as if to be sure she didn’t need to say anything else, ever.
Only when I realized what I had just heard did I stop playing with my spoon in the coffee and turned my head towards Blanche with a “Wait, what?” face.
“If she’s a vampire I’m the only one who can confirm that, if she turns me. If not, then anyone could bite someone else and just drink the blood. It doesn’t mean anything.”
And she was right, that was my first impression of Regina also. She seemed just like a normal human being at first, who liked to bite. Except the fangs and eyes and everything.
And with that thought, and to this day I still can’t understand how I actually agreed with that, to my amazement and to infinity times two stupidity, I agreed.
“Fine!” I said.
“Let’s go.” I added.
“What? NOW?” Sophia said. Blanche’s face was white, scared and almost, almost said she was joking. I wish she would have done that. But she didn’t. Instead she stood up, and after her, everybody did.
Viktor didn’t say a single word this whole time, and I was glad for not having to deal with him too. Somewhere deep inside he knew what pleasing suspicious girls meant. And so we went, straight back to Regina.
On my way there the only word in my head was: “Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid”. And so it was.
If only I hadn’t betrayed Regina by exposing her secret (well, I didn’t really, or at least I didn’t realize), if only had I realized that I could actually hold my mouth shut and have just the same life without them knowing. If only.
By the time we got there I was hoping that Regina was already out to get something to eat (heh). She wasn’t or she was really quick in that regard.
We went straight up, through a narrow dark hallway which had only one door on the right, a door to the people living there, who rented the upstairs to Regina. At the end of the narrow hallway stood a flight of stairs which went 180 degrees at the middle and at the top of those stairs was the door to the top floor, which I omitted previously to say, was made up of a living room, a bathroom and a bedroom.
As soon as I knocked Regina opened the door. For all I know, it was instant. Amazing. She actually enjoyed doing everything ‘vampire style’ when she wasn’t in danger of exposing herself. But now she was.
“Hi!” she said with a giddy tone, to the three people behind me, without seeming the least bit of surprise. Of course she wasn’t, she must have heard us way before we knocked, plus, surprising someone of her age was hardly possible anymore.
“Hello” they all repeated in unison like a really old and creaky piano.
“Come in” she said and she stood aside, gesturing us to come inside with her left hand, still holding the knob with the right one, and as we each passed by, inspected us from top to bottom like we were entering a secret cult ceremonial room.
“I’m so glad you decided to visit me. Something to drink.” That was not a question. I realized it wasn’t, but Viktor, Blanche and Sophia didn’t.
You cheeky girl I thought. Still playing silly games after centuries. Don’t you ever get bored?
“Water please, we already had coffee.” Viktor said.
“Regina coffee. Yes… lovely coffee I could say.” Regina added with a smile on her face, she was complimenting herself. How lovely.
I thought the Viktor’s requirement of water was actually spot on, she didn’t have a fridge or anything to eat or drink, except a bottle of water and a cup. She gave them both to Viktor. Don’t picture any serving a cup of water on a plate or something like that. No, she shoved them in his hands with a “here, help yourself” look.
And then she continued doing what she was doing previously to our arrival. Packing apparently. WHAT?
“So, are you going somewhere?” I asked.
“Yes, we are.” – WE? Nobody seemed to realize but me. I didn’t want to know at that time, I had other issues pressing on my shoulders.
Blanche started walking around the room, looking at the walls and what not, trying to occupy her face with something else while I made the courage to speak. When I failed to open I mouth, I instantly realized that was a double failure.
“So… Regina. We’ve been told you’re a vampire.” Blanche said plainly.
Viktor chocked with his water, Sophia left out a small start of a laugh which she quickly covered with her hand.
I felt sick to my stomach and had to sit down.
Regina looked at me with the angriest look I’ve seen in my life. I could actually feel two burning spots inside my retinas as I looked in her eyes and she looked into mine. Seriously. I know this was an auto-suggestion kind of thing, and it was all me, but I felt it, in my head. In my mind. I was doomed and I knew it. Fuck my life.
Again, the words came into my mind: “Stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid”.
Here’s a quote from my diary, which is more detailed I guess:
“That grim day was the apocalypse of my innocence as a human being. Up until then I had never hurt someone, but that day I managed to hurt everyone that I cared. At least that’s what it seems now, I hope it will turn, in the long run, to be a good choice that I made then. I remember Regina’s look on my face and I can still feel her anger burning my eyes. I regret that I accepted and willingly led my friends into a life they should never have known. I remember how the sun was going down that very same second and for the first time in my life, I felt more scared of the dark than ever. I was locked there, in that room, with an angry and hungry centuries old vampire, and it wasn’t just me, there were three other people, my most loved friends, and I only then realized what had I done. I have sent them to their demise. I will be sorry forever, for their lives will never be normal again. Nor mine.”
Going back to the almost explosive moment when Blanche plainly said that to Regina, like she was asking her about the weather.
As soon as Blanche said it and Regina turned towards me, I felt the room spinning.
Regina’s reaction wasn’t really what I expected. I expected her to deny it, I expected her to act silly, to laugh and make fun of that statement. She was fully capable of doing that and right there and then, she could have easily pulled it off. Sophia and Viktor were already skeptic enough to say “let’s go, this was a waste of time” at the slightest hint of me seeming like a liar.
Instead, Regina did not have that particular reaction.
In less than three seconds, the door shut violently, we felt gusts of wind all around us, a blur circled back and forth the door and the spot in front of me, some gasps and shrieks were released, the lamp had been knocked off and smashed and then, in that eerie light of the sun going down, the time where you’re not sure if it’s day or night, a horror movie began.
Regina was behind Blanche, holding her forehead with her left arm and with her right arm wielding her big golden knife at her throat.
“YOU STUPID CHILD!” she shrieked at me and then Sophia tried to approach her but Regina hissed at her exposing her fangs.
Sophia more than surely saw her fangs and her eyes which by now were getting darker and darker. She fainted.
Viktor tried darting out the door but in a second Regina pulled him and knocked him all the way through the other door, in the middle of the living room, and before Blanche even knew she had released her, Regina was back at her throat in the same position she was a second before.
I was still in my chair, just looking at all this like I was watching a spectacle which was not very good. I remember I was actually used to her doing such things, and I still didn’t understand how could I not be more surprised or angry.
I think I had that “You asked for it” feeling in me. But now I understand, they were simply curios, as I was, and that I was the retard in the group. And the child.
“I’m sorry Regina, they are my friends and I needed them to know. For a hundred reasons if you need one.” I said, still bored, feeling like a boss. I was the master of her secrets. Stupid child.
“I’ll give you a reason why you shouldn’t have told them.” Regina said in a very quick and menacing tone.
“Death.” – and with that she sliced Blanche’s throat.