your blood is mine – its my lifeline [story part 8]

January 22, 2012 § 2 Comments


Light – a mystery itself

Bram Stoker’s Dracula walked in the sunlight also, but he was weakened considerably. So was Regina. Well, weakened relatively to what she can be during the night. If you ask me, she was still going strong…

Anyway, more on this later. All you need to know is that vampires can actually walk in the sunlight – but they prefer not to because they feel more vulnerable – they are weakened, they are remembered how it is to feel human – by the sunlight – and they also need to feed more if they walk in the sunlight.

Now, back to Bram Stoker’s Dracula – if you haven’t read it – do so. By any means, the man was on to something. He had a source or inspiration.

Quoting Regina: “There’s a very small chance that someone starts writing about something like this (vampires) and guesses such important characteristics without having any source.” – this is in relation to sunlight. He got the others wrong.

The best read that I could find regarding vampires is actually the oldest of the accounts that can be considered a book. Maybe it’s good because there wasn’t such a degree of fantasy involved in writing a book back then. I’m talking of course about a book written in 1819 by John William Polidori, called “The Vampyre” – here is the book cover. I’m sure you can find it online.

How am I supposed to prove it? Post a photo with Regina standing in the sunlight? Fine – but I won’t accomplish anything with that – how am I supposed to show proof she’s a vampire in the first place? It’s a vicious circle. Like I said, most of you are exactly what I used to be – wouldn’t believe it even if it was in front of me. So all I can do is write. Plus, exposing Regina is not my goal.

Regina told me, and she was right: “It’s easier for me to seem normal and blend in when humans think vampires can’t walk in the sun, so why should I change that?”

***

December 28th, 10:00

I woke feeling really tired, almost sick. I was dizzy, had hazy sight and I had a feeling of floating around and not really walking. I also heard that faint ringing sound in my ears all the time and had a really nasty cold sweat. I was anemic.

My mom came in the room and saw me – she also saw the blood on the bed sheets and saw my shoulder. She gasped, put her hand over her mouth and just stood there, eyes wide open. I can see the expression on my mothers face even now, drilling in my head. She was both scared and disappointed in the same time.

“I’m fine.” I said.
“No, you’re not! I know what happened and I can’t believe you’re fine with it! This is surreal!”

“No mother, it’s real. You should know better…” – I was referring to the black eyed children and my necklace. I was touching it as I said that.

My mom came close, put her hands over my shoulder and touched the tiny bit marks – they were healing fast – faster than normal puncture wounds, for some reason, but I figured it would still take well over 3 days to heal completely and maybe another 2 days for the whole area to present no more signs of any bite.

“I want to meet it.” my mom said.
“What?” – I was confused.

“The thing that did this to you.” – she wasn’t really sure what to call it.

“IT is a girl mom. And she’s better than any girl I’ve met. It makes me happy to give her what she needs. It’s not what you think. Plus, meeting her is out of the question.”

“I want to meet her. Period. Now.”
“Well I’m sorry but I think I forgot to ask for her phone number…” – I was being sarcastic.

Then, instead of seeing my mother burst out for me being a “smart ass” when “this was serious” – because that’s what she usually did and said, she was frozen in place, looking out the window. I turned back to look also and there she was. Regina.

“Hello.” – Regina said and then let herself in like she was my sister and she was using the door. Like everything was more than normal.
My mom – speechless. Even myself, I was a bit speechless also – I mean here I was, naked, in bed with my mother next to me, introducing her to my 500 year old ‘friend’ like this was a normal thing. What’s next I thought, playing scrabble together? This was ludicrous!

Regina saw my mom’s face and didn’t waste any time: “Your son is special to me. He’s not in danger from me or anyone else.” – What I could deduce from this is that others who were not “special” were [in danger].

My mom looked at the bite marks. Regina did too.
“I’m sorry for that, let me fix it.” and with one move she put a finger nail to her forearm and did a small cut – put her finger to her wound which was already closing -what the hell – and smeared the blood on the wound. They closed right in front of my eyes. I was amazed and wanted to see this “trick” as often possible.

My mom said then: “Who are you? What are you?”

“I think we both know the answer to that question.” – she took the necklace in her hand, Regina. Then, she looked at my mom again and continued: “My name is Anna Bathory – I was born a long time ago and this necklace belonged to me.”

“So it’s true then…” My mom said.
“I’m afraid – or glad – that it is…” Regina added.

“Come with me.” My mom said and just like that, going over the fear she had, my mom held her hand in a gesture of Regina taking her hand, which she did, and in a second they were out of my room, acting like they were long time friends.

What the hell was going on? I thought at the moment.
By the time I got dressed and went in the other room, they were both standing in the library, my mom checking for some books and Regina sitting down, relaxed, feeling at home – at the small table in the corner, sipping on a cup of tea.

I went in and saw her, arched my eyebrows at her. “Want some?” She said and giggled. So she could drink and eat  normal food I thought. Good.

“Can you taste that?” I asked.
“Yes, and it’s wonderful.” Regina said.

( You would be amazed how much more normal a vampire is – except personality – than presented in movies and our preconceived ideas about them. The ones that really managed to blend in, like Regina, are actually more normal than most people. They sleep just like us, have the same activities, try to live a nice and inconspicuous life, they workout although in a different way, and it’s not needed, and just like a requirement, they are the most social persons I’ve ever seen. At least Regina was.)

Regina was also using my mothers silverware – well there goes the “silver hurts vampires” myth also. It was stupid anyway, silver was supposed to be against werewolves, where and when did it became dangerous for vampires? Meh.

I was still feeling dizzy and pale as a sheet of paper but my mom seemed not to care anymore. “Suck it up” she said when she saw me wobbling a bit, with what I think was an intended pun.

What the hell. Later did I find out she was concerned about bigger troubles – like me not becoming a vampire.
She was really into Regina [as in she felt comfortable with her being there] and didn’t appear to be afraid of her. Regina was also herself again, really social, happy, lively and just full of smiles. How could you not like her.

I stood there for a chunk of time and said nothing. I just looked at Regina the whole time. She was dressed in full white which was almost as white as her skin. Her black, long, smooth hair came in as a sharp contrast to what she was wearing and her dark eyes drilled holes in everything her sight landed on. Her lips were oily and pink and they invited you to have a go at them every time you looked at them. She moved in a very delicate and gentle way yet in the same time she had that something about her. That allure.

At some point I got sick of all this girl friendship. I was feeling really left out. They were talking about me but I had no idea what about.
“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” I interrupted.

Regina stood up, straightened her clothes and headed towards my mom. She stood beside her and both looked at me like I was getting an intervention. Then she spoke:

“Listen, that necklace, it was mine. It was given to my mother in the same way it was given to your mother. I was also really sick as a child, but the black eyed children told her – they told her what will happen if she accepts them healing me. She was told I had to wear this necklace until one day when someone will come and “take me.”

“Who?” I said with kind of a desperate look on my face.
“Nobody took me literally. A man came and turned me into a vampire, which was not against my will.”

“So it’s true then. This necklace does make me a target.” – I said.
“Yes it does, and I think I’m supposed to be the one taking you? I’m confused. I don’t want to but it seems like this is where it’s going.” Regina said.

“I don’t want you to do anything of the kind…”
“I know, but I think that history is repeating itself. The man who came to me was also marked, although not by this necklace, to become a vampire. Then he came to me. And now, here I am, coming to you. He didn’t want to turn me into a vampire also, neither did I, but then I did.”

Well this was not really easy to digest, or understand. I was still feeling like living in a joke or a TV show. How the hell was I supposed to take in all this information and actually act like it’s normal.

Vampires in my house. Check – My mom ok with that. Check – Old necklaces which made you predestined to become a vampire. Check – Black eyed children and everything – hmmm.

“Why is it so special about becoming a vampire anyway? What would happen if I didn’t?” I said, being more and more irritated by where this was going.
“Well nobody knows because nobody ever managed “not to”. If it was meant to be, it happened.” Regina said, taking another sip of the tea like we were just having a casual Sunday afternoon talk.

“Plus, remember what happens if you take off the necklace…” she added.
“I don’t really know what happens. I only did it once and it didn’t seem to be going well.” I said.

“You wish you’d be dead, that’s what happens. But you don’t die. For all I know, the necklace acts like a lifeline for you. My mother, Elizabeth, managed to find some really old texts about gems, Jade gems, just like the one in the necklace, that focused your aura, which is like a signature, and sends it through the necklace into power lines which are all around us, especially here in this city, and the lines do the same thing back. You are connected to everything with that necklace, and without it – you feel like you’re going to die. Because, by all means, both you and me, should have been long dead without the black eyed children.”

“And the necklace.”  – That was all I could say.

My mom said nothing during this whole chat and then we heard her excitedly saying: “Here! I found it!” – and then she pulled out a book, which turned out to be her diary. She opened it and kept going over pages faster and faster, too fast to actually read something. And then she stopped.

She wasn’t searching, it turned out, for something she wrote. She was searching for something she had drawn.
Both me and Regina gasped and looked at it with eyes wide open. It was the first time seeing Regina being surprised. I wonder how many times did that happen in the past 500 years.

By all means, it was a perfect sketch of Regina. Small but detailed enough to call it a photo rather than a sketch. And my mom hardly knows how to draw.

“That night, after I put you to bed and put the necklace on your neck, when you were little, I had a dream. I dreamed about this exact day – The white girl drinking the tea – and when I woke up all I could remember was her face.” – She looked towards Regina – “I drew it because somehow I knew it was important.” – It was. This was getting even freakier by the second and nobody seemed to mind.

“Well this is enough freaky for me for today. We’re going out.” – I said with an air of ‘I’m the man of the house’.
“We are?” – Regina said.

“Yes.” – I took her hand and off we went, through the forest, up the same steps where she first saw, and attacked me, over the citadel, straight downtown. I was tired of all the esoteric crap talk that was going on. It’s one thing to meet someone who by all means, is different biologically than you, but it’s a completely different thing to start talking about fate and fairies.

“Where are you staying?” – I asked her.
“As it happens, I’m staying right here.” – She pointed at a building. I had no idea how the hell did she managed to go into houses like that and just stay there. Apparently she didn’t like hotels, but felt more than welcome in people’s homes. And she wasn’t picky either. Well, this time she could have done worse.

This is where she was staying. Top floor, second window from the left. I was pleased.

“That’s nice.” – I wanted to ask her for how long she’s planning to stay there but I didn’t want to know the answer to that question. I was just hoping it would be long.

“We have to go mingle with some people. I miss commotion.” – Regina said. Which was awkward, coming out of a vampire’s mouth which was supposed to be hidden, living in the shadows and all that.

“You want to meet my friends?” I asked her. I was betting she would like them more than those other five vampires she called friends, plus I was pretty sure mine would take orders from her too if they would just know who and what she is.

“Yes, but be careful. Nobody can know about what and who I am. I expect that comes naturally, but just as a warning, don’t tell them because I’m sure you don’t want to put them in any danger, it’s for them, not for me, the silence.”

Apparently in the written (yes, written) rules of the vampires, no human can know about a vampire if he or she is not about to be turned into one. Otherwise, they both must die, for the human cannot hold a secret and the vampire will do it again if he did it once. I was feeling like the exception, though Regina felt pretty comfortable about it.

“So how are you not turning into ash my dear?” – I said on a British kind of gentleman tone, it was meant to be funny. And it was.
She giggled a bit, then put on her sunglasses and looked at the sun.

“Sunlight can’t harm me, that’s fantasy. I’m only weakened by it – as in I feel human and my strength is greatly diminished. I also have a hard time seeing because it’s too bright and I need to feed more often. I’m sure your eyes hurt too from too much light, during the night, and I’m also sure you’re hungrier when you’re supposed to be sleeping.”

Well that explains a lot I thought.

By this time we were having just a nice normal stroll down the city park, towards my favorite cafe – Concordia – where me and my friends were so regulars that we even had our own special type of coffee. I shit you not, my friend Blanche made this coffee to her own specifications and named her Regina. Yes, Regina. And it had no connection to Regina the girl, this was years ago when we had no idea about any Reginas. Regina is just a common name, for a lot of things in Romania. It means Queen, like I said before, and it’s a name and an adjective in the same time.

As a matter of fact there was also a shop which went bankrupt just two years ago, on a very busy street corner which was also named Regina. Check it.

We went inside and they there were, Blanche, Sophia and Viktor. My three best friends. In the corner I also spotted my ex-girlfriend, which I forgot to mention, broke up with me just before Christmas. We were still friends, I said hello and didn’t get an answer, I continued to my friends.

“Hello guys. This is Regina.” I said.

With an ease I’ve hardly ever seen before she sat herself down, comfortably, shook each of their hands and kissed (yeah, kinky stuff) Viktor on the cheek  – he was immediately in love I figured – and then sat down.

“I just moved into town…” and then she made a light sign to the waiter, pointing one finger in the air, without even looking at him. He came  within seconds.

“Coffee” – and he didn’t even ask what type of coffee or anything else. That was weird too. There were at least 30 types of different coffee you could choose from. He then looked at me.

“Make that two Regina’s.” – I smiled and looked at her. She was puzzled, smiling and anxious. She wanted to know what’s up. My friends were also giggling by this point. The waiter was already long gone.

He came back with two of the most delicious cups of coffee ever.
Big cups, half with coffee and half with milk. Honey instead of sugar and coconut flavor.

I drank mine in a matter of minutes. Regina didn’t even touch hers.
Me and my friends sank deep into the usual conversation and I felt a bit weird for ignoring, for a few minutes, Regina. She didn’t seem to mind. She was already up and walking around the place, making conversation with people like we were at a party.

That was the most amazing and weird thing yet – even more weird than her being a vampire. I mean it’s one thing to be a vampire, and it’s something else to make 20 friends in a few minutes.

I think Viktor was already having naughty day dreams by this time. When she came back to the table behind him and put her hands on his shoulders: “Relax…” – he flinched.

Blanche and Sophia were puzzled but liked her.
Viktor was  a short guy. A bit fluffy. Big boned he liked to point out, not fat. He had red cheeks all the time and was the soul of the party all the time. He was the stereotypical fat funny guy. We all loved him and he knew it. We made him feel comfortable with himself and we accepted it as our equal. He was my best friend since we were in general high.

Blanche was medium sized, smaller than me or Regina, she had white-olive skin and red(ish) hair – curly but silky and she was the “demon” so to speak of the group. She was always the one with the crazy ideas, the one that pushed us to the limit and who always teased us for being pussies. We often had a love/hate relationship. She was also the smartest girl I’ve ever knew. Until Regina, I wondered how much knowledge Regina had gained in all these years.

Sophia was about Viktor’s size, she was blonde, pure blonde, hair the color of the summer sun. She was always smiling and happy and she had perfect white teeth. Me and Sophia used to date a few years back and we remained friends. Really good friends.

All four of us went through general high in the same classroom and then to high school, still in the same classroom. We had our inside jokes and everything. I cherished them as being my friends every single day and I still miss them like I missed them each day after I left. They were the hardest to let go when I left the country. I felt I could never build a new life for myself without the support and understanding I had from them. And I’m not entirely sure that’s not true, because I’m still building that life and I could sure use their support. I need them now as I needed them then.

We continued our little chat with Blanche and Sophia poking questions at Regina every now and then about where is she from, what’s her last name, how did the two of us meet, what’s going on between us. All kinds of inappropriate questions which for them felt very appropriate because after all, they were talking about a close friend.

Regina didn’t seem to mind and dodged each and every question really elegantly and as convincing as possible.

“Vienna” she said. “I’m from Vienna. I was born there.”
“My name is Regina Engel.” – she presented herself standing up and doing a short bow. We giggled. The girls loved her.

“Regina and I met and… we’ll we became good friends and I hope you can accept her like you accept me because I like her.” – I barely got that out I remember. My friends stood still for a second, looked at each other, didn’t know what to say and didn’t really say anything. Blanche just nodded and Sophia looked curiously at Regina in response.

All in all, they were pleased.

“But you speak perfect Romanian.”- Viktor noticed.
“Yes I do.” – Regina added, leaving Viktor and the girls for that matter speechless. Regina had perfected the way of ending a conversation to the state of an art. She had a way of telling people that’s all you will get out of her and no more. I could see on their faces they were actually waiting for an explanatory response as to how she speaks so good Romanian, but they never got it.

We ended up saying goodbye to each other in front of the cafe Concordia just as it was getting dark and Regina was already starting to glow, energy returning, stretch in all directions like she had just woken up and then moving her wrists and neck like she was preparing for a marathon. She was sniffing the air around her very subtle and was clinging to me, pulling me the way an anxious child is pulling his parents towards the toy department in a big supermarket.

I knew she’s turning again.
Angel by day, angel by night. I loved her both as Regina and as Regina – the eternal light.

We strolled up the stairs and into the citadel for a late night walk.
The weather was nice, it was snowing lightly and the December night proved to be more than delightful for a refreshing walk in the citadel which was by now almost soundless, the snow dampening all and every sound which you would usually hear from people walking on the cobblestone streets which had a way of resonating much more than asphalt usually does.

Even with that deafening and almost surreal silence in a December evening, Regina – with the sun already down and her gaining back herself – she heard it.

In a second, she flinched. Squeezed my hand so hard that I thought I’ll never write with it again  – arched eyebrows – arched lips – attack position – eyes getting darker. No fangs yet.

I tensed up and before I even got the chance to ask what’s going on, I felt both of her hands gripping me in an iron-hug and yanking my feet of the ground. We were running.

know who you are before trying to know others [story part 7]

January 20, 2012 § 10 Comments


December 16, 13:00

Sighisoara in the winter

The title of this post still appeals to me and I hold it dear for it has taught me to look at myself, always, before looking at others. This is especially helpful at times.

But in the same line of thought, I will continue writing about what I was talking in the post below. Feel like it’s too much to take in? Feels like a fantasy teenage romance novel already? Yeah, I know. I would love to call it fantasy, but it wasn’t. It isn’t.

Like I said in the beginning of the blog, just stating things, with bullet points, out of the blue, with no explanations, like “Ghosts are real”, has never helped anyone and that’s why I’m trying to be as detailed as possible in writing these posts. Might feel as a novel or fantasy book. I don’t care.

***

Back to the post.

After finding out that story from the mouth of my mother and father, I was still feeling like I was the main character of a very, very sick joke. I couldn’t really fathom all the information, and trust me, I was never religious, neither me or my family, I’m the most skeptical person (well, I was) that you could have met, I criticized everything and I was always the person to ask “Why?” and “How?” over and over again.

I couldn’t take in all this crap, for that it was like it seemed – it had to either be a joke or a dream – or people going crazy around me. Black eyed children and old necklaces, vampires, magical healing, really? No way. I kept trying to explain everything to myself in a reasonable way. I tried finding biological reasons for Regina’s fangs, eyes and strength. I buried (pun intended) myself in scientific research, online and at the town’s library, trying to figure out other accounts of spontaneous disappearance of leukemia, which apparently happened before to other kids my age, although not as fast.

All in all, I wasn’t really pleased with my findings. I could explain some things, but I had no clue what was about to come next.
I remember it was the start of December, already started snowing, cold as hell outside and I was glad Christmas holiday is coming and school is out for 2 or 3 weeks.

After about a month of research, right at the door step of winter holidays, around 15th of December onwards, I was already pretty done with research and almost back to my normal life. I kept thinking about Regina everyday, and granted, that was the only reason keeping me on doing more and more research. Her words battered my brain everyday: “We will meet again” were her last words before vanishing. I sure hoped so.

Walking one day to downtown (to which the shortest route is crossing the citadel, from one side of the town to the other) I passed by Dracula’s house, which is nowadays a bar, restaurant and museum. It’s sad they turned it into a bar but at least the upper chambers are a museum.

In any case, I noticed something hanging from the house, something which has been there for hundreds of years, something that I passed by at least a few hundred times and never noticed. How could I be so, so blind !

The sign, logo or whatever you want to call it – on the house – was somehow reminding me of my necklace. I looked at it, I looked at my necklace. I looked at it again. Something was amiss. I had a feeling I’ve seen something similar, but wasn’t quite able to put my finger on it.

Now comes the interesting part. This is the actual sign.  Tell me if you see the connection. I did.
If you don’t see it, all you have to do is look at the post photo below, the one posted in the post named “when the moon has a ring…”.
What’s the link between the drawing of my necklace – and this sign?

Both have a weird elongated dragon which bites his own tail. Although the sign doesn’t really look exactly like the dragon in the drawing, it made me think.
I went inside the house and ventured straight up the stairs, the entrance is free for city residents and I already knew the attendant working there. Small town. Anyway, it didn’t take me long to find something that blew my mind.

Now, you have to understand, the town has completely different stories, most of them, than the ones you read in Bram Stoker’s Dracula or the Wikipedia about Vlad Tepes. And besides, most people (city residents) don’t bother reading those, they feel they already know everything there is to know, proud and stupid, like I was.

Back to the story – it didn’t take me long to see two small drawings that made me almost faint. It was nothing more, and nothing less than the simple inscription, logo, blazon if you wish, in other words the coat of arms or the emblem of the “Order of the Dragon” – order which Dracula’s father and Dracula himself belonged too – order which, for all intents and purposes, gave Dracula his “Draculea” name. To understand this you have to read my first two posts about Dracula – to know how he came to be Dracula. Which are not ramblings, but pure facts taken from history books.

If you’re anxious seeing the emblems then here they are: this is one, and this is the other.
See the connection now? My necklace – the drawing of my necklace – the sign on Dracula’s house – the coat of arms used by his order, all of them, matched. They all had the same thing: an elongated dragon eating its own tail.

More on that, the second blazon made my knees gave way. I had to sit down. The second one, not only has the dragon, but the round thing above it, that round thing is a part of my necklace also, it’s small – penny size – and sits between the actual pendant and the chain itself. The horizontal bar on it is what the chain is attached (twisted around) to. Think of it like a keyring, the keys being the pendant.

How could I have never seen this – I was stunned. And more on the matter, what the hell did this mean? Things were getting weird again just when I was about to go back to normal.

In any case, I immediately picked up the big ass manuscript in the museum, which is forbidden to handle by the way, because it’s really old, and part of it is written by Dracula himself. In any case, it’s not your typical museum. It’s just two floors of an old house, with no alarms, guards or cameras. There’s nothing of REAL value there. The attendants themselves are most of the time down below, in the bar. Which was the case now.

The manuscript is part in Latin and I could understand something out of it but the handwriting sure made it much more harder than normal. I decided not to waste anymore time and I went straight home and straight online.

And to my amazement of how retarded I was for not reading it sooner, here it was, everything. The emblems, the history that I needed to know and something else, something I had absolutely no clue about.

Vlad “the Impaler” Tepes, Dracula – was – wait for it – the great-uncle of Erzsébet Báthory. I was shaking already. I later found out this is somewhat common knowledge and it escaped my view for so long. I was always interested in Dracula, but this, this was new.

It’s all here. Mind you, this is the Romanian Wikipedia page and you need to use Google Translate for it. But it’s there, you can see he was married with Cnaejna Bathory, a hundred years before Elizabeth Bathory was born.

There was something here, and it was not a wild goose chase. I knew one when I saw it, and this was not the case.
The story my mother told me, black eyed kids whispering “Báthory” as instructions for the necklace, and then, years later, finding out the necklace belonged to Anna Báthory, which was the daughter of Elizabeth Báthory. That, plus the fact that  Elizabeth Báthory, Anna/Regina’s mother, was the great-nephew of Dracula. Plus the fact that the same necklace was Dracula’s order coat of arms. They connected somewhere, I just didn’t see it. Also, I had no idea what’s the role of the black eyed children in all this.

Anyway, you can check and recheck all of what I said above. You can see for yourself: the coat of arms, the bloodline, the family ties. Everything. This was good news for me also, I had something which I considered “REAL” because heh, I found it in “history books”.

Little did I realize, until it was too late, not related to this, but to others, that history books don’t often account for events as they actually unfolded. If they ever did.

In any case – this was the story of the necklace up until this point.

– – – Please, please – before drawing any conclusions about how I’m crazy, how I make things up, how this doesn’t make sense – please, CHECK what I just said – point out what doesn’t match.

And please, don’t dare thinking about what I just said if you didn’t read the whole blog, ESPECIALLY the first and the second post, PLUS the “who am I” page. It just doesn’t make sense without those. You have to know the history, as stated on Wikipedia, history books and old manuscripts, of Vlad Tepes and the town, before drawing any conclusions.

***

The post is not over yet – this will be a long one. I needed to get the first part out of the way, for you to understand the necklace for later. Like I said, things are not necessarily in chronological order and that’s why we’re going back a few days and then forward again.

***

December 13th, somewhere in the middle of the night.
I remember I had a nightmare about the crypt and how I was locked in it again, and then felt a sharp deep pain in my chest. It was very sharp, it felt like a burning-hot stake and think of it I could smell the burning flesh also. I remember, that in the dream I started seeing more and more light inside the crypt and I started shouting for help before realizing the light was coming from the inside and not the outside. My necklace was bright as the sun – couldn’t look at it for one second and it was also pretty hot. Hot enough to burn my chest enough for smell of roasted beef to come out. I remember that I refused to take it off even then. In the dream.

Little detour for why I don’t take off my necklace:

(I never took down my necklace – except once – which just reinforced my feelings. I was in Greece on a 10 days holiday and I was 13 years old, I took down the necklace at the hotel fearing I’ll lose it in the sea if I go swimming. I went to the beach which was quite nice I remember and then forgot to put it back when I came home. A night passed, another one passed and so forth. In about the sixth night, I woke up, sweating and shivering in the same time. I was hungry and I went out to get something to eat, which was not uncommon given the fact that it was a tourist town, open all the time, teeming and buzzing with people. All in all, I ate a kebab and I was still hungry and started seeing double, I was dizzy, nausea and everything. I kept thinking about bad things, really, really bad things. I couldn’t understand why. I was thinking the kinds of things a serial killer is thinking, I saw pictures of people dying in my head, I imagined the whole resort void of life. I scared the shit out of myself and blamed it on the fact that I was tired. Went back to the hotel and fell asleep, or fainted. Everybody was happy as a clam, they were, my friends – happier than I’ve ever seen in my life. I was sad, numb, dizzy, feeling nausea, I started feeling cold at 35 Celsius, I was shivering, I got sick and I was about to go mad with all the awful thoughts I had. Couldn’t explain what was happening. Still can’t. In any case, the moment I saw the necklace in the drawer I took it and put it on, thinking I’m not going to the beach in the state I was anyway, and immediately fell asleep. When I woke up I was myself again and the people around me started being themselves too. At the time I figured how good is sleep, heals everything. Little did I realize what was the real motive for everything. That, plus other things that I fear, make me never take down the necklace. It’s a love/hate relationship with it. I’m content I have it, I’m attached to it, but I despise I’m too scared to take it off.)

Now remember kids – there’s no such thing as magic. That’s what I told myself everyday. Given, I was ready to accept vampires – almost – after meeting one which I was not yet sure it’s real. I was ready to explain it, biologically. But not magic. That I couldn’t accept. I needed to learn how to be more open-minded. That might sound lame, but it was the case, and still is, for me and many of you reading this.

But here I was, dreaming this and waking up to something I thought was a thunder – and immediately I took the necklace in my hand to try to rip it off my neck – thinking I’m still in the dream. However, I didn’t, but the necklace was burning hot – not as hot like in the dream – but it was hotter than I could bear. Can’t explain it to this day, I try to pin it to my imagination, I try to think about the fact that it got hot from my body, being metal and all, but there’s no way I can heat metal to 60 or 70 Celsius.

I remember I thought about magic – and a complementary thought came in my mind – something I had seen in “Stargate SG-1” the show, yes, the one with aliens. I remember some member of the crew saying something in the lines of “Well, science and technology can be seen as magic to the untrained or unaware eye”.

Which is true – 200 years ago a mobile phone – something that for us today is the most common thing – would have been seen as magic. You could risk being classified as a witch or the devil for having one. Think about it. I know I did.

I’m not trying to say anything here, just the fact that things are not always what they seem to be.

***

Forward

December 27th, 4:00

I was sleeping and I woke up to rain falling on the side of my window. At least it sounded like that. It wasn’t.
The sound was made by two nails, touching my window repeatedly, in a random-rhythmic kind of way.

I got out of bed and went to the window – it was snowing. Stupid me. Rain in December, that would be something new for me. Never seen it. Instead, two perky lips were puckered against the window and a glitch of a smile could be seen. Regina.

Her hair had a tint of red to it – it was still dark and smooth and shiny, flowing all around. Her lips were pink, her skin, milky white as always, shiny as a pearl.
Eyes dark with a tiny spark in them – the spark of life. The spark you see in your lovers eyes. The spark that we call a soul.

This is no vampire I thought.

She was wearing black tights, elastic material, which had leather only on the front side, from above the knee to just below the knee. You can see such pants in Scandinavian countries, where there’s a lot of biking in the rain involved, and your legs don’t get wet in the leather area, usually that area is the one most exposed to rain as you march forward on the bike through the rain. Nonetheless, they are tight on the skin – ninja style maybe. Cat-woman like. I liked it.

She had black boots, pirate like – maybe steam punk a bit – definitely not emo style. They were about 5cm above the ankle. Fancy, not out of the ordinary. You could pull them off on a Saturday for sure.
On the top side she had a black leather jacket with a high rise, kind of like a rocker style jacket but with no shiny things on it. Just black and stylish with a lining inside with the color of a deep purple and alternating interleaved with whiter purple, kind of like lilac plants are. Beneath the jacket I remember she was wearing a big puffy sweater with a or lack of a neck. The front of the sweater was almost missing but she had instead a white scarf wrapped around her neck three or four times. The scarf was made out of black, raw, untreated leather. It was pretty thin, and on the inside it had an also thin lining of purple velvet. I still think that was the most interesting, beautiful and weird scarf ever.

No earrings, no piercings, no tattoos, no lipstick, no make-up. There was no need. She looked perfect. Applying make-up would be like painting a new car. She was the purple-black ninja.

Again, I thought: this is no vampire.
I was pretty much speechless, I had forgotten how beautiful she actually was. Maybe I tried to make her worse, in my mind, in the time she was away. For locking me in the crypt and whatnot. I didn’t care. She was better than I expected, and that feeling is just… amazing.

I’m sure you know the feeling – the one when you expect something to be the best – to be exactly like you dreamed and then you receive it – and it has tiny differences than what you expected – but those differences make it even better in way you could not have imagined, and your joy is doubled. One, because this is the dream “thing” and two, because it’s better than your version of the dream “thing”.

As I opened the window she immediately slid inside. I thought if the “you have to invite a vampire in” thing was actually real, but then I remembered she did actually ask me to invite her in just a month ago. With one cat-like move she came in, stopping suddenly in her landing just 5cm away from my face, her lips still puckered. She was waiting, eyes closed.

I couldn’t help it – I kissed those lips like I was kissing life itself. They were pure nectar for me. They were the kind of food one needs, except food. You know, emotional food. The one that keeps you going, keeps you pushing, keeps you smiling and happy. Dreamy. The one you usually get from little things. Like drinking your favorite beverage, watching your favorite show, hearing your favorite song, doing a good deed, making someone proud of you, the kind of things that make you feel good.

She drew a long and deep breath, opened her eyes and hugged me like any teenage girl would. Like a lover you haven’t seen in a while. She was beaming with happiness. I was already smiling to myself with my mouth extended beyond the limits of acceptable.

How could this girl be a centuries old vampire? They were supposed to be grim, dark, gloomy, bored of life and silent. She was the exact opposite. I had never seen a more happy, lively and full of… light? Person in my whole life. Ever. She was light her self. And she was, by the definition of a vampire, immortal. Eternal. Lux aeterna I thought again. She was the definition of a happy life herself. They were synonyms. Whenever you want to say “I want to live a happy life” you could just say “Regina”. When she didn’t have fangs.

“Missed me?” she asked in a giddy tone, almost jumping up and down on her feet.
“Very much, I thought you’ll never come back.” I said.

“I almost always keep my promises.” She said categorically.
“But you didn’t promise.” – I said with a hint of regret in my voice.

“My word is my promise. Always. Almost.” – She said this with a serious categorical voice. Maybe she did look like a vampire sometimes. Not that I had any clue what a vampire should look like. How was I to know such a thing? Even later on, Twilight – the movie – sure hadn’t helped in forming the right picture about a vampire. I was “disappoint” when it came out that she didn’t sparkle. I’m joking.

I didn’t waste any time. “My mom knows about vampires.” I said.

“How?” – She asked.

“I asked her about the necklace and she immediately checked my neck and told me it was expected.”

“So it’s true then…” – She said.

“What’s true?” – I was asking this in a somewhat angry tone. It seemed to me that everybody knew something that I didn’t. Something that I was supposed to know better than them. Something about MY necklace.

“Long story short – apparently the necklace you’re wearing marks you as a target.” – She said and then she added – “And your mother knows more than she’s telling you.”

“A tar… target for what?” – I didn’t want to know. Please. I retract my words from above.

“For becoming a vampire.” – She said flatly and sat on the bed, still smiling, making a sign with her index finger to come to her, just like nothing has happened, just like she didn’t just said what she said. I obeyed.
As soon as I was close enough, she had another case of a “schizophrenic” episode, she transformed. From the soft, gentle and giddy person I knew just seconds ago, she started doing more vampire like things.

For one, she was not smiling anymore, her eyes started getting red and dark. She swung herself and in an instant was above me, dominating me.

“No escape this time, ok?” She said smiling and then leaned over me, pausing a second over my mouth to see my reaction to what she said and, when she was pleased with my obedience, kissed me. I could feel her canines getting longer each second on my tongue and in my mouth. I scraped them teasingly and she moaned at each touch. Apparently it’s a slow process which takes more than a minute for them to be fully extended. Something else that movies taught me wrong, also they cannot be extended at will by any vampire, she could, but the majority younger ones who didn’t have enough practice, couldn’t. They need to be aroused, either touching them lightly on the tips, or sexual arousal. They also extended when she was angry or about to feed. I don’t really understand how exactly they extend, but I’m guessing it’s similar to the male genital organ or the nipples while we’re at it. We all know why they extend… primarily, but then again, they also extend whenever they feel like sometimes, with no apparent reason. Also, we can’t control them “down” but some of us can control them “up” with our minds. I don’t really fully understand how it worked for fangs, but it had to be something similar, the power of tought and a dash of arousal (be it sexual, anger, pleasure, the need to feed, or any other thing that aroused them). I kept thinking they would extend faster if you would combine all of the above. Angry, “in the mood” and hungry at the same time. That would be something to remember although I’m not sure about the feeding part, and indeed, combining diverse feelings like these, although rare, can extend them almost instantly, especially when you combine anger and hunger.

“No funny business.” I said.
She smiled with what I can recall being the most mischievous and provocative smile and I could see her fangs already fully extended, pushing down, making her almost unable to close her mouth and her eyes dark, deep black with a tint of red inside around the pupil, made for a view to remember and made the already shadowy room even more darker. Her face turned more white than it usually was and was by this point almost shining. The contrast with the deep black eyes was shattering. Her expression changed and she assumed an attack stance. She was about to strike, like a snake that she was, and I knew it. I wanted it.

Before allowing anything to happen I kissed her again and could feel her resisting, pushing me down. I put my hand to the back of her head and pushed it lightly to my shoulder, just two or three centimeters below the joint, offering it as sacrifice instead of my neck.

“Here.” I said – and, already in a position, without wasting a second more, she bit down hard.
I heard my flesh tearing apart. I saw her mouth opening wide and her jaws flexing. I felt her biting even harder. Goose bumps all over me then, and now, when I think about it.
I was aroused, sexually, I felt like exploding already. Somehow – this pain thing is related to sexuality. And this is no vampire thing, I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard or seen rough sex. Slaps, soda-masochism and all that. I’m by no means into such sort of kinky stuff, but I can relate.

I heard my heart pounding faster and faster, harder. I heard it in my ears. I felt pressure in the veins on my head, I felt my head pulsing. I felt my… everything pulsing. My whole body was convulsing, and twitching from the  pain and pleasure combined. I wanted what was happening and I wanted me inside her badly.

I heard blood flowing like you hear when you drink from a straw. I heard her swallowing and each swallow she took made me more and more aroused. I saw her neck moving and twitching from side to side trying to gulp in faster and faster. I heard her breathing harder and harder.

She released for less than a second and she bit again – harder this time. More violently. She was moaning and panting and swallowing as much as she could take in from me. By any definition, both me and her looked like we were already climaxing. She then took my shoulder with both her hands in a tight grip, she was convulsing, rubbing against me harder and harder.

All of a sudden she stopped breathing. Released really, really slowly. Licked the wounds which were still pushing blood out. Licked them again more slowly. Then, with her head faced downwards, without me seeing her eyes or fangs (I bet she was doing this on purpose, for my sake or whatever) she came up to my mouth slowly and kissed me.

The taste of my blood was in the same time disgusting and nectar. It wasn’t the first time I tasted it. Every time I had an accident in the kitchen with a knife or some other accessible wound I would put my mouth over it and start sucking. I mean who doesn’t? Others were doing it too but for me it was like instinct. I always liked it – warm, not watery but not oily either, not too thick. Deep dark red, never light red. Always deep dark almost black. Sweet – in a very subtle way, iron-copper like taste. The taste of a copper coin or the house key in your mouth. OK that’s weird.

I liked it and then again, I always found myself sucking on my accidental wounds more than necessary. At one time I remember I even thought about cutting myself on purpose on a finger, just to taste it again, after the wound that was accidental closed too fast. I never did it and just having that thought, way before meeting Regina, made me scared of my own mind. But we all have weird thoughts, don’t we? Don’t judge.

She kissed me easy at first but then harder and harder and before I knew it she was at it again – biting that is. Same spot. I didn’t mind. Not at that moment. I enjoyed it and enabled me to feel exactly what she felt. In some weird way we connected, when she was feeding off me I could almost feel her thoughts in my head, feel what she felt. I felt warm, full of life, I felt all mighty – giver of life.

We connected in such a way that you rarely encounter without such a thing – I often wonder if it’s even possible. Maybe, for soul mates, if that exists. We connected like two twins, thinking and feeling the same. Except she was in my eyes a bit of the evil twin. And let’s not go into incest.

Our hearts were beating in unison, our breaths were perfectly aligned and our bodies were moving in a perfectly timed dance.

This time when she released, she did it violently, pushed me with one hand up the headboard and growled at me. Her lips were arched up, snarling at me, crazy eyes, dark and blood swirling inside them. Fangs longer than I’ve seen them ever. Sharper than  needles at the tip, she snarled, literally snarled and hissed at me. And then, she talked. I was actually impressed she could speak, it was like seeing your cat talking with you.

Thisss  is who I am.” – She said. Fangs give you lisps honey.
“Sometimes.” – I added and smiled approvingly. Kissed her forehead.

Then she bowed her head down, I took her by the chin and pulled it back up. I kissed her lightly. As a supplement, it seemed to me I was stronger the following days, not weaker.

We fell asleep right there and then, in the four-cornered massive bed, covered in layers and layers of silk bed sheets which sadly were now bloody.
Before falling asleep she noticed:

“You’re not afraid of me anymore.” – She said, and then opened her mouth again to say something but I interrupted:
“I see who you are, and you’re not all that. You’re sometimes that. I don’t try to leave that aside and think of you just as a normal girl, I accept and love all of what you are. I don’t think picking sides is  a good idea. Ever.”

And with that she kissed me on my chest and we fell asleep.

no good deed goes unpunished [story part 6]

January 18, 2012 § 6 Comments


November 18th, around 11:00.

I looked more impressed than I should have been, not by the house, but by the location. This was rather ironic, if not funny at the least.

My necklace, which looks exactly like this – and no, that’s not a pentagram. Look closely, it’s inverted. Instead of the evil goat face however, my necklace has a Jade pendant in the middle.

We were in the house which always puzzled me. The house in which the guardian of the cemetery gates lived. I was always puzzled by this house because here it was, the only house on the top of the hill, surrounded by a church, a high school, a morgue, a crypt and then flanked on the backside by an old cemetery.

Who would want to live here? I always asked myself.
The house is not creepy at all, and in the spring-to-summer days there were often red roses at the windows which made it seem kind of romantic. Until you gazed at the cemetery behind it.

Me and Regina were in the little tower like structure attached to the house, in the attic, which had two windows, both facing the cemetery. There were was a jacket and shoes she had managed to get from somewhere, and I was all set to go out.

As soon as I stepped outside and felt the cold breeze of a November morning, although a sunny one, I heard the bell from the high school.  Between this house and the actual high school stood a big old church, which meant I couldn’t see the high school but I heard the bell and the laughter and voices of tens of teens which were outside in the yard.

I remembered I was actually supposed to be in school at this time, my friends were by all means, just 200 meters away from me. Unaware of what was near them. Unaware, like I was just days before, that a 500 year old girl, which could easily pass as a student here, a deadly one that is, was just seconds away from them.

I decided not to ponder much about it and started going down. As soon as I did I felt a hand on my shoulder and I knew it was Regina. I turned back.

“We will meet again.” She said and, before I even had the time of opening my mouth, she turned back and started walking casually towards the cemetery. I decided to leave it at that and continued towards the high school.

The following hours went by really slow. I couldn’t get her out of my head, but to my surprise, I was more mesmerized by her beauty and I was thinking (like any teenager would) more about her lips, rather than the fact that she had just made it clear who she is. I wondered, and still do, to this day, why me. Why should she choose to tell me something that hasn’t been told to anyone in hundreds of years. I felt humble and proud in the same time.

My friends and classmates all made it rather clear how worried they were for me, some of them joked about how I returned from the dead. I remember I found that rather ironic, given the fact that I knew about Regina, and they didn’t. Only if they did… I wonder how much of a joke would that be for them then.

I remember that I went home that day with a clear goal – asking my mom about the necklace.
As soon as I entered the house, I called for my mom and without even a hello, I immediately asked her: “Where did you get this necklace?”

Her reaction was rather unexpected. I was expecting her to tell me she bought it, or she found it or whatever lame reason. Instead her eyes flew open. She wanted to say something but stopped herself before making a sound. Then she tried saying something else, which had the same result.

I couldn’t tell if she was picking a lie, or she was dismissing lies and headed for the truth, so I added: “I need the truth.”

“Why? What happened?” – she was really curios.
“Nothing happened, I just want to know.”

“Why now? Why all of a sudden? After all these years…” – I knew from her gaze over my shoulder and her tone that she was remembering something, something was amiss here and that sparked my interested.

“Listen.” – I said. “It’s related to what happened with me being locked in that crypt.”

She came closer to me, and raised her hand to my neck, me thinking she wanted to touch the necklace. Instead, she immediately saw the two bite wounds I had on my neck which were just under the collar of my shirt.

She knew what she was searching for and she immediately gasped and tears ran down her face instantly.
“We just wished this day would never come…”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – my mom was aware of everything. She was the most normal person in the world, but she somehow knew about vampires and this damned necklace.

She called for my father and told me they will explain everything. In that respect, I believed her, because they always explained what was needed when it was needed and they always let me decide things on my own and play the game on my own. They were always liberal, never set limits for me or for what I want to do.

My father came soon enough from the other room and with one word, his face changed from curiosity as to why he was being called, to pure horror. That word was: “Báthory”. Said in a perfect Hungarian. I always knew my mom spoke Hungarian, but I didn’t know she did this good. She said it exactly like Regina had.

My mom spoke Hungarian because she apparently had learned it in the six months she stayed with me in the hospital in Budapest, when I was just 1 year old and was diagnosed with leukemia.

They sat me down and told me:

“You are our son, and we love you more than we love our lives. We love both you and your brother the same, but…” – my mom trailed off with tears in her eyes.
“But you are special.”

I didn’t knew what that meant at the time. Was I retarded? Is that what they were trying to tell me?

“When you were 6 months old, you got sick.”

“I know that.” – I said.

“Yes, but what you don’t know is how you got healed.” – My dad was completely serious. I know his ‘Luke, I’m your father’ face and this was the case.

“In Budapest, in the hospital where you got treated, there were 96 children which suffered from leukemia, and you had the most rare form. Doctors themselves said they never seen such disease, but it looked like leukemia, and you have less that 1% chance to survive. And yet here you are.”

“You have to understand we were desperate to save your life” – My mom said. I figured something should come next because I already knew this story.

“What you also don’t know, is that you were in the newspapers when you left the hospital. You were the only child out of the 96 to leave the hospital alive.”

At hearing this, even now, my body sends me shivers all over. I cannot fathom the idea of escaping death that close. Not even after being locked in a crypt for three days.

I tried pulling myself together and asked: “What does this have to do with the necklace or Báthory for that matter?”

Without going into further dialog because it’s too much to remember line by line, the story goes like this:

After three months of chemotherapy and half of the children in the hospital dead and with no signs of me improving, my heart almost giving out several times, with more than three episodes of fever over 42 C – the kind that kills you – and more baths in ice water that one would want, my mom was pretty devastated. That, plus seeing me almost weekly getting punctured by long, thick needles, which went through my bone, in my feet and my back, to check for affliction to the bone marrow, was bringing my mom almost on the verge of giving up – dying out of a heart attack – herself.

You have to understand, a one year old baby getting punctured in his bones and getting blood transfusions 24/7 is not exactly pleasant and as unlikely this sounds, I remember flashes of that happening. It seems to me that bad memories get impregnated in the memory much better than good ones. I remember the needles being stuck in my back, I remember the pain. I remember how my tongue was swallowed and full of blisters that I couldn’t eat. I remember how I was being dipped into ice water at 2 in the morning, yanked out of my sleep and put into ice water. I don’t remember everything of it, all my memories of those 6 months are maybe about 15 seconds long. But it’s more than enough.

One night when my mom was in the yard of the hospital having a smoke, which apparently she did often, two boys about 12 years old approached her and over the fence, in a perfect Romanian, they told her: “We need help.” to which she responded  “Me too.” – the boys then turned around, looked her in the eyes and said “We know.”

My mom told me every fiber from her body told her to run, run as far away as she cold. Run back home. But how could she? I was on my death bed, inside the hospital. The boys looked normal, except the fact they had deep, dark eyes. Dark as in everything completely black, it was as they were missing completely [the eyes]. They had no white, no pupils, no retinas. Nothing. Pure darkness.

My mom told me she wanted to run, but at that moment she hardly believed anything worse than me dying could happen. She just hoped this wasn’t a joke and that’s it. She didn’t care whether they were demons or angels. She just wished it’s not a sick joke.

“Let us in.” They said.

“It’s open.” My mom responded.

“Invite us in.” – And she did.

“Bring us the child, and we will cure him.” They said as they walked in.

My mom told me everything happened so fast she hardly remembers the actual facts or her mind is trying to put things in the story, things that weren’t there, to explain what happened to herself maybe. But the she told me that she went up, took me from my bed, went down and opened the front door from the inside, let the boys inside and gave me to them.

One of them looked at me and then kissed me. On the lips. She wanted to scream and take me away but the other was blocking her. She told me she felt at that exact moment this is crazy. But she also told me that I have to understand how desperate she was, and I do. Anyone would, anyone who would remember how painful it is to have bone marrow extracted from your feet and from your back when you’re just 1 year old.

As soon as the boy kissed me, the other one pulled out a necklace. My necklace, and told her: “Make sure the boy wears this necklace at all times, until the day he dies, which won’t be in your lifetime.” – My mom told me she was already feeling giddy just hearing those words. After hearing doctors telling her to prepare “everything” for my “departure” everyday, this was a welcomed turn of events.

The other boy gave me back to her, and just like that, they were gone. My mom put my necklace to my neck immediately and went inside.
Now I don’t know how accurate the next part is, but apparently the next morning I was crawling around the floor. Like any toddler would at that age, which was a miracle, because I was supposed to be 90% dead, like the night before. But I wasn’t.

My mom told me she didn’t care, and still doesn’t, who those boys were and what they did to me. She only knows that the only thing she cares about is the fact that I got healthy in under a week and I’m a normal boy.

By all accounts, by now I was either shaking out of fear or out of… I don’t know. I was shaking all over.

My dad was a bit speechless, because he only heard this story once before, and what could he say anyway, he wasn’t there.
My mom only asked the boys: “What is this necklace for?” And was expecting clear instruction of “use”. Instead she got one word from one of the boys before disappearing: “Báthory.”

Where Am I?

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