…and the hourglass of time started slowing down. [story part 14]

February 21, 2012 § 2 Comments

Calm down I told myself. But that was not happening.
Viktoria repeated again in an angrier tone: “No, no!”

“Control yourself.” Regina said to her, but that was not happening either. The wolf in Viktoria showed its anger and as she started circling me and looking at me from top to bottom I’ve realized how much of a connection vampires actually form with the animal of their choosing. Regina once told me that not all of them do it, and it’s not something you are forced to do. It’s easy to take the aspect, to imitate or act like the animal you like, and once you do, it helps you survive. I was satisfied with the explanation because, at time, Regina did seem like a cat and a snake combined. However, I wondered, if all of them could control two aspects as well as she could.

It’s a known fact that humans do it to – in training at least. Thieves, the ones that are really good at their job, have often said to have trained, watched, experimented or researched cat-like moves.

The Chinese culture and the karate also, have the so called “aspects” of the animals. Anyone watching an old karate movie knows the infamous “attack of the tiger” or whatever.

It only seemed natural for me to understand that, vampires could do it to – why not – and they could do it even better, stretching as far as forming a mental connection of sorts with the animal of their choice, not by magic or telepathy, but by perfect imitation.

Have you ever barked at the dog or meowed at a cat? You remember their confused reaction? Then you know what I’m talking about.

In any case, Viktoria was truly a wolf, although a lonely one, for she was missing a pack leader, and that was someone anyone could notice. She was impulsive, uncontrollable by apparently nobody, except Regina, although she also had troubles. I wondered whether Viktoria was always this impulsive and hard to deal with.

As she was circling me glancing back towards Regina and myself, she truly looked like a wolf about to strike. I could see the anger in her eyes, and also the confusion.

“What have you done!” she shrieked. I was confused also.
“Not me.” That was true, although it was my fault in the first place, I had a feeling she wasn’t angry about exposing Regina.

“You arrogant child! This is your doing! Regina would never turn someone, especially not under these circumstances!” – now I was really confused.

“Oh really, then how are you here?” – I made her even angrier. She looked disgusted at the fact that she was explaining something to me,  or to anyone for that matter. Regina was looking at the whole thing, almost as she was watching a movie, nearly applauding, but prepared to take a stand. I was feeling safe although Viktoria looked like she was about to rip me to shreds in the seconds ahead.

“My queen never turned anyone in over two centuries!” Now that I didn’t knew.

Plus, I needed clearing out on this matter anyway. How was it possible, that Regina was the oldest one. Did that mean all vampires descended from her? Then how do you separate blood lines?

“Viktoria, this needs no explanation. It had to be done.” I was pretty sure lots of people “had to be done” in the past two centuries and they weren’t. This felt like a really special exception.

Viktoria paid no attention to Regina and just went on: “My queen is NOT a maker. You are not worthy of her blood. Especially not this… critter.”  She wasn’t sure what to call Blanche, which was in-between a human and a young vampire by now. Well on her way judging by the neck wound which stopped bleeding and her breath which got stronger and stronger.

“Viktoria, don’t tell me I feel jealousy in you…” Regina added.
“Yes, it is jealousy! For you are too sacred for me, or anyone else, to be allowed a taste of your blood – not even mentioning life from your own! It’s preposterous!”

And then I understood how things worked, seeing this and also bits from Regina explaining to me later. I always, up until that point, had the idea that Regina created thousands, legions of vampires, that she was some bloodthirsty monster whose sole mission on this Earth was to convert the human race. I was clearly wrong. She knew, from the time she was made, that she was special. She knew she would be one of the few, and wanted it to keep it that way. She knew not to share her bloodline, and centuries later, it turned out to be the wisest choice taken by her, it was predicting the future – although by intelligent thought and not by magic.

She had nobody to contest her bloodline – no “takers” for the throne! She was the only one – ever – to have a pure bloodline, the purest of them all. And she made this possible by herself!

As a young vampire, she turned Viktoria and another few over the centuries, although by mistake in Viktoria’s case apparently. Then, at her command, Viktoria turned another two, which also turned another four of each, and those four another eight each, and so forth. By the time the 1000th number vampire walked the Earth, Regina’s bloodline was already closed, lost, forbidden and sacred. This is speculation on my part.

I also understood how valuable Viktoria was to her, and how dear also. She, Viktoria, was the closest thing Regina had as a relative. Viktoria was the first one to be made by her, that also meant she was as old as Regina – and very – very close in strength. But obedient.

“Viktoria – listen to me carefully.” Regina said on a very serious tone, taking Viktoria from her spin around me and backing her into a corner.

“You will take this girl and treat her as your OWN. For she IS now our bloodline.” Regina said and then added “And if by any chance, anything happens to her…”

“It wont. If it is your wish I will do as you say.” Viktoria obeyed. The wolf in her had won. Exactly as in a wolf pack, the wolves go wild and into a frenzy without a leader’s intervention, but when the leader growls, they all make themselves smaller, they lie down and don’t make a sound. This was Viktoria, strong and impulsive, but submissive. And I had no doubt that Blanche will be safe, even with Viktoria’s temperament, because I knew that over five centuries of obedience are unlikely to be shattered just like that, by betraying the person you’ve obeyed for so much time.

“The other two?” – Viktoria said, referring to Viktor who was still under the table and Sophia who was still fainted on the floor.
I went to Viktor and convinced him, hardly, to come meet Regina properly.
With slow steps, one at a time, with small stops between them, he was advancing towards Regina, who was standing in the middle of the room above Blanche, protective almost of her. Viktoria was standing in a chair looking like a very displeased little child.

“Come.” Regina said, smiling and reaching for him with her hand.
He hesitated, looked at Viktoria and at me. I nodded. He took Regina’s hand and didn’t say a word, he was shivering from the core. Out of fear, not cold.

“At least you didn’t run like your friend here did…” She said and laughed. She was referring of course to me and to the first night she bit me, when I plunged through the window and ran for my life.

“I… I… I…” – Yeah, he was starting to talk, although slow. I felt glad he’s not in a total state of shock, forgetting his name or something.

“Yes, you tried, I know. Good thing you’re so good looking, otherwise I might have picked you instead of her…” Pointing her eyes towards Blanche.

Viktor blushed. Regina knew exactly what buttons to push and what to say. I was pretty certain she had noticed Viktor’s attachment to her from day one.

“Viktoria…” – she said on a tone like a mother urging her offspring to pay attention.

Viktoria stood up.

“Viktoria, this is Viktor.” Regina said and smiled. I smiled too. We looked at each other and for a second everything seemed normal and wonderful. We felt like a couple trying to hook up two of our friends. Viktor and Viktoria.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Viktoria said.
Viktor fearfully put his hand forward, saying in the same time: “Pleased to meet you.” – I doubted it.

Viktoria smiled and  seemed pleased also, although she was trying to hide it. Finally she gave up and shook his hand.

“Well aren’t you a polite one…” she said to herself. Viktor said nothing.

“Now,” Regina said and then continued “I have decided.” She announced again like before on a “you’d better listen to me” tone.

“Viktoria, you will take Blanche to the book.” – she was referring to the Codex Strigis, book that all new young ones needed to read. And learn.

“Take care of her until you consider her fit to be on her own. It’s dangerous for her to remain here until she’s ready enough.” – I wondered how much time would that be, and it wasn’t like Blanche could just leave home anytime she wanted. After all, we were still kids, we still had school and parents to please. Although all those faded slowly for me, day by day, importance wise.

Before continuing, Regina cocked her head towards Sophia. She was waking.
I went to her and put my hands around her and urged her to be calm, and soothed her, telling her everything is fine, but as soon as she opened her eyes and saw that it wasn’t a dream, she started screaming again.

Viktoria put her hand over Sophia’s mouth and Sophia started squirming.

“She’s a feisty one!” Viktoria exclaimed cheerfully towards us.

“Don’t harm her.” Regina said. I was relieved to see that her “decision” was going the way I wanted it to go – towards non-violence.

“What will happen with them?” I asked Regina.
“I will grant you your wish. They may live freely, but know this: they are very, very lucky and unlucky to have you as a friend. As far as I know, they are the only two humans to have met me and remained. Viktoria also.” – I knew this wasn’t the case with all vampires, especially young ones, which Regina made clear were prone to breaking and bending rules, making themselves known to humans for too long.

Sophia heard that and somewhat went a bit quiet, Viktoria released her but was on stand-by to make Sophia stop screaming as soon as the situation required it.

“Sophia, listen to me – you and Viktor need to leave. Blanche will be fine – she got her wish.” – Sophia’s eyes went full retard at that point. She exchanged, oh, about ten expression in a matter of seconds: confusion, anger, sorrow, happiness, proudness, sadness, desperate, relived, etc.

“She will be missing for…” I said, searching for Regina’s eyes.

“As long as it takes.” Regina said.

“But she will be fine, she will come back and everything is going to be fine. I promise.” I said in a somewhat comforting way, at least tried to.

By this time Viktor and Viktoria were talking between them and actually smiling. They were flirting! What in the world!?
“Lovebirds, may I interrupt?” Regina said.

Viktoria distanced herself from Viktor realizing she was being watched, trying to straighten herself up.

“Viktoria, as soon as Blanche wakes, you go. Send a message to Karl also, tell him I’m arriving with a guest in the following days.”

Regina looked at me. I refused to say anything and she continued.

“As for you two, I’m still pleased to meet you, don’t get me wrong, but this was a very bad way of… seeing.” Regina said, drew a breath of air and continued “But have no doubt, we will meet again.”

Viktor seemed please at hearing that, but Sophia’s face read terror.

It was now well over midnight and things were getting quiet. Regina seemed exhausted really. I wondered whether she had anything for lunch, or dinner for that matter. She didn’t.

When the clock almost neared 1 in the morning, Blanche woke.

The hourglass of time

The hourglass had started slowing for Blanche. The hourglass of blood.
And she woke violently. She sprung up to her feet in under a second. She didn’t seem to wake from a sleep, she didn’t seem to wake from unconsciousness, she seemed to wake from a very, very bad nightmare.

She sprung up straight into a frenzy state. Her eyes were of a near perfect blue. Completely. No black or reddish tint, no blackness in them. Nothing. Just blue with a very thin round circle that looked like her retina.

She was very confused, looked at us like she didn’t knew us. I specifically looked for fangs, nothing there.
Viktoria seemed to really take her role seriously and without wasting any time she immediately jumped towards Blanche and took her by the throat, squeezing it so hard that Blanche almost stopped breathing.

“What is your name?” Viktoria asked on a menacing tone. On a tone that also sent another unspoken message. The message of “tell me now or else…”
Blanche said nothing.

“What’s going on?!” Sophia asked.

“She woke too early. She needs to feed, now.” Regina said.
“But she doesn’t even know her name!” I said, pointing to the fact that there’s no way Blanche would know what to do in order to feed.

“Oh don’t worry, the spark is there… look at her mouth.” – And sure enough it was there, even though Blanche said nothing, had no fangs or no angry look, her mouth was arched in a very, very menacing way. She was almost smiling, sniffing the air around her and looking at each of us very carefully. At first I thought she was trying to make heads and tails of who we were, but by now I was starting to understand that she was deciding which one of us looked more appetizing.

“She needs blood.” Regina said again, looking at me. I really felt like a blood bag by now.
“I’ll help her…” Viktor said from behind us, and before we even knew he was next to Blanche.

“No. Let me, she’ll be more comfortable with me.” Sophia said.
“She’s right, Sophia is a better choice.” Regina added.

Viktoria looked at Sophia and with her eyes urged her to step forward. Sophia complied.

Then, she took Sophia’s left hand and rested the right one on her shoulder. She looked into Sophia’s eyes and told her:

“I’m going to push your hair aside and then I’m going to bite you, twice, right here…” and she put one finger on Sophia’s very tiny and thin, but delicate neck. Sophia shivered instantly but didn’t say anything. She nodded instead.

“After that you will hug Blanche just as you hugged her this morning when you met. Then you will let go, with your mind. Hug her tightly with your arms but let her go with your mind, go wherever you feel happy. Blanche will know what to do.”

Sophia looked at Blanche and reassured herself everything is going to be fine. Then she nodded again.
“Now kiss me.” Viktoria said, and with that stuck her lips on Sophia’s, who tried pushing her aside for a second but then let go and kissed her back.

Viktor seemed giddy at the sight, although surprised.

Viktoria needed her fangs, and she wasn’t hungry nor angry, so I figured this was the only way getting them. Arousal.
Sure enough, in less than 10 seconds, I heard a deep breath, a panting sort of breath from Viktoria and then I saw her pushing Sophia’s hair aside and slowly moving her mouth to the tiny neck. With no movie special effects like looking up and opening her mouth wide open for everyone to see, no. Her move seemed as natural as a lovers mouth moving from kissing the mouth to the neck.

But instead, the resulting sound was not that of kissing. We all heard Sophia’s neck tearing apart. Flesh ripping. Sophia’s body twitched for a second then tensed intensely, squeezing Viktoria’s left hand, then again, another bite struck which ripped through her neck and she tensed even more, paralyzed by what was happening.

Blanche was now fully focused on Viktoria and Sophia. She was watching everything with a very, very special interest and her head was cocked towards the two, sniffing the air in short breaths. I knew she was aware of what’s going on, and I knew she wanted the main role in the show.

Viktor was also squeezing his fists and his jawbone, which was very visible, he was biting himself maybe to keep him from saying anything.

Viktoria released Sophia and just as planned, Sophia immediately hugged Blanche.
Blanche hesitated for a second but as soon as she saw the blood flowing from Sophia’s neck wounds, she cocked her head forward towards the wound and Sophia, seeing her react, gently tilted her head to expose the area and also to express submission. She wanted Blanche to take the blood. Blanche didn’t hesitate, and although not as gentle as Sophia, she took the wound within her mouth, biting hard although she had no fangs, in the process. She started drinking with an unseen thirst. We could hear and see her swallowing, and Sophia holding her tightly like she would hug a friend she haven’t seen in a decade.

She was squeezing Blanche’s sweater behind her with both her fists. Her eyes were squeezed shut, she said nothing and made no sound. She just stood there almost paralyzed and took the pain and the feeling of blood – life itself – being drawn out from her, willingly. I knew the feeling, I knew it was a very dark and awful feeling but in the same time, in a very strong paradox, it was also the best feeling one could have. Any good feeling you might have for a person is multiplied by a thousand when this happened. I felt it for Regina and I knew Sophia cared very much for Blanche. Which meant she felt that too, amplified so much.

Blanche drank for around ten seconds and then suddenly stopped by herself and as soon as she stopped Viktoria bit her wrist and smeared her other hand with the blood gushing out. She pulled Sophia near her, which was looking dizzy and pale, and with a quick swoosh, she covered Sophia’s neck wound with blood.

“For healing.” Viktoria said. Sophia nodded thankfully and then sat down.

In front of our eyes, Blanche fell to her knees, then on all her fours. She started panting, breathing harder and harder. She looked at us for a second and then she let her head fall back down.

“What’s happening?!” Sophia exclaimed, again.
She reminded me of the donkey from Shrek, the moive: “Are we there yet?!”

“She is ready.” Regina answered.

At that, Blanche stopped moving and breathing. Still on her fours.
“Stand up.” Seeing that, Viktoria exclaimed: “Stand up!”

She did.

Blanche stood, she was looking perfectly normal, but then her eyes started getting darker and darker, the white turned to black and her blue pupils turned slowly towards red. Not vivid red, it was a very… mixed, confusing color. It was a gray with a red tint to it, clearly visible, but subtle in the same time.

Blanche put her hand to her mouth and squeezed her eyes. She started screaming, louder and louder.
Sophia tried hugging her again but Blanche shoved her aside with the hand that she had over her mouth and at that moment she let out a horrible shriek.

We could all see her fangs growing longer and longer in front of our eyes. For the first time, Blanche was growing her fangs in mere minutes, the pain was horrible. We all know the pain of growing the wisdom tooth, which happens over months. Now take that perspective and imagine it growing it in the course of a few minutes.

Blanche was now, by definition – a vampire.

Viktoria once again rushed to her and took her by the throat, forcing Blanche, which was not cooperating, like a caged lion that just tasted his first slice of freedom, to get down on her knees.

By sheer force, not any compliance from Blanche, she knelt.
“THAT” she pointed towards Regina “is your queen!”
“THAT” she said again “is your maker!”

“You will obey her to the death, or die by my hands the second you fail to do that!”

“Do you understand!?” Viktoria asked in a very angry tone.

“Yes…” Blanche said submissively, barely getting it out because of Viktoria’s grip on her neck. I was somewhat angry at Viktoria for being so cruel, but who was I to know whether this was needed or not? I hoped this would make Blanche less impulsive and more obedient. I was also pleased that she was alive and well. She was speaking.

“I’m going to take care of you until you can take care of yourself. I have total control over you until then. I will rip your head off if you dare betray me.” – That was… the most gruesome thing I’ve ever head in my life, especially that it was entirely true, especially that it was coming out from such a beautiful being. Viktoria was truly beautiful. Her silvery hair and her tall stance were both beautiful and menacing in the same time. I was pretty sure I knew what Blanche was feeling though – pure fear. I did it too when I first met Viktoria.

Viktoria let go of Blanche and she immediately stood up, looking at Sophia.

“I’m… sorry. I will always be in your debt.” Blanche said. I think she was referring to her first snack.
Blanche went to Viktor and kissed him on the cheek, then hugged Sophia and caressed her hair.

“Goodbye.” She said to both of them, knowing that it was time to leave.

Viktoria bowed her head towards Regina and then turned around and poked me with a finger: “Take care of my queen.” – I felt like “the man” now. But I knew Viktoria did that on purpose. There was no way I could protect Regina.

Then she took Blanche’s hand and asked her: “Ready?”

Blanche nodded.

“Focus on your feet. Feel your feet. Send all the strength you can muster to them. Tense them as you would tense your fist before punching someone.”

Blanche looked confused at her feet for a second, then looked back at all of us, turned her head towards Viktoria and nodded.
With a gust of wind, just like that, they were gone. Vanished before our eyes.

Viktoria was a good teacher I remember telling myself.

Blanche was now dashing through the world freely, just as she wanted. They were together, Viktoria and Blanche, holding hands through the night and literally speeding their way across the vastness of the Transylvanian forests, heading towards a place only few knew of. As far as I knew, it could be ten kilometers away or a thousand kilometers away.

I was sure Blanche was in good hands. Although not smoothing, caressing hands, at least she was safe. There was no safer person to be with, except Regina, than Viktoria. And that was a fact, not an opinion.

“Now leave. You will have to repay me one day, but this is not the day.” Regina told Sophia and Viktor, making it clear that she considered their lives as a favor she was granting, a big favor that WILL be repaid. By both of them, and me. Multiplied by ten.
And so it was.

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