everybody has their demons…[story part 16]
February 23, 2012 § 1 Comment
It was now the start of May and this whole month went by pretty boring. We rarely saw Blanche anymore after school, only meeting every couple of days for a short talk and whatnot. She seemed more and more preoccupied by something but couldn’t muster her courage to tell us. We didn’t push.
Now that I look back on it, I truly believe that the monastery incident was caused by the months of… well, nothingness. We were all frustrated and it just built up. Yes, we were happy and we had peaceful days.
But deep down inside, we had our inner problems. I was frustrated at Regina, I didn’t even knew whether I’d ever see her again. Sophia and Viktor were frustrated with Blanche, for they knew what she was and didn’t really got their chance to see her or anyone else for that matter “in action”. Their fear from that night when Blanche got turned was now gone, and to think about it, Sophia was passed out most of the time and Viktor stood under a table. They never really did see anything.
But now, Blanche was here for a couple of months and except this and that, small things, like shows of strength or feeding, nothing really interesting happened. It built up for them too.
Blanche, was frustrated with herself. She felt constrained (she later told me that) and felt caged. She felt like a storm was brewing inside her slowly, each day, building up to something. She felt as powerful as an army, she felt like a flame. She felt like quicksilver and she couldn’t use all that she was. She was constrained by her life – and often wondered – whether it would be best to just abandon her life and go someplace where she could be herself. She was frustrated by the human nature being imposed upon her, when clearly, she was human no more.
But after the monastery, everything was tuned down once more and our frustrations were gone. Including mine, with Regina.
The letter that I had received from her, handed from Regina, read nothing more than two, very important lines.
“Vampriul cel mare și rău vine să te pape.
Ai face bine să fii pregatit cu țărușul acela promis, curajosule.”
That is written in Romanian, with the kind of terms and general tone that leads you to believe it’s meant to be taken on a funny, mocking tone.
It reads: “The big bad vampire is coming to eat you up. You’d better be prepared with that stake you promised you brave man.”
But P. ? Who the hell was P.?
Then I realized that P is actually R in old Romanian cyrillic, or any Cyrillic for that matter.
I swear to god that, at the time, I thought Regina was actually headed towards creating a new language. At time she spoke proto-language of her own. A combination between god knows how many languages.
Her vocabulary, both in writing and speaking, ranged from Cyrillic, to Russian, mixed with vulgar Latin and French, Romanian and Hungarian blended together, with a touch of English and Italian here and there, where the situation required more… detailed nuances of certain emotions. Italian can be very, very expressive.
A sentence from her could, at times, make your head hurt for a week. But that was rare, and she only used to give one out when she wanted silence or no more questions. So she’d say something like that and smile at you for cocking your head to the side and looking at the sky, trying to make sense on what the hell she just said.
Anyway, that didn’t change the fact, she was coming back and indeed I was ready. I felt giddy.
Before Regina actually coming back, when that was I had no idea, but a sense of impeding doom surrounded me more closely each sundown. Every day, at sundown, I would sit on my window sill, looking at the vastness of the forest and the citadel, and waiting for a sound or some movement, hoping that would be a sign of Regina approaching. Sometimes I would stay up well over one or two in the morning. But that only lasted for about a week after which I gave up.
During the weekend before the last weekend of the month, more exactly on the night between a Friday and a Saturday, from 24th to the 25th of May, 2005, the four of us decided to go on a little trip to a town 50km away, up north from Sighisoara.
It’s called “Târgu Mureș” and we usually went there for some higher states of entertainment. Like bigger clubs, more people and generally access to drugs. Ecstasy mostly.
There’s a club in that town named “Apollo” which is pretty big and awesome, but I’m just going to make a quick detour in the story telling you about this.
We arrived there at about 22:00, I was driving. I had a Seat Leon at the time which I felt good about, but we never got inside the club, because Blanche made sure to get in a ruffle with the bouncer for telling Sophia she’s not dressed properly and refusing to let us in, generally being rude, calling us uncalled for names and shoving us like pieces of paper to the sides.
She knocked off three of the biggest bodyguards I’ve seen in my life, with almost no effort, and I’m pretty sure she broke at least one leg from the bodyguard team, in the process. In a second. We quickly left and scolded her for doing that, she felt guilty, put her head down and never said a word about it.
Instead we went to another club, smaller, but generally more peaceful. We had a great night, Blanche complaining all night that the music is too loud, which was not, and the night ending in Blanche eating some waitress in the bathroom. Eating as in feeding from her, no funny business.
On our way back home she actually confessed about it, and felt bad, and was worried that she had been too rough.
“Did you kill her?” Viktor asked.
We all gasped.
She had the same reaction as the one a month before, when Sophia asked her if she kills her “victims”. She raged about what kind of person we think she is etc.
We all laughed at her, it might seem eerie for you when you read this, that four teens go into a club, one feeds on a waitress and almost leaves her dead, and then laugh about it.
But it wasn’t like that. It was just a very normal and fun night, we enjoyed ourselves, like we used to do in the old times, and at the end Blanche just did what she needed to do. No harm done. No she didn’t kill anyone and I was sure she was feeling pretty guilty as it is.
But that guilt was slowly going away in her eyes. The bigger the hunger got for her, the more time passed, the less human you could see in her, and the vampire came back more and more afterwards. The guilt itself started fading and, at times, she felt about humans as we do about cows. She regarded human kind as a big great heard of infinite food. Nobody feels guilty for a hamburger.
And then, Regina came.
On the 25th of March, that is a day later from that night, Regina came like never before.
She came with a car, had a driver and actually pulled the car inside the court yard. My mother received her like a VIP guest and all that happened during daytime, and I wasn’t even at home.
By the time I got home, my brother took me by my shoulder and just rubbed his hand against me telling me “Your girlfriend is back little brother…”
“Where is she?” I responded quickly.
“With father in the study.” He replied.
I picked up the pace and headed towards the study, but before that my brother made sure, with a combination of gestures and expressions, that I was aware of the fact he liked what he saw. He liked Regina. How couldn’t he?
Upon entering the study my father was laughing his ass off, Regina also. Apparently she knew good jokes also.
“Did you receive my letter?” She said upon seeing me at the door step.
No hello, no nothing. Manners.
“Yes I did, and I’m glad that you came…” I was being truthful here.
My father stood up, and with a pat on my back and a wink, he left the study closing the double doors behind him.
“So… where’s your… weapon of choice?” Regina said.
“Come on, you can stop that.” It seemed to me that what I said that night really got to her. It wasn’t that much the fact that she felt afraid, it was the fact that I actually threatened her. It hurt, emotionally. And that was awkward. No being that old should be able to feel anything anymore, not even love. There’s been cases of broken hearts, forever, after not even a lifetime.
Regina was wearing the most simple yet elegant dress.
She had a white silk dress that stopped short just a pinch above her knees, it was tied with a thin golden strip in the middle and had a nice bow at the side.
It was cut straight about 5 centimeters down her neck, with no cleavage. It looked marvelous and shiny.
She had the most simple shoes, the no high heels yet very elegant type. They had a thin line that went between the big toe and the next one, and at the back it held the heel with an also golden leather line. They were summer sandals, simple, yet elegant.
Her curly hair was pinned in a spinning kind of motion behind her back, and a very sharp, golden pin, about fifteen centimeters long, went from one side to the other, piercing through her. It looked exactly how it looks when a girl pins her hair behind her back with a pencil.
It looked messy, yet carefully managed.
She was stunning. How could I have said such a thing about staking her? I couldn’t do that ever. Not even in my wildest dream, not even if she was unconscious next to me. I felt protective of her, not vengeful.
She didn’t really waste much time. She was here with a mission and we both knew it.
“Are you ready?” She asked me.
“I told you to forget about that. I’m sorry I ever said anything.” I replied.
“No, I’m asking about our little trip. Let’s go.” Regina said, still smiling. No sign of irritation on her face.
“What trip?” I asked again like a nagging child.
“You’ll see, right now we need to leave.” Still smiling.
// I stopped fighting my inner demons. We’re on the same side now.//
I figured, well, what the hell. I might as well go with her, this is a once in a life time chance for me to be with her for an extended period of time. I loved her sight but I also loved the knowledge and the feel of excitement that came with her at every step she took.
“I need to pack.” I said, and I really did need to do that. I wasn’t the sort of person to go out two days in a row with the same pair of underwear.
“No you don’t, let’s just go and everything will sort itself out.” She replied feeling confident of what she just said.
I imagined myself washing my clothes in a dirty sink, in some gas station. I, again, realized that I had seen too many American movies.
“Are you telling me where I’m going so I can tell my parents?” I asked.
“That’s already been taken care of too.” She said. And I was amazed. She actually did manage to convince my parents to let me leave, with her, to god knows where for an undefined amount of time. That was a rather impressive feat.
She influenced them, all three of them. I knew it. I didn’t care, I was happy to escape the town for a while. I didn’t even wanted to think about high school. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it I said to myself.
We left and as soon as the car started, she made herself comfortable, put her feet up touching the ceiling of the car and putting her head in my lap, looking up at me smiling like she had just done some very naughty thing.
“I kind of influenced your father. He’s pretty strong willed, that one.” She said.
“I know…” I said and caressed her hair with my left hand, kissing her from above. She closed her eyes and smiled, then we both fell asleep.
By the time we got up it was already daylight, we had slept through the night, like regular people for once. The car was equipped with darkened windows, obviously.
Nonetheless, Regina still had her sunglasses on as soon as she woke and the I saw the driver straightening himself up and arranging the rear view mirror, making sure everything looked fine and his tie is straight. I think he was terrified by his “employer”.
Before I knew it, we were in the middle of nowhere.
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I asked.
“In lots of places!” She exclaimed cheerfully, clapping her hands together once and kissing my cheek. She then proceeded in taking her shoes on.
“Besides, we’re at our first destination.” And the car stopped to a halt in a parking lot, inside a forest, with no signs of civilization in any direction.
We got out of the car and walked through the forest for about a minute, no more, and ended up at the side of a lake, in the middle of which was a small island, in the middle of which was a small monastery.
I knew where we were. We were now watching at nothing else but the supposed final resting place of Dracula, a.k.a Vlad the Impaler. We were at the Snagov monastery.
“What are we doing here?” I asked.
“I need to have a word with someone, then we’re off again. Happy?” She said.
“Sure, why not…” I replied.
There is no way of getting on the island except a row-boat, which has no handler, especially now, at six in the morning.
A boat was waiting for us at the side of the lake and I imagined she would be the handler but as it turns out:
“You should be more of a gentleman and help a lady out…” She said, and shoved the paddles in my hand. Wonderful.
I rowed slowly and sleepy as I was, I didn’t stop for a second. The lake was of an eerie silence and peaceful, steam and fog coming out from the surface. Regina took of her nice dress, made me blush, and jumped for a quick swim in the lake. I didn’t stop rowing but she had no troubles swimming back to the boat and getting in. She shivered. I knew she wasn’t cold, I knew she was faking it.
With her hair wet and milky white skin dripping with water, she looked like a newly born angel that fell in this lake straight from the skies above. The rays of sunshine were struggling to make their way through the fog and could barely scratch the surface of Regina’s skin, giving it a golden to red glow. The color of sunrise. I stopped rowing and she looked at me questioning me with her eyes.
I cocked my head in a forward motion, signaling her to look behind her, but before she did the boat crashed into the shore and for a second there, I felt a hint of her losing her balance. She didn’t. The cat in her had been quick to respond.
As soon as the boat did that, it awoke in me a long lost memory. It is a memory of a superstition, a legend or myth if you wish.
Regarding that, Bram Stoker once said: “I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting.”
And if you look at the map, the horseshoe he’s talking about is very visible in Romania. It’s what defines Transylvania. The mountains are Transylvania’s walls, and they do form a horseshoe, and everything inside, is Transylvania.
It is, by definition, the land of Mordor.
We were now out of that land, we had crossed its gates and descended into the south, the old land of Wallachia.
But back to the superstition,
On the island, there is also an old fountain, that is said to have supplied Dracula himself with water. And it is said, that anyone who drinks from the well, will be forever tied to this land and the blood that once flowed upon its surface. The superstition goes like this:
“And if you ever dare to appease your thirst from the well of the devil himself, know this: You will be bound forever, beyond your grave, by the waters soaked in blood flowing through these lands, and, during your lifetime, you will once again come back to this well, to appease your thirst once more. For it is a vice, from your first gulp, to your last breath.”
What the monks actually tell you is that: “If you drink from Dracula’s well you’re bound to come back here again.”
There’s a big difference, if someone would have told me the first part, the real one, I would have thought twice before drinking.
But the fact remains, I did drink from that well, long time ago, when I was merely seven or eight years old, and visited the place with a relative living nearby.
I remember I giggled at the superstition, because I always looked down at people who believed those things, I felt pity for them, for they were so naive and so small-minded. I was a young skeptic. Yet now, I felt stupid and guilty for judging.
For here I was once again, with no plans to ever return not even a few hours ago. The fact remained, the superstition had been fulfilled, and against all odds, I was once again drawn to the well, thirsty from all the rowing, I quenched my thirst with the sweet, delicious, cold water from the dark and deep well.
No matter why and how I was here, or why I was thirsty, the fact still remained that the superstition had been fulfilled and that made the island seem more eerie than I remembered it.
Regina looked at me drinking, smiling, leaning against the well and chewing on a calendula officinalis (no idea how it’s called in English). It’s a small, yellow flower, that grows almost year round except winter, it has a mild smell and makes places look nice. I’ve never seen anyone eating one, although I knew they were edible.
I looked at her sideways.
“What? My mouth feels funny.” She said.
“Funny how?” I replied.
“It tingles.” She giggled. I knew what she meant, she was feeling hungry.
I smiled and wiped my mouth.
Regina was looking at something behind me and her smile turned into a frozen, serious like expression.
She assumed the face of “I’m your queen”. She reminded me of Akasha, the queen of the damned, from the movie.
Her eyes sparkled a bit and I quickly looked back to see what was all the fuss about.
Behind me there were not one, not two, but three monks, kneeling at a distance of about twenty meters, their heads were covered with that monk style hoodie, and another one of the monks was approaching slowly with careful steps towards us.
Regina stepped in front of me, in a protective way, as in trying to let the monk know that touching me would be the last thing he would want to do.
As soon as the monk arrived, he stopped short of two or three meters and just said.
“It is you.”