a vampire in the sun. [story part 24]

March 3, 2012 § 6 Comments


It was a surprisingly short drive from Arlanda to where we were going. After a mere 50 kilometers and a dash of more conversation we were entering a town. At first it seemed like we were heading into nothingness, surrounded by old and tall mountain trees that looked like over-fed and over-grown Christmas trees. However, as we entered more deeply into the town I could see this was no village.

We were in Uppsala. A town, which at the time I didn’t knew, was the old Viking capital of Sweden and the whole Scandinavia, back in the 1200 if I remember correctly. This holds no true relevance to the story.

We shortly stopped around the town and just… well, Regina seemed like a tourist. She seemed interested, she seemed amazed by the town. It held no special meaning to me, it was just a bigger version, more cleaner I could also say, of my hometown. Old buildings and the occasional cobblestone streets.

“Can I take photos?” I asked.
“Of what?” Regina quickly replied.

“Here, go stay in that bush. I’ll make a model out of you.” I said mockingly.
She laughed loudly and we thought nothing of it. We just kept walking and, what I didn’t knew about Uppsala, was the fact that it also held the biggest church in Scandinavia, and the oldest stone one in Sweden I think.

It was huge. Gigantic I tell you. I had never seen such a big church in my life. I have to correct myself, this was no church. This was a cathedral. And although I had seen the Milan Cathedral (in Italy) previously, somehow this church seemed taller, but not as wide as that one.

As we were walking past it and I was admiring because what else was there to do, Regina pulled me towards it and in no time we were headed towards the door. I didn’t really wanted to know what we were doing, but I was happy to see the inside. I was always a fan of old architecture, and although it seems something of a geek hobby, it wasn’t really a hobby. I just enjoyed watching beautiful things, is that a crime?

I understood why Regina dragged me around town all this time. She waited for the sun to go down, but I think she might have gotten tired of waiting because it was almost past 21:00 and the sun was still shining. I had learned on the spot that the sun in Sweden, during June, does not set until 23 and rises at 3 in the morning. And if you go ever more up north, the sun doesn’t set at all for a few days during summer! Go figure!

A vampire in Sweden! HA! That seemed hilarious. But then I remembered that there’s a winter too, and the same thing happens during the winter. Little to no sunshine. Aha…

In any case, we waited for it to at least dim, because it did. It was a in-between light, and we needed it. We were making a breaking and entering. Into a cathedral. Into the biggest cathedral in Scandinavia. Lord have mercy on my soul if you’re up there and real and watching what I’m doing now, I thought.

Well I have to tell you, that the door was… well, you couldn’t take it down even if you rammed a car in it. No.
Regina had a different technique however. She had a key! A key! I didn’t even want to know how and most importantly WHY would she be in the possession of a key from the front entrance into a world-renowned cathedral. But she was, and we were there. Well, at least no breaking in the “breaking and entering part.”

We went in like two mice, in broad daylight (well almost) with people around us and everything. I was actually amazed that nobody saw us going in. The cathedral was supposed to be closed I figured, by how tightly the door was locked.

In any case, as soon as we went inside I saw the beautiful inside of the church and my jaw dropped. It was out of this world. It really is something, you have to see it. We walked fast down the path leading to the altar and I thought we were going to say a prayer or something, but just in front of the altar, Regina turned a left and went behind it. The altar had some kind of a fake wall behind it and there was yet another room after that.

What I didn’t knew at that time was that the room hidden behind the altar – which by all means was open to the public all day long – was the most important one. Also, creepy wax model staring at you behind the altar. I do have a photo with that if you’re interested, which was taken sometime… later. During normal hours.

The walls around the room were literally taped with Latin texts, white or gold (can’t remember) on a blue background, that I can remember. And in the middle of the room, was the center-piece, of course.
I didn’t even need to ask – I figured it must be someone really important in that tomb, which was all marble and cast iron over it, and in the lid were sculpted three silhouettes. In the middle there was a man, with a crown on his head, probably a king I thought, and on each side he had a woman. Now that was a man who knew how to go into the afterlife.

I took the liberty of reading the texts and I quickly found out that there laid the most beloved (and apparently important) king that ruled over Sweden. Gustav Something. I kid, I kid. Gustav Vasa was his name.

There were little to no windows inside the actual church, which made it dark even with the dim light outside, but above us (well, not us, the tomb, because that was the important thing here apparently) there were nice, big windows which let the mild sun shine over the room. It made everything look even more golden that it already (physically) was.

“Tu esti barbatul asa ca hai pune cotu’ si ridica sau impinge cu mine.”
“Poftim?”

“Trebuie sa ridicam chestia asta, mormantu asta, sa-l dam la o parte.”
“Tu esti nebuna? Asta-i cel mai important rege al Suediei. Din principiu nu pot sa fac asa ceva, mi-e si rusine de mine daca fac asta.”

“Sa vezi ce rusine o sa-ti fie daca nu faci asta…”
“Rusine ca ai fost batut de o fata.”

“Mai poti sa ma ameninti mult? Daca vrei sa-l ridici, ridica-l singura.”
“Da’ nu pot SINGURA!”

“N-am mancat aproape nimic de cand mi-ai onorat inimia cu un dar, si sunt slabita.”
“Da’ daca nu vrei sa ma ajuti, atunci….”

That talk was in Romanian. I just felt the need to say it in Romanian first. However take notice, that although I write in English, the conversation was, most of the time, in Romanian. About half of the time I would say, and the other half in all kinds of languages which I was trying to understand, like Italian, French, Spanish, English and sometimes Russian, which I know nothing of.

But here is the actual talk for you.

“You’re the man so put a shoulder here and pull or push with me.” Regina said.
“Excuse me?” I replied.

“We need to lift this thing, this tomb, move it aside.” She explained.
“Are you crazy? This is the most important king of Sweden. Out of principle I can’t do a thing like that, and I would be ashamed of me if I did.” I said, trying to convince her to stop insisting. I didn’t want to see a corpse that laid there for hundreds of years.

“You’ll be ashamed alright if you don’t do this…” She said, trailing off and then quickly adding “Ashamed you’ve got beaten up by a girl.” I believed her. She was getting angry. Not angry that I didn’t want to lift it. I couldn’t even if I tried, but angry that I refused to cooperate, almost all the time, not just now.

“Aren’t you tired / Can you threaten me any longer? If you wanna lift it, lift it by yourself.” I said.
“But I can’t do it ALONE!” She shrieked at me.

We were arguing by now.

“I haven’t eaten anything since you honored my heart with a gift, and I’m weak.” She added.
“But if you won’t help me, then…” and she didn’t finish that sentence. Instead she pushed me with a hand towards a wall that it almost cracked behind me. She was in front of me, pushing me harder against the wall in a second afterwards.

She started kissing me.Nnot in a “I need love” way but in a “You’re getting it” way and I knew I was. I knew what was next. I could feel her fangs extending and grazing my tongue, which she bit also, just to toy with me.

And then I submitted, when she stopped kissing, I willingly turned my head and let her sink her teeth in it. No pain, nothing, that was good. She actually, against all her anger, made it a pleasant thing. I swear I could hear her thoughts, I could feel her emotions and I could see her, like she sees herself, in her mind. I don’t know how to explain. This thing formed such a strong connection every time, that you almost felt one and the same with her. I wondered if she felt the same. I wondered if she felt the same with everyone, not just me.

In any case, with a bit of practice, if indeed we felt the same, I was sure this was the key towards telepathy. Rhyme not intended. It was just that strong. I could feel her heart beat, in my mind. How is that possible? That doesn’t even make any sense!

She finished and didn’t even bother to heal me up. She just left me another nice puncture on my neck. Sweet. I wasn’t mad anyway, because what came next, shook my world again.

I swear to you, that tomb could not be lifted by a fork lift. It was massive, marble made, over half a ton. There is no way in hell ten people lift that. It didn’t make any difference if I helped or not. Physically. Well, I did, but not with my muscles.

She ran her fingers across the floor, at the edge of the tomb, trying to find a good spot to grab, and she found some kind of a ridge because in an instant I saw all her muscles tense like they were about to burst. Her face turned red – yes – it turned red like it does for me and you when trying to lift something heavy. She started shrieking and pulling hard on that. I literally thought she was either going to break her back or have a heart attack right there, but the tomb started moving. I couldn’t believe my eyes, she was lifting the damn thing, which was not only crazy heavy, but also untouched and unmoved for centuries. It was practically soldered to the ground from all those years standing there, but that didn’t stop her.

She lifted it about 10cm and then she started pushing it to the side. Then she let go of it, slowly, with no booms and poundings of the floor intended. As she laid it down, I circled around the other side and marveled at what was before my eyes. There were stairs beneath the tomb. Actual stairs, leading into pitch black.

She didn’t say a word, I didn’t say a word. We both knew where we were going and I didn’t have the guts to tell her I’m afraid of the dark. I just followed, and we descended beneath the old cathedral, through a narrow (very narrow, we were on our sides, advancing) tunnel, which was also dripping went and moist and just generally disgusting, and we kept going. I thanked all the saints that I knew and the ones I didn’t knew for not having claustrophobia, and continued going. Should I mention we had absolutely no lights and it was so dark you couldn’t see anything?  NOTHING. Not even your finger in front of your eyes. Nothing. It was the darkest place I’ve ever been.

It was so dark that not even Regina could see. She made that abundantly clear several times when she asked me if I’m still there. And I can tell you, she wasn’t happy at all. She was not comfortable being blind after centuries of seeing perfectly. Not a bit. She was getting anxious, angry, frustrated and I truly hoped there’s no such thing as a claustrophobic vampire because that would not only be the most ironic, the most hilarious thing in the world, but also the most unsuitable for the time and place where we currently were.

I think we went through that tunnel at least a hundred meters until we reached (finally) a room. It wasn’t a big room, no. Just a simple two by two round room. Perfectly round I must say.
As we got to the room, she got a lighter and started setting things on fire. Torches. Four of them. It got bright and hot sooner than expected.

“You have light and didn’t say anything?” I asked frustrated towards her “secret.”
“I think you only have about five minutes of oxygen in here with all these torches.” She replied instead of an answer to my question. I was satisfied with it nonetheless.

“What is this place anyway?” I asked in an attempt to change the subject.
“This my dear, is my maker’s vault I believe.” She replied.

“So you’re not actually sure…” I said and waited for a reply, which came sooner than expected.
“Well, before going away, he told me that if I ever needed help, I should come here. I never did, until now, and so here we are.” She said.

“So what are we looking for then?” I said while trying to make heads and tails of the room. The walls were covered in holes, and each hole held either manuscripts, book, artifacts (jewelry), and all kinds of weird things, like dried herbs. I started poking around and kept trying to find something that was actually of a certain value to us, not money wise. But before I had the chance to come through as the victor, she replied to my last question.

“I believe… this is what we’re looking for.”

Exactly like the thing itself.

And sure enough, I stopped searching, because that caught my attention.

“Wait a second… don’t tell me he made the… this…” I said and trailed off looking confused.
“This doesn’t make any sense.” I added.

“Why is that thing here, why is it exactly like my necklace and why is Sigismund related to it – and WHY both of them are the same with Vlad’s seal, The Order of the Dragon?” I asked. Too many questions.

“I don’t know, but I believe this…” – and she ripped the necklace off my neck – “goes here.” She pushed the actual pendant in the middle of the ouroboros which had a perfectly carved inverted pentagram in the middle, just like my necklace. It clicked – it clicked! – right in.

Nothing magically started moving or opening, but instead the metal dragon ( the ouroboros ) jumped back by a few millimeters, we could see and hear it, and Regina rested her hand on it, looking at it confused, and then she tried pushing it back but that only made the pendant fall off from the spot.

She took it off the ground and pushed it back in, making the ouroboros once again jump out by a bit. She again looked at it and rested her hand on it but this time, instead of pushing, she grabbed it tightly and turned. And it started turning.

By god she looked like Sherlock Holmes. I was awed at how exciting this all felt, feeling giddy inside, but had to notice that the whole thing was nothing more than a lock, a clever, but primitive lock. What I did care about was, why the key to that lock, was being worn by me for all these years, with no clue of what’s dangling around my neck.

The head of the dragon turned exactly 180 degrees and then it clicked, but didn’t move. Regina stopped and then ran her fingers across the edge of what seemed a brick, and pulled.

The “brick” came off, rather hardly, but it did. I think it would have never been possible to take it out without breaking the whole damn wall around it, without the key that is.

Inside, there was one, very small and old book. No hardcover, just a bunch of pages wrapped in a thick leather hide – raw leather hide, untreated. It looked so fresh – and so raw – that I was surprised there wasn’t any fur on it still.

“This is it.” She said.
“Let’s go then because I think you were right about the air.” I replied.

“I was just joking, the tomb is still open…” She said.
“Or is it?” I said in an attempt to mock her too. Which worked, very much.

I think there was nothing more scary for Regina than being trapped in a lightless, soundless tomb. Nothing. I think that was also the reason she came back for me and released me from the crypt that first day also, besides the necklace. I really do.

You see, if someone would have been to actually close the tomb, I would have died in probably oh, about two days maximum, after I had run out of air completely. But her… well, she would have lasted much, much longer, even without air, she would have died slowly and painfully, and that was her curse. And her deepest fear. Being trapped.

A human – couldn’t be so scared – you’re not actually scared of being trapped, but you’re scared of death. She instead, was scared of not being able to die – SOON ENOUGH – for it to be acceptable.

I realized my mockery and its effect intended was more than I had planned for. I realized that when I found myself alone in the whole thing, because Regina rushed towards the entrance to the crypt, and when I say rushed, I mean she was there in under ten seconds, when previously it took us two minutes to reach the room.

She was yelling at me from the entrance to hurry up and stop being a “slowpoke”. Didn’t knew what a slowpoke was but I swear to god it pissed me off more than it should have. That, and the fact she didn’t at least have the common sense of leaving me the damn lighter. One crypt in my life was enough for me, seriously. This was just not funny anymore.

Achille’s Heel 2. [story part 23]

March 2, 2012 § 3 Comments


Now, you might think that, for the way I talk about her, I’m sure slow in taking the right choice.
But you have to understand, it’s not that easy. It’s not easy deciding to murder the person you love. The only one.

Because Regina was not just any other girl. Her death would not just affect me and her, it would affect a million other vampires, and at least that many humans also. And if, by any chance, all the history stories I’ve heard among them, are actually true, then I don’t even want to think how it would affect history. Or how it did these past five hundred years.

The reason I didn’t decide in killing her just yet was, well, because you see, I wasn’t sure if the way she affected the world was good, or bad.

She was 100% percent good, and in the same time, 100% evil. How is that even possible?
I’ve been raised, and taught, that things are either bad or good. Sometimes in-between. But this situation right here, was the biggest dilemma of my life, and I couldn’t even comprehend how is it possible. Regina wasn’t good, or bad, or in-between. She was both as good as she was evil. How?

And then I thought – this is impossible to reason. For once in my life, for the first time, I was faced with a decision which had to be taken with my heart.

And so it was.
Fuck the world, fuck all of you.

And like I said, decisions like these are not made in your brain, you don’t know where they come from or what line of thought you followed. They just happen, and you just act.

I pulled the knife from her heart as easy as it went in, but this time slowly. As slow as I could. I didn’t know what to expect, but I stepped back, went in a corner, left the knife on the floor, and waited.

It didn’t take long, I didn’t even have time to put my thoughts in order.
She woke as violently as she went down, it was as if her anger was frozen in time for a bit.

She instantly saw me, and snarled at me, the coughed violently. I was in the corner, scared out of my mind, looking at her face.

“Please don’t kill me.” – Lamest thing I could find, but it was the most sincere request I had ever made.
She smiled, turned a bit around and started coughing again. She was clearly weakened.

I took the chance, encouraged by her smile, to approach her.
As soon as I was in range, she pulled me on the bed, turned around and in a second was above me, holding my neck tight with her left hand and with her right hand on my heart.

She was listening and feeling my heart.

I was frozen. I was expecting her to grab my heart in her hand and just literally squeeze the life out of me.

“The most beautiful thing in the world don’t you think…?” She asked.
“The sound of a heartbeat…” She added.

I said nothing.

“AND YOU TOOK IT AWAY FROM ME!” She then shrieked.

“You took mine a long time ago…” I was being romantic, maybe it would work to water her anger down. It did.

“Suppose I should be happy now… you made your decision.” She said.

I didn’t understand at the time, but later on it made sense. You see, she always knew that I was split in opinion about her. She always knew that I would either decide to kill her at one point, if given the chance, or to protect her with my life. And she needed me to make my decision. This was me making my decision. I had decided to protect her life no matter what.

It was much like having a relative trying to commit suicide. He always says he will, and you try to hide the knife. But can you really keep a knife away from him all his life? No. So then what do you do? You give him a knife, leave him alone, and leave. When you return, if he’s dead, you failed, but if he’s alive, maybe a bit cut but alive, then you succeeded. You helped him make that decision. The decision to live. Because a man who really wants to end his life, will not cut himself just a bit, to attract attention. No, he will cut himself beyond any repair.

And I understood Regina, she gave me the chance, the knife and I took my decision.
But all this time, I was being fooled.

You see, the Codex Strigis does say that a human has the last say in the decision of murdering another, but in case of Regina, the treaty of Vienna that she herself made with the elders, clearly states that “you will all unite for a common goal and cause only if it endangers the queen or the kinship.” And what I done, checked both boxes.

It was, a very, very sneaky trick of her, making sure she was safe from human hands and protected from the Codex. But this is something that I’ve learned only recently, at the time I was very convinced that my decision would have been respected.

“Viktoria?” She asked.
“I think she’s alive.” I replied back.
“Should I thank you also for stopping me taking the life of my beloved?” She asked again.

I didn’t answer.

“You… a human boy. Not even of age… You are my Achille’s heel.” She continued.
“Not my heart, not my other weaknesses, no. You are the true weak point of me.”

And she was right. I changed her, and she changed me, in ways you rarely see these days. She gave me access to her most intimate thoughts and desires, and I gave her back something she always longed for: innocent smiles and desires, of a human child, a child that she once was. She always longed for bits and pieces of humanity, of pure human feelings, things that could keep her in balance.

She was still above me and without a warning, interrupting me while I was speaking, she leaned over me and struck. She dug deep inside my chest, with her fangs, she struck. Above my left nipple and to the right, above my heart. She bit so hard I swear I heard something cracking.

The pain was similar to the bite in the church months before. She was doing it on purpose. It hurt so bad I screamed my lungs out. It cut my breathing. It stabbed my heart like a thousand knives. This was revenge.

Nobody entered the room but I was sure the elders knew she’s with us again, and she was taking what was hers. Revenge.
Their face was pretty priceless when they saw me standing tall along her side when we left the room.

“Viktoria?” She said.
“Alive, barely.” Karl replied and led us down stairs.

Viktoria was in the same place we had left her, not bleeding anymore, missing an arm, conscious and in excruciating pain.

Regina approached her and spoke to her in Russian.
I don’t know what she said but she hugged her afterwards and then asked her in English, for us all to understand.

“Why did you do it my love? Why did you break my rules?”
“Envy my queen…” She barely replied.

“You have everyone submitting to your every wish…”
“And I’ve been lonely for centuries.”
“I need a pack because I can’t control the wolf within me no longer.”

Both me and Regina understood this, but also understood that Viktoria would be that much more dangerous with a pack of her own.

“Then you shall have it, but not like that. You will gain it through respect and devotion, not fear and strength.” And she was right again, because that was exactly the way Regina had her followers. Submitting out of respect, devotion and admiration. A pack that fears you is a pack that will attack you sooner or later.

“But right now, you need to recover.” I was keen on seeing that happen, and learned that Viktoria would indeed recover, but it would take months if not years. And until then, she needed to stay inside, protected, and powered down totally, mustering all her strength into her healing ability.

I had the perfect person in mind to do that. I knew it wasn’t fair, but I wanted a stronger connection between me, Viktoria and Blanche. So I called Blanche, told her all that happened, asked her to be Viktoria’s guardian for as long as she needs, and she accepted.

Blanche came in the days that followed, took Viktoria and went unseen. For months, Blanche was to do everything for her, she was to get Viktoria all the nutrition she needed to recover, every day.

I felt that this whole visit was a disaster. We had learned nothing, Moscow didn’t help and we were no closer to finding Regina’s maker.
But that was false.

The next day we left the mansion just as happy as we went in, but now with the elders having more respect and fear of me. I was a mere human, but Regina had shown them that I meant more than that. And I would have loved to tell them why, and how exactly I was connected with her, but that was not their business to know.

We had to find her maker. We had to find the black eyed children. We had to know what they want. We had to know what is their purpose. We had to know why was I given the necklace. We had to know so much, and Regina knew that only answering those questions, for me, would get me on her side, would get me to willingly accept – eternity with her.

I was not about to accept such thing, when we both knew, that Regina herself was the subject of such a deal, and now it was my turn. And she knew it also, she knew something was amiss. This was not normal, this was something ancient, this was something planned.

Aware of the tales of the old town of Sighisoara, she knew better than anyone else, that any ancient creature, that spans its plans over millenia, is to be feared of and watched against. The black eyed children had a plan, and we both feared in fulfilling their purpose, to an end that might not be to our liking.

The fact was, that Regina was drawn to me, just as her maker was drawn to her. And we both knew, that the necklace did that. My blood tasted different for her, it was a narcotic, and we both feared, that she once was a narcotic for someone else.

We both wore the necklace that saved our lives, we both wore it as a gift from the black eyed children, we both were helped but kept captive by the necklace. Only one thing could set us free – renouncing our humanity.

We didn’t understand how it worked, although we tried.
Regina was not one to be attracted or interested in magic, however we searched – we searched any explanation possible – and we did find it, but that only raised more questions.

What we knew about it up to that point was little. Physical characteristics told us that the platinum pendant itself was man-made, but the Jade inside is was a rock of Earth. Old as time itself.

We had also learned that the circle around the necklace represented the ouroboros, like a reader also noted. Yes, the ouroboros is an ancient symbol representing a dragon eating its own tail. It symbolizes ” the perpetual cyclic renewal of life and infinity, the concept of eternity and the eternal return, and represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth, leading to immortality, as in the phoenix.”

the ouroboros - infinity by rebirth - in a symbol.

But the ouroboros can also represent “the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.”

All that is taken from Wikipedia of course. We had been told, the same things, along the same lines, from an older book which was given to Regina by an elder when she noticed him looking at the necklace. He recalled reading about the symbol in an old book of his, and also noted that it is strikingly familiar with the seal of Vlad Tepes, the seal of The Dragon Order.

I strongly advise you in reading more about the ouroboros online before stepping into judging my story.

What we didn’t know at the time would shake both of our strong beliefs against all that is supernatural.
We learned that it represented something else: energy.
We learned that the Jade did more than just look beautiful. It was  more than a simple stone.

Since ancient times it has been known that certain stones and diamonds can resonate at certain frequencies, which occur naturally, if attuned properly and shaped accordingly. But that is for a later time of the story.

For now I’ll limit it to what we knew at the time.
We needed to find the maker and solve this mystery once and for all. It was now a quest not just for me, but for Regina herself in finding the story of how she came to be.

So we left the mansion the next day. The same as we arrived, together.
“I think it’s about time to tell me your plans.” I said.
“I would, if I had any. Right now I’m just closing leads one by one, until we find one that won’t close.” She replied.

“So we’re blind here. We’re just walking from door to door asking questions?” I asked.
“No, not really.”

And then we arrived at the airport.

“So where to now?” I said.
“We’re going to Sweden, to desecrate a tomb. Does that sound exciting enough for you little one?” I didn’t like her “little one” note, but it did sound exciting otherwise.

“Lars will receive us properly do not worry.” She added, when she saw my confusion. That didn’t calm me down, I didn’t exactly appreciate being around anyone else except her. They didn’t understand my relation with her and it just made things awkward, complicated and violent at times.

And there I was, side by side with a five hundred year old girl, riding a plane towards unknown lands, chasing stories and myths, in a time when others my age were falling love with Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, I was falling in love with the most shining star I knew.

We were two normal people, going in vacation in a normal way, towards a noble goal. Or so we thought.
The plane ticket once again read:

Le Mans (LME) France – Arlanda (ARN) Stockholm.

And as the plane took off and started shaking once again, I touched my necklace and looked at Regina.
She held my hand and smiled.

She was alive.

“Did you know that I could make this plane crash and walk away freely after?” She said.

I froze. What? I really hoped she was joking.
She was. Still playing.

As she saw my face she started laughing and then kissed me.
“You don’t know what you’re missing out on…” She whispered slowly in my ear as the plane smoothed out, those five seconds after the shaking of the take-off stops, those seconds when you feel you’re in the air.

I remember her exactly saying that, those were her exact, exact words. Because she was wrong. For once, she was wrong. I did know what I was missing out on, and I didn’t care.

I didn’t care for an endless existence, dictated by someone else. Not by her, not by her maker, but by the ones who started this whole reaction. The black eyed children – whether they were myth or real, I didn’t knew. I didn’t and I don’t believe in such non-sense. I refuse to, even when they are in front of my eyes.

The flight was short, a mere three hours, and by nightfall we were in the airport and sure enough Lars was waiting for us. How did he get here so fast, before us?
We took a separate car and for the first time I saw Regina driving.
I’m sure my face expressed a lot of things because Regina seemed amused by it.

“What? You didn’t think an old lady can drive?” Still playing, still joking. It blew my mind every time how such a creature could still have that joy and life coursing through her veins. After all the wars and cruelty she’s seen, and was a part of, she still had that innocent, twenty year old of age humanity in her. I was starting to think that it will never change, no matter what.

“I didn’t think nothing of it… but it is funny to see you do it.” I replied.
“You should see me mastering my horse then.” She said.

Now that would be a pretty picture I imagined. A picture that would be shown to be sooner than expected…

Achille’s Heel. [story part 22]

March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment


*** For those who are not here for a soap opera I would advise you to jump to the next post because this might just be one of the most soaking wet with feelings text you’ve ever read in your life. I put great strain on myself in expressing these feelings below, and it feels like I would be naked in a city full of people – rather than expressing my most intimate feelings to the world. Yet I did, and here it is. YOU will not miss anything important if you jump to the next post.

And again, if this feels too fantastic and too story-like for you, not reality like, then I’m sorry but would you rather read a bullet list with the events as they unfolded and get it over with? I’m describing everything as good as I can, expressing all my feelings and opinions throughout this whole story. And that makes it fantastic, because it is one thing to mark an event with words, and it is another to fill it with emotions. They are hard to explain, and break easily with the wrong choice of words. I need minutes for each word, I need to relive every second of what I’m writing about in order to express exactly as I felt then, and that is a battle of its own. It is hard and it is frustrating, because no matter how much you try, you will never be able to express a feeling into words or pictures, no matter how many they are. But I try… so keep that in mind, and if in doubt, try it for yourself, and marvel before your eyes how the story of your life becomes a fantasy, filled with emotions and feelings, describing things beyond imagination and belief. Try it. Try speaking about your most intimate desire, try putting that in words. I dare you. And then accuse me of being a fantasy writer. We are all fantasy writers my friends, when we lay our soul in front of everyone to see.***

I had stabbed her in her very live, but stormy heart. Through the side, under her left arm, with her very own golden knife that she held so dear. Regina was pierced from one side to the other, all the way through. I had stabbed her with such a fear and rage from within, I was not even aware I had it. It may have developed for the first time then and there. I had pushed so hard on the sharp knife that I had managed to pierce all of her, from the left side to her right side. Through her heart, through her throat, through her insides, all the way the knife went in with such an ease that it made no difference when it came out on the other side. I had not felt it going easier, not even at that point.

Only when the knife handle hit her side, I stopped pushing, and screaming.

No reaction from me, her or any of the elders was observed for the first two or three seconds.

For me it felt like the world had just suddenly stopped. Frozen in time. Forever. My immortal was now no more.

And then, in that deafening silence, after the initial shock, all hell broke loose inside me. What had I done!

Regina dropped Viktoria, and with a turn of a hand struck me in the chest so hard I lost my breath for almost a full minute. I literally thought I was going to suffocate right there. I flew two meters if not more through the air and hit the front door, smashing nothing, but breaking something in me for sure.

The elders all jumped towards me in an instant, grabbed me, growled at me and hissed at me. They were on a killing spree. Karl was the first to plunge towards me with a bite that I knew was not for feeding, but for ending my existence. He was stopped in his way, pushed violently to a side and hitting a small statue, smashing it to pieces. Lars, the one who said nothing, stood in front of me and did nothing also, but this time he did speak.

“YOU WILL OBEY HER TO THE DEATH.” He screamed at them, at all the other elders.

I had the right to kill her. As written in the Codex Strigis.

*** “You are one of the most terrifying predators to walk this planet. You have the strength of the ages, but again must I remind you, that your most precious weapon sits within yourself. It is your mind. Use it wisely, and do not rely on your strength to power you through the centuries. You will be immortal, and you will be powerful. Do not let the power corrupt your very being, do not let it drunken you with its flavor. Do not turn your back thinking your are invincible, for you are not.

Dare not listen to me, and you shall pay, for any human that will go and attain such a feat as to overpower you, has the control over your life. You, will obey this law. Even in front of seeing your kind die, you will not interfere. An overpowered kinship by any human is unworthy of your help, just like you will be unworthy of any help from your kind when it is your turn to die. Uniting against humans will only be done with a common goal and purpose, and will only be done towards an end. You will have your right to revenge, but you do not have the right over the life of your other.”

*** As good as I could translate and remember it, with some “poetic” interpretation of my own.

As written there, text that I had failed to read previously, or remember, or understand. I surely made sure the next time I had the chance to read it and understand it properly. In other words, stripping it of any fancy way of writing, it came down to this: Any human who overpowered a vampire in such a way, will have control over her life and death. The final decision, for it is often needed one, a vampire does not die easy, nor fast.

Although, I didn’t think I would survive one second later after deciding to kill her, forever. Although, I didn’t really think they would obey the Codex Strigis after all. Despite all of that, here was an elder, respecting Regina’s wish even if it meant her death.

Make no mistake, this rule, just as the others, who might seem off to you, was very, very well thought over the years. In a later post I will explain this one, the need for invitation and the willingly accept turning rule. I will show you exactly what and each mean, and I will show you how they are the most complex laws you’ve ever encountered, and yet expressed so simply.

Lars had made it very clear that I had to either finish what I have done – by doing nothing more – just waiting, or that I have to undue this, like rewinding a tape, I had to turn back time, grab the knife once more with my very same hand and pull it out just as I had pushed it in.

I was not going to do that. I was afraid. I have seen the madness in Regina, I have seen what she was capable of doing to Viktoria for what I had thought at the time, was much less, I have seen how she could break away easily, from such an ancient friend.

“You cannot stop us all!” I remember Karl yelling from the corner towards Lars.

“Do I have to dear friend?” He responded casually, and looked towards the others.

They were split, some wanted to obey the Codex Strigis or so they said, or just wanted the queen dead – but that was not true, they were the most loyal of them all.

Some on the other hand, were keen on killing me, helping the queen.
There were others, such as Giorgio which, in his Italian legacy, casually added.
“But friends, have a little passion. Be a bit creative. WE do not have to do anything to the boy. Let the queen decide.” He said.

I was terrified, I was sitting on the floor, leaning with my back against the front door, as in a gesture to make sure nobody can flee – or intervene from the outside.
At the time I would have preferred nothing more except being murdered by them, and not letting Regina decide. I was more terrified about facing her, looking her in the eyes, after what I had done, rather than death itself. I had no hope in Regina forgiving me. I couldn’t forgive myself either.

And then, as they discussed among themselves, I had slipped in memories, and my thoughts took me back home towards my parents and my brother. I remembered what my father said to me once:

“Listen, you are stronger than you think. All you have to do when there is nothing else to do, is actually stand up and do something, anything. You have to act when nobody wants to, you have to speak when everyone is silent. That’s all you need to do. Don’t be afraid of life, face it, and let it come to you.”

And he was right. I couldn’t stay there, waiting for my faith to be decided. I was human, I was strong, I was the one who had the say in it. I had to reinforce Regina’s will, and I had to muster my courage to speak against the most ancient creatures that walked this Earth, against those who loved the one who I had murdered, against those who were encircling me like wolves.

I started standing up, slowly, and they watched me. I saw their desire to see me do something, anything. I saw their relief when they didn’t have to act, and had hoped that I would, no matter to what result.

I stood up, straight and tall. My head was bowed no more.
“All you have left from humanity is your honor. If you care about it as much as I think you do, then you will listen to me.” I said.

Most of them went blank. No expression. Karl went mad. He wanted me dead and Regina alive. Lars was listening close.

“Continue…” Lars said.

“I’m the only one who can decide if your queen lives or dies. And you want to take that away from me? She fought for what she believed in for centuries, she fought for those same laws and rules you are now about to break. Are you absolutely sure she would not defend those laws with her death?” I was truly an orator. Damn you Cicero. In your face Hitler.

I let them boil in their thoughts, as I boiled in mine. It was this moment that I would know of my fate. I would either die at the hands of them, or trick faith once again. None spoke, but instead, after a silence that lasted centuries in my mind, but mere seconds in that room, they split apart, and made a corridor towards the end of the hall, where Regina was standing face down, dead as a rock, and Viktoria was in a corner, unconscious. I was pleased she was unconscious, I had hoped she was not dead. I was pleased because I was not sure, whether she would appreciate me saving her life, or she would assassinate me by my method of choice in doing that.

It seemed there were no new lands for me to discover - the shore I left so long ago...

They were inviting me to act.
I walked determined towards Regina. It was now or never. I could go there, look at her and tell them it’s over. Regina would stay dead forever, for that was what I wished. I was scared, terrified, that if I woke her, I would die myself.

No matter how much you love a person, in the moment you’re faced with such a choice, doubts roll over you. Doubts that you once thought are not there. For I was more than once certain that if the time came, I would give my life for her. And yet, here I was, doing something totally different, ironically, deciding not to give her life.

I went to Regina and stood by her. I turned her lifeless body in my arms, rested her back on my chest and her head in the space between my head and my shoulder. She was comfortable I thought, at least she deserved that.

Powerless I thought.
But she was not. Even in her death, she eclipsed everyone and everything in the world. In my mind at least, she did just that.
Even in her death, Regina seemed more imposing than ever before.

I turned my head towards them and was decided to say just that: “She’s dead.”
But it’s funny, how your mind works. It’s funny, how your heart and soul act together. It’s funny how you think.

You believe you’re a rational, critical being. You believe the right choice is easy to make. Yet, you do not think with your brain and brain alone. There’s a fight inside of you, there’s a fight within your heart. There’s a fight in your very life energy. Not a physical fight, but you feel your world spinning around you, you feel your insides ready to burst, you feel your heart screaming to escape your chest.

When faced with such a decision – murdering the one you loved, for the benefit of… whom? When faced with it, everything goes blank. There is nothing left around you. There is no sound, there is no light. It is just you and the storm around you.

You cannot speak, you cannot think. All you can do is wait for a decision. A decision made by the winning part within your soul. A decision that is not rational, a decision that does not have a path or a line of thought. It is a decision that just arrives, it is there, and it is the strongest thought you’ve ever had.

It feels like an instant change of heart – you know the feeling – those first two seconds after you have a change of heart about an important decisions, those two seconds in which you feel more confident that you’ve ever felt before.

I turned my head towards them but said nothing.
I looked at Regina once more and she was exactly as that morning. Sleeping, innocent and beautiful.
And then I remembered what I had written in my diary, word by word, my heart was punching me with my own words, my brain was resisting but my own words could not be taken back.

The image of this beautiful being, sleeping in my arms, could not be unseen.
I remembered what I have said: “I wish sometimes that she would never wake up.” and I also remembered what regret I had felt for just thinking that.

How could I live with the regret of actually accomplishing just that, by myself?

“Do you love your queen?” I asked them without turning again towards them.
One answered, for all. “We do” – It was Karl, angry but submissive.

“Then take her to our room at let us be.” I said.

I have decided. I will watch her sleep once more, and ponder again, on my thought that day. Ponder whether she will wake or not.

And they did.

As they laid her on the bed, I laid besides her.
I caressed her hair, and kept my heart at bay. I kept battling the words from my diary which were raging furiously towards coming back to me. One by one, storming my heart.

Rid the world of her… my brain yelled.
Follow your heart… my body screamed louder.

How can you do this? How can a man make such a decision? How can you murder the most beloved and wonderful being you have ever seen in your life?

Could you?
Could you do it twice – like I needed to do? Stab her heart and then, take the decision to let her go once more?

I was the angel that was having his wings ripped off. You cannot imagine a feeling like that, you just cannot. It cannot be put in words, it cannot be put in movies, it cannot be imagined or thought about. It can only be felt.

They say love is the strongest feeling of them all – and it truly is – but not by itself, love is not a singular feeling. Love is not something you can describe by its own. Love, true, strong, unforgiving love – the one that takes you to the highest plane of existence, the one that also puts you through the greatest torture and pain you would ever know.

That is love – a bliss and yet in the same time, cruel as nothing else can be.
I had nothing else in me for Regina, but that love. And it was tearing me apart.

And Regina, the one whom I’ve always seen as an angel and demon in the same time. As kindness and pure evil in the same vessel, was the same with love. A double-edged sword, a magic potion that could heal and kill together.

Love, such a small and simple word.
Love, such a simple way of saying “all the feelings one could have, mixed together, pushed inside your soul, amplified by a thousand.”

But enough with my thoughts and feelings, enough with my sorrows and self-pity. I was nothing compared to her, not a speck of dust even. I had no right in deciding anything. I was the homeless man compared to the virgin queen of England.

Yet, in the golden lit room, in the middle of nowhere, in the room where as far as I knew the fate of a species was being decided, there was a queen which stood no more.

And, as they closed the door and let us be, the battle within me was over, and the result struggled to come forward. I didn’t want it, yet here it was.

* …no

*…go away.

*…I don’t want you here.

Let her go. – Was the result.

Where Am I?

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