old habits die hard [story part 49]
April 25, 2013 § 25 Comments
“I’m sorry. I can’t anymore. One more drop and you’ll have to carry me back.” I said as I pried both of them off of me. Him from the wrist and Regina from the neck. I remember I started actually praying around that time, for it to be the last time I feel something like that.
I had never had two of them feeding off me in the same time. In five seconds you feel like your whole life just fell apart instantly. There has to be another component to it, because the drain is not only physical, but emotional too. You actually feel yourself being… taken away. I don’t know how else to put it.
“Or we can leave you here.” Sigismund responded.
“You know what? I’m really tired of you already. I’m the only reason you’re not still in that ice prison in the first place. How about some respect?” I said in frustration. I immediately regretted it, but the pressure and stress was taking its toll. I was on the brink of total collapse, emotionally. physically I felt more than fine, just had troubles keeping warm.
“RESPECT? To a boy?! I’m hundreds of years old. You should watch your tone.” He responded.
“No, you’re not. You were dead for all that time. It doesn’t fucking count. You didn’t live. I did. I know this world. You don’t. How about we leave you here?” I said angrily. I don’t respond well to threats.
Regina was smiling. Not saying anything, just smiling.
“Oh you’re acting like children.” She finally said.
“Well at least I have an excuse. I am one. What’s his?” I said. He growled.
We continued like that for what seemed like ages. I only remember what I said above, because that was pretty much the beginning of it. There comes a point in any discussion where arguments stop to matter and you start attacking the person you’re speaking too. Sure enough, we ended up arguing about who’s the man, as in, who’s the best, man or vampire. You don’t want that discussion, ever.
We were in a makeshift shelter for the day, and we needed rest. We fell asleep, one after another.
The second day we continued the talks started a day before. Regina was explaining as much as she could about the world today to Sigismund, I was most of the time left behind. I didn’t mind, I felt confident she could explain it better but then I started poking more and more into the conversation because it felt like it needed a human point of view too. I was making the case so to speak, for all mankind, hence why I say we continued the talks from the previous night. In any case, today I was terrible.
“How did you get here in the first place anyway?” I asked Sigismund.
“Well I certainly didn’t come here in the winter like you.” He responded.
“Good, because we needed an ice-breaker to get to the shore.” I added.
“An icebreaker?” He asked.
“Yes, you know, a ship that breaks ice.” I added smiling.
He was impressed just at the sound of it. I had a feeling he would like this world more than he should.
I also realized around that time that this was a major flaw – well not really a flaw – but more of an entry point into his bubble. Any person, vampire or animal has an invisible bubble around him, a bubble where he keeps all his confidence and it’s his territory alone. It’s hard to get through that bubble to a person, but I find that it’s usually the best approach to get the person interested or open about something that he likes or would like to know more. That’s why people get close if they have something in common, that’s why dogs like you if you offer them something interesting (not necessarily food) and that’s how I planned on taking on Sigismund.
“Ice breaker you say. Tell me more.” He said.
“Well what is there more to say. It’s a ship, that has a hard bow and breaks ice in fr…” I was interrupted.
“No, not about that, about others.” He said.
“Other… things. Like this ice-breaker.” Sigismund added.
“Like new inventions?” I asked.
“Not really, like things that I’m familiar with, but evolved through time. Old things turned new, like me.” He responded with half a smile on his face.
“You want to know old things turned new? Well how about this: Transilvania is not independent anymore. It belongs to Romania.”
He looked at Regina. She nodded.
“I like him.” He added, and turned back to me.
I want you, the reader, to understand that Sigismund was a real person. If you’ve missed the previous posts, Sigismund is a relative of Regina, his name is Sigismund Bathory, he ruled Transilvania for a while. He wasn’t bad nor exceptionally good, he helped lower Romania (Wallachia) with troops for fighting against the Ottomans (because it was in his interest), but in the end he was driven out after the Romanian armies marched into Transilvania.
He was a controversial person. Although of Hungarian family (the name Bathory) he was actually Romanian, and prince of Transilvania. He fought side by side with the Romanian troops against the Ottomans, but then he ceded Transilvania to his cousin, Andrei Bathory, who was Polish. This pissed off the Romanians. He also promised certain privileges to the Hungarians living in Transilvania, which were withdrawn by a Romanian governmental gathering later on.
He then changed his mind about the throne, and asked for it back from Andrei Bathory. After he received it, he decapitated a few officials which were Turkish sympathizers, including one of his own family, Baltazar Bathory.
He then ceded the throne a second time, leaving Transilvania to his wife, and went to Prague. A year later he came back unexpectedly, took Transilvania again, only to cede it back once again to his cousin, Andrei Bathory.
After Andrei Bathory died, he came back once AGAIN and took Transilvania, but this time the Romanian troops have had enough of this power-play, went to war with him, defeated him and he returned to Prague once again.
He supposedly died in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 1613, 28 years after Regina was born, 300 km from Cachtice Castle were Regina was born.
But enough with the history lesson.
“Well at least it’s not Turkish.” He replied.
“Oh don’t get me started on the Turks.” Regina yelled from the front.
“We’re here.” Regina shouted at us without turning, and picked-up the pace.
In front of us was the shore, covered in the thickest of fog you can imagine. A single small boat was there, with one person freezing his ass off in it.
He didn’t say a thing. He didn’t raise his head. None of us said anything either, except me of course, I said hello and a pat on the back. He recoiled.
He started the engine, barely. The boat must have been there for a while, and we headed through some really massive waves into the open.
“YOU – wave – CALL – wave – THIS – wave – AN ICEBREAKER?!” Sigismund was yelling through the splashes of water at me.
“TURN AROUND.” I yelled back.
“WHAT?” He responded.
“BEHIND YOU.” I yelled again.
I didn’t see the look on his face, but I can imagine it.
Such a sight must have been something for him. There it was. Now, I know for some of you the name might mean something imposing, and it should, but there are different types of ice-breakers. Small, Medium, Large and Nuclear. I would have loved for him to see the latter, but the truth is this one barely kept afloat, was of medium caliber, but where it lacked in size it compensated in lights. If you’ve ever seen a search boat in the night, with the lights turned on, you know what I mean.
But he wasn’t impressed by the lights nor the size. He was impressed by the material.
“But this is pure iron!” He exclaimed as he knocked strongly on the side of the ship.
“Steel.” I replied.
“Steel? All this is steel? But this must take decades to make, such a large amount of steel.” He replied back.
“Not anymore.” And I pulled myself on board, leaving him behind on the wooden ladder behind me.
I could hear him still shouting behind me.
“And it floats!” He was ecstatic.
I was sure by now that this was truly the best way to get into his bubble. A curios person will be a curios person no matter for how many centuries he’s been dead. Death doesn’t make you boring – or bored – death makes you want to live and know that much more.
As we walked inside the warm bowels of the ship, warmth for the very first time in over a week, he said in a lower voice, to himself.
“I could conquer the world with a fleet of these…”
Oh, I wondered, what an amazing photo would it make of his expression when presented with a Nimitz class super carrier.
As soon as we descended into the ship, a 60 something old man with clear Russian features and with two missing fingers saluted us and kissed Regina.
Oh I wondered… but I didn’t ask. Was this me, 40 years from now?
A cabin with 2 bunk beds, 4 seats was opened for us and we stepped inside. Not a minute later, two men entered the cabin. Two very big and solid men. I jolted to my feet in less than a second, thinking this meant trouble, but as fast as I jolted Regina did too, straight for the neck of one of the men. He didn’t fight back. It was consensual. She was two, maybe three times smaller than the man, and she coiled around him like a snake with both of her feet wrapped around his waist and one of her hands around his head and with the other hand pushed against the metal bar of one of the beds. I could see the man’s face getting red, then blue, then white, as he failed in strength as solid as he was. His feet slowly gave way, his knees started bending and then he left himself go. Regina fell with him but still coiled around him continued to squeeze like an anaconda and breathe heavily as she sunk deeper and deeper until the man almost passed out.
She stopped and didn’t wipe her mouth. She stood over him, blood still dripping from her mouth, breathing as like she had just finished a hundred meter dash. I was out of there in a second. As I left, the door closed behind me and just through a small crack before closing, as I turned, I could see her face as she was in her true from like this. I shuddered. Oh, if I only knew how close I was and how much control she has over her body to resist such hunger with me next to her, for so many days.
Not a minute later, the two men left the cabin, barely keeping their balance, but ok, and with a smile on their face.
This was a
brave weird new world.