when the moon has a ring… [story part 5]

January 16, 2012 § 10 Comments


November 18th, – past 9:00

It is said that, on a night with a full moon – if the moon has a light ring around it – then it’s a bad omen. It’s the witching hour, it’s the father of the 13th. It’s what tells you to stay inside.I’ve always discarded such nonsense. Of course, I was (maybe) wrong once again.
Last night, right before I fainted, the moon was the last thing I saw as I laid there numb. It was the thing that reigned over the night. The moon was the queen of the unseen, and the sun was its powerful husband. The king of the world. Facing downwards on us mortals, giving us life, light and comfort.Their love – impossible. They could never touch one another, how could they – one lived by day, one lived by night… both beautiful, both strong, both masters of their domain.***

I woke up the next day as shocked as I fainted last night. I immediately started twitching and my heart was pumping hard like I just had the worst nightmare yet. My heart was pumping. I was alive.

She didn’t… anything to me.
I opened my eyes and looked in the direction my head was already pointed – where the hell was I?
I saw out the window and everything seemed familiar, but I didn’t recognize the house I was in. I was never here.

I tried standing up but I heard a voice, and I wished I hadn’t woken up.

“Good morning.” – It sounded almost happy and giddy. It was Regina. How could she be so happy like nothing happened.

I looked the other way and saw her. She was standing in front of a window, behind her there was the mighty sun, shining down over both of us, but I couldn’t see the sun itself, just its rays going around Regina, engulfing her into light – lux aeterna I thought again.

I couldn’t see her face because of this, I could only see her contour. She started coming close, I started pushing backwards.
“Don’t worry, I don’t bite.”  She said smiling, on a sarcastic note.

“Foarte amuzant…” – this was Romanian for “Very funny…” – My head was a sea of mixed languages since I’ve seen her.
She giggled – and then she added: “Mea morsus est mortiferum” – Meaning “My bite is deadly.”

Her face went blank and then she went on “Oh… mein schatz” – (My treasure, German) – “I thought you would be different.”

“I would be different? In what way? You hoped I wouldn’t have ran and stayed there for you to do your weird…”
And then I remembered the fangs.

“YOU HAVE FANGS!” – I almost shrieked.
“I do. Sometimes.” – She giggled again.

What the hell was wrong with this girl – she found this funny? I was scared out my mind.

As she finished giggling, she came towards me in a fast pace, hard, pushing down the floor which started trembling. Her face was filled with anger. I thought she’s going to bite me again.

As soon as she got near me, she bent down towards me and with a very, very serious face she said:

“What are you afraid of? I could have killed you days ago! Stupid boy!” – She snarled at me and then picked me up in one move, with one hand. She was someone else. I couldn’t recognize the evil inside this girl, which was nothing but good and gentle until now.

She put her hands around me, holding me in a tight iron-like grip, she was behind me and was holding me like a shirt with knotted sleeves, like the ones that you get in a mental institution.

We were facing the sun and I had to close my eyes. She whispered in my ear: “I could even kill you right now…”
Just put me back in the crypt I was thinking.

And then she relaxed – I felt numb from the gripping – and she turned me over like I was a puppet, she looked deep into my eyes and just stared at me for what seemed like forever.

Then, with the most serious tone I’ve ever heard in my life she started speaking: “I don’t want to kill you. I don’t want to eat you. STOP being afraid of me.”

“But you’re an animal, a vampire, I don’t know what you are! You have fangs, and now I realize how strong you are, and your face the other night…” – I shivered, creeps going up and down my spine.

“Who, WHAT are you?!” – I said this in a kind of a definite form – I was demanding an answer. Clear answer. Now.

She turned around facing the sun and the window, with me behind her this time – she waited for a few seconds, to see if I would try to run again I figured – and then, from her mouth, started a flow of words which apparently are so rarely spoken that you would think they would disappear, as a phrase, for eternity.

“I was born in 1585.” – Pause. Pause in her words. Pause in my chest. No more breathing. Pause in my heart. No more beating. Pause in my mind. Blank. Pause. Still. Everything was just… STOPPED. Have you ever had someone tell you that a very loved one just died? Can you picture the exact same feeling you had right at the moment of hearing that? Yes… That’s the feeling. Nothingness.

She turned around and looked at me – she smiled – who wouldn’t have smiled – I would bet my face was the kind you only see once in a lifetime – well, that is, if you’re a normal person.
I said nothing – just stared at her. Mouth open, hair on my arms standing up like having a mind of its own, wanting to leave my skin – now. Everything you would expect of a person that was currently looking at a ghost, or Jesus performing a miracle, or a cat talking for that matter.”I was born in 1585 and I was named Anna…” – She trailed off as if she was remembering something very dear to her.
Her head bowed down, searching for a point on the floor that will offer her comfort. Like that’s gonna happen.
“I haven’t used that name in a long time. I was born in a place named Csejte Castle” – I could identify the name as being Hungarian, I don’t speak or understand Hungarian but Transylvania holds a minority of Hungarian communities, which have more or less contact with Romanians, as such, we learned to grow accustomed to each other’s languages.”The castle is near Csejte village, a small village in what is today Slovakia.” – I felt I knew this story… couldn’t yet put my finger on it.
“My mothers name was Erzsébet Báthory, or by her English name, Elizabeth Báthory. And she…”I stopped her because I was by now almost laughing. I remembered the whole story and started to think this girl was deranged, I felt a bit sorry for her but also afraid. I couldn’t control myself, had a big smile on my face which I was desperately trying to push down. Couldn’t manage.

“You find this… AMUSING?” – She said in a deep angry voice.
“This is the first time these words come out of my mouth! It’s a sacrilege for me just calling out these words and names – not even mentioning I’m doing it in front of you.”
“Why do it then?” – I figured a bit of self-assurance wouldn’t be that bad. I need to stop being a scared chicken.
“I don’t know, but you should be grateful. There’s no human on this Earth who knows I’m alive (was she?). There’s nobody that knows my real name. There’s nobody who knows what I am who is, himself, still alive.” – She snarled again. I could feel this was hard for her to say and could see that this girl actually believed what she was saying. I didn’t know whether to be scared again, or just feel sorry for her. I was keen on listening otherwise.I nodded. She continued: “My mother is infamous for…” – I stopped her. “I know what she is infamous for, you don’t need to tell me this. Everybody knows the story for the Blood Countess.””Don’t call her that! And what you know is nonsense, made up, exaggerated by mindless humans who have nothing else better do to than to write about my dear mother and how cruel she was.”

“Elizabeth Báthory was my mother, over 5 centuries ago, she gave birth to me, I was her first child. I had two sisters and three brothers, of which two I killed myself.”

I gasped – I felt this was going the wrong path.

“My father died in battle. However, my mother who supposedly killed all those young women, did so for me. And she didn’t kill them, not all of them, some died, yes, but most were left unharmed. Most of them I’ve killed myself.”

“I was turned into a vampyr, a vampire, I’m pretty sure you know what that is and I ne…” – I stopped her again. I couldn’t listen to this nonsense anymore.

“You’re trying to convince me you’re a vampire? You could also tell me you’re a fairy. Yes. I saw your fangs, I can’t explain that. You also bit me. For all I know you could be mental case.”

“I can tell you something you’re not though – You’re not a vampire. Vampires aren’t real and, as if that’s not enough, you’re standing in front of me bathing in the sun.” – I told her! I felt smart.

“Oh how stupid humans can be… but that will change…” – She was speaking to herself.

“Would you like to hear the whole story or not?” – She was now speaking to me.
I nodded, and yet again, she continued.

“My mother had the means to get the blood I needed, without me killing anyone. I was young, I didn’t know when and how to stop. After I’ve killed my younger sister and brother…” – she trailed off again, but soon enough, she turned her head towards the sun again and went on – “She decided she can’t lose anyone else, so she started getting the blood I needed from teenage girls, as she felt they were the easiest to handle with, and I was more than happy to drink straight from them, or from the blood she extracted. We didn’t know how to deposit the blood and it went bad. I needed it fresh.”

“My mother didn’t kill them to bathe in their blood to keep her young – she did it for me. That’s the true story of your ‘blood countess’.”

I went near Regina and put my arm on her shoulder, she turned around and looked at me. I couldn’t help but think of how beautiful she was even after all this crazy talk. Her dark hair and eyes seemed to go even darker in the light, her face was now colored and she didn’t seem so white anymore. Her lips were even more full and she felt livelier. I thought of how she drank my blood last night. I felt a shiver down my spine as I pictured how everything made sense. No. This couldn’t be true.

“Regina, you’re the most beautiful person I’ve seen in my life, but there’s no way you’re a vampire. For one, you’re standing in the sun, and there’s other things too, like how warm you are. Aren’t vampires dead?”

“Listen to me…” – She said like she was Caesar himself commanding his legions – “Everything you THINK you know about vampires is false. Like the story of my dear mother. Stop believing in movies and books and believe what’s in front of you.” – And then she smiled.

I wished she hadn’t – her mouth was once again different – the same fangs I have just seen a night before – and desperately tried to forget – were there once more. Exactly as I’ve seen them, exactly how I had them pictured in my head, two long, sharp and thin fangs
I almost choked with my own breath and tried to take a step back but she was holding my wrist with an iron-grip – yet again. The needle-sharp fangs were pushing down almost touching her lower lip – they seemed to get longer by the second.

She closed her mouth and let my hand go. I didn’t run. I was now looking down and her hand, from my wrist, went up to my chin and made me look into her eyes.

They weren’t as they were the night before. She had perfect deep dark eyes, not red, not beast like. I could lose myself in those eyes, they were like a deep dark river of nothing but good and scary feelings in the same time. Kind of like the night is – comforting, quiet and peaceful – yet in the same time it holds secrets, conceals countless horrors and has an allure of danger being just right around the corner. Those were her eyes.

“I believe you.” – And I kissed her. I didn’t know what else to do, I didn’t know how to react, but I knew that I didn’t want to lose this girl, vampire, dead or alive, it didn’t matter for me. I was mesmerized by her beauty and I had already forgotten my name, where I live, who I am. I didn’t even want to be anyone anymore, I just wanted to be with her and that was it for me.

For a moment I couldn’t believe I was actually kissing her and I was feeling her fangs, they were, by all means. Real. They scraped my tongue and I felt her tense up and shiver. I stopped.

“Those who attacked you, those were vampires too – not my friends, you could call them my proteges, and they were hungry. However, they need to learn on who and when to feed and that’s why I stopped them. They put you in that crypt on my orders. Only later I remembered…”

“Remembered what?”
“This.” – She was holding my necklace.

My necklace was in the shape of a 5 cornered star, made out of  unpolished silver and on the edges rimmed with white gold. It is the size of silver dollar and in the middle it has, also shaped like a star, a Jade gem.

“What about it?” – I said like it’s just some cheap thing.
“Where did you get it?” – She was till eyeing the necklace and was mesmerized by it.
“It was given to me as a present.”

“From my mother.” I added.

“That’s interesting.” – again she was speaking to herself. She did that often enough.
“What’s so interesting?” – I think I was a bit pissed of by this secrecy.
“This necklace is very, very old.” – She was saying this in a deep voice and I could see by now her fangs already started retracting.

“I hope so. That’s why I’m wearing it.” I said.

She looked puzzled – as she was trying to decipher me – she was looking at me, but actually she was looking through me – her gaze lost somewhere over my shoulder…

“You like old things don’t you?” – She was making a point more rather than asking a question.
“Yes, the older it is, the better it makes me feel.”

“Yes, I imagine it would. How do you feel when I’m around you?” She added.

I was shocked. I just realized that I had the exact same feeling when she was with me that I had when I was near something really old. It is a very mixed but pleasant feeling. It’s humility combined with love and admiration, with a dash of pride and arrogance. Can’t be explained really. But it’s beautiful, close to true love. As a feeling.

“How would you know this necklace is old anyway? I don’t even know if it’s really old.” – I said with a sense of possession, putting my hand over her hand, both holding my necklace.

“I know because this once was my necklace.”

My eyes went wide open.

“Don’t worry, I don’t want it back. I dumped it for a reason. But be careful with it – it’s not an ordinary necklace.”

My eyes were still in the same state.

“It’s a long story, but for now you should know that you might owe your life to that necklace.”

I was somewhat puzzled but by now I was deeply convinced that she was by all means who she said she was. My (my?) Regina was the daughter of the blood countess. And here we were both standing in a foreign house, in the town where Dracula was born.
I needed to change the subject. Although not the most wise choice, I struck:

“How about Dracula? Is he real?” – She smiled.”He is the reason I’m here.”I felt shivers and cold sweats running down my spine and my forehead and I knew I need to get out of that house, feel the cold breeze and catch some fresh air. My knees were about to give in. This story was just as intense as the most horrifying movie I’ve ever seen, multiplied by infinity. I was lucky I was still conscious. Every word she said made my heart pump harder and harder and I was barely controlling myself not to shiver anymore.

“I’m getting some air.” – and I turned my back at her and started down the stairs and out of the house.
I immediately knew where I was and I didn’t like it.

[come back soon for another part of the story]

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