long time no see. [story part 29]

April 4, 2012 § 13 Comments


I won’t bore you to death with parts which hold little to no relevance to the story, parts that depict me in my life, without the whole thing we’re talking here about.

I’m picking up from where I left in the last post and just tell you that after the day from the last post, I spent the next following ones by myself just trying to piece everything together and trying to figure out a way of contacting Regina. I kept expecting her to show up at my door or window or whatever anytime, but that didn’t happen.

Instead school soon started, it was now the start of fall and sooner than expected things settled down into the same boring rhythm I’ve had before Regina.

By the start of November I was again bored to death, but normal. I was even starting to forget things, and decided to write everything down as I remembered it, every time I remembered something. Soon I found myself surrounded by “weird” notes with half-thoughts on them and everything that depicted more of a crazy person, rather than just some random notes. I’ve put everything together slowly and managed to organize them.

Me, Viktor and Sophia were back to school and we were (believe me, we really were) trying to have a normal life, but the elephant in the room always kept screaming and punching us in the face whenever we were least likely to expect it. The elephant in the room was of course Blanche. We were used to being four, we were used to being four friends, going through high school together.

But here we were, on New Year’s eve, going into 2006, with no sign of Blanche, no sign of everything. Regina was a goner, Blanche and Viktoria were missing completely too, with no way of knowing where they are or who they are with.

Trying to speak with Blanche’s parents proved almost futile, all they knew was that Blanche told them not to search for her, that she will be back, that she’s OK, and that she did phone from time to time at home but all she said was “I’m OK.” and hanged up, without waiting for responses. That was weird, but understandable. They were worried, but happy she’s fine. If you ask me, they were never that close anyway.

By the time January hit, if it wasn’t for Blanche missing, I was ready to put everything that happened to imagination. It already seemed so long since everything happened that things started blurring out and mixing inside my head, imagination replacing gaps, and if it were not for everything that I’ve written down to put me on the right track when trying to remember, I wouldn’t have been able to write this story after-all.

But then, on January 23rd 2006, we pick-up the story again.

Long time no see...

In the last post I was saying how I was enjoying a cup of coffee alone at Concordia. Well, that usually happens from time to time, I sometimes go there sooner than the meeting time established with someone, and just stay by myself for half an hour looking out the window. It’s just different – sometimes I feel like being alone, but sometimes I feel like being alone surrounded by people. I’m sure you know the feeling. I think I would still go and have a coffee even if I missed taste-buds, it’s just something about the chatter around me and the clanking of glasses that makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. That, paired with a deep, cold snow outside the window, and you have a cozy evening.

That is, unless someone totally unexpected and scary as hell sits down in front of you.
Viktoria.

She sat down in front of me, no words.
Imagine me, staring at her with the widest of mouths and the biggest of eyes one could pop from amazement. I’m not much of a poker face myself, but she… well she’s something else. She was staring at me with a totally blank face, empty eyes, straight mouth, the whole nine-yard.

However, something WAS different about her. She was not glowing… like she used to. She didn’t have that allure or ven aqui thing that she usually had. That desire to stare at her, it was gone. She looked somewhat trashy, as opposed to what she used to look like. She looked pale, malnourished, she was skinnier and her hair was darker than usual. She looked human more than ever. She looked immortal no more, but then again, I figured this is just a new look of hers, but I soon realized, as soon as she started speaking, that she was changed entirely, not just physically.

She continued to remain silent and just stare at me. I wasn’t sure whether she was pissed at me or grateful or whatever, I just wanted her to say something. I kept staring at her hand, I couldn’t believe that I had something to stare at in the first place.

She noticed that and looked down at it too, then looked up at me again and said:

“Plastic surgery, amazing what they can do with it these days.” – Usually this would be followed by a mischievous smile, but this time it wasn’t the case.

“I gather you’re alright now?” I said.

“I’m well on my way on being alright I guess, but I’d rather not have went through this again.” She replied.

“So this is not the first time Regina does this to you?” I added.

“Regina? Yes, this is the first time, and the last.” She said, what I hoped was meant to say she’ll never piss of Regina again, not that she’ll not allow it to happen again, as in, remove Regina from being able to do that.

Now for all of you out there thinking this is too sci-fi, believe me, I felt the same, and I later found out, much later, in mind-altering and though-changing circumstances, that Viktoria actually had her ripped-off arm re-attached in a proper, but private, medical facility, and required absolutely no looking after from Blanche. I saw the scars on her upper-hand, at the shoulder, and although I had this image of a vampire attaching his (her) hand back on like a zombie, this was not the case. That night she was bleeding hard and I really thought she would die from blood loss. Yes, that can happen to vampires. Draining one is just as draining a human being, no difference here.

She had her arm re-attached just as any normal person would do, but healed much faster, and the scar that she had held on for well, almost a year, but it finally healed too.

I’m saying all this to make you aware that a human is much, much more closely to a natural biological being, rather than an undead-zombie which hardly ever dies, like the movies would make you think. I had friends which lost a finger, and although a finger is not an arm, they went through the same thing as Viktoria did.

“Where is Blanche?” I asked.

“She came with me but decided to go home instead, I think she’ll stay. I just came to say hello.” – Yeah, like anyone would believe that.

“Regina?” I asked.

“Don’t worry, everything is fine with Regina, and me, thank you for asking. We don’t hold grudges, it’s hard holding a grudge for eternity.” She replied.

“But where is she? I’ve been alone for months now!” I asked again.

“I’ve been alone for centuries. What’s your point?” She replied.

“My point is I need to know where she is.” I quickly added.

“Well if you must know, she sent me.” And with that, things were once again starting to feel normal… in the other way.

“You’re still evading the question.” – She was good at doing that, although I think it was something she did unconsciously, out of habit, rather than evading the question for some higher purpose.

“Oh, I don’t know where she is, but I’m pretty sure you’ll see her soon enough.” – She replied, and I smiled. I wanted to hear that more than anything.

As for Viktoria’s appearance, I didn’t say a word. Maybe she was just having a bad hair day? Maybe she was down with her moral? I didn’t know, or didn’t want to know anyway. I was more interested in Blanche rather than her.

But Viktoria did look bad. Really bad. If she would have been human, I would have called an ambulance really. She was… well, in a really bad shape.

“Viktoria, what’s wrong?” I asked her when she started going more pale than she already was, and squeezing her eyes shut over and over again.

“I’m a bit tired.” She replied.

Well, if it was sleep that she needed, that I could relate to. I know the feeling from lack of sleep (serious lack of sleep) and it’s not nice. But I also knew that Viktoria would probably be the last person to ask for help or appear weak in front of everyone, anyone. Especially in front of a human, especially in front of a human who is not scared of her in the first place. I don’t want to brag, but I was accustomed to her and probably less scared of her than 99% of the people, vampire or not, who knew her. I was scared, but not at the time, not in the state in which she was. You could kill her with a toothpick as a stake really. Seriously.

“Go sleep then.” I said.

“Can I come with you?” She said.

“I don’t like unfamiliar places…” She added.

Wait, what? She wanted to come with me, as in, sleep at my place? Hell no.
Hell yes. I couldn’t say no. For some reason, you should always say no when a person auto-invites himself (or herself, yeah, even if it’s a girl, especially if it’s a girl) to your house, but I couldn’t do that.

“Do you need food?” I asked with a suspicious looking expression on my face.

Without any problems or without even flinching, she said (rather happily for hearing it): “Yes.”

“Fine. Let’s go.” I said.
I sent a message to Sophia: “Go see Blanche, she’s back. I’m going home for the day, tell Viktor too.” and went home with Viktoria.

We took a cab and by the time we arrived home Viktoria fell asleep like a baby. I couldn’t even imagine how tired she could be for falling asleep like that. I mean, that’s against every survival instinct in her bones. But she did, and I had to literally slap her (I’m not a gentleman, and I enjoyed it actually) to wake her up.

We went inside, threw her on my bed and went in the other room and after a quick chat with my parents, I’ve decided that the safest place for her (and everyone in the house) to be, would be right next to me.

Also, as a small detour of the story here, it appears that carrying a half-unconscious vampire into your house does count as an invitation inside, that, and putting her into your bed. So no, I didn’t have to say “Please, come in.” to an unconscious girl.

By the time I went back in the room, it was nearing 21 and I was not really used to sleep at that time, but neither was Viktoria used to sleeping at night, the circumstances required it nonetheless. Then I remembered she was hungry. I was not about to sleep next to a hungry vampire. I needed a solution, fast. I was not going to act as a donor, not again.

I called Sophia and asked her if she met with Blanche and she told me she’s there so I asked her to put Blanche on the phone. I told Blanche the whole thing and she told me she’s in the same situation, tired as hell, but will explain another time why. In the meantime, I told her that Viktoria was really hungry and I was not about to donate to her.

It’s rather funny how you receive a bottle of human blood at your window in the middle of the night. Sophia made the delivery. We lived, well, rather close, so she took a cab and got off at my house, left a bottle from Blanche, and went home. We acted as she was leaving me homework, and again, this thing was turning “normal” faster than it should.

I didn’t knew whether to warm it up in the microwave (True Blood – the show, was not on HBO yet, but I still thought of that either way) or just offer it as is. I opted for as is, I mean, cold pizza is better in the morning, right?

I slapped her again a few times and when I got no response, I just decided to open the bottle and put it on her lips. Well, that didn’t wake her up, but she did drink all of it, in her sleep. That was nice. Feeding a baby, that’s what it felt. And if you must ask, yes, I know the feeling.

That problem solved, and the clock nearing mid-night, I went to bed with Viktoria next to me.
Just like in the movies, we woke up the next morning with her all over me, hands, feet, and most importantly, head, on my chest, mouth on my neck.

For one second there, I was a bit shocked. I mean, except the fact that everything about this was WRONG and weird, I did feel attracted to her in some even more weird way, and I did feel horror too because, well, if she could drink the bottle in her sleep, then who knows what else she could do in her sleep – bite maybe?

I shoved her aside easily trying not to wake her up (out of fear, or shame, not concern for her sleep) and put a hand on my neck to see if everything was in order.

AND IT WASN’T!

* I’m sorry for the long absence, I wasn’t slacking, I was traveling with a purpose. You’ll see the fruits of that soon enough.

* Next post: surprise photo, as a thank you gift for reading the story so far. If all goes well, maybe a video after it will follow.

* For the skeptics out there: stay tuned, I’ve also complied a nice post for you too, something to make your inner workings tick a bit faster. Will follow soon, but first, I’ll post what I’ve said above, that, and with the story-in between.

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…

…and the human walked forth, anarchy walked along his side. [story part 21]

February 28, 2012 § 2 Comments


So where were we?

Aha, France. Chateau de Launay.
Yes, the mansion in question is two stories high, a river that I remember wanted so much for me to swim in it, but to which I eventually had to deny its wish for my tripod style wound was still making me weak, was flowing calmly along the side of the mansion. There were big lush gardens all around it with enormous clear areas, surrounded on all sides by a forest. Even the road leading into the estate passed a small patch of forest. I felt secluded yet safe, and hidden. From everything.

The mansion itself was shining inside, as if it was built yesterday. Everything was neatly packed and stepping like royalty through the front entrance led us to a massive staircase that started off as two, one on the each side, and then united on the top floor to make for a big inside balcony above the main hall. To our left was a ball-room, although not as big as you would imagine, and to the right was a dinning area / living room in which everyone spent most of their time.

Yes, this is the one exactly.

Continuing under the balcony led you into a small hallway which ended up opening inside a smaller hall, which also had two entrances, one for the kitchen and one for the study which resembled in great detail to my father’s study back home, although much bigger. I stopped there for a few minutes and searched through the volumes of books, hoping to find something of interest, but all I could find were romance and love novels, French and English.

The kitchen was modern with stainless steel table-tops all around and had all appliances a normal human household would need. I had the feeling this mansion was not theirs to take or dwell in.

Going back to the point where I woke, I went straight to the kitchen and made use of all of this. I wasn’t bothered by making sounds and wasn’t afraid of waking anyone, all the sleeping quarters were on the top floors and if they resembled Regina by a bit, then they wouldn’t wake so easily. They sleep deep and are more easily woken by movement around them, rather than sound. Which is an interesting fact by itself, how could be someone aware of movement around him, if he’s unconscious, sleeping?

After that, I went back to the room, cleaned myself and by the time I was done the clock was nearing 17 and the sun was already starting to go down slowly, although the process took more in the summer, up until 20. At around the same time, Regina woke, first one. But then again, she did went to sleep the first one too.

We had a very lovely walk around the whole estate and as we were heading back she performed a magician style feat, identifying all the animals that we could hear. I remember her watching my pleased expressions of hearing the nature. I had missed that from back home, and then she started saying animal names. At first it seemed random and I didn’t know what she was doing, but then it started clicking in my mind. One after another, she had identified all the birds and everything moving around, even some that I couldn’t really hear. I had to trust they were there.

We talked about what we always talk. About her, vampires, me and what would I do instead of her. We talked about the future, about the past, about life on other planets, about everything that didn’t really usually pop-out in a discussion with a girl. We weren’t debating today’s news, that’s for sure.

We had no romantic stops either, but we did hold hands which made me feel like a fifth grader again, with that feeling you first had when you took a girl’s hand. Do you remember that feeling? Think about it now. It’s a one time feeling – at least that’s what I thought, but here it was, steering butterflies in my stomach to go round and round.

By the time we got back everyone was up and around, taking seats at the luxurious table in the dinning room which was unfortunately empty, mostly.

Karl kept going back and forth between the room and the basement of the mansion, bringing with him pitcher after pitcher full of blood. I really wanted to go with him, see where is he bringing it from. I had hoped there’s no live donor down there, but then, I couldn’t really deny them anything saying it is wrong. Why would I? I didn’t think it was wrong either. Really, I didn’t, and still don’t. Humans abuse other humans in more horrific ways and get away with it everyday, and some others (lawyers anyone?) also excuse them for doing that by enumerating countless retarded reasons.

I just tried to picture it was red, red wine. Which was hard, because red wine has a hint of transparency, a certain special color, but blood is thick, dense, and put in a glass it becomes opaque and deep dark red.

The dinning room.
All the time spent with them at the mansion was here, mostly.
That very night, we were in the dinning room and everybody was acting friendly with me, asking all kinds of very weird questions, for me at least weird, sort of questions that you don’t normally ask a new person in your group. Some were talking about Regina, formally but friendly, in the same way that a group talks with a new-comer who is the mate of a member of that group, as if like trying to impress that member even more, or just humanize him or her, by telling long forgotten tales that make the said member to feel shameful or regretful, or just blush. You know what I mean.

I was surprised by Viktoria’s friendliness all the way through the night, well, until a point, which I would call an outlier. An extreme. A special situation, oh, very special. We were sitting on an armchair. Actually, I was sitting in the actual armchair and Viktoria horizontally in my lap, casually sipping on a glass of blood, asking me mockingly from time to time if I cared to “sample this fine beverage”. I didn’t care to ‘sample’ nothing of the kind, no.

In front of me there was the table, on the left corner five of them, Gunnar, Jackson, Giorgio, Arthur and Edmund were sitting and talking among themselves about various subjects which I couldn’t pay attention to because I was also speaking with Viktoria, well, listening at least.

On the right side of the table, Regina was in the middle, at the end of it, and on her left was Karl and on her right was Nikita. I had learned that Karl was the elder of the Germanic zone in Europe, including Switzerland. That was, even though not the biggest in size, a considerable amount of human beings to be responsible over.

Nikita was the Russian who sent us to that building in Moscow and, nonetheless, he didn’t apologize to me nor Regina, not once. But I still liked him, he seemed more relaxed than the stereotypical Russian would be and even made jokes about it. Fair enough.

Lars, the elder of the whole Scandinavia, and apparently the oldest and most “effective” if I can put it that way, was standing upright in a corner and speaking with another. I had learned earlier that he chose Götheborg in Sweden as a town to dwell in, because it offered him a unique midpoint towards all of his zone. To the west he had Oslo, to the east he had Stockholm and to the south he had Copenhagen. Look at the map, it’s pretty neat. I know I needed one to understand it myself.

Lars was speaking with no other than Bruno, the elder of the French zone, including the Benelux.
“Armando” – which I decided to name him, was missing. The elder of the “warm blood” was missing. I’m of course talking about Spain and Portugal.

Although, Italy was present, represented by Giorgio.
The Balkans, including Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Solvakia, Croatia, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria was represented, in theory, by nobody other than Regina herself.

I couldn’t help but notice that all of them had names from their zone. Lars was definitely Scandinavian for example. I didn’t know whether they made so, for blending in better, or if they really were each from that zone, born there.

I asked Viktoria about it immediately, as soon as the question sprung into my head, and she replied with the infamous quote, although on a specific tone and interpretation of her own.

“Oh, but don’t you know the wolf saying?” Viktoria said.
“What wolf?” I replied.

“None in particular…” and she made a gesture of biting the air, as in imitating a wolf snatching its prey, smiling in the process.
“Don’t you know…” she leaned forward, my hair on my spine was on full alert already, “That no matter how much you feed the wolf, it will always look back towards its woods?” She was finished, already sipping from her glass and looking in another way. She said that and left me to stir in my own thoughts.

What did she mean? Of course, she meant that yes, they were from those zones, and no matter how much of the world they’ve seen, they always went back.

I asked Viktoria what zone is she the elder of.

“I’m not an elder.” She replied.
“What do you mean? You’re right up there with Regina.” I said.

“Yes, and that’s exactly why I’m not an elder.” She said this on a tone implying that she was above that. I looked confused, my eyebrows were trying to find the right configuration to express just that, but before they could, she continued:

“I’m like your beloved, I hop around whenever I’m sent or needed. And I enjoy it, it’s a very rewarding job.” I believed her, and I also believed that rewarding meant something violent for her, she seemed the type to enjoy that.

A lone wolf I thought…
But she was lying, she was representing  part of Russia with Nikita, the western part, including Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Letonia and Estonia – although like she said, she did that just sporadically, leaving Nikita to deal with it all.

I showed her my right arm, where she bit me when we met, and I asked: “Like this you mean?” and added “This is rewarding?”

“Ohhh you still have it! I’m so glad you kept it!” She giggled.
“I’m glad you liked my little souvenir.” She added, still smiling and kissing it.

We were talking about a scar here, don’t forget that.

In any case, I started talking with Viktoria about Moscow, seeing how she was more than interested and Regina was already deeply discussing some hot topics with the two. I couldn’t really hear what, at least not yet, but I could sure read expressions.

Viktoria was fiddling with her glass, looking at me and then back at Regina, telling me all kinds of stories and pausing in between and asking me something else about Moscow.

And then I told her, everything. Regina was fully aware of what I was saying, and she didn’t intervene. If I wanted to tell her, it was my choice she figured. Nobody else here knew about Moscow except Nikita, which kept quiet.

I saw Viktoria’s face getting whiter and whiter and her mouth opening wider and wider. She was truly amazed, not by the fact that I almost died, no, she didn’t really care about that. She was more amazed that Regina didn’t say a word about it, but then again I was pretty certain Regina didn’t say a word about lots of things.

She was also amazed – apparently – that there was such a concentration of vampires in that specific building – what were they doing there and why were all of them so young and no maker in sight? She made that clear, by actually saying it.

She was also amazed that Regina not only dealt with all of them, but of what she did to save my ass.
When I got to the part about what Regina did to save me, everybody was listening in. They had all stopped talking and were just focused on me. They looked at Regina and she just nodded in a gesture of “It’s true, keep listening.”

By the time I was done Viktoria was outraged.
She stood up and screamed at me from the top of her lungs, with little pauses in between her words.

“Humans!”

“You have been pretending for so long, you have forgotten what you once knew. Survival in the long-run is not possible, if the laws of life are not being followed, but broken instead!”

I had no clue what she meant.

“You have put Regina in danger, again!” She added. Again?

I stood up and literally slapped her. She was not expecting it, not one bit, and the others started laughing. Viktoria was not so pleased and yielded me as she did with Blanche. With a hand in my throat she put me to my knees forcing me to beg with my eyes for a gasp of air.

Regina didn’t do a thing.

“When will you stop being a child and just accept what you have been given!” And then she released and turned her back on me. She was referring of course to my refusal of being turned. She seemed really… upset about it.

But Viktoria was not referring just to me. She was referring to all the human race. With her eyes dwelling in the deep pools of whatever darkness resided within her, and those fangs extended beyond anyone’s imagination, she started blurting out madness after madness.

She talked about how they should submit the human race to their will. She pointed out that all the night the others have been talking about the benefit of the humans, like protecting them, offering something to them, interfering for a greater good, getting stability in some areas and some others like the kind. She pointed out that all her life, all she did was protect humans and keep the kinship hidden.

She was heading to the point of expressing the idea that humans shouldn’t be more valuable to them than food is to humans. We should be their superiors, in every way, she said.

But the fact was – that a vampire was not superior to any human. I did not consider anyone in that room to be my equal, but I did not consider them to be my superior either. Any human could be as dangerous, or as kind, or mad, as any other vampire. We have proven ourselves that we can be more deadly than any vampire could be, time after time.

And the fact was that vampires, as referred to their whole, the kinship, were as afraid of humans as the humans would be of them if they would only know of their existence.

We are not equals, we are not superior to one another. We are both here, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Don’t think for a second that humans are in any way inferior to a vampire. No. We might be weaker in strength, and have a shorter life-span, but we compensate through will, emotions, ambition, solidarity towards a common cause. I had no doubt that we, as humans, could exterminate the kinship in a blink if we wanted to, but at what cost? And for that very reason, never, ever, should we fight one another. Humans have as much to take from them as they can take from us. Refer to “alternative history” post for example.

Tell me of another animal on this Earth, vampires included, who wiped out hundreds of millions of their own kind.
Do I need to give examples here?

Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Napoleon, Fidel Castro, Hideki Tojo, Leopold II – just these few people managed to wipe out over 150.000.000 million humans, combined.

But that’s another story.

Viktoria was feeling frustrated that she could lose all she fought for, her submission and understanding of over five centuries, because of one single human.

Me.

But it wasn’t my fault, not entirely. Blaming time was in any case, not the right thing to do here. Viktoria was just plain frustrated and jealous in the same time. Plus, I always wondered where is her mate, because I knew she had one, somewhere, but I also knew that they don’t really put as much emphasis on relationships as we do. And yet again, that’s another topic.

This was the exact reason I felt glad every day that Regina was among us, and not Viktoria in her place. Because Viktoria was a wolf. She was angry, she was impulsive, she made rash decisions, she didn’t think in advance and she always reacted, never acted in advance. She was the opposite of Regina.

And if you ask me, Viktoria had plans, carefully laid out ones, of making the kinship known, submitting as many humans as possible, and just waging terror on the planet until she felt comfortable with her own kind. But that was a very stupid idea, and even she knew that, but still, the wolf inside her screamed outwards constantly, screamed for control, screamed for freedom.

But I didn’t understand. Why would Viktoria have such ideas, such plans?
It must have been my imagination again. Because the fact is, that if your food comes from a grocery store and your water from the tap, then you will defend those things (civilization itself) to the death, because your life depends on them.

I your food comes from a stream, and your food comes from the land around you, then you again, will defend those to the death, because your life depends on it.

So Regina, tought the same, about human civilization.
If your food comes from it, then you will defend it to the death.
But Viktoria… Viktoria didn’t.
She had more of an idea that what is happening today with KFC: breed for a purpose, and not outside it. And who could blame her? The humans were doing the same thing for thousands of years. We slaughtered not one species, but hundreds of them. Wiped them to extinction. What made us so privileged in face of the vampires?

If you think about it, in the end, the Earth would come better off with vampires as dominant. They would only hunt one single species, us.

I stood there, watching Viktoria scream and trying to make her point made. She was alone, clearly, in her thoughts.
I could only feel responsible for this whole situation, but I was sure it was boiling at a low temperature, deep inside her, long before I was even born.

Viktoria was trying to say something, something very deep, but with the wrong words, at the wrong time, and with the wrong attitude.

“The time of the lone wolf is now over…”

“Gather yourselves!” She screamed and raged within her, but making no sound to be heard by our ears.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” She seemed to scream without anyone hearing her. Inside her mind.
Viktoria was, now, for a very long time, her own ocean of madness in the desert of despair.

Don’t get Viktoria wrong, she was a perfect vampire, but not a perfect human. Like all of us, she had flaws, but unlike us, she was not afraid to show them.

You see, they aren’t really afraid, none of them, to show their emotions. You would think that the evil inside them is more acute, that their expressions show more of the animal lurking within. But that is false. At least in 99.9% of the cases.
They, like us, have the same madness, evil and anxiety. Fears, thoughts and stress. The difference being, that they aren’t afraid of showing that truly animal like expression, that primal evil and ancient rage.

There’s no extra muscles in their face, no theater lessons for face expressions, no. We can all do it, and sometimes do. But most of the time, as a human, part of a functioning, civilized society, we do not show those expressions. We, most of the time, don’t feel the need to show them, because we’ve been tamed. We pushed those emotions back, we held them at bay. We let them build-up and eventually evaporate, but not always, which we all know, that building up, is not always a good thing.

They don’t. If they are angry, you will know about it. If they are frustrated, you will know about it. Viktoria was frustrated for a long time, but out of respect and obedience towards Regina and the kinship, she kept silent. She was trapped in a spiral of silence, if you know what that is. If you don’t, then a quick summary explains the spiral of silence as being the refusal of speaking out your opinion against the opinion of the majority, out of fear for rejection of that majority or society.

But no more. I had managed to bring the anger of the wolf within to the surface. She was roaring and raging and it was me that threw the match to lit that fire within her.
Nobody in the room dared approach her, not even Regina.

But alas, when we thought we couldn’t hear more.
Regina spoke.

“You were the one…”

Viktoria froze, looked at her and said casually.

“Yes, yes I was the one. But you should not have been there.” She replied.

What was she talking about?

“And you neither.” She said and looked at me.

Oh sweet mother of god, she was responsible for Moscow. She had made all of those young ones, she was responsible for it all. But to what end?

Regina tilted her head down, clenched her fists and the others, including Viktoria, and me, knew exactly what will come next.
And like I said, they aren’t afraid of showing emotion. And it did come.

Regina bashed Viktoria into a wall so hard they both teared it apart, the 20cm thick, 300 year old wall, mansion wall, solid, strong. It went straight down, with them both plunging through it and straight into the main hall. They had missed the door by oh, 5cm maybe. Too bad.

I was paralyzed in place and wanted nothing to do with that madness. It was pure fear for me and pure evil for them. Anger at its highest point. Like the first milliseconds of a nuclear chain reaction, they roared and screamed and continued punching, biting and clawing at each other.

For the first time, I saw Viktoria fighting back.
And trust me, what I had seen in Moscow was nothing compared to it. Viktoria was a very, very able adversary.

Regina had very big issues in pinning her down, and sure enough, took blows that any normal person would consider deadly.
They were bouncing from wall to wall biting at each other and I could hear bones cracking all over.

I looked in a plea towards others and Karl shook his head in a “No” motion. You do not want to get between them he projected towards me.

I agreed, but couldn’t watch the madness.
Clothes, hair, blood, was flying all over the main hall. They had managed to bring total destruction to that hall. There is no way a human can do that without a sledgehammer, hell, an electric pick hammer would be needed to do such things.

And then, as if the madness was not enough, then, when I thought I had seen everything there is to see in their world. Then, when I thought I knew Regina more than enough, I was amazed, once again. And looking at the elders, they were too, for they stepped back by quite a bit, something which rarely happens.

Lars, which was still sitting at the table paying absolutely no attention to what was happening, stood up and came forth to see for himself.

Viktoria had managed to enrage Regina in such a way, that not even her, Regina, knew possible.
I don’t know whether it was adrenaline, fear, rage, biological or magical, but in an instant Regina seemed to change from “play mode” which was actually the most terrifying rage I’ve ever seen and the most horrible screams your ears can hear, into “I’m not playing anymore” and with that, things got rough.

The proverbial shit had finally hit the fan.

She stopped from moving, instantly, and her head was tilted down. I could see her shaking and growling and Viktoria was making her move toward her but when Regina tilted her head back up as if she knew what was moving and where and then, when Viktoria saw her eyes, she stopped also.

Such expression and such roar cannot be explained. I cannot put it in words and no movie can even begin to describe it. It was human, there was no extra anything, don’t get pictures. But that particular expression, that look – that is something which does not exist on this planet or occur naturally. You cannot have such a terrifying expression.

Her eyes were now almost completely red, the blackness in them was oh, just a thin line, when just mere seconds ago, all they were was black with the distinctive reddish tint. It had switched almost instantaneously and that face and the roar scared and shook even Viktoria from the roots. I knew Viktoria had never seen that before, or maybe she did, but not aimed towards her.

Once again I remembered, in a flash, about the question I had posted earlier:What horrible and terrifying event took place, long before even history began, to the human race? What event had such the power as to imprint, biologically, a primal fear in the human mind, a fear of long, elongated and pale faces with sunken, black eyes and razor-sharp teeth? What happened back at the dawn of  the human kind?

I could only respond in a single way: this happened. You cannot continue seeing a human or a vampire again after such a thing.
The whole thing lasted a mere three or four seconds, but it will remain in my mind forever. If there was, at a time, a drawing of the devil or anything more scarier than that, a photo, an artwork, that shook you from your core, then take that drawing and think about it, amplify that fear by as much as you can, and try to feel what I felt. Seeing the devil himself standing in front of you would NOT inspire so much fear.

To explain this better: horrible creatures, ghosts, or demons – of children, have always terrified me more than pictures or drawings of the devil, or creatures in the movies that were adults. For some reason, children did this to me. Regina was no child, but she was the definition of rage and madness in that very second. Nobody could control such a thing.

I think I painted a very, very good picture of that.

Viktoria seeing that, stood back and yelled from the top of her lungs “My Que..” and she didn’t finish it. Regina was not playing anymore. The time for formalities and sorrows was now OVER for her.
With an ease of grabbing some inert object in front of you, Regina took her by the throat and literally ripped Viktoria’s hand out from the shoulder with one quick motion. The very same hand that was the first to plunge towards Regina.

Switching hands, she grabbed the neck with the other hand, the right one, and with her left hand started pulling on Viktoria’s other arm, her right one. But she was not just doing it to the arm, she was pushing the head upwards too. She was dismembering Viktoria like a puppet in front of my eyes. She was literally killing her there and then. Viktoria couldn’t even make a sound anymore, no plea for mercy was going to come out from her mouth. Her eyes either, they were closed shut. Welded in place, and would have stayed that way for eternity, if not for one thing.
I… I went once again full stupid, blank minded, nothing in it. I just didn’t care anymore, I didn’t care if touching evil itself will bring death to me, or will destroy evil itself. I just didn’t. I couldn’t stand seeing this, I just… didn’t think anymore. I saw Regina’s knife behind her, I saw her left hand up in the air trying to rip Viktoria’s arm out, and I was close.

I stabbed Regina in the heart.

Where Am I?

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