January 22, 2012 § 2 Comments
Bram Stoker’s Dracula walked in the sunlight also, but he was weakened considerably. So was Regina. Well, weakened relatively to what she can be during the night. If you ask me, she was still going strong…
Anyway, more on this later. All you need to know is that vampires can actually walk in the sunlight – but they prefer not to because they feel more vulnerable – they are weakened, they are remembered how it is to feel human – by the sunlight – and they also need to feed more if they walk in the sunlight.
Now, back to Bram Stoker’s Dracula – if you haven’t read it – do so. By any means, the man was on to something. He had a source or inspiration.
Quoting Regina: “There’s a very small chance that someone starts writing about something like this (vampires) and guesses such important characteristics without having any source.” – this is in relation to sunlight. He got the others wrong.
The best read that I could find regarding vampires is actually the oldest of the accounts that can be considered a book. Maybe it’s good because there wasn’t such a degree of fantasy involved in writing a book back then. I’m talking of course about a book written in 1819 by John William Polidori, called “The Vampyre” – here is the book cover. I’m sure you can find it online.
How am I supposed to prove it? Post a photo with Regina standing in the sunlight? Fine – but I won’t accomplish anything with that – how am I supposed to show proof she’s a vampire in the first place? It’s a vicious circle. Like I said, most of you are exactly what I used to be – wouldn’t believe it even if it was in front of me. So all I can do is write. Plus, exposing Regina is not my goal.
Regina told me, and she was right: “It’s easier for me to seem normal and blend in when humans think vampires can’t walk in the sun, so why should I change that?”
December 28th, 10:00
I woke feeling really tired, almost sick. I was dizzy, had hazy sight and I had a feeling of floating around and not really walking. I also heard that faint ringing sound in my ears all the time and had a really nasty cold sweat. I was anemic.
My mom came in the room and saw me – she also saw the blood on the bed sheets and saw my shoulder. She gasped, put her hand over her mouth and just stood there, eyes wide open. I can see the expression on my mothers face even now, drilling in my head. She was both scared and disappointed in the same time.
“I’m fine.” I said.
“No, you’re not! I know what happened and I can’t believe you’re fine with it! This is surreal!”
“No mother, it’s real. You should know better…” – I was referring to the black eyed children and my necklace. I was touching it as I said that.
My mom came close, put her hands over my shoulder and touched the tiny bit marks – they were healing fast – faster than normal puncture wounds, for some reason, but I figured it would still take well over 3 days to heal completely and maybe another 2 days for the whole area to present no more signs of any bite.
“I want to meet it.” my mom said.
“What?” – I was confused.
“The thing that did this to you.” – she wasn’t really sure what to call it.
“IT is a girl mom. And she’s better than any girl I’ve met. It makes me happy to give her what she needs. It’s not what you think. Plus, meeting her is out of the question.”
“I want to meet her. Period. Now.”
“Well I’m sorry but I think I forgot to ask for her phone number…” – I was being sarcastic.
Then, instead of seeing my mother burst out for me being a “smart ass” when “this was serious” – because that’s what she usually did and said, she was frozen in place, looking out the window. I turned back to look also and there she was. Regina.
“Hello.” – Regina said and then let herself in like she was my sister and she was using the door. Like everything was more than normal.
My mom – speechless. Even myself, I was a bit speechless also – I mean here I was, naked, in bed with my mother next to me, introducing her to my 500 year old ‘friend’ like this was a normal thing. What’s next I thought, playing scrabble together? This was ludicrous!
Regina saw my mom’s face and didn’t waste any time: “Your son is special to me. He’s not in danger from me or anyone else.” – What I could deduce from this is that others who were not “special” were [in danger].
My mom looked at the bite marks. Regina did too.
“I’m sorry for that, let me fix it.” and with one move she put a finger nail to her forearm and did a small cut – put her finger to her wound which was already closing -what the hell – and smeared the blood on the wound. They closed right in front of my eyes. I was amazed and wanted to see this “trick” as often possible.
My mom said then: “Who are you? What are you?”
“I think we both know the answer to that question.” – she took the necklace in her hand, Regina. Then, she looked at my mom again and continued: “My name is Anna Bathory – I was born a long time ago and this necklace belonged to me.”
“So it’s true then…” My mom said.
“I’m afraid – or glad – that it is…” Regina added.
“Come with me.” My mom said and just like that, going over the fear she had, my mom held her hand in a gesture of Regina taking her hand, which she did, and in a second they were out of my room, acting like they were long time friends.
What the hell was going on? I thought at the moment.
By the time I got dressed and went in the other room, they were both standing in the library, my mom checking for some books and Regina sitting down, relaxed, feeling at home – at the small table in the corner, sipping on a cup of tea.
I went in and saw her, arched my eyebrows at her. “Want some?” She said and giggled. So she could drink and eat normal food I thought. Good.
“Can you taste that?” I asked.
“Yes, and it’s wonderful.” Regina said.
( You would be amazed how much more normal a vampire is – except personality – than presented in movies and our preconceived ideas about them. The ones that really managed to blend in, like Regina, are actually more normal than most people. They sleep just like us, have the same activities, try to live a nice and inconspicuous life, they workout although in a different way, and it’s not needed, and just like a requirement, they are the most social persons I’ve ever seen. At least Regina was.)
Regina was also using my mothers silverware – well there goes the “silver hurts vampires” myth also. It was stupid anyway, silver was supposed to be against werewolves, where and when did it became dangerous for vampires? Meh.
I was still feeling dizzy and pale as a sheet of paper but my mom seemed not to care anymore. “Suck it up” she said when she saw me wobbling a bit, with what I think was an intended pun.
What the hell. Later did I find out she was concerned about bigger troubles – like me not becoming a vampire.
She was really into Regina [as in she felt comfortable with her being there] and didn’t appear to be afraid of her. Regina was also herself again, really social, happy, lively and just full of smiles. How could you not like her.
I stood there for a chunk of time and said nothing. I just looked at Regina the whole time. She was dressed in full white which was almost as white as her skin. Her black, long, smooth hair came in as a sharp contrast to what she was wearing and her dark eyes drilled holes in everything her sight landed on. Her lips were oily and pink and they invited you to have a go at them every time you looked at them. She moved in a very delicate and gentle way yet in the same time she had that something about her. That allure.
At some point I got sick of all this girl friendship. I was feeling really left out. They were talking about me but I had no idea what about.
“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” I interrupted.
Regina stood up, straightened her clothes and headed towards my mom. She stood beside her and both looked at me like I was getting an intervention. Then she spoke:
“Listen, that necklace, it was mine. It was given to my mother in the same way it was given to your mother. I was also really sick as a child, but the black eyed children told her – they told her what will happen if she accepts them healing me. She was told I had to wear this necklace until one day when someone will come and “take me.”
“Who?” I said with kind of a desperate look on my face.
“Nobody took me literally. A man came and turned me into a vampire, which was not against my will.”
“So it’s true then. This necklace does make me a target.” – I said.
“Yes it does, and I think I’m supposed to be the one taking you? I’m confused. I don’t want to but it seems like this is where it’s going.” Regina said.
“I don’t want you to do anything of the kind…”
“I know, but I think that history is repeating itself. The man who came to me was also marked, although not by this necklace, to become a vampire. Then he came to me. And now, here I am, coming to you. He didn’t want to turn me into a vampire also, neither did I, but then I did.”
Well this was not really easy to digest, or understand. I was still feeling like living in a joke or a TV show. How the hell was I supposed to take in all this information and actually act like it’s normal.
Vampires in my house. Check – My mom ok with that. Check – Old necklaces which made you predestined to become a vampire. Check – Black eyed children and everything – hmmm.
“Why is it so special about becoming a vampire anyway? What would happen if I didn’t?” I said, being more and more irritated by where this was going.
“Well nobody knows because nobody ever managed “not to”. If it was meant to be, it happened.” Regina said, taking another sip of the tea like we were just having a casual Sunday afternoon talk.
“Plus, remember what happens if you take off the necklace…” she added.
“I don’t really know what happens. I only did it once and it didn’t seem to be going well.” I said.
“You wish you’d be dead, that’s what happens. But you don’t die. For all I know, the necklace acts like a lifeline for you. My mother, Elizabeth, managed to find some really old texts about gems, Jade gems, just like the one in the necklace, that focused your aura, which is like a signature, and sends it through the necklace into power lines which are all around us, especially here in this city, and the lines do the same thing back. You are connected to everything with that necklace, and without it – you feel like you’re going to die. Because, by all means, both you and me, should have been long dead without the black eyed children.”
“And the necklace.” – That was all I could say.
My mom said nothing during this whole chat and then we heard her excitedly saying: “Here! I found it!” – and then she pulled out a book, which turned out to be her diary. She opened it and kept going over pages faster and faster, too fast to actually read something. And then she stopped.
She wasn’t searching, it turned out, for something she wrote. She was searching for something she had drawn.
Both me and Regina gasped and looked at it with eyes wide open. It was the first time seeing Regina being surprised. I wonder how many times did that happen in the past 500 years.
By all means, it was a perfect sketch of Regina. Small but detailed enough to call it a photo rather than a sketch. And my mom hardly knows how to draw.
“That night, after I put you to bed and put the necklace on your neck, when you were little, I had a dream. I dreamed about this exact day – The white girl drinking the tea – and when I woke up all I could remember was her face.” – She looked towards Regina – “I drew it because somehow I knew it was important.” – It was. This was getting even freakier by the second and nobody seemed to mind.
“Well this is enough freaky for me for today. We’re going out.” – I said with an air of ‘I’m the man of the house’.
“We are?” – Regina said.
“Yes.” – I took her hand and off we went, through the forest, up the same steps where she first saw, and attacked me, over the citadel, straight downtown. I was tired of all the esoteric crap talk that was going on. It’s one thing to meet someone who by all means, is different biologically than you, but it’s a completely different thing to start talking about fate and fairies.
“Where are you staying?” – I asked her.
“As it happens, I’m staying right here.” – She pointed at a building. I had no idea how the hell did she managed to go into houses like that and just stay there. Apparently she didn’t like hotels, but felt more than welcome in people’s homes. And she wasn’t picky either. Well, this time she could have done worse.
This is where she was staying. Top floor, second window from the left. I was pleased.
“That’s nice.” – I wanted to ask her for how long she’s planning to stay there but I didn’t want to know the answer to that question. I was just hoping it would be long.
“We have to go mingle with some people. I miss commotion.” – Regina said. Which was awkward, coming out of a vampire’s mouth which was supposed to be hidden, living in the shadows and all that.
“You want to meet my friends?” I asked her. I was betting she would like them more than those other five vampires she called friends, plus I was pretty sure mine would take orders from her too if they would just know who and what she is.
“Yes, but be careful. Nobody can know about what and who I am. I expect that comes naturally, but just as a warning, don’t tell them because I’m sure you don’t want to put them in any danger, it’s for them, not for me, the silence.”
Apparently in the written (yes, written) rules of the vampires, no human can know about a vampire if he or she is not about to be turned into one. Otherwise, they both must die, for the human cannot hold a secret and the vampire will do it again if he did it once. I was feeling like the exception, though Regina felt pretty comfortable about it.
“So how are you not turning into ash my dear?” – I said on a British kind of gentleman tone, it was meant to be funny. And it was.
She giggled a bit, then put on her sunglasses and looked at the sun.
“Sunlight can’t harm me, that’s fantasy. I’m only weakened by it – as in I feel human and my strength is greatly diminished. I also have a hard time seeing because it’s too bright and I need to feed more often. I’m sure your eyes hurt too from too much light, during the night, and I’m also sure you’re hungrier when you’re supposed to be sleeping.”
Well that explains a lot I thought.
By this time we were having just a nice normal stroll down the city park, towards my favorite cafe – Concordia – where me and my friends were so regulars that we even had our own special type of coffee. I shit you not, my friend Blanche made this coffee to her own specifications and named her Regina. Yes, Regina. And it had no connection to Regina the girl, this was years ago when we had no idea about any Reginas. Regina is just a common name, for a lot of things in Romania. It means Queen, like I said before, and it’s a name and an adjective in the same time.
As a matter of fact there was also a shop which went bankrupt just two years ago, on a very busy street corner which was also named Regina. Check it.
We went inside and they there were, Blanche, Sophia and Viktor. My three best friends. In the corner I also spotted my ex-girlfriend, which I forgot to mention, broke up with me just before Christmas. We were still friends, I said hello and didn’t get an answer, I continued to my friends.
“Hello guys. This is Regina.” I said.
With an ease I’ve hardly ever seen before she sat herself down, comfortably, shook each of their hands and kissed (yeah, kinky stuff) Viktor on the cheek – he was immediately in love I figured – and then sat down.
“I just moved into town…” and then she made a light sign to the waiter, pointing one finger in the air, without even looking at him. He came within seconds.
“Coffee” – and he didn’t even ask what type of coffee or anything else. That was weird too. There were at least 30 types of different coffee you could choose from. He then looked at me.
“Make that two Regina’s.” – I smiled and looked at her. She was puzzled, smiling and anxious. She wanted to know what’s up. My friends were also giggling by this point. The waiter was already long gone.
He came back with two of the most delicious cups of coffee ever.
Big cups, half with coffee and half with milk. Honey instead of sugar and coconut flavor.
I drank mine in a matter of minutes. Regina didn’t even touch hers.
Me and my friends sank deep into the usual conversation and I felt a bit weird for ignoring, for a few minutes, Regina. She didn’t seem to mind. She was already up and walking around the place, making conversation with people like we were at a party.
That was the most amazing and weird thing yet – even more weird than her being a vampire. I mean it’s one thing to be a vampire, and it’s something else to make 20 friends in a few minutes.
I think Viktor was already having naughty day dreams by this time. When she came back to the table behind him and put her hands on his shoulders: “Relax…” – he flinched.
Blanche and Sophia were puzzled but liked her.
Viktor was a short guy. A bit fluffy. Big boned he liked to point out, not fat. He had red cheeks all the time and was the soul of the party all the time. He was the stereotypical fat funny guy. We all loved him and he knew it. We made him feel comfortable with himself and we accepted it as our equal. He was my best friend since we were in general high.
Blanche was medium sized, smaller than me or Regina, she had white-olive skin and red(ish) hair – curly but silky and she was the “demon” so to speak of the group. She was always the one with the crazy ideas, the one that pushed us to the limit and who always teased us for being pussies. We often had a love/hate relationship. She was also the smartest girl I’ve ever knew. Until Regina, I wondered how much knowledge Regina had gained in all these years.
Sophia was about Viktor’s size, she was blonde, pure blonde, hair the color of the summer sun. She was always smiling and happy and she had perfect white teeth. Me and Sophia used to date a few years back and we remained friends. Really good friends.
All four of us went through general high in the same classroom and then to high school, still in the same classroom. We had our inside jokes and everything. I cherished them as being my friends every single day and I still miss them like I missed them each day after I left. They were the hardest to let go when I left the country. I felt I could never build a new life for myself without the support and understanding I had from them. And I’m not entirely sure that’s not true, because I’m still building that life and I could sure use their support. I need them now as I needed them then.
We continued our little chat with Blanche and Sophia poking questions at Regina every now and then about where is she from, what’s her last name, how did the two of us meet, what’s going on between us. All kinds of inappropriate questions which for them felt very appropriate because after all, they were talking about a close friend.
Regina didn’t seem to mind and dodged each and every question really elegantly and as convincing as possible.
“Vienna” she said. “I’m from Vienna. I was born there.”
“My name is Regina Engel.” – she presented herself standing up and doing a short bow. We giggled. The girls loved her.
“Regina and I met and… we’ll we became good friends and I hope you can accept her like you accept me because I like her.” – I barely got that out I remember. My friends stood still for a second, looked at each other, didn’t know what to say and didn’t really say anything. Blanche just nodded and Sophia looked curiously at Regina in response.
All in all, they were pleased.
“But you speak perfect Romanian.”- Viktor noticed.
“Yes I do.” – Regina added, leaving Viktor and the girls for that matter speechless. Regina had perfected the way of ending a conversation to the state of an art. She had a way of telling people that’s all you will get out of her and no more. I could see on their faces they were actually waiting for an explanatory response as to how she speaks so good Romanian, but they never got it.
We ended up saying goodbye to each other in front of the cafe Concordia just as it was getting dark and Regina was already starting to glow, energy returning, stretch in all directions like she had just woken up and then moving her wrists and neck like she was preparing for a marathon. She was sniffing the air around her very subtle and was clinging to me, pulling me the way an anxious child is pulling his parents towards the toy department in a big supermarket.
I knew she’s turning again.
Angel by day, angel by night. I loved her both as Regina and as Regina – the eternal light.
We strolled up the stairs and into the citadel for a late night walk.
The weather was nice, it was snowing lightly and the December night proved to be more than delightful for a refreshing walk in the citadel which was by now almost soundless, the snow dampening all and every sound which you would usually hear from people walking on the cobblestone streets which had a way of resonating much more than asphalt usually does.
Even with that deafening and almost surreal silence in a December evening, Regina – with the sun already down and her gaining back herself – she heard it.
In a second, she flinched. Squeezed my hand so hard that I thought I’ll never write with it again – arched eyebrows – arched lips – attack position – eyes getting darker. No fangs yet.
I tensed up and before I even got the chance to ask what’s going on, I felt both of her hands gripping me in an iron-hug and yanking my feet of the ground. We were running.