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.”
But the ouroboros can also represent “the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.”
All that is taken from Wikipedia of course. We had been told, the same things, along the same lines, from an older book which was given to Regina by an elder when she noticed him looking at the necklace. He recalled reading about the symbol in an old book of his, and also noted that it is strikingly familiar with the seal of Vlad Tepes, the seal of The Dragon Order.
I strongly advise you in reading more about the ouroboros online before stepping into judging my story.
What we didn’t know at the time would shake both of our strong beliefs against all that is supernatural.
We learned that it represented something else: energy.
We learned that the Jade did more than just look beautiful. It was more than a simple stone.
Since ancient times it has been known that certain stones and diamonds can resonate at certain frequencies, which occur naturally, if attuned properly and shaped accordingly. But that is for a later time of the story.
For now I’ll limit it to what we knew at the time.
We needed to find the maker and solve this mystery once and for all. It was now a quest not just for me, but for Regina herself in finding the story of how she came to be.
So we left the mansion the next day. The same as we arrived, together.
“I think it’s about time to tell me your plans.” I said.
“I would, if I had any. Right now I’m just closing leads one by one, until we find one that won’t close.” She replied.
“So we’re blind here. We’re just walking from door to door asking questions?” I asked.
“No, not really.”
And then we arrived at the airport.
“So where to now?” I said.
“We’re going to Sweden, to desecrate a tomb. Does that sound exciting enough for you little one?” I didn’t like her “little one” note, but it did sound exciting otherwise.
“Lars will receive us properly do not worry.” She added, when she saw my confusion. That didn’t calm me down, I didn’t exactly appreciate being around anyone else except her. They didn’t understand my relation with her and it just made things awkward, complicated and violent at times.
And there I was, side by side with a five hundred year old girl, riding a plane towards unknown lands, chasing stories and myths, in a time when others my age were falling love with Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, I was falling in love with the most shining star I knew.
We were two normal people, going in vacation in a normal way, towards a noble goal. Or so we thought.
The plane ticket once again read:
Le Mans (LME) France – Arlanda (ARN) Stockholm.
And as the plane took off and started shaking once again, I touched my necklace and looked at Regina.
She held my hand and smiled.
She was alive.
“Did you know that I could make this plane crash and walk away freely after?” She said.
I froze. What? I really hoped she was joking.
She was. Still playing.
As she saw my face she started laughing and then kissed me.
“You don’t know what you’re missing out on…” She whispered slowly in my ear as the plane smoothed out, those five seconds after the shaking of the take-off stops, those seconds when you feel you’re in the air.
I remember her exactly saying that, those were her exact, exact words. Because she was wrong. For once, she was wrong. I did know what I was missing out on, and I didn’t care.
I didn’t care for an endless existence, dictated by someone else. Not by her, not by her maker, but by the ones who started this whole reaction. The black eyed children – whether they were myth or real, I didn’t knew. I didn’t and I don’t believe in such non-sense. I refuse to, even when they are in front of my eyes.
The flight was short, a mere three hours, and by nightfall we were in the airport and sure enough Lars was waiting for us. How did he get here so fast, before us?
We took a separate car and for the first time I saw Regina driving.
I’m sure my face expressed a lot of things because Regina seemed amused by it.
“What? You didn’t think an old lady can drive?” Still playing, still joking. It blew my mind every time how such a creature could still have that joy and life coursing through her veins. After all the wars and cruelty she’s seen, and was a part of, she still had that innocent, twenty year old of age humanity in her. I was starting to think that it will never change, no matter what.
“I didn’t think nothing of it… but it is funny to see you do it.” I replied.
“You should see me mastering my horse then.” She said.
Now that would be a pretty picture I imagined. A picture that would be shown to be sooner than expected…
Achille’s Heel. [story part 22]
March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
*** For those who are not here for a soap opera I would advise you to jump to the next post because this might just be one of the most soaking wet with feelings text you’ve ever read in your life. I put great strain on myself in expressing these feelings below, and it feels like I would be naked in a city full of people – rather than expressing my most intimate feelings to the world. Yet I did, and here it is. YOU will not miss anything important if you jump to the next post.
And again, if this feels too fantastic and too story-like for you, not reality like, then I’m sorry but would you rather read a bullet list with the events as they unfolded and get it over with? I’m describing everything as good as I can, expressing all my feelings and opinions throughout this whole story. And that makes it fantastic, because it is one thing to mark an event with words, and it is another to fill it with emotions. They are hard to explain, and break easily with the wrong choice of words. I need minutes for each word, I need to relive every second of what I’m writing about in order to express exactly as I felt then, and that is a battle of its own. It is hard and it is frustrating, because no matter how much you try, you will never be able to express a feeling into words or pictures, no matter how many they are. But I try… so keep that in mind, and if in doubt, try it for yourself, and marvel before your eyes how the story of your life becomes a fantasy, filled with emotions and feelings, describing things beyond imagination and belief. Try it. Try speaking about your most intimate desire, try putting that in words. I dare you. And then accuse me of being a fantasy writer. We are all fantasy writers my friends, when we lay our soul in front of everyone to see.***
I had stabbed her in her very live, but stormy heart. Through the side, under her left arm, with her very own golden knife that she held so dear. Regina was pierced from one side to the other, all the way through. I had stabbed her with such a fear and rage from within, I was not even aware I had it. It may have developed for the first time then and there. I had pushed so hard on the sharp knife that I had managed to pierce all of her, from the left side to her right side. Through her heart, through her throat, through her insides, all the way the knife went in with such an ease that it made no difference when it came out on the other side. I had not felt it going easier, not even at that point.
Only when the knife handle hit her side, I stopped pushing, and screaming.
No reaction from me, her or any of the elders was observed for the first two or three seconds.
For me it felt like the world had just suddenly stopped. Frozen in time. Forever. My immortal was now no more.
And then, in that deafening silence, after the initial shock, all hell broke loose inside me. What had I done!
Regina dropped Viktoria, and with a turn of a hand struck me in the chest so hard I lost my breath for almost a full minute. I literally thought I was going to suffocate right there. I flew two meters if not more through the air and hit the front door, smashing nothing, but breaking something in me for sure.
The elders all jumped towards me in an instant, grabbed me, growled at me and hissed at me. They were on a killing spree. Karl was the first to plunge towards me with a bite that I knew was not for feeding, but for ending my existence. He was stopped in his way, pushed violently to a side and hitting a small statue, smashing it to pieces. Lars, the one who said nothing, stood in front of me and did nothing also, but this time he did speak.
“YOU WILL OBEY HER TO THE DEATH.” He screamed at them, at all the other elders.
I had the right to kill her. As written in the Codex Strigis.
*** “You are one of the most terrifying predators to walk this planet. You have the strength of the ages, but again must I remind you, that your most precious weapon sits within yourself. It is your mind. Use it wisely, and do not rely on your strength to power you through the centuries. You will be immortal, and you will be powerful. Do not let the power corrupt your very being, do not let it drunken you with its flavor. Do not turn your back thinking your are invincible, for you are not.
Dare not listen to me, and you shall pay, for any human that will go and attain such a feat as to overpower you, has the control over your life. You, will obey this law. Even in front of seeing your kind die, you will not interfere. An overpowered kinship by any human is unworthy of your help, just like you will be unworthy of any help from your kind when it is your turn to die. Uniting against humans will only be done with a common goal and purpose, and will only be done towards an end. You will have your right to revenge, but you do not have the right over the life of your other.”
*** As good as I could translate and remember it, with some “poetic” interpretation of my own.
As written there, text that I had failed to read previously, or remember, or understand. I surely made sure the next time I had the chance to read it and understand it properly. In other words, stripping it of any fancy way of writing, it came down to this: Any human who overpowered a vampire in such a way, will have control over her life and death. The final decision, for it is often needed one, a vampire does not die easy, nor fast.
Although, I didn’t think I would survive one second later after deciding to kill her, forever. Although, I didn’t really think they would obey the Codex Strigis after all. Despite all of that, here was an elder, respecting Regina’s wish even if it meant her death.
Make no mistake, this rule, just as the others, who might seem off to you, was very, very well thought over the years. In a later post I will explain this one, the need for invitation and the willingly accept turning rule. I will show you exactly what and each mean, and I will show you how they are the most complex laws you’ve ever encountered, and yet expressed so simply.
Lars had made it very clear that I had to either finish what I have done – by doing nothing more – just waiting, or that I have to undue this, like rewinding a tape, I had to turn back time, grab the knife once more with my very same hand and pull it out just as I had pushed it in.
I was not going to do that. I was afraid. I have seen the madness in Regina, I have seen what she was capable of doing to Viktoria for what I had thought at the time, was much less, I have seen how she could break away easily, from such an ancient friend.
“You cannot stop us all!” I remember Karl yelling from the corner towards Lars.
“Do I have to dear friend?” He responded casually, and looked towards the others.
They were split, some wanted to obey the Codex Strigis or so they said, or just wanted the queen dead – but that was not true, they were the most loyal of them all.
Some on the other hand, were keen on killing me, helping the queen.
There were others, such as Giorgio which, in his Italian legacy, casually added.
“But friends, have a little passion. Be a bit creative. WE do not have to do anything to the boy. Let the queen decide.” He said.
I was terrified, I was sitting on the floor, leaning with my back against the front door, as in a gesture to make sure nobody can flee – or intervene from the outside.
At the time I would have preferred nothing more except being murdered by them, and not letting Regina decide. I was more terrified about facing her, looking her in the eyes, after what I had done, rather than death itself. I had no hope in Regina forgiving me. I couldn’t forgive myself either.
And then, as they discussed among themselves, I had slipped in memories, and my thoughts took me back home towards my parents and my brother. I remembered what my father said to me once:
“Listen, you are stronger than you think. All you have to do when there is nothing else to do, is actually stand up and do something, anything. You have to act when nobody wants to, you have to speak when everyone is silent. That’s all you need to do. Don’t be afraid of life, face it, and let it come to you.”
And he was right. I couldn’t stay there, waiting for my faith to be decided. I was human, I was strong, I was the one who had the say in it. I had to reinforce Regina’s will, and I had to muster my courage to speak against the most ancient creatures that walked this Earth, against those who loved the one who I had murdered, against those who were encircling me like wolves.
I started standing up, slowly, and they watched me. I saw their desire to see me do something, anything. I saw their relief when they didn’t have to act, and had hoped that I would, no matter to what result.
I stood up, straight and tall. My head was bowed no more.
“All you have left from humanity is your honor. If you care about it as much as I think you do, then you will listen to me.” I said.
Most of them went blank. No expression. Karl went mad. He wanted me dead and Regina alive. Lars was listening close.
“Continue…” Lars said.
“I’m the only one who can decide if your queen lives or dies. And you want to take that away from me? She fought for what she believed in for centuries, she fought for those same laws and rules you are now about to break. Are you absolutely sure she would not defend those laws with her death?” I was truly an orator. Damn you Cicero. In your face Hitler.
I let them boil in their thoughts, as I boiled in mine. It was this moment that I would know of my fate. I would either die at the hands of them, or trick faith once again. None spoke, but instead, after a silence that lasted centuries in my mind, but mere seconds in that room, they split apart, and made a corridor towards the end of the hall, where Regina was standing face down, dead as a rock, and Viktoria was in a corner, unconscious. I was pleased she was unconscious, I had hoped she was not dead. I was pleased because I was not sure, whether she would appreciate me saving her life, or she would assassinate me by my method of choice in doing that.
They were inviting me to act.
I walked determined towards Regina. It was now or never. I could go there, look at her and tell them it’s over. Regina would stay dead forever, for that was what I wished. I was scared, terrified, that if I woke her, I would die myself.
No matter how much you love a person, in the moment you’re faced with such a choice, doubts roll over you. Doubts that you once thought are not there. For I was more than once certain that if the time came, I would give my life for her. And yet, here I was, doing something totally different, ironically, deciding not to give her life.
I went to Regina and stood by her. I turned her lifeless body in my arms, rested her back on my chest and her head in the space between my head and my shoulder. She was comfortable I thought, at least she deserved that.
Powerless I thought.
But she was not. Even in her death, she eclipsed everyone and everything in the world. In my mind at least, she did just that.
Even in her death, Regina seemed more imposing than ever before.
I turned my head towards them and was decided to say just that: “She’s dead.”
But it’s funny, how your mind works. It’s funny, how your heart and soul act together. It’s funny how you think.
You believe you’re a rational, critical being. You believe the right choice is easy to make. Yet, you do not think with your brain and brain alone. There’s a fight inside of you, there’s a fight within your heart. There’s a fight in your very life energy. Not a physical fight, but you feel your world spinning around you, you feel your insides ready to burst, you feel your heart screaming to escape your chest.
When faced with such a decision – murdering the one you loved, for the benefit of… whom? When faced with it, everything goes blank. There is nothing left around you. There is no sound, there is no light. It is just you and the storm around you.
You cannot speak, you cannot think. All you can do is wait for a decision. A decision made by the winning part within your soul. A decision that is not rational, a decision that does not have a path or a line of thought. It is a decision that just arrives, it is there, and it is the strongest thought you’ve ever had.
It feels like an instant change of heart – you know the feeling – those first two seconds after you have a change of heart about an important decisions, those two seconds in which you feel more confident that you’ve ever felt before.
I turned my head towards them but said nothing.
I looked at Regina once more and she was exactly as that morning. Sleeping, innocent and beautiful.
And then I remembered what I had written in my diary, word by word, my heart was punching me with my own words, my brain was resisting but my own words could not be taken back.
The image of this beautiful being, sleeping in my arms, could not be unseen.
I remembered what I have said: “I wish sometimes that she would never wake up.” and I also remembered what regret I had felt for just thinking that.
How could I live with the regret of actually accomplishing just that, by myself?
“Do you love your queen?” I asked them without turning again towards them.
One answered, for all. “We do” – It was Karl, angry but submissive.
“Then take her to our room at let us be.” I said.
I have decided. I will watch her sleep once more, and ponder again, on my thought that day. Ponder whether she will wake or not.
And they did.
As they laid her on the bed, I laid besides her.
I caressed her hair, and kept my heart at bay. I kept battling the words from my diary which were raging furiously towards coming back to me. One by one, storming my heart.
Rid the world of her… my brain yelled.
Follow your heart… my body screamed louder.
How can you do this? How can a man make such a decision? How can you murder the most beloved and wonderful being you have ever seen in your life?
Could you do it twice – like I needed to do? Stab her heart and then, take the decision to let her go once more?
I was the angel that was having his wings ripped off. You cannot imagine a feeling like that, you just cannot. It cannot be put in words, it cannot be put in movies, it cannot be imagined or thought about. It can only be felt.
They say love is the strongest feeling of them all – and it truly is – but not by itself, love is not a singular feeling. Love is not something you can describe by its own. Love, true, strong, unforgiving love – the one that takes you to the highest plane of existence, the one that also puts you through the greatest torture and pain you would ever know.
That is love – a bliss and yet in the same time, cruel as nothing else can be.
I had nothing else in me for Regina, but that love. And it was tearing me apart.
And Regina, the one whom I’ve always seen as an angel and demon in the same time. As kindness and pure evil in the same vessel, was the same with love. A double-edged sword, a magic potion that could heal and kill together.
Love, such a small and simple word.
Love, such a simple way of saying “all the feelings one could have, mixed together, pushed inside your soul, amplified by a thousand.”
But enough with my thoughts and feelings, enough with my sorrows and self-pity. I was nothing compared to her, not a speck of dust even. I had no right in deciding anything. I was the homeless man compared to the virgin queen of England.
Yet, in the golden lit room, in the middle of nowhere, in the room where as far as I knew the fate of a species was being decided, there was a queen which stood no more.
And, as they closed the door and let us be, the battle within me was over, and the result struggled to come forward. I didn’t want it, yet here it was.
*…I don’t want you here.
Let her go. – Was the result.
and as she stood there lying, the world seemed colorless and soundless for a minute… [story part 13]
February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
There was no sound, not like in the movies where you hear that metallic sound every time this happens. No. The silence was incomprehensible. It was an eerie silence, and a weight that seemed like a ton fell to my shoulders. My ears shut down. My mouth opened, my heart stopped beating and my lungs stopped working. I was in shock.
Blanche fell on the floor like a puppet, blood covering instantly the whole floor. Sophia still fainted, Viktor horrified out of his skull, too afraid to leave the living room, hid under a table and started sobbing.
I instantly threw myself at Regina – that was the moment I realized it was all my fault and I couldn’t care less if she killed me too – and I tried to take her knife and just jab it in her eyes.
I failed miserably. She shooed me with a hand just like you would shoo a fly and I tripped over Blanche’s now almost lifeless body and fell next to her.
I opened my eyes and Blanche was looking at me with eyes wide open, choking on her own blood, twitching still. With the life she still hand in her, she grabbed my hand and squeezed it. From that little gesture I understood so much.
I understood how Blanche said one simple thing: “I believe you. Remember what we talked. Do something!”
I understood right.
I raised my head up to Regina who, by know, realized what she had done and was starting to feel guilty I think. I wish at least.
Regina had realized she kind of overdone it – but the law was the law for her I think she calmed herself with that.
I think Regina realized that she had lost me too, by doing this.
I think Regina understood that killing everything which your mate holds dear will have serious consequences for her, something which with she was not accustomed to – consequences that is.
“Do it now.” I told Regina.
“She will die soon enough.” Regina said.
“NO! I didn’t mean help her die! I meant do something to save her!” I was screaming by now.
“I can’t. I won’t.” Regina said, and turned her back, cleaning her knife with a rag like she was dusting it off, completely normal.
“If you don’t turn her now, she’ll die.” That was obvious, although I needed to remind Regina, she didn’t seem to comprehend that. Oh but she did.
“I know.” she said, and smiled, falsely, but she did. I couldn’t have been more angry. I was now starting to understand the fourth part of being a vampire. There was being human, one. Being a vampire, two. Being in a frenzy state – black panther state – the hungry / aroused / angry state. That state where reason was out of the question for a vampire, three. And now it was this: being a monster, a ruthless serial killer who had no conscience and no remorse for ending a life, fourth.
“You will never have my blood again – even if I have to die to prevent it.” – now that felt heroic for me. I think that was actually the most heroic thing I had said in my life up until that point, even though I was a liar, I had no intention of ending my life, ever.
Regina looked at me, knelt down and over Blanche’s now not moving body, she looked into my eyes.
“Would you ever be able to look at me the same you did this morning?” – that was a though question, in a very bad moment. Or, to think of it – the best moment one could actually pick to get a very truthful answer.
“Would you ever be able to redeem yourself, in front of me?” – whatever that meant, I only wanted to make her shut up and just help Blanche.
She looked at me for a few seconds, looked through me actually. She was doing math in her head – that’s what she looked like to me. I can’t read her mind so that is the best description I can give you.
After a few seconds, she looked down at Blanche and with two fingers took blood straight from the wound. Regina put the bloody fingers in her mouth, looked like she was enjoy the flavor of a nice lemon pie.
Ten seconds later her eyes started going darker and darker again, the reddish tint was livelier than ever and her fangs started extending by the second.
She bit her wrist violently, several times, twisting it in her mouth, making a wound that would certainly kill a human being and would be very hard to close. She was making sure it took a while before it closed for her. I understood.
She took Blanche’s head with her left hand, tilted it up and shoved the bloody wrist in her mouth.
With her usually commanding tone that she had in such moments, she told Blanche to start swallowing.
“Drink!” – Regina said to no result. Blanche was not breathing anymore. Or at least that what it seemed like to me.
“You’re too late!” I told her in an accusing tone. I was angrier than what she did now, I was actually angrier that she had failed to save her because of too much chat.
Regina looked at me and then with the intensity and quickness of a black mamba she stuck her teeth into Blanche’s stomach, just to the left of the bellybutton, where the liver is. Her whole area was uncovered from the fall and from me trying to pull her up.
Blanche opened her eyes immediately and shrieked in pain. I knew what that meant, I had felt that exact pain just a night before. Regina was causing that intense pain on purpose, and now I knew she could inflict it to her own will, or she could deny it. She could also control it apparently, because Blanche surely felt more pain than me seeing her face. At least she was awake.
With that, Regina bit her wrist again and shoved it into Blanche’s mouth.
“Drink!” she said again. And with that, Blanche looked at me, with Regina’s hand in her mouth, searched my eyes for an answer, for approval. I knew she needed approval for what she was about to do, and I also knew she wouldn’t have done it if I would have said no at that time. That was Blanche, very independent, very sure of herself, trustworthy and happy, yet, every time, she looked at me for approval when there was a decision to be made. They all did.
I nodded and then added: “You will die otherwise.”
And she started swallowing.
She drank for maybe twenty seconds and then Regina took her wrist away.
“That’s enough.” she said, putting her hand in her mouth. She really enjoyed blood apparently, no matter whose it was.
I knew what that meant. I knew Blanche will be turned into an inferior rang vampire. I didn’t care. I just wanted to see her alive and well, and I was actually feeling, besides worried and scared out of my head, a bit giddy, for I was about to witness the miracle of resurrection in front of my eyes.
“By morning she will no longer be who you used to know. Get ready for it.” Regina said, looking at Viktor.
Then she turned her back to Blanche who was still in the same bad shape. I expected the miracle sooner, but apparently it took longer than I thought.
“Listen to me Blanche. You will become like me – a vampire. Do you understand that?” Regina said.
Blanche nodded slowly.
“Good. You have to accept it willingly. I cannot force you to become one.” – Yeah, right, at least not indirectly. She already killed her, this was the only option. In my book, that’s forcing.
Blanche said nothing.
Then Regina started the whole thing again. She repeated the exact same Latin words the blond guy (which by now I had identified as being that Karl) and Blanche looked into her eyes confused.
Then she started saying the exact same words in Romanian, perfect translation.
I now understood how it went: first original, in Latin, then the language of the one who is about to be turned.
At the end, Blanche, without hesitation, said: “I accept.”
Once again, Regina shoved her wrist in her Blanche’s mouth and urged her to drink. Blanche complied.
After another 5 seconds, it was done and as soon as Regina took her hand away, Blanche went unconscious.
“And as for them, they have to suffer the same fate.” – I surely hoped she didn’t mean death.
“NO! No more killing or turning! One tragedy is enough for a night.” I said.
“That’s what you think I am? A TRAGEDY?” Regina blurted out.
“Yes, you’re a tragedy, but not for what you are, but because for what you just did!” I repeated on the exact same tone she had used.
“Yes well I know this all seems a bit much, but you’ll understand soon enough.” – I really hoped that doesn’t meant me suffering the same fate as Blanche.
“Plus” she added “She still had about five minutes and twenty seconds to live so it wasn’t that close as to what you might think.”
“Oh so you can also see the future? How long do I have?” – I was being sarcastic.
“Don’t be an idiot. With a rate of 110 bmp and about 70mL/beat, she would transport 7.7 kg of blood per minute, and, with that same heartbeat, at a loss of 5mL / second due to her wound, she would have lost enough blood to survive, which would be around 1.6kg, in five minutes and twenty seconds.”
My mind was blown. I didn’t even want to know if she stopped to check her pulse or if it came natural to her, feeling the pulse of someone. In any case, that kind of math in that situation, although not so stressful for her, made it clear for me. Regina was much smarter than what I had given her credit for, and I wondered whether if she was smarter due to her knowledge that she got over the years, or due to her ability to heal. Did the latter affect her brain also? Making it run smoother, acquire connections faster, make synapses fire faster and more efficient and preventing neurons from dying? What about memories, did they ever fade away? I had a million questions.
Later on it turned out Regina had a deep understanding of like I mentioned in an earlier post, pretty much all of the important fields of human knowledge. She knew the night sky by heart with the names of each and every star and constellation, orbits, velocities, she had knowledge of advanced astrophysics, college grade mathematics, biology, chemistry and transmutations, she knew all the elements, what they combine with, how, reactions etc. She had medical knowledge from really old remedies to really new techniques. She had technological and engineering knowledge. She was prepared in philosophy, religion, politics and economics like an expert in each of those fields. She also had a very good knowledge in human psychology – that I understood. You have to know your prey.
Imagine a human Wikipedia with a Wolfram Alpha brain. She was that, and yet, despite all of our theories about how “the smarter you are the harder to socialize and integrate into society” she was still an interesting, happy, social human being, which made it clear that theories, of any sort, failed in her case. She was the smartest person I’ve known, and still managed to get surprised, amused and stay interested in… well, life itself.
“Wow.” – that was all I could say
“Plus, why would you call this a tragedy? She wanted it, who are you to say this is not evolution?” she said, interrupting my line of thought and shoving me into another.
She was right – because for all I could think and see – vampirism had no drawbacks, and only advantages. If you are thinking about blood drinking as a disadvantage, well, I beg to differ. For one, it’s more enjoyable as a vampire than a cake for a human apparently, and second, there are more humans in the world getting blood transfusions everyday, than there are vampires feeding. I failed to see the problem.
“Yes, you’re right, she did want it, but not like this!” – I said, having the tone from before.
“The problem with the other two still stands.” – she said plainly and rather tired of this whole situation.
“You know too well that I can’t let them live.” she continued.
“Why not?” – I was being annoying.
“It’s against the law.” – same bored tone.
“What law?” – I was being even more annoying.
“My law.” – no comment.
“Break it.” – I meant it.
“No.” – She meant it too.
“You have to.” – I was aware I won’t convince her by repeating the same thing.
“There’s only one thing I can do. I let them live on your account. If they even mention me once, in their thoughts, you will be the one to die for them, and them after you.” – figures. I hope you’ll end up needing a human being one day, see how that feels.
“Would you really do that?” – I didn’t want to know. Good enough, she just looked at me with no expression whatsoever, saying nothing. I couldn’t get any reading of a yes or no.
And then I realized that against all “evidence” that Regina was a monster, she wasn’t. Yes, she was powerful, but a monster? Depends on the view point.
Regina was neither bad nor evil, neither a demon nor an angel. She was a force of nature. A tidal wave of gigantic proportions. She had the power to take and give life, she was eternal and she knew it. She had the strength and knowledge of thousands of men and she knew how to use it. She had under her command legions of beings as power as she was, and she could use those too. She was both a god and a human in the same time. She managed to stay happy in sad situations, managed to keep herself interested in life over the centuries, when, some humans can’t even do that for twenty years and end up killing themselves. She was worthy of worship, not respect.
She was a volcano, in all and every possible way. She was a taker of life, and yet she made it possible for others. She was icy on the surface and yet held warmth within. She could explode and eradicate all that was around her in mere seconds. Lightning and thunder rolled over and out of her eyes. Indeed, she was a volcano.
And then Viktoria stormed in the room with a big smile on her face.
Great. That was the last thing we needed, another hungry vampire in a room where rivers of blood apparently were flowing.
“Oh but what have we here…” she said.
She looked at Blanche for a quick second and just froze.
“No.” she said, bewildered by what she had just seen.