the solution is within your reach [story part 43]
November 20, 2012 § 9 Comments
So here we are. The third part of the revealing of the vampire secret.
Anything you need? Nature provides.
The belief that anything mystical and supernatural goes in the vampire world is just that, a belief. Nothing more, nothing less. Based on things that we do not understand.
“BUT I LIKE MY NAME!”
I was shouting as I was trying to keep up with her.
“Where we’re going, you cannot be who you are. You cannot leave the country with me, with that name, not where we’re going. Not for this.”
Whatever. I thought… I’ll just… not use it. Boy was I wrong.
I’ve left you last time where Regina was asking for my help, mine – to get to Sigismund. Little did I know at the time that this, the fact that Sigismund might be alive, meant way too much for the kinship to be left out in the open. Nobody could know, not even Viktoria. Nobody should even hear that Regina was trying to do such a thing, because that would have meant she had suspicions that it is true – and that alone is enough to make a few drastic changes.
As in turns out, the only person who she could go to was me. Because I was not part of the kinship, and yet I knew enough to be able to assist. Anything else up to this point was just out of pure pleasure, just because she wanted to let me see this and that, just because she wanted this and that, nothing was REQUIRED. I was not needed, I was just there because she wanted me to. But now, now things had changed. This search was a search for both of us, but it had deep, deep implications in the kinship that I didn’t really fathom until much later.
Sigismund being alive would have changed everything. For starters, Regina would stop being the oldest of them – and with that – the status that she enjoyed, because the fact that she was a queen came from her bloodline. As soon as someone older, from whom she herself is a descendant of, comes into play, as soon as that happens, she stops being the top bloodline and everything falls apart, because most of it is built on worship, respect, fear and a combination of the three. Something along the lines of “I don’t believe in god, but I fear him.”
Given, finding Sigismund was as much as a personal quest for her, as it was for me – the bottom point was following the necklace trail, remembering where it came from, why – and which was its connection with the Black Eyed Children. Understanding, basically, who they are and what do they have to do with vampires first and humanity as a whole second.
But to get there, to follow what she might have found, for that she needed help. Where we were going there were no other people, there were no stops, there was just pure walking and walking through nothingness, until eventually arriving. I was as much as a help, a companion as I was a blood-bag.
More on that in a second. First, this:
“Can I pick a name?”
“Sure. How about Alex?”
“Well just think of something and we’ll see about it.”
We were going to the only place in town where the ultimate proof of me ever being born was found. We were going to the archives in the town hall, which were not digitized at the moment (still aren’t I guess, paper archives are always safer than electronic ones apparently, they think). We were going for my birth certificate. Not to make it disappear, not to change it. No. Just to create a new one.
That, in my mind, was a feat that not even she could achieve. Being nice only goes that far.
As soon as we stepped into the town hall, which if you looked at past photos know it’s this way too huge building, looking like a castle, overseeing the whole town, as soon as we did that, I once again saw that which I call influence. It’s not what you see in the movies, it’s not hypnosis. It’s just a very, very careful art of talking, observing and manipulating a person into swaying his or her opinion to your favor. It’s nothing that a human cannot achieve, but when given the charm that she had, the knowledge that she had and a few centuries of training, you end up with something that for 99% of the people seems un-natural. For me incldued, at the time, seemed something that came out of the movie, and for that very reason I followed a psychology communication science, with focus on manipulation, persuasion and social influence. I can now understand it, identify it and to a certain level, also do it, but I’m nowhere near anything that Regina was. For that I need another century to do this. In any case, what did come next was as un-natural for me as it could.
Using all the strength that she had, she found out who was responsible for accessing the archive, extracting the data from there, or adding new data. This information isn’t public, and for good reasons.
“Go down the corridor, to the left, and ask for Maria. She could help you.”
And so we did, Regina in front, I followed.
“Have you figured your name yet?” She asked in a “We’re going to need that answer soon enough” tone.
I doubted that Maria, whoever she was, would just allow Regina to waltz in there and modify anything. No matter how convincing or scary, Maria was there for a reason. Call security at any sign of trouble. I’m sure Regina was not the first, nor the last, to attempt changing records.
“Hi. My name is Regina, he’s…..”
I said my “new” chosen name. Regina smiled.
Maria was this 40 something woman, a bit chunky with glasses larger than it should be allowed, medium-sized hair, dyed too ostentatiously in a what was supposed to be chestnut but it turned out more carrot like than it should, she was also looking at us rather irritated and started arranging her clothes as soon as we got close, straightening herself out and adopting a defensive position, hands crossed , looking from above kind of stance. I didn’t know at the time, but usually when someone does that, you’re going to have a lot of trouble in convincing that person of anything.
Maria also seemed more interested in Regina’s shoes than at what she was saying, looking up and down, analyzing both Regina and me as well.
“We’d love if you could help us find a lost birth certificate…” And as she was saying that, Regina pulled out a powdering kit, the kind with a mirror and a small powdering fluffy thing whatever it’s called, and started powdering her face in a rather aggressive way, so much so that the powder was all around the air between her and Maria. I wanted to get close to take a good look at what the hell is actually happening (she never powdered?) but Regina urged me with a flick of a right hand, without turning towards me or breaking eye contact with Maria, to stay back.
I complied. I always did, because I never knew what she was intending to do, and more than often it involved her needing space. This was and wasn’t the case in the same time. I was expecting violence, yes, again, but instead received a healthy dose of total compliance.
By the time she finished saying that, I expected Maria to have a rather aggressive tone, like all Romanian public workers, and just rudely say that we need this and that and that AND that and it’s not possible whatever we do. Instead, she said almost nothing except mumbling something that I didn’t understand and had an empty stare, past Regina, past me, looking at… nothing really.
Wait – what? This couldn’t be happening. Vampires can’t – don’t – have that hypnotism thing the movies talk about. Do they?
“Maria… why don’t you show us inside… you want to, right?”
“Mmmphh…” she mumbled and started heading for the door.
I was purely, utterly, 100% shocked. This shocked me more than anything I had ever seen up to this point. EVERYTHING that I had seen had an explanation, but this didn’t. This was either staged or supernatural – in my mind, there was no other explanation.
Maria went on her way and when we got inside Regina closed the door, sat Maria down and turned on the lights. In that order.
“Maria… do you want to go get us a new birth certificate and a pen? We can’t seem to find the one we’re looking for. You know you want to, you really do, so why don’t you?”
She stood up, Maria, and just left by herself wandering the corridors.
“Regina, what in the world is going on?” I asked, still a bit freaked out by what I was experiencing.
“Why?” She responded smiling.
“You… she… You hypnotized her! She’s a zombie! Look at her! What’s going on?!? You told me that’s bullshit! You with your own words told me that’s complete bullshit!”
“Well you asked me if I can hypnotize people.”
“Yes, I did… and you said no!”
“And that’s true! I can’t! Now relax.”
“Then what the fuck do you call this? And don’t tell me you’re just being good at convincing people, because this isn’t…” and I was interrupted by Maria which had just returned with a brand new birth certificate, stamped, not filled in, and with a nice pen.
Regina gave me both the paper and the pen.
I literally filled in my own birth certificate, and dated it with one year prior to my actual birth year. Here it is.
The birth certificates don’t need to look old, and actually most of them are brand new because a lot of people are exchanging their old ones which have “The Socialist Republic of Romania” as you can see from my old birth certificate with newer ones (as you can see above), issued after ’89 which aren’t marked like that anymore, for obvious reasons. Even if this wouldn’t have been the case, it still doesn’t need to look old. You can exchange your old certificate for a new one whenever you want, if you fear it is deteriorated, plus, what we really wanted was the original to remain as a record, which can be checked, and a copy – which doesn’t need (obviously) to be old – just legitimate.
By the time I was done, Regina was convincing Maria that she (Maria) really needs to go home and take a nap because she really wants to go home and take a nap… circular logic, yeah, that always works, because fuck logic, right?
Maria stood up, actually called my name and said goodbye, and left. I was left with mouth open, eyes wide open, speechless. Regina was almost laughing.
We put the original where it should be, in the appropriate section, year and letter, shut the lights off and closed the door.
After that we went straight up to the initial person (Iuliana was her name) that we spoke with, I went there, as instructed, told the lady that nobody can be found to help me with a copy of my birth certificate. An original copy that is, which isn’t a photo-copy, but a hand written, second piece of paper, copied directly from the original birth certificate. This is what records are for.
Everyone has his own birth certificate at home – which generally if you lose, means a lot of trouble – but not the end of the world, because the records are there, hard to access (apparently) but can provide you with a new birth certificate.
The lady went down by herself, saw that Maria is missing, and after 10 minutes of searching she decided to go in by herself, extract the birth certificate, make a copy and then, with a really pissed off look that I made her do all that work, handed me a new birth certificate, urging me to never, ever lose my birth certificate again, and nicely asking me to pay the fee.
I did, I said thank you, and I left.
I now had two birth years, two names, two sets of parents. I was legitimately, verifiable, two persons.
How we managed – how she managed – to do this, was yet to be explained.
She did, promptly as we returned home. And that will be the vampire secret that this whole series of posts is all about.
How they really make you do something you have no idea of.
This might be just the most important thing I’ve ever said in this blog, and it’s funny, because it’s such a natural and a human thing, and so obvious, and yet we call it supernatural and make movies about it….
revealing of the vampire secret [story part 41]
November 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
the very next day – and the ones to come – were probably among the most revealing for me in the whole time. Now don’t go around expecting huge spoilers, because I’ll let everything flow with the story, but the following few days were of particular interest because of at least two things. That’s one of the reasons I also chose to continue the story in this format (split into days) until we get over this part.
This is the first post in a series of a few, which I shamelessly title “revealing of the vampire secret”.
This is no. I.
The test before the test.
September, 2007. Still in Sighisoara. Night-time. A day had passed since the last post. Usually, boring day. I’m sure not for you, but for the sake of the story, there’s nothing to be said about it. Regina and I spent the day with the family. Finally got her in the same room with my brother for more than a few seconds. Nothing interesting happened. Night time came, here we are, case closed.
Around 22:00 Regina started getting impatient. She was looking from left to right as like she was expecting someone.
She wasn’t. Not really.
We were in the garden and the warmth of the summer was still lingering in the air, just barely.
“So – have you kept up with what I said?” – Regina was referring to me training like a maniac every single day. I slacked, a bit, but in the most part, I was good for it.
“Care to try me out?” I responded.
“Oh, taking the devil by the horns, are we?” She added.
“Literally.” I finished.
And she launched towards me. She missed. She was playing me I thought of the time but now, I mean years later, I’m not so sure.
In any case, the look on her (my?) face was good enough for an intake of… well, much-needed self-esteem, which I lacked terribly those days, but fear not, they were coming back.
She launched towards me again and I dodged again, but much more of a close call this time. Was she playing me or just testing me? Learning how I move? Can’t tell. In any case, this wasn’t really… well, it was play. I mean, she was just casually running at me from side to side trying to catch me off guard. And that, that is the whole point – never, ever let yourself touched. That’s the whole key. Keep your distance, attack through defense – as in – when THEY get close. Don’t charge. Once you get grabbed, that’s it – because you simply don’t have enough strength to overpower them.
This wasn’t Regina… Regina, as in, the queen of vampires Regina. This was just your average girl, a more angry and stronger than usual girl. I beg you to read the part of the story where she actually fought someone, and you’ll get a totally different picture, and know what I’m talking about here.
This went on for quite a few more minutes. Mother and father were actually looking at us from the terrace, which was just a meter above ground, attached to the house which is about 20 meters away.
They were talking, although I have no idea what they were saying. Nowadays I just try to think that they were saying something along the lines of “Aww look at them how nice they are playing…” although I’m fairly certain that it wasn’t the case back then. It makes me feel better now, so what? Lying to myself, yeah, I
did do that a lot.
“Well you’ve certainly gotten bigger…” Regina said, and that was very much true. I was no longer overshadowed, physique wise, by her. A bit taller, much wider, and more imposing now than her. At least with my body, except the look. Because those eyes and the look she had, those could rival any body in the world.
You could be the most muscular, angry and massive person out there – when she looked at you with that specific look – you backed the fuck off.
I don’t know if you actually know anyone with that kind of “killer” look – some Russian people might subscribe to this, but if you do, then imagine that amplified by… by however much it’s needed for you to stop wanting to look them in the eyes.
Now of course, this wasn’t her look all the time but trust me, it worked wonders in oh so many situation which would have had much, much more different (as in bad, very bad) results that they did in the past.
Hold your horses, we’re getting to that.
She came from behind me, I heard it, and turned around ready to just punch whatever was coming to me.
You, the reader, do you train? Or, has someone ever tried to piss you off to the point where you just snapped?
I’m asking because – some of you might know that feeling when play turns serious without even realizing it. You just go along with it and before you realize it, you’re angry. What the hell happened? You could have sworn you were playing a second ago.
That was the case here, with me.
I didn’t punch anyone, I turned and nobody was there. She had vanished, only to jump at me from the tree above, not even a second later.
I fell down, broke (dislodged maybe?) a finger when I touched the ground.
“God damn it.” I said.
“I’m not… Be gentle, ok?” I said this mockingly – I mean how can you be gentle in a fight? And I started walking away, with her following me close-by. I’m sure she was smiling behind me. I never saw it. Am I lying to myself again?
I always was a bit amazed by my family and how they handled things. It seemed, and still does, as they were all under some sort of conspiracy. Granted, I’m fairly sure Regina had a lot to do with it, as you’re about to see, but still, the way they handled everything was nothing but short of a miracle. No questions, no sadness, no secrets.
Although they were all very well aware (except me apparently) on what would be the course of action – somewhere along the lines of what happened to Blanche. At the time, we weren’t really thinking about that, none of us.
As we got inside the house Regina jumped me once again and pinned me to the wall with my face towards the wall. I knew what she was doing, that’s how she liked to feed on most people. Guilt maybe? I doubt it. Maybe more control. However, she rarely did it to me.
She always, always looked me in the eyes before. So naturally, I responded.
Instead of giving in, I fought back, which is maybe one of the only two times when I did fight back on it.
She turned me around several times and caught my hands above my head with one hand, and with the other force turned my head, and with me squirming there she just sank her teeth deep inside my left shoulder – just above, with me still squirming, cursing and being completely immobilized. I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t even upset. This was a mere continuation of the angry play-battle from the outside, and a way for her to cool-off I guess. I was just… not willing. But that didn’t matter. I think she made it a life principle to make sure I know how it feels being fed on as often as possible, hungry or not, I had to remember.
And that’s good practice I guess, if you’re planning to turn someone. Make sure he knows the other side too. I didn’t care too much about knowing the other side, nor at being turned.
My point was proven, to me, more than enough times. She often just bit me for a few seconds and then let go – for the sake of it – and then bit again in the same spot. This time was different, but was still a bite.
After she finished, she did look me in the eyes.
“You’ve gotten angry, haven’t you. I can almost taste it.” She said.
“You make me angry.” I responded, smiing.
“And that’s not always a bad thing….” She added.
“But you did grow quite a bit…” She said, while looking at where she bit, implying there was just that much more of me to feed on.
And she bit again, from the neck. That one hurt, and was more violent – and straight forward. Obviously intentional. God dammit!
She wasn’t holding my hand anymore so I grabbed her head with both my hands, but gently, not in a get lost kind of way, but in a slow down kind of way, and gently tried pushing her away… and she let go, like a dog who is finally sick of that toy he’s been grabbing with his teeth for the past hour – she looked at me confused.
Still holding her head with my hands, in almost complete darkness, I kissed her without flinching. This was, at least for me, a first.
Not the kiss, the timing.
She was in pretty much all her senses, fully blown vampire, eyes wide open swirling with just complete reddish darkness inside, fangs more than visible, as in almost they had grown too that past year, her face – almost growling, but not really – I had come to learn that was just a natural expression because of the fangs – she was breathing hard and a few of her hairs were touching the corner of her mouth which had my blood on it.
Me, sweaty as hell from all the struggle, she – fully in her true vampire face, standing there, one feral as a panther, the other – me – experiencing something out of this world – she, with her mouth and lips intentionally left covered in my own blood. Lips half parted, eyes drilling holes in my head. That picture right there would burn any other memory you have for a very, very long time – and would stay with you for years to come.
I kissed her just like that. And she seemed stiff. As in, not reacting. Her hands were stiff alongside her body, she didn’t move, she didn’t react. She just continued breathing really hard. Although I’m fairly certain that everything I did while with Regina, she had done it at least 20 times before, no matter how unlikely it seemed, she was acting more than… overwhelmed.
I had later learned it wasn’t emotion, but feelings, as in physical feelings.
Her, and anyone eases fangs, are so sensitive they almost hurt when touched in such moments. I don’t know how they work, both for attacks and for feeding, if they are so sensitive. I have no idea, they just do, and sometimes when they feed they are like these, too sensitive to even look at, and sometimes they are rock hard ready for anything. I don’t know why and how this happens, it’s like they have a life and a heart of their own.
In any case – I felt her flinch alright when I gently touched the tip of her fangs with my lips and then dug in even harder and kissed her again. My own blood, in my own mouth, didn’t seem so far-fetched, nor as disgusting as it once felt.
Sure, we’ve all cut ourselves making dinner at some point and put our finger in our mouth, out of habit, instinct, just like a dog licking his own wounds. But that amount is hardly descriptive for how blood REALLY tastes like. In higher quantities, for a human at least, it’s sour, bitter and sweet in the same time. It’s a very confusing taste, which when coupled with an irony smell and taste, warm and a bit oily, it just becomes gag-response inducing.
But for me, I had enough time to get used to it, and that night I just didn’t really think about it. Regina was genuinely having shivers running down her spine which just made it that more better.
I don’t know how to better describe this, but this was that kind of kiss that just beat sex hands-down. It was that kind of kiss where you just want to rip off all your clothes and just merge with the one you’re kissing. It’s like those times where you really, really want to bite someone’s lip but you’re holding it back and it’s just very, very hard to hold back.
And that’s what I FELT. Now imagine what she felt, and the amount of control one needs to have to do that, for someone in her position.
But I’m making too much of a deal of something that’s not relevant to the story.
The relevant part about this is the fact that maybe this was, like many others, one of those moments in which I consolidated my relation with Regina, and my feelings towards the whole kinship, and the idea of being one of them. Also, it was a pretty decisive moment for helping me decide my path the following few days.
I think I had passed the tests, both the “Are you strong enough (not necessarily physically)?” test and the “Are you still the same person I cared about?” test.
After the whole thing we just… let ourselves fall down. As in a synchronous, without thinking about it, we both let our legs go in the same time and just slid down, convulted, in a weird – but proprietary – way of holding each other.
And we stood there for a few minutes…
“I think I found Sigismund…” She whispered to the ceiling.
I almost passed out.
the red queen [story part 40]
November 7, 2012 § 3 Comments
With actually knowing now that Regina was coming back, I started getting more and more energy to actually do stuff. I still couldn’t believe how much just the mere thought could affect me in every way. Not good, not good at all I remember I thought to myself. Nobody should have that much influence over others, should they?
So I did what any self-respecting person would do when expecting a vampire walking in their house at any point in the middle of the night.
I started wide opening the windows before going to sleep of course. It was summer after all, I didn’t need any ulterior reasons, did I?
But I had forgotten. I had forgotten that Regina no longer used windows, so on the third day of the week, and the fifth day of the month, on a late Wednesday, not far from my 18th birthday actually, Regina casually drove on the same road she was driving off a year before, parked the car on the alley leading to the backyard of the house, got out of the car and said hello.
All this happened while me, my whole family, plus a number of close relatives were in the garden, having a family get-together over a barbecue, some chat and all the other usual things people do in these kinds of setups. It was around 17:00 and the sun was still mighty high on the summer sky, although it had acquired by now that distinct September orange color that we all know and love.
To help you get a better mental picture of this, imagine you and your family having a backyard barbecue with kids running around and people chatting all over the place, not too big, about 10 people, when a stranger just casually drives up your alley, steps out of the car and says hello like he’s been a part of the family all along.
Of course, a my family knew perfectly well who she was, except my brother which knew her as in seen her before, but didn’t actually believe or know too much about it. I had tried to keep him at bay since all this started, although he’s my bigger brother.
In any case, it was clear why Regina had managed to fit in that easily in many situation. Totally uninhibited, she acted just like she was part of the family, and as a result, after small introductions, she became part of it rather fast. We’re friendly that way, the people living in these parts (well, more or less).
She didn’t say much (to me) past the initial “Hello” but as soon as things started getting comfortable I was pulled aside (rather forcibly), taken inside the house, where we could speak freely.
Instead of providing the dialogue line by line, I’ll summarize it because I find it easier to express.
As soon as we gained enough distance between the rest of the people and ourselves, she grabbed me by a shoulder, guiding me gently towards the house, while noting how much I had grown in the past year, and how I had grown into more or less what she was expecting. I wasn’t a late bloomer, but I wasn’t developed that much the year we left behind. However, by now, I was really, really close to my 18th birthday, a matter of weeks really, and it was obvious now that I think about it, the difference in size, aspect and pretty much everything else, between 17-year-old me and 18-year-old me.
She analyzed me several times, from top 3to bottom, not admiring, but more like analyzing, taking notes and just generally calculating whatever she was calculating in her head all the time, because that look on her eyes, the one that we have when we think about something really, really hard, that look never went away for her. She always looked like she was thinking about the answer to the ultimate question about the universe, life and everything else, which, as we all know, is 42.
She told me basically a really detailed history of the past year, something with which I wasn’t accustomed to, because she was usually much, much more secretive and less-detailed, and yet here she was “spilling the beans” without me even asking. Either something was amiss, either something changed radically, in her mind, about me. Whatever it was, although glad I was receiving much more information and was less required to put things together by myself, I wasn’t exactly sure this was a good thing. Time would tell.
I, instead, didn’t have that much to say. I didn’t provide a history of anything, just mentioned things here and there, and to be honest, again, something was amiss, because she seemed more than interested in listening basically to nothing.
In other words: She was willing to waste time on doing nothing productive (I thought at the time), something which didn’t usually happen. All talks, actions or decisions, eventually, lead somewhere. Maybe this one did too and I just didn’t see it at the time.
I’m going to cut this post short, because I’ve been asked not to leave you hanging, and I can’t do that if I don’t stop here before diving in deeper and actually getting to a more solid conclusion, which will happen in the next post.
For the next couple of posts, I’ll keep them coming more often, but shorter, because the nature of what’s going to be told is much, much better explained by separating the story into individual days, and as such, individual posts.
I’m just going to end this post with a few remarks.
We talked well into the night, by which point I realized that my already prepared question for Regina regarding her stay was not necessary anymore, because she was already making herself comfortable in and around the whole house. We talked about the initial subject which basically started the whole year off thing, which was what had happened in Turkey the year before, and we also talked about her whereabouts when Viktoria came in storming asking for the necklace and a bit of blood.
I’ll detail each of those subjects in the story, instead of explaining them, which I’m sure you’d prefer.
The day ended with Regina falling asleep before I did, which was a very comfortable and pleasant thought. Seeing her sleep in my bed with a small candle light lighting the room and barely touching her face was more than enough to put me in a “Christmas mood” in the middle of the summer. That feeling of warmth, familiarity and safety.
I laid in front of her and just before closing my eyes, she opened hers, smiled, and went back to sleep. I did too.
I’ll always remember that smile. It was the only one I got of that kind in all of the years with her.