power corrupts even the innocent. [story part 28]

March 19, 2012 § 3 Comments


I was back in Sighisoara and I couldn’t have timed it better – or worse – depending on what I wanted, because I wanted two things in the same time, that were opposing one another.

I wanted a normal life, but I wanted adventure. I wanted a quiet and peaceful life, but I wanted Regina.
I got none in the end – the chasing two rabbits in the same time saying proved infallible once again.

As I walked past my front gate, made of cast black iron and opened the front door I was greeted with smiles and sounds of relief from my mother and father which were both home, waiting for me to come back, knowing that I should arrive any minute because apparently Blanche told them. Go figure, how did she knew?

I spent the day in the garden – the whole day – walking past tall grass and re-connecting with my two beautiful German Shepard dogs which were happier than ever to see me. I took the time then and just laid at the base of the old nut-tree in the back of the garden and the smell of fresh nut leaves just surrounded me and from time to time, took me back into my past, in a childhood without knowledge or fear of my future.

I switched, for a day at least, from writing to reading, and I stopped writing in my diary, but instead started reading it. I’ve went past all that I had noted down over the years. And maybe you do not keep a diary, but I did since I can remember, in all forms.

Even as a four years old, before even knowing how to write, I drew paintings (well, attempts of) of days past, and then progressed to little notebooks, scrap books, photos, diaries, and then the laptop. My body was now a diary, with the scars I had on it, to stick with me for life.

Even the old nut-tree that was keeping me company and providing a place to rest at its base was more than just a tree. We had been friends since childhood and he too knew my stories (Talking with a tree is a bit crazy, I know, but I love connecting with everything, a tree, a book, a horse or a human. Plus, you do realize that almost everyone talks with their car, right?)

The tree held the markings of days past, it held names of loved ones which I carved, it held scars of my feet trying to climb on top of it, and it even held (or lacked) the branch that gave way under me when I was eight. I think we both had a bad day back then.

So I’ve went past my diary and just did what I was supposed to do with a diary – read it and rejoiced.
The night proved to be more lonely than I’ve previously expected. It’s curious how in just a month I’ve grown accustomed to sleep with someone in my arms every (almost) night. It’s also interesting how the human mind (soul?) craves for passion, blood pumping, fear and adventure, adrenaline maybe in one word, when there is none around, but rejects them all when there is plenty. Adam and Eve again – even though that’s complete non-sense, it does say something very true about human nature – we will always desire that which we cannot have.

The next day around 19:00 I was set to go and meet up with my friends, Blanche, Viktor and Sophia. I walked all the way to Concordia, took the route that I’ve avoided since it was the route that started it all – the old stairs through the woods that led me to the citadel square, and I was more than happy to be able to walk on the same roads that I once did. But like I said earlier, there’s no miracle in walking along the same paths over and over again, they might be smoother or more straight, but in the end, they lead you to the same destination. That was my desire at that point anyway, lead me back to my life.

By the time I got to Concordia it was raining and I was the first to arrive. As I stood inside at the table in the corner which we always

Looking at the past

take, a square table with a little wooden flower in the middle, a toy flower, with glasses prepared on it waiting for its guests and napkins inside the glasses waiting to be laid down underneath them, I turned my head towards the window which spans from top to bottom and for a moment there, looking through that window with drips of water flowing slowly and then accelerating in a second and stopping just as fast as they started, for a moment, it was like I was looking back at my childhood. Sure, everything looked distorted and twister, changed maybe a bit, but I knew that at its core, it was all the same.

Soon enough Viktor and Sophia arrived. I hugged them both and we sat down, our coffee soon followed and as we stood there sipping a hot coffee in a previously hot summer day now turned chilly, we looked at each other and said nothing. We were just glad we’re back together again.

“Where’s Blanche?” Sophia asked.
“What do you mean? Isn’t she here…?” I asked in return. And then before their faces contorted even more into confusion, I remembered.

“Oh, you’re right. I forgot. She’s taking care of Viktoria.” I added quickly.

“What do you mean? That… thing can take care of itself.” Sophia was pretty much frustrated with vampires at this point, and I could understand that, ever since that day I told them, everything fell apart. But for me, it wasn’t necessarily for the worst.

“What happened? Where have you been?” Viktor asked me.
“You didn’t even bother to make a phone call, we thought you were both dead.” He added.

“I was with Regina this whole time, we just had a nice holiday.” I wasn’t really prepared to tell them everything, I didn’t want to anyway, and later one, when I did, I didn’t have the chance anymore, so here I am now, telling the story to the world, but failing to tell it to the people who would most likely be the ones with the highest interest in it. Not to mention they would deserve it the most.

“Viktoria had a little accident and needs a few months to recover so Blanche is taking care of her until then.” I added.

“What accident?” Viktor pushed.
“Regina ripped out one of her hands.” I replied casually.

Sophia looked to her right and to her left before tuning down her “volume” and asked: “Will it grow back?”

I answered in the same style, but with a faint tone of mockery, imitating her and adopting the same tone and position: “Yes.”

The look on both of their faces was priceless, and that alone made me feel great. I don’t know if I was being proud or whatever, but it felt good.

“So she’s like a lizard.” Viktor added.
“Oh, I think Regina is better in that respect.” Sophia replied, and I nodded. She was, by all means, spot on. Regina was indeed the snake of the two, if you stopped to think about it for a second.

“What about you? Are you ok?” I asked.

“Yeah, everything is fine here and boring since Blanche left.” Viktor replied.
“She sure was more fun to be around since… you know.” He added.

I wasn’t sure Sophia agreed, but she didn’t seem displeased either.

Our conversation went into a blur around this point, I know we continued to speak of the same subject for maybe a couple more minutes but then we went back to our old subjects that we never got tired of. Pointless chit-chat, which felt heavenly for me at this time. I was sick of “serious talk.”

Just after 21, when things were settling down and we were pretty much down at picking random subjects to keep the coffee going, I took the liberty in looking out the window again and just watching the lights go on around town which is always a nice thing to see, because the lights around this town are old-style 17th century London style. They look exactly like those little poles with a small glass box on top in which you lit the candle, but now light bulbs are used, and the glass is a bit yellowish and opaque, making it look and feel exactly the same. Not that I know how it felt back then, but Regina seemed comfortable around them and not squirming her eyes like she usually does under neon lights.

I saw a shadowy figure at the corner of the terrace and nudged both of them to look at that but by the time they turned their head it was gone. I dismissed it quickly and went back to the chat, which was nearing to an end.

Me and Viktor walked Sophia back home and then we both walked for a while together before splitting up in separate directions, but in the little time we spent together he said to me something I’ll never forget.

“Hei man, listen… I know you’ve always felt like you can do anything, that’s what I always liked about you anyway. But this thing that you’re doing right now… I’m not sure it will end so well, for any of us. I’m just saying… you always knew deep down inside that things are not what they appear to be, and you’ve taught me that too, but what if they are? What if Regina and all of it is just what history taught, or tried to teach us, that they are?”

“What?”

“Demons.”

At the time, I told him exactly the opposite of what I thought…
“Maybe you’re right.”

And my answer hasn’t changed since then – my answer to him – but over time it kept feeling less and less opposite towards my thoughts.

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everybody has their demons…[story part 16]

February 23, 2012 § 1 Comment


It was now the start of May and this whole month went by pretty boring. We rarely saw Blanche anymore after school, only meeting every couple of days for a short talk and whatnot. She seemed more and more preoccupied by something but couldn’t muster her courage to tell us. We didn’t push.

Now that I look back on it, I truly believe that the monastery incident was caused by the months of… well, nothingness. We were all frustrated and it just built up. Yes, we were happy and we had peaceful days.

But deep down inside, we had our inner problems. I was frustrated at Regina, I didn’t even knew whether I’d ever see her again. Sophia and Viktor were frustrated with Blanche, for they knew what she was and didn’t really got their chance to see her or anyone else for that matter “in action”. Their fear from that night when Blanche got turned was now gone, and to think about it, Sophia was passed out most of the time and Viktor stood under a table. They never really did see anything.

But now, Blanche was here for a couple of months and except this and that, small things, like shows of strength or feeding, nothing really interesting happened. It built up for them too.

Blanche, was frustrated with herself. She felt constrained (she later told me that) and felt caged. She felt like a storm was brewing inside her slowly, each day, building up to something. She felt as powerful as an army, she felt like a flame. She felt like quicksilver and she couldn’t use all that she was. She was constrained by her life – and often wondered – whether it would be best to just abandon her life and go someplace where she could be herself. She was frustrated by the human nature being imposed upon her, when clearly, she was human no more.

But after the monastery, everything was tuned down once more and our frustrations were gone. Including mine, with Regina.

The letter that I had received from her, handed from Regina, read nothing more than two, very important lines.

“Vampriul cel mare și rău vine să te pape.
Ai face bine să fii pregatit cu țărușul acela promis, curajosule.”

P. 

That is written in Romanian, with the kind of terms and general tone that leads you to believe it’s meant to be taken on a funny, mocking tone.

It reads: “The big bad vampire is coming to eat you up. You’d better be prepared with that stake you promised you brave man.”

But P. ? Who the hell was P.?

Then I realized that P is actually R in old Romanian cyrillic, or any Cyrillic for that matter.
I swear to god that, at the time, I thought Regina was actually headed towards creating a new language. At time she spoke proto-language of her own. A combination between god knows how many languages.

Her vocabulary, both in writing and speaking, ranged from Cyrillic, to Russian, mixed with vulgar Latin and French, Romanian and Hungarian blended together, with a touch of English and Italian here and there, where the situation required more… detailed nuances of certain emotions. Italian can be very, very expressive.

A sentence from her could, at times, make your head hurt for a week. But that was rare, and she only used to give one out when she wanted silence or no more questions. So she’d say something like that and smile at you for cocking your head to the side and looking at the sky, trying to make sense on what the hell she just said.

Anyway, that didn’t change the fact, she was coming back and indeed I was ready. I felt giddy.

Before Regina actually coming back, when that was I had no idea, but a sense of impeding doom surrounded me more closely each sundown. Every day, at sundown, I would sit on my window sill, looking at the vastness of the forest and the citadel, and waiting for a sound or some movement, hoping that would be a sign of Regina approaching. Sometimes I would stay up well over one or two in the morning. But that only lasted for about a week after which I gave up.

During the weekend before the last weekend of the month, more exactly on the night between a Friday and a Saturday, from 24th to the 25th of May, 2005, the four of us decided to go on a little trip to a town 50km away, up north from Sighisoara.

It’s called “Târgu Mureș” and we usually went there for some higher states of entertainment. Like bigger clubs, more people and generally access to drugs. Ecstasy mostly.

There’s a club in that town named “Apollo” which is pretty big and awesome, but I’m just going to make a quick detour in the story telling you about this.

We arrived there at about 22:00, I was driving. I had a Seat Leon at the time which I felt good about, but we never got inside the club, because Blanche made sure to get in a ruffle with the bouncer for telling Sophia she’s not dressed properly and refusing to let us in, generally being rude, calling us uncalled for names and shoving us like pieces of paper to the sides.

She knocked off three of the biggest bodyguards I’ve seen in my life, with almost no effort, and I’m pretty sure she broke at least one leg from the bodyguard team, in the process. In a second. We quickly left and scolded her for doing that, she felt guilty, put her head down and never said a word about it.

Instead we went to another club, smaller, but generally more peaceful. We had a great night, Blanche complaining all night that the music is too loud, which was not, and the night ending in Blanche eating some waitress in the bathroom. Eating as in feeding from her, no funny business.

On our way back home she actually confessed about it, and felt bad, and was worried that she had been too rough.

“Did you kill her?” Viktor asked.

We all gasped.

She had the same reaction as the one a month before, when Sophia asked her if she kills her “victims”. She raged about what kind of person we think she is etc.

We all laughed at her, it might seem eerie for you when you read this, that four teens go into a club, one feeds on a waitress and almost leaves her dead, and then laugh about it.

But it wasn’t like that. It was just a very normal and fun night, we enjoyed ourselves, like we used to do in the old times, and at the end Blanche just did what she needed to do. No harm done. No she didn’t kill anyone and I was sure she was feeling pretty guilty as it is.

But that guilt was slowly going away in her eyes. The bigger the hunger got for her, the more time passed, the less human you could see in her, and the vampire came back more and more afterwards. The guilt itself started fading and, at times, she felt about humans as we do about cows. She regarded human kind as a big great heard of infinite food. Nobody feels guilty for a hamburger.

And then, Regina came.

On the 25th of March, that is a day later from that night, Regina came like never before.
She came with a car, had a driver and actually pulled the car inside the court yard. My mother received her like a VIP guest and all that happened during daytime, and I wasn’t even at home.

By the time I got home, my brother took me by my shoulder and just rubbed his hand against me telling me “Your girlfriend is back little brother…”

I froze.

“Where is she?” I responded quickly.

“With father in the study.” He replied.

I picked up the pace and headed towards the study, but before that my brother made sure, with a combination of gestures and expressions, that I was aware of the fact he liked what he saw. He liked Regina. How couldn’t he?

Upon entering the study my father was laughing his ass off, Regina also. Apparently she knew good jokes also.

“Did you receive my letter?” She said upon seeing me at the door step.

No hello, no nothing. Manners.

“Yes I did, and I’m glad that you came…” I was being truthful here.

My father stood up, and with a pat on my back and a wink, he left the study closing the double doors behind him.

“So… where’s your… weapon of choice?” Regina said.

“Come on, you can stop that.” It seemed to me that what I said that night really got to her. It wasn’t that much the fact that she felt afraid, it was the fact that I actually threatened her. It hurt, emotionally. And that was awkward. No being that old should be able to feel anything anymore, not even love. There’s been cases of broken hearts, forever, after not even a lifetime.

Regina was wearing the most simple yet elegant dress.
She had a white silk dress that stopped short just a pinch above her knees, it was tied with a thin golden strip in the middle and had a nice bow at the side.

It was cut straight about  5 centimeters down her neck, with no cleavage. It looked marvelous and shiny.
She had the most simple shoes, the no high heels yet very elegant type. They had a thin line that went between the big toe and the next one, and at the back it held the heel with an also golden leather line. They were summer sandals, simple, yet elegant.

Her curly hair was pinned in a spinning kind of motion behind her back, and a very sharp, golden pin, about fifteen centimeters long, went from one side to the other, piercing through her. It looked exactly how it looks when a girl pins her hair behind her back with a pencil.

It looked messy, yet carefully managed.

She was stunning. How could I have said such a thing about staking her? I couldn’t do that ever. Not even in my wildest dream, not even if she was unconscious next to me. I felt protective of her, not vengeful.

She didn’t really waste much time. She was here with a mission and we both knew it.

“Are you ready?” She asked me.

“I told you to forget about  that. I’m sorry I ever said anything.” I replied.

“No, I’m asking about our little trip. Let’s go.” Regina said, still smiling. No sign of irritation on her face.

“What trip?” I asked again like a nagging child.

“You’ll see, right now we need to leave.” Still smiling.

// I stopped fighting my inner demons. We’re on the same side now.//

It's hard to hide your inner demons from the one you love

I figured, well, what the hell. I might as well go with her, this is a once in a life time chance for me to be with her for an extended period of time. I loved her sight but I also loved the knowledge and the feel of excitement that came with her at every step she took.

“I need to pack.” I said, and I really did need to do that. I wasn’t the sort of person to go out two days in a row with the same pair of underwear.

“No you don’t, let’s just go and everything will sort itself out.” She replied feeling confident of what she just said.

I imagined myself washing my clothes in a dirty sink, in some gas station. I, again, realized that I had seen too many American movies.

“Are you telling me where I’m going so I can tell my parents?” I asked.

“That’s already been taken care of too.” She said. And I was amazed. She actually did manage to convince my parents to let me leave, with her, to god knows where for an undefined amount of time. That was a rather impressive feat.

She influenced them, all three of them. I knew it. I didn’t care, I was happy to escape the town for  a while. I didn’t even wanted to think about high school. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it I said to myself.

We left and as soon as the car started, she made herself comfortable, put her feet up touching the ceiling of the car and putting her head in my lap, looking up at me smiling like she had just done some very naughty thing.

“I kind of influenced your father. He’s pretty strong willed, that one.” She said.

“I know…” I said and caressed her hair with my left hand, kissing her from above. She closed her eyes and smiled, then we both fell asleep.

By the time we got up it was already daylight, we had slept through the night, like regular people for once. The car was equipped with darkened windows, obviously.

Nonetheless, Regina still had her sunglasses on as soon as she woke and the I saw the driver straightening himself up and arranging the rear view mirror, making sure everything looked fine and his tie is straight. I think he was terrified by his “employer”.

Before I knew it, we were in the middle of nowhere.
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I asked.

“In lots of places!” She exclaimed cheerfully, clapping her hands together once and kissing my cheek. She then proceeded in taking her shoes on.

“Besides, we’re at our first destination.” And the car stopped to a halt in a parking lot, inside a forest, with no signs of civilization in any direction.

We got out of the car and walked through the forest for about a minute, no more, and ended up at the side of a lake, in the middle of which was a small island, in the middle of which was a small monastery.

I knew where we were. We were now watching at nothing else but the supposed final resting place of Dracula, a.k.a Vlad the Impaler. We were at the Snagov monastery.

Not the actual place

“What are we doing here?” I asked.

“I need to have a word with someone, then we’re off again. Happy?” She said.

“Sure, why not…” I replied.

There is no way of getting on the island except a row-boat, which has no handler, especially now, at six in the morning.
A boat was waiting for us at the side of the lake and I imagined she would be the handler but as it turns out:

“You should be more of a gentleman and help a lady out…” She said, and shoved the paddles in my hand. Wonderful.

I rowed slowly and sleepy as I was, I didn’t stop for a second. The lake was of an eerie silence and peaceful, steam and fog coming out from the surface. Regina took of her nice dress, made me blush, and jumped for a quick swim in the lake. I didn’t stop rowing but she had no troubles swimming back to the boat and getting in. She shivered. I knew she wasn’t cold, I knew she was faking it.

Stock photo

With her hair wet and milky white skin dripping with water, she looked like a newly born angel that fell in this lake straight from the skies above. The rays of sunshine were struggling to make their way through the fog and could barely scratch the surface of Regina’s skin, giving it a golden to red glow. The color of sunrise. I stopped rowing and she looked at me questioning me with her eyes.

I cocked my head in a forward motion, signaling her to look behind her, but before she did the boat crashed into the shore and for a second there, I felt a hint of her losing her balance. She didn’t. The cat in her had been quick to respond.

As soon as the boat did that, it awoke in me a long lost memory. It is a memory of a superstition, a legend or myth if you wish.

Regarding that, Bram Stoker once said: “I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting.”

And if you look at the map, the horseshoe he’s talking about is very visible in Romania. It’s what defines Transylvania. The mountains are Transylvania’s walls, and they do form a horseshoe, and everything inside, is Transylvania.

It is, by definition, the land of Mordor.

We were now out of that land, we had crossed its gates and descended into the south, the old land of Wallachia.

But back to the superstition,

On the island, there is also an old fountain, that is said to have supplied Dracula himself with water. And it is said, that anyone who drinks from the well, will be forever tied to this land and the blood that once flowed upon its surface. The superstition goes like this:

“And if you ever dare to appease your thirst from the well of the devil himself, know this: You will be bound forever, beyond your grave, by the waters soaked in blood flowing through these lands, and, during your lifetime, you will once again come back to this well, to appease your thirst once more. For it is a vice, from your first gulp, to your last breath.”

What the monks actually tell you is that: “If you drink from Dracula’s well you’re bound to come back here again.”

There’s a big difference, if someone would have told me the first part, the real one, I would have thought twice before drinking.
But the fact remains, I did drink from that well, long time ago, when I was merely seven or eight years old, and visited the place with a relative living nearby.

I remember I giggled at the superstition, because I always looked down at people who believed those things, I felt pity for them, for they were so naive and so small-minded. I was a young skeptic. Yet now, I felt stupid and guilty for judging.

For here I was once again, with no plans to ever return not even a few hours ago. The fact remained, the superstition had been fulfilled, and against all odds, I was once again drawn to the well, thirsty from all the rowing, I quenched my thirst with the sweet, delicious, cold water from the dark and deep well.

No matter why and how I was here, or why I was thirsty, the fact still remained that the superstition had been fulfilled and that made the island seem more eerie than I remembered it.

Regina looked at me drinking, smiling, leaning against the well and chewing on a calendula officinalis (no idea how it’s called in English). It’s a small, yellow flower, that grows almost year round except winter, it has a mild smell and makes places look nice. I’ve never seen anyone eating one, although I knew they were edible.

It smells funny

I looked at her sideways.

“What? My mouth feels funny.” She said.

“Funny how?” I replied.

“It tingles.” She giggled. I knew what she meant, she was feeling hungry.

I smiled and wiped my mouth.

Regina was looking at something behind me and her smile turned into a frozen, serious like expression.
She assumed the face of “I’m your queen”. She reminded me of Akasha, the queen of the damned, from the movie.

Her eyes sparkled a bit and I quickly looked back to see what was all the fuss about.

Behind me there were not one, not two, but three monks, kneeling at a distance of about twenty meters, their heads were covered with that monk style hoodie, and another one of the monks was approaching slowly with careful steps towards us.

Regina stepped in front of me, in a protective way, as in trying to let the monk know that touching me would be the last thing he would want to do.

As soon as the monk arrived, he stopped short of two or three meters and just said.

“It is you.”

 

…befriend a lost friend. [story part 15]

February 22, 2012 § 3 Comments


As soon as Viktoria left with Blanche, Regina urged everybody to leave, but she didn’t expect me leaving with them.

The actual monastery yard, the building on the left is the one in which the monks were that night

“You’re going with me.” She said.

“No, I’m not. I’m going home for now. If you want to stop me, this is your chance, but don’t tempt me.”

“Tempt you?”

“Don’t tempt me to hate you more, it’s enough hate for tonight. I might be scared for you but I’ll put a stake through your heart if you ever do that again to someone I care about.” I was damn serious about it, although I can’t really understand how I had the guts to say such a thing. Any other person would have had his head ripped off in that second, and any other vampire wouldn’t have said it in the first place, not in a million years.

Regina was a very, very dangerous being. You did not want to make her angry no matter what or who you were.

Still, she smiled and giggled at hearing that, but she duly received the message. Regina really wasn’t the kind of person to feel comfortable in having enemies, even though I was pretty sure she had thousands.

“Fine! Go back to your miserable life!” She was angry and for the first time I heard her say something resentful, emotions were stirring up in her. She wasn’t used to being refused… anything really.

So I did, I went back home with Sophia. We took Viktor’s car which was still in the parking lot twenty steps below Concordia, the cafe, and dropped Sophia home just as we did any other night, without even mentioning what happened tonight.

Viktor then dropped me home and we said goodbye without words, we just looked at each other for two seconds and he then nodded at me, in a sign of acceptance, a sign of understanding, a sign of letting me know that “it’s ok”.

And that was it. I don’t know what Regina did next, but the next day I went over there and the owners first held me under investigation about what happened there last nights, they heard screams but then they stopped so they decided not to intervene. I thanked god for that.

Then I asked them if I could go check up on Regina, thinking that she was sleeping, they said of course. The rooms were empty, as if nobody was ever there.

The floors were perfectly clear of blood, the sheets were clean and folded, everything looked as if nobody ever touched them. I knew then and there: Regina was gone.

I felt a hint of regret for a second, but then pulled myself together and forced myself to believe that she will be back, someday… I only hope it won’t be when I’m 70 years old and in a wheelchair.

School started back as planned, everything went back to normal. My home was as it was always, normal, quiet and peaceful. My mother never said a word more about Regina, and she seemed at peace with herself even before Regina leaving. Her only concern was me not being bitten anymore, she hated to see her child punctured all over. It reminded her of bad things, and I can’t blame her for that.

The occasional teasing from my brother every now and then about: “Where’s your new girlfriend? Already left you?” He had no clue what he was talking about, he never even met her and I was sure that if he would ever meet her, he would have the same reaction as I did. Run like hell, then fall in love.

School seemed boring for the first few days, I longed for Regina’s temperament, I couldn’t believe that I did, but it was true. I missed the excitement, the adventure, and even the fear that made my body feel alive, more than ever, every time she hissed at me. Fear has a very interesting work of working you know. It not only paralyzes you, but in the same time awakens every single sense in your body, turns your hearing sense up by a lot, makes you see better. Puts you in alert. Makes you shiver at the slightest touch, even a touch of a breath landing on your lips. Fear is a very strong feeling, up there with hate, anger and love. Love…

Sophia, Viktor and I talked about everything over and over again. Day in, day out, we would talk about everything. We were all waiting for the same thing though, seeing Blanche again.

We talked about Regina, Viktoria. They asked me so many questions about everything and I felt bad for not being able to explain everything like I should have. I constantly reminded them that they need to forget about it and get on with their life, my own life dependent on that also. Depended on them not talking about Regina with anyone else.

Surprisingly, Blanche was back within a week. Viktoria was nowhere to be seen, she wasn’t at her side. There was nobody there to make Blanche drop on her knees if the situation required it. I felt scared for all of our lives, especially because the fact that Blanche just entered the class-room nonchalantly in a Monday morning, excusing herself to our lead-teach (I don’t know how it is in other countries, but back home we have a teacher for each subject, and we also have a “main teacher” that’s sort of our coordinator, which also teaches us one of the subjects, we call him a “diriginte”  which is derived from the french “dirigent”, meaning to conduct, or orchestrate.

Anyway, she excused herself for “being terribly sick” for the past sick and handed in a written excuse signed by her parents. I wondered how did she pull that off.

She sat next to me, I forgot to mention but she was my desk mate. Is that how you call it?

In Romania in high school we sit two-by-two, not alone in our desk. We do this for several reasons, there’s a lot of teamwork and we are usually the team. A desk mate is kind of your best-friend also, but sometimes two desks close together form sort of a little group, that’s what we were.

Anyway, she sat next to me and just smiled with a deep, evil smile on her face. The kind of smile that said “I’ll deal with you later.” I felt shivers all over my body, then she did the same thing with Viktor and Sophia.

We looked at each other and said absolutely nothing through the whole class. When the bell rang, the three of us instantly jumped her, assaulting her with questions. We soon realized everybody was listening so we went where we usually went to get a private talk.

In the cemetery. It takes only thirty seconds to get there and it was the main break, meaning we had a good 15 minutes to discuss anything. Blanche complied and came with us willingly, smiling all the way.

When we did get there, she looked at us and finally started speaking, but instead answering our questions she looked at me and said:

“I could never repay you, only now I understand what it means to get this gift from my queen herself.” I felt at ease, she was already calling Regina her queen, that meant submission from her part, but I was also at ease because sooner I had the feeling she secretly hated us now. Which she didn’t.

She radiated with happiness and kept smiling non-stop, which turned creepy at some point. I couldn’t understand how a person can be that happy, but she was.

Blanche was the one to explain very, very much of what’s written in this blog. Details, small things that Regina didn’t care or didn’t want to explain, Blanche was as curios as me and wanted to dismantle everything to the last detail.

She was proud of what she could do and what she was, and over the next few weeks she managed to turn all of us from day lovers into night owls. She felt much more comfortable at night and we understood, and we just switched everything that we did in reverse. So we had more time after sundown, and not before. It was an easy thing to do and  a low price to pay for everything that I learned.

We had a lot of amazing days, some better than others, but the thing is that we felt more secure with her than ever. I was afraid, before she came back, that she would be someone else, that she would turn evil and cruel. But I was wrong. Blanche was exactly the same person I knew before leaving, and she had the same way of thinking.

Only difference is that she looked and felt much more lively, happy and with a general mood that put us, in our best days, to shame.

Blanche constantly refused to do or speak of anything in front of Sophia and Viktor. She didn’t hide who she was, because they already knew, but she did anything possible not to boast in front of them or not to reveal anything new. She knew the stakes and she obeyed religiously to the Codex Strigis which amazingly, she knew almost by heart, all of it, and she didn’t even speak Latin as well as I did, although you could have a small conversation with her in Latin.

Blanche did however, showed us a lot of things that were both amazing and unbelievable in the same time. For example, she showed us how to hunt.

While in the forest above the town, an old forest which is a natural reservation these days, called “The Breite Plateau”, which has, among other things, 800 year old oak trees that are still alive to this day.

While there, she managed to identify, sneak behind and catch a rabbit in under one minute. She didn’t kill it because Sophia already went “awwwwww” when she saw it, so Blanche let it go but looked at it vanish in the woods with a sense of remorse or regret. I knew she longed for a taste of that rabbit, although they do not enjoy and cannot survive solely on animal blood, Blanche wasn’t really used in hunting people. I couldn’t imagine her in that position no matter how hard I tried.

On the same lines, Blanche constantly fed from the three of us, willingly giving to her. We did it on a daily basis, rotating between us, and some days she refused, hinting that she got it from someplace else. She usually bit shoulders, and it didn’t hurt one bit. Viktor actually started enjoying it but we all knew this was a temporary situation, and Blanche knew that too well, and before we even knew it she started refusing more often, hinting that she had started mastering the art of hunting… something else.

We didn’t know and didn’t care what and how she did it, there were no news of dead people in the papers and that was good. Sophia asked her if she’s killing anymore and Blanche raged about what kind of person do we think she is. A vampire, Viktor replied calmly from behind us while playing on the XBOX.

Blanche smiled at hearing that, she wasn’t mad.

Anyway, as you can see, the post above is a summary of a longer period, not just a few hours, not just one single event.
It was over the course of several months, and it was a period just like your normal teenage life, with a twist.

There were four kids, who seemed perfectly normal. We did everything a normal kid would do, but we had a double life.
It’s not that uncommon, to have a double life. Lots of people have double lives, almost everybody. You go to work, you’re the responsible, clean-cut, and friendly adult, then, when you get off work, you go home and just stay around the house in shorts, eating junk food and watching TV, cursing at the game or whatever. That would be considered a double personality in my opinion.

We were just like that, normal kids in society and then, when by ourselves, we were those kids who had a secret.

It seemed rather awkward for me that Viktoria just let Blanche be herself, like that, after a week. But why shouldn’t she? Blanche seemed perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and us, in the same time.

It certainly made life more interesting having Blanche around us in this state. She was exactly like before, our friend, not changed a bit, but with that small difference that counted immensely when needed. It was the small things.

But, as all kids, we were prone to fucking up, and we did, eventually. On several occasions.

On one particular instance, on a movie evening we had planned at the start of April, we were at Sophia’s place who lived in a two story house, placed up on a hill across the valley, on the other side being the hill of the citadel. Her house was close to the monastery, which is just your typical monastery, not too big, not too small.

We had planned on watching a horror flick, but instead of doing that, Sophia came with a much better idea. Or at least that’s what it seemed at the time. We were feeling pranky (is that a word?) that night and decided to pull one off at the monastery.

“Hei, let’s make our own horror movie!” Sophia said.
“I think we already have one…” I replied, looking at Blanche who hissed in a funny way, making a parody of the infamous hiss you hear before feeling that bite. She was laughing and we all laughed with her, it was like a bad imitation of Dracula.

“No, I mean let’s go scare some people off. Like, Blanche doing that for real.” Sophia said.

We all stopped for a second. Blanche looked at me seriously and then said:

“You all know I can’t do that…”

“Actually Blanche, it says that you can’t make yourself fully known, willingly, to any human. Flashing your stuff for a second doesn’t really count as fully.” I was being stupid again and I knew it.

Viktor said nothing. He kind of wanted to see the result but was afraid to intervene in order not to say something that would cancel the whole thing.

“So what do you propose then?” Blanche said.

“Well… I really hate hearing that fucking bell from the monastery each morning at six, so I think it’s only fair to scare the shit out of them, not that they would stop the bell, but it would make me feel better, and the look on their faces would be priceless.” She was actually right, I was, by now, totally into doing that.

Blanche’s eyes went blank for a second and she looked like she was turning the matter from side to side, searching for any cracks. She couldn’t find any, but there were plenty.

“I’m not hungry and I’m not angry at the monks either…” She was referring to the fact that she couldn’t just go into a frenzy just like that.

“I’m always looking for a reason to kiss you!” Viktor exclaimed cheerfully from behind us. He was silent until now but this one thing cracked us all up and let the tension flow out from us for a bit. We laughed and then went silent again.

“So let’s do it.” Blanche finally said.

In no time, Sophia was dressed fully in black, with a hoodie on her head. Blanche was almost always dressed in black.
However, Viktor and I were wearing somewhat of a flashy color, we both had green T-shirts, and, with the weather allowing us, we decided to go shirtless.

In five minutes we were at the monastery gates which were locked from the inside, the lock having a protective layer of cast iron around it, on the inside, so you couldn’t cut or break it even if you could put your hand through the bars.

Blanche didn’t even waste a second and in no time she threw herself at a tree, and then bounced back towards the wall from that tree, hanging with her hands from the wall. She pulled herself up and was over the wall in a second. It was like seeing a parkour master in action, and it wasn’t anything supernatural. It was just a combination of strength and technique. She was aware she couldn’t yet jump that high, so she improvised.

She didn’t seem to have any problems with the chain though, she ripped it with her bare hands, although she needed both of them, and her whole body, pulling on it and screeching in the process. It was a hard thing to do and it was obvious this was no supernatural movie. Her hands even bled afterwards, but healed quickly.

She licked them both, of her own blood, with Viktor looking at her disgusted.

“Want some? You look pale.” She said mockingly at Viktor who laughed and took her under his arm in a “come here you…” friendly way.

I wondered at that time what does it taste for them, what does blood actually taste. Does it taste as good as a cake does for me? Does it taste better? What is the actual feeling of tasting it, through their point of view?

For me, it was disgusting. Blood, I knew it tasted… Well I didn’t know the exact taste, but I imagined it being disgusting.

Now, as I’m writing this, I remember Regina once speaking about it. It was about the time when I made it clear it would be hard for me to renounce what I am and accept to be turned, and I offered the argument of eating blood, forever.

And she kindly explained that different types of blood taste as good and as different as foods taste for me.
I doubted it, and she explained that:

“You are under the impression that just because the human civilization considers itself as being advanced, because of the technology it creates, it really is. Well I am here to tell you, that just because we’re (the kinship) ancient, we’re more advanced in some areas, than the human civilization.

For example, your medics hold it so dearly that they are the know-everything, that they are on the verge on unlocking the secret to eternal life, to healing diseases. They use state-of-the-art technology and yet, fail miserably.”

I remember she had a pretty big speech about it and felt pretty proud saying it, and at the end, to make my point here, she noted:

“Your dear doctors live under the false impression, regardless of all their technology, that there are a mere four or five types of blood. And that’s it.” She said.

“There are hundreds.” She added.

I gasped. Could that be possible? But how? How could it be possible and undiscovered?

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I tasted them all.” She replied.

And then and there I understood that blood could be, for them, as flavored as different kinds of pizzas or ice-creams can be for us.
Yet, I found it hard to believe, that there could be so much many more blood types than we know.
I mean, we’re trying to unlock the secrets of genetic engineering and we don’t even have a clue about how many blood types there are? That’s preposterous!

Anyway, I digressed.
Back to the monastery story:

The plan was to break into the monastery, go into the main hall, we knew the inside because we already had visited this place countless times, it was open for tourists during the day.

Once in the main hall, it was pretty simple, Blanche kisses Viktor, me and Sophia watch, and when any monk appears, Blanche stops kissing Viktor and growls as loud as she can towards the monk. Then we run. And laugh.

It was the most stupid thing we could think of and I was pretty sure that, if Regina was here, she would have a seizure out of anger, and Blanche was also aware that if Viktoria would know, she would surely break at least a few bones in her body.

But they weren’t.

We kept talking and laughing all the way into the monastery and by the time we reached the main prayer hall, we realized that it was almost packed full.

It was full of monks.
At that point I remember we, including me, wanted to back out, but Sophia was very determined in scaring the monks. So she urged Blanche to push forward, and we followed.

We stood right in the hallway, and we needed a very creepy but effective way of getting at least a bunch of them out from the room and into the hallway.

The hallway was sort of an open hallway. Imagine two rooms, with an arch as a door between them. Now imagine in the left room, a wall that doesn’t go all the way from on side to the other, it just splits the left room, vertically, into two equal sized hallways. As such, one could cross the doorway and continue going, then take a left and end back from where he started, without going through the same spot twice.

So we did. Blanche and Viktor stopped before crossing the doorway, and Sophia took off all her clothes, shoved them in my hand, giggled and slowly crossed the doorway, dragging her feet behind her.

I remember I thought, at the time: “This is bad. This is very bad.” and “She’s seen to many movies, way too many movies.”

But it was effective, Blanche started kissing and hugging Viktor in the second she saw that and I could see Viktor opening his eyes widely all of a sudden. I knew what that meant, I knew he just felt the extending by now fangs. Blanche was already growling softly, like a purring cat.

Sophia’s “intervention” was effective. Almost instantly there were voices and waves of different mangled sounds coming from the prayer room and I could hear the steps of monks headed towards the doorway in a hurry. This was it.

About ten or more monks came out through the door in the same time, and when they saw the two kissing they stopped suddenly and said: “What are you doing here?! THIS IS A MONASTERY!”.

They figured it was a porn movie maybe, seeing Sophia naked, and then seeing these two lovebirds…
Man they were wrong.

Blanche didn’t stop kissing Viktor and the monk put his hand on Blanche’s shoulder in a gesture to try and pry the two apart but almost instantly, like a spider feeling the vibrations in the air, with an amazing speed, Blanche switched from Viktor’s mouth to the monk’s hand and bit him hard.

The monk started screaming like hell, the other monks stood back a bit and when Blanche released, she remembered what she actually needed to do, so, with a bit of extra added effect, her mouth being now covered in blood and her eyes deep black with that distinctive reddish tint, she opened her mouth, exactly like in Hollywood style movies, cocked her head towards all of them and let out such a gruesome roar that I had to literally cover my ears.

By god I had no idea Blanche, or any of the kinship, could do that. It was like she grew extra vocal cords. She sounded like a lion and a bat with that specific high-pitch screech in the same time.

And she managed to keep it up for over ten seconds.
I could see the colors on the monks faces changing through a variety of pallets, from white to blue, green and yellow, then back to white.

Some of them instantly dropped to their knees and started praying to all kinds of deities, the one bit by Blanche was still screaming, now even louder.

Two monks either fainted or had heart-attacks and only one of them threw himself towards Blanche screaming “Demons!” in the process. Blanche dodged him with a very elegant move and let him land on the floor behind her like a man jumping in an empty pool.

She laughed loudly for a few seconds, looked at me and then we ran.

Blanche didn’t run faster than us, she made sure we all got out safely and we were all together. We planned on running all the way to Sophia’s house and we kept laughing in the same time. It’s exhausting you know, to run and laugh in the same time.

I don’t know from where and how, but while we were running, from four people, we turned into five.
I looked behind me to see if someone is following, and then when I turned my head around, in the process, I noticed someone running along my right side, who wasn’t there before.

I looked amazed at it and then saw the distinct smile and heard that voice you can’t forget.

“Very funny…” It was Viktoria.

We didn’t stop running all the way to Sophia’s house and we all quickly went inside except Viktoria which was at the doorway looking angry towards us…

“Oh! That’s right! You can’t come in!” Sophia said excitedly.

“Don’t tempt me…” Viktoria said.

“I’ll let you in if you promise not to punish Blanche, it was my idea!” Sophia said again.

“I promise.” Viktoria said.

“Then please, be my guest.” Sophia said, and urged her to enter with a hand gesture of welcome.

Viktoria instantly burst into the house at a high velocity and before we knew it Blanche was writhing in pain on the floor.

Viktoria was above her looking menacing towards us.

“You lied! I resent your invitation!” Sophia said, but nothing happened.

Sophia didn’t knew, but the invitation, once given, cannot be withdrawn. Viktoria didn’t show any expression and just looked towards us to see if we were reacting.

Blanche was still hissing and growling and writhing in pain on the floor. In a quick move, apparently, Viktoria did indeed break a lot of bones in Blanche’s body.

Blanche puked blood, had maybe three or four broken ribs, a broken leg and her right arm was in a zig-zag, broken in three or four places.

It took a full week for Blanche to recover fully and a constant supply of food from the three of us. Remember, Blanche was still more human than vampire. She was a moroi, and inferior rang vampire, and she would continue to be that for the long years to come. She was a vampire but she still continued to eat and drink just like us, although increasingly more rarely, focusing more and more on blood. She was still prone to aging and wounding herself in the coming years.

After things settled down that night, Viktoria handed me an envelope and said:

“From Regina.”

I took the envelope and put it in my pocket, planning on reading it alone, at home. At the time I was more concerned about not escalating the situation with Blanche which was still on the floor. She requested to remain there until she feels up to walking, that took almost the whole night. Sophia’s parents were sleeping and didn’t wake up to any of this, Blanche was gone by morning, everything turned out ok, in that direction.

But other directions went wrong.

In any case, it seemed a weird coincidence that Viktoria popped out just like this. How did she even knew where we were?

Apparently, after a very delicate questioning, she had been stalking Blanche for the past week, and was pleased how she was doing, until tonight, when she decided to finally intervene. It didn’t seem like a coincidence so much now.

Needles to say, Blanche was only partially guilty of this, we had pushed her, and we would do it soon enough again.
But for now, I will refrain in telling you that the night ended in Viktoria breaking another finger of Blanche’s left arm, trying to make a point. Telling her:

“I’m always going to watch you, don’t forget that.”

And with that she thanked Sophia for the invitation, making a small hint that if she was ever in town again and feeling hungry….

Sophia shivered. Joked about stacking garlic around her windows and doors, although she knew that did nothing.

With that Viktoria urged me to read the letter as soon as possible, and left like any normal being, calling a cab. Go figure.

As soon as she left we continued to laugh and Blanche, even though in a lot of pain, felt giddy, laughed with us and didn’t feel sorry for doing it not even for a second. She was laughing in pain, on the floor.

I went home with Viktor, but Sophia assured us she’ll be fine. She was, a week later.

The next day when I woke up, the first thing I did was call Blanche, and after being pleased with hearing she’s fine, I opened the letter and started reading it.

It made my day a very clear blue skies day, although I could see dark clouds holding their position on the horizon, ready to strike at any time.

It was a letter from Regina.

***

Now, you have to understand, that this part of the story doesn’t necessarily add anything new or of relevance to the story, or to the point I’m making, but the fact is that this is not a book, this is not a story with a beginning, a plot, a conflict, a culminating point and an end. It’s a story with ups and downs, because it is real life. And real life has that, it has boring days and intense days.

I didn’t really need to put this in, I could have just skipped to the next important part, but I won’t do that. It was and still is, a funny part, showing you that not everything was grim or supernatural, or had to do with killings or anything out of the ordinary. we were just some kids pulling a prank, but again, with a small twist.
I have decided to give you each and every detail that has to do with the subject of this blog. The only thing that I do is explain in detail the main events, and condense the other periods (longer periods with little to no relevance) into shorter posts, like this one.

And if by any chance, you are thinking of leaving a comment about “how are you posting this thing about the monastery, aren’t you afraid of the police, wasn’t there investigations, etc.?” my response is that no. there was no police investigation, there was nothing. the monks never said anything to anyone and we never heard about the incident, not from the media, not from anyone.

there’s no danger in putting this here because, even in the case of one of those ten monks actually reading this, there’s no way he can prove what happened in reality, or he can prove that I was actually there.

We were young then and we look different now, we all got older and passed in the adulthood sides. Viktor has a beard for fuck’s sake.

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