Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dracula meets Beth

Below is a small section of the new vampire novel I have started writing.
Joseph clearly remembered a day when he and Beth were seated at a table with Dracula and sharing a meal while they watched Muslims warriors of the Ottoman Empire being impaled. The meal included cups of blood to drink from and it was their willingness to drink the blood that caused Dracula to quip, “So I am not wrong in thinking even for you the blood of enemies is worth drinking?”
It was Beth who responded, “No, my lord, you are not mistaken. I do have one questions.”
“What is that?”
“Have you ever had the opportunity to drink blood from one who freely gives it to you?”
“What a novel idea. Who would do that?”
“I have. Joseph and I sometimes share blood during the heat of passion. Never enough to cause our death, obviously, but enough to demonstrate our total trust of each other.”
Dracula laughed, “I must try that sometime. I wonder if my wife trusts me that much.”
Joseph said, “She might if she feels you trust her enough to share some of yours.”
Dracula laughed again and said, “Ah, my friends in blood, you speak of truths I seldom hear. Now tell me true. Do you think I am cruel and evil to impale these poor fools who are only guilty of doing what their master has ordered? I know it’s gruesome. I know they suffer much and wish they had met an honorable death on the battlefield.”
Joseph said, “I would think it was cruel if I thought cruelty was your purpose.”
“And what think you is my purpose?”
“To frighten those who have not been killed on the battlefield. War is not simply the killing on the battlefield. War is as much a battle of the minds as it is a battle of physical bodies. To win a war, you must convince the minds of your enemy that suing for peace is the better option.”
“This I know. But I worry those who tell me they are my allies are the ones who will be my greatest enemies.”
Beth said, “There I cannot help you, my lord. What little comfort we can offer you is our friendship and our understanding of the position your birth has put you in. We are not nobility and are not subject to the demands placed upon you by your birth. I was a whore before Joseph married me and I like to think I am still a whore, open to whatever life sends to me. I applaud your efforts to keep the Muslims out of this land. I know well how I would be treated by the Turks if they were to rule the land.”
“You know well. How well?”
“A whore meets many men who want to plow her, as do all women who know the nature of men. The difference lies in the whore’s ability to read lust in the eyes and not reject the lust but rather to encourage it with her eyes. When a whore, I encouraged the lust I would see in the eyes of men. It was my way of making a living in a world that offers few opportunities for a woman to survive without being married. As fate would have it, I chanced to meet a Muslim from Egypt who wanted me. I obliged and while I was obliging him, I could see in his eyes he had no intention of paying me for my service with the agreed upon amount. Rather, his choice of payment was a knife meant for my throat. When he got up to leave, he went to his clothing with the pretext of getting the money he owed to me when what he was really doing was going for his knife to slit my throat. When he came for me, it was I who slit his throat. By profession, I always knew there would come a day when I needed to defend myself, so I always carried a very sharp knife and still do.”
Beth immediately pulled out her knife hidden in the folds of her dress and stuck its point in the table while saying, “Would you allow me my lord to freshen our drinks by taking the blood from that Muslim over there whose agony has apparently caused him to have an erection. Maybe he is dreaming about all the virgins he will soon be enjoying in some paradise promised by Mohammed.”
Dracula was fascinated by the proposal and responded, “Yes, he does seem to be enjoying the nearness of death too much. I would love to watch you get some revenge.”
Beth pulled out her knife from where it was stuck in the table. Taking it and her empty cup, she walked over to the man was pierced through and through from one side of his torso to the other, and thus hung suspended about five feet above the ground, prevented from slipping down the pole that pierced him by a wooden stay attached to the pole.
Beth would have preferred to sink her fangs into his throat and thus give him some pleasure before taking his life. This not being the time or place, she pierced his jugular with her knife and was able to quickly fill her cup with his blood.
Coming back to the table, she poured equal portions of blood into Dracula’s and Joseph’s cups and said, “I hope you enjoy my offering to you, my lord.”
Dracula responded by raising his cup and saying, “No one has ever offered a gift of such value to me. In your honor, Lady Beth, I bequeath to you a small castle I own in the mountains of Transylvania.”
“You mustn’t.”
“I must and you must accept. I would be offended if you didn’t, though I do appreciate your demure.”
“I do and I will always think fondly of you every time I go there. I will cherish your memory and will always speak of you as an honorable man who would do anything for the land he loves.”
“And I of you.”
Joseph saw Beth’s and Dracula’s eyes meet and understood what their eyes were saying to each other. It was a very strange and bitter sweet conversation their eyes shared. It was odd but Joseph was certain that at some level Dracula understood he and Beth were vampires. Dracula also appeared to sense Beth was telling him that in another life she would willing be his lover and wanted to comfort this lover she would never have, but was unable to save him from the fate he knew he would met some day. It was the thought that she would remember him as a human being worthy of being loved and not someone who was vile and cruel that gave him comfort. That was over 500 years ago when the three were very young.

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