The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 15

Sister Oana dragged Madalina into the church and through the nave, to a door on the sidewall.  After unlocking the door, they walked down the spiraling stairs, their steps echoing on the stone walls, until the large open space of the crypt opened up before them.  It was a single room partitioned by an array of columns connected by archways, in the center of which several of the most prominent tombs were inset into the floor.  Off to the side were several recesses filled with tombs, dug into the walls, all engraved with the names and dates of their occupants.  Everyone who lived and worked on the grounds of the monastery had been buried here, since there was no room for any cemetery within the walls of the monastery, and no was willing to risk being buried outside the walls and being desecrated by the vampires.

Sister Oana, crossing the room, then threw Madalina into one of the recesses.  This recess had an iron gate that’s spiky top nearly touched the archway at the top.  Oana closed and secured the gate with a lock, interning Madalina inside.  She was apparently not the first occupant of this ad hoc dungeon since there were numerous separate pieces graffiti scratched onto the wall.

“You’ll be let out, when you start telling us the truth,” Sister Oana shouted to Madalina, “And no sooner!  I’ll give you until morning to reflect upon your choice.”

Sister Oana then walked out of the crypt with candle in hand, climbing the stairs to the door.  As she moved further away, the light retreated and faded until Madalina was left in absolute dark.

As morning rose, some light slowly entered the room, via a small air vent, high up on the wall.  Madalina woke from an uncomfortable sleep, with aches all over her body.  Almost immediately upon opening her eyes, she started to meditate on her situation.

The dilemma was simple.  If she refused to tell the sisters that she had left the monastery the night before, she would remain locked up for at least long enough that she wouldn’t be able to leave to meet with the vampire the night following.  If she did tell them that she had left the monastery and how she’d gotten out, then they’d probably assure that that exit was closed to her permanently.  The only choices that appeared were to claim that she’d left the monastery by some other means or to convincingly claim that she was hidden somewhere else that Sister Oana may have missed.  Unfortunately, she didn’t know any other way to leave and return back into the monastery undetected at night and she knew of no hiding place that might have escaped Sister Oana’s detection.

In the middle of these meditations, the door from above was opened and a pair of feet walked down the stairs into the crypt.  Madalina saw with delight that it was Sister Elisabeta.  Elisabeta was Madalina’s favorite of all the Sisters.  She was in fact all of the young novices’ and perhaps everyone’s favorite monastic.  Elisabeta was a young, beautiful woman, freshly blossomed into adulthood who’d taken the veil at a young age, being tonsured when she was only eighteen, and who had now already lived for many years in monastic service.  She was sweet and pleasant and took great pleasure in generosity and service.

Elisabeta smiled warmly as she opened the gate and placed a bowl of porridge and a bit of bread in front of Madalina, saying, “Here’s your breakfast Madalina.”  Then she discretely placed a chamber pot on the floor next to Madalina.

As Madalina ate, Elisabeta said, in her warm and delicate way, “You’ve been a very bad girl Madalina.  And I’m afraid that, though God may forgive all things, Sister Oana does not.”

“So, does this mean, you’ll let me out?” Madalina asked.

“No, we can’t do that,” Elisabeta admitted with disappointment, “Sister Oana has talked to the Abbess, and she is as concerned as her that there may be something you’re hiding.  I don’t know what they suspect, but it is serious.  And you could assuage their fears if you simply told us the truth, and we could let you out of this awful place.  Why don’t you simply tell me what happened?”

Madalina nodded her head and said, “Alright Sister Elisabeta, I’ll tell you.  Or, maybe you should go get Sister Oana, and while you’re away I’ll finish here.  I’m terribly hungry.”

Sister Elisabeta was pleased to hear this.  She smiled and lighted to her feet, saying, “I’ll leave you a few minutes, but I’ll be back with Sister Oana soon, and then we can get you out of here.”

Once Elisabeta left, Madalina doubled the intensity of her cogitations.  She’d bought herself a few minutes, but she still didn’t know what to say.

<-- Go to Part 14         Go to Part 16 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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