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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 18

Madalina’s room was on the left side of the building, facing the wall.  In fact, all that could be seen from her room was a close-up of the stones and mortar, which comprised their entire view.  The roof of the novitiate was pitched, with the sloped edges on the left and right and a gable in the front.  The edge of the roof had a slight overhang, which Madalina would have to reach from her window.  It was too high to reach standing on the window’s ledge, which meant she would have to stand on top something.

“Go find another Sister who’s not busy and I want you two to stand underneath the window’s ledge to catch her if she falls,” Sister Oana instructed, “Get a blanked or something and then you’ll stretch it out to catcher her.  It’ll be just like catching fruit from a shaken tree.  Alright?”

Sister Elisabeta nodded her head and walked in the direction of the nun’s quarters.

Madalin and Sister Oana then entered the novitiate, walked down the hall and entered Madalina’s room.

Madalina’s roommates, Dorina, Mirela and Nicoleta were in the room, reading and gossiping in turns.  When they saw Sister Oana entering they all abruptly ended their conversation and stood up, saying obediently, “Yes, Sister?”

“I don’t need your help at the moment girls,” Sister Oana said, “This concerns your roommate, Madalina.  She is going to demonstrate how she’s been climbing out of her room onto the roof at night while you are asleep?”

The girls looked at each other surprised.  “You haven’t noticed, have you?” Sister Oana asked.

“We would always tell you if we saw anyone breaking any of the rules,” Mirela said, obediently

“Well I’m sure you wouldn’t hide anything about Madalina,” Sister Oana said, quietly, to herself.  The girls then looked at Madalina warily, but Madalina averted her eyes.

The window was a double casement window, with the two separate casements swinging inwards and two shutters on the exterior swinging outward.  Sister Oana opened the window and looked out of it downward, waiting for Sister Elisabeta to arrive.  Within a few minutes Sister Elisabeta and Sister Juliana arrived, holding a blanket.  They stretched out the blanket and said to Sister Oana that they were ready.

Sister Oana then told Madalina, “You may proceed,” gesturing for Madalina to step up to the window.

As Madalina stood up on the ledge, she looked down.  The dirt ground, where Sisters Elisabeta and Juliana waited with their outstretched sheets, was some twelve palms below her.  It was a fall she could safely make, but it was still intimidating for the small girl.  When she had first tried to sneak out of the convent, she had opted against climbing out the window precisely because it was too high to climb back in that way.

Standing on the window’s ledge, Madalina stretched out her foot, which just reached the exterior wall, and she used the seem between the stones as a foothold to push herself up, so that she could place her other foot atop the shutter.  With one foot on the wall and one foot on the shutter, she slowly extended herself, straightening her legs and standing up.  She transferred all her weight to the shutter and balanced herself with her hands, but still quivered precariously.  She had assumed that the shutter would hold her weight, but she could not be certain until she was fully extended and it was still attached.  At that point, she could just reach the overhanging eave of the roof, but it was too much of a stretch to pull herself up entirely that way.  So, she had to wedge her two feet between the wall of the novitiate and the exterior wall and slowly walk herself upward while simultaneously pressing against these two walls.  After several steps of this slow walk, she could finally pull her whole torso on top of the wood roof, and then pull her legs up behind her.  She relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief at this completion.  Her climb had been tentative and awkward, but she had proven her point and trusted that Sister Oana would finally drop.

She walked up the steep side of the pitched roof onto the other side where she lay down and looked up to the sky as if she were watching the stars.  It was certainly not a comfortable place to lie and look up at stars, nor a safe place to fall asleep, since it was so steep, but it made her story seem plausible enough.

Sister Oana had already walked out into the courtyard and was looking at Madalina lying on the roof with suspicion.

Madalina then stood up and considered how to get down.  The wall walk atop the wall was only a short jump away, but this would be inconvenient, since the stairs leading down to ground level were outside the confines of the monastery.  So she walked down to the edge of the roof, where she could see Sisters Elisabeta and Juliana still waiting.  Deciding to take the leap, she dropped into the outstretched blanket, and the Sisters expertly cushioned her fall such that she pillowed gently to the ground.

Sister Elisabeta hastily picked up Madalina off the ground and hugged her so tightly, saying, “Are you unhurt my dear?  Oh you frightened me dreadfully.  I’m glad you’re not hurt.”

As they turned, though, they saw Sister Oana standing petulantly in the distance looking on.  “You’ve proven yourself then,” Sister Oana said, “But there’s still the issue of your punishment.”

<-- Go to Part 17         Go to Part 19 -->

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

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