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.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 4

After a long tense wait during which no sign of breath or movement appeared, Vasile finally knew that the vampire was dead and could relax.  He dropped the bow, put the arrow back in his quiver and opened his bag.  He first pulled out his bird mask, which would cover his whole face.  The mask had two glass eyes and a long nose wherein a vinegar sponge was placed, filling his nose with its pungent odor.  The mask was meant to protect him from infection, but was something he wouldn’t wear while hunting, since it impeded his sight

He then pulled out two hooks and a rope.  Approaching the vampire, he placed each of the two large, metal hooks under the shoulders of the vampire, with a rope strung between them.  He then loaded the two spent crossbows, in case of attack, and dangled them from his shoulders, and putting the bag on his back.  Finally, grabbing the rope that connected the hooks he began to drag the weighty vampire corpse over the ground behind him.  Thus, began the long march through the night to Vallaya, pulling the massive weight, which felt like pulling a millstone through a bog.

When Vasile eventually arrived at the back of Andrei’s shop, the first signs of dusk were creeping over the horizon.  Andrei woke from a sleep when he heard the sound of Vasile pounding on his door.  Quickly throwing on a robe, Andrei leaped from his bed and dressed himself in his cloak, gloves, mask and hat.   Once ready, he opened the back door of his shop to Vasile.

The back of Andrei’s shop was a large complex, including several rooms that Andrei used as his living quarters, and one large room that served as his workroom.  When Vasile entered the back of Andrei’s shop, he stepped into this large workroom, occupied by a few large cauldrons, fires and bellows, huge working tables and shelves upon shelves of containers and jars.

As Vasile entered, Andrei placed a ramp, leading up and into the largest of the cauldrons, which was already filled with a slightly alcoholic solution.  Vasile dragged the vampire up the ramp and dropped him into the cauldron.  Andrei then began to light a fire under the cauldron.  The corpse would be slowly heated at a low temperature for many hours until the vampire infection was thoroughly killed.  Vasile also took off his cloak, his hat, his mask and his gloves and dumped them into a smaller pot, which Andrei would subsequently boil to clean off any possible infection.

After all this Vasile finally sat down to take a rest on a bench, rubbing his legs and moving around his arms and shoulders to try and drive away the soreness.

“It’s been quite a few days since you’ve had a catch,” Andrei commented as he was building and tending the fire beneath the cauldron.

“Yeah,” Vasile assented soberly, “I’m no longer able to take down the older vampires like I used to.  I had one in my sights just two nights ago, but I could only get one arrow in him.  They’re too swift and I’m just not as fast as I used to be.”

“Perhaps you need an apprentice,” Andrei suggested.

“Perhaps,” Vasile agreed in a deep, quiet voice, “Also, I don’t see as many vampires as I used to.”

“You think they’ve learned to avoid you?” Andrei asked, “Or maybe they’re moving elsewhere.  You’ve never found the location of this coven.”

“No,” Vasile said, massaging his legs and rotating his shoulders, “I’m sure they dwell underground.  And caves aren’t everywhere nor are they easy to make.  They can’t just pick up and move.  Besides, all of the nearby towns have reported declines in attacks.  It must be more than a month since the last attack.  Not even livestock are being attacked.  No, I think their numbers are in decline.”

“Perhaps they’re just hiding underground,” Andrei suggested, “Spending more time in their caves.”

“They need to come out to eat,” Vasile shook his head, “There’s no food to be found underground.”

“Well, I hope you’re right.  It’s good for the villagers,” Andrei commented, “Though not so good for us.”

<-- Go to Part 3         Go to Part 5 -->

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

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