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, February 7, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 22

Anton stopped at the sudden sight of his father, simply startled at first, but becoming nervous as he saw his father’s displeasure.

“Where have you been?” Josif asked, “You left yesterday too.  Going into town I suppose.”

“Yes,” Anton said, “Just into town.”

“Don’t do it anymore.  We don’t have time for that,” Josif said, with rising anger, “There’s work that needs to be done, and it does not wait.  I need you here.”

“Yes, father,” Anton bowed his head in subservience and pushed past him out the door.  Then after a moment he raised his eyes again and turned back to his father, saying, “But father, I wanted to work in town, to earn some money.”

“If you’re looking for work, there’s plenty of it here.  I’ve got enough work to fill every hour of the day.”

Josif then stopped as he remembered what he’d heard about Vasile, and he said ominously, “Wait.  This isn’t about Vasile looking for an apprentice?  Is that what you mean by work?”

Anton kept his head bowed and didn’t say a word.  Josif objected forcefully, “No!  No son of mine is going to do that!  Crouching in trees in the middle of the night, dragging vampire corpses to Andrei’s, so he can chop them up and sell them to spoiled aristocrats like Mihai?”

“Don’t you see, father,” Anton finally raised his eyes and responded with energy, “That the wealth that Vasile earns is a way out of serfdom.  No more Mihai, no more landlord of any kind.  You’ll be able to have your own land – we’ll be able to have our own land – and every bushel of its produce will be ours.”

“You will be killed before you raise enough,” Josif responded, “Vasile has been lucky.  You will die just as all of the other vampire-hunters who have tried have failed and died, and then where will I be left?  Only your sister and mother to help me, as I age?  No!  It’s foolishness.  And besides, do you think that Mihai will simply let me leave if I want my own land?  I cannot simply leave.  He has a choice whether he wants to let me leave, and he will not.  I can guarantee it.  I have known that pig for too long to believe that he will do otherwise.”

Anton listened to all that his father said with bent down head and growing anger.  He finally sprang upon his father with an unleashed growl and said to him, “You will not prevent me!” as he grabbed his father’s shirt and pushed him back against the wall.  Pots shook on the wall from the force of the impact, and Anton raised a hand to punch his father across the jaw, but he stopped and let his father go.

His father wasn’t ready to cower, though.  This was not an even matchup.  The nearly forty-year-old Josif was considerably larger than his sixteen-year-old son and he grabbed his boy and struck him across the face more than once.

Anton freed himself from his father’s grip and left the house in a hurry, slamming the door behind him and running at full speed through the rows of wheat.  He ran as fast as he could, and pushed himself to the limits of his endurance until he finally couldn’t take it anymore.  His lungs ached and his throat was raw as he dropped to the dirt and hunched over on his knees to cry.

It would be hard to describe what made him cry at that point.  Hfe felt at once so incensed and so powerless.

But he hated to see himself in this condition: angry, frustrated, on the precipice of violence.  So he stood up, dried his tears and pushed all of his anger and frustration into his gut.  He looked out over the golden spans of wheat and remembered that his father had pointed out a place where their fence needed repairing and he headed in that direction.

That evening as the family ate, Josif, Anton, Anton’s sister, Constanta, and mother Viorica, sat in an uncomfortable silence.  They ate a leek stew with bread, and all three of them were huddled silently over their food while only the sound of spoons touching bowls and lips slurping soup could be heard.

Josif had told Constanta and Viorica about Anton’s plans and they would occasionally look up anxiously from their stew towards Anton.  None of them felt they could do anything to prevent him from leaving.

It was his sister who first spoke up, standing from her chair, and embracing her brother, with the words, “Please don’t go.  I don’t want you to die.”

And to her he said, “I promise I won’t die.  For you.  Those vampires will never be able to get to me.”

<-- Go to Part 21         Go to Part 23 -->

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

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