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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 28

Bai and Sim continued walking aimlessly, sniffing the air as if they had caught to scent of something important but couldn’t place its location.

Bai finally threw up his hands in frustration and said to Sim: “What are we after?”

Sim hastily gestured for him to be silent, still hoping they might be able to catch by, surprise, whomever it was they’d heard.

“We are chasing hares,” Bai said, using an expression axiomatic among the vampires for going after something too trivial to be worth the effort.

“Obedience, underling!” Sim snapped at Bai.

“The night retreats,” Bai complained.

Sim hissed in aggravation at Bai’s complaints, but he couldn’t argue with the apparent truth of what Bai said, so he screeched with condescension, “You will follow my lead, underling.”  Then he led Bai, at a rapid sprint, in the direction they had been originally heading.

As they left, Vasile lowered his weapon and followed them with his eyes.  As they receded into the distance, he squinted as much as possible, hoping that perhaps this time he might finally see them disappearing into their hole.  In some thirty years of hunting, he had never found the entrance to whatever cave or hole they slept within, but he nonetheless always believed that the discovery of it would be just around the corner.

Divining Vasile’s thoughts, Anton asked, “Have you ever tried to track them to their cave? I’m a great tracker.  I’m sure I could follow their footprints right to their home.”

“Tried, but never succeeded,” Vasile said, “We could try again.  Not now.  Still too dangerous.  But at morning.”

Just the mention of morning made Anton expel a vigorous yawn, and reminded him how long he had gone without sleeping.  His father and him had arisen the last morning, as usual, before daybreak, meaning he had gone for nearly twenty-four hours without sleep.

“Or I can track them alone while you sleep,” Vasile said, noticing Anton’s fatigue.

“I will join you,” Anton said sleepily, “I’m not tired.  I never get tired.”

“No you won’t,” Vasile said, “At sunrise, I’ll lead you back.  And you’ll sleep while I track.  We can practice with weapons in the evening after we’ve both slept.”

They did as Vasile said, Anton being led back to Andrei’s where Vasile left him. Ileana let him in through the back door and asked him, “Are you hungry?  Do you want some food?” but Anton shook his sagging head.  She understood and led Anton to a guest bedroom, where she presented him with a bed.

When Anton first looked into the room, his eyes opened wide with pleased amazement.  The one thing he noticed above all was how abnormally clean it was: the floor well swept, the sheets clean and the wallpapered walls free of dirt.  It also lacked that conspicuous smell he’d grown so used to from his usual sleeping place, that admixture of human and animal stench that seemed permeate every corner.  Though he didn’t have time to appreciate, as sleep beckoned him, he thought to himself that he’d like to bring his sister Constanta here and share it with her.

He undressed and then dropped onto the bed.  It was infinitely more comfortable than the bed he was used to and he sank into it like falling into a warm bog.  Though he was so tired that he could’ve probably fallen asleep on a nest of pinecones, this bed was particularly inviting, and he fell asleep almost right away.

After what seemed like only an eye blink, Anton was roused from his sleep by the sound of a fist pounding on a door.  Truth was that several hours had passed, but he progressed through such deep sleep that it seemed like nothing.

As he looked around, he momentarily forgot where he was, so accustomed was he to waking up in his one-room cottage with his family.  He looked around and gradually remembered his surroundings.  He saw Vasile sleeping soundly in a bed across the room from him, and was able to recount how he’d gotten there.  All the while the distant sound of someone ferociously pounding on the door continued.

It wasn’t someone pounding on his bedroom door, but rather on the thick exterior door of Andrei’s, the back door that led into the workroom.  As he began to focus his ears, he heard a voice that accompanied the pounding.  It clearly was shouting “Andrei!  Open this door!” repeatedly.

He then heard the voice say, “Give me back my son!  You can’t take my son!  The magistrate will hear of this!” before it returned to the repeated refrain of “Andrei!  Open this door!”

At this point it was clear who was making the sound, and Anton now recognized, in the sound, muted through the thick walls, the enraged voice of his father, Josif.

<-- Go to Part 27         Go to Part 29 -->

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

No comments:

Post a Comment