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.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 29

Andrei finally arrived at the back door and opened it up, permitting Josif to enter.  The middle-aged man was transported with rage and huffed with deep breaths as he lunged inside.  His large, broad-shouldered body eclipsed the wiry, old frame of the aged merchant, who recoiled with some fear as Josif said, “You’ve taken my son.  You’re holding him here, and I’ve come to take him back.”

“The boy is resting,” Andrei said, with some attempt at a calming voice, “Let him sleep.  He’s been out all night.”

Josif didn’t seem to even hear Andrei and began moving around the room, calling “Anton!” and looking for the boy, as if he would find him hidden under an overturned bowl, all the while asking, “Where is he?  Where are you hiding him?”

Anton, at this point, appeared at the door, drowsy and sleepy-eyed, and said in an irritated voice, “Dad, what are you doing here?”

Josif ran over to Anton and grabbed him by the arm, telling him, “Come on.  We’re leaving this place now.”

Anton removed his father’s hand from his arm angrily and pushed it away, saying, “No dad!  I’ve decided to come here.  I just told you yesterday you can’t stop me from doing this.  Just let it be.”

“That, I don’t believe.  No son of mine would decide to do this.  I think I know my son.  This apothecary has persuaded you, by unnatural means.  What potion has this magician given you?”

“None!” Anton started to scream, grabbing his father by the shirt and shaking him, “I have come here, as I told you to earn money.  I am doing this for all of us.”  But as soon as Anton noticed himself growing angrier, his hands trembling, he restrained himself, letting go of his father’s shirt and backing away.

“Your sister misses you,” Josif said, “You mother misses you.”

“I will come and see them.  I am less than a league away and have only been gone for one night,” Anton said.

“So, is this how it is to be?” Josif said, shrinking like one wounded, “You live here and only come to visit us?  You do not want to eat or sleep with your own family anymore?  You’ll earn money and we’ll be too poor for you?”

Anton lowered his eyes when he heard this and said to his father, “Just go.  We’ll speak of this another time.”

“Vasile is taking care of your son,” Andrei injected, “He will keep your son safe.”

“I don’t want to hear from you,” Josif said to Andrei, and he turned around and left the workroom, slamming the door as he left.

“You should get back to sleep,” Andrei said to Anton who hunched over despondently.

Anton returned to his room and lay back in the soft bed, tired but unable to sleep as his heart raced.  His thoughts drifted to his family, and particularly to his sister Constanta, whom he did not want to abandon.

In Terem that morning Cezar began his day by ascending the stairs to the wall walk and following it around the circumference of the wall.  The circular area that was encompassed by the wall and which Cezar circumnavigated enclosed two distinct districts: the city of Terem taking up the majority of the area and the convent occupying a corner on the southern edge.  The buildings on the southern edge of Terem formed a dense cluster of stone houses, built side by side, one after the other, the back sides of these houses forming a continuous wall that transversed the area within the wall.  The garden and the nun’s quarters and the back of the church all lay just to the other side of this dividing wall.  The only connection between these two separate segments of Terem, was the wall walk, the continuous walkway at the top of the wall.

Thus, as Cezar walked along this wall walk, he overlooked the lively, prosperous city of Terem, then saw it come to end, and saw begin the more subdued and modest monastery of Terem.  The convent itself was, in its more subdued way, a lively community, and there below him many persons moved in several directions, the nuns in their habits and the young novices similarly attired, while a smattering of servants hastened to their duties.

He saw Sister Oana speaking, in what appeared to be a reprimanding tone, to one of these servants, and he called out to her, “Sister Oana!  Could I speak with you?”  Sister Oana dismissed the servant when she saw the solider and approached the wall.  More than a body-length above her head, Cezar leaned over and looked down on her.

“I came here to tell you that I saw something last night,” Cezar said.

Sister Oana hastily indicated for him to be a bit more quiet and looked around to make sure no one heard them.  She then led Cezar to the small gap between the church and the wall, where it was a bit more out of the way and she would be less likely to be overheard.

In a quieter tone, speaking downwards to Sister Oana, Cezar said, “You said you wanted us to look for a novice, about twelve years old trying to sneak out.”

“Yes,” Sister Oana nodded.

“Last night I saw someone entering the novitiate.  She was small, so I’m guessing it may have been the girl in question.”

<-- Go to Part 28         Go to Part 30 -->

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

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