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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 35

Sister Oana could see Madalina just ahead of her carrying Nicoleta.  The little girl tried to run as fast as she could but Sister Oana, larger and unencumbered, was far faster than her.

But as she was just about to reach the little girl, she heard a sound in the trees, which traded her anger for fright, the sound of the sighing of the tree trunks and the rattling of leaves, as the trees bent and swayed under the weight of vampires that leaped from one tree to another.

The sentries saw the movement of the trees from the wall, and, though they could distinguish no shapes between the leaves, they knew that it was not the wind, and Cezar shouted at the top of his voice, “Vampires!  They’re coming! Close the gates!”

This stirred everyone into motion.  The nuns quickly closed the outer door, locked it with the two beams and lowered the portcullis behind it.  The two sentries quickly ran around the wall towards their canon.

They used this canon to fire a signal high into the air, which those who saw it would understand as a signal that vampires were near.  The signal was produced by a hollow cannonball that was doused in oil and lit.  Due to the fire, these cannonballs were particularly difficult to handle.  The cannon would be charged with gunpowder and pointed upwards towards the forest. Then a rod would be placed at the mouth of the cannon to prevent the cannonball from falling in.  The cannonball, first doused in oil, was then set atop the opening and lit.  As the flames circled around the circumference of the cannonball everyone stood back and covered their ears.  Then the rod was quickly removed.  The flaming ball would ignite the gunpowder as soon as it touched it, launching it high into the air.  An arc of flame then streaked across the sky.  If all went well, the flame would snuff itself out part way through its descent and crash harmlessly onto the forest floor.

Approximately a league away, Vasile and Anton sat high within another tree, waiting and in anticipation of yet more vampires that evening.  They heard the sound of the cannon as a faint pop in the distance.  The sound drew their attention to the sky where they saw the flaming ball rise and sink.

“Vampires,” Vasile said, “In Terem.  We have to get there as fast as we can.”

Vasile then dropped from the tree, with Anton close behind him, and they both began to run in the direction of Terem.

Madalina heard the sound of the cannon and saw the beautiful dot of light float above her.  The light of the cannonball faintly lit up the trees as it soared above them.  Madalina didn’t know what the flaming cannonball signified, so long had it been since Terem had faced a direct assault from the vampires.

Sister Oana, though, did know what it signified.  She had been alive at a time, decades ago, when the vampire raids were a persistent, terrifying threat and she froze in her tracks.

“Madalina stop!  There are vampires near,” she shouted with panic, just before a net dropped around her.  Sister Oana stumbled to the ground, shouting “Run Madalina!  Run! Save yourself!  Get out of here!”  She quickly scrambled to her feet to try and free herself, but two vampires were already there beside her.  They pulled at a rope to bring the net closed, sweeping Sister Oana off her feet as the net whisked under her.

Another flaming cannonball was launched into the air and they all watched it fly above them and again begin to sink and disappear.

Sim landed right in front of Madalina and told her to drop the body.  Once Madalina set Nicoleta on the ground Sim looked at Nicoleta and said, “This one’s good.”  He then wrapped her in a net and handed it off to Bai.

Sister Oana entrapped and laying on the ground, turned her head to look at Madalina.  She saw Madalina handing over Nicoleta and the vampire talking to her, unmolested, and asked in a voice of utter disappointment, “You’re helping the vampires?  Why?”  Intoning that everything she’d ever tried to do to help Madalina become a virtuous girl was all in vain, she asked again, “Why?”

Madalina glanced in Sister Oana’s direction when she heard these questions, but she merely turned away.

The first volley of arrows landed near them, dangerously close and Sim looked at his three companions and said, “We can’t wait.  Go now!”

Sim then bent down and told Madalina, “Get on my back.”

She leapt onto his back, gripping him around the neck and putting her legs around his hips.  “Hold tight,” he said, and then he began to run.

<-- Go to Part 34         Go to Part 36 -->

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

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