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, March 4, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 37

The sound of vampires in full run was distinctive.  It was somewhat like the sound of a galloping horse, but without the punctuated four-hoof cadence.  It was a continuous, light thumping of feet on ground in a quick staccato beat.

It was apparent just from the sound that there was more than one vampire, in fact, it sounded like several, and Vasile was prepared to wait it out and let them pass.  But as he peaked through the shrubs that him and Anton hid behind he saw that they bore three captured humans.

Sister Oana had been secured, using the net, to a long, wooden sled, with two runners underneath.  The sled was designed to make it easier to drag victims, by reducing friction, and one of the vampires dragged this sled behind him.  Nicoleta was wrapped in her net and simply was being hung between two of the vampires, like a pot suspended over a fire.  Lastly, Vasile noticed what appeared to be a little girl clinging to the shoulders of one of the vampires, causing him to say to himself, “That’s unusual.  Why isn’t she tied up?”

He shook off that thought, realizing there was no time to contemplate it now.  He turned to Anton, leaning close into his ear and said as quietly as possible, “They have victims.  We have to attack.”

Anton was undeterred by numbers and nodded.  He raised his long bow with arrow, eager for his first kill, whispering to Vasile, “It’s about time I get to show you my skill.”

As desirous as Vasile was to try to save all three persons, Vasile and Anton alone couldn’t take on four vampires.  Their only chance was to attack one of the vampires, saving one person, and hope the rest kept running.  Vasile decided that the vampire with the sled was the most vulnerable and he said quietly to Anton, “Aim for the one with the sled.  Keep firing until it’s dead.”  And then he added with special emphasis, “Don’t miss.”

Vasile raised his crossbow just above the top of the shrubbery, took quick but careful aim and then fired.  Anton’s arrow was hard on the tail of Vasile’s and both of them lodged into the body of the vampire in quick succession, Vasile’s landing in the back of its thigh just below the buttocks and Anton’s piercing the side from behind and exiting out the front, through his stomach.

The vampire stumbled with a cry of pain as its precious blood splashed from out its wounds.  The rest of the party turned to look at their fallen brother, but Vasile gave them no opportunity to recover, raising his second crossbow and placing a crossbow bolt with surgical precision in the neck just below the jaw.  Anton was quick to unload another arrow, putting it through the stomach of the vampire now prostrate on the ground.

Bai, who was holding Nicoleta, dropped her and lunged for their brother, but Sim screeched, “Leave him!  He’s dead!  Just the sled.”

The sled was grabbed by Bai before Anton or Vasile could get a good shot, though Anton threw one wild, hasty shot that flew wide of its mark.  Vasile told him, “Save your arrows,” as his head fell under the weight of disappointment.  The three remaining vampires continued on their way rapidly while Vasile and Anton watched them disappear.

Anton couldn’t contain his anger and frustration and he pounded his fists against the nearest tree, finally letting out a few tears of frustration once he stopped.  He then sat down despondently.  Vasile looked at him with concern as he reloaded both his crossbows.  Vasile admitted despondently, “We failed.  But we still have a vampire we have to take care of.”

He pulled out two bird-shaped masks and handed one to Anton.  “This’ll keep you from becoming infected,” Vasile explained as he placed the mask on his head.   The leather mask covered the entirety of the face, with two glass eye pieces through which he could see, and then over the nose was a long, bird-like beak.  Within the tip of the beak a pungent smell emerged, from a vinegar-soaked sponge, which caused Anton to wince.  “The smell keeps you from breathing in the infectious miasma, and turning you into a vampire.  Try to breath through your nose.”

Anton nodded, standing up and following Vasile forward towards the body.  Vasile had both of his crossbows ready and pointed at the vampire, and Anton imitated him by pointing his longbow at the motionless vampire.

“Keep your weapon ready,” Vasile instructed, “They’re still dangerous.  If he’s able he’ll try to attack.  And if he can attack, he’ll kill.”

<-- Go to Part 36         Go to Part 38 -->

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

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