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, March 7, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 39

Despite this joyous occasion, Vasile had to deflate the mood. “Though we bagged the vampire, tonight was a failure,” Vasile soberly admitted.

Andrei and Ileana looked to Anton, who lowered his head and nodded, while Vasile continued, “Apparently there was an attack on Terem.  We saw the signal and ran in that direction.”

“It’s been years since the vampires have launched any serious attack on Terem or anywhere, for that matter.  They used to happen all the time, but the last time it happened Anton was probably still a boy.  Now people just quietly disappear, and they don’t even do that as much as they used to,” Andrei said.

“The vampires aren’t out at night as much,” Vasile said, “As I said to you before: I think they’re in decline.  I can’t imagine there’s more than five or ten of them left in all.  But as we were heading towards Terem, we saw four vampires and they had taken three females hostage.  All three women appeared to be alive. And we couldn’t stop them.  We only got the one vampire.”

“Alive?” Ileana asked, “Why?  Have you seen them taking people alive before?”

“I may have.  It’s usually hard to say.  It’s hard to get a good look at something that’s flashing by in the middle of the night,” Vasile admitted, “Tonight they were definitely alive, but I don’t know why?”

Madalina, Sim, Nicoleta, Sister Oana, Bai and the remaining vampire arrived at the coven soon after their encounter with Anton and Vasile.  They had made quick progress on foot, zipping along at the pace of a horse at gallop, until they reached the entrance of the coven.

Nestled in the base of a dry channel surrounded by a thick throng of trees, the entrance was covered with a canopy of shrubs, which they had to push through.  Beneath the shrubbery was a large stone, which appeared to be immovable and set into the ground, but which the vampires were capable of lifting.  For strong and aged vampires like Sim, the task was easy.  The stone hinged on one ends so that it opened like the mouth of an alligator, and everyone was able to enter the mouth of the cave.  Once everyone was within the entryway of the cave, Sim lowered the stone back into its place from inside.

After the stone was put back into place, the entryway was complete darkness.  Madalina’s eyes had adjusted to the faint light of night, but now they were in complete blackness.  Madalina heard movement in the darkness and when she looked in one direction she could see the faint outlines of light.  A moment later there was a knock and a door opened.  Orange, flickering light appeared and she could see two silhouetted shapes standing in the doorway.  She followed Sim and the vampires, on a downward sloping path.

She could barely see her feet in front of her, but the floor looked clean and the walls looked flat and smooth.  The ceiling was held up by supports in the form of a series of archways through which she passed.  The archways themselves were made of metal-reinforced wood, which was polished and painted.  From what she could see, the hallway through which she was passing looked more like the entryway to some great castle, than to the underground hovel or rude cave that she imagined.

As they moved further down, the light grew brighter.  It was very dim, and still quite difficult to see, but she could make out the outlines of things in the hallway.  Then they turned a corner and a great room lit by a few scattered fires opened up before her.

The room was enormous, larger than the interior of the church she’d attended at the convent.  The ceiling was as high as a tree, perhaps ten times the height of an adult, and the length and breadth of it were even longer than the height.  The ceiling was supported by four rows of thick, stone columns, decorated with ornate capitals, displaying images of vampires carved into their surface.  The floor of the place had been flattened and tiled, with a central mosaic of a dragon in the middle.  At one end was a raised platform with a chair, apparently a throne, now empty, and the rest of the room was crowded with vampires mulling around, waiting perhaps, and talking in their strident voices, which collectively sounded like the sound of a distant waterfall.

As the vampires in the room heard the returning group approaching they turned to look up to Sim, Madalina and the others.

The group was, at this point, on a walkway that was raised above the room, and Sim led Madalina down a set of stairs until they were at the level of the other vampires, whose many eyes stared intently at her the whole time.

<-- Go to Part 38         Go to Part 40 -->

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

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