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 11, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 41

Anton slept deeply that day after the hard exertion of chasing vampires through the dark forest at night.  The four coins he’d earned were in the pocket of the shirt he wore to sleep, and, when he woke up in the afternoon, he heard the sound of the coins jangling in his pocket.

When he stepped into the dining room of Andrei’s abode, the room was empty.  A large table was spread with a beautiful white tablecloth and a loaf of bread with some cheese wrapped in a blanket beside it stood waiting for him.  He eagerly tore off some bread and placed some bits of cheese he broke off onto it and began to eat.

Ileana heard him and entered the room.  When she saw him, she said to him, “I hope you slept well.  How about I help you break your fast with some eggs and beer?”

She returned a few minutes later with some boiled eggs and a frothing mug of beer.  Anton, who was quite hungry, opened the eggs and wolfed them down between large gulps of beer, with little attempt at civility.

“Slow down, slow down,” Ileana cheerily admonished.

She then brought out a small bowl of the same foul-tasting vampire wares that he’d eaten the day before.  She also set down a steaming bowl of beef stew, remarking, “We got the stew cooking up for Andrei’s dinner tonight.  You might try mixing in the medicine with the stew to take the edge off the taste.”

“Are you crazy?” Anton replied, “That’ll just ruin the stew.  It smells too delicious to be ruined.”

“Suite yourself,” she said, as Anton raised the brown liquid to his lips and closed his nose while he put it in his mouth.  It tasted at once sickly sweet, sour and rotten and he could feel it coating the interior of his mouth and down his throat with a stench that wouldn’t wash away, no matter how many gulps of beer he took.

After Anton finished eating, he announced to Ileana, “I’m going to visit my family.”

Ileana said, “Alright.  But don’t be too long.  Vasile will be up shortly and I’m sure he’ll want to train before dark, target practice with the bows and knives, and all that.”

“I’ll be quick,” Anton said, and he rushed out through the back of the house.  He tried to move quickly to his house, but the food weighed heavily in his stomach, and the overpowering taste of the vampire medicine was still in his mouth.

When he saw his family’s farmhouse, he felt like it’d been an eternity since he’d seen it, even though it’d only been some two days.  And apparently his sister’s Constanta felt the same way, as she suddenly ran out to come greet him with her arms outstretched and joyous as he approached.

“Oh, brother, I worry so much about you.  These past two nights I’ve been dreaming about you being bled dry by some frightening vampire.  It’s horrible.”

They walked inside and his mother who was baking bread was there to meet them.  Anton’s father, Josif, was soon to follow and they greeted him warmly, though his father looked unhappy and asked earnestly, “Have you given up this vampire-hunting business?”

“No, father,” Anton said and then reached to his pockets to pull out his gold.  He then placed the four coins on the table, saying, “My formidable hunting skills earned me this.  One for each of us.”  The three of them marveled at the wealth that he’d thrown on the table and at first couldn’t believe it.

Anton turned to his father to gloat, saying, “I told you vampire-hunting would be worth it.  I told you I would lift us out of this rut.  What do you say now father?  This is only my first week.”

Constanta and Viorica were dazzled by the coins and picked up one each, his mother asking, “For us?  This is too much.”

His sister gushed and gave Anton a warm hug saying, “I have the most wonderful brother, ever.”

But Anton’s father picked up his coin, bit it and then inspected it closely.  He said, “What am I going to do with this?  I can’t pay for anything with gold coins.  Am I supposed to go down to the blacksmith and buy a horseshoe with one of these?  Cornel wouldn’t have enough money in his whole store to change this.”

“I can get Andrei to change it for you,” Anton sighed with growing frustration.

“Then you can just give him back the whole coin,” Josif sneered, “We don’t need his charity.”

“It’s not charity!” Anton said, starting to yell, “I bagged a vampire.  I mean, we, Vasile and I, did.  We shot him through with half a dozen arrows, and this is what Andrei paid us.”

“Oh my God,” Constanta exclaimed, “I should thank heaven you weren’t killed.”

“How was it?” Viorica asked, “How was it your first time?”

“Terrifying,” Andrei said, “And terrible.  They’re so cold and powerful.  And it’s even scarier to see them up close.  I admit, I don’t have much of an appetite for killing.”

“You’ll see that I was right to try to prevent you,” Josif said, pointing his finger directly at Anton, “I just pray that you figure it out before you end up dead.”

<-- Go to Part 40         Go to Part 42 -->

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

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