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.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 50

Lina started seeing many shadows moving around on the other side of the bars.  She didn’t immediately realize they weren’t vampires, but, their movements and the color of their skin gave it away.  The room was filled with humans who drearily shuffled about.

“The granary is for them,” Sim explained to her, and she understood that the huge stocks of food were necessary to keep these unseen numbers of persons alive.

The way he said this and sort of smiled indicated that this room was a great point of pride for the coven.  It was like a rich man showing off his costly jewels and furs, or, perhaps more appropriately, showing off the vast herds of cattle that grazed in his fields.  It would take Lina a long time to appreciate the work that had gone into building this hoard of humans, but her reaction would probably have been unswayed had she been aware.

All she could feel, when she looked at just the numbers of persons she could see, maybe eighty to a hundred, not to mention those she couldn’t see, was a deep unsettling horror, which was all the worse, because, with Sim beside her, she felt that this feeling was not something she could outwardly express.  She tried her best to hide her reaction.

At that moment a face passed in front of her vision: Oana.  Oana was among the sad faces that shuffled about, and Oana turned and saw Lina.  Lina remembered that moment in the forest, just a few days before, when Sister Oana, pinned under a net and terrified, had asked Madalina, “You’re helping the vampires?” in a way that tried to impress upon Madalina the profound guilt that she should feel.  Sister Oana, now behind the bars, looked at Madalina in the same way she had in the forest, when she realized Madalina was cooperating with the vampires.  Lina felt the sting of that look, and it was even more of a struggle for her to hold back her reaction.

“You are not your blush of shame; you are not your tears; you are not that weight on your chest.  All of those are not you, and can be put aside and stomped beneath your feet,” Lina silently told herself as she closed her eyes.

“This is our granary,” Sim explained to her, “The pen where we keep our food.”

Sim then gestured for them to leave, telling her, “You won’t be working here.”

The next room he showed her was simply called “the kitchen,” though there were no fires or ovens or anything resembling cooking going on inside

“This is where we prepare our food.  You will not be working here either, at present,” Sim told her.

The room had a low ceiling and was furnished with several tables and shelves.  There were now two vampires, Suma and Tor, that moved around actively with large pots and bowls being stirred, while indiscriminate ingredients were being added.  She wasn’t enthusiastic about knowing the source of the food they were preparing or their methods of preparation, as she imagined it would only make the experience of consuming the food more repellent than it already was.

The final room he showed to her was simply identified as their cache.  It was something between a treasure horde and a junk pile.  The room was stuffed high with acquisitions that the vampires had made from their various raids over the centuries, including quite valuable sums of precious metal and jewelry as well as furniture and artwork of varying states of condition and grades of quality, besides mountains of clothes, linens and fabrics.  Many of these items were clearly useful and valuable, but others seemed as if they’d simply been left, with no one wanting them but no one wanting to throw them out either.

“If you want, you can comb through the cache for clothes or decorations for your room,” Sim explained.  She tried to give a feeble smile, but she didn’t have much excitement left in her.

She stepped inside and looked through the dresses, halfheartedly.  She didn’t want to be searching through piles of junk now.  She, in fact, didn’t want to do much of anything at all right now.  She told Sim, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’m tired.  Can I go and rest.  I’d like to give my new bed a try.”

“Of course,” Sim replied and he led her back to her room.

When they arrived, Sim told her, “After you rest, you’ll start your work assignment.  You’ll be cleaning.  You’ll find me in my room.”

She nodded and told him she would see him soon.  Then she closed the door and went to the bed and lay on top of it.  She was not sleepy, simply drained of energy and emotion.  She wanted to close her eyes and escape from all this unpleasantness in dreams, but she couldn’t.  Too many thoughts passed through her head, and in her thoughts she wondered if Nicoleta was there, whether she had survived.  After many minutes of restless cogitation, she finally resolved that she must find out if Nicoleta was in the pen and still alive.

<-- Go to Part 49         Go to Part 51 -->

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

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