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 28, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 51

Once Lina decided that, for her own peace of mind, she had to see if Nicoleta was still alive, she knew it must be done immediately.

She already knew that rules in the coven were different than the rules that restricted her in the convent she’d left.  She had more freedom of movement here, not to mention her own room, but she still wondered whether there were any places that were off limits to her, such as the holding cell where the humans were.  And she wondered how they punished misbehavers her.  She was not eager to find out, but still knew she had to see Nicoleta.

She stepped out of her room and quietly closed the door, almost by instinct.  It had been what she’d done every time she’d snuck out of her room at the convent at night, though it was hardly necessary in these circumstances.

When vampires passed her by in the halls, they looked at her with cold, threatening stares, which she was unsure how to interpret: were they suspicious of a new vampire wandering about unchaperoned?  At first, when she’d met Sim, she’d found him abrasive and hostile; so perhaps this was normally how vampires treated new members.  Vampires were not, to all appearances, warm and friendly with one another and she would have to adapt herself to their manners.

She walked in the direction of the holding cell, ambling quietly over the stone floor.  Entering the room she’d only just recently left, she again saw the long row of bars that stood between the vampires and the humans.  She looked around to see if any vampire was nearby spying on her before she cautiously approached the bars.

People recoiled from her when she approached, even though the bars kept her out just as much as they kept the humans in.  Holding onto the bars, she called out in a loud whisper, “Nicoleta!  Where are you?  Does someone know Nicoleta?”

The humans looked at Lina with suspicion and malice. One even took the brazen step of spitting in Lina’s direction, but most of them simply backed away and tried to hide in the shadows.

Lina continued her pleads, “Nicoleta!  I have to know if you’re alive!  They didn’t kill you already did they?”

“They wouldn’t kill her,” some anonymous person spoke from the shadows, “Too young.”

“You know Nicoleta?  And she’s alive?” Lina asked with some excitement, “Oh, please could you find her for me, so I can see her with my own eyes.”

All Lina could hear from that direction was a sort of dismissive huff, as the person expressed their disparagement of Lina’s request and made no movement to help.

Finally a shape approached her, and when it got closer, Lina saw once again, Sister Oana, looming still tall and imposing above Lina.  The experience of being confined underground for days had certainly cowed and disheartened Oana, giving her a more frightening and disheveled appearance than before.

“What do you want?” Oana asked.

“Nicoleta.  Is she alive?  Can I talk to her?” Lina asked.

“She’s alive.  I don’t know if she could be easily found.  There’s a vast web of caves back through these halls.  It’s shocking to think how much of this underground the vampires have dug out beneath the surface.  But why do you need to speak with Nicoleta?”

“I just want to talk to her.  To see if she’s alive and doing alright,” Lina pleaded.

“You are the reason she is in here, and the reason I am in here.  You are cooperating with infernal creatures that have no part in God’s law, and you are asking for us to help you.  For what?  To ease your own conscience?  Is this it now?  Now you are feeling guilty, while you’re still human?  After it’s too late for us?  If you want to ease your conscience then release us all and kill every last vampire from the earth, and only then will God, perhaps, forgive you.”

“I’m here,” a weak voice called from out of the shadows, compelling Oana to stop her tirade.

“Nicoleta,” Lina said, addressing her roommate as she saw her stepping out of the shadows.   Lina reached her hands through the bars as if she wanted to touch Nicoleta’s hand, “They’re taking care of you, aren’t they?”

Nicoleta simply nodded.  She didn’t approach Lina, whose actions confused her more than anything.  Here was the girl that had kidnapped her and handed her over to the vampires and now she seemed to be acting like they were long parted friends.

A gruff and screeching voice of one of the vampires, suddenly called out from behind Lina, causing her to jump and pull away from the bars of a sudden.  “What are you doing here,” a strange vampire she didn’t know, named Mir, said to her, and she turned around cautiously.

<-- Go to Part 50         Go to Part 52 -->

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

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