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, April 8, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 57

Vasile watched Sim flee out of the range of his arrows and conceded that they’d have to let him go.  He then dropped down out of the tree and immediately attended to Anton.  Anton was now coughing due to the choking and looked as if his neck was deeply bruised.  What concerned Vasile, though, was the blood that covered Anton’s face and neck.

Anton, after another bout of coughing, was quickly on his feet shouting, “We have to go after Constanta.  We can’t let her die.”  But Vasile restrained him.

“There’s a stream nearby.  We need to wash you off,” Vasile insisted.  It was all Vasile could do to restrain Anton who was determined to break free of Vasile’s grip and catch the vampires.

Finally Vasile had to shout at him, “It’s too late!  You saw how fast they run!  They’re already underground.  We’re not going to catch them.  Now let’s get you washed off so you don’t get infected.”

Anton finally settled down and let Vasile lead him several hundred paces away to where a tiny stream trickled quietly.  Anton was quietly crying as he walked, tears streaming down his cheeks, which formed tracks through the now dry drops of blood.  Anton leaned down into the stream and dipped his whole head into the water, splashing water over his face and neck and clothes and through his hair.

When he lifted his head up, the water dripping off of him, Vasile told him, “We really should get back to Andrei’s.  He has some medicines which should neutralize any infection you may have contracted.”

“No,” Anton refused, “We have to track them.  We have to find their cave.  We have to get in there and get my sister out of there.  She may not be dead yet.  We still have a chance.”

“Your sister was the girl?” Vasile asked, now finally understanding.  He took a deep breath, uncertain, conflicted.  “Did you get any blood in your eyes?  In your mouth?  Did you taste any of that vampire’s blood?”

To each question Anton answered “no,” until Vasile asked him, “Did you smell the vampire?”

“I did,” Anton had to admit, “He smelled like sour onions and garlic,” trying to put to words the peculiar aroma that emanated from beneath Sim’s skin.

“Diseases are passed by scent,” Vasile explained, “At least many of them are.  Perhaps even vampirism.  That’s why we have to wear the masks.  Even you know that.  One is supposed to never breathe in the odor of a sick man no matter what.  I fear that you may have contracted their disease in your contact with the vampire.  If we get you back to Andrei’s immediately I think we can forestall it.”

“I don’t care,” Anton told Vasile, “If I become a vampire, then I’ll use my powers to rip apart all those responsible for my sister’s death with my bare hands.  All I care about is finding her and there’s no time to waste.”

Vasile didn’t want to try and force Anton.  So he simply nodded in the direction they’d seen the vampires flee and he said, “This way.”

Vasile had watched Sim by the moonlight for a substantial distance.  He had a general idea where Sim had disappeared, and he took Anton to the area, which was only a few hundred paces from where they’d been perched in wait.  It consisted of a dry streambed, where some dense patches of shrubbery grew.  Several exposed boulders poked out of the ground and they were in the mist of a large array of trees.

Vasile told him, “To the best of my ability, I would say this is about where he disappeared.  It’s hard to see any traces of blood in this dark, but the few drops of blood I’ve seen, seem to lead to here.  I can guarantee I’ve searched this patch of woods before, and if there is an entrance to a cave around here, I can’t find it.”

As Vasile calmly said these words, Anton’s anxiety was palpable, scrambling around looking everywhere in the bushes for any sign of the vampires, as if he expected them to be hiding just under a bush with his sister in hand.  Anton scrambled about, kicking up dirt and pounding the ground and swearing to himself under his breath.  Finally, after watching him for a minute or two, Vasile suggested, “We should wait and watch.”

Anton conceded, and the two of them climbed a tree within sight of the streambed and watched.  Anton couldn’t keep himself still and had to be constantly calmed by Vasile who silently watched the ground below them and kept his ears open for the sound of vampires.

After a long wait, as the night was about at its nadir, their patience was rewarded.

<-- Go to Part 56         Go to Part 58 -->

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

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