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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 58

In the distance, Vasile and Anton saw another troop of vampires approaching.  The vampires were in a group of four and they too carried a young prisoner between them.  Vasile watched this group pass by close to the tree where he and Anton were perched high in the branches.

The vampires walked down into the dry streambed, into the midst of a thick nest of underbrush and disappeared.  At this moment, Anton was ready to go follow them, but Anton restrained him, since he heard more vampires coming.  In fact, there were two other troops of vampires arriving, each with four members.  One of the troops bore a victim in his early twenties, and the last bore no victim.

All eight of these vampires followed the same path as the first four, streaming in a line into the bushes and disappearing.

By this time, the first lights of dawn were creeping over the horizon, and Anton was unwilling to wait any further.  He dropped down from the tree and hustled towards the bushes where he’d seen them disappearing, pushing the branches aside and plunging himself in.  But all he saw beneath was another of the exposed boulders jutting out of the ground.  He pounded on the boulder again and again, as if he could break it with his bare hands.  He tried to push it to lift it, to do anything he could, but the rock wouldn’t move.

Finally giving up, he sprawled himself across the boulder and let out a long pent up flurry of tears.  He buried his eyes in his arms and sobbed repeatedly, imagining the worst indignities afflicted upon his sister and thinking about enduring an entire life with her absence.  Her absence would be something he’d never be able to shake off, something more persistent than his shadow, which at least had the decency to quit him in darkness.  Her absence would always be with him.

Anton turned to look at Vasile there with him, his eyes red and his cheeks still wet and he said to him, “She’s gone forever.”

After the final three squads returned to the coven, they presented their plunder before Asha in the great hall.  Bai and Tam had already presented Constanta to Asha, who congratulated them on this acquisition, saying, “Of course Sim has brought us the finest catch this evening,” before ordering her taken to the pen.  The next prize was a boy around fourteen, who Asha was also pleased to see.  The third prize was a young man in his early twenties.  This prize was not nearly so agreeable.  Not only were male humans of considerable less value than the females, but Asha preferred them younger.  Her ideal trophy would be a girl close to menarche, who would grow to be a fertile and productive mother.

Lina, standing next to Bai and Tam in the back of the great hall, watched Asha pour forth a warm flow of derision as she insulted the lead vampire for his poor haul.  But, this was nothing compared to the last group.  Lina had yet to see Asha angry before this moment and she watched Asha’s anger in full display as she lashed out at the leader of the empty-handed vampires.

“You had hours to find someone.  You had a whole village full of people and you couldn’t find anything.”

“Well, you see Asha…” the vampire began to spin out an excuse, but Asha cut him off, “You had your chance, and you failed.”

Then, with a speed and dexterity that made Lina leap back from fear even though she was some twenty paces away, Asha lunged at the vampire.  In one quick movement, she pushed aside his head to expose his jugular and sunk her teeth in, while knocking his body down onto the floor with her feet.  She savagely gnawed at the neck while his arms flailed about in some futile attempt to escape.  Before the vampire could react, his body was already nearly drained of all life and his muscles were twitching with his final death spasms.

With the body now motionless and sprawled across the ground, Asha finally stood up and pushed him away with her foot.  She wiped her lips, which were stained with blood and she announced to all those present, “We have kidnapped tonight because we need to fill out our herd.  If we cannot create a self-sustaining population of humans then there will not be enough food for all of us, and some of us will have to die.  This is thereby the punishment for all those who fail.  Are you all clear?”

Lina was rendered motionless by what she had seen, but she was able to nod her head along with all the other vampires present in response to Asha’s question.

Then Asha ordered one of the vampires, “Take him to the kitchen,” and two vampires carried the dead body away.

<-- Go to Part 57         Go to Part 59 -->

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

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