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, April 18, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 63

Asha and Uta sat in a carriage looking directly across at Lucian and Beniamin, seated opposite them.  The carriage bumped around violently on the rough forest road, while in the center of the carriage the knees of the two humans and the two vampires were dangerously close to touching.  With each new jolt Beniamin stiffened himself to prevent himself from lurching forward and accidentally coming into contact with Asha.  He had come to believe that any direct physical contact with a vampire would automatically lead to infection making this carriage journey a terrifying ordeal for him.

He finally asked Lucian leaning towards him and trying to speak quietly, “Are you sure there’s no risk of infection?”

“There is no risk,” Asha loudly proclaimed in response, “Your damn worthless physicians have fed you more mountains of ignorance than I could possible push aside, but I will tell you this: we vampires know how infection works.  Vampirism is not spread through bad air; it is not spread through touching.  It is spread through fluids.  It lives in our blood, in our sweat, in our spit, in our tears.  So unless you decide to drink one of these fluids of mine or my companion, then you needn’t worry.  Though, I suppose a kiss would work as well.  Would you like to kiss me Beniamin?”

Asha said it in a taunting way, but Beniamin blushed when she said it.  Though her head was hooded and covered in a black cloth that enshrouded her face, Beniamin was familiar with Asha’s beauty from their previous meeting.  To his mind, she was the most enchanting creature he’d ever seen and he yearned for her to remove that covering and reveal her face again.  The carriage’s interior was dark, with the doors and curtains closed, but, though she was oppressed by stifling heat, she didn’t deem it safe and preferred to remain covered.

The ride was long, but they eventually pulled in through the gates of Terem.  The horse hoofs echoed on the stone pavement as they pulled into the center of town.  The market was alive with crowds bustling about in a loud hum of activity.  But when Asha and the four vampires accompanying her stepped out of the carriages, the crowds stopped and fell into silence.

Asha had never been inside the walls of Terem.  They were high and well guarded.  She’d always wanted to breach them, but only now, with peace, did this become possible.

Flaviu, the captain of the guard was there to greet them.  He was a short, stout man with white hair and a red-cheeked face, flushed like one drunk.  He extended a hand to shake but Asha ignored him and strode forward towards the town hall where she supposed the meeting to be held

The town hall was a red brick building with several white-framed windows and a pair of chimneys emerging from either side of the roof.  When Asha opened the door she was confronted with a large open room stacked with pews that were now filled with onlookers.  Above her head was also a gallery section and she could here the shifting of feet as people heard her entrance and moved in anticipation of seeing her and the other vampires.

Most of the villagers had the good fortune of never having seen a vampire, fortunate since most those who saw vampires were victims or the families of victims, the witnesses to a terrible raid or kidnapping.  When Asha walked down the center aisle all eyes were turned to her.

Rows of windows on either side of the hall flooded the room with light, until, at Flaviu’s command, the shutters to these windows began to be shut.  Darkness spread across the room in a slow wave that proceeded behind Asha as she walked towards the front, until all the windows were ultimately closed and the room was only faintly illuminated.  The crowds of people began to mutter in evident alarm and some people even cried out in panic.  Flaviu had to shout out in a powerful voice, “Quiet!  You’re all perfectly safe.”  The commanding voice stunned the crowd into obedience, and, even though they looked on nervously, they at least kept quiet.

Reaching the table at the front where a candle burned, Asha finally took off her hood and her head covering and exposed her face to the crowd, while the four other vampires with her did the same.  Though it must surely have been difficult for most of the townspeople to see her clearly in the dim light, the effect was transformative.  They had never realized how stunning the vampires were.

<-- Go to Part 62         Go to Part 64 -->

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

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