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.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 68

Lina felt embarrassed when Sim told her these things and she blushed with a crimson blush that only the pallor of her vampire skin could make so bright.

“Don’t worry,” Sim assured her, “You won’t do it again.”

“But I want …” Lina began to say before she began to trail off.  She was now ashamed to ask for it, and had to do it quietly, with head lowered, “I want to go outside.”

She had to admit to herself that there were things that she couldn’t do alone and she would have to call on Sim’s help, thought the very thought made her ill-at-ease.  Even just to think of asking (not to mention to ask for) someone’s help brought to the forefront, within her, powerful internal restraints.

Sim, though, only replied with a question, “Why?”  He turned back and looked at the surgeon who was still in the room with him to see if the vampire had been listening in on their conversation.  The surgeon looked back to Sim with a blank expressionless face, as if to suggest that he was only part of the background.  “There’s nothing out there for you anymore,” Sim then told Lina without waiting for her answer.

“I Just want to get out of here for a time,” Lina told him, not being entirely untruthful.  She had often wondered how it was that all the other vampires could stand to be down in these caves for such extended periods of time without any of the fresh air of the forest above.

“You’ll get used to it,” Sim told her, “I remember what it was like when I first arrived.  I was accidentally infected by Oto, as I think I already told you, and was only admitted to this place after I’d tried to survive for months on my own above the surface.  Trying to find a way to shield yourself from the sun during the day after you’ve been kicked out of your own house by your own family, I promise you, is very difficult and was accompanied by many painful mistakes.  Even then, after this place had become my salvation from the burning light, I still felt oppressed by the confines of the cave.  I wanted to get out of here every night.  But, after nearly getting killed by vampire hunters a few times, the desire passed, for good.  I hate going up to the surface.”

“But the vampire hunters are gone now.  There’s peace,” Lina objected.

“It’s best you just stay in here,” Sim told her, “You’ll adjust.”

This brought their conversation to an end, Lina considering it unlikely that she would bend Sim to her will this time, and the two of them both left the infirmary for their respective rooms.

When Lina returned to her quarters she found herself spread across her bed, deep in thought.  Her thoughts dwelled on her sole present objective, of fulfilling her promise to Nicoleta, by freeing her.  At the moment, she had no grander designs than this.  Even this simple task seemed difficult beyond her ability.  She didn’t know how to get Nicoleta out of the pen, how to get her to the door or how to open the door.

The only strategy that Lina could think of was simply to wait for her body to grow stronger and hope the other steps could be resolved in the interim.  She didn’t know how long it would take to gain sufficient strength (weeks? months? years?).  “If only there was some way I could accelerate the process?” she thought to herself.

It was only when she finally articulated this thought in her mind, that she remembered that there was in fact was a way that she could accelerate this process: the same way that Asha had gained strength when she’d seized leadership over the coven, by consuming the flesh of her kind.  Lina knew she hadn’t the stomach to kill any vampire, let alone the capacity, but she quickly remembered that Asha had already done the killing for her, just the night before.  If she could only get to that vampire. “Surely the vampire couldn’t have been eaten and gone already,” she thought to herself, “It takes time to process.”  She admitted that she knew absolutely nothing about how the vampires processed or prepared the thick red liquid that had become her sole source of food since she’d arrived, but it seemed reasonable.  The liquid wasn’t just blood.  It was more, and though she’d been reluctant to let her curiosity pursue the question further, she suspected that processing those other parts took time.

“Is the kitchen off limits?” she then asked herself.  After a moment, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I better hurry up and go in there before someone explicitly tells me I can’t.”

<-- Go to Part 67         Go to Part 69 -->

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

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