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, May 2, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 71

The symptoms were so unpleasant that, as Lina stared up at the ceiling, she began to worry.  Her whole body felt terrible: her muscles sore, her throat ragged, her stomach aching, her body weak.  “Did I consume too much?  Is my body really capable of handling that much?  Is it more than a young vampire can handle?” she asked herself as the overriding feeling that she'd polluted her body with something deeply unhealthy dominated her thoughts.  After a long stretch of unpleasantness, she finally let her abused body plummet into a sleep from which it felt like she would never rise.

In her sleep she began to dream.  It was a moderately pleasant dream, of being back at the convent (always of the convent) with Sister Elisabeta instructing her in theology and Sim there to protect her whenever Oana should overstep her reprimands.  If there was one thing that she truly lacked when she was at the convent, it was someone there to protect her.  And when she stepped outside and watched the sun high in the blue sky, she thought to herself, “It doesn't burn so bad.”  In fact, the sun felt warm and she felt happy to be back at the convent.

It was at this moment when she woke up again, back in the darkness of her room, lying in her bed, her sheets wet with sweat and her body shivering from the cold.  She opened her eyes, oblivious to how much time she'd lost to sleep, but she suspected that it’d been a great many hours, since her sickness was gone.  In fact, the sickness wasn’t just gone; her body felt revitalized.

As her mind began to slowly open itself to wakefulness, she stepped out of her bed and moved her body about.  Her body moved as if it was something new, like her arms were recently acquired appendages that had just grown in.  There was a strangeness, an unfamiliarity to her movements.  She went to look into the mirror, and noticed she looked different — subtly but noticeably different.  Her face was quite beautiful, for one.  She became enrapt in her own appearance, feeling for the moment like a person savoring the beauty of a new and attractive stranger.  She turned her face in the glass to observing it from every angle, inspecting the different facets of her newfound resplendence, her bright eyes and smooth skin.

A dark thought crossed her mind, as she feared that it would be a bit too obvious to the other vampires how beautiful she’d become and how quickly.  It might raise questions, suspicions.  But then she thought that none of them had really paid her close enough attention before to notice a difference.

She next wanted to see whether her strength had made any dramatic improvements.  She approached her bed: a sturdy wood frame with a heavy feather mattress and several layers of sheets.  As a novice, she would’ve barely been able to raise it off the ground.  As a vampire, just a few days ago, she’d been able to lift it fully off the ground with only some difficulty.  Now, as she tried to lift it, it seemed to float up into the air, like a piece of driftwood rising to surface of a stream.

The great rock that covered the entrance, that had been beyond her strength only just the previous day, was now, she was sure, within her strength.  She was one step closer to freeing Nicoleta.

Lina now only needed to figure out how to get into the pen and then figure out how to sneak Nicoleta out.  Neither of which she knew how to do.  She had seen the key that was used to open the door to the pen: a large black key.  Both Mir and Tor appeared to have a copy.  How would she get a hold of it without being caught?  She didn't know.  And how could Nicoleta be taken through the halls of the coven without anyone seeing her?  She didn't know the answer to that either, but she felt that there was a good place to look.

A few minutes later she was in the cache with a flame in hand.  This was one room that she was sure the other vampires would not be worried about her visiting unchaperoned.  What exactly she was looking for, she wasn’t sure.  Something that would be big enough to conceal Nicoleta and that she could carry in her hands.  There were clothes aplenty, but she suspected these wouldn't really conceal her enough.  There was a chest that looked suitable, but not ideal.  Even better though, she noticed, a basket, a tall storage basket, perhaps pilfered from some large estate nearby.

The outlines of a plan began to shape themselves more distinctly in Lina’s mind.

<-- Go to Part 70         Go to Part 72 -->

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

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