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, May 13, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 77

Suma and Tor were there in the kitchen as Lina peeked inside.  After a long period of lingering, Suma emerged into the hall and departed, perhaps to attend to some errand, and Lina looked inside and eyed Tor carefully.  The opportunity for snatching the key from him seemed poor, both because he was, as usual, lounging on his seat and because she could see that he had two pockets sewn into his trousers, either of which might contain the key.  But she decided to move forward.

“Tor, I have a question,” Lina asked Tor, just entering the room and slightly moving in his direction, “How do you make these humans into the red liquid that we eat?”

Tor raised his eyes, just noticing Lina's presence.  He replied lethargically, “We call it 'the brew,' and the process of making it is too complex for a little girl like you to understand.  Maybe some day if you apprentice in the kitchen, then someone can teach you how.  Though I imagine not: not just anyone is capable of possessing the skills for it.”

“Do you ever go into the pen?” she asked, just trying to look for something to talk with him about.

“No, I don't.  It reeks in there.  The collective smell of so many unwashed humans is far too much for a chef of such a refined nose as myself.  Those beasts are disgusting.”

Lina was now close to Tor and decided to ask, “Do you have the key to the pen?”

All he said in response was, “Why?”  But before he did, he touched his right pocket, just to check.

Seeing this, Lina decided to try her hand at distraction.  Touching his shoulder, she pointed to a random pot on the wall and said, “What’s in that pot?”

Though Tor was far beyond the point of tolerance, he still looked in the direction where her right hand pointed and said with an annoyed sigh, “It's just another step in the process of making the brew.” But as he was turned and was speaking, Lina reached down with her left hand into his right pocket, plunging her hand deep into it and clasping the metal object she found, immediately hiding the key behind her back when Tor turned to her.

She waited for him to notice, to ask what she was doing in his pocket, to angrily insist that she return the key she'd just stolen, but instead he simply asked, “Are we done here?  I have work to do.”

“Do you need to pull a human out of the pen for slaughter?” she asked, hoping this might prompt him to leave the room.

Instead he just asked, “Isn't there somewhere else that needs cleaning?”

Lina nodded and backed away.  Holding the key firmly in her hand, she said, “I’ll just clean up real quick in here.”  She grabbed the broom and swept in the kitchen.  Tor eyed her, irked by her very presence.  But she didn’t notice, since her mind was carefully running through her options.

Once she had circled around the room and noticed an empty pot sitting on the table, she made up her mind.  She decided she would face up to the consequences of her actions later.  After Tor relaxed and stopped watching her, she quietly set down the broom.  She picked up the large, heavy pot in one hand and then she swung it at Tor's head with vicious force.  The metal connected with the flesh of his head with a brute clang and knocked him to the ground.

Lina quickly dropped the pot and ran straight for the door to the pen.  She shoved the key into it and twisted hard at the bulky lock.  The sweet click of the door unlocking was clearly heard, and she pulled with all her force to open it.

When Lina ran into the pen the humans looked at her with confusion and fear, used to only being visited by Mir.  She called out, in a quiet voice, “Nicoleta, Nicoleta,” again and again looking between the persons who timidly backed away from her.

After some frantic scrambling about that seemed to last agonizingly long, she finally found Nicoleta in the arena, still watching the work of Oana's altar, not even noticing Lina's entrance.  Lina had no time for explanation, so, as soon as she reached Nicoleta, she simply grabbed her in one arm and whisked her away.

Nicoleta cried out in fright, screaming and panicked, initially thinking that she was being taken away to her death.  Lina yelled at her in a whispered shout as she carried her out, “Shut up, shut up, shut up.  I'm freeing you.”

It took Nicoleta a minute to notice who was carrying her, looking up to her and asking in a confused voice, “Madalina?”

Lina had no time for explanations, now racing out the door and through the kitchen, she quickly shoved Nicoleta into the basket and said, “You make a sound and we'll both die!”  Lina looked around in all directions to see if anyone had noticed, and saw no one.

At that moment, she heard a pained groan coming out of Tor's mouth from within the kitchen.

<-- Go to Part 76         Go to Part 78 -->

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

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