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, May 25, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 84

Andrei’s home deliberately had few places for persons to get in and out.  There were only two doors (one in the front and one in the back), and both of these doors were thick, heavy and reinforced with metal.  It would take several troops with a battering ram to break these down.  On the upper floor were four small windows.  These were deliberately made to be too small for an adult person, human or vampire, to fit through, but, through them, one could see all sides of the house.  The only other way for anything else to get in and out of the house was through the chimney, which was also too small for human passage.

The walls were made of stone, held together with strong mortar, and the roof was made from a row of stone columns.  A cannonball would have to be used to knock through the exterior, and, so far as he knew, no vampires had access to cannons.

In short, the house was meant to withstand any siege that vampires might be expected to attempt, and it had withstood several before, with improvements being made after previous attacks exposed weaknesses.  Yes, as Andrei well knew, no walls of human construction could ever be completely impregnable, and any sufficiently strong force could smash its way in.

“I want you and Vasile at the two West windows,” Andrei said to Anton, “If the vampires attack tonight, they’ll probably come from that direction.  If they get in here, they’re going to do it by battering down the doors.  Short of them managing to get their hands on a canon, I don’t see any other way.  You’re going to pick them off before they have a chance to do that.  In the past they’ve usually attacked in groups of five to eight of them, and as soon as I’ve downed only one or two of them, the rest just flee.  I’m hoping that, if they attack, it won’t be anything worse than that.  But I don’t know how important this vampire is to them.”

Andrei turned to look at Lina after he said this.  She immediately averted her eyes to avoid his look.

“If it looks like you’re going to lose,” Lina said, turning to look back at Andrei after a considerable silence, “I think you should just give me up.”

Andrei simply shook his head when she said this and bluntly announced in front of everyone, “No!” and then walked away.

Lina lowered her eyes and felt, once again, that strong feeling of guilt that she’d experienced after kidnapping Nicoleta.  She’d only wanted to free Nicoleta to make that guilt go away for good, but now she was feeling it all over again and just as strongly.

Lina walked upstairs and found Anton standing at one of the windows looking out into the forest, watching for approaching vampires.

“I can probably see better in the dark than you can,” she said to him, “You should let me watch.”  Anton stepped aside and let her look through the window.  The window was so high off the ground that tiny little Lina was barely able to see through it.  Anton had to fetch a box for her to stand on so that she could comfortably look out.

As she stood there, she asked Anton, “Do you feel bad about having to protect me?”

Anton replied without hesitation, “No, I don’t.  You’re worth it.”

“Even though I’m a vampire?” she asked.

Anton smiled and then said, “This isn’t about you personally.  I don’t care about you.  I care about what you can do for us.  If it was someone else that could help us and you stood in the way, I would defend them and gladly kill you.”

Lina was quite surprised by this answer and decided she had nothing to say in response, so she simply looked out the window and surveyed the forests with patient attention.

It was a long wait there at the window for her, while she stood and Anton sat down on the bed behind her, almost drifting off into sleep; so long that she was beginning to think that Andrei’s fears about a vampire attack were unjustified.

But as the moon slowly sank lower on the horizon and the night got darker and Vasile and Anton got more and more tired, the vampires got closer.  Lina finally saw them, just visible through the trees, a mass of approaching shadows that flowed over the ground.

“They’re coming,” she said to Anton who sprang to attention when she said this.  In a panic she stepped down from the box, paler than usual with fear, telling Anton in a quiet voice, “There’s more than twenty of them out there.”

<-- Go to Part 83         Go to Part 85 -->

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

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