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, June 8, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 92

Through the halls of the coven, the sound of Sim’s screams were currently on the increase.  Like the sound of wind whistling through cracks in the walls, the sound would fall and rise in the same way that gusts would ebb and swell.  Asha had ordered Sim’s torture to be scheduled regularly, vacillating him between periods of intense pain and periods of restless relaxation.

While they now worked on Sim again, the sound of his screams echoed through the halls, and was heard clearly in the Great Hall where Asha sat on her throne.

Leaning forward to apply her piercing eyes to Uta, who knelt before her, Asha said, “If Lucian can’t get Lina back, then he’s no use to me.  Tell Lucian that I dispose of those things that are no longer useful to me.  I can’t tolerate waste.  I need intelligence — useful intelligence.  Do people know about the pen?  Are they planning something?  What?  When?  Where?  I need to know immediately.”

“Yes mistress,” Uta said bowing, “I’ll deliver your message.”

“Deliver it with emphasis,” Asha said, “Make it memorable.”

That evening Uta infiltrated Lucian’s estate once again.  For a man of such wealth and prestige, it was surprisingly vulnerable.  She was able to manipulate the latch that locked the shutters outside his daughters’ room with ease.

The room had the look of one occupied by two young girls, with two, matching four-poster beds and toys and dolls spread out on the floor, including a wooden horse on wheels and rag dolls decked out in fine clothes.  Carved animal figurines hung on a string beneath an overhanging shelf, on which were displayed a collection of colorful stones.

Uta restrained each girl in turn: gently opening the curtains to her bed, then gagging the girl, then turning her over on her stomach and tying her hands behind her back.  With the two girls thus restrained, Uta held onto both of them and led them, by force, out of their bedroom room into their parents’ bedroom.  That room was locked, but Uta was able to break open the door with one swift kick.

Lucian and his wife both abruptly woke and rose from their bed at the sound.  When they looked at Uta with their two daughters, gagged and tied, they shouted plaintive calls.  Lucian tried to muster a commanding voice and he said, “What are you doing with my daughters?  Let them go this instant.  I order you.”

“I’m just here to deliver a message,” Uta placidly screeched.

“Just tell me the message, in God’s name,” Lucian shouted at her, “Why do my daughters have to be involved?”

Uta continued speaking as if Lucian had said nothing, explaining in articulated words, “In the coven, we have a great many humans meant for food stored in a massive, blocked-off section we call ‘the pen.’  Not all of them are ready to be slaughtered immediately.  Many we want to keep and hold onto for a while.  So, to distinguish those ready to be slaughtered, we stain the backs of their hands with red ink when they’re ready.  Allow me to demonstrate.”

At this point, Uta forced one of the girls to the ground, and held her down with one knee.  Uta pulled out a small dagger from her cloak, prompting Lucian to call out “No,” and try to run forward and stop her.  Uta deftly kicked Lucian away with her foot and then continued with her demonstration.

Uta dug the knife into the little girl’s skin and carved a line in the back of the hand, then she carved a crossing line to form an X.  The little girl squealed a high-pitch scream as she kicked and squirmed.  Then Uta applied herself to carving anther X into the opposite hand.  Large drips of blood bled out from these four gashes, down her hands and wrists.  Uta followed by carving the same pattern into the sister’s hands, accompanied by the same screams and protestations, which Uta dutifully ignored.

Finished, she stood the two girls up and turned them around to display their hands to their parents.

“I think you understand what this means.  I’m only here to deliver a message, but Asha asked me to make it memorable, so I pray you won’t forget, lest I have to return and apply more emphasis.”

“No, no,” the two parents shook their heads.  Uta then related the message in Asha’s words, and Lucian earnestly promised, “I will find out everything I can.  I can tell you already that they know about the pen.  They know there are hundreds.  And I saw Andrei and Flaviu, the captain of the guard, conferring confidentially.”

“Find out more,” Uta said.  She then dropped the two crying girls to the ground and walked away.  The parents leaped forward to hug their girl, who couldn’t restrain their fitful sobs.

<-- Go to Part 91         Go to Part 93 -->

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

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