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.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 98

A moment later, Andre found himself pinned to the floor of his shop with Asha kneeling on top of him.  Her pungent breath exhaled into his nose and he turned away to avoid it.

"I know you're planning an attack," she hissed, "I know you want to destroy my coven.  So let’s make an exchange: tell me when you'll attack and I won't kill you.”

Asha pressed her body hard against Andrei and he winced a little at the pressure of knees and hands.  “I won't even tell your friends that it was you who gave them away,” Asha said, moving her face even closer to him, “You can trust me.  I never break an agreement."

Andrei remained silent, putting all his effort into trying to squirm away or lift her off of him, without success.  Asha shouted in his face, “Tell me!  How patient do you think I am?”

“No!” Andrei simply responded, and, as if timed to punctuate that sentence, two arrows at that moment landed in Asha’s shoulders.  She squealed with pain and immediately glanced up where she saw both Vasile and Anton behind the counter, already drawing their second arrows and aiming their eyes directly at her two eyes.

Asha knew she could kill at least one of them before they let out another arrow, perhaps even both, but she didn’t wish to hazard her life in a fight.  Instead she stood up from the ground and left the shop.  Anton ran forward and locked the door for Andrei, who lay on the ground, shaken and trembling.

He touched his face, and realized that some small drips of blood from the arrow wounds had landed on his skin, and he immediately went into his workroom.  As fast as he could, he washed his face with a special solution for repelling vampire infection, repeating to himself, “I can’t get infected.  No, I can’t get infected.”  He even removed all his clothes, dumping them in a pot and drinking another medicine that was supposed to act as an antidote to the vampire infection.

Looking over his skin for signs of blood as his long, frail body stood naked in his workroom, he finally sat down and took a chance to breathe and relax.  Vasile and Anton stood there looking over him, offering to help with whatever he needed.  Andrei told them he didn’t need any help.

While he looked at his hands, inspecting them as if he could see the infection that he suspected was crawling around on the surface of his skin, he told Vasile and Anton: “If we kill all of the vampires, all of them, I can retire.  I don’t want to do this anymore.  I want every last one of them dead.”

Anton asked, “What about Lina?” and Andrei frowned.

“She deserves to live,” Andrei sighed, “But she has to promise that she’ll be the last.  She has to promise she won’t infect anyone.  If we have to feed her the rest of her life, or the rest of our lives, so be it.”

Vasile and Anton watched on without saying a thing.  Andrei added, while leaving the room to put on some new clothes, “And tell Flaviu we haven’t any more time.  We attack tomorrow.  I want to be at the coven when the sun is directly overhead.”

Asha was back at her coven only minutes later, throwing open the stone with vigor and striding vehemently down the slope into the Great Hall.  With the two arrows still sticking out of her shoulders, she ordered the first vampire she could find, “Create a perimeter around the coven.  Half a league away I want one vampire in the trees in every direction.  Work in shifts so we can have a presence all day and all night.  If any army, any band of travellers, any lone hunter crosses within a half of a league of this coven, the vampire that sees it is to run back here and raise the alarm.  Every vampire in here should be ready for an attack at a moment’s notice.  We need to do whatever is possible to fortify our defenses: fortify the door, add more guards. Spread the word to everybody, now.  They’ll be attacking soon.”

After Vasile’s somewhat longer journey to Terem, he was telling Flaviu the news, “We march tomorrow.”

“If you could give me some more time I could scrounge together more men and certainly more munitions.  Right now we’ll have to settle for twenty men, and arquebuses for half of them, plus two cannons and three barrels of gunpowder, but I’m sure I could get more if you just gave me four or five more days.”

“Asha knows we’re coming.  She doesn’t know when or how, but we can’t give her more time to prepare.  She already gave Andrei a rather frightening visit.  I wish we could give you more time, but it would only be to the benefit of our enemies,” Vasile explained.

Flaviu nodded his head and assented, “So be it,” while he turned to pass on the news to his soldiers.

<-- Go to Part 97         Go to Part 99 -->

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

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