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, July 13, 2012

Vampire Wares pt 112

Anton looked at the mass of gold and asked, “Do you expect me to carry this all out of here?  I couldn’t even pick it up.”

“No, we’ll keep it here for the time being,” Ileana said, “But it belongs to you.  Take what you need right now.”

Anton held back, unwilling to touch the money, unwilling even to approach it.  Ileana told him, “I expect you — I implore you — to use that money well.  Really do something with that money.  Figure out a way to buy your way out of serfdom.  Acquire your own land.  Make Vasile’s money truly valuable.  Do as much as you can.”

Anton finally picked up a coin and inspected it.  “How can I thank you?” Anton asked.

“Thank Vasile,” she emphasized, “When you say goodbye to him at the funeral tomorrow, thank him, and thank him for us too, should we be unable to come.”

After Anton left, Ileana returned to Andrei’s side, taking his hand in hers and watching him closely as he lay in the bed with his eyes closed.  He was trying to sleep, unsuccessfully.  It appeared he was succeeding, as she could see his muscles relaxing, his body sinking into the bed, and his breathing starting to slow.  His muscles even began to spasm in hypnic jerks, but only moments later he was awake again, and saying in a drowsy voice, “Ileana.”

“I’m here,” she said grabbing his hand, while the two of them stared into each other’s eyes.  After a long pause, Ileana worked up the courage to ask her husband, “I hope you didn’t mean to imply back there that you want to end your life because of the infection?  That’s not what you meant did you?”

“No, it wouldn’t do just to end my life, so long as Lina and the others still live,” Andrei replied, “It’s just a waste.  No, if I’m going to end my life, I’m going to take them with me.”

“Stop talking like this!” Ileana insisted, “Andrei I’ll stay with you.  As a vampire or not, I’ll be there for you.  I’ll give you what you need.  I’ll live in the darkness for you.  I’ll swear off the sun forever.  I’ll bleed for you.  I don’t care.  We’ll live together.”

“But I’ll eventually infect you.  It can’t be avoided if we’re together.”

“Then infect me.  Just do it now.  Get it over with,” Ileana told him, exasperated, “We’ll both be vampires.  All the more life for you and me together.  We can grow to be a thousand years old together.”

“You don’t know what you’re saying!” Andrei shouted at her, “This is a choice you cannot go back on.  I won’t let you.”

“Well, it’s not your choice to make,” Ileana snapped, “I’ll make it for myself.”

“You’re not listening to me.  I want the infection to end.  I want to kill the last of the vampires and enter the afterlife with them.”

“Then take me with you there,” she pleaded

“No, no,” he shook his head furiously, “No, you have a whole life ahead of you to live.  You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“A life without you,” she said, the tears welling within her eyelids.  As she blinked, tears poured over down her cheeks and she took his hand and squeezed it even more firmly.

After the sun sank over the horizon and the stars appeared in the sky and the candle that Ileana kept by Andrei’s bedside so that she might keep her all-night vigil beside him had burned down to its nub, Ileana finally began to drift off into sleep.  She sat in a chair beside the bed, and as the night wore on and a day of attentive worrying took its tool, she sank into the chair and fell asleep.

Andrei could hear her quiet snore, and he took the opportunity to quietly, slip out of bed, sliding across the bed beneath the sheets and touching his feet quietly to the ground.  He grabbed some clothing from his wardrobe, gave his wife one last kiss and tiptoed downstairs.

He still felt some of the weakness of illness, and decided to raid his stash of vampire wares to fortify himself, sneaking into his own store and grabbing several containers off the shelf.  He wolfed down all he could stuff into his mouth, with only a little bit of water to wash it down.  For reasons that seemed inexplicable to him, he actually enjoyed the taste.  Before the vampire wares were an unpleasant medicine he’d hold his nose and swallow down; now they tasted like an agreeable meal.

After that he put on a dark heavy cloak and found some of Vasile’s arms — two crossbows and two knives — and he took them with him as he walked out the back door of his shop.

<-- Go to Part 111         Go to Part 113 -->

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

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