The trip to Transylvania was more involved than I had expected. Mind you, I didn’t think we’d just walk up to the front door or anything, but I seriously hadn’t planned on scaling the side of a mountain that was several thousands of feet to the terrace of the castle.
Everyone knows that the Poenari Castle is a tourist trap. But, the real story behind Dracula’s castle is that it is has been converted into a lab for experiments that could go awry if in a more populated area.
Someone got caught being a flatliner and feasting before Maribel Jones came along and dabbled enough in vampiric hypnotherapy to successfully erase the memories of small populations who had witnessed anything.
Aidan and his friends got thirsty. An experiment gone wrong. Primus was trying to make the dark gifts of demons common to vampires by infusing flatliner venom with demonic aura. Something he saw attempted during the feudal era. Something he researched feverishly and probably instigated human attempts of this. And his great success was Aidan. Well, Primus named him Aidan, his real name was Vlad and he enjoyed killing people by turning them into shish kabobs.
He became the perfect brain child of Primus’ vanity where he could tell his story without really telling his story. Dracula made a deal with the devil, defied his father, lost his true love, turned others into vampires based on his own lusts, while innocent humans were preyed upon… Sounds similar to Primus, so much so, that without the intricate details of who was involved… Count Dracula and Primus share the exact same history.
And Primus’ conquest for angelic power to be transmitted to vampires was all consuming. Angelic power he could not himself pass on, so fallen angels (commonly referred to as demons) were hit up to infuse the venom.
Now, the only problem was that Aidan got greedy. He did actually take on a few wives and they did terrorize a few small towns and flatline over a twelve thousand people. Most of them were declared dead since over eighty thousand people had been butchered by this man and his new undead legion. And too, it was reasonable that the new flatliners be counted as part of the massacred innocents. No one knew they had joined the ranks of the undead. That wouldn’t have been my first thought… Right?
Here I am scaling the rock face with Ryan who I so desperately want to lock away in a bank vault somewhere and know that he’s safe and waiting for me to come back.. If I survived this one last mission.
Had Aidan not flaunted vampirism, again Primus’ vanity, there would be no need for a castle or a myth or the whole world having a concrete example of a vampire. It’s not as cute as Halloween makes it all sound. People died. A lot of people. And the ones that didn’t die… are the world’s most sinister serial killers. Same M.O. Drink and run. At least the shish kabobs stopped.
I looked at Ryan longing to still be with him at Paul’s monastery. We walked along the beach holding hands and pretending we were on a Honeymoon. I felt complete in his arms. I felt like breathing the sea air and listening to him breathe let me start my life all over again, like a baby born into the world where happiness was possible somehow. I remember looking into his eyes and just losing myself in them. Trying to remember every last detail of him. His dimples when he smiles, how soft his skin is, the firm yet gentle grip of his hands around me, running my fingers through his hair. He had not changed at all and he was all mine again. Until one of us gets killed….
* * *
“Tell me what you’re thinking.” Ryan asked me smiling as he helped me get better footing on our way up to a ledge.
We climbed so quickly we must have looked like a creeping shadow traveling up the side of the mountain. We rested momentarily and I pulled him in close kissing him tightly.
“Still afraid of heights huh?” he said laughing.
“What gave me away?” I asked shaking and trying not to look down.
“Well, you kissed me like you were holding on for dear life Elle.” he said giggling. “We’re almost there.”
“I know but I’m scared that this moment right here is the last one I’m going to get with you before we are captured and killed.” I admitted.
“Elle, we don’t even know what’s up there.” Ryan said cupping my face in his hands and stealing a kiss.
“I have a bad feeling Babe. Like Primus isn’t the worse thing we have to expect.” I told him as we resumed our climb.
“Well, we always knew that. But, we still have to go.” Ryan said in such a comforting tone.
He has the type of voice that is smooth and even, like a dad trying to calm his frightened little girl and convince her that there are no monsters in the closet. This is a lie you see because there are monsters up there. Worse monsters than us. Worse monsters than vampires as though that should even exist in this world.
We made it to the terrace and crept quickly, entering the bed chamber the terrace was connected to. No one was in it. Scoping out the hallway, was eerie. It was so quiet. We walked hand in hand expecting to be caught on a surveillance camera and surrounded by security at any moment. Nothing, no one.
We looked at each other perplexed and wandered for a bit. The grand halls, bed chambers, and sitting rooms were all empty.
“I think we’re at the back end of the castle. Maybe we should check out the front.” I suggested.
“No, I think what we’re looking for is on a lower level.” Ryan protested.
“Honestly I don’t want to go further in if we don’t know what’s waiting for us on the other side.” I continued.
“Do you know why we’re here?” Ryan asked.
“Not exactly. Gabriel just said we had to come right?” I answered.
“We are here to disarm demons parading around as monks. It has something to do with helping Anna because if we can help her then she can help Lorena who is the key to Paul’s success.” Ryan explained and winked at me.
“Demons parading around as monks. Well I did bring Holy oil. But…” I began.
“See we’re off to a great start.” Ryan encouraged me.
“But, it’s not a lot.” I told him.
“We’ll figure it out.” he said as we continued down the hallway and wound up in an underground courtyard. It was beautiful.
This must be new. Poenari was a crumbling mess last time I saw it. Even the tourists were amazed. They’d sleep in the rubble filled courtyard up top and feel content to be one step closer to the supposed myth of vampires. If they only knew.
I decided to go with Ryan’s idea of searching the lower levels first. Once we got to the door at the bottom of the stairwell I smelt rotten eggs. Sulfur and brimstone. Demons must be down here.
I poured Holy oil into our hands to make sure that if we got so much as a finger on a demon they’d disintegrate. Ryan gingerly opened the door as I reached to kiss him one last time just in case this was it and we didn’t make it out again.
We peeked out and found that the hallway was empty. But, there was a face in the flooring. It seemed as though it was using the hardwood floor as a projection screen and grumbling in low rumbles. I took the Holy oil and flicked a drop onto the floor.
There was a shrill scream and the face faded away only leaving the smell of sulfur behind. The hallway was lined with doors. It was like the hallway of a hotel. All of the doors opened and red eyes peeked out from dark rooms. One by one, they began walking out.
They all looked dead, not vampire dead, but dead. Rotting and mutilated flesh all but falling off of the bones. They were vampires, but what happened to them? They dragged on, step by step inching towards us and looking hungry.
“Quick, draw a line Baby.” Ryan said.
I only nodded in response and poured a small puddle of Holy oil on the floor then smeared it into a line in front of the threshold of the door. He closed the door and we blessed that too. I wanted to go back up, but Ryan let go of my hand and was half way down the next flight of stairs before I could stop him. I was not looking forward to what we might find on our way back up here and hoped we’d find a different corridor altogether. What if they chewed through the walls and avoided the door and the line of Holy oil looking for their next meal?
The room beneath us was dark and the only light was emanating from a series of mirrors laid out in a row in the middle of the room. They had different places on display, like they were doorways to places under surveillance.
I looked for people I knew. I looked for Paul, Troy, Belle, or any sign of Alistor, and found a snowy mountain pass with a swarm of demon monks breathing fire climbing up the face of the mountain. There were a few people on horseback that seemed completely unaware of the attack.
“Can we zoom in?” I asked Ryan.
“Yeah, I think you just…” he began and tapped the upper right corner of the mirror.
It zoomed in on the horseback riders. Draped across a horse, unconscious and wrapped in a blanket was a face I had been looking for. Belle was on that mountain pass.
The look on my face must have been of pain and horror because when I looked up at Ryan, he gently held my hand and we walked through the mirror into the snow.
I really missed having him by my side because he was the only person in existence who could look into my eyes and know… I saw someone that I wanted to protect and he had no qualms about running into a fight just for me.
BLOOD RED GAMES:
1. This episode: Who told them to go to Transylvania?
2. From the FEATURED BLOG below: Who did she write letters to?
3. From the FEATURED BLOG below: “A ______________ is a sentence that helps us to memorize a string of words.”
(Photo courtesy of: waiton.deviantart.com)
Music for this episode – Snow (Hey Oh) by Red Hot Chili Peppers