The Nick Of Time
(and other Abrasions)
The Trailer Park Of Dracula
The Final Vignette In The Trailer Park Of Draculaby
Al Bruno III
We live by night and by ceremony; we have been touched by the curse of the Vjestitiza and have chosen to follow the teachings of Delphonos.
The need to consume blood has made demons of us, blood and the filigree of soul carried within each drop of the warm red.
Our kind do not live long, our adversaries and appetites make short work of us but we the legendary Seven - Thea, Elizabeth, Olwin, Radu, Yaffa, Fenris and Bob- have endured for almost a century.
Even before I knew we are being watched I was musing over what a sight we made, three women and four men standing in a stream and singing in an impossible tongue. What would an outsider think of our strange prayers? How would they judge us with out pale skin and our ruined finery? Would they believe me if I told them there were ground bones mixed in with the silt of the stream?
Fenris noticed them first. Three frail human figures gawking at us. We incapacitated them with ease but did not feed, not with the our prayers still half-complete.
And besides, I recognized one of them. I knew him from days of old.
My prisoner was hanging upside down, his wrists and ankles bound. His eyes snapped open suddenly and a smile spread across his features, “Radu? How wonderful to see you.”
“Who are you this time?” I asked, knowing that my prisoner changed names habitually.
“I am known as Jason Magwier,” he jostled in his bonds, “I’d offer to shake hands but...”
“You are a fool to come here.”
“Well, you know me, incorrigible,” he made a show of looking around. “This isn’t your tailer.”
“No it isn’t.”
We were in a hunter’s cabin some distance from the trailer park. The hunters that owned it were long dead. I had seen to that. The cabin was on the other side of the stream and just beyond the treeline. It was far enough away that no one could hear the screams of those I brought here, not even the rest of the Seven.
Not that they would have cared, we all have our own ways of passing the time.
The cabin windows were boarded over and dust was thick on the floorboards. I kept my sharp things here, each one a lifetime of cuts and bloodshed. I could never explain why blades held such a fascination for someone like me. Perhaps it was a kind of kinship. I pulled a cruel looking knife from its sheath and examined it. It had belonged to my long dead brother and the the hilt was fashioned as a crucifix.
Magwier frowned, “Now, now. No bringing the church into this.”
“I’ve never tasted the blood of an immortal.”
“I’m not immortal, just disorganized.”
“Always the jokes.” I put the knife aside and drew closer to him. He smelled like sweat and dust and rosepetals.
“I know you have some Carmot here, perhaps the last bit of Carmot in the world,” Magwier cocked his head and offered an ingratiating smile, “could I have it please?”
There was a moment of surprise when I realized he knew but then I chided myself, of course he knew. Curious I asked, “Why would you want carmot?”
“Why does it matter?” Magwier said, “Life is nothing but a series of vignettes with no true answers.”
“A very fancy way of saying you won’t tell me.”
“And hopefully more interesting,” he tried to shrug, “where are my companions by the way?”
Now it was time for me to grin, “I gave them to the others as prizes.”
I watched Magwier’s features darken with panic, he began struggling against the ropes, “Is this how you treat your guests? Release me before something terrible happens.”
“You know that’s impossible.”
“Listen Radu, if I found you that means the Monarchs could find you.”
“The Monarchs don’t care.”
“I can help you,” Magwier said. “I can bring you to a place where the Seven could rule like gods. Just let me go before things go too far.”
“You mean the Shard Worlds?” I smiled, “What good is a dying kingdom?”
“Fitting final words.” I grabbed hold of him and sank my teeth into the quivering flesh of his throat.
I don’t know how much later it was when Magwier’s companions kicked open the door to the cabin; one armed with pistols, the other with a fire iron. I knew then that the others were dead, that they had fallen before these deceptively fragile creatures.
The girl - Magwier’s lover- ran to him panicking at the sight of blood running down from his throat only to calm down when she saw the wound was a trifling thing.
The man - Magwier’s bodyguard- scanned the room searching for threats.
They all know I am no longer a threat, that I am helpless in my agony.
Magwier' companions untied him and then began searching the cabin. As they did Jason Magwier simply stood there and watched me die, his eyes full of smug pity.
I carried within me the curse of the Vjestitiza and the need to consume the warm blood and the filigree of soul that is carried within and now I was burning away from the inside, every thought, every memory being reduced to ash. He knew all along this would happen.
How much time passed as they searched? How many of my blades did Magwier's bodyguard take for himself? When did the girl find my pitiful supply of Carmot? Did Jason Magwier hear my dying whisper as he turned to leave? If he did he made no sign.
I said, “What are you?”