Kasey Hill – Author & Poet
“So you say you are part of the Karpati Clan?” Fergas asked as he led the three women through the manor. “We have an unspoken alliance with the Karpati Clan, but I have never seen any of you participate in the events we hold each year. Why is that?”
“We tend to not mingle as much with the other clans,” Annaneta replied.
“Ah, do tell,” Fergas smirked glancing behind him.
“For our own safety, we do not mingle,” Kaszarina replied. “There are many dangers to our old blood, and many younger vampires seek us to drink us dry. They believe it will give them more power if they do so.”
“I’m not sure I quite understand,” Fergas said furrowing his eyebrows. “Why would they think you hold more power?” The three fell silent to his question, and Kaszarina offered a nervous glance to Annaneta. “Please, Ladies, know you are safe from harm here and no one can hurt you,” Fergas said offering a comforting smile.
“What we spoke earlier was truth,” Erzabeta replied. “We are not turned vampires. We were born as the three daughters of Cain and Luluwa. The Rowan wood does not affect us as many other weapons against the forsaken kind do.”
“The forsaken kind? You mean us, right?”
“Yes, you are considered the forsaken, although that is just one term used. You do not age, you do not breathe, and you do not live. You have a predilection for human blood,” Erzabeta replied. “We do. We consume human food as if we were mortal, and we do not smell as other forsaken do, for we have a pulse. We are who created your kind.”
“Are there others like you? Families? This all fascinates me, you must know.” Fergas led them into his library and closed the door behind them. They glanced in between themselves nervously. “No worries, it is for privacy.” He offered a smile.
“Yes, there are others like us,” Annaneta replied. “One of them actually has a fam-“ Kaszarina nudged Annaneta with her elbow cutting her off.
“Has a what?” Fergas asked picking up a bottle of red liquid and pouring out four glasses of it.
“A familiar. A human who thinks they are vampiric and offers themselves for feeding just between the two,” Annaneta responded and smiled.
“Like a willing donor? We have those here,” he smiled. He handed each of them a glass, and they just looked at it. “A toast?” he asked raising his glass. “To new formed bonds,” he said tipping the glass back.
“How was this blood attained?” Kaszarina asked.
“From one of the hunted, subdued, and bled dry,” he replied. They placed their glasses down on his desk untouched. “What? What’s wrong with it?”
“We do not harm humans or shall I say, kill humans,” Kaszarina replied.
“Why not?” he asked inquisitively.
“What good is a human sick or dead? With them alive and treated properly, they give a continuous amount of blood that you will never run out of,” Kaszarina replied crossing her arms. “You’re depleting the world of the human population, our food!”
“The world is populated enough to where there is plenty to go around,” he chastised.
“That is not amusing in the least. Humans can offer protection and refuge to our kind. For centuries, they have hidden us in their cellars as we also, as a mutual relationship, protect them from the likes of you!”
“Oh, so you keep them as your pets, how cute,” he stated smugly.
“No, not as our pets! As our allies. They protect us from hunters and any other predator that seeks us out. We have an entire community of humans that offered us sanctuary. Can you say the same?” Kaszarina asked.
“Humans are food. They do not offer us protection. End of story,” he replied agitated.
“Maybe not to your clan, but in the olde country they supplied us with as much protection as we needed if we protected them from the likes of…TURNED vampires,” Kaszarina replied.
“ENOUGH!” he shouted angered.
“Is our room prepared?” Annaneta asked breaking the tension.
Fergas bowed his head and popped up with a smile. “Let’s start over-“
“Let’s not. I’m sure my sisters are tired…. as are you… I am sure my host,” Annaneta replied cutting him off.
The doors to the library opened and a tall vampire walked through. He was shirtless and looked as if he could snap a human like a twig. He had leather pants on with a leather kilt draped around and a belt buckle made from human teeth. He glared at the three women who stood before him with Fergas.
“Sire, it was brought to my attention that you let these fablers who bear false witness to our origins into the manor,” he sneered in malice and disgust. “Have we met before?” he said eyeing Kaszarina.
“I believe not, and we bear no false witness; only truth,” Kaszarina hissed back.
“You dare to back talk me, witch? I am of royalty and a descendant from the grand Charlemagne himself. Mind your tongue!” he bellowed.
“Caroll!” Fergas snapped. “They are guests in MY manor. Show respect to us all!”
Caroll bowed. “I am sorry, my liege, but the lies they gossip are far too great for me not to protest, or was it not me at your side helping you lead our people into safety?”
“This is not the place nor the time for you to bring up old affairs. They come in search of asylum and as the clan we have always projected ourselves to be, we will take them in as long as they need to say!” Fergas hastily replied.
“Mind my words, Caroll! Leave this room at once,” Fergas said flicking his hand at Caroll.
“I will not be silenced, nor will I be mocked. Heed my warning, Fergas, they will bring the end to our way of life with their filthy love of humans. They bear the cross of certain demise!” Caroll turned and stalked from the room.
“Do all of your subjects rebut your words?” Erzabeta asked. “Do you not rule with an iron fist as your ego boasts?”
Fergas huffed and was about to answer. “Can we find Brunhilda and see if these rooms our ready?” Annaneta asked once more to change the subject. “We’re tired and quite frankly, the attacks on our virtues and our way of life pains my head. I’m sure you understand.”
“Yes, of course. You must be exhausted, as such as I. I will find Brunhilda while you wait here.” Fergas walked to the door and opened the double doors. He turned and faced them. “I will be back soon.”
They stood and watched the doors close and heard a click from the outside.
“The rat locked us in,” Annaneta said looking at the other two. “I do believe we are in over our heads here. I haven’t the slightest idea if they mean us harm or protection. Fergas is hardly what you could call a leader.”
“Finally, someone said it,” Kaszarina said slumping in the chair. “I don’t know how much longer I can stand to be around these…these beasts! I’m ready to leave at twilight. Caroll seems sinister and appears to have an agenda of his own apart from this Fergas person. Same as Felix. We don’t need to be caught up in this melodramatic showdown of power.”
“I agree with Kaszarina, Annaneta,” Erzabeta replied sitting at the chair behind the study desk. “They have no sense of origins and are lost. I feel like they will harm us if we stay too long.” Erzabeta propped her elbow up on the table and sent a pile of books and scrolls into the floor.
“Pick those up before he comes back and thinks we were snooping,” Annaneta hissed as Kaszarina and Erzabeta scrambled to the mess laying in the floor.
“Liber Astrum Nigris,” Kaszarina said holding the book up for Annaneta to take.
“Wow, maybe they do know something about origins,” Annaneta smirked as she flipped through the book.
“Nope, just ruined it with this garbage, the Inferinomocon,” Erzabeta giggled, snorted.
“Give me that,” Annaneta demanded. Erzabeta handed the book over to her, and she flipped through. “You have got be kidding. They’re the ones who have been peddling the crap to humans making them think they are the children of the Nephilim.”
“Are you sure it’s the entire clan and not just Fergas,” Kaszarina asked stacking what other books fell back on the table.
“I don’t know, but they need to do real research instead of mind tricks just to make a dollar for their,” Annaneta said picking up some sort of garment from the floor, “tastes in clothes.”
The door knob rattled and everyone rushed to make sure everything looked as it did when Fergas left the room. The doors popped open just as the three of them sat down in seats and the saucy red-head that was in the meeting room walked in. She eyed the three of them sizing them up.
“Your room is ready, ladies. Follow me,” she said turning on her heel.
“Stephania, right?” Annaneta asked standing to follow.
“That’s right,” Stephania replied coolly walking out of the room with everyone following her.
“How did you come about founding this…home? How did you meet the clan?” Annaneta asked.
“My Sire found me and offered me relief from my pain, and I accepted,” she replied with agitation in her tone.
“Found you? Found you how?” Annaneta asked.
“That is none of your concern,” she snapped.
“Why is everyone rude in this place?” Kaszarina whispered to Erzabeta.
Stephania turned on her heel to face them. “Because you do not belong here. Spreading your spiritualistic thought of how humans should be treated and how we should feed. You’re not true vampires. Vampires exist for one thing; to feed from a life force and enjoy it. You do not.”
“Yes, you are right. We are not “turned vampires” as you are. We are not forsaken, and we are not the fertőzes!” Kaszarina hissed.
“Your cynicism is quite a bore,” Stephania muttered and began walking again.
“I bet you don’t even know what that means,” Erzabeta replied snidely. “Tell me, do you study anything other than what your Sire tells you to? Or are you just as a daft as you are snide?”
“My, my, you do live up to your red-headed spirit. What else is flattering about your personality,” Stephania replied rolling her eyes.
“At least mine is natural looking and not a ginger-gone-wrong dye job,” Erzabeta heatedly replied through her gritted teeth. Softly and slowly she said, “We do not grey.”
“Look, you are guests here. I am not. This is my home, not yours. Stay for the night, then leave tomorrow. You are not wanted, nor are welcome in this manor. All agree aside from our Sire, which I’m sure you three have placed some sort of enchantment glamor over him. You remind me of his little pet Marguerite,” Stephania started. “But now I have said enough.” She arrived at a door and opened it. “Your room.” She sashed past them. “Goodnight, Ladies.”
They entered the room, shut the door behind them, and Annaneta locked it. She turned around and rested her head against the door as Erzabeta and Kaszarina set down on separate beds.
“This place is not safe. Fergas does not have a handle on his clan at all,” Annaneta said slowly slumping to the floor. She placed her hand on her head and furrowed her eyebrows. “They have given me a migraine that even a Cajun-blooded human couldn’t take away.”
“What are we going to do?” Kaszarina asked. “Will we leave tomorrow?”
“I think we should. Fergas looks at me like a dog looking at a fresh piece of meat!” Erzabeta shuddered.
“You mean you’re not the least bit fond of the mongrel?” Annaneta asked raising an eyebrow,
“That is beside the point!” Erzabeta replied flustered. “We have more important things to worry about than an infatuation. It seems Kaszarina has drawn more attention to herself than what we wanted.”
The two of them glanced over to Kaszarina who sat dazed on the bed. “What is it Kaszarina?” Annaneta said walking over and touching her shoulders. “Sister, come back to me.”
Kaszarina looked up at Annaneta with blood glistening in her eyes. “Caroll. He knows!”