Kasey Hill – Author & Poet
Like most Karpati, Annaneta would seldom slumber in the way one might think. There were no coffins of modern day fiction, and no death at dawn. Truly, she rested only at times of study. When her presence was not required by the villagers for safety or health, it was not uncommon for her to take refuge in private libraries of the household or the modern libraries after closing. The world of books had always been a reprieve from the vulgar, and it allowed her insight into the cultures and practices of the ages. In the 21st century, the belief systems ran rampant, dogmatic, and eclectic. Some humans lived for the world of commerce, others the piety of the church in Rome, and still others found great satisfaction in the destruction of themselves as if it were a religion. Perhaps their extremities were their theology, after all “man is the measure of all things.”
Always mindful of their true origins and the source of their blood, the theories of relativism always colored Annaneta’s views of the occult sciences and the mechanics of ritual, faith, and magickal practice. It fascinated her more than a lover. Throughout the years, this pattern of behavior often gave rise to the notion that she was a recluse. This conclusion proved time and time again to be the weakness of others and ultimately their demise. Annaneta was a voyeur of the all the world, the endless stage and she loved the arts of life a metropolis, watching as if it were a ballet or dramatic production.
Kaszarina and Erzabeta were never far away, and that was her solace. All Karpati were kindred, literally, and their family tree often seemed intermingled like the branches of a willow. An ageless practice that humans of wealth and royalty had mimicked without success, as their linage was peppered with distortions of the blood and perversions of the mind, creating an affluent culture of whores and eunuchs.
The Sarkoczy Manor offered no vibrations to alter her vigilance. The residence here was as cold as the grave and lacked. In their homeland, the Karpati beloved their human families and cared for their generations. There was no care among fertőzes, the infected. They were once human but lost their humanity when they ingested the starfire of the ancient races. They were form without spirit, hunger without soul, and above all, they were decadent without purpose. The place smelled of the bastard wolf humanoids that populated the flatlands of Louisiana, Loogaroo – the befouled loup-garou. This covenstead was awash of hybrid creatures, none of pure origins and seemingly not all were merely infected, foul-craft and ghouling seemed to be this clutch’s forte.
Peering out the tall windows over the glade, it was beautiful here, without doubt. The architecture alone merged bloodlines of the French, the Spanish, and even the influence of the Dutch, as homes of all sizes preferred vivid colors without modesty. Regardless, as a caregiver, a guardian, and when necessary a warrior, Annaneta would be ready to move on as soon as dusk fell.
Annaneta glanced over to her two sisters that slept in peace. Both of them were exhausted from the travels they had endured. She could feel the feverish hue of her skin deprived of sleep, but she denied rest. Not in this place, not here, she thought as she ambled her way from the window over to a chair. She watched over them as their mother had wished she would. So much in their lifetime had transpired that left her sick with worry with her two younger sisters. They were always more vulnerable than her, more curious, and more deceivable. She always had to keep an eye out for strangers that came their way so they wouldn’t be misguided. She never understood why Mother had created her different and more head strong than what they were, but she was glad at least one of them was. Even as sassy and vehement the two of them could be, they lacked the suppression and apathy that she could wield within to overcome the energies that filtered through her mind and body.
The light had just barely started to filter through the trees, when a slight beeping sound resounded in the room. It wasn’t loud enough to wake the sleeping sisters, but it was audible enough to worry Annaneta of its origin. Within a few seconds, a black shade descended over the window cutting off the view of the outside and what the Sarkoczies feared the most; sunlight.
She couldn’t help but feel amused by their predicament. The clan did seem dangerous, but at the same time, they were a humorous bunch and sight to see. She could sense the sexual tension between Stephania and Fergas, but also with Marguerite as well. Then there was the way that Erzabeta caught his eye. She saw the connectivity between the two. Hopefully it wouldn’t blossom, as the vibes she received from here were far from what Mother would have approved for her.
She began to grow antsy and started to pace the room. Being confined in the room made it feel like she was a prisoner as opposed to a guest. She lifted the handle on the door quietly and eased it open. She glanced back at her to sisters still sleeping. They would never know I was gone, she thought to herself. She closed the door behind her and quietly sauntered down the hall. The architecture of the manor left her envious, although it was nothing like the castles in the olde country. She rounded a corner and overhead harsh whispers.
“Why won’t you listen to me? What I tell you is truth! Fergas is a snake in the grass.” She recognized the voice of Felix, strong and yet soft accents drifting from his curled tongue.
“I will not be a part of this mutiny!” the one called Herryck replied.
“Fine! Go back to your corner, Herryck, like the good little vampire you are! You will never be more than a dog licking his boots!” Felix hissed.
Annaneta slinked into the shadows of a corner as Herryck stomped away back to his room and slammed the door.
“It’s nearly daylight, Felix. You must go as well,” Matyas cooed. “I will wake you when the day is nigh.”
“The only person I can truly count on,” Felix said with a pat to Matyas’ back. “I will see you at night’s first moonlight.
Felix made his way down the hallway in the opposite direction and she at once heard his door click shut. She waited for Matyas to leave as well, but as the light peaked higher above the horizon. It was odd that he chose not to hide from it. He smelled of vampire, but it was impossible this turned vampire was immune to the sun’s toxic and deadly rays. She watched the fledgling amused, and when the light peaked through the room, and he did not burst into flaming as, she needed to find out why. She made a rustling noise as she made her way to the library and left the doors open as she pretended to read through the scrolls on the desk.
It was not long before Annaneta felt the gaze of a warm body framing the door behind her. Without turning to look behind her, quietly she addressed the young male that she had seen earlier the evening before; the more reckless of the impolite escorts.
Annaneta broke the silence, “It is daylight, should you not be with your maker? The sunlight has no pity for one as young as yourself.” She gazed out over the greenery and life of the refuge through the window thought offered the only light to the room. She mused at the time it would take the young man to approach her from behind. Quickly meant the little warrior was impetuous, and hesitantly meant cowardice that numbered the days of his life in the face of combat.
It was Matyas, the one who belonged to the feisty Felix. Standing behind Annaneta to her right, just out of her line of sight, she waited for him to speak. “And what does our guest know of this?” he taunted. “Oh, yes, a story-telling witch from the Old World, here to tell us the error of our ways and is nothing more than a human who has read too much Bram Stoker or was it Anne Ri—?”
Annaneta turned swiftly and covered his mouth with her left hand, gripping his face firmly. Bringing her right index finger to her own lips, she softly began, “shhhhhh…. Calm yourself Matyas, and tell me why you alone are awake? Your kind would call you Daywalker, yes? Isn’t that the correct word?”
Annaneta’s sarcastic point was taken seriously, and she released her firm grip on his eager mouth. “Now tell me why you are awake and have no need to seek refuge from the bright morning sun?”
“I don’t have to tell you anything. If you are so smart, why don’t you figure it —-“
Annaneta grabbed his shirt and upper arm, then pulled him close and inhaled deeply… “Your heart beats still… you breathe as a mortal…“
Quickly she broke the top layer of skin on his neck with her fingernail and tasted his blood. Annaneta could not have faked her reaction to save her own life, and Matyas laughed proudly, “Am I too much for you, old girl?”
“Oh you are too much all right, my young friend, that is for sure!” hoping to win him over with her compliments and interest in his unique nature. Annaneta continued the game of predator’s dance. “It has been years since I met a creature such as yourself! Your maker, uhm… your Sire, he is so lucky to have a… uhm, what’s the word Sorcerer – yes, a born wizard in this age!! Are you not? Tell me, yes?”
Matyas beamed with recognition that rarely came his way from his Sire, or the other hostile females in the coven.
“Tell me, you are then a Chosen One? You drink the Elixir of the Predator race, do you not?!” Annaneta performed as any actress might in her debut film. “Please! If you will, walk with me about the Manor,” wrapping her arm in his to be escorted.
Bringing her face close to his and her lips close to his, and to his cheek and then to his neck, she returned his gaze innocently, “and give me… your… special… tour. Shall we say? And show me everything that you think I need to see about you… so that I may… understand you my amazing young friend…. Please?” Annaneta waited with the glamour of Lolita, for the answer she required.
Matyas grabbed her hand ever so gently, and towed her behind him as he made his way toward the bottom half of the manor. They twirled down the spiraling staircase and met an icy cold brush of air. “This is the cellar.”
“It’s large enough to be a tomb,” Annaneta whispered. “Tell me, handsome wizard, what is the cellar used for,” she cooed in his ear while stroking his hair.
“This is where Fergas keeps his special wines for parties and for his own entertainment,” he mused.
“Will you show me these…delectable libations…Matyas?” Annaneta whispered in his ear while running her finger down his face.
“Anything…for you…beautiful,” he managed out. “They’re this way.”
Matyas led Annaneta down the tunnels and into a special part of the cellar that completely chilled. “Fergas does not like room temperature wine,” Matyas mused. “Do you fancy a flavor?” he asked motioning to the bottles that lined the walls. The room was an easy fifty by fifty feet sized room. Each wall was lined with a glass refridgerator that looked like those that stores would have accept there was no metal to the design. Annaneta walked to the nearest case of wine and open the see through door. When she pulled the bottle of wine from the cooler, the label peeled back some to reveal the ingredients in the bottle.
Teaspoon of Sânge Viciat wine
Half a cup of blood from a human
Red Wine to top it off
“Matyas, dear, what is Sânge Viciat wine?” Annaneta asked slipping the label back on the bottle and replacing it in the cooler.
“I haven’t heard of it. What you hold in your hands, my dear, is what you called earlier, the Elixir of the Predators,” Matyas beamed.
“How often does one of your stature drink from the Elixir?” Annaneta sweetly asked.
“Once a week I am allowed a glass of this special mixture. It enhances all of my senses. Now as for the one you asked for, did you see a bottle here?” Matyas asked walking to the cooler.
“No, no, I thought I heard it mentioned by your Sire earlier when he offered a toast. It’s nothing,” she smiled shrugging her shoulder.
She went to another cooler, opened the door, and examined the contents of the wine on the hidden label.
Teaspoon of Reshona Wine
Half a cup of blood from a human
Red wine to top it off
What is Reshona wine? Annanaeta contemplated quietly to herself. Could it be… no that’s impossible, that would mean someone had to be a loup garou here. They must also be uneducated to their wines as well. However, she still had her doubts as she placed the bottle back in the cooler. She looked over at Matyas who watched her and smiled at him. “Is there anything else fascinating down here my little dhamphir?”
“One of Sire’s studies is down here. It’s a much larger library than what is upstairs,” Matyas grinned. “Would you like to see it?”
“I would be delighted to!” Annaneta proclaimed. She offered up her hand. “Please, lead the way.”
Matyas took her outstretched hand and led her through a series of tunnels and steps. Fearing she had made the wrong choice, and Matyas was leading her elsewhere, she began to chew on her lower lip. She was just about to ask if they were close to the study when she heard a soft moan coming from one of the hallways ahead.
“What was that?” she asked blatantly.
“I’m not sure. Normally this place is empty at this hour,” Matyas replied as they crept closer.
The moans grew in a fevering speed and it dawned on Annaneta what was going on behind closed doors. “Maybe we should-“ she started.
“Are you ready?” a voice called out none other than Fergas himself.
“No, Sire!” the female voice pleaded.
“Silence!” he bellowed.
“Please don’t pull the chains tighter!” a female called out. “Fergi!” she screamed and then a gasp from both of them filled the hall along with a low moan and soft cries.
“Clean yourself up,” Fergas spoke harshly. “Change your clothes and make sure they are cleaned!”
“Yes, Sire,” the weakened voice cried. Annaneta immediately recognized the voice as Stephania.
“You have got to be shi-“ Matyas cupped his hand over her mouth.
“We must go!” he seethed.
Annaneta nodded her head and the two of them swiftly made their way back through the maze and upstairs. Matyas seemed out of sorts and Annaneta remained quiet.
“You are not to speak of what you heard to anyone in the manor,” he mused while looking out the window.
“Does he do that with all the women in the clan or does he just have specific tastes?” Annaneta asked walking over to the window he stood at.
“I am tired,” Matyas said as he turned and faced Annaneta. “Maybe another time we will discuss this.” He offered her a smile and she bowed her head to him with compliance.
“As you wish, young one. I too should head to bed,” she said as she started back to her room.
“Annaneta?” Matyas called out.
“Yes?” she replied.
Matyas didn’t even reply his answer. He pulled Annaneta close to him and pressed his mouth to hers. It had been years since she had felt the embrace of a man and easily succumbed to the passion that ignited her. She nicked the inside of her lip with her incisor, and when he pulled back from her, the smeared blood covered both of their mouths. Frenzied with the taste of Annaneta’s blood, Matyas draws her back in, running his tongue in her mouth, and licking the blood from her lip. He began to waiver and dizzy. When he looked to her she was double, then triple visioned. He collapsed into Annaneta’s arms.
She smiled at her deception, and carried him to a room that was empty. After she tossed him on the bed, she tapped her finger against her chin. “What shall I do,” she smiled musing.
She began to disrobe Matyas and stripped him bare. She stood back looking at her bait. He was rather handsome for his stature. Blonde flowing hair clung to his chest. He had the smoothest skin with no hair on his chest. Her eyes trickled his body down his stomach where she saw he maintained his fitness through exercise. She drank in the image before her. She watched his face as he slept. Such beautiful, porcelain skin layered his body to where she honestly thought he could pass as one of his clan members. She averted her eyes to gain ground with herself. She disrobed as well and climbed in the bed underneath the covers. She felt him begin to stir, rolled to her side, and closed her eyes. She heard him murmur and mumble as he began to awaken.
Matyas sat up in bed confused and unaware of why he was naked. He looked over to his side and saw Annaneta under the covers with her back showing bare. Annaneta rolled over and acted surprised and slightly appalled.
“My, I must have had a bit much wine than what I thought,” she said slipping from the bed with the sheet wrapped around her body.
Matyas smiled, “I’m sure you liked what I had to offer, even though I do not remember anything. We must have both drank some bottles of wine from the coolers down stairs.”
“Well, I must be getting back to my sisters. They’re more than likely terribly worried over my absence,” she said as she bent down and picked up her gown. Matyas watched as she slipped the gown on and the sheet fluttered to the floor beneath it.
“Do you mind zipping me up, little lover?” Her eyes twinkled at him.
“Not at all,” he said as he climbed from the bed and stood behind her. He slowly zipped the zipper feeling her bare back as he did so. He stepped closer pushing himself against her. “Can we meet in the morrow as well?” he asked.
“If you wish to, handsome,” she smiled.
He nodded his head, and she turned to face him. “Let’s keep this as our little secret. We wouldn’t want your coven believing I’m deceiving you into bed.”
“Yes, that would be best,” he said grabbing his own clothes and hastily throwing them on.
She opened the door and started once more for her room. She glanced behind herself and gave her fingers a wiggle at him. He smiled, nodded, then turned down the hall to go to his quarters. She rounded the corner and walked down the halls feeling the wood grain walls beneath her fingers. The manor was so beautiful and well crafted. It was such a shame it belonged to Fergas. She found her door and paused, listening intently through it to hear if her sisters had stirred. She cracked the door and slipped in sideways, closing it quietly behind her. She turned and faced the beds and was filled with dread. Erzabeta and Kaszarina were not in their beds. She checked all of the extending rooms that had doors from the inside and didn’t see them.
“Where are they?” she asked aloud with fearful tears forming. “If they were taken, and they are harmed, there will be a war they had not thought they would reckon with,” she hissed as she opened the door and left to search for them in the manor.