To Death and Born Again
A month ago, I decided to kill my enemy only to become one with them. The change wasn’t instant, in fact, it took twenty-eight days. I woke up in the darkness of a dungeon, only I was able to see very clearly. It was small enough to feel claustrophobic, yet large enough to move around.
“Finally, the sleeping girl wakes.”
My eyes shifted towards the voice. Dracula stood in the corner observing me. For how long, I was unsure. The smugness he embodied made me want to rip his head off. I attempted to lash out at him, except I was caught mid-swing.
“Now is that a way to treat the one who saved you? It’s a wonder why your people wanted to sacrifice such a well-mannered miscreant. To put an end to your useless attempts, I must inform you that you’ll never be able to kill me.”
“Why not?” I shouted.
“It is I who gave you the gift of eternal life. There is a bond between us that may never be squandered by you nor me. It’s also the bond that keeps me from extracting my own vengeance on the one who bestowed such a gift upon me.”
I attempted again to slaughter him. I scratched, bit, punched, tossed, nearly broke every bone in his body. His resilience was beyond comprehension. I heaved in exhaustion at the feet of the infuriating beast.
“Are you done?”
“I told you. You aren’t able to kill me. Now, would you like to eat? I’m sure you’re hungry. Especially after that pitiable display.”
Dracula left me to fetch a human. I watched as he humanely killed the man with a lethal drink. The stranger fell into a deep slumber and it was then that Dracula slit his throat. The blood was warm and thick with a delightful taste. It reminded me of the berries I used to pick with my father in the garden. They were slightly tart and were best when baked into a pie. With each gulp of the syrupy blood, I felt less faint. The hunger pains eventually subsided and all that was left of the man was a depleted corpse.
“You must have been a gluttonous child. I imagine quite chunky.”
“Funny, I always imagined your kind to match the intelligence of a boar.” I retorted.
“That hurt. Don’t fret, every vampire has a large appetite after transformation. I’ll bring you more food tomorrow.”
“What? You’re going to leave me here?”
“Of course, I am. The transformation is a lengthy process. It takes twenty days for the body to construct its exoskeleton, five to ten days in order to regain consciousness, and another week to subdue the ravenous hunger. If I were to let you free now, you’d wreak havoc amongst the kingdom. That simply won’t do, as you shouldn’t exist. You’d become more of a headache than I accounted for.”
“Then why change me?”
“Call it, fate.”
Dracula left me to the darkness. I festered in my thoughts. Replaying the events that lead me here. My father tried to save me from the mob of people who demanded I be relinquished. The King ordered for a member of my family to be offered to the vampires. Since I was the only child, and all men were pardoned, it was I who had to give my life for humanity. Mother would have given her life for mine had she not done so already during my birth. I was all that father had left and the King nor the villagers cared. Everyone’s lives carried more value than ours. It was clear through the actions that force our hands. Father snuck me out in the middle of the night. I broke into the castle of Dracula and clearly it led to my death and rebirth.
Just as promised, Dracula returned with another human for me to feast upon. As I quietly ate, he felt compelled to converse.
“What shall I call you?”
“My name is Nori.”
“Nori? No, that is your human name. You will be called something else from now on. Think of something creative. Exciting.”
“I’d prefer to keep my name.”
“I got it! How about Medusa? A proper name to fit the way you look.”
“Then why do they call you Lord Dracula. It’s a bit too strong. Ominous. Wouldn’t Lord Herod be more fitting? If it’s all the same to you, I’d like to indulge in peace.”
Once more I too to my meal. The taste wasn’t as good as before, it was bitter. It all went down the same. I didn’t take my eyes from the Lord, who too watched me from the corner of the room. I couldn’t tell if he desired my meal or found me curious. Either way, he looked at me with a glint in his eye that repulsed me.
“It won’t be too long now. A woman of your mercilessness will become a fine specimen indeed.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked with a mouth full of blood. Dracula grimaced at my decorum.
“It means that only you, Medusa, could change quickly without conflict.”
“Don’t call me that!”
“You truly fascinate me. Even I struggled in my first days centuries ago. It must be your mule-like demeaner.”
“You dare insult me at our every exchange?”
“Come now, it makes things more entertaining. Does it not? I’ll leave you in here another day or so and then you can rejoin civilization. Perhaps we can fit you with better garments. I’ll have something tailored for you.”
The days and weeks had come and gone. I emerged from the darkness of the cellar and was welcomed by the community of vampires under Lord Dracula’s rule. The men weren’t concerned with me to say the least. I was just the young vampire who their Lord took to be his bride. Many of the women were either envious or filled with malice regarding my position next to the Lord. I certainly didn’t ask for such standing. The Lord gave me the proposition of standing with him and taking revenge or fend for myself at the bottom of his underlings. The fact that he took such interest in me was incomprehensible, though my revenge was what led me to accept his offer. My once enemy had now become my ally, and my once ally will feel my wrath. The king will pay for what he’d done to me and my father and the others will regret crossing the threshold of our door.
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