I've got a treat for you -not yet a trick!- right for the month of Halloween!
Honestly, it's a beloved short story of mine titled "The Clock", which I wrote about a year ago. All my critique partners loved it and several suggested I should make a novel, if not a series out of it!
And since I love everything vampire, these characters, and I even kept wondering what happened to them after the end of the short story... So, of course, I gladly decided to go with their suggestion.
For Preptober (if you don't know what it is, it's a month during which those participating in NaNoWriMo prepare their story, plot it out and flesh out their characters), I chose "The Clock" to develop into a full-length novel. But I've a hint it will grow into a series... I couldn't be happier about that!
Enjoy my short story, which is below the graphic I made of the ambiance and my characters, and be on the lookout for my Preptober post coming very soon!
Leave a comment to tell me whether you enjoyed it or not, and please share!
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Blood, violence, nudity.
(Sir Roman is Henry Cavill and Agnieszka is Rachelle Lefèvre)
The moon is rising, her divine light shining down on the Baroque Moszna castle before me. Its ninety-nine spires attempting to rip the moon apart. I smirk. Home is where the heart is. It's been a long time coming. But I'm ready.
I rake my wet hair and leave my old BMW behind. We might be in 2019, but the antique style still gets to me. I guess how long I lived leaves traces where it can...
My coat flaps in the wind and I groan as a rotting leaf catches my face. Nothing will ruin this! NOTHING! I came here for a reason. A purpose I've long coveted. And hell be broken loose if I don't get what I want. The walk to the arched wooden doors takes an eternity, and trust me, I recognise it when I see her. She's been my partner in crime forever now.
But tonight, I will betray her.
If I had a breath, I would be out of it by now. Instead, I lift my hand and knock on the door, my white knuckles rasping on its coarse wood. I glance around me and observe the pouring rain and lightning cutting the sky. The thunder roars all around me. How tempting. How cursed. The door groans open like a bear awoken before his time. I don't smile at the small, insignificant man before me. Instead, I bore my eyes into his, keeping my voice to myself.
He's so nervous his head keeps bobbing up and down, his sleek black hair jumping out of its stiff hairdo and his thin mustache twitches.
"Oh, Sir Roman. The girls are ready," he chats like a mouse. "We've followed your every instruction."
I nod curtly and slip past him. Even though I've got all the time in the universe, idling away is unacceptable with me. When I want something done, it's now. Not in a second, not tomorrow. Now. He'd better learn it fast or he won't last.
"Please, Sir, enter here," the mouse gestures to the right door as he scrambles up to me. "We've only used the purest blood and the most stunning maidens. For you."
My head snaps to him. "I don't see who else it could have been for since I'm the one who ordered this," I hiss through my teeth.
"Yes, right. My apologies, good Sir. Please, I hope this will satisfy your hunger," he tells me with a low bow before retreating into the darkened hall.
I observe him for a minute, unnerved, and decide to let him live. For now. I walk into the stone room and find a delicious sight. I lick my lips in rising anticipation and delight.
Twelve nude women are bound and tied in a clock-ordered manner, with the most gorgeous one in the center. While they're all a pleasing view, what with the blood dripping down from their head down their face elegantly and their frightened stares, the one in the center gets all of my attention after the first look. The blood they put on her head is the purest-newborn's blood. She's got golden Mayan-like earrings, and she's looking around her, her mouth slightly opened in shock. She's trying to get her bearings, but I won't let her. Her fiery hair features a golden clip on the middle of her nape while the rest flows majestically around her shoulders. She's perfect.
The red head looks at me next, searching in my eyes an answer I don't offer her. Not yet. The thrill is ecstatic. It floods through my empty veins and I can't contain the small smile I give her. She closes her mouth and I'm sure she's judging me, judging this and what I might do to her. The others keep whining, but she, oh no, she simply stares, terrified, yes, but with a firm resolve to pass through this.
Indeed, she's the right choice.
I make my way to the centre of this human clock, like an arrow aiming for the heart of a lovesick fool. The women all cry and crawl the best they can with their hands and legs tied. My beautiful has only her hands tied. Why mess with something excellent? My instructions were indeed respected.
She won't have to die tonight. At least, forever.
Standing next to her in the middle of the infernal clock, I look down and see her peering up at me with those lioness's eyes, vaguely veiled by fear. She might be the prey here, but I know she can be the predator in order to survive. To rule.
"Stand." My curt voice echoes on the damp, rough walls. Nothing interests me more than she does.
In all her elegance, she moans and hoists herself up with her gracious legs. My help wasn't even required-or she deemed it important to make a point. That she didn't need me. And I bet she doesn't, but I do. Oh, how I do.
We're staring into each other's eyes; hers gray like a crystal, mine dark as charcoal. Her chin lowers subtly, but she's still supporting my gaze. Perfection.
"What is your name?" I rasp out, my breathing hitched.
Cries and shuffling permeate the background. But they sound like mice to me. The stunning woman in the ritual is the only one who has my true focus. I lick my lips as I watch a drop of blood drip down her upper lip.
"Agnieszka," she whispers in one breathe, her full and curvy lips moving gently.
I lift my hand and reach out to her neck in a calculated motion.
"Agnieszka..." Her name rolls on my tongue like thick and sweet red wine.
She tenses under my sudden grip, but still I come to her, sticking my body as close to hers as possible. My black coat swishes against her bare legs. In less than a second, I stab her in the neck with my acerated canines. Agnieszka gasps softly, and it's as though she knows there's no escaping me: she doesn't fight. The other girls have served their purpose in the clock, so I don't give a damn when they scream and cry and try to run away despite their chains.
Agnieszka's blood tastes like candy. Or at least, what I remember from it. It's as sweet as honey and pets de soeurs. And though it flows in and out of my mouth in large gushes, it's easy to swallow.
At some point, she hangs limply in my arms. I can hear my henchmen's intrigued mumbling. All eyes are riveted on us. Perfect. Her lips turn a striking blue and her skin white as snow.
The mumbling turns to whispers then astonished cries as my Agnieszka moans and moves in my arms. The men let out sounds of admiration while the girls shriek and cower, but I don't look at them. Only Agnieszka matters.
"My Lady," I tell her in a soothing voice.
She flutters her eyelids then her gaze fixes upon me. And I smile. She might be dead but she's more beautiful to me now. I hold her upright, gently but with a firm embrace, and her eyes dart over mine. She's searching for answers. She'll learn in time. An eternity is plenty.
Although at a loss, Agnieszka grins at me. She takes a slow look around the audience and the somber scene. When her eyes settle back on me, there's this spark of understanding... and desire I have been waiting after.
"Agnieszka, my Lady of the Night," I say formally.
I take out the key to her freedom from my inside coat pocket. Intently, I insert it in her chains' keylock and turn. They fall to the floor with a dull but loud noise. I lift my gaze back to her and offer my warmest smile—a silent promise.
She cups my cheek and tilts her head. Then, she distances herself and stands on her own with her head held high. Blood is dripping seductively down her nudity. Agnieszka winks at me and dips her index in a furrow of blood. Bringing it to her lips, she licks it and everyone can see how her canine teeth are now pointy, acerated.
I've found her at last. I didn't want to spend the rest of eternity alone though centuries passed and there was no one beside me. But choosing a worthy, strong-minded woman for our future together was crucial. This metamorphosis into a creature of the night, the vampyr, is almost instantaneous. It changes even the prey's perceptions and feelings towards the one who sired them. Now she loves me and I will love her. United forever, a vampyr's love song.
Grinning, I slip my arm into hers and we face our spectators. My henchmen kneel and chant:
"Welcome to the night, O Lady!"
I turn to my queen and gestures at the pathetic, though beautiful ladies curling up in fear.
"And now we feast."