"Victorian Upir" Chapter 3: The Subjects

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Vampire, Philip Burne-Jones, 1897


Chapter 3: The Subjects

On the third day of Lady Meresse’s resurrection from the dead, the house became less ghoulish than it was when she entered it for the first time. The furnitures in the hall are no longer bound with shrouds. Castle Black looks more inhabited now.  Atop the tables with flower carvings and swirly leg bases are lit candles with varied colors and designs on wide-ranging handle socket shapes. More candlesticks can be seen on tables, consoles, and cabinets.

Three antique couches with Gargoyle designs projects from each edges and extremities, and carved on its legs and arms. The larger couch that can accommodate four people poses on the center adjacent like designed sofas that can accommodate two people each faces each other. A center table etched with the same design half closes the space between them. On the east side of the parlor stands another sofa that can accommodate one person set in an L direction from a narrow and short shelf with a few collection and volumes of books any member of the household or guest can sit for a good read. More books and tomes can be found in the Saptarshi library in a separate room on the second floor of the house.

Like the parlor, the Lady’s room is free from shrouds, now available for her own comfort anytime after sunset and before sunrise, that is. Where she sleeps is the cellar, a mattress from one of the house’s guest rooms is positioned. The cellar, indeed, is the safest place for the likes of her to slumber, where no sunlight enters. The cellar is now her lair for the time being until she finds a better and a more comfortable den for herself and for her kind as soon she wakes them all together from the realm of the dead, which she is reminded to do about now.

To bring at least one or two people from her court back to living she must do today. Aides gifted her and her felids with the tongue of summoning and incantations for the awakening.

In the cemetery, she identifies two dead from her court, a house butler and an errand boy. The seven favoured now in their rightly locations, with the lady who sits at the center of the circle utter the incantation. A dead black raven lies on the ground where it will be devoured by the ground—a sacrifice for the Aides. A life for a dead—a payment of a debt...

The raven no more in sight... Aides answers. Nyx blesses.

The ground shakes like earthquake, then it bursts just shortly. Crawls out from the grave is old man with Ashen emotionless face, and pale crumpled skin. Like the Lady in her awakening, the old man’s wounds are with bloodthick saps like that of plants dripping down. His eyes are white and empty of pupils and irises. He wears a collared loose fitting brown garment which extends to his hips, and a black Victorian undergarment. His feet are bare like the lady’s during her return.

“Merry meet, Thomas!” The lady exclaimed.

“Meeerrrr-yyymeeettt m’laddieee...” Thomas uttered in an awful inhuman sound.

The lady gives the butler her hideous yellow-teeth-smirk. “Come along now. There’s one more we have to wake.”

She and the feral cats move to the next tombstone where lay under the ground is the errand boy—her personal errand boy, who was barely seventeen when the bacterium hit him dead. The same errand boy whose sapphire blue eyes and heart belong only to the lady Meresse...

The same incantation is uttered, the same ritual commences. Cowering on the ground is the boy she calls Brown. Jack Brown. Half American and half English... With white eyes, the boy’s passionless face projects a devilish grin.

Thomas and Brown devoured the dead rabbits and squirrels the lady prepared for them both. They weren’t at all satisfying but enough to give them human voices and human gaits and better awareness to harness their new gifts from the goddess herself. Till then they can begin their own hunt.

Meanwhile, the lady, who sits in the dirty kitchen plays Mad Scientist. With her ingredients all scattered on the kitchen table, and a grimoire—unfolds to a page on making sleep potions. She found the tome a day ago after her hunt on the restricted area of the library—more like a museum of sorts, where démodé and antique goodies are sheltered on glass consoles.

Her cauldron now fully heated, she slides the soupspoon and pours on each two small glass bottle. After each is filled, she closes them with lids that have droppers attached on them. “Perfect!” she smiles.

The next day is hunt day for the three Upir, and the seven favoured who haunt mostly of small creatures like rodents, chicks, roaches, spiders and lizards.

Later that night, the Lady Meresse commands her two servants for a great hunt—with a far greater cause than their personal blood hunts. The Lamian hunt, whereby they would hunt seven new born babies for the lady. She gives both servants each a glass bottle, where filled inside is the sleeping potion.

And so the hunt begins.

Thomas and Brown step through the Gate of Merak, located northwest of Castle black. The wrought iron gate, like all other gates are connected on stone piers that are taller than that of the Gate of Mezar, as tall but not as wide as the Gate of Alkaid. The same Grave Ivys loop in swirls like snakes on the gate posts and spread on pier walls. Yards far from the gate is long winding road that heads to a small village, which used to be subjected under the Saptarshi court, and now is a subject of no one, but is still part of the Castle Black manor. On the other opposite direction is the road that leads away from Silent Hill to Buckinghamshire.

To the village, both servants move in a flash. Swift like the wind... Like spirits they are unseen in the human eye.

Repose from any form of noise other than that of breathes of sleeping villagers and animals, the village’s calm and hush atmosphere give the hunters a great advantage to claim their quarry easily. Small one to two storey houses align along the village narrow rocky dirt path. Some of the houses are brick made while few of them are of terra cotta, and terra cotta roofs.

Brown finds an empty horse wagon unhooked from its horse. It is a perfect storage to transport their quarry. His face turns to a grin. Brown loves to smile even when he was still alive. Everybody in the Castle Black, may it be royalties, elites or lowlies have a fondness to this young man for his light-hearted nature—a perfect subject to offer ‘de-stressing.’

With the use of their advanced senses, both can smell through the walls to know which house lodges toddlers, and infants. They begin moving. Thomas to the second house from the entrance of the village... Brown, on the other hand motions toward a two storey house where a new born rests on the second level. On what means to enter the houses is no one’s concern. Small square windows are usually covered only either by wood, or wool. Wool covered windows are easiest to get into.

Thomas stealthily enters the window with wool shrouding it. Inside are three two heads in deep slumber, between them is a little pale creature with tiny fingers and tiny toes—the victim. He drops the sleeping potion on the baby’s small mouth until the liquid sips inside the mouth. Now the little one is in deep spell so it won’t cry. And out the house he goes toward the no longer empty horse wagon—another little creature sleeps inside. It is Brown’s. Then he moves on to the next victim.

Brown is now inside a one storey house where his second victim slumbers in a wooden cradle. He drops the liquid inside the baby’s mouth and in black magick, the baby’s dead to the world. And he takes off.

It takes them about an hour to recover all their victims—all sleeping, possibly dreaming—their souls now wondering in another realm—dark and void.

Horseless, they move the wagon with their Upir strength by their hands and speed. They run in a wrinkle of time.

As they reach the Gate of Merak, stand on four gloves on its center is Azazel, the Darkling, as if expecting their arrival. The black feline hisses, and moves toward the house in a swift.

The Darkling enters the parlor first, and the lady smiled at the sight of her pet. She knows that her subjects have arrived.

She sits comfortably in the largest couch. On her right sits Morningstar and Malefic, Samael on her left. On the other couch on her right is the sleeping Beelzebub. On her left lie Azrael, while Midnight rests atop the center table. And Azazel reaches the couch where the Chief Spirit of Evil lays.

As the door opens, all felines turn to its direction.

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