Feature Writer: phantom_belcher
Feature Title: CARMILLA’S VENGEANCE 2
Story Codes: Erotic Horror
Synopsis: Erin continues to change into a vampire, learning the rules
Carmilla’s Vengeance 2
Journal of Erin Hollister
10 June, mid-afternoon
I’m no longer scared. I feel myself changing, physically and mentally. This morning I was an emotional wreck over what I did last night. Now I am indifferent.
Aunt Carmilla explained things when I woke up half past noon. I am transforming into a vampire, one of the living dead – or undead – that feeds on the blood of the living. As a vampire, I will not age, and I will have supernatural powers at night. At night, I will have increased strength; during the day my strength will be no greater than when I was just a mortal being. (It still sounds queer saying that out loud.) At night, I will have the power to turn into a mist, to pass through any barrier, to fly as shadow, and transform into a large animal. Aunt Carmilla takes the form of a large panther, but she says most vampires prefer the form of a wolf. I will also be able to take the form of a large bat, a large owl, or a horde of rats. In addition, as witnessed last night, my senses will be sharpened. I will have control over wolves, bats, owls, rats, and other nocturnal predators, and by making eye contact will be able to influence
my prey the minds of mortals others. Finally, and this she stressed, the full moon has regenerative properties for vampires; even if reduced to ashes, should the ash be exposed to the light of the full moon, the moonlight will revive me the vampire.
She also explained the weaknesses. Silver, because of its mystical connection to the moon, is anathema to a vampire. A full vampire lacks a reflection, though until I fully transform, I will retain mine. (Carmilla mentioned there were some that retained their reflections after fully transforming, but this was a very rare case.) Holy symbols wielded by a believer can hold
us a vampire at bay, and religious hymns will hurt our the vampire’s ears. Touching a holy symbol we the vampire worshiped in life, such as a crucifix, causes us great pain. We A vampire cannot enter any residence nor the house of God without an express invitation, though an invite once given cannot be revoked save through a special ritual. Fire is also a weakness, though vampires can see clearly through smoke.
And then there are those who hunt
our kind vampires, those who would cut off my head, drive a stake through my heart, burn my body to ashes, and call it a blessing. The mere thought is causing my anger to rise…
Aunt Carmilla told me that Mother’s illness was because she began the transformation but never fed. The more I drink blood, the faster I will transform. Mother never drank anything other than water; I always wondered about that, but now it makes sense.
When I asked how Mother had saved Carmilla’s life twice, Aunt Carmilla gave me this sad look. The first time, she explained, was when they first met, when the coach carrying Carmilla and her sire overturned in front of Grandfather’s schloß, and they took her in with Mother’s urging. The second time was after Carmilla had been revealed as a vampire. Carmilla had previously revealed herself as a vampire to Mother several nights before; when Grandfather along with a woodsman discovered Carmilla in her grave here at the Karnstein schloß, they killed her as Mother watched. Mother found Carmilla’s remains afterward and dragged the remains to a nearby hill, exposing them to moonlight and resurrecting her.
There was more, of course, but the conversation was interrupted by my stomach. Carmilla led me to the dining hall, where a man and a woman had been stripped naked and laid out on tables, along with a wonderful spread of breakfast meats, fruits, and pastries on a third table. Both the man and the woman did not appear to be fully conscious. I licked my lips, grazing my tongue along my sharpening canines.
“Choose,” she told me.
I should have gone to the breakfast spread. Instead, I found myself drawn to the man. His expression was dazed, but his penis was erect; only later did I see that there was a clasp at the base of it. I knelt down and took the penis in my hand, gauging its size and girth. I straddled him, lifting my skirt to around my waist and reaching down to guide him into my private area. Pleasure and pain mixed as my maidenhood was torn from me, but I didn’t care about any of that. My eyes locked onto his, and it seemed like I could hear his thoughts as I maintained eye contact. All the while, my hips kept moving, rocking seemingly on their own.
I felt his ecstasy change to fear as my hunger grew. I felt my teeth elongate as my mouth opened wide. I struck fast, sinking my
fangs teeth into his neck. Unlike last night, I was aware of my prey I was draining his blood. I am only slightly ashamed to say I enjoyed the rich, thick liquid that surged down my throat. I could taste his fear as his life ended.
When I lifted my head off his neck, I saw Carmilla between the woman’s legs, her own fangs deep in
her meal’s victim’s the woman’s thigh. Carmilla smiled at me; I smiled back and returned to feasting.
I know I should care that I will soon have to feed on the living, as I am currently only choosing to, but I do not. If the choice is between the power of the undead or the slow wasting that destroyed Mother, I choose to be a vampire.
May God have mercy on my soul.
Journal of Erin Hollister
10 June, late evening
Minea is an absolute treasure!
After writing in my journal this afternoon, I began to explore the Karnstein schloß. The schloß sits on a twelve acre lot surrounded by a ten foot tall stone wall with towers at each corner and spaced regularly. Inside the wall nearest the south-facing gate are the stables and carriage garage, with quarters for the living servants (half of whom apparently know Aunt Carmilla’s secret, volunteering to be food for the undead!) along the insides of the west wall. The castle proper sits along the east wall with a wing on the north side, giving a large courtyard. Behind the castle to the north are the ruins of an old chapel, a few gazebos, a shrubbery maze with a large central gazebo, and a cow pasture.
Inside the castle, the first floor is dominated by a large ballroom on the north side. Across the central hallway from the ballroom is the main dining room, and the kitchen on the other side of it. Branching off the central hallway is a hallway leading to a private study and a large two-story library filled with old books. I would need to be immortal just to read one floor of the library in a regular lifetime! (Oh wait, I am! Or soon will be!) Above that on the third through sixth floors are the living quarters, and two tall towers hold even more living quarters. (My quarters are on the third floor; Minea, it turns out, resides in the east tower.)
I located Minea in the study, and stood there stricken dumb for several minutes. She was reading an old leather bound tome, but what caught my attention was her dark red skin, large bat wings emerging from her back, ram horns, and long, thin tail tipped with a spade that swished behind her. I actually do not know how long I stood there before she noticed me eyeing her.
“Like what you see, young one?” she asked me. I admit, I was flustered, and may have given four contradictory answers before she reached out and pulled me to her side.
Minea explained that she is a succubus, a demon that feeds not on blood like vampires but on the very life force of mortals, usually through sexual intimate activity. She went on to explain that, like vampires, most succubi (and their male counterparts, incubi) were once mortals – witches, wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, and other students of the black arts – who had sex with engaged in carnal relations with other succubi and/or incubi multiple times, eventually sacrificing their very souls to become demons themselves. Apparently only the students of the black arts of magic – like that Mr. Crowley back in London – can become demons that way; most mortals just die.
“Do not worry, young one,” she reassured me. “Vampires and those soon to be like yourself are immune to a succubus’ transformation and life drain.” While that did not exactly ease my anxiety, Minea did not seem threatening, so I forced myself to relax.
We spoke at length for several hours, discussing every topic from the latest news from London to Sappho’s poetry and Euripides’ plays. Eventually the topic turned to tomorrow night’s ball.
“I don’t have a suitable ball gown,” I admitted.
“I can loan you one of mine,” she told me. “But while the gown catches your prey, how you dance keeps his attention – or hers; neither vampires nor succubi discriminate on how our food appears.” We enjoyed a quick laugh at that, though mine was no doubt nervous. Then Minea slid a cylinder onto a nearby phonograph, which began playing a Mozart waltz as soon as she set the needle. Taking me into her arms, we began dancing, with her leading as a man would. Apparently with vampirism comes grace, as although in the past I would stumble over my own feet, I found myself dancing with my partner and not against her.
“You truly are beautiful,” she told me as the dance ended, “and graceful. A word of warning: Carmilla has a thirst for vengeance as well as for blood. She never understood why Laura chose to stay mortal, and your grandfather once assisted in killing Carmilla. One thing she neglected to tell you earlier: Vampires have control over those sired from them.”
Of course, I asked her why she was telling me this.
“I have my reasons, but you are an innocent in her power plays,” she explained. Me? Innocent? With two dead at my fangs? How much more innocence do I have left to lose? “Not the innocence of which I speak,” she said when I scoffed at the idea of my remaining innocent. “You had nothing to do with the acts of your mother and grandfather, but you may be central to her plot, whatever it is.”
I have yet to confirm whether Minea spoke the truth or if she was giving me false information. But I smell someone nearby . . . .
Journal of Häschen
(Translated from German)
It was mid-morning when I snuck into the Karnstein schloß. Fortunately, at this time, most vampires are asleep. Some sleep in their coffins, others regular beds. Carmilla, according to Herr Krüger, sleeps in her coffin in her original grave. But she is not my main target – yet. It’s the living servants whom I tried to avoid. I kept my saber, blessed as it was by the Lutheran priest in Amsterdam, hidden in the folds of my coat.
I hid for several hours in the basement pantry, and watched as two victims – one man, one woman – were removed from hanging on crosses, stripped naked, and carried upstairs to the main floor with all the grace of sacks of potatoes. Two hours later, by my pocket watch, their bodies were dumped unceremoniously on the hard concrete floor not five feet from my hiding place.
Of course, my luck could not last. The next two to enter the pantry, late afternoon, were vampires themselves. Both were physically in their early twenties: one tall and wiry with brown locks of hair; the other a full head shorter with olive skin, raven hair, and more generously proportioned.
“The fledgling will be a powerful servant,” the tall one told the other. I can only assume that she meant Erin. “She already fed twice. That’s more than I on my first day.”
“The Countess was not pleased by her choice of breakfast,” the other replied. She nudged the man’s corpse.
“You know how the Countess prefers we feed,” the first scoffed. “If last night was any indication, young Erin is less particular with her prey.”
That was the confirmation I was waiting for. Suddenly both heads turned in my direction, their fangs lengthening and their eyes becoming predatory. I had only seconds to strike before they could retaliate.
Whenever I fight, it is as if my mind is a passenger in my body. My body moved on instinct, muscle memory guiding my blows. Before I was consciously aware I had moved, my saber had left its sheathe and beheaded the raven-haired vampire. Turning to the wiry one, I prepared to strike. I did not feel any pain as her claws pierced my leg; my sword in the meantime pierced her heart. Withdrawing the sword, I swiftly beheaded her as well.
Then I collapsed on the floor as the pain finally registered. Picking up the vampires’ heads, I carried them over to the coal furnace and disposed of them. It was harder to drag their bodies to hiding spots. I wrapped my leg in bandages, but I feared the smell of blood would attract attention.
Fortunately for me, the attention I got was from Erin herself. She entered the pantry and sniffed the air. It sounds queer, but my heart leaped into my throat when I saw her. She had changed since we met on the train; she looked more confident, and moved with a feline grace. Her skin seemed paler, even in the faint light coming in the pantry’s window, which contrasted with her striking red hair. Was her bosom larger, or was that my imagination? She got closer, following the scent of my blood, and moved a large box out of the way. A range of emotions flew across her face when she saw me.
“Bunny?” she asked me, using the pet name she gave me on the train when we met. Her confusion only lasted a moment. “You’re a hunter.” She is sharp, and took it as a matter of fact. “Grandfather,” she said with a sigh. “He brought you in to keep me safe.”
“Ja, he did,” I admitted. “I know you’re changing. Is that what you truly want?” I asked her. She seemed to think about this a little.
“Immortality and vitality like Aunt Carmilla,” she replied after a time, “or a slow wasting like Mother. I do not want to end up like her. How would you choose?”
I admit, I had never considered that part of it. Which way would I choose? Neither being a vampire nor wasting away sounded appealing. I suppose if faced with that choice, I could see how one might choose vampirism. Then a thought occurred to me. Herr Krüger’s men helped Countess Karnstein assemble her library. I remembered one of the tomes on the list was an ancient grimoire.
“In the Countess’s library is a tome,” I told her, “In Libro Vitae Aeternae per Diaboli Sonderangebote, a Sixth Century grimoire. In it is a ritual which can destroy vampires, and restore one not yet changed to health. We could destroy the Countess once and for all, restore you to fully human, and set things right! But it must be done before you change fully,” I pleaded with her. “Find the tome, before it is too late.”
I do not know if I got through to her. She did, however, get me out of the schloß without incident. She also told me of the party to-morrow night, which I already knew about from her Grandfather and Herr Krüger, and she offered to speak with me then. She told me she would add my name to the guest list; I told her to use Herr Krüger’s surname. I just hope she does not use the name “Bunny”.
Journal of Erin Hollister
11 June, early morning
Bunny! My heart is torn in pieces knowing the truth. We became such good friends in a very short time, but to learn she is one of those hunters and seeking to kill Aunt Carmilla pulls me in two. And Minea’s warning … Who can I trust?
I wandered the Karnstein schloß for a few hours after, until I felt my hunger grow as the sun set Seeking a reprieve, I changed my clothes and asked the coachwoman to take me into the village to get
someone … something to eat. In defiance of social conventions, I kept my hair down.
She dropped me off in front of the tavern. I could hear every conversation inside clearly, smell every ale and other scent, and see clearly through the thick tobacco smoke that filled the place. I drew a lot of attention as I entered. Conversations stopped. I heard someone whisper, “Lady Erin Karnstein,” to a companion. I turned my head in the direction of the man who said that and nodded in greeting. Lady Erin Karnstein. It sounded … Well, it sounded right. I’m now as much Carmilla’s child as I am Mother’s.
“What can I get milady to drink?” the bartender asked. He hid it well, but his voice stammered with a touch of fear. Anyone not with my new nighttime senses would not have caught it. I felt my mind brush against his, and I immediately understood why. Aunt Carmilla was feared among the villagers, and it seemed the tender rightly suspected her of being a vampire.
“A mug of your house brew,” I told him. “And you have nothing to fear from me.” It was true. The bartender was not my
prey intended meal tonight. I could hear his heartbeat; his blood was weak. I needed someone stronger to slake my thirst.
Eventually, conversations returned to normal. I could hear people express relief that I was not like Aunt Carmilla; how ignorant they were.
A young and pretty woman caught my attention. Slender, blond, a head shorter than I, and possessing larger than average breasts. And, I could tell, a virgin. She was with a group of three other women at a corner table, looking nervous. I risked scaring this skittish doe by walking over to the table and inviting myself to their party, but she did not flee. Locking eyes with each in turn, I silently commanded them to act normal. Over the next hour, I got to know my
next meal victim prey chosen companion, while subtly pairing her companions with eager young men at the tavern. As we spoke of every insignificant piece of gossip, I realized I had almost nothing in common with the simpering little God-fearing sheep.
Simply put, she was boring.
Eventually, I decided to give the sheep the night of her greatly shortened life, feasting on her virgin juices before I fed on her blood. Silently, I ordered her to wait fifteen minutes before following me out the door, and to let no one follow her; her friends were all with other men, anyway. I made sure people saw me leave alone; it would not be safe if my meal and I were seen leaving together and then her body found.
Exactly fifteen minutes after I left the tavern, the meek little mouse left. I smiled from the shadows as she walked down the street. As she passed an alley between buildings, I grabbed her arm and pulled her to me. Locking eyes with her, I put her under my spell, letting her see my growing fangs for the first time. She put up no resistance. I heightened her ardor, and made her compliant to my wishes.
The coachwoman and I took
my meal her back to the schloß. En route, I slowly and delicately removed all her clothes, kissing and nibbling – without yet breaking skin – all over. The little sheep’s privates were flowing! Smiling, I bit her on her large breast, sipping the blood. She tasted exquisite. When I pushed her down between my legs, her tongue felt like little shocks. I could tell she was no stranger to the art of pleasuring women. Then I returned the favor. She tasted exquisite, but that only whet my appetite for her blood.
I moved up and lay her down on the coach seat, releasing my hold over her pathetic mind. As she came to her senses, I let her see my fangs. She screamed in terror, but by that time we were back at the schloß; no one who would help her could hear her screams.
With a lunge I sank my fangs into her neck. Oh, exquisite blood! Such a sinfully delightful taste. Her fear added such flavor. She tried to fight me off, but I was too strong, too thirsty, and too far gone in my feeding to even consider letting her go.
As her heart beat its last, I detached my mouth from her neck. Her blood dripped from my fangs onto her breasts.
“A very successful first hunt,” Carmilla told me as she appeared out of the shadows at the coach. “We’ll remove her for disposal. Might even serve her up as a roast tomorrow night.” She laughed harshly at that. Now that my hunger had been slaked, I got to see Carmilla’s cruel sense of humor, the side that probably caused Mother to decline her gift. For the first time, the thought that maybe Bunny was right crossed my thoughts.
Tomorrow night is going to be very interesting.
THE END OF CHAPTER TWO