HALLOWEEN 2011: BY CARISSA HORTON
As much as I despise the provincial term “a dark and stormy night,” the evening could be justly described as very little else when I first stepped from the carriage to attend a dinner given in my honor. Such a foolish man, Dr. Seward, always chomping away with those annoying jaws, devouring everything in sight. Were it not for his enchanting daughter, Lucy, I might have considered draining the man of his life force whilst in his home merely to be rid of him. But alas, I am given to flights of attraction to the human female, and Lucy’s stunning and acute suspicion of me only served to draw me in closer. How utterly amusing to watch her repugnance tinged with interest, particularly since I knew her interest would only extend itself the longer I stayed in her company. She was utterly predictable in that respect. If only her little friend Mina Van Helsing were as interesting. Instead, she merely stared with insipid eyes, yearning for a man, any man, to attend her. Poor creature, in such ill health. Truly, my visit to her that evening might have been deemed a godsend, if I believed in such a One.
Alas, speaking of the piteous Mina only raises the image of her father, a man I despise. Whereas Jonathan Harker holds a cross with such little conviction that I can set it aflame in the palm of his hand, the same cannot be said of Abraham Van Helsing. Why he should have suspected me is still a befuddlement. True, the tragic death of his daughter aroused his suspicion, particularly upon the point of those, ahem, marks, as it were, upon her throat. Yet, why should it have been me cast under suspicion? The entire ghastly situation felt rather like I was being circled by a rabid and somewhat arthritic dog. I should have been far more on my guard with regards to the man, but as it was, he shocked me with his quick suspicion and caught me unbearably unprepared. The cross of Jonathan Harker was no match for me, yet I could barely stand in the presence of the Eucharist wielded by Van Helsing. This humiliation only serves to fuel my determination that this particular incident shall never repeat itself.
Ah, well, the joys of memories. Have you ever encountered a woman you simply could not exist without? For me, this was Lucy Seward, daughter to that annoyance known as Dr. Seward. Every step was taken in dignity, every flutter of her gown as I twirled her about the dance floor bespoke of ancient grace. Certainly her elegance befitted me far more than it would have suited Mr. Harker. How should one describe him? I saw him kiss her once, when he thought them both unobserved. Perhaps it is my old-fashioned ideals but if I were a young woman and had been kissed in that manner, the man would have found himself rapidly disemboweled. It is highly unlikely that the enchanting Miss Seward received any form of pleasure from the encounter since she so eagerly acquiesced to my overtures in the garden during an evening stroll. I am a god and Mr. Harker merely a grossly formed mistake barely taking the semblance of a man. No match for me and ill company for Miss Seward.
Is it so very wrong to choose love? It appears the world would have me be eternally alone rather than find an eternal mate. As I told Jonathan Harker, I have had many wives in my time but Lucy was to be set above them all. It is hardly my fault Mina did not survive my presence. I knew of her ill health yet she succumbed to death in a manner which I had not intended. Men are for eating, women are for wooing. While Mina was indeed weak in spirit and body, her frailty was, in and of itself, an attraction. If only she had not given in to her darker instincts, and her father had not polluted her grave with garlic, she, Lucy, and I could have happily lived out our days in contentment together, leaving Jonathan Harker and all the rest of them to their human ponderings of our fate. Rather than leave the girls to the lovely fate I had planned for them, they chose to meddle in my affairs! The puny, pathetic, despicable men interfered with my intentions and the desires of beloved Lucy. It was too late for Mina but Lucy, ah, with Lucy I could have spent an eternity in her arms and she in mine.
Instead, I found myself outwitted by the estimable Van Helsing. If it were merely Harker and Seward pursuing me, I could have evaded them forever. But the boorish man intervened for the sake of Lucy’s soul or so he claimed. As if he was given the right to stop us, to stop me.
They think me dead, even my beloved Lucy. I still recall the image of her sweet face in my mind’s eye, gazing up at me through those willowy arms as I swung in the blinding sun. Revenge shall be sweetest. My recovery is slow and somewhat arduous. Once I am fully healed, I will never again drink of the accursed blood of rodents; disgusting creatures. The blood of Jonathan Harker I shall claim as my own and while it runs hotly through my veins, I shall also claim Lucy Seward, who he thought was his. After all, vampires never really die.
Do they? ■
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carissa Horton sews, knits, and writes. She works for Compassion International, which finds sponsors for third world children, and dreams of being an agent at a publishing house. She blogs about life, faith, relationships, and fandom in her free time.