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Transylvania's Moon (Bellyache)

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Online readlliea

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Five years had passed and all that time seemed to blur together into nothing but patrolling around at night and being given orders. Honestly it wasn't appealing in the slightest. Oh how his thoughts often drifted back to Mina and the day he had to leave her behind in England...well he didn't have to, he made the choice to try and save her from this fate. Yet he couldn't help but doubt his choice, questioning himself on why he didn't put more faith into Professor Van Helsing or why he thought trading places was remotely wise?! A glance up to the clear sky revealed the moon wasn't full but the next stage of it would be, one more night wandering the woods as a normal person..

Harker sighed quietly, letting his gaze drift down from the night sky and to the ground beneath his feet. The sounds of the forest seemed louder yet they weren't, his hearing could pick up things better now. His eyes allowed him to see farther and better, and his nose picked up on the various smells from the pollen of different floral to the animals that passed by here at lunchtime to now. A curse. There was no way a human man would be able to protect vampires, so Dracula did something about that. The potion had tasted horrible but the curse was it's result, the one good thing from it though?

"Are you patrolling the southern edge?" A rough voice asked, causing the man to look behind him.

A wolf stood there, grey fur with bits of white and darker areas. Their amber gaze staring up at him as if it was awaiting some form of instruction. If all this madness hadn't happened, Harker would've freaked out. Instead, he simply stood there. Calm...knowing that this wild animal wasn't hunting him nor had it the intention to.

"Yes. I figured it was time for everyone to rotate in order to keep a better look on things. I haven't been at the southern edge for a four months now, I need to make sure my memory of it is the same." Harker responded.

"Very well." The wolf responded to his ears alone. "I shall take your place at the eastern edge. Perhaps, a hunt tomorrow night is in order with the pack, my alpha?"

That was something he didn't like to be called, in human terms it was the same things as a lord or king. Harker didn't feel like either of those things. But tomorrow was the full moon...he wouldn't be himself then.

"Perhaps, it'll depend on how this night goes." Harker answers. "Now run along, there's a large amount of territory to watch. Since there were no hunters this week, it's safe to no have to go in groups now."

The wolf nodded before it ran off, heading off to convey the information to the other wolves before going to the Eastern side of Dracula's castle no doubt. Talking wolves....vampires, becoming a monster...certainly wasn't in any of Harker's imaginings for how his life would be as a adult. The one thing he wanted was Mina...and he couldn't have her..damn bat made sure of that.

Company. That was the good thing to come from the wolves. While he wasn’t a normal wolf, the creatures accepted him and they were his only  source of nightly conversation.

For a couple of hours, the patrol seemed to be empty. Once in a while, he'd spot the local wildlife before it wisely fled from him. Coming upon the clearing that was just at the edge of the property, Harker took a seat on a boulder with a small sigh. His grey hair sported bits of the dark grey it once was though to anyone who saw him five years ago, would say that his hair was more grey than anything. His alert eyes were scanning the area, searching through the tall grass for anything that would cause for a alarm. As much as he hated this place, he had to defend it.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 10:29:16 PM by readlliea »


Offline BellyachesMethod

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Five years pass by quick and yet dragged on. Every minute seemed like an eternity. How long had Mina worked at her school? Indeed, she must have taught a thousand thousand children by now and sent them on their way? But it also appears she taught this one group for an eternity. Bright little boys and girls they were, but they exasperated her.

Time did not seem to slow down on her son, Quincey, however. Sleeping now, and near school age. Mina swept her fingers through his hair. He possessed her coloring: pale, with dark hair and eyes. But she appreciated that he would miss her square features to favor his father’s build. Taller than her, with softer features and distinguished brows. Even now his mouth formed with a slight downturn, just like his father’s.

Mina sighed, tucking the covers into Quincey, and blowing out the lamp. She left the door ajar.

The house, once a modest size, now seemed too spacious. She almost sensed her footsteps echo down the hall. ‘This should have been my marriage house,’ she thought. ‘Instead of a widow’s house.’

She made her way to the sitting room, where on the mantle a picture of Jonathan awaited her.

“Hello, my love.” She whispered at it, before sitting down in one of two armchairs and picking up Jane Eyre.

Inside the book was her most recent letter from Gabriel Van Helsing. She enjoyed the comfort that he kept in touch ever since... Well, she didn’t like to contemplate it most days. She never told Quincey what monster murdered his father, her husband. Would she ever? Would he trust her? No, not likely. Nor would anyone else. No, it was best to keep the unpleasant memories, the terrible sights and sounds and feelings, buried deep within her. Gabriel understood and didn’t talk of the experience in his letters. Paranoid, she supposed, that someone would intercept and have him sent to the madhouse. She didn’t blame him. She held the same fear herself.

His letter contained the usual formalities. Greetings and inquiries about her schoolchildren, how Quincey was getting along, vague news of his own work, though she knew he saved most of the details for Christmastime, when he would visit for a week. He was going to Transylvania, where Dracula originated. He did not specify why, but Mina could guess. Ever since their encounter with Dracula, Van Helsing became obsessed with the paranormal and its monsters. Did he learn of something else lurking in the wilds? Perhaps Dracula himself? Mina shivered at the idea and touched her neck.

Pale scars marred her neck. Too subtle for most to detect, but she saw they existed. She palmed them when she awoke in the night in a terror. When this happened, she almost felt that damned creature’s mouth on her, draining her, and bending her to his will.

But where Mina suppressed those memories as best she could, and tried to forget her ordeal, Gabriel Van Helsing actively pursues the monsters that cause such terrors.

‘Perhaps he belongs in the madhouse,’ Mina thought, though kindly. ‘Perhaps we all do. There is no escape from terror, despite my attempts to ignore it.’

The letter read. She strode to her writing desk and dipped her pen in the inkwell. She would write tonight and send it out tomorrow. There was no telling when Van Helsing would receive it, but it comforted her to think he would read it before he made it to Transylvania, or perhaps while he was there.

‘Above all,’ she added, finishing the letter, ‘I wish you safety. Do nothing too foolhardy. I don’t think Quincey could bear it should something happen to you, and I know that I could not. Now that I do not have Jonathan, you are my closest friend. Be well and return soon.’

Mina stared out the window. It was dark as pitch but for the moon. It was nearly full and bright enough to cast shadows.

“Please,” she said at it, as though it were God. “Please don’t let him come to harm.”


Online readlliea

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The talks of a monster and increased wolf activity was certainly a strange one, and Mina was right. The entire event with Dracula had sparked a fire in the older man. Van Helsing realized there was more to their world than people believed. In remove areas, these monsters and supernatural things still held villages and small towns in terror. People were still branded as witches and once he thought it was foolish, ridiculous even. Yet, here he was now believing in these things. A man passing their prime and wanted to know just what it was within the world that could create such monsters.

Mina was still herself, despite the contamination that Dracula caused her. She had a lovely son and a promising life. Yet, one thing was missing from that life, her husband. Jonathan....what had that lad gotten into? The fact that Dracula was gone and they could find no trace of the nocturnal being nor of Jonathan Harker, it was strange. Of course, the good man was branded as dead and the Professor knew just how much that ate at Mina. Young love, it was a strong thing. The two of them endured a horrible experience together only to lose the other near the ending point. The young lad, Quincey held traits from his father while sporting many things from his loving mother. A child needs their father and somewhere, deep down, Van Helsing wanted to hope that he could find a better closure for Mina. There was nothing to bury of her love...just a tombstone with a empty coffin underneath it.

The details he left out of his letters were always to not cause her more pain and sorrow, after all. Why remind the lass about her horrible ordeal by telling her about his findings on the supernatural? The evidence he thought he found here and there and that Dracula might not be the worst of his kind? He couldn't bare to do it. Perhaps he had gone mad? Mad with the strange things he was exposed to and the lose of a promising young man? Perhaps, he should've put himself into a mental ward long ago...perhaps. Alas he was here now, in the wilds outside of a small village within the homeland of Dracula, where Harker had gone five years ago that triggered these events due to work.

Something noticed the man long before he noticed it for the professor felt a firm grasp upon his shoulder and a shove. Stumbling slightly, Van Helsing worked to regain his footing while trying to get his gaze to see just who was shoving him in this open field. Alas whatever it was moved far too fast for his eyes to see and a rush of air left his lungs as he was tackled to the ground. The tall blades of grass hide his form within and the cold ground felt moist from the dew. A silhouette loomed over him and a hand rested over his mouth to silence him before anything could leave it.

"P...Professor? Wh...What are you doing here? You need to leave!" a familiar voice questioned, filled with confusion and shock.

The Professor knew that voice and his eyes went wide as that silhouette finally became a person thanks to the bright moonlight. That hair was much greyer now and their clothes were roughed up, a face that held some stubble of a beard wanting to grow, and those eyes...wide eyes that held a mixture of emotions yet something else was in them. The hand was removed from the older man's face and as they adjusted their position slightly, one word left them.

"Jonathan?" Van Helsing questioned, just as shocked as the other was.

Why? How? Why was the Professor here? Jonathan had smelled something familiar after sitting on the boulder and having gotten down quickly, he waited in the brush like a wolf tracking prey. When the older man came into sight, he knew he had to prevent them from crossing onto the invisible boundry that was for Dracula's property. Harker could go over that invisible line but he couldn't go to the village unless he was given permission for a task. Other than that, he was confined to the wilds and the castle, with only a little distance away he could go. Besides if he kept the Professor off of Dracula's turf, he could...he could say it was just a wander; Harker wasn't stupid, he knew that he was going to have to dunk himself and his clothes into the stream nearby to erase the Professor's scent off himself. Through the damp water and various foliage and sweat, the Professor's unique scent would be lost. Sure, Dracula would still smell that he came in contact with a human just not this one.

"You need to leave, quickly. Right now!" Harker urged as he looked over his shoulder.

None of the wolves were nearby, none of them would notice. Good. The Professor gave a few blinks, trying to wrap his mind around this. The young man was alive? All this time? What had Dracula done then? The lad still held a healthy complextion, no bite marks on the side of his neck. He hadn't been turned...so what had he done?

"Professor please!! RUN!! You can't get caught here." Harker urged, his voice still low but it's urgent and nearly desperate tone felt louder.

"Jonathan....you're still...how? What's going on?" Van Helsing questioned as he sat up, trying to keep his own questions short and to the point.

"I can't tell you, please. Don't come back here, don't go onto Dracula's land, especially at night. Avoid it at all costs, even more so tomorrow!"

"Then he's alive still!" Harker gave a frustrated sigh before he started to look around again.

"Leave Professor, for the love of anything leave!"

"My friend, I can't leave you here. Do you have any idea what we've all been thinking? Mina would be..."

"DON'T Tell Mina!!" Van Helsing was shocked at the response, the older man blinked confused as he sat there.

Mina was all Harker cared about, getting her back from Dracula drove this young man. So why wouldn't he want his love to know? The woman he fought so hard for? What....had Dracula done to the man he knew? Van Helsing noticed that despite the response, he could see the pain in the young man. His feelings weren't forgotten, yet this seemed to be for something...something important.

"I want to take something to Mina, something for your grave. Please lad, I won't tell her I found you but I need to know what's happening and I will need to see you again. Perhaps you can meet me in the..." Van Helsing started but Harker shook his head.

"I can't go to the village, Professor. Just..." Harker started, pausing his words as he searched for something on his person.

He had nothing...nothing that was truly his. So, he did the only thing he could think. Tearing a piece of his coat, he gave it to the Professor before getting up.

"Take that to Mina then....it's not wise to meet again Professor.." Harker responded.

"Nor is being near Dracula, I'm not leaving you here to rot further Lad. We're going to figure something out, meet me here then?" The professor suggested.

"Not tomorrow....but don't get this near to the property again." gesturing to the boulder he had been sitting at before. "That rock is on the very edge of the property on this side, don't get this close to it again. Further down the clearing...wait there...."

With that, Harker rushed off.Moving at a speed that was impressive to the Professor, however the man didn't have time to wait around. He too rushed back to town with a letter to write Mina, as much as he hated it he couldn't lie. Not with such a huge discovery.

' Dear Mina.

I have some startling news here in Transylvania. I can't believe it but I know it wasn't a dream or my old age. He's alive my dear, Harker is alive. Sadly so is Dracula, the cause of it all. I don't know how, why, or what is going on. The lad was very determined to get me to leave, I think Dracula has done something to him but he's still a man, he wasn't turned nor bitten like you. I know this brings up painful memories and I don't wish to cause you heartache, I have this piece of clothing from Harker it seems he can't go to the village from what our brief conversation was. I need you to wait for me to figure some more details out, keep your son safe. When I know more, I will send for you.

Your friend, Professor Gaberial Van Helsing

PS. In the meantime I shall do my best to do nothing foolhardy for Quincy's sake as well as Harker's.'

The letter with it's torn fabric would be sent easily that morning and all the Professor could do was sit there and wait. Trying to wrap his mind around the shocking revelation he had just gone through that night. As for Harker, the fullbody dunk in the river was the easiest part and by day break, he arrived back...at Dracula's Castle.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 11:21:23 PM by readlliea »


Offline BellyachesMethod

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'Curse these slow trains,' thought Mina three weeks later, wringing her hands as she waiting for the car to pull into the station. Though she was grateful that they could deliver letters faster than people, she had to admit a certain annoyance about it.

The train finally stopped, and she hopped out, looking around. She had left as soon as she had mailed her letter back to Van Helsing, letting him know that she was on her way on the fastest train, but she was unsure if he would be here. Would he have done something foolish and thus injure himself, or worse? He said he wouldn't, and not that he was not a man of his word, but he was so reckless...

"Mina!"

Mina wheeled around at the sound of his voice. The tall figure of Gabriel Van Helsing parted the crowd on his way to her. She met him halfway.

"Gabriel! Thank the Lord. I worried...  Have you any recent news?" she asked.

"Not here," he warned. "Let's grab your luggage. Come. I have rented a house nearby."

The carriage ride to Van Helsing's rented house was silent and anxious. Each building they passed, Mina craned to see inside. When they reached his house, she nearly flew inside, setting her luggage haphazardly by the door.

"Jonathan?" She called "Jonathan?"

"Mina, he is not here."

"But I thought--"

"I didn't tell him you were coming."

"What do you mean?"

Gabriel sighed. "He believes it better you think him dead. Mina... there is something wrong with him. Dracula has done something to him. I can't explain it, he won't tell me."

Something... wrong? Mina swallowed hard, forcing her tears not to flow. "But he's alive?"

"Yes, Mina. He is alive. Aggressively so. We have only talked a few times, but I can see he has changed. He's like a soldier now. All wary eyes and ready to run at any moment. He is very distrustful."

That didn't sound like her Jonathan at all. Mina could hardly believe it. "I want to see him."

"I also want you to see him. Perhaps seeing you again will snap the young man to his senses.," Van Helsing shook his head. "I've tried to talk the sense back into him, but he won't listen. I planned on meeting him a few days from now."

~~~~

Lillian arose at dusk. She knew that Dracula would not visit her tonight.

Like a ghost, she slipped from her bed. Noiseless feet touched the floor. She felt it beneath her in the same way one feels something with a numb hand. The pressure was there, but not much else.

Immediately her thirst hit her. She had not fed for several days. Dracula didn't like for her to feed without him. His way of controlling the brides, but Lillian had been in this state long enough to wriggle out of his mental grasp.

She smirked. For someone who thought himself omniscient, he was a clueless man.

Lillian licked her lips. The village. She must go tonight. She must hunt.

She opened the door to her bedroom to find a wolf sitting guard outside.

"I require the company of your Alpha," she told the creature. "Fetch him for me."

The wolf whined in protest, perhaps worried that there wouldn't be a guard on her, but whatever protests happened in the beast's mind were quelled immediately by her glare.


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IT was strange...hard even. Why the hell was Van Helsing out here? This only made his stomach churn in unease. Clearly the man was still talking to Mina since they had reference his love....were they? No! NO!! Don't think like that. Shaking his head roughly, Johnathan tried to put the thoughts out of his head. Sweet Mina....oh how he missed her. Currently the man was in the kitchen area of the castle, making himself something to eat. While the vampires didn't food in the traditional sense, he still did and very much so he needed it.

Something else that came with this curse was needing to eat more, yet never putting on weight from it. Johnathan guessed his body just worked faster now, some parts of this were.....interesting. He'd admit that. The strength and speed he could move at, he could at least protect Mina if he was with her better in...this form. But what of the other form? That was when it was harder to control himself, keep his head. Sometimes, Johnathan would manage it. Keep his mind for some of the night. More often than not though when in that form, he would start to lose himself and just hunt like the wolves.That wouldn't be safe for Mina.

The sound of claws clicking against the stone floorways reached his ears, causing him to turn his head and look at the open doorway to the kitchen. Sure enough, a wolf appeared in a submissive gait. Clearly been intimidated by something....or someone.

"What is it?" Johnathan asked as he returned to prepping the meat he had brought back last night from a hunt.

"Her Ladyship Lillian requires your presence." the wolf whimpered out.

Johnathan paused in his work and sighed. Lillian....great. She was one of Dracula's brides that the man had been ignoring for some time; for whatever reason. Granted...Dracula had the habit of ignoring most of his wives and focusing on one. But why....why did she want to see him? It was a uncomfortable thought and with a almost empty stomach, Johnathan wasn't sure on how much of her he could withstand. Alas, he couldn't refuse a order. Washing his hands and letting the deer blood run off of them, he dried them as he headed to the doorway where the wolf was. The submissive wolf quickly moved out of the way and watched as Johnathan disappeared into the many halls of the castle.

His feet carried him with ease to the right door and with a swiftly delivered knock, he steadied himself.

"You requested me, Countess?" Johnathan asked.

Both in a way to inform her that he was the right person at her door but also a part of him hoped that he wouldn't have to be in that room alone with her. The brides of the Count always put him on edge and unease. Granted his first time meeting them had been chaotic and well..he was oblivious to the true danger he was in at that time. Now he knew the danger and as much as he wanted to avoid it, he couldn't. The spell on him would always make him go to where he was needed if he didn't do so willingly.