Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Te Vampire's Ball The Final Two Acts
The Vampire's Ball:
The townsfolk begin to gather on the grounds early this year. Their costumes speak of stories of love, hope, fear, and death. Whether simply crafted or elaborately ornate, their mere presence delights the eyes with their tales of fancy and fright. The air fills with the delectable smells of the endless buffet lined with all manner of meats, fresh fruits, vegetables, and sweets of all varieties. Music floats above them, tickling their ears as they dance among the topiary and marble columns. It was everything Felicity had promised it would be. The guests are joyously ignorant to the fate that waits at the stroke of twelve.
Katalina weeps in her room, the weight of what was to come crushing her soul. There is no hope; she would not be able to stop the pure rage and evil that her sister has become. Every strand of music haunts her, each burst of laughter only feeds her tears, it is pure torture. Felicity had converted all the orphans now; she knew it deep within her heart. The staff had turned too, anxiously, but patiently waiting for their moment to strike. This had become a house of darkness and hate, instead of beauty and solitude. It was no longer the home her father, or the man she knew to be as such, had built and cared for. No, now it was a veiled tomb silently awaiting its new residents. Everyone was here now. The streets were empty, homes barren, stores closed for the festivities. No one was left out, the entire community had gathered together for their collective funeral, disguised, just as they were, hidden in the twilight masquerade.
She peers out her window to witness their joy and frolic; it is the most horrifying thing she has ever seen. The massive grandfather clock in the main hall strikes eleven and eerily chimes that many times. The beautiful sound now mutilated and reformed into a melodious laugh of a madman. Felicity appears and makes a masterful speech welcoming them all, inviting them into the main hall for the main feast. Little did they know it is they that are the main course? Katalina did not know where the orphans were hiding, but she could feel them all around her. Their hunger calls to her in the shadows like the siren’s song. She had to resist it; she refuses to become one of her sister’s minions, a soulless, lifeless drone, purged of all free will and purpose.
Suddenly a whisper pierces her torment, “I did not free you to be weak,” the barely recognizable voice echoes in her tiny ears. She frantically searches the room to find its source, but she is alone, utterly alone. “I did not free you to be weak,” it repeats, just slightly louder than before. She stands and searches again, but nothing has changed. Maybe she has finally gone mad. “You are stronger than this, stronger than you know,” it continues but from what direction and why? Katalina feels a welling in her soul as if something is forming within her belly. “She is weak, her hate has made her weak,” the voice is louder now, more pronounced, “She knows it has and that is why she fears you, and you alone.” Is it her own voice, her courage scolding her for her cowardice? No, it is a man’s voice, familiar, strong but calming. “Find your strength, find it now, or you will damn yourself to the same darkness, the same end,” it calls out a final time and then the room falls deadly silent.
Without a doubt, she now knows whose voice it is now. It is father's, she is sure of it. Was he calling to her from his grave, or simply her own confidence mimicking his familiar tone and quality? Either way, she knows what she has to do. Whatever is being conceived within her, fueled by his encouragement, now has blossomed, and her courage has been reborn. Defiantly she glares at the locked door before her, she laughs at the collective splinters, and they will not be able to hold her back.
Her father’s words are still ringing sharply within her mind, repeating over and over again. The realization that if she does not act, only death awaits her permeates her entire essence. A death not of her body, but her soul, spirit, her very identity. To do nothing, will make her as mindless as Felicity’s minions, and every drop of blood shed tonight will stain her hands as deeply as her sister. She looks up at the clock at the wall, half past, there is still time, but it is fleeting.
Felicity looms over her guests at the top of the grand staircase, her smile widens as each minute ticks away. As they sit at the myriad of large round tables, covered by the most elegant linen table covers, rarest of crystal goblets and china, and most delicate china, devouring their meals with ravenous delight, Felicity’s disdain and ire grows satisfying her bloodlust, eclipsing any remorse that would stay her hand against her upcoming revenge. Her minions concealed in the shadows, perched in the rafters of the vaulted ceilings above. They wait for their master’s command, salivating at the mere thought of the blood that will drench and titillate their tongues. The staff serves each and every guest young and old, generously delving out their servings to thicken the blood and fatten the flesh. Felicity basks in the moment, in her newfound power, something she had never dared to dream of until now.
For so long she was a weak, pathetic, nothing, a burden, unimportant, and insignificant. Starving, dehydrated, poor, forced to beg for every meal, as few and far between as they were. A tattered, cold, and dying soul, void of hope, abandoned, unloved, praying for death to provide even the slightest hint of peace. But now, she was whole, healthy, and superior. Now she had everything, all the control, and in a few more minutes, she would take everything from them, with no life spared no matter their age, gender, position or providence. And there is nothing to stop her, nothing!
She giggles and then covertly motions in the air as her disciples begin to descend from the ceiling, scaling down the walls. The servants put down their trays and untie their aprons. Felicity watches as the orphans surround the dining hall from a distance, staying just out of sight. Of course, even if they were more conspicuous, it would not have mattered. The townsfolk are so naively distracted by their false sense of safety and overzealous revelry that any threat, no matter how pronounced, would have been inadvertently ignored. Felicity takes a deep breath and sighs in unchecked satisfaction. Her time has come and theirs is over. She reminisces one more time about her history of pain and shame cumulating into that shameful, unjust night in the stocks. It quickly wipes away any mercy or concern that may still be clinging to her cold, dead heart. It is an easy task. Five minutes to go, it is five minutes too long.
The Vampire's Ball:
Just at the height of her arrogant introspection a voice cries out bellowing through the massive hall. It possesses an unfamiliar strength and determination. “You are all in danger,” it announces, “you must leave now or you will die!” The noise of the crowd’s incessant and trivial chatter engulfs the command. Felicity scans the room to indentify the voice’s source. Suddenly Katalina appears as if she was simply and abruptly transported there out of thin air. She lands on one of the large tables with a thud, shaking it violently. The crowd is immediately stunned by her sudden appearance and collectively gasps. “Leave, or die,” she growls her eyes on fire! She bares her newly formed fangs glistening like polished pearls. Her face is stone, frozen in a terrifying glare that violently fills and pierces the room.
One guest screams, then another, and another. As more and more bear witness to her ferocious presence, their reactions undeniable express unbridled fear. They begin to scatter from the room, knocking over tables and chairs. Crystal shatters as it impacts the floor as their shards streak across the nearly ancient hardwood floors. They exit full speed in droves, trampling those that are weaker and frail as they desperately attempt to escape. Katalina cackles as the melee reaches its fullness and screams with delight. Her shrieks assault every sense and occupy the entirety of the gigantic space.
Felicity’s rage reaches unspeakable heights as she watches her well-formulated plan collapse under the weight of Katalina’s intrusion. Her minions are frozen in confusion, unable to react to the events transpiring so effortlessly before them. “Katalina,” Felicity screams! Katalina turns to her sister and snarls. It is in that moment, the bond that had linked them together, by birth and blood, shatters and siblings suddenly become strangers, bitter enemies.
Felicity springs from the step, launching into the air, soaring toward her sister. Katalina scoffs as her sister glides through the air. She abruptly ascends, crushing the table into splinters that were once below her feet. They meet mid air, colliding into one another, as they streak across the rafters impacting a wall across the room. The aged wood and ornate tile crumbles as they strike. They wrestle across the wall, suspended high above Felicity’s minions. Their claws dig deep into each other’s flesh, tearing it as if it was wet paper. Katalina attempts to bite her sister, like a high strung viper, but misses as her sister flips her around and they rapidly plummet to the floor below.
They hit the floor at full speed as tables and chairs helplessly flee and china and crystal reigns down all around them. Felicity tries to bite her sister’s exposed neck, but fails as her sister grabs her face and buries her talon-like thumbnail deep into Felicity’s left eye. Black blood spews from the wound bathing Katalina in its sticky sheen. Felicity screams in agony, as Katalina rakes her jagged nails across her cheek tearing skin free exposing muscle and bone. Felicity picks her sister up and tosses her across the room, her power fueled by unimaginable pain. Katalina slides across the floor slamming into the wall breaking past its structure and sinking deep within its construction. “Kill her,” Felicity bellows to her minions, “tear her apart!”
Her minions break the hypnotic spell they were under and hiss in delight. They swarm towards Katalina, who has disappeared into the ruins of the wall. The hole is instantaneously covered with a black shroud of bodies desperate to feast upon her flesh. Their numbers are so great; they physically appear as one entity moving in perfect vicious unity. “There will be nothing left,” Felicity cackles as she wipes the ever-flowing blood from the wounds on her face.
Suddenly the room is filled with the shrill screams of Felicity’s horde as they scatter like roaches faced with a burst of light. They spread to every corner of the room in a flash as Katalina emerges from the rubble with a makeshift cross created with remnants of wood in her hands. It burns her flesh, searing her palms, smoke streaming between her fingers. She sobs in agony as she boldly holds up the crucifix to successfully ward of her attackers.
Felicity gasps as he watches the mob helplessly divide like frightened rats. Katalina drops the cross and lurches forward soaring through the air and tackling Felicity to the ground. This time her strike hits its mark as she sinks her sharp fangs into the flesh of her sister’s neck. She bites down and then snaps forward ripping a bloodied, vile hunk of sinew and muscle from her nape. Felicity tries to scream, but it is muffled by the flood of blood filling her throat. Katalina strikes again and crushes her sister’s jugular, the crunching sound makes the minions cringe in terror. She pulls forward again exposing the entirety of Felicity’s open throat. Felicity gargles in her own blood, her ability to breathe utterly vanquished.
Katalina thrusts her left hand into her sibling’s chest, shredding flesh and shattering bone until she holds her sister’s barely beating heart in her fist. “I release you dear child,” Katalina whispers, as she mercilessly yanks the organ from Felicity’s body and casts it across the room. It slams against the wall and splatters. Felicity groans as life violently evacuates and her limp body begins to turn to ash. Within an instant, Katalina is covered in the dust and debris that was once her enemy, her only sister. The minions screech as they begin to violently dissolve, liquefying before her eyes into pools of vile, putrid red and black slime.
Within seconds, the hall falls silent with only the smell of death and decay loudly calling out to her. “It’s over,” she sighs as she collapses onto the floor. Her hands ache; she knows the burns will never heal. She embraces the silence, rolls over and stares at the ceiling above. The delicately crafted mural above her tells the biblical story of Cain and Abel in brilliant color and detail, unmolested by the careless hands of time. It is as if it were painted just yesterday. “How ironic,” she ponders.
There is no remorse, what was done, had to be done. Her sister died long ago, whether it was from the first sip of her father’s blood or the rage that began to consume her from their first step in this nowhere town. She had abandoned her just like everyone else. Suddenly her quiet contemplation is rudely interrupted by a man’s voice, “is anyone here?”
She recognizes it right away; it is the constable who arrested them so many months before. The man who so easily and harshly bruised her cheek with his prejudice and animosity. She slowly rises and sees him. He spots her too, “Katalina are you okay, what happened here?” She realizes he was the only one who had not attended the twisted gala, patrolling the empty streets with a bottle of bourbon and a flask filled with ignorance.
“Nothing,” she smiles, “nothing at all.” The confusion on his face is undeniable. “Are you alright, this place is a horrific mess,” he continues, “The townsfolk say there was a monster here.” He cautiously approaches her, “It is ridiculous, but now that I see all this.”
Katalina glides over to him, “No, not a monster, “she purrs. He stops in his tracks, memorized by her stare and gentle, angelic voice. “Then what,” he puzzles as he becomes drowsy and light headed? “Justice,” she whispers as she stands behind him running her nimble fingers through his hair, knocking off his hat.
The constable is suddenly paralyzed where he stands, unable to understand why. “But that doesn’t matter now,” she seductively continues, “You are just in time.” He can barely muster the words, “for what?” She stands before him, her soft subtle lips only inches from his face. She peers deep into his eyes, beyond his very soul. “Dinner,” she coos. Fear fills the man’s heart, but he cannot react, frozen under her spell.
His screams fill the hall, carried throughout the estate on the winds of the chilly night. The sound of his bones cracking and the complete violation of his flesh the only underscore. She delights in her feast, drenching herself in his succulent blood and terror.
The night is young, the ball may be over, by her celebration has only just begun.