It was a dark chilly night, the night the parson arrived at the castle door. He had been sent by the Bishop concerning the absurd matter of vampires. " I protested greatly," he wrote in his diary," but the inquirer has been very generous to the church, and is also the governor of a small country. Needles to say the arguments for harmonious relations between church and state win out."
"Vampires" scoffed the parson to himself, as the heavy wooden door swung open. The governor was so thin, and pale, so handsome and richly adorned in black.
Perhaps he is depressed, thought the monk.
"Father, do come in" said the governor as he smiled, revealing. long, pearly white teeth. "I’ve been waiting so long."
"Thank you, I will" replied the parson. Then stepping through the door with his bag, he looked around through the grey lobby and dark half closed doors, all dimly aglow by candle light.
"It’s quite a place you have, for a governor" he added.
"Yes, yes" he said, " but it’s not I who is in need of your services. "It’s the village. Forgive me if I seem selfish, but also, it is my daughter."
"That’s not so selfish."
"Then put down your bag and we will look in on her."
"Please, she ‘s asleep on her bed."
The parson followed the governor through dimly lit corridors, up winding stairs, and finally to a door in a hall. The governor slowly pushed open the creaky door and the candle light fell on the form of his lovely daughter, lying on her bed asleep in her white gown.
"Ah!" Gasped the parson. "She is beautiful"
The governor looked away sadly, then returned the parson’s curious stare.
"Yes" he admitted. "She is quite beautiful, like her mother, who is now deceased."
By lamp light they moved in closer. The lamplight fell upon her neck, above the rising and falling of her breasts. In the brighter light they could see she was quite pale."By God, something has bitten her on the throat. Perhaps a mosquito", said the parson.
"We are blessed, father. There are no mosquitoes in our country."
"No mosquitoes? That is impossible!"
"It is thought that the vampires gobble them up, since they are full of human blood- a kind of ecological balance you might say ", he added as if seeking sympathy.
"Well", said the parson. "I don’t believe in vampires, but if you wish I’ll watch her through the night. But if nothing happens I will leave in the morning, agreed?"
"Agreed, and I will sit up with you."
They sat up all the night. The father would talk of anything but vampires, but when he started to doze off in his chair the governor, instead of taking advantage of the situations as we might expect, would wake him and ply him with more questions on the soul of the vampire.. What would be his fate with the return of Christ? After all it was God who made him the way he was..
Feeling it was his duty, the good parson would assure him that we must fight evil, even when it is in ourselves. At that the governor would grow paler, then attack the question from another angle.
Finally dawn appeared. The girl awoke a little stronger and no vampire had appeared..
"I’ll be taking my leave now", said the father, "as we agreed."
"Oh, but you must be tired. Please rest in the other room I’ve had prepared for you before you go. That is, I’ll have a carriage for you this evening. "
"Very well", answered the fresh blooded priest, too wearied to argue. It is a sound plan."
He weakly followed the girl to the guest chamber where she lay him on the bed, tucked him in and kissed him on the forehead. He fell asleep at once.
Presently the nightmare began. The shadow of a human form, dark, cold , sucking away his energy, hovered about the bed. It moved quickly, then stooped by the head of the bed. Twin icicles touched his throat, as the murky shadow leaned toward him. A stabbing pain shot through him. His body jerked and he awoke with a scream. When his eyes opened he thought he saw a shadow streak away. He reached for his throat and felt something wet. He looked at his fingers–Blood!
The parson was not uninformed. He knew the process had begun, he himself would turn into a vampire. The arguments of the governor for the soul of the undead suddenly made terrible sense. Good God have mercy! Still he had his faith and he knew what must be done.
He looked around. It was dark. Had he slept that long? He reached in to his bag for the stake and hammer that the Bishop had insisted he take along to humor the client. He went to the girls’s room. She was on the bed asleep. How beautiful she was. How his heart swelled with pity. And there in the shadows stood her father.
"Come away from the bed", demanded the parson.
"Of course", said the governor. "And I see you’ve brought your stake. How very good" he beamed.
"This stake is for YOU!"
"For me?" Gasped the governor.
"All those questions about the hereafter. Your daughter– your guilt. You knew what must be done to save your soul. I will bless you when it is over. You can be saved!"
"My guilt?! Your good Christian blood!"
So saying, he proceeded with a blow to the parson’s jaw that rendered him knocked out at the governors feet.
When the clergyman awoke he did not need to touch his throat to know its condition, yet he did. He found as no surprise the wounds freshly opened. He stumbled weakly to his feet and staggered downstairs. It was risky, but God willing he would make it.
It was Sunday morning and he recalled Jesus’ story of how man was not made for the Sabbath, and visa versa, and he harnessed up some horses to a carriage and sped away.. How Weak he felt. Oh God, how tasty the young village women looked. The sunlight struck his skin like sewing needles.
It was no good. All he could think about was blood- blood-blood- blood! How hungry he was. Then a vision of hell fire would bloom within his inner mind and he would scream out in horror. Onward the horses raced through the night. I assume he slept during the day, but I can not say for sure what he might have done.
Exhausted, he opened his diary and made the following entry:
" I stand before God in fear and trembling. Troubled in spirit and transformed into something hideous. May God have mercy on my soul. I hold the stake within my trembling hands. If my prayers are not answered I will do what must be done. That I will do. I will plunge the stake within my own bosom and commit my soul to the fate that awaits it. Whatever that may be.....
"Dear Lord, if thou can, have pity on my poor soul. If you cannot, I will rid the earth of my terrible presence. If I return to the church and create in it vampirism, what will become of it-yea, even to men...?"
Before he finished his prayer, a light began to glow in his mind’s eye. He opened his eyes and beheld that the light was coming from the outside. There ,by a big rock, a globe of light shone brightly, warmly, then began to take on human form. Soon before him stood a man– a man with ling white hair, whight as snow. His eyes were pools of burning fire. The parson trembled, but the apparition spoke with the voice of many thundering waters. "Fear not! Come forth!"
The parson feared to move, but little by little, step by step, he floated forward.
"You have become a vampire. Therefore, drink ye my blood"
The parson shuddered. A million tiny needles pricked through his innards and pained him for the taste of fresh blood.
"Oh, no. I couldn’t do that!" he replied.
"Does not the scripture state I am the manna, that came down from Heaven? Do you not drink my blood in communion? Therefore drink ye my blood, or have no part of me! "
The vampire gazed into the eyes, the pools of warm fire that seemed to mellow and glow happily. He crept forward, slowly. The inner needles pricked away. He sank his fangs into the throat of the Holy Christ. ...!
The blood flowed warmly, and tasted of milk and honey. It throbbed in his throat as it went down into his stomach. The sensation grew into a warm glow. Soon he felt as if every pore of his body were filled with light and peace. He felt his fangs fading away to normal size. The color returned to his pallid face. His whole being returned to its earlier form. Slowly, surely he was human again. A human at peace with all things. The most high said some things too deep for human language and left the parson to carry on.
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