Eve of Damnation, is part one of four parts of Take Me If You Will. It is a fiction story about a young maiden living with her parents on a small farm in Wallachia, Transylvania. The story starts in the year 1352. She remembers that eve of damnation so well, like it was yesterday. Elisabeta tells her own story.
Before the horror, the shameless passion, and generations of being a part of the demonic undead I was a young and innocent girl. Before Abram took me.
Eighteen years I lived in the small village near Wallachia. I was a peasant girl of farmers. Young and innocent I was. Free to roam the forests and meadows, not strong enough for labor. I cooked and cleaned as Madre’ and Padre’ labored in the fields. When my chores were done I ran to the forests where I was blissfully alone, away from taunts and jeers and threats of men who wanted what I would not give.
Beautiful, they called me, beyond what a peasant girl should be. Beautiful they said, but frail. Good for bedding yet not good or strong enough for a farmer’s wife or to bear children for him. What is beauty on the outside but a bane to my existence? It is within where one finds beauty.
Yet who looks beyond the skin, beyond the shape of the body? Love, true love, comes from within. Love from Madre’ and Padre’ and love for them is my life. I will never be loved by a man as his wife.
So I wander alone where the dryads and nymphs playfully hide from me and whisper delightfully as I pass. I will be a queen, here in the forest deep – a queen of the faery and they will guard me as I sleep. Time, so short a time I can linger here. Time to get food on the table for family. I must go my little friends, my only true friends. Tomorrow eve again I will come.
Night, the night is cold, the winds blow hard, I cannot sleep. Shutters rattle and voices come from the deep. Who are they? From whence come the shouts and screams? What is happening and where are my parents? I awake from drenched nightmares and hear screams. Madre’, Padre’- they are screaming!
I creep to the opening on the floor of my room and raise the small wooden panel just enough to peek through. The ladder I drew up every eve lay beside me. Dark, darkness is all around me, I see not a thing, but I hear…no!… I hear Madre’ screaming. Padre’ is silent now. Yet Madre’ screams and screams then chokes, coughs, and is silent, as silent as death. I see now, my eyes are seeing forms, men, warriors burning our home, burning all we know. Run! Get away and run for life, run where? I creep back to my bed and gather my cloak in my arms. I open the shutter and drop my cloak, it falls and lands softly. I follow it and drop on the soft flower bed below.
So dark, yet light is growing, too fast. I must run, run to the darkness of the forest… the whole village is burning with fire, as if demons from hell have torched it. It is the war, warriors of the enemy have come. I wrap my dark cloak around me and cover my head with the hood. I run, stumble and fall, run more and breathless collapse on the soft floor of the forest. Torches are following me, I see them, I hear shouts. They are coming, they have seen me and are coming after me.
Eve of Damnation ~
Run! Run again and further, deeper, deeper into my forest. Someone, a man grabs hold of me and imprisons me in his powerful arms, I try to scream, but he covers my mouth with his hand and holds me tight, whispering to me to stay calm. I look up to a face I have never seen, not a warrior, not a friend, who is he? He takes my hand and promises to save me, I have no other choice. I must go with him and chance or die here in horror as my mother did. I take his hand and we swiftly head deeper into the forest.
In seconds, a mere fraction of time and we are far away from all danger. I sleep, I awake, I hunger, hunger for the taste of this stranger. He holds me and loves me so tenderly. So far away, I know not where I am. I awake and find I have nothing covering me. I rise and look around at a strange land, all rocks and cliffs. He is watching me as he sits on a large rock, smiling at me. I grab my cloak off the ground and cover my shame. “You promised! You said you would save me from harm.”
“And I will, my dear. For all eternity you will be safe with me. No one will ever harm you now. You are mine and can come to no harm.” He approaches me as I back away, fear in my heart. Swiftly he grabs me in his arms. As his lips touch me I melt like snow dripping off the roof of my cottage. “No! Do not touch me, leave me to the enemy and I shall die alone fighting in honor – not like this in shame!” He approaches me slowly, smiling, and I cannot resist him.
I drop my cloak and stare into his deep eyes, “Take me if you will then.” I die in his arms, I feel like I die, yet I am floating and flow with him in feelings I do not know. I become one with him and sleep once more.
I awake in a room of beauty, fit for a queen, silks, velvet and unimaginable splendor. He stands over me in all his beauty and power, his body so strong, his face so evil yet handsome. I reach for him as he leans down and once again puts his lips to my neck. I swoon in a glorious abyss of passion I have never before known.
I sink down further, spiraling down and down into the very darkness of my soulless existence. Passion, great passion, safety, and immortality is mine.
© Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved Phyllis Doyle Burns
Watch for the next showing of Take Me If You Will – Part Two, coming soon to The Creative Exiles.
~ ~ ~ ~