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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with Names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Author is responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.

The Seducer: A Gone From Daylight Inspired Story - 12. William Harker’s Journal: Entry 12

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Sunday, September 16, 1989

În haita de lupi, tinerii sunt hrăniți, bătrânii venerați - Within the wolf pack, the young are nurtured, the old venerated.

My first line of Romanian Dr. V taught me tonight is both beautiful and haunting! He taught it by using a story of a lone wolf joined by an abandoned young cub who the old wolf must teach to survive. When the young cub matures he takes a mate, makes a pack of his own, but haughtily drives off his old mentor leaving the old lone wolf still alone. Alone, until the old wolf comes upon the bleeding form of his old student in the snow, dying.

It would seem an older and stronger Black Wolf had, likewise, driven the young wolf from his family, injuring him fatally before their fight was over. The black wolf killed all of his cubs and stole away his mate, leaving the young wolf to die there in the snow.

If his old teacher had been with him, the Black Wolf would not have had a chance, but…such are the follies of youth and its arrogance that when wisdom is refused, the world will inform the guileless by its own, terrible means.

The old wolf laid watch with his one time charge and kept him company until the young one’s death.

Hence - ‘Within the wolf pack, the young are nurtured, the old venerated’ is a rule of wisdom of the Old Country. Defy it and the World will have its way with you. The old take care of the young. The young take care of the old!

I felt it was, kind of, a pointed lesson!

It was certainly the most memorable start to a language course I’d ever had! He told the story first in English and then translated it into its native Romanian. Usually, teachers do this vice versa, but I thought Dr. V’s way was much better! I couldn’t understand all the words, but I could get the gist of what he was saying because there was enough similar words to English to make the connection, you know?

In that short story session, I learned where the verbs and nouns go and some of the pronouns, or lack thereof in many cases.

The lesson was all of 20 minutes and I’ll say I learned more Romanian in that 20 minutes than I did in a whole WEEK of Spanish in class!

The rest of the evening he showed me around some of his estate! To have seen all of it would have taken a whole extra day at least! His place is beyond huge! I asked just how huge and he told me straight off that the whole house was a whopping 24,000 SqFT! It has 34 bedrooms and 26 bathrooms! This doesn’t include all the other things in it like the sitting rooms, libraries, dining rooms, etc.

The place is a hotel!

He also richly decorated the place in an ‘old world’ way with lots of Persian carpets and mahogany furniture and lights! Tons and tons of lamps and chandeliers everywhere, all lit up as if Dr. V starved for light! The monthly electric bill for the place must be greater than the entire yearly cost of a condo in Palo Alto!

I didn’t want to ask the obvious question, that being how on earth does a Professor of History, even as eminent as Dr. V, afford such a place? It must cost a million a year just to run and that’s just the first house on the hundred acre estate grounds! Yessiree! Dr. V lives in the main house of Casa Pădurilor Verzi! There are five lesser houses on the estate that are about the size of the regular big houses in the Woodside area. Dr. V assured me that those houses are rented out to tenants, some with very distinguished titles, though he wouldn’t explain what titles!

That might explain some of the income for the upkeep of the place, but the place must employ dozens of server staff to keep things as clean and immaculate as the whole immense place is! That has to be a hefty sum.

“You are impressed and yet skeptical, I see. Do not be so surprised. I teach because it is my passion to do so. My people’s history would have been lost if not for persons, like myself, who kept the tale of Romania continuous through and beyond Communism. The Communists, you must understand, do not value any history that came before their ‘Revolutions’. All culture prior to a Communist Revolution must be purged…along with anyone who might remember it! My taking of this place was to replace, in part, what I lost when I fled my home country for this great America. My family had many holdings in Romania that were a deep part of my home country’s history. We are Romania’s history!” Dr. V told me as he lovingly touched the frames of exquisite portraits of what must have been members of his family in the past.

Each looked like royalty or at least nobility! I was later to learn that, indeed, Dr. V’s family was a noble family, but that he was the last of their kind. The last of that generation of Romanian nobility that kept the old histories alive and whom the Communists ‘hated unto death’ as he put it.

At the end of the gallery there was a big sitting room with some very ornate couches and chairs, something one might find in Versailles, or something! Above a great marble fireplace hung a picture of a very familiar face!

“Wow! You have a portrait of you too?” It was definitely Dr. V, though with longer hair, a longer mustache and a long red puffy coat that looked fairly Renaissance looking. I took it for a ceremonial costume I’d seen some people of noble lineage use when ‘performing’. Similar to the Queen of England when she wears her ermines and crown for special occasions.

“Yes, he is most like me, is he not? I am surprised that you do not better recognize him. Perhaps, it is because this is a far better portrait of the Great Man than what is usually used to show his likeness. This is Vlad Țepeș, Voivode of Wallachia - known by the Turk as the Impaler since he adopted their practice and used it against them in revenge for the many Romanians murdered in that way by the Turks. This . . .” Dr. V took down a beautifully crafted sword that had been held below the great portrait by two dragon claw hangers.

“This is Colțul Dragonului, Dragon Fang - the sword of Vlad Țepeș. Legend has it that it has a curse upon it that none may wield it except a direct descendant of the Warlord.” With an astounding flourish, that had me stumbling back from him in surprise and a little fear, Dr. V ‘wielded’ the sword! The implication was obvious, as was the family resemblance.

Dr. V was a direct descendant of Vlad Dracula himself!

“Wow! You’re a descendant of Dracula? The real one, not the vampire one!” I blurted.

A darkness seemed to pass over his face and the lights seemed to dim a little as this happened and I instantly regretted saying anything!

“Indeed, though the name Dracula is something, naturally, we in our family have come to abhor! Bram Stoker be damned to the inferno for creating that black legend against us! We were a proud race, my people! The very blood of Attila the Hun still flows through our veins! We were fierce and feared in those dark times. This was so out of necessity! If Vlad, my great ancestor, had not set the precedent of how to fight and defeat the Turk, Christendom would have failed entirely in the East of Europe and, perhaps, in the rest of Europe as well! We would all have ended up a broken people like the Greeks who still suffer an identity crisis in their culture thanks to Turkic Oppression.”

“I meant no offense, Dr. Valahi. I deeply apologize for speaking out of my ignorance. Certainly, I have a lot still to learn about the history of your great people! That’s why I am honored that you should teach it to me and in your own home!” I felt like kneeling before the Dr. right there and begging his forgiveness, but Dr. V merely chuckled…

“Nu fi tulburat - do not be troubled, young William. My passion is but another lesson. Romanians are an exuberantly passionate people, you must understand! Ours is a tradition that roots deep into the very bedrock of all European history and yet, ours is a history not much accounted for. But, for me and a few others like me, that history would have been lost entirely! Now come! Take refreshment! I bid you stay the night, if you’d care to. I would welcome the company. This…place - it is very grand, but very…empty. A young spirit brings life back into voids such as this.”

So I did! I spent the night in a mansion! I slept in satin sheets! I ate a chicken dinner the likes of which I’ve never tasted before and it was delicious in a way only a Romanian could make it! I drank fine wine with Dr. V, though he chose another vintage than mine. Mine was a deep purple and slightly sweet, but his was bright red, like cherries! I was tempted to ask him for a sip, but thought better of it. I do like cherries!

Dr. V assured me that Monday was covered for me since all I had was one class that day. I wondered how he could ‘cover’ a Statistics class since he was part of the History Department, but he is an eminent tenured professor, so . . .

So, I rested easy in those satin sheets and in that room fancier than any I’d ever slept in before! I was glad of the experience! I had half a mind to ask Dr. V if I might stay with him in this great place, but thought better of it. Best not to test the hospitality of one’s own teacher.

But, then…with that last statement before my turning in, it would seem he might welcome some company out here in this large and lonely place.

Maybe, he might very well let me stay out here with him if for no other reason than to be some kind of company. I’m not much, but I’m a warm body, at least!

I would really like to be someone for Dr. V. After seeing him out here by himself, I find I can’t really stand to see such a man so alone. I’ve been told that’s the price of greatness.

If this is the price Dr. V has had to pay…then he must be very great indeed!

Copyright © 2020 MrM; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with Names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Author is responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
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