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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 authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.

The Seducer: A Gone From Daylight Inspired Story - 14. William Harker’s Journal: Entry 14

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Saturday, September 22, 1989

You, know?

This was a great idea of Dr. V’s! Up here at The Big House it’s like I can think more clearly about things. Since getting here, I’ve felt my fears, just, melt away! Even the results of my HIV test do not concern me as much up here.

I have this strange sense of assurance that everything is going to be ok! Considering how freaked out I’ve been this whole week, that’s saying something! It is like a still, calm voice is in my head telling me that all will be well. That nothing like what everyone suspects happened to me will happen again, if that makes any sense.

I still have to go by what Dr. V says surely happened to me - that I was attacked by someone on the way back from class and that I have blocked it out so I can’t remember it.

Dr. V reassured me that he thought what might have happened was that I had been mugged and that Mike was completely overreacting with the whole ‘rape’ scenario. That didn’t make me feel very good about Mike at all! I mean, he was the one who convinced me to get the HIV test done! I mentioned how gullible I was to Dr V. But, his wisdom consoled even that negative thought.

“No, you are not gullible, my friend. You may be somewhat naïve, but that is testament to your youth and innocence, Young William. Trust me when I say, such a thing is a great…prize. When you lose your innocence, and that you must one day, you will dearly miss the naiveté of your youth. But, come…you are not off the hook from my class assignments. You shall have your class here with me! Your young and eager mind demands no less!”

We spent the evening covering topics he had in his syllabus as well as stories and tales from his homeland that I found absolutely fascinating! He also talked about legends…famous and otherwise!

I asked after the most famous and obvious legend - who or what was Dracula?

“But of course, our favourite famous countryman of Romania and Transylvania in particular! Bram Stoker, may he rot, only used my family’s traditional heraldry to apply to his damnably fanciful creation! The creature he spoke of was so heavily adapted from his own demented imaginings that it had no bearing on any real Romanian myth.” Dr. V said with some disgust. I don’t blame him. If my family heritage had been dumped upon as badly as Dr. V’s apparently had, I’d be mad too!

“The Vampyre is a legend of almost every culture on earth. Stoker managed to glue together some of these and tie them to the yoke of general British xenophobia, a prime failing of that august culture. Eastern Europe was as exotic to the British as Darkest Africa or Brazil. Indeed, our culture is far removed from British ‘civilisation’. Most Romanians would have died of suffocation within the claustrophobic confines of Victorian and Georgian ‘civility’. We are a people of passion who do not take for granted to gift of…life!” He spoke the word ‘life’ with deep feeling as if he were speaking about a love he may have lost in his past.

“It was from within this claustrophobia that the British found a craving for things outside themselves. Things they found frightening yet titivating. From that fertile ground Bram Stoker drew upon that fevered dichotomy and brought forth Count Dracula, the epitome of all that is romantically horrifying and alluring all at once. What people could better capture ‘romance’ than…Romanians! It was that simple. He then found a true tale to pin his monster to - that of our national hero, Vlad Țepeș.” He said, looking to the fantastic painting of the ancient warlord. Interestingly, Dragon Fang was missing from its hangers below the painting.

“He was a butcher, but then so was The Lionheart of England. Many a Muslim fell to the blades of Richard I and his knights and it was they who were on the attack then. Vlad Țepeș was defending his home and not only from Turkish and Hungarian incursions, but from traitorous filth who would have worked with the Enemy to enslave his people! The impalements? Prince Vlad was accused of massacring his own people by means of that despicable mode of execution, but the truth was that he did it in poetic justice against the Turks. That had been the Turks’ favorite way to execute prisoners. Vlad had seen this with his own eyes at a very young age when he was the Sultan’s ‘pet’ as hostage, thanks to the treacherous Hungarians.” Dr. V continued his fascinating history lesson while pacing in front of his roaring fireplace. He clenched his fist at times and spoke with great passion!

It was as if he was defending himself rather than an ancestor long dead.

“In the end, the treachery of Hungary conspiring with the Turkic aggressors brought the Dragon Prince down. He was again carried off in chains to Turkey, executed, and buried in a place remote and sanctified. It was done thus because those that buried Prince Vlad feared his raging spirit would return and seek eternal vengeance upon them!” Something in the firelight seemed to shimmer in Dr. V’s eyes as he said this. The effect of it was that his eyes seemed to glow red like two fiery pin pricks staring back at me. It…gave me goose-pimples!

“It was said, actually, that the fear of him returning from the dead was so great that workmen were sent to the site of his grave to dig Vlad up to see if he had actually remained in his crypt. The legend says that they found his coffin empty…” Dr. V thankfully turned his burning gaze away from me as he put this fine point on this incredible ghost story of his!

Turning back with an unexpectedly charming smile and, strangely, no burning eyes, Dr. V concluded his tale, “So, from what better legend can a Vampire come, eh? Bram Stoker’s book has been a best seller for generations now and, oddly, thanks to his calumny, my ancestor’s true legend is still of interest to people. So much so that his lesser estates are considered the major tourist attractions in all of Romania! It was why I took up teaching history, actually.” Dr. V said as he easily dropped into his wing-backed chair. It was such a spry movement that I thought, for a second, I was with a fellow student in the room.

Upon a second glance, I noticed all of Dr. V seemed ‘younger’ somehow! His beard and hair no longer had gray in it and his skin seemed smoother and more blushed. Basically, he looked like he’d gotten younger by 20 years, at least!

“That’s fascinating, Dr. V! I love how you tell your history stories! It’s almost like you were there yourself!” I was not buttering him up, honest! He really did impress me with how he got so much detail in such a short story about Vlad Dracula! What’s more, he left enough tidbits missing from his story that it begged me to ask more questions about it! There’s a lot going on between the lines with his account. A lot…unsaid but hinted at. The secrets were very seductive to me! Secrets have always been that way to me. They beg me to chase them like a hungry wolf chasing a fawn in the forest.

“When one studies these things as hard as I have, these histories seem to relive through that person. With attention, care, and great dedication anyone who devotes themselves to the study of history will almost feel like they can travel back in time and actually see the events unfolding as they did. Historians become reporters, then. Living witnesses to the great lessons our ancestors had to teach us.” Dr. V assured me.

For me, though, there was something a little ‘off’ about this statement. It was like he was paying lip service to something he didn’t believe himself. It was an attempt to explain away a presence Dr. V has when it comes to history. He really does speak as if from first hand experience!

Could it be there is something more here than just ‘long study’?

What a crazy thought! What else could it be? Time machines aren’t real and neither are immortals who have seen history unfold firsthand. Such thoughts aren’t becoming of a serious student of historical thought.

Certainly, Dr. V couldn’t possibly have actually experienced any of the things he talks about. So, his presence within his historical stories must come from long experience and such deep reading and research that he can mentally put himself right in the midst of that history. He can imagine it as it was represented by people, hundreds of years ago, that did manage to put down their firsthand experiences for us to visualize.

That can be the only rational explanation…

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 authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works.
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