Fifteen – A penny for them
In my time, I had read many volumes of the ancient tales and transcripts from the less documented histories of the vampire; from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, even documents smuggled from within the very walls of The Vatican City itself. The hastily scribbled parchments that The Knights Templar had sent back from their unenviable quests into The Holy Land, detailing the possible existence of these (us) Undead Night Stalkers, which kings and Popes refused to accept, points to a race that lived on the other side of a dawn as old as the Egyptian Empire, at least.
As human ancestors of 2,000 years hence had surmised, without some scientific artefact to point to a true origin of the race or to raise a viable argument against kings’ scholars without smacking of treachery, it is possible that ancient etchings uncovered in The Crusades, suggesting the existence of the vampire breed, were dismissed as fanciful creations, and only created to appease one lord or another.
But was there anything I had ever read that suggested these creatures were capable of recreating Genesis?
Certainly not, but if they had found it here, the possibility of immortality was no longer restricted to legend, as was The Holy Grail for which the aforementioned Knights had hunted for centuries in the name of God, His Holiness the Pope(s) and the Catholic Church.
As a Christian crusader himself, defending Wallachia from the Ottoman Muslims, it was perhaps even now more conceivable, reliving my own scholarly learning, that he, Prince Vlad III Dracul, may have been the very defender of The Grail, drank from its chalice, all the while corroborating with other Christian elements to keep the Turks at bay under some pretence. The promise of a sip from The Chalice from Vlad Țepeș offering life eternal (and, I suppose, not wanting to end their days rectum-first skewered atop a fifteen foot spike, left to die in agony with their organs burst beneath the scalding sun as an example to would-be traitors) enough of a bribe for the Knights to write to Rome and France and say that their quest had been fruitless.
Was the ‘Son of The Dragon’, celebrated hero of Christianity, kings and Pope Pius alike, one of a long line of vampires, or been made so, in order to bring or even retain The Grail within the possession of the vampire kingdom to ensure their longevity?
I didn’t notice myself, distracted as I was with my thoughts, but a for a fleeting moment the sun dimmed noticeably, the clouds contracted yet denser still, casting argumentative shadows upon the ground as they billowed in on themselves, imploding, gambolling over and over in a frenzy. I dismissed my chain of reasoning as madness or folly or coincidence or all three broiled into one and the sun came out once more.
On the horizon, a storm started to stir.