Amy C at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie atTink’s Place have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate – you publish your Fiction Flash on Friday – 350 words, give or take. Here is the picture posted this Monday:
I don’t know about you but as soon as I saw that girl I thought about defeated Lara the vamp…so my story continues…no, it won’t be nice and fluffy.
Her initial rage passed and her throat simply too sore to speak, let alone shout, Lara decided to hide in her favourite tomb to think her situation over. That tomb, built some time ago for a local family of rich merchants, was in fact a small chapel . The main building featured an altar, two windows and some pews; below there was an underground crypt with coffins stacked in alcoves. It was kept more or less clean because the cemetery ward was paid for it extra. His duties also included bringing fresh flowers once a week and indeed, every Friday the tomb was adorned by a bouquet of wild lilies, marigolds or dog roses, depending on the season. Lara liked it here. It reminded her of a tiny village she was born, with a wooden church roughly the same size as this tomb. She has forgotten the village’s name but she remembered the church as she loved playing there as a little girl.
Usually the tomb’s silent atmosphere as able to calm her down and even make her cheerful. Not today. She felt cold and hollow inside as if somebody bored a hole straight through her chest. Everything was progressing so nicely until she met Lord Dreane. With two vampires and as many new candidates she could really think of some degree of independence. The boys loved her – she made sure of it – but it was too fresh a bond to survive her failure. Now she wasn’t certain whether the rest haven’t deserted as well, following the example of that wretched Frenchman, Henri. Nobody liked weakness and vampires could simply sniff it in the air for miles; it was ok if it concerned their victims but in a vampire they treated it, along fear, as the worst stench possible. Lara was being covered with that stench right now and no amount of fresh blood or perfume would hide it. The feeling of self-loathing filled her body and poisoned her brain.
All of a sudden a big raven fluttered through the open window and sat on her shoulder. The bird ruffled her long dark hair and, although it didn’t attack, she bent her head in despair. She knew what it meant – Lawrence, the local vampire master sent a messenger to announce a visit as it was his habit. Soon enough she heard soft steps and felt that somebody was standing before her. She didn’t dare to look at him and he didn’t bother with greetings or small talk.
“I came to inform you that your last vampire and all your candidates asked me for protection. I granted it. Now they officially belong to my coven.”
Lawrence’s voice was very soft and low, nothing more than a louder murmur, but Lara winced with pain as if he whipped her.
“You are alone, Lara and let’s face it – you are never going to build a coven for yourself. You are not the queen type. How many times have you tried and failed before, you stupid, stubborn, rapacious girl? I extend my hand to help you for the last time – join me and you might survive; on your own…well, I am sure you know very well what happens to lonely vampires.”
Lara closed her eyes and concentrated on breathing. In and out, neither too deep, nor too shallow, as normal as possible, not indicating how deep she was thrown into panic by these words. Only after a minute or so she felt well enough to continue the conversation.
“Let me…let me think it over one more time, Master Lawrence,” she whispered, unsure of her voice, too afraid that if she spoke louder it might crack and humiliate her even further. “Several hours won’t make a big difference, will they?”
The intense, sickening-sweet stench of fear and weakness was envelopping her like a stiffling coat. She had never hated herself more – begging a younger vampire, a male vampire, for more time.
Lawrence was silent for a long, painful moment.
“As you wish,” he said. “My offer stands till midnight. Take it or go away as quick and as far as possible – your choice. I just want you to know I won’t tolerate strays in my area.”
She looked at him and saw compassion in his gray eyes. She hated compassion. She wanted to kick him for it but, being far quieter and clear-headed now, she curtsied instead. It wasn’t the best of times for making more enemies. She decided to keep all her options open just in case.
“Understood. I would like to say…that’s…very generous of you, Master Lawrence. Thank you for your kind offer. I do appreciate.”
The vampire looked at her, clearly surprised by her meek response, bowed his head slightly, acknowledging her words, and was gone. She clenched her hands. She didn’t know what her future would bring but she was sure that Lord Dreane was going to pay for her humiliation very soon.