I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire by P. N. Elrod

I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire by P. N. Elrod

Author:P. N. Elrod [Elrod, P. N.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 978-1-5607-6670-4
Publisher: Fanversion Publishing
Published: 2016-12-31T16:00:00+00:00

The pale marble walls of the main dining room were splashed and stained with blood. Except for that and an unwonted disarray to the place settings on the long central table, the room still looked prepared for a celebration. The candles on the three chandeliers high above were all alight and seemed to strike sparks from the faceted crystal around them. Lying, as I was, on the cold floor, with no strength left to do anything but stare up, I had ample opportunity to study their bright beauty.

Illusion. Nothing was beautiful anymore. Beauty had died when she’d—

Before carrying me here, rough hands had ripped the arrows from my body. I moaned in spite of myself and clutched at the many wounds dotting my chest and belly. They burned like coals thrown out from a fire. They had also stopped bleeding. So far, no one had noticed.

One man had been detailed to guard me. More stood ready over the other prisoners: Ivan Buchvold, his brother-in-law, Victor Wachter, and Victor’s nine-year-old daughter, Lovina. The girl clung to her father like a limpet, too stunned to cry. The men bore expressions startlingly similar to hers and were much the worse for wear. Both had marred their fine clothes with blood and sweat, indicating that they’d had a share in the fighting.

Which seemed to be over for the time being. I heard no more clamor within the keep. The place was numb with that strange silence exclusive to a battlefield when the battle is over.

The double doors at the south end of the room were thrown open. Accompanied by guards, Lady Ilona and Reinhold Dilisnya were shoved in our direction. Ilona kept her feet; Reinhold, his face gray with illness, dropped right down and curled up like a dog. Ilona went to him, held her hands above his shivering form, and bowed her head in prayer.

I turned away, gritting my teeth to keep from crying out. The next time I looked, Reinhold appeared to be asleep.

“Lord Strahd?” Ilona knelt next to me. Her age was showing this night. I wondered what terrors she had seen. She reached out.

“Touch me not!” I snarled.

She jerked her hand back. “My lord?” Then she got a really good look at me. If the changes within were visible to anyone, they would be to her. In that awful, unutterable instant, she saw and understood. Her head sagged.

“Spare it for others.”

“Oh, Strahd, what have you done?” She somehow knew I was not a victim, but was myself responsible for what had happened.

“Everything and nothing.”

I’d never seen her weep before. The sight of it now should have moved me in some other way than toward contempt. “My lady needs to better control herself,” I murmured, mocking her words to me. That struck me as being quite amusing, and regardless of the pain, I was laughing.

Her eyes fixed on my open mouth.

I knew what she was looking at—I felt their sharp, new points well enough with my tongue.

“If I could help you, I would,” she whispered.


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