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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1241613
by kip
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #1241613
An author and Paranormal investigator may have bitten off more than he can chew...
Erzsébet


Nestled in the rolling hills of New Hampshire, along the Contoocook River, is the ten-year-old New England College only a twenty-minute drive from Concord. The year is 1967, it is the month of October and the leaves are swirling dream-like in the Fall breeze. The land is covered in a rosy blanket, quilted with orange and yellow patches. The leaves that rustle in the trees are dazzling in their last burst of vital energy before the onset of the somnolent winter.

In this quaint, liberal and professional college is an auditorium and the professor is watching as the last few students file down the stairs and plant themselves into their seats. The professor’s skin is porcelain white contrasting sharply with her black suit coat. She wears horned-rimmed glasses that accentuate her exotic and intelligent eyes. Her lustrous black hair is bound tightly back in a double bun. Her name is Elizabeth Nadasdy. She is about five-foot-six, thin yet curvy. She teaches English literature, comparative religion, and Latin. Tonight's class is being treated to a guest lecturer, Charles Montagne. He is an author, psychic researcher and self-professed expert on vampire lore.

Elizabeth looked out into the expectant crowd, “Alright class -- settle down, as you know this evening we have a special guest, the author of the controversial, ‘Vampires Slumber Amongst Us.’ Charles Montagne, Mr. Montagne?”

A tall fellow in a well-worn brown suede jacket approached the podium in long slow steady strides. The light patches at the elbows of his jacket were faded gracefully with age. His rugged face was sun-tanned bronze. His wavy auburn hair curled about his head like a wreath of laurel leaves on the brows of an ancient poet. His hazel eyes sparkled with dazzling confidence and the audience cheered and whistled their approval.

“Good evening,” he said, in the worst imitation of Bela Lugosi, imaginable. They laughed, but it warmed the audience to him, just as he knew it would. “Tonight, I am here to talk to you about the history, psychology, and cultural significance of the vampire. He leaned forward with a look like he was about to share a bit of juicy gossip. "Shhh, don’t tell but… I’m really here to sell copies of my book.” There was a muffled sound of amusement, one loud hah, sound, and not surprisingly a few good-natured boo's.

Reassuming a serious air, Charles said, “Well, let’s get started then, shall we? I hope to convince you that the vampire is not simply a Hollywood creation or primitive superstition. Carl Jung might have explained it is a persistent manifestation of the 'collective unconscious,' an archetype. The vampire has been with us since the very beginning of civilization. The belief is found among the Chaldeans of Mesopotamia, along the Tigris and Euphrates River, a rumored location of the Garden of Eden. Lilith, herself appears in the ‘Epic Of Gilgamesh.’ Who can tell me about Lilith? Yes, the young lady in the second row.”

A lovely platinum blonde in an incredibly tight, red cardigan sweater, stood up. “She’s the Gloria Steinem of prehistory. The first wife of Adam and the first women's libber." She said in a cautious half-questioning tone. Then a sudden sparkle of inspiration lit up her deep, angelic blue eyes. "Hey, that means she was the first one to get a divorce too.” The crowd laughed and jeered. She blushed, her face turning nearly as red as her attention demanding sweater.

Charles replied quickly and eagerly, delighted by her response, “Brilliant, yes the divorce! I’ll get to that in a moment, dear. I think you have encapsulated the modern outlook on Lilith, quite well. However, the being known as Lilith is derived primarily from Babylonian Demonology. ”She is a divine but terrible mother Goddess, a devourer, a destroyer, she is called Lilitu the ‘wind-spirit.’ She can be found on Assyrian stone and clay tablets. In Kramer’s translation of, ‘The Epic Of Gilgamesh,’ she is the demon that builds its’ nest in the tree of life. She is the Coriolis storm in the desert -- that eats flesh from bone. She is the screech owl screeching, the leopard pouncing, the jackal feeding, the shadow that paralyzes in the night and the demon lover who drains away life.

"Lilith is now usually spoken of in terms of the Hebrew tradition. The only reference in the Christian Bible, specifically is in, ‘Isaiah.’ She appears quite extensively in the post-biblical writings of Jewish mysticism. In the kabbalistic interpretation of Lilith, she is shown as the other half of Adam, when mankind is still said to be in its hermaphroditic more spiritual state. This can be understood, in terms of their belief in a spiritual descent of man into the flesh. Adam and Lilith were split, shall we say, from one being into two. Now that's what I call a divorce!" Charles quipped, smiling broadly at the girl in the red cardigan. She grinned sheepishly, fidgeting nervously in her seat.

"They fight over dominance and Lilith flies away by uttering God’s ineffable name. Lilith bears children fathered by either Adam or Samael or by a demon host gathered in the desert, depending upon which version of the story your reading. Three angels take Lilith’s children from her. The names of these angels are used on amulets as a ward against her. Three to one -- I guess they weren’t taking any chances!

"In vengeance for being cheated out of her birthright, as the mother of mankind and for the loss of her firstborn young, Lilith seeks out the newborn children of Adam suffocating them in their cradles. She seduces young men appearing in wet dreams, spawning a race of her own kind. According to some authorities, she is immortal and not subject to death as were Adam and Eve, because she did not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.”

Professor Nadasdy, interrupted, “Isn’t this story simply a metaphor for the prehistoric battle between matriarchal and patriarchal societies?”

“Well, I believe, there is far more to it than that, professor.” Charles Montagne said, “In the fourteenth-century amulets were still being made and ceremonies performed to ward her off, most especially, as a protection against what we now call crib death or SIDS, and the haunting and sometimes terrifying experience of sleep paralysis.

"The belief in vampires and the succubus, which are closely related, spans the globe. There are similar myths that appear in ancient Egypt, for instance, Baphomet the cat-headed goddess has to be tricked into not consuming the world in her anger. In India, we have Kali the destroyer; these destroyer goddesses are both similar to Lilith in her original nature.

"In Greece, we have the Legend of the Lamia, the goddess Hera kills the queen of Libya’s children. The queen is cursed and roams the world feeding on the newborn, enticing men into sex and then…devouring them. In China the chiang-shihs, in India the rakshasa and the vetala, the similarities in the beliefs are uncanny. Now what I am leaving out... I am always forgetting something?”

“Dracula!” Chimed in the girl in the red Cardigan.

“Dracula smacula, I want to hear about the Bloody Countess,” yelled a dark-haired waif in the back row, who till now had been diligently chewing on the end of a thick pen.

“Yes -- you're right again dear!” Charles said, pointing at the girl in the red cardigan. “Bram Stoker’s character Dracula is the basis for our twentieth-century conception of the vampire. In Poland, Romania, and Hungary, the belief in vampires was very strong; it’s probably no wonder since the nobility were pale as death, and most likely suffering from porphyria.” At this point Charles noticed, Professor Nadasdy, wincing.

Charles continued, “The Eastern European nobility were infamous for the sadistic and cruel treatment of their servants and of the peasant population in general. Who can tell me what the Bloody Countess’s nickname was in her own country?”

“The whore,” shouted the waif in the back, relinquishing the end of a thick pen from her mouth for just a moment.

Before Charles could speak again, Professor Nadasdy interrupted, “Are you in this class, young lady?”

“Yes, my name is, Lucy Westin, check your list!” The waif said, angrily.

“I don’t allow swearing in my class, got it!” Professor Nadasdy said, brandishing the cutting edge of a sword with her stern voice.

Lucy Westin replied sneering, “Well, ‘whore’ is what they called her.”

Professor Nadasdy exclaimed, “ I don’t want to hear it, young lady, is that understood!”

“Yes, Professor,” Lucy Westin said, in mock acquiescence.

Charles began again, a little shocked by the venom in the exchange between the two women. “The Countess Bathory is a fascinating character. Her and her accomplices tortured and killed an estimated three hundred women. It is said, she was incredibly vain -- so vain in fact that she bathed in the blood of young women. Apparently, because she believed that blood, especially the blood of virgins, would grant her eternal youth and beauty.”

Elizabeth exclaimed, “You make it sound as if she was a one-dimensional character, a complete monster. Did you know that she was a devoted wife and mother of four. The Countess was the King's first cousin, I might add. Her family was so great... their name was changed to Bathory or the valiant! Her husband was known as the Black Hero of Hungary and died in battle defending his country.

'How do you know that it was not a disease, that drove her to these crimes!” Elizabeth glared at Charles Montagne, “Without this same family, Europe would have fallen to a Turkish invasion, aren’t you in the least grateful? Don’t you think that you’re being just a bit one-sided?”

“No, Ms. Nadasdy, I don’t think I’m being unfair at all” Charles replied. “She cruelly pricked innocent peasant girls with pins to make them bleed, branded them with hot irons. She literally showered in their life-blood. This woman was rightfully convicted of witchcraft and her accomplishes were summarily executed. She, however being aristocratic, as you mentioned, was allowed to live.”

“You call that living! Walled up, alone in a tower, execution would have been far less cruel.” Elizabeth exclaimed.

“As I... was about to say,” Charles said, drawing the words out slowly. “The historical figure that Bram Stoker’s, Dracula, is loosely based on is Vlad Tepes. The name Dracula is translated as the son of the devil, or the son of the dragon. Vlad had a reputation for delighting in acts of torture. He once invited the beggars in his country to a grand banquet, at a church mind you, then locked them inside and then had it put to the torch. He would impale whole regiments of soldiers on spikes, then sit down to have a nice cup of blood with his evening meal. As seen in many well-known wood cuttings from the time period.”

Professor Nadasdy interrupted, “But isn’t it also true he is recognized as a national hero, that he held the Turks at bay protecting his country from invasion?” She waited for a moment, “I asked you a question, Mr. Montagne.” Professor Nadasdy said softly but stared intensely at him.

“Hitler loved his dog, and Capone gave to charity. What of it?” Charles replied, nonchalantly. “May I continue?” Charles asked politely.

“Please do,” Professor Nadasdy said, adjusting her glasses.

“There are four possible causes of vampirism usually discussed: infection by bite, the drinking of vampire blood, unwanted possession by a demon spirit, and probably the least discussed but not least likely is black magic ritual.”

There are many cases of vampirism reported by sworn witnesses, for instance, the case of…” Charles went on like this for quite some time. He staid well past the time he was scheduled for; answering questions, autographing copies of his book and casually flirting with the young ladies.

The little dark-haired waif, Lucy Westin approached him. “Mr. Montagne, I have to talk to you, but not here. Can you meet me at the College Library, say... 8:00 o’clock, tomorrow night? Please say yes, I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t really important.”

“What’s this all about Ms. Westin, it is Ms. Westin?”

“Yes, something strange is going on, just promise to meet me,” she said quietly, but insistently.

“Tomorrow night it is then, Ms. Westin, cross my heart.”

Lucy glanced around, nervously. "Please be there.” Charles watched in silent appreciation as Lucy left the stage her cheeks moving up and down seductively within the confines of her tight black slacks.

When all the students had left the auditorium, Professor Nadasdy put her arm around Charles’s arm. Smiled up at him and said, “Lets go have coffee, shall we? There’s a lovely little diner just up the road.”

“Why certainly, professor, I’d love to!”

“Call me Elizabeth -- Charles?” She asked, with a slight hint of a question in her deep, sultry voice.

***

They sat across from each other, in a little white diner with red-checkered table cloths, with the sound of dishes clinking, grill sizzling and the soft murmur of polite restaurant conversation.

“Why are you really here Charles? We usually don't get big name celebrities in this neck of the woods?” Elizabeth said with a tongue-in-cheek grin.

“Why Ms. Elizabeth, you have a sense of humor after all!” Charles said, truly surprised.

“You are avoiding the question, Lovey,” she said, pointedly.

“Not at all -- it is just part of the gig, book tour and all that, you know.”

“So you’re not hunting... for something in particular?” she said, as the waitress brought over two steaming hot cups of coffee. “Thank you, Delores,” Elizabeth said and nodded politely to the overworked waitress.

“Yah -- up,” the waitress replied.

“Well, right now, I have something in my sights, I’d dearly love to mount.” He said, winking at her.

“You’re incorrigible, Mr. Montagne,” she said with just the hint of a smile twisting the corners of her thin yet cury lips.

“Well shucks, Mam, I don’t often meet a fine filly like you.” He said, in an absolutely horrendous western accent.

Elizabeth laughed, “I warn you, Charles, I am more than you can handle.”

"We shall see.”

***

Charles tossed his keys on the dresser of the little cabin he'd rented, kicked off his boots and sat on the bed.

"It’s her."

***

It was near midnight and Charles was dreaming. He saw himself standing naked in a field. He looked in the sky at the enormous moon hanging overhead, as threatening and ominous as the sword of Damocles. He had always known, even as a child that it was not a 'man in the moon,' at all, but a woman. Dianna, Goddess of the moon glared down at him, he felt tiny and exposed beneath her. An owl screeched shrilly, startling him into stillness, his heart thumping wildly.

A chill wind arose. Ripples ran through the tall grass crossing the field towards him. He watched. Then he saw what they were, dozens of cats moving in unison. They gathered around him in a tight circle, mewling in heat and hissing, their tales swinging in cat rhythm.

He awoke with a start, his eyes searching the darkness surrounding him. Damn, that was weird. He tried to get up, he couldn’t move. s***! I'm caught between being awake and being asleep, that’s all.

His blankets flew off the bed as if tossed by unseen hands. They fell huddled near the far wall. Exposed to the chill air, he suddenly felt a sensation like fingernails sliding slowly, gently down his body, from his shoulders to his chest then across his quivering belly.

He felt a wet hot rough thing force its way into his belly button and then swirl around the sensitive knob within. He gasped. Jolts of sharp electric fear and raw pleasure shot through him as sharp teeth forcefully punctured his nipple, making it stiffen and stand almost painfully hard and erect. Involuntarily shaking now with tension and strain, panic-stricken, yet aroused, tears formed at the corners of his eyes.

A moist, airy breath invaded his ear. "Hello, Lovey."

Invisible fingers ran through his short, curly auburn hair. Oh, Jesus. Nails raked his exposed flesh leaving a red welt trail down the sweat-beaded skin. A sloppy wet bite pierced his inner thigh, and something sucked hungrily at the wounds. Sweat dripped from his forehead into his eyes, burning, and stinging. He longed to scream, to shriek like a little girl.

A cackle issued from unseen lips, and he felt the weight, the heat, the darkness sliding forcefully upon him. No, this isn’t happening! He fought fiercely like a wild animal caught in the jaws of a steel trap. Desperately he squirmed under the shadow thing that held him powerless. Listening in growing terror as the bed creaked, and ghastly, wet-sucking sounds filled the air.

The ghostly apparition rode him faster and faster, gaining momentum, galloping in time to his racing heartbeat. Suddenly it clamped tightly down on him, he could feel the darkness shivering, then convulsing spasmatically, soaking the bed sheets with a warm fluid stream. His mind was seared then in a blinding flash of sensation as the moment he'd fought so desperately, finally came. The shadow thing had come for him -- it had come to claim his seed.

***

Charles awoke. He could see clearly through the crack between the thick-green polyester curtains that the sun was setting. What the hell time is it? He struggled to roll his legs off the bed. He noticed his covers were lying near the far wall. God, I can hardly move. He reached for his watch on the nightstand, it was seven-fifteen. He felt the puncture wounds on his aching body. I slept all day? I’ve just enough time to make it to the library.

***

Charles drove up to the library entrance. As he parked his white two-door Olds Convertible, he saw Lucy Westin framed in the fading-red twilight. She was wearing a white office blouse. A black suit coat and a scandalously short black mini revealing her succulent upper thighs, erotically shrouded in black nylons that clung tightly to her youthful form. Her wicked high heels clicked rhythmically on the sidewalk as she strode back and forth quickly puffing on a cigarette and forcefully blowing out the smoke.

She stopped in front of him as he neared. Flicking away her cigarette, she spoke anxiously, “Look, Mr. Montagne--,”

Charles put a hand to Lucy’s shoulder, interrupting her, “Call me Charles.”

"All right, Charles -- I know this is going to sound crazy, but there is something weird happening on campus -- the boys, I mean… they're lifeless and all they talk about is Professor Nadasdy. It’s not just jealousy either! Other things -- girls have been disappearing."

The wind roared. Sending a sudden gust of crisp leaves swirling into their faces like mad bees. “What the Hell?” They ran for the Olds, struggling against the wind that pushed them backward, rocking them from side to side. Just as Charles' hand was just reaching the door handle he saw Professor Nadasdy.

She stood in the middle of the road, “Hello Lovey,” she said, pulling off her horn-rimmed glasses and slipping them into her pocket. She freed the clasp from her hair and shook it loose. Her lustrous black hair flowed restlessly in the wind, weaving hypnotically like the head of a cobra.

From the other side of the car, he heard Lucy laughing, “He fell for it, Erzsébet.” Charles stared angrily at Lucy, suddenly realizing his over-confidence had led him into making a what could very well be a fatal mistake. just had to play the night in shining armor, s***!

“What do you want?” He shouted, leaning into the fierce roaring wind that kept him off balance and slapped hair into his watering eyes.

“Why lovey? I got everything I wanted from you last night, so delicious, I do so love playing my victims,” she laughed.

Then she screamed and her voice born on a supernatural wind struck him with staggering physical force. Stunned he knew his only chance was the car. He grabbed the top of the door and just as he was in mid-hop, she screamed again and the wind caught him and flung him thirty feet across the parking lot. He skidded painfully another ten feet on the side of his face and one shoulder. The asphalt ripped through his clothes, embedding tiny black stones in tender flesh. Dazed and bleeding, he struggled to his knees. He saw them strutting slowly towards him savoring every moment, a wicked triumphant smile on their faces.

"It seems I over-estimated you, Mr. Montagne, you were so easily conquered... no wards! Oh, you are not nearly as clever as I thought. Did you think this was a parlor game! Perhaps you hoped to charm me to death with your juvenile wit." She laughed. "Did you really think you could outwit me, boy? I survived the centuries, these breasts are as firm and supple as they were in the middle ages." She said, fondling herself shamelessly. "Look at me when I talk to you, boy!” Erzsébet said, reveling in the unbridled use of her power.

“How does it feel to be used and beaten by a girl?” Lucy taunted mercilessly.

Erzsébet’s eyes flared with the predatory intensity of a cat’s when it has a mouse caught between its’ battering paws. “What are you -- but a simpering half-man? The Black Hero of Hungary, that was a real man, worthy of my attention. He was hard as iron in body and mind. How far men have fallen in these days of luxury and comfort. What a truly weak, and pathetic fool you are.”

A mad scowl lit Charles’ features, shame, and outrage igniting a merciless desire for blood. He went for his boot knife, pulling it out as he leapt up. He swore, “I'll cut out your black heart! Bitch.”

With a casual, yet graceful wave of Erzsébet’s delicate hand she sent Charles flying, tumbling through the air in a rustling shower of leaves. His back slammed hard onto a nearby oak, the violent tempest pinning him them there.

Erzsébet’s hand fell, the wind subsided in obedience. Freed of the force that held it, Charles body flopped to earth like a rag doll, the momentum rolling him over onto his back. He lay there convulsively coughing up blood and struggling desperately to remain conscious.

“Ohhh, Charles this is really going to hurt, too bad, you’re kind of cute -- for an old guy.” Lucy taunted, blowing him a goodbye kiss.

Erzsébet began a reverberating chant, that rang mysteriously through the air like the tolling of a brass bell, wicked beams sparkling in her black, cat-like eyes.

“Baalat, Belit-illi…
Lilit-Malakath-Ha-Shadim, come to me, oh my queen, my Goddess, your humble servant beseeches thee.

Send me, the spirit of terror, the desert djinns, the wind that devours flesh.

Baalat, Belit-illi…
Lilit-Malakath-Ha-Shadim, come to me, oh my queen, my Goddess, your humble servant beseeches thee.

Send me, the spirit of dark wisdom, the screech owl in the tree, the voice that paralyzes flesh.

Baalat, Belit-illi…
Lilit-Malakath-Ha-Shadim, come to me, oh my queen, my Goddess, your humble servant beseeches thee.

Send me, the spirit of ferocity, the leopard hunting, the claws that rend flesh.

Baalat, Belit-illi…
Lilit-Malakath-Ha-Shadim, come to me, oh my queen, my Goddess, your humble servant beseeches thee.

Send me, the spirit of carnal desire, the jackal at the corpse, the jaws that rip flesh."

"Come to me, oh my cats!”

“Chow, chow, chow” Lucy laughed.

Yellow and orange, stripped and spotted they came... white and black they came... trotting in from everywhere and nowhere all at once, hissing and mewling in heat. They surrounded Charles their tails swinging in cat rhythm, but when those tails stopped swinging…

The End


word count:3,896
© Copyright 2007 kip (kippeake at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1241613