Roanoke

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The rugged cold terrain of Serbia held little comfort for Josif . He sewn together hides of animals to make a covering to try to keep the brutal winds from slicing him in two.  A roaring fire , and a pot with a fresh rabbit and a few root vegetables were stewing away as he sat there gazing up at the bright blue moon. Josif stirred his pot, his stomach growling, it had been days since his last meal. Food was scarce in the winter, and he was looking forward to his feast tonight.

Looking up from his stew, his ears picked up a crunching in the snow. A slight noise moving closer to him.  The noise grew louder, and stronger. WOLVES! A pack of wolves were now charging at him. In a matter of minutes his pot flew up in the air and was ravaged by the wolves.  They tore through his thick parka as if it were a baby’s blanket, shredding his skin, and leaving him to bleed out in the cold.

Josif lay there, drifting in and out of consciousness. During this time he had a vague recollection of a Hairy Behemoth carrying him to a cave.  He stayed there and slept for what seemed an eternity before waking up to a raven haired woman, wiping his forehead. Her eyes looked familiar to him, as if had met her in a dream.

“Rest,  you are safe here, “ she said in a loving voice before leaving him to join the others.

Josif drifted in and out of surreal dreams , he could not tell if they were really happening or just vivid dreams.  Looking down at his feet, only to find paws with claws that were covered with blood, Surveying his surroundings there were more like him, appearing to be beasts of the night with blood soaked teeth fresh from the kill. The body lay slain , shredded in a heap neath a tree.

He startled himself awake with a guttural Howl. The others looked at him and smiled.

“Yes, Brother, you are one of us now,” an older one said to him.

Josif didn’t know what to think. He felt a rush of adrenalin soaring through his veins, yet he was mortified at the thought he had done this to another human being. The taste of warm blood still fresh in his mouth only made him crave more. He was disgusted with himself.

The raven haired girl went over to Josif to calm him. “ Gather yourself. My name is Alana , and I am part of this Clan that works and hunts together for survival. I was the one who drew first blood from you, and could not stand to leave you there in the ice. A curse has been put upon our clan by a Gypsy Witch. When the Moon is full we turn  into beasts, half wolf, half man. The werewolf you have heard talk about. Our hunger is greatest during the Full Moon, though I will admit there are times when we do hunt for survival. We are gathering supplies to go to Romania to meet with Count Vladmir, who has also fallen victim to this curse. We have been turned into Creatures of the night. Hiding in plain sight, hoping to escape whatever trap the Gypsy Witch has dreamed up for us. Perhaps Count Vlad will have some advice for us. Regardless  it has become to dangerous for us to stay here. The townspeople hunt us on a daily basis , and our food supply grows short”

There were eight of them in their clan, They knew they had been turned into a mere pack of wolves, but as long as they kept their humanity they were going to refer to themselves as a Clan. They had sparse belongings to pack up for the journey. A lean-to made of animal hides, and a sack with a few cooking utensils and a couple of canteens . They were a rag tag bunch, but they clung together, for dear life.

Stash the leader warned them of the Gypsy Witch, and how she liked to make camp near the river. They decided to go west towards Romania, cutting through the forest. Their time would be cut in half, and their would be less chance of  coming across the witch. Josif could feel the blood begin to boil within his veins. The Moon was reaching her cycle. Alana and Stash watched him carefully, knowing that he had no control over his impulses yet.

“Look! It is Count Vladmir’s Castle!” Stash exclaimed pointing off in the distance, and not a moment too soon he thought to himself.

Trekking up the mountain to The Count’s Castle they could smell the distinctive stench of fresh kill. The closer they got to his castle the stronger the smell became. There were heads impaled om stakes in the front courtyard of the palace. {erhaps this was Count Vladmir’s idea of a Grotesque Garden. In any even it made them a bit nervous to come calling upon him for a favour.

Stash put his knuckles up to the door to knock, when the doors flew open. They were greeted by a pale man in his early thirties, with long flowing wavy chestnut hair. His eyes a mesmerizing hazel. “Come in dear Children of the night. I understand we share a common enemy. We have much to discuss, “ The Count said while motioning them in.

“The one they call the Queen of The Gypsies is in fact a Witch.  She placed a curse pon me after I rebuked the affections of her daughter.  This was once a Grande Kingdom. Great dignitaries came to visit from all of Eastern and Western  Countries. I had a loyal army, my people loved me, and the land was rich with crops. More important than anything else, I had a Queen who worshipped and adored me, and I her. The Curse of this Gypsy Witch has taken it all away from me!  I suspect she is also the one that has made you crave the flesh and blood just as I do.” The Count finished.

“She is the one. My father caught the Gypsy Witch’s Husband robbing our coin box from the sales of bread for the day. A fight ensued and my Mother was knocked to the ground where her head lay split wide open from a rock. Blind with anger after seeing my Mother’s life drain out of her, My Father choked the very life out of the Gypsy Witch’s Husband. It was then that she put the curse upon my family, “Stash replied.

“The heads on those stakes out front are of my soldiers who turned against me when the village came to burn me out. I unfortunately had to Impale most of the Villagers before they retreated. Word spread through the countryside like wildfire once my Beloved Wife had died , and I renounced God.  Something came over me in that moment, I now know it was the curse, and the I lunged for the throat of The Gypsy Witch’s Daughter who was laughing hysterically at my beautiful wife laying in a pool of blood, impaled from a cross that hung on the ceiling. I devoured the girl, ripping into her neck,  swallowing every last bit of blood I could drain from her. I was insatiable. Seems like a lifetime ago., “Count Vlad continued, “ You have come a long way, and I am sure you are famished. Tonight the moon will be full and waxing. I understand that you need to feed as well. I have no shortage of fresh meat. I have prisoners in the dungeon for your nourishment.”

True to his word Vlad took them down to his dungeon, where the prisoners were kept. Shackled to the wall were plump men, and gaunt men, at least a dozen or so. Enough for a feast. The wails and moans of others kept in cells down the dark corridor could also be heard. They were indeed famished. The sun began to set, and their beins began to crawl . The Moon in all her glory was rising in the dark sky. Their skin began to itch as the hair sprouted up their flesh. Bones could be heard cracking during the metamorphosis  from man to beast, Jaws extended, teeth like that of a wolf. Claws as sharp as razors. Let the Feast begin!

It was a feeding frenzy, prisoners being ripped down off the wall, shredded into bits, and consumed. Flesh devoured, Blood spraying about the dungeon creating a ghastly mess. They ate until they could not eat anymore, Bits of tattered flesh left clinging to bones scattered along the dungeon floor, The licked the blood up hungrily. They were insatiable.

Josif and Alana awoke naked in one another’s arms the next morning. Looking about, realizing what they had done, they held each other and made in love in a puddle of blood.  The moans and wails of the caged prisoners could be heard, in their shame they found solace within each other.

Count Vladmir provided them a warm bath and a fresh suit of clothing to wear after his man servant helped them clean away the debris from the night before.  Stash instructed hs clan to clean up after themselves so as not to leave a trail.

Johan , the man servant escorted them to dining hall of Count Vladmir. They were to discuss strategies over coffee.

“It is becoming too dangerous for our kind in this land, “ the Count began, “ I have arrange for Johan to travel by rail with me to France. I know the King there and he will aid me.  Count Dabrouski will also be leaving Black Square and acting as my mediator should the occasion arise. Count Dabrouski has once again found himself in a state of , shall we disfavour with his countrymen in Poland and needs to leave for awhile. He is also one of us. Immortal, drifting through the centuries. I feel it would be in your best interest if you  accompany me on my journey, and try to assemble a fresh start.”

Stash pondered the thought for a moment. The Count was right. They lived their lives in constant fear of getting caught, being hunted down like wild, soulless animals.  A change of scenery would do them some good.

Johan and Count Dabrouski  took turns caring for the Clan and Vladmir during the three week train ride. The Conductor and the Engineer had been handsomely rewarded to hear or see nothing during this trip. Two vagrants that had the misfortune of stowing away in a box car became dinner for both the  Count Vlad and The Clan when the Moon cycled full again, their carcasses, or should I say what was left of them being thrown from the train.

In France Count Dabouski made contact with  King Charles who promptly made living arrangements for Count Dabrouski in Paris.  Johan was to sttle everyone into the guest quarters in the rear of the Manor where they would live largely unassumed for the most part.  

Count Dabrouski was considered a dignitary from a foreign land, and thus was expected to hold formal gatherings and parties.  Occasionally special staff would be hired to help with these affairs. The Count being a wise and generous man, would allow the wait staff to consume a bit of brandy or wine, perhaps a bit that had been spiked with a sedative. Johan would then put them in the vegetable cellar until all of the guests had left and then he and Count Dabrouski would carry the bodies out to the Guest Quarters, where the Clan would eagerly be awaiting their feast.

Count Vladmir enjoyed strolling the streets of Paris , seducing young women, draining them in alleys, before going back to the Manor. Paris was lovely and so were the ladies. He was shocked that his libido had returned to him during this time. This move was just what he needed, yet he seemed to be craving more and more blood and lust, and could not separate one from the other.

Ladies were being urged not to walk the avenues and streets alone at night because there was a maniac on the loose attacking them for their virtue and then draining the blood from their bodies in a ghastly fashion. Word of this spread to Count Dabrouski, and he knew at once who was responsible for this recent string of murders. Count Vladmir could ruin it for not only himself, but The Clan and of course Count Dabrouski did not want to be involved in this scandal. He was in enough trouble back east right now. He must come up with a plan to send them somewhere else.

Count Dabrouski arranged for a cargo vessel to take Count Vladmir and The Clan to England, given enough gold, a Captain will do anything. Johan accompanied them, Count Vladmir was placed in a sealed coffin, and it was explained that he was being taken home to England to be buried.  The Clan were his servants that were going to work for his Nephew Johan.

Once in England  Count Vladmir and  Stash decided that they would part ways.  The Clan had a problems of their own. The sun was setting fast, and the Moon was to be full that night. They too felt that all too familiar craving coming upon them.  Trying to hide in the shipyards, their transformation began. The hair sprouting, breaking through with a painful itch. Bones disjointing, The jaws extending and their teeth pushing through like razors. All reasoning seemed to be gone, the need for flesh and blood was all consuming. Drunken sailors happened by. They were shredded to bits, razor sharp claws digging into the flesh, then chewing it off in a feeding frenzy as f they would never eat again. Blood spraying, growling, the clan fighting over every last drop.

They awoke in the morning in the hull of a ship. Obviously they had crawled in there to keep warm. Looking around, they found trunks, and put on dresses and suits. They could feel and hear the sound of the ocean.  Josif had once been a sailor. He could tell when they went top side by the direction of the wind and current that they were heading west. West? He needed to talk to someone to find out what kind of mess they had gotten themselves into.  

Dressed in the frocks and Sailor’s Uniforms the clan blended in with the others aboard the ship, By estimation nearly one hundred or so souls were on the vessel. They all seemed to be filled with anticipation of reaching this New Land across the ocean. They spoke of building a colony , a new civilization for the Motherland and claiming it for England.

The Clan had their usual problem, the moon was due to cycle. There was no escaping their curse.  Stash decided to see if he could negotiate a deal with the Captain, who had become fond of one of the females in their group, a red head  named Aileen. In exchange for Aileen, some of the passengers would be offered up to The Clan. The Captain and a few others would be given the opportunity to join The Clan as well. Their problem was solved and before they reached the coast of the New Land The Clan had grown from  eight members to twenty.

They were weary from travel but knew they must set up housing for the women. Josif learned that Alana was with child. Stash was overwhelmed with joy. They had lived for nearly a century now, and he believed that they had been cursed with sterility as well. He was going to be a Grandfather.

The celebration was short lived when a group pf indigenous peoples sprung forth on them screaming “WENDIGO! WENDIGO!” They were carrying sharp blades and throwing rocks, Clacking bones together and carrying torches. The Moon rose in the clear blue sky.  A few that were Native to the land chose to fight The Clan, all the while screaming “WENDINGO!” There was blood and flesh flying across the campfire , the stench billowing high in the clouds. Other Natives chose to run.

The next morning they began the clean up process, and finished building their homes. Alana was swollen with child and ready to give birth any day.They needed a name for their Colony, and Alana’s baby.  They chose Roanoke, and it became known as Roanke’s Colony.

The Clan survived off the Natives for many years until England decided to send another Boat over. They decided it was time to trek further east to see what the land held for them. They ended up settling in Bayou Country.  Josif and Alana were very comfortable raising their cub alongside the French. Roanoke would have the chance to grow up a refined lady.

The Captain and Aileen went their separate , always close to The Clan, just raising a Family while he and Josif ran a Shipping Company off the Gulf Coast with cash flow from their old frien Count Dabrousky who had given Stash a generous sum of mpney for keeping his immortality a secret.

Josif and Alana raised Roanoke in a fine Manor home safely tucked away in the bayous, and of course Grandpa Stash was there too. Roanoke went on for centuries without developing the curse of the Bloodlust. Her parents were relieved to say the very least.

Roanoke had a gift for writing. She could take words and spin them into gold. Her parents encouraged her creativity as most parents do, forgetting their lineage, and what could potentially occur should someone research her past.

Roanoke Dane wrote three Best Sellers write out of the gate. People loved her work and couldn’t get enough of it. They clamored for more. Reporters were calling her night and day trying to get an interview. She wanted to do an interview, although her parents strictly forbid it.  She felt trapped. She was over five hundred years old and her parents still treated her like a child. This was it, she called up the reporter in town from California and told him to come by alone that evening and he could get an exclusive interview, but only if he came alone.

Roanoke’s parents were going out with The Clan that night, so she knew that she would be home alone. She was nervous when she heard th knock on the door, then she opened it and there stood a short balding man with a notepad and a tape recorder. Not what she was expecting at all.  She invited him in.

She poured them a cup of coffee, and shook his hand before sitting on the setee in the parlour.

He sat down next to her and turned on his tape recorder.

“Miss Dane,  name is Alex and it is a pleasure to meet you. I am going to ask you a few questions that your fans are dying to get the answers to. Is that alright with you?” he asked.

“Well of course. That’s why we are here, and you may call me Roanoke.”she answered.

“Your name Roanoke, that is a very unusual name. Like the Lost Colony of Roanoke, “ He started.

“I never really thought about it. It’s just my name, “she shifted uncomfortably.

“ Your stories seem so vivid. It’s as if you have actually lived them or have known the characters in your book, “  He again pushed.

“I know them from my dreams, “she answered quickly.

“I have looked everywhere for your birth certificate and came up empty handed. How do you explain this?” He asked with a sneer on his face.

Something came over her. She felt her veins crawl, Hairs were sprouting, itching everywhere. Her body began to crackle as the bones morphed, Sje looked out the window at the full moon before her jaw line extended revealing her razor sharp teeth.

Alex tried to run, but she was fast,  lunging at his jugular, draining his life force. She began to shred the meat from his bones, savoring every bit of flesh. Ravenus, she left nothing but bones and hair.

When she came to the next morning, she played Alex’s tape back, and looked at his heap of bones and answered “That’s how I explain it, Motherfucker!”

 

 

 

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