WIDBODE: LIFE THROUGH A VAMPIRE’S EYES
The fight was over and Lola stood panting outside the smoking castle, holding an ashy stake in one hand and the remains of a chair (she had no memory of where or how she had got it) in the other. Staked and knocked out vampires lay strewn over the garden. The people that had been turned back and conscious were all huddled together in a small group by the Goth police cars. Cassandra helped people with burns and other serious injuries along with other medical professionals. Ovivil and her husband Mar were pouring drops of Vamp-D into the mouths of what they hoped were the unconscious vampires, who all turned back in to fleshies nearly immediately. Sage was helping the firemen (who somebody had miraculously called when the fire had started) put out the last of the flames.
But Lola wasn’t really concerned of what everybody else was doing -- she was scanning the grounds for Darsideria. She started panicking when she couldn’t find her. She had lost Darsideria inside, but before she had been swallowed by the fleeing crowd, she had told her to go on and that she would meet her outside. So why wasn’t she hear like she said she would be?
“Have you seen Darsy?” she asked several people over and over again but everyone shook their heads.
“Last time I saw her was when we were all inside the castle,” Sage said when she asked him but he was quite obviously distracted by the fire hoses.
Lola let out a frustrated “argh!” and stormed off to ask someone else.
Her heart was pounding in her chest so hard that she could feel the throbbing pulse in her neck. It felt strange being turned back again. It would take some getting used to after being a vampire for the last decade or so.
Just then Arabella came out of the castle, closely followed by Teyla. They both looked sooty and pale. Lola couldn’t help but notice that Teyla had tears in her eyes. She began to fear the worst.
“Where is she?” she shouted as she ran up the garden path to Teyla, shivering with fear and anxiety, “Where’s my Darsy?”
Teyla didn’t have to answer, she saw the answer in her eyes.
“N-no…” she said breathlessly, “No! I- I don’t believe it!”
“Oh, Lola!” Teyla cried and threw her arms around her neck. “I’m so sorry.”
Lola shrugged her off. She didn’t believe a word of this. Her Darsideria was inside. She was OK, of course she was OK. Darsy was strong. She could handle anything. Any time now they were all going to shout “April fools!” and they would laugh and Darsideria would come out of the castle, looking as pretty as she always did. Deep down inside Lola knew better, but she dared not believe it. It wasn’t the first of April, for one thing.
She ran up to the castle, and stepped inside with shaking hands. She barely had to look to find what Teyla had meant. A crowd of people were standing around something that was smoking. Something that looked like ashes… When she saw the grim reaper gliding amongst them, a hard lump formed in her throat. Tears pricked at her eyes. That had just confirmed everything.
Lola pushed her way to the front of the crowd until she stood a couple of centimetres away from the ashes. She let out a little sniffle and blinked.
Her Darsideria was gone.
“No… No… It can’t be true!” she cried. “Darsy can’t be gone!”
There was more than one pile of smoking ashes lying there on the sooty stone floor. Others had died in the fire too…
Lola covered her face with her hands. She didn’t want anybody else to see her tears.
Somebody put a hand on her shoulder and a deep, hoarse voice said, “We think Rafael was one of them.”
Lola turned to look at the stranger and saw that it was Gray, in the flesh. She was too upset to think him of talking to her as odd.
“Lola, I’m so so sorry…”
“Shut up!” Lola screamed, voice raw with emotion and unstable, “Shut up! Piss off, Gray. Just leave me alone!”
When he did not leave, she slapped him hard across the face. Gray looked shocked and hurt. He put a hand on his cheek where she had slapped him. It looked raw and red.
“I was just -” he began, but she stormed away unable to stand any more of this.
She needed to get out of this horrible, horrible place. She just wanted to forget everything that had happened, close her eyes and wake up to find that it had all been a dream. A terrible nightmare, and Darsideria would be there at her side when she woke up to comfort her.
Sunlight peered over the clouds when she came outside and Lola automatically jumped and covered her face with her hands to shield herself from the sun. But then she remembered that she was not a vampire anymore and felt stupid.
Teyla spotted her, rushed over to her and put her arms around her again without saying a word.
It was only after a while that she spoke.
“I’m so sorry, Lola,” she sobbed on her shoulder, “they took my mother, too.”
It felt like a huge weight was lying in the pit of her stomach. Lola’s heart ached. Darsideria, her bride to be, was gone. She would never get to see that wonderful, happy face ever again:
She and Teyla stood there for a long time, crying long and hard for their losses, holding each other tightly.
It was over. The fight was won, the vampires were out of Widbode. They were free but they had lost too much to even feel the slightest bit happy.
The same question whirled around and round in Lola’s head: Was it all worth it?
And she would ask herself that for a long time to come…***
There was a happy shriek in the background, as Arabella was finally reunited with her husband. She flung herself into Waswauld’s open arms.
“You did it, Lovely!” he cheered, swinging her around in the air. “You helped rid Widbode of the vampires! I didn’t think that you could do it, but you proved me wrong -- as always.”
Arabella didn’t answer. She was too busy crying tears of joy for being held in her husband’s arms again, but at the same time tears of sorrow for Teyla and Lola Lurraxol’s terrible losses.>> Next Chapter