Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Meet the Vampires in Blood Ties Tested 1

A basic premise of this novella is that the main character's father, Drakos, is a Reform Vampire--that is, a vampire who has sworn off blood. He has collected a few other vampires who are like-minded. They have vowed to go on the wagon. Here's a bit on a couple of them. More coming in a day or two. All the descriptions are direct quotes from the book.

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Tao Lung, like the others, had spent years terrorizing the Chin villages for victims. He came across a scholarly man named Zhu Xi sitting silently in a beautiful garden. He crept toward the man, believing him to be asleep. Tao Lung was surprised when the Confucian philosopher raised one hand, palm outward. Tao froze, unable to move and realized he was in the presence of a powerful magician.

The old man allowed Tao to sit cross-legged before him, arms resting on his knees, and strangely his index finger and thumb touching forming a strange shape. They remained in this position for days. When Zhu Xi allowed Tao to move again, the vampire felt at peace. He was no longer driven by blood lust. Zhu Xi died, as humans do, and Tao Lung wandered through the countryside imparting the same peace of mind Zhu Xi had given him. His wanderings brought him eventually to Drakos’s door. As their spiritual guide, he was the key to the family’s success. When the others wavered in their resolve, they went to Tao Lung. He need say nothing. The one who needed strength sat with Tao Lung as he had sat with Zhu Xi. When their mind was at peace, he released them. They bowed and went about their daily business.

Elizabeth Bathory lay in her canopied bed. A tear trickled down her porcelain cheek. While she was happy for Drakos, she regretted forever forsaking the idea of a family. Her mind cruelly flashed back to her evil days. She had used the girls brought to her from the village. When the girls disappeared, their parents took the gold purse offered and the lie that their daughter had gone off to the city to find work. They accepted they shouldn’t expect to hear from them again.

Finally, the other nobles could no longer ignore so many missing girls. When a few of the girls from noble families disappeared, they called on King Matthias to send an investigator. As it happened, the man sent caught Elizabeth in the midst of torturing a girl. Tried for murder, she stood mute while the servants who had aided her in the kidnappings tried to bargain for their own lives with their testimony. It did no good. Their bodies hung limp in the village square. But she knew the rope wouldn’t cut her life short. Pretending to be dead, being buried, then having to claw her way out again would have been annoying but survivable. As a noble, she demanded her right to a trial. The court found her guilty. According to the customs of the times and being of noble birth, the court sentenced her to live out her life in a high tower with the windows and door bricked shut.

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