Van Helsing and his men had followed them all over London – Dracul and his servant, that dark-haired creature named Harker, Jonathan Harker.
Once a loyal employee, he was now under the spell of the evil creature from the East – neither living nor dead. Van Helsing cursed at how things had developed since his arrival. No one had had a clue as to what to do with the coffins and the large boxes filled with earth. A lot of money had changed hands, obviously, and gold can change so many things…
There were, Smollet had said, six in the cartload which he took from Carfax and left at 197 Chicksand Street, Mile End New Town, and another six which he deposited at Jamaica Lane, Bermondsey.
If the Count meant to scatter these ghastly refuges of his over London, then these places were chosen as the first of delivery, so that later he might distribute more fully.
The systematic manner in which this was done made van Helsing think that he could not mean to confine himself to two sides of London.
He was now fixed on the far east on the northern shore, on the east of the southern shore, and on the south. The north and west were surely never meant to be left out of his diabolical scheme, let alone the City itself and the very heart of fashionable London in the south-west and west.
And, Smollet had admitted, that there had been more coffins than the ones they had already found and destroyed.
Purfleet at night was a ghastly , eerie place to be. The omnipresent fog dimmed the few gas lights to mere spots in the night, the cobblestones were wet and slippery.
“In manus tuas, Domine!” van Helsing shouted, crossing himself as he passed over the threshold. Then they closed the door behind them, they all lit their lamps and proceeded on their search.
They were van Helsing himself, his trustworthy friend Dr John Seward from the Asylum, Quincey Morris, an American adventurer who was still in grief about the loss of his beloved Roma girl Emsara, whom he had met on the continent and lost to the abominable creature they were hunting now. With them was also Thomas Snelling, the worker from the zoo, who still hoped to find the wolf Berserker, who had escaped several weeks ago.
Tiptoeing they ventured through the dark empty house. Thick layers of dust and spider webs hanging in rags from the leverage of dust from the walls and curtains made them sneeze and cough.
“This way?” Van Helsing asked Seward, who held a map in his hand and nodded. Finally they stopped in front of an old oaken door with iron bands. A foul odour seemed to seep through the gaps. Involuntarily they held their breath, swallowing, Quincey producing a handkerchief from his pocket, putting it over his nose and mouth.
“Gentleman, this is the last of his refuges. If we stop here and now he will be able to come back. Come on! Let’s go!“
It was evident that the Count was not at present in the house, and they proceeded to search for any of his effects.
There were title deeds of the Piccadilly house in a great bundle, deeds of the purchase of the houses at Mile End and Bermondsey, notepaper, envelopes, and pens and ink. All were covered up in thin wrapping paper to keep them from the dust.
There were also a clothes brush, a brush and comb, and a jug and basin.
The latter contained dirty water which was reddened as if with blood. Last of all was a little heap of keys of all sorts and sizes, probably those belonging to the other houses.
When they had examined this last find, Dr Seward and Quincey Morris took with them the keys. They found another four boxes, desecrated them and satisfied shook hands.
When they left van Helsing felt
Silently, still on constant alert, he retreated, slowly closing the door behind them, locking it and turning to his friends he said:
“Now the only thing left is to trust in God.”
Dracul wasn’t a fool. He had long since abandoned this house and all the others. He had taken his obedient right hand man with him, Jonathan Harker, followed by the wolf.
I had to hurry. Watson was in danger as long as these creatures were on the run. I was aware that van Helsing had spotted me, but then – this man and his friends could be of help in destroying my maker, and all other of his kin.
Heading north again I hoped Watson had found the time to gather all necessary items to either rescue or kill me.
A nightingale sang its sad song when I arrived at the opening Simza had shown me. A look up to the moonless sky assured me that this was the perfect place, the perfect night to bring my dear Holmes back. I didn’t dare to ponder over anything beyond that.
The revolver in my pocket felt heavier than usual, the silver bullets in it would kill someone this night.
Dressed in military attire, a heavy black cloak around my shoulders, I trotted down to the spot where thick moss formed an oval place, calling me to lay down with open arms and open heart to welcome what? My love? Or would the evil spirit in him take over and kill first me then him too?
The night was dark and cold. It was the end of April, the warmth of the spring slowly replacing the winter’s cold grip. Taking in the atmosphere I searched for him, Holmes, my friend, my love. Where are thou?
A wolf howled not far away. My heart was racing. Where was it? And why here? Why now?
“Watson.” As if sprung from the ground he stood in front of me.
“Holmes…” I let out a deep breath. “Thank God! You are here. We are here, finally.”
“Yes, Watson. We must hurry. I fear they followed me... he followed me…”
He took me by the arm and dragged me into nearby bushes, sheltering us from view.
“Prepare everything. I will examine the surrounding once more. Don’t search for me. I will come to you.” And saying so he disappeared into the night again.
I fetched the candle from my pocket, the feathers, a bunch of white heather and – Holmes’ and my blood. I held the test tube with two fingers, the liquid black against the light. Wait? Light?
A gypsy woman came running to me carrying a torch. It was Simza, her long hair floating behind her like a banner.
“He’s here. The devil. Be careful! We will search for him. You will need Holmes! God with you!” And saying so she gave me an amulet, a stone with an engraving I could rather feel than see.
“Wait! What can I do?”
“Watch out, love him.” I could say no more. The place was surrounded by gypsies, the wolf was howling again and then everything happened within a second.
A black figure threw itself at me, made me fall onto my back. I hissed, clenched my teeth when something heavy pinned me to the ground. I groaned, I could feel cold fingers around my neck, ripping my clothes apart, lips searching for the right spot… a cry! Was it mine or the creatures?
Suddenly everything went black. Ashes swirling behind my eyelids or was it real? The cry ceased and I had the scent of fire and coal in my nostrils, the taste of smoke and grass. There was blood. I coughed, bracing both arms against the ground I tried to gather my senses.
A layer of black dirt covered my clothes, my face and hair. When I looked at my hands, the dark smear was everywhere. The amulet felt hot on my skin. When I touched it, it emitted a small electrical shock, making me hitch into a couple of hiccups.
It had destroyed the corporeal remains of Jonathan Harker. I blinked. I was insane, this was just a weird dream.
Another unearthly sound came from the northern side of the opening. Holmes besting his maker.
He choked me, clawed at me, sharp nails slicing my flesh. Like two wild beasts we tore at each other.
He was strong, he was furious, he was as superior as he had been back in Vienna. He would kill me. I smelled the disgusting stench emanating from him, his rage like thundering canons on a great battle ship in action. There was fire in his eyes. How to escape this time I had no idea.
I gave in. The stars twinkling above would be last thing I would be able to see with my immortal eyes. I blinked tears away. His power was greater than mine.
He who made me would also kill me. There was so much white, a salt lake, a golden desert under the seering sun… a shot echoing in the night, and then… a gentle touch on my cheek, my lips. The radiant pulse embracing me, catching me, plucking me from the earth, drawing me into strong arms.
The smell, I knew this scent…
“Watson…” I whispered. And the gentle brush of a moustache swept over my face.
“I’m here. Holmes, you fool.” I let him carry me, settling me down on the green mossy pillow, where we shed our clothes mutually and then… then…
Naked as the day we were born I gathered him in my arms. Holmes, my dear Holmes. He sat on top of me, taking first my left, then my right hand, lacing fingers with me. I was shaking with both fear and anticipation. Hard and ready I felt his cold flesh on mine, his hard muscles clenching, unclenching, trying to find the right position, the perfect connection.
Nothing of his body touched the ground, as was necessary.
Ether in our lungs, eyes wide open, I felt the stars explode. I, we, were small parts of even smaller parts, shards of shards, splinters of splinters.
Everything was spinning… I was light-headed, I could hardly breathe anymore and then…
Imploding pieces drawn together, fitting together, white, blue, black, lightning, ebb and tide coming together – everything became one -
I became as one with the one and only ever meant to be part of me, ever had been, ever will be – it, he, him, the horned, the dark shadow, the beloved, my man – Holmes!
The air around us was laden with magic, glowing, there was fog around us, sheltering us.
I closed my eyes and when I opened them again, I felt his weight. He was warm, his eyes were closed, he was breathing! I could feel his heartbeat! He was alive! He was human again.
A thud of something heavy woke me up. I was totally exhausted, my breath came in small, heavy gasps. I knew, where I was. I knew, who I was, what I had become once more: an ordinary human being.
Still shaking I lifted my head, staring into those blue stars of my soul mate – my beloved man.
“Watson.” Was all I could say. What else was there to say? He smiled his adorable smile, white teeth under neatly trimmed moustache.
“Holmes. Let’s go home. I’m cold.”
“So am I, Watson. So am I.”
Slowly, with shaking hands, we gathered our belongings, each helping the other back into his clothes.
Watson’s cloak was big enough to protect us both from the night and the drizzly rain, we were fortunate enough to be picked up by a cab heading our direction. The driver set us down near the cemetery gate, where Mary had found her final resting place.
I could feel Watson’s hands in my hair, admiringly fondling the curls.
“Holmes...” He breathed into my face, and I burst into a fit of giggles. I dragged him with me, happy to be alive again, happy to be with him. He started humming and we danced, silently.
Then he kissed me, and his kisses melted the last remnants of ice from my soul.
“Look where we stand, Watson.”
“Holmes!” Startled my dear man drew me from the grave we accidentally had tripped up on.
“Not on Mary’s grave, dear…”
“Why not? She saved us both, gave her life… She had suffered so much… You have suffered so much… for me…” Tears sprung up in my eyes, soaked up by the cloak’s fabric.
“Ssshh, Holmes. It’s over, it’s all over, my dear boy…”
“Let’s go home, Watson.”
But neither of us moved away from the spot, where we were still swaying in a dance, holding each other.
“Who taught you how to dance?”
“You did.” He simply said, and I could feel his grin in my heart.
When we woke up the next day, a beam of sunlight made my love’s eyes sparkle. I know we are one, I and Holmes.
His smile reflected my thought, and he said:
“We are one.”
“How do you know?”
“You killed my wife.”
And to that Holmes could just smile.
Links: Tinzelda’s ‘The Birthday Gift’ - http://tinzelda.livejournal.com/7012.html#t309348
solitary_xynic’s vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xmNix0KBK4k
Candle_beck’s ‘The Narrator’:
amaraal – imagine:
A/N: Yes, a part is shamelessly stolen from Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. J Forgive me. The pic above is somewhere on sh09, but I’m too lazy to search for it…
That’s it so far. Let me know what you think and enjoy the links.
Back to Part 1.
That’s it so far. Let me know what you think and enjoy the links.
Back to Part 1.