Friday, 21 August 2009

By The Light of the Silvery Moon

Vlad tried to shrink behind the Count as he found himself caught in the cold green gaze of the wolf standing before him. The Count snorted derisively and pushed Vlad forward.

'What's the matter Vladimirescu? Have you never seen a wolf before?'

Vlad heard the words in his head, conveyed in a flat, cold tone.

'Did it talk? I heard no words!' Vlad tried to jump backwards again, but only managed to collide with the vast bulk of the Count, and was swiftly pushed forwards once more.

'I think that de Cazalrenoux might start getting offended if you keep on referring to him as an 'it'' observed Antonescu drily 'When he is in his wolf form, he communicates by telepathy'.

'You seem to know a lot about our race, Count' commented Roland in their heads.

Vlad couldn't help jumping and by now his eyes were wide as saucers and his dark curls were jiggling furiously.

'So can you read my mind now' he asked, rather loudly as he was so rattled.

'The top thoughts certainly' replied the cold voice in his head 'And I suppose that I could delve further if I chose, but most minds aren't worth the effort. They tend to be grubby and neglected, a bit like the kind of houses that Health Inspectors are called out to.'

'So how do you do it? Does Antonescu hear everything I hear, or can you have one to one conversations?' Vlad replied.

'You don't have to speak out loud for me to hear you; in fact it would be safer for everyone if you would stop shouting so much' said the voice that was Roland the Wolf 'We don't want half of London turning up to see what is going on'.

Vlad flushed. Between Antonescu and de Cazalrenoux, he felt like an ungainly adolescent. They always seemed to be wrong-footing him, and he felt that he was the butt of some private joke between them. But he, Demitrie Vladimirescu, was the Leader of the Romanian Vampires. He totally outranked Antonescu and was of equal, if not higher rank, than the Leader of a Werewolf Clan!

Roland must have caught the gist of these thoughts as he suddenly chuckled deep in his furry throat.

'Don't worry Vladimirescu, Antonescu can't hear what I'm saying now. You can rest assured that we do not have some private joke against you going on. I have picked up enough from your mind that you have been given cause to doubt the Count, and that you and he have quarrelled about this? asked the voice in his head drily.

Vlad opened his mouth to reply and then firmly shut it again.

'I don't know what to think any more, de Cazalrenoux' he thought in his head instead.

'Is anyone who they say they are? Can I trust anyone? My people, the Romanian Vampires are being annihilated, and I have no idea how to stop this happening! You are a Clan Leader, you must know how this feels, this need to protect your people, this feeling of helplessness?'

Vlad felt a warm rush of feeling envelop him like a soft, fluffy blanket. De Cazalrenoux was offering him his sympathy and understanding.

'But what are we to do?' he thought.

'The first thing we must do is get inside somewhere and out of sight, away from prying eyes. The last thing we need is the police chasing a large dog-like creature and two mysterious dark figures! I think the best thing is if we go back to your house Vladimirescu. We could never get into my apartment block without being spotted!'thought Roland into Vlad's head.

'Yes, I think that's a good idea; we are not doing any good just standing here. We need to work out a plan to rescue Mike and find Kingsteignton.'

Vlad turned to the Count, who was beginning to look a little sour at being left out of the conversation, and said decisively 'We are returning to my house to make plans; we will have to keep up with the wolf, so we will dematerialise and fly'.

Antonescu opened his mouth to protest, thought better of it, and drew himself up to his full height.

'I will take the wolf's clothes' he said regally, bending over and picking up Roland's destroyed raiment.

At that the two vampires evaporated into a trail of fine black smoke and Roland starting galloping hard in the direction of the river.

Meanwhile, the moon continued her stately climb through the night sky and sent silvery moonbeams to bounce off the sleeping world below. She pushed her silvery fingers though the pink Cinderella curtains and smiled at Proserpine laying sleeping like an angel tucked under her pink duvet, more silvery fingers peeped in the window at Malvolio and Eunice Batchworth joyfully drinking wine and making love as he somehow managed to push back the time of his turning, and they even penetrated the bars of the tiny window in the basement of Lord Kingsteignton's house, where Mike Costello lay trussed like a spring chicken, shaking with fear.

The only place where they could not reach was the cold depths of the caves in Romania, where something ancient and evil was stirring. Something that was causing the very earth itself to shake and split in two.

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