It was a cool late autumn evening. The trees were bare of their foliage. A full moon had just arisen adding its light to the newly installed gas street lights that lined the main thoroughfare. There was some additional light cast from various windows, mostly candlelight. But from a few, there were the new modern gas lamps.
If you were to look into one of those windows, you would have found a girl, perhaps just entering womanhood sitting before her vanity mirror deep in thought as her nanny lovingly brushed her long golden locks. The nanny too was lost in her thoughts as she wondered just how much longer she would be able to care for her young charge, as she was nearing marriageable age, nearly sixteen. The older woman had been her nanny since the day she had been born those many years ago. Her mother having died giving birth to her.
The girl, her thoughts mixed looked down at the sleeves of her new nightgown and robe, a gift from her dear friend Lucy. Who had just recently died of a mysterious illness? Lucy’s Doctors had tried to save her by giving her newly a developed blood transfusion technic, that had failed to save as she died the next night, her cold, lifeless body found the next morning in her bedroom chilled by a mysteriously left open window.
Her nanny, maybe guessing at her thought tried to console her, “There, there, Miss Nina, there was nothing you could do.” Continuing to brush her hair, “It was just an unfortunate occurrence, the world seems full of them lately.” Resting her hand upon her shoulder, “Think of more pleasant thoughts. Your father is looking at a number of men that he might find one that would make a suitable husband for you.”
Nina did think of her father’s choices for her. All exceedingly old men, boringly old, rich to be sure and could greatly be counted on to support her father’s church.
Nina thoughts turned to the young man that was studying to be a Doctor. He had not yet finished his schooling an internship, and as such was thought of by her father as entirely unsuitable for the hand of his only daughter.
That didn’t stop her from seeing him secretly. As a child, Nina had learned she could move from roof top to roof top without being seen. Her young man lived in a rooming house that was accessible from one of those rooftops, and so they had met clandestinely on those rooftops when they were able and saw each other in her father’s church each Sunday, where they had first seen each other.
She had invited her young man to dinner to meet with her father, hoping to gain his approval. It had been a near disaster with her father and her young man disagreeing on a number of topics of religion and science. Her father had exiled him from his house and forbid her from ever seeing him again. It hadn’t stopped them though.
She fondled the silver cross that hung from around her neck, thinking of the neckless her lover had given her. Nina reached behind her neck and unclasped it, laying it in her jewelry box next to the one her young man had given her but dared not wear openly.
Her nanny finished with brushing Nina’s hair, Nina stood and walked over to the french door that opened to the small Veranda, opening them and stepping out wishing she could venture out to meet her young man. She leaned back again the open door thinking if she could just.
A cloud obscured the moon with its accompanying darkness Nina couldn’t be sure but forming out of the mist on a nearby rooftop a tall, dark figure appeared. She couldn’t be sure of seeing its face, but those glowing reds eyes held her’s like nothing before.
She backed pressing herself into the window, then as the figure seeming floated nearer, Nina backed into her bedroom. Slowly she kept backing till her legs were against the mattress of her bed, and she could move no farther.
Her nanny looked up from what she was doing seeing her charge acting strangely. It was then that she saw the tall form of a man on the Veranda. His red eyes drew hers immediately freezing her in place.
Nina already transfixed and unable to move, was barely conscious as she watched the tall figure move from the window to her nanny’s side in a blink. Barely aware of what was happening she was able to turn her head and watch.
The figure grabbed at her nanny pinning her arms to her side, then bent down and ripped open her throat, noisily sucking at her nanny’s blood. It seemed to go on forever, but all too soon it was over, Nina could see that the color of her nanny’s face had gone pink to the dreadful parlor of dead white. The figure then dropped her as so much dead meat, to thump on the floor.
It may have been the sound of that sound that drew her father to her room as he crashed through her door. Seeing the stranger and somehow recognizing its danger he tried to bring up his silver cross, but he was too late. Fixed in the burning red gaze, he dropped the cross to the floor and took another step into the room, covering the holy symbol with the hem of his gown.
Her father was now too frozen in place. But unlike Nina’s nurse, he was forced to his knees, and then into a posture of reverent prayer as if begging his Lord to deliver them from this evil. You could see the stricken look on his face; you could see that in his mind he actually was praying for deliverance.
There was a disturbance at the window has Nina’s young man came storming in. “What is going on here?” he roared out. They had been delivered.
But no, the tall, dark figure turned and seeing the young man, was there in a blink, his large thin hand around the young man’s throat. Nina and her father saw the figure crush the young man’s throat. The young man’s arms now hung limply at his sides in death. Then the tall, dark stranger flung the lifeless young man crashing against the wall where he dropped to the floor like a limp rag.
Now the house was now silent. Well built as it was, there would be none hearing a disturbance and coming to their aid.
The tall figure now turned his full attention on Nina, her father frozen in place was forced to watch.
Seemingly out of her own accord Nina reached up and unfastened clasp of her robe and pushed it from her shoulders letting pool around her feet. Next came the ribbons that held her nightdress closed. When done, this too joined her robe on the floor as she pushed it from her shoulders. Now Nina was left in a simple slip held in place by two thin ribbons like straps. Mina was about to slip them from her shoulders when the strange held up a hand and stopped her.
Her father kneeling on the floor was seeing all this unable to tear his eyes away, his daughter, his only child, he couldn’t bear to think what was coming next. What had he done to deserve this? Then he knew. This vampire and he had crossed paths before, and he had thought he had left him destroyed had he only finished the job, but he thought he had. Now his beautiful Nina was to pay the price of his incompetence. The stranger turns briefly to the priest. And for the first time speaks, “You thought to pit your mind against mine, to best me? I who have lived for hundreds of years led armies and held back the Turkes when they would have overrun your punky people. You should have thanked me, but instead, your kind betrayed me.”