Hunger. I opened my eyes. Complete blackness. Stillness. I lie motionless for a moment, listening. There was no one to be heard for miles in this city.
This is bad, I thought. Could it have happened so fast? Everyone? I didn’t want to believe it. I left my blackened chamber and stepped out into the quiet night. Utter stillness. “What are you going to do now..”, I whispered to myself. *** The moonlight shown down like it always and forever will, playing on windows and gliding over puddles.
How I loved the moon. I didn’t really miss the sun, but then again no one I knew did either. The gate wasn’t locked; no surprise. The reason was perfectly clear from the freshly dug pit. It was just less trouble, not having to unlock it everyday, and more efficient for getting bodies in and (rarely) out.
But it didn’t matter much to me. As long as everyone left me alone, of which was completely certain due to the epidemic. But of course there was always that annoying priest or stupid young jerk who went around staking and burning every corpse, but they never lasted long. That was good. Besides, the caretaker of this cemetery, who would never dare to get even fifty feet from a Black Death body, had already abandoned his job and left town.
I think his family is still in a pile on his living room floor. The gate squeaked and crashed closed behind me. Walking down the street, my shoes made the only noise, echoing off the darkened buildings. ‘Tonight I’ll just wander the town. Maybe I will get lucky and find someone.. Or maybe I should just leave..’ As I passed a tavern to my right I suddenly heard clinking from within. ‘Hm..’ I entered, very wary.
There, draped over the counter, was the old tavern owner, as if in peaceful sleep. He was quite decayed. He held a letter as if to life, but it didn’t have much written on it. August, 14, 1348 My beloved Clare, Take this money and your family and leave immediately. God will ‘Hm, poor guy.
I wonder why he chose to die here instead of in the church.’ People were stacked in the pews, lying in the aisles, and hanging on the alter the last time I saw it. Well, I guess it really wasn’t any business of mine. Then I heard a crash from the back of the building. ‘Ah, so I was right! There is at least one more. Ha! I shall not starve!’ Quickly I backed into the shadows and made my way towards the store room.
There I saw a man, coughing and sputtering, looking for a bottle of wine. He was quite a fellow, almost a corpse. His eyes fixed on me suddenly. He stood still, maybe hoping I would just disappear? “Are you a spirit?” he whispered. “No, my good sir.
Alas, only if I were. I’m so glad I found you. I was starting to get worried.” He looked confused, then realization dawned on his face. He became pale. I loved this part.
“You.. you are..”. He hesitated. “Yes, my gracious sir?” I smiled. “Lamiai..” he said louder, grabbing hold of the wine rack as if it would save him.
“I am,” I said calmly, walking closer. “And Mara, Baital, Kali..” He began backing away. “Uppyr, Nosferatu.. ah, Nosferatu, ‘the plague carrier’. Let me carry you away from this great plague.” I think he fell into shock now, because he simply stumbled to the floor and lay there staring.
He began to mumble in Italian. “..Vampiri..” “Yes, my friend, Vampiri, and all of the other meaningless names. Come, do not blame me for all of this. It is he, Black Death, whom you should accuse. Let us now together laugh in his face..” ‘Ahh..’ *** The moonlight shown down on the empty street. Now it is truly silent, except, of course, for my footsteps.