Fred strolled down the hallway with a happy smile on his face. His
was hungry for blood and behind the oaken door that stood before him were
necks that his teeth couldn't wait to get acquainted with. Behind that
door, in the flickering
firelight of half a dozen torches, three women stood perfectly still, their
tight to pillars in the center of the room. Their hands and feet were
bound and their
mouths were gagged. He came closer to them and wondered what fate could
together three such disparate looking people.
The first woman was tall and solidly built. She wore leopard skins over her bronze and iron armor. She was obviously a warrior, and brave even in the face of death. She stared at Fred with hate in her eyes. The second captive was more of a girl than a woman. She wore a dark blue brocade cloak. Underneath it was a brown and tan riding habit. She was dressed like an aristocrat's daughter. Fred had seen a hundred women like that in the royal court. Whoever she was, she was a long way from home. The last woman was the strangest of all. If Fred had still been alive, this woman's beauty would have sent his heart racing. She was of a dark and dusky complexion. But her eyes were a brilliant green. Her body was swathed in silks and finely woven camel hair.
"Who are they, Master?" Fred asked.
"Consider them your brides," Varney smiled and chuckled. The warrior woman struggled against her bindings as the vampire laughed, but to no avail. The young noblewoman by her side began to cry. The green eyed lady remained strangely quiet and calm. Varney then stepped up to the pillars and introduced his captives. "The dangerous looking one here is a warrior from Aqualaria. Her name is Astra. That's all I could get out of her. Oh, and she too came to slay the dragon." Moving on, Varney reached up with his pale, cold hand and caressed the girl-woman's cheeks, "This young lady is Andrea de Croix. A woman from your own country, Fred. It seems she was bored and set out to find an adventure. I hope I haven't disappointed her." Finally he came to the last woman. "This exotic beauty is from the desert lands of Aethiopia. She calls herself Alicia and claims to be a princess. Apparently she was on a quest to find some ancient artifact of her people. I think their lives depend on it. Oh well, better luck next time."
"Do you think it chance that has led them all here, Master?" Fred asked, still wondering at the three women.
"If it is," Varney answered, "then let us turn it to our advantage. And if it is more than just chance, then let us bend their destiny to serve our own designs. Why play by someone else's rules when you can make your own?"
A voice suddenly boomed from behind the vampires, "Indeed Varney. But I would prefer it if you played by my rules." Varney bared his fangs and hissed at the person who floated by the chamber door. "VELUS!" Velus bowed low, "Yes Varney, it is I. You should have stayed buried under whatever rock it is you have been using to hide with. Why you have come out of hiding now I do not know or care, but the Princess Alicia was brought here under my protection. I guided her steps to our mountain home and I don't intend to have her fall prey to you." Varney bristled with anger, "I caught her fair and square, old man. She is mine!" Velus shook his head mockingly, "And I commend you. I did not expect to have my prize taken from me. But you of all people should know that taking something is one thing, while keeping it is quite another." With a flourish of his long, pointy hands accompanied by a loud, inhuman screech, Velus suddenly vanished in a puff of black, oily smoke. Simultaneously, all of the chains and ropes that had held the three prisoners captive were released and fell clattering to the stone floor.
Varney and Fred turned toward the women and sprang at them. But the women fought back. Their lives depended on it. In the end though, the two vampires proved more than a match for them. First one and then another of the women felt cold, sharp teeth sink into their trembling necks, and they fell victim to the vampires' bloody embrace. Only one woman was left standing. And in the flickering darkness, as her two short lived compatriots were drained of their precious blood, she did the only thing she could. She ran.
Past the door of the chamber of pillars, down the corridor and through the great, ghostly hall of the Citadel of the vampires, she ran and ran and ran...
But which woman was it that escaped? And who were the two who had now become... the Brides of Fred?!
6/11/1999 11:26:08 PM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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