Thanks to EOF for coming up with this particular bit of madness. Since I tend to have a weakness for vampires, when the offer came to do a story here I of course jumped right in.
I'l warn you the first chapter is a lot of the setting up, history and all the exposition that takes. Future chapters will be more personal where Carmilla is involved.
Death is not the End
It was not a very good time to be nobility in France, especially in Paris. Even if I was the youngest son of a very minor Marquis who's estate nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees. I was still of the nobility – the formerly privileged elite in Louis XVI's France. Worse, I was known by many of the locals.
As I listened for the mob chasing me, I noted they were closing in. With the deaths of my father and older brothers, I, Phillipe Du Lac, was heir to our family holdings, such as they were, and dubious as that position had proved to be lately.
Or more to the point, dangerous. Not to mention deadly.
Robspierre, was in control of the so called government, The Republic, these days, and with his rabid hatred for former nobility who had been foolish enough not to embrace his new government's tenets whole heartedly was starting to eliminate those who had a chance to stand against him and bring back even a hint of the monarchy. Not that I was one of those, but I committed the unforgivable error of not joining in the mob frenzy that was tearing Paris apart. So I was an 'Enemy of the Republic' who 'deserved' to meet madame Guillotine.
“The bastard had the KING executed.” I whispered to myself, still horrified by that act, and knew that he and his mobs would not hesitate to do that with me as well when they caught up with me. If I was lucky, the mob would finish me before I was taken to 'trial' and their so called justice.
My particular crime? Other than my birth? I'd foolishly stood by and watched as a social and general order had dissolved like uncured clay bricks in a heavy rain, secure in the notion that my work as a silversmith would serve me whoever was in power. What a fool I'd been.
I leaned against the heavy wooden door, bolted against entry as so many in Paris were these days to catch my breath as the mob drew closer. I could even smell their stink now, and hoped that I could at least show enough dignity not to appear craven when they reached me. I could run no more. It was over and I'd resigned myself to death while silently commending my soul to God.
Then, like a miracle, the door I leaned against opened and a strong hand pulled me inside. I heard the door slam and a too rapid sound of bolts being shot home before I tumbled to the floor and lost what little sense remained to me as I slipped into darkness. But not before hearing the mob scream past my unexpected haven.
“Do you wish to live, Phillipe-Marie DuLac?” A soft voice questioned as my senses were slowly returning to me.
“What?” I asked the surroundings, much too dim to discern anything other than vague shapes, though the voice was most certainly female, and of such beauty that I found myself imagining the woman who used it. And in my imagination she was beyond simply beautiful.
“Do you want to LIVE, Phillipe?”
“I've been running and hiding for six days.” I answered slowly. “Of course I wish to live. No one sane would choose to die as the Republic dictates if there was another choice.”
“Remember those words in the days to come, my dear Phillipe.” She whispered. “What would you do, give up, to live right now?”
“Anything.” I said tiredly.
“Anything?” She questioned and there was a cold, almost cruel humor in her tones. “Anything at all?”
“I said it did I not?” I shot back weakly.
“Indeed you did.” She replied almost smugly as a delicate hand swam through the dim light holding a bowl with steaming broth in it. Another hand emerged holding a spoon, but try as I might, I was still unable to see the woman behind them. “Eat, then rest. I must prepare things so that you might live to see another – day.”
I wondered at her slight hesitation before that last word, but was too busy taking in the first real nourishment I'd had in days to worry overmuch. Much as I would come to curse myself for that in later times not so far distant.
“Are you ready to live, Phillipe?” The same sultry voice questioned once I'd awakened from the sleep I'd fallen into following the rich broth she'd fed me. There was something – almost mocking – in her tones, cadence and expression as she asked that.
And yes, I could finally see her, and she matched her voice.
She was an angel. Thick black hair hanging loose and tumbling around her shoulders and bosom in a midnight tide of curls and waves. Porcelain skin on a delicate, but strong face dominated by some of the most arresting green eyes I'd ever seen. They glittered like emeralds as they regarded me, with something like hunger mixed with longing. And they mesmerized me.
What I could see of her body, covered in a largely shapeless robe that still moved against her to hint at the things beneath, was every bit as beautiful as her face and voice. She was tall, perhaps a bit thin for present sensibilities, but everything about her proclaimed a sensuality that would captivate any man, even those who professed to prefer others of their kind.
She held out a cup, looking to be silver but not, since being a silversmith I could recognize fakery quite easily, though it was not a cheap thing, either in craftsmanship or material. “If you truly wish to live then you must drink of this, Phillipe. Partake of the cup I offer you.”
I took the cup,surprised at it's weight, but quite obediently began sipping at the contents. It was wine, but with other things in it. A touch of Absinthe, cinnamon, a rich earthy flavor I couldn't identify, and the sweetness of the cane sugar from the West Indies.
“A sip won't do, my darling,” She purred while reaching gently forward to tip the cup so I either had to drink, spit it out, or choke. “You must drink it, all of it.”
Captivated still by her voice and now by her appearance, I did so without argument.
As I was gulping down the contents she chanted something in Latin that I wasn't quite able to understand.
“Good.” She smiled at me while taking the empty cup from my hands. “My name is Wisteria, and I am going to take you places you've never imagined in your wildest, most twisted dreams, my lovely Phillipe.”
I would have run if I could at that moment. When she smiled, her teeth were revealed. Gleaming white as virgin pearls, but with her canines long, tapering to deadly, needle sharp points and looking much like those of a big cat from the wild lands of Africa or the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the new world.
If I could have run I would have died, thanks to the mob. I didn't run, and died anyway. Just not in a way that would be expected when those gleaming, beautiful, fangs descended and penetrated the blood vessels in my throat.
It was an ecstasy I had never even dreamed about, nor had it ever been depicted in any literature that I had read.
Mind, body, and soul. All in accord. As I made love to her while she sucked my life away. And I did not care, other than wanting to keep that blissful delight going.
I died a happy man.
But things did not end there.
Oh, not at all.
They were just beginning.
Because while I died, I did not really die. Or was reborn if you will.
“Wake up my sweet, beautiful Carmilla.” I heard that familiar voice as consciousness slowly returned to me.
I thought to look for who she was addressing, but those soft, so sweet lips were on mine then moved to my cheek.
“Come on, dear sister.” Her voice softly urged. “Join me in wakefulness this night. We have much to do.”
I moaned in pleasure at the feel of her lips, but the sounds I heard coming from me were not what I was accustomed to hearing.
“Come, come!” She urged, taking my hands and pulling me out of the bed I had been so comfortably ensconced within. “You will LIVE now, and you must meet your new self!”
“New self?” I questioned in that strange voice I was hearing when I spoke.
“Yes!” She smiled and pulled me forward, towards a mirror. “Now remember that you told me you would give anything to live. So now you live, and the Republic will never threaten you again. Look! See what you have become!”
I looked into the mirror. To see her in it, the familiar face, and midnight hair. She was unclothed, but oddly I wasn't aroused by the sight even if the reality was far better than the hints I'd seen earlier. Wisteria was truly a beautiful young woman.
It was the woman standing beside her, encompassed by one of her slim arms that held my attention.
Her face was even more delicately featured than the black haired beauty. With full, inviting lips, high lovely cheekbones, a small but firm chin, a nose that would have seemed tiny on any other face, and the most riveting sea green eyes I had ever seen.
Even Wisteria's Emerald orbs paled next to those deceptively soft green windows for a soul to look out of or to be looked into. Those sea green eyes were the most lovely I'd ever seen.
And all that was framed by a thick, almost untamed mane of rich, dark red hair.
Her form was what can only be called lush. Soft in all the right places, with full, firm breasts, narrow waist, widely inviting womanly hips and bottom leading to long beautiful legs.
A woman that any man would die for, or duel over, or forever cherish in the bedchamber.
And her eyes widened as I looked, and contained the self same expression of astonishment and horror that I felt. Because this beauty moved in concert with me, and her beautiful face showed everything I was feeling.
“You are beautiful, Carmilla.” Wisteria whispered as she moved the mass of hair to expose my shell-like ear.
“What have you done?” I managed to gasp out while still enthralled by the red haired vision in that horrible, terrible mirror.
“Answered your prayers.” She told me. “Now you will live. Forever. With me.”
I didn't answer.
I did swoon, or as is said these modern days, fainted.
When I awakened I felt the newly familiar knawing sense of hunger I had learned to become accustomed to during my flight and hiding from the mob.
“I'm hungry.” I got out and was shamed by the need in that simple statement.
“I know you are, love.” Wisteria soothed with hands and voice. “We will find you something to quench that soon.”
“I need to eat now.” I insisted while giving a longing look to the stove and pots hanging around it.
“That kind of food would do you now good now, love.” Wisteria softly told me then looked a bit sad. “In fact it would make you very ill just now.”
“But I need to eat!” I argued.
“No, dearest, you need to drink.” She corrected.
“Yes, food mere humans use is not for us. It is beneath us.”
“Then what?” I almost shouted as the hunger threatened to eat me away from the inside, reducing me to nothing more than a pile of quivering flesh on the pavement.
“Blood, darling, you need warm, rich, salty blood.” She answered with a slow smile.
“Blood? Blood from what?” I questioned as I felt unfamiliar and very sharp teeth descend from my upper gums.
“Of humans, dear.” She shrugged. “We are beyond them, and they feed us without knowing they serve a greater race.”
“I must prey on my own kind?”
“No.” One of her hands gripped my chin in a vise-like grip, and forced me to look into her eyes. “Not your kind, not now, not ever again. They are prey, you are the hunter. It is your right to feed off them. They are weak, they are blind as we are not. We are superior to them in every way. It is our proper due to choose, cull, and feed as we will. They can do nothing to stop us if we are careful in what we do.”
I tried to muster an argument to that, but the emptiness I felt resonated with what she had just said, so I remained silent.
“Come, dear sister.” She smiled and stroked my cheek. “Let us get dressed now. Then we will hunt, and soothe that hunger you feel.”
And I, God help me, did as she said.
Even simple clothing for a woman was far more complex than I had dreamed.
The Pantaloons were more or less like the trousers I'd worn. You pulled them up, seated them around your hips and waist, then tied them so they stayed in place. Only these, unlike a man's trousers, were soft cotton from the New world, and ended high on my thighs, so exposing most of my legs to view.
Then there was the equally soft chemise that covered my upper torso, but not like a shirt. My shoulders were left exposed and the two thin, lace covered straps over my shoulders held the garment in place, though it did feel quite nice against my unfamiliar breasts. It was tied to the pantaloons so actually appeared that both were one piece.
My sex, what lay between my legs, I will not discuss here. It was different, but just as responsive, if not more so, than what I had possessed as Phillipe.
The stockings, silk this time, felt strangely good as I carefully – under Wisteria's direction – unrolled them up my smooth, slender legs. The material caressed my flesh very pleasantly.
She smirked at my expression once those were in place and the lacy garters to hold them up had been tied off.
The corset was not pleasant at all.
“Oh hush.” Wisteria chided when I complained as she tightened the laces at my back. “It isn't that bad, and given that we are going to present ourselves as daughters of a wealthy merchant, it would be expected. Only slovens eschew a corset. You will get used to it.”
I truly doubted that, but decided that the time was not one to argue.
Though the thing did give some needed support to my – breasts. I was still in awe of that, and not at all used to having such womanly things on me, but at least they were more comfortable with the support the corset gave, so complaints about the garment began to seem not only useless, but like the ravings of a silly girl.
Petticoats. Need I describe those? Even in this day and age they are still present.
Then the simple, but figure hugging green dress of a very soft cotton. I was at first appalled at the amount of cleft between my new breasts which was shown by that, but even then realized it was nothing more than women wore every day.
A pair of women's boots, with a small heel, in green dyed leather that simply were pulled on, and my costume was ready.
Wisteria took a brush and worked with my newly almost scarlet mane, and then I was ready. At least physically.
The beautiful young woman in the mirror in her green dress stared back at me with a mix of horror and confusion. I turned to Wisteria and said.” “I don't know what to do, how to act like that image in the mirror.”
“Yes you do, darling.” She assured while standing beside me to show what appeared to be two very pretty girls, one in a green dress the other in a dark blue one. “You were given that when you changed. Just do as your instincts dictate and you will feed until even you are sated.”
Something in me responded to that and suddenly the incredibly beautiful red head in the mirror was no longer a stranger. She was me. And she was very hungry.
“But won't someone notice when we feed?” I questioned then shook my head in negation to that. “No, they wouldn't with all the death and destruction around us.”
“You learn already, little sister.” Wisteria smiled.
Then we went out and I sated my hunger. For more nights than I cared to count.
But the hunger faded, and no one in Paris cared about the dead I had created.
That is when I lost my soul.
Without one protest or struggle.
I was Vampire. Blood was my life.
If mere humans had to die to feed that life?
I lost no rest at all thinking about it.
In fact, I gloried in it.
I found people, okay, men, who had made life hard for me, even in the mob.
They almost melted when I approached them, it was actually amusing.
And I killed them all. Drained them of blood then denied them the rebirth that was possible had I wished to let them have it.
But after a few weeks I was finally sated to the point that I could watch a good looking man and not want to take him immediately.
“You have passed the initial stages of being what we are.” Wisteria told me. “Now you will be able to choose who you favor with your charms without being driven by the lust of hunger.”
“I still want them.” I let out a sigh. My once human sensibilities gone for some time now.
“Of course you do, darling.” She smiled and stroked my cheek. “We will always want them. It is in our nature. But they will want us, too.
“And there little sister,” she told me, “is where our power is. They will want us far more than we want them. You and I can move from one to another, but a human male will not be able to get us out of his mind. We enslave them with a glance.”
I smiled, without the fangs, which showing was a sign of aggression among our kind, and nodded.
“Oh yes, and that is a power I never dreamed of having when I was human.”
Wisteria just smiled and nodded.
Once the chaos of the revolution died down, we moved to the Germanies, where Prussia was busy subjugating the rest of the Germans. Good feeding there.
When that began to settle, we went to Russia, which even with the iron rule of the Tsars, was never a tranquil nation.
When that got old, we moved south into the Balkans.
Then to South America when those colonies were throwing off the rule of their European parents.
Always where there was strife, bloodshed, and confusion. And the feeding was good.
Then to North America during the War between the States, or the War of Northern Aggression, depending on where you grew up.
And there, I found my first. My first child. In the chaos of Gettysburg when Lee went there to find shoes for his soldiers and found a union army waiting.
Oh the feeding was wonderful on that battlefield.
But then I found him. Joseph.
And everything else faded into a background of noise or annoyances that I simply slapped aside.
He was lying in a pool of coagulating blood, disgusting even to me, beside a fence that the battle had rolled over. Most of the blood wasn't his. There were a lot of dead there. But he was alive and fighting to stay that way.
His wish to live, to not let death take him resonated with a Frenchman of minor nobility that I had known, been, long ago.
I moved to stand in front of him then knelt to look at his wounds. Then very slowly, leaned forward to taste the lifeblood that was seeping out of his chest.
“Joseph.” I addressed him once I had tasted of him and sat back up just before I leaned forward to kiss his cooling lips. “Do you want to live?”
Josephina adapted to being a woman quite well. I was amused when I thought about how much I'd tried to struggle when I was introduced to that.
My Joshephina simply accepted what was and gloried in what she was.
My first daughter.
Now I knew what Wisteria felt when she made me.
It was glorious.
For the first time in my life, I had someone I would literally die to protect. And with what I was, even though there there were powers far beyond me in the world, I was for the first time in my long life, content.
I had a child.
Even knowing there would be more, possibly many more, Josephina, or Josephine as she now calls herself will always be the one most special to me.
“Just how is that we are stuck in this backwater?” I stared at Wisteria and waited for an answer. “Well? We can't leave this place and it has to have been something you've done.”
“That is not for you to worry about, my dear Carmilla.” She answered as her eyes flashed at my implied challenge in the question I'd asked. “I will find a way out of this problem as I always have.”
Even in the fashionably tight, restrictive clothing these times expected a woman to wear, my mistress, my maker, was lithely beautiful, and an air of danger surrounded her at the moment. She was ready to lash out at something, someone, and I had just roused her ire.
“Yes, you do.” I sighed then shook my head. She had made other children since my making, but had grown bored with them. Not a good thing where Wisteria is involved. Once bored, she discards her toys. “Just in the event that it it takes you longer than planned, I will work with Josephine to make sure this – place is going to be comfortable for us.”
“Do as you wish, Carmilla.” She waved me away and did offer me a little smirk. “As you always manage to do.”
I had defused her anger again, but then I had learned how to do that through long, sometimes perilous years.
“I will, thank you.” I responded rather primly and gave her a fleeting smile before I left the room.
"The whole town is astir at having three beautiful, young, and wealthy women living among them.” Josephine told me as I joined her on the balcony overlooking the forested hills that Ravencrest nestled, or hid within. “Especially since none of us is 'attached'. I suppose we should make an effort to find a few suitable young men to help us blend in here since we seem to be firmly held into the area.”
“Probably a good thing.” I agreed while touching her smooth cheek with a fingertip. “I have seen a school of sorts here. Possibly an anonymous endowment to make certain it keeps operating will keep a fresh flow of new blood coming into the town so we won't be too bored with our confinement.”
“So leaving the residents alone?” She chuckled and nodded. “Yes that would be good, very good. We can't very well feed on this town for long without someone becoming suspicious. A good school, backed by a lot of money would help us with that little problem.”
“Always the practical one, Josephina.” I laughed lightly, and smiled at her. My children, though I only had one so far, never bored me. And I had no intention of discarding my beautiful Josephina, or Josephine as she now preferred to be called.
“Which bank shall we use this time?” She questioned. All three of us had amassed considerable wealth, but when the original owners were dead, managing to do that was child's play.
“Doesn't matter.” I shrugged. “So long as it is a prestigious one that will impress the locals and keep them from looking too hard into where the 'gift' to their pathetic little school came from.”
“Should I set it up so these 'gifts' continue after the first one?”
“That might be wise.” I nodded thoughtfully.
“I'll take care of it, Mother.” She told me with a little grin.
“Good.” I stroked her cheek as I nodded. “Meanwhile I'll search out a capable administrator to replace the incompetent fool who has that position now.”
“Have fun.” She laughed as she turned to leave the balcony.
“Oh, I'm sure I will.” I purred then just stared out at the miniscule town that might be home for some time to come and felt the soft breeze flutter my dark red hair. “If this place is home now, we would all be smart to start blending in as soon as possible.”
“Josephine, love!” I called out just before she disappeared.
“While you're at it, include the funds to start a – what do they call it these days – a women's organization to house and feed some of the ladies attending our new school.”
“I believe they are called Sororities.” She answered and nodded. “That is good idea, I'll see to that along with the 'gifts' we are blessing this sorry excuse for a school, and town with.”
“Good.” I gave her a wide smile, then turned inward. Planning for our future.
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