The standard, I do not own Angelus, Darla, Drucilla, William, or for that matter any historical figures. However, much I intend to vilify the villains, they belong to ME. Any mistakes are my own, except, I'd like to pretend that I intended them.
Men whispered as she walked and she smiled cool moonlight shattering on the pale marble fountain.
As she walked, dark gold silk slid against patterned black velvet. Slashed sleeves and a full lace ruff, peacock high and starched to hide her iron collar. Panniers and folds. Whale boned corset and petticoats. Weight. Beautiful weight. Her dress whispered centuries as she walked down the rectory hall.
So, very, very heavy. She did not feel it. It was a feather. So much nothing weight that rustled as she walked down the open corridor by his Eminence's moonlit garden.
A nightingale was singing or maybe it was a child crying.
Men in red cassocks passed her fluttering. Their red silk clung to the velvet of her skirt as they walked past and then brushed free. She smiled cold and she was so very pale flickering with her white skin and yellow hair gathered high on her head.
She walked and the men whispered, “Whore.” “Demon.” “Mistress” “Darla.” “Beloved.”
She walked deliberate and slow until she reached her destination. A painted room at the end of the long hall, his Eminence’s Accounting Room. She opened the heavy door, passing a wrought iron cross without flinching. She had been this way before.
Her cardinal waited. Well, in truth, she was his vampire, rather than he her cardinal virtue. The best gift that his mother could buy.
Cardinal Henri was ten years old, the sweet apple of his mother’s bitter eye and was currently spinning like a top while wearing Darla’s new red dress, minus forty pounds of undergarments. The clerks were clapping and laughing as he spun.
Far below her moonlit surface, in the seething dark, Darla sighed.
The sputtering torches threw shadow monsters on the walls. William the Bloody had crept over the bailey wall and in. He was wearing his demon’s face, but it was shadowed by the falling rain thundering down to the stones. Flashing white as he snapped a man’s neck by firelight.
His armor gleamed in the rips of light. An engraved iron collar round his neck, long twisting spikes on his shoulders and arms. He smashed a metal boot into an armsman’s face.
William was laughing. William was fighting. The bailey swarmed with men, pushing to reach him. Trying to kill him. William was having fun.
He roared and the sky answered with glittering hail. A sweep of his sword and demon muscles cut through armor and flesh. Bones and blood glinted in the snatches of light.
Men shouted over the thunder. Men died in the ice and William laughed.
The black stones were slick with blood and rain. The sky was falling.
At last, the fight was over and Bloody William stood alone in the dark space between the inner and outer castle walls. He tilted his head, contemplated his dead, fingered his collar and smiled.
He slowly walked over to the gatehouse and let his coward in the gate.
Men in shiny undented armor rushed in, but there is no one left to fight. Bloody William has killed them all. From the Master to the scullery. He’d even taken the time to piss in the food stores.
Margrave Sigismund stood in the bailey of his new castle, surrounded by the dead and the worthless. William was laughing.
Sigismund hit William across the face and William fell laughing. Sigismund said, “Idiot, you were supposed to take prisoners. I can’t ransom dead bodies.”
William lay on the ground, licked the blood on his lips and smiled.
The sun was rising grim and struggling grey over the needle thin lake. Drifts of snow puffed powder in answer.
Not that it mattered. The gray granite tower had no windows or doors. Only walls and stones and still.
Drucilla was sitting on the floor of the tower’s main hall, pulling petals from wild flowers.
She crushed rosemary for remembrance and sniffed her fingers. She shred pansies for thoughts and watched their pattern as they fell. She idly chewed on fennel and columbine for rue. She poked the eyes from daisies.
She’d have ruminated on violets, but they have all withered and gone.
She sat on the stony floor and pulled petals. She crouched in trailing rotting velvet skirts from a hundred years gone like a beautiful lady without mercy. She crouched like a dog with a collar at her master’s heel.
The good Dr. Dee sat at his table writing in a leather-bound book. Occasionally, he reached down with his wide hand. Wrapped spider fingers over her black hair and hidden skull and he saw.
Let others use water or glass or crystals, in Drucilla, the good Doctor could see as well as any would wish.
Drucilla sat and shredded flowers out of season and Dr. Dee saw with his dark eyes and troubled, he wrote.
Queen Mary was in her royal bed. She was certain that she was pregnant. Pain rippled through her stomach. She lay on her bed with her legs pulled up and thought good germinating thoughts. She prayed endless prayers in her fresh done chapel with its new gold cross and candles and confessional. She stared endless hours at herself in the obsidian mirror that was a gift from her new husband. In its shadowy reflection, she felt almost pretty and young and in love. She knew that she was like the Virgin Mary and that Phillip was her Joseph and that she was going to have a very special baby. Just wait.
Phillip was at his desk writing the rules to run the empire on which the sun never set.
But here the sun was shining pale. These rooms were where Angelus was at his Majesty’s work.
Angelus was below. Beneath the office. Beneath the cellar. Down deep where the floor was covered in rushes to catch the blood. Where tarred torches burned bright and red and yellow all year round.
The air was hot and damp. Angelus could smell the river nearby.
He had all the things a vampire could want. He had the nicest clothes. Angelus was wearing a black velvet doublet with white silk slashes on the sleeves. He was wearing an iron collar to make him play another man’s games.
He had the nicest toys. In front of him, there was a thin man stretched on a rack. Angelus stood next to him contemplating. Another turn of the wheel or perhaps one of the sharp edged toys on the tray. If he choose a toy, something simple or something complex. But they weren’t really his toys.
Angelus waited. There were spots of red glistening on the white silk.
The man whispered. Angelus did not care, but the scribe in the corner of the room scribbled every word. The scribe wrote so fast that he broke nibs on pens. He didn’t pause. He tossed pens aside and grabbed others from a pile of fresh pens on a tray.
Two trays and three men and whispering in the red light.
Angelus had all the things a vampire could want, except…Angelus was bored. Angelus doodled a red madonna on the wall with the thin man’s blood. Angelus waited for the man to run out things to say.
A pregnant moon smiled down from a clear black sky. Elizabeth smiled back.
She sat on a long low crypt next to St. Stephen’s, kicked her sandaled heels and waited for Dickon of Norfork to wake up. She adjusted the folds of her “classique” styled dress and her crescent moon French hood. It was bit chilly to be dressed as a Greek goddess, but that was a sacrifice that she was willing to make. She’d slain many vampires in this dress. Plus, its pearl bodice showed off her trim waist.
Eventually, a filthy hand clawed its way from the earth, followed by Dickon himself.
Elizabeth said, “Don’t you know that you should never keep a lady waiting.” Dickon lunged at her. She slid fluidly to one side and kicked him in the arse. Dickon stumbled and turned around.
“Tell me,” she said, “Does this stake go with my outfit?” She danced forward and snapped a sharp kick to Dickon’s head. She said, “Don’t let the fact that I am about to kill you in any way interfere with your answer.”
“God’s bollocks,” said Dickon, who turned on his dirty heel and fled.
Her Majesty, Elizabeth, Queen of the kingdoms of York and Scotland, the Slayer Queen, smiled. She felt generations thrumming in her blood. Pulling her to the course. There was nothing like a good hunt by moonlight.
She ran across the tiny graveyard and quickly cornered Dickon by the old rectory. “Since you do not like the stake, we’ll have to try something else.” Elizabeth tossed the jeweled stake at Dickon’s head. As he flinched, she pulled out the French rapier that she wore baldric style on her back. It had sentimental value.
It was also very sharp. Feint, kick, lunge, and there was drifting dust in the moonlight. Elizabeth handed the rapier to a waiting armsman. “God’s Teeth, I’m hungry. Don’t be stand off-ish girl, hand me some chicken.” A lady in waiting handed Elizabeth a chicken leg and a lace trimmed napkin. Elizabeth ate and waved at the crowds standing by the church gates.
“God bless and keep you, your Majesty,” called out one old woman.
“As I have a Slayer’s body and heart,” said Elizabeth, “His blessings on us all.” Elizabeth tossed her chicken bone over the fence and into the crowd. There was a quick scramble for possession of this hungry relic.
She glanced sidelong out night dark eyes. “Oh, don’t hang back, Cecil, like a lurker, what it is?”
William Cecil stepped out from behind a particularly catholic angel, “Your Majesty knows that I would never interfere in your sacred duties as the Slayer.”
“Piffle. You’re a Watcher. Interference is your bread and butter. So, what? Was my style not like to Diana at the hunt? Was my justice not swift enough?”
Sir Cecil smiled, “The safety of your kingdom lies between your two shoulders and in your heart. All the portents point to some rising darkness. You threw aside your weapon in order to make for better play.”
“Yes, but my Lord of Watching Council,” Elizabeth leaned forward, “The play’s the thing,” and she waved once more at the crowd, who had waited for hours to have a good spot to watch their Queen slay a vampire.
Elizabeth waved and the crowd cheered. Elizabeth blew them a kiss and they cheered all the more. Elizabeth glanced at Cecil and gave him the wink and he found that for all that he tried to think dark thoughts of dark prophecies, he was smiling.
Planning for the next apocalypse could wait till tomorrow.
Index | Chapter 1