Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Perfect Silence of the Night - Episode 3

This is Episode 3 of the story of the vampires Vipunin and Cuchulain as they haunt the forests of Tuscany. Read the previous episodes in the two earlier posts.

Midnight was approaching.
The ground fog sparkled silver in the moonlight.
The moonlight was so bright that the clearing had colour – soft green grasses and graceful heads of sleeping flowers. 
Sibon and Ciassia were enjoying their feast. The cheese and bread were finished, leaving just one bottle of wine to be shared.
Sibon held the squat bottle in its straw basket while he slid the blade of his knife along the bottle’s neck and slowly eased the cork free. He tossed the cork aside and inhaled the fruity freshness of the wine.
‘Ah Ciassia, chianti! The smell is divine! Here, my love. Taste.’
They clinked their cups together.
After his first sip, Sibon said, ‘This bottle is to be our nuptial wine. It comes from my father’s ch√Ęteau.'
'How does it differ from the wine we bottle, Sibon?'
 'We have the same grape on our vineyard, and our slopes are in a sunnier position, but my father’s cellars are much larger and older. His grapes are grown on wild trees, not the tended vineyard which he laughingly calls a ‘new fashion.’ Yet there is no doubt his wine tastes truer.’
Ciassia lifted the goblet and saw that the wine was burgundy-dark, semi-opaque. She let the liquid swish around her mouth. She tasted fruit and freshness. She closed her eyes and she could imagine the suns of many summers warming the grapes on the Tuscan hillsides.
‘This wine is glorious, Sibon. It is a fitting toast to our marriage.’

Sibon sipped his wine, thinking how wondrous it was to have his new wife to himself for a change, even if it meant escaping in the middle of the night like some creature of darkness.

The lovers relaxed, letting the wine mellow their mood. Sibon touched Ciassia’s shoulder and she leaned into him, sighing with happiness. They were quiet for a time, enjoying the perfect silence of the night.

‘Hmm, this wine is so good, Sibon. If your vin bourru from this harvest does so well, your reputation will spread beyond the Tuscan hills. Your chianti will find itself on the best tables in Rome.’

‘That is a fine idea, my love, but I will have to better the Bishops, abbots, monks and priests who’ve all decided to plant a vineyard .’ He leaned back against the basket and chuckled.

He enjoyed the sight of the soft grasses edging the green forest, the play of light on the leaves.

It was after midnight. Sibon refilled their cups then lay the empty bottle aside. He looked into the sky. High cloud formed a film across the horizon, showing the full moon haloed in rose against the cobalt-blue sky. The scene was perfection, so perfect that he felt a frisson of fear.
He crossed himself.

He looked to the woman lying relaxed by his side, sipping her wine.

He should feel happy, full of joy at the end of the harvest. What a harvest it’d been! A satisfied smile played on his face. Relax. Ah, life was good.

The air became strangely cool. He had just reached for a wrap to place over his wife when a voice called from the edge of the forest. He jumped to his feet, on guard, knife in hand. Ciassia rolled aside, yelping in pain and fright.


The voice rasped through the night mists as if darkened by damp. To Sibon the voice sounded like it came from a deep well of pain. Ciassia looked around in fright.
Shadowy figures leapt through the darkness, flying over the soft grasses.
Sibon saw two of them, creatures of the night, and knew fear.
Black clouds had rolled over the moon and the stars were smothered.
The vampire, Vipunin, a menacing figure with his black flowing hair and cloak billowing behind, loomed over the humans. Cuchulain, his brother, glided above the misty grasses, head thrown back, ready to strike.
Sibon clutched Ciassia to his breast. She moaned in fear, hiding her face in her husband’s chest.
Sibon looked from face to face of the night creatures. He knew of these monsters, had heard the stories of the immortals, but he was not did you fight these beasts?
His fingers spasmed over his knife handle. He knew he only had one chance to save Ciassia. He knew which evil being was the greatest threat. He knew which one had called his beloved’s name…
Vipunin's black eyes began to rim with red...



Steve Green said...

Du pain, du vin, du Boursin, du Vampyra, D'amour......

A very toothsome third sip from the chalice L'aussie. :)

L'Aussie said...

Steve, thanks, more of du pain to come!

Donna Hole said...

Really amping up the the tension here. Threw me a little with the same name - Ciassia - but I figure it will work into the overall story.

I'm willing to settle in and wait for the reasoning. I'm hooked.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

I have been in midnight glades with moonlight that bright. It was in New Orleans right after Katrina, a true horror story.

You really drew us in, L'Aussie. I'm pulling for Sibon. But against two vampires? Where's my Sam McCord when you need him?

Speaking of which, Erin Cole picked a short flash fiction of mine for her 13 DAYS OF HORROR series at her blog, LISTEN TO THE VOICES. Come check it out if you have the time

Thanks for all your kind comments on my blog. They mean a lot to me. Roland

L'Aussie said...

You're welcome Roland. I love your stories. Unfortunately horror really happened in New Orleans Roland. I'll go and read you on Erin Cole's blog. I saw it on your blog today.

Hope you are well. Sibon huh? Hmm..:)

Laura Eno said...

Perfect place to end the segment, at the height of terror!

Karen said...

Love it - I'm so into Vampires at the moment!

L'Aussie said...

Laura, yes it's always tricky to find a cliffhanger..:)

Karen, glad you like it..:)

Lydia Kang said...

I can really see those black eyes now. Wonderful excerpt!

L'Aussie said...

Thanks Lydia!

Theres just life said...

Okay I'm hooked as well. The cliff hanger is great. So how long do I have to wait for the next one. Tell me what happens next I promise I wont tell....

L'Aussie said...

Hey hey PJ how can I when I don't know myself? Lots of people are giving me ideas but I have some written. Maybe next Friday for #fridayflash?? Be here and be afraid..:)

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

You definitely amped up the tension in this chapter. The ending was perfect, it will be impossible not to read next week's chapter to see what happens next.

L'Aussie said...

Thank you Rachel. I'd better make the time to finish this baby!