I can now appreciate how famous actors feel when they take their third encore. 😀
After posting the first part of this story, which was initially for a competition of under 500 words, I was delighted when my audience wanted ‘More.’ Part 2 followed to further applause and encouragement so here for your delectation is the finale.
You might want to read the posts on the 11th and 19th September first. 😉
From an innocent if mischievous little girl I became an invalid. Nurse found me trying to climb out of the window and hastily summoned Mama who insisted on calling the Doctor again. Father said it was just nightmares from my recent experience, and that with a little bloodletting I would soon be right as rain.
I made no objection to the leeches, and in fact found them quite succulent when I was able to consume a few whilst no-one was watching. The ache in my teeth had subsided and although I was still confined to bed I began to feel better.
My only problem was in being watched night and day, proper young nurses instead of the decrepit old retainer who blamed herself for my misadventures. I started to get bored and even considered making another trip behind the mirror, but knew it might be difficult to get back to my own world this time, and what present could I possibly get for the Queen?
My governess visited for a few hours a day to instruct me in embroidery and music, but I much preferred when the tutor kept up my education in reading and writing. To pass the time I was allowed many books, but as my Nanny couldn’t read she didn’t realise how unsuitable some of the ones she brought were for a child of my age.
I sneaked them under the covers and one in particular became my favourite. It was a book of ancient myths and legends and even included a depiction of the Count who had carried me back to civilisation.
A few weeks had passed since our last meeting when I woke suddenly in the black of night to see his face at the window. He was gesturing to me to open it and invite him in, but at that moment the nurse appeared and fussed around with the curtains before checking I was asleep.
I quickly shut my eyes so she wouldn’t see I was awake, and after a final quick glance she tiptoed out. Now was my chance. Jumping out of bed I hurried to the window but he had gone. All I could see was a brilliant full moon, and the small dark shapes of several bats hovering in the night sky.
I pushed and tugged to try to open the window but it was firmly locked and the key was missing. After a while the Count appeared again and gestured to me to let him enter. I signalled to show him the problem but was disappointed when with a swirl of his cape he disappeared.
For a few days I was confined to my bed, but at least following further visits from the Doctor I was able to have another taste of my wiggly little friends. The colour returned to my face and life resumed its normal course.
From one of my books I realised that the phases of the moon coincided with the appearance of my saviour. On each occasion I tried to let him in but the window remained securely locked, and bars had even been placed over the lower part of the frame when my monthly explorations of the ledge were noticed.
Time passed and Christmas was now approaching. It had been six months since my meeting with the creatures behind the mirror and the Count who had flown me back to this humdrum life. I wanted freedom, and at last my opportunity arose when I discovered where the solution to obtaining my liberty was hidden. Sneaking into the room containing the mirror, I ran my hands over the surface when once again I could not see my reflection.
As I carefully replaced the clock I discovered the key to the window hidden underneath. From the dust on it I assumed it would not be missed when I carefully put it into the pocket of my pinafore before hastening back to my own room.
That night was a full moon, and no one demurred when I professed to feeling tired and took to my bed early. Around eleven I heard the household settle down for the night, and waited impatiently for the clock to strike the midnight hour.
Clambering onto the window ledge I turned the key and quietly threw the window open wide. I experienced a sense of Déjà vu as I climbed over the barrier to find the Count waiting for me. As he gathered me into his arms I felt the sweet touch of his kiss on my neck.
Together we flew into the darkness beyond to hunt for the life-giving sustenance we both craved.
© Voinks September 2016