This weekend I’m heading off to Romania for some vampire hunting. To celebrate my humanity, while I still can, I’m making my fantasy novella about the vampire Hrana free for the next five days (22-26 May, 2013). Here’s an excerpt…When at last I woke I was weak with hunger and had an itching, claustrophobic sensation of being trapped in my own skin – which I was. I found myself tearing my clothes off my body, tearing away dry skin to reveal my new beautiful, white skin and reptilian scales – I admit I was a little startled and wondered how else I had changed. My hair came away as well, leaving me bald; that really bothered me for I had always loved my hair.
The hunger reasserted itself and I stepped out naked into the daylight. It took me a few moments to comprehend what was wrong with what I was looking at. The mountains around me were still capped with snow but thankfully the cloud-cover, which had been unrelenting during the climb up to my lofty cave, had lifted. The air was crisp and crystal clear as I had never before experienced and the spectacular scene laid bare before me took my breath away. The plains far below displayed the first signs of spring. The fields had shrugged off their shroud of snow and the lakes were free of ice, their waves glistening in the archlight. And that was what was wrong: it was not the sun lighting the countryside, it was the arch! Previously just a pale band of light across the heavens to alleviate the dread blackness of night, the arch blazed now with a fury to match the sun itself.
Standing there, up in the heights, I realized something: this world of ours, it is the inside of a ring, a ring so vast it beggars the imagination. I could never have believed it without seeing it; in two thousand years I have explored scarcely any of OhLo, and I have been very active, very inquisitive. With my eyes I followed the course of the River Ob as it flowed west to Marob, a shimmering jewel in the bright night. Beyond the city, the ocean stretched on seemingly interminably; flickering storms danced tempestuously across its surface. I climbed effortlessly to the mountain summit so that I could see all of OhLo – the western horizon curving up into the painfully brilliant arch and down again to become the eastern horizon.
Just imagine! I could see the entire world – I felt like a goddess, I felt free, I felt powerful; the world was mine, and I was hungry!
But then I realized something else and my new-found confidence quailed within me: the glare of the arch above me – it was reflected sunlight; if it was so bright to me from so far away, what would the sun itself be like?
I hear Romania is a beautiful country with lots of old landmarks. Will you post any pics of your tour?
I’ve been to Bucharest once before, which was interesting. The film of Blood and Chocolate shows the city off quite nicely. But I haven’t been to Transylvania and I’m looking forward to seeing the castles… I’ll be taking my camera 🙂