Mod 2: Lucy’s Story

After what seemed like an eternity of Dracula’s intermittent feedings and acts of cruelty, one night Lucy lay alone in her bed in misery. She felt like she might not even be able to get up when morning came. She was weary to the bone, and weak from blood loss. Just as painful were her memories of Dracula’s torments. His mocking insults, his heartlessness, his sadistic joy in watching her suffer and mocking her inability to resist him…all these things rendered Lucy hopeless. She gazed out the window of her bedroom at the sky. Exhausted as she was, she couldn’t sleep, and it was nearly dawn.

The darkness of the sky mirrored the darkness of Lucy’s soul, and the silence of the night mirrored her emptiness. For one black moment she considered begging the Count to simply kill her, for death seemed preferable to one more day of her bleak existence.

Then Lucy heard something. Faint at first, like a whisper you strain to hear. She realized it was a lovely sound, and focused her attention upon it, noticing at once the sharp contrast between its beauty and everything else on her mind. Lucy recognized the sound: it was the song of lark in a distant tree.

The beauty was far away…and yet, it was clear and real.

There was a pause, and the lark’s song became louder…it had taken flight and landed in the tree not far from her window. Now Lucy could clearly hear the bird’s lilting voice. Slowly she made herself sit up, so she might be in a position to see.

The sky was beginning to lighten, from black to a rich dark blue. Holding her breath, Lucy stared at the rectangle of the window, her gaze like the grasp of a man dangling from a ledge and trying desperately not to fall. She waited and stared, propped up by her arms, until the sky was brighter. She listened to the lilting chirp of the lark.

Finally the light increased enough that Lucy could see the bird, perched in the branch of the tree outside her window. Lucy felt a smile form on her face, and realized she couldn’t remember the last time she had smiled. “Stay, bird, stay and sing to me!” she whispered. “I can’t fly free like you can, so stay awhile!”

Then the sun began to peek over the horizon. And all at once, with a flutter of wings, the lark took flight and darted away. Lucy expected this would make her heart sink back into despair, but it didn’t. Instead she thought, “Well, the lark will sing elsewhere for awhile. She’s making someone else smile now, perhaps. And who knows, she may come back again and visit me. I hope so.”

She hoped so. Lucy marveled at this thought. She couldn’t recall hoping for anything for a very long while. And wasn’t that why she was in such despair? Why had she decided to stop hoping? Why had she relinquished, along with her heart and her blood, her hope?

“He can’t take away my hope,” said Lucy out loud, sitting up fully in the bed. “Anyone still alive has hope, and choices, and a chance to be happy.”

LucyRising-smShe sat very still and held this thought, rolling it around in her mind like a child rolls a new ball in her hands, looking at it and pondering it. Then, as she was pondering, she felt the warmth of the sun on her cold face.

“He can’t have me,” Lucy said aloud, in a voice that was remarkably strong in her ears. “I’m taking myself back.”

What happened next could have seemed like a miracle, but it didn’t. It seemed to Lucy wholly natural and real and completely believable.

The thrall was broken. She was free of the fiend.

Lucy rose from her bed, filled with strength and new hope—yes, full and genuine hope!—and lifted her face to the morning sun. She was alive. She had a chance for happiness.

Afew hours later, Lucy fled into the woods that bordered her family’s estate, frantically running away from her home. She had nothing but a satchel containing a few necessary items and a little money she had stashed away. No one had seen her leave, not even the servants, and certainly not the Count, who was never about once the sun rose.

She was too weak to move very quickly, and had to pause many times to lean against a tree or sit on a rock and catch her breath. But all Lucy wanted to do was put as much distance as possible between herself and Dracula, and her desire gave her strength. She had no clear destination, but that didn’t matter. Getting far, far away did.

At first Lucy felt such joy to be escaping Dracula that the exertion of the walk barely touched her emotionally. The future seemed full of possibilities that she had abandoned long ago but now believed in again. However, as she progressed further and further into the woods, her light heart began to feel troubled. The sense of freedom gave way to a perception of threat and danger.

Nightfall would come, and Dracula would find her missing…and would be furious. His powers were boundless. He had many other people in his thrall and could recruit them to help him. He would find out where she had gone, he would hunt her down and punish her in some terrible way beyond her worst imaginings.

Lucy pictured his face a mask of rage, and there was nothing more terrifying than Dracula. What was she doing? Why was she taking this mad risk? Was being his source of blood any worse than the excruciating terror she felt now? And what did she plan to do with herself? She had nowhere to go, no one to aid her. She wouldn’t last a week before she went crawling back.

It occurred to Lucy that if she turned around and went home right now, she could get back to her house before nightfall. Dracula need never know of her rebellion. The thought of avoiding his rage and punishment wasn’t comforting, but it did ease her terror. And the terror was almost too much to bear….

Lucy hesitated, stopping her flight a moment to brace herself against a large oak tree. A new thought occurred to her. What if the loss of her actually touched Dracula’s heart? What if her returning to him after this insane flight demonstrated to him how much she loved him? This whole thing might be the occurrence that rekindled the Count’s love. Perhaps he would be overjoyed, take her back with renewed adoration, like it once had been!

Lucy stood, frozen under the tree, torn between continuing on or going back….

There we leave her for now, as we return to my story with Max….

Copyright © Lucy Rising