Mod 3: Lucy’s story

Standing immobilized under the oak tree, Lucy was in turmoil. Her head seemed filled with swirling thoughts, impossible to untangle. Finally she sat down on the mossy ground between two tree roots, not caring that her skirts were being soiled, nor that the forest would soon be dark.

She found it difficult now to imagine her future…how she would make her way in the world. All she knew was that it was a great and terrible unknown. Lucy’s past was terrible too, but it seemed somehow less terrible because at least it was familiar. Her house, her family and friends, her daily routine, even the fearful nights wondering if the Count would visit her—these memories suddenly had new appeal.

It would be so much easier, thought Lucy.

Then something very strange happened. She had a sudden, vivid memory of the first time she had danced with Count Dracula. She remembered how light she had felt in his powerful arms. And how intense had been his gaze into her eyes! That look seemed like longing, and pleading, and beckoning, all in one. Lucy had known then there was no one like this strange, handsome, compelling man. No one had ever wanted her like that.

What if she were wrong? What if he did love her? Perhaps he had a brutal way of showing it, but it was his nature, wasn’t it? He couldn’t help it, really. Dracula was a lost soul, and if he had trouble showing love, that really wasn’t surprising. His need for her was real, Lucy knew that, and not every woman understood him as she had. Lucy had never felt so important to anyone in her life….

She missed him.

A sudden pang of love and longing filled her breast. The sensation reminded her of how she had felt about him, before everything became so complicated and frightening. Those had been such thrilling, happy days! The day he professed his love—had Lucy ever had a moment so exciting? In fact, as frightening as it had been to belong to him, there had been something wonderful in it too. She was so completely, so utterly his. Her compliance with his wishes had been so total; Lucy was sure the Count would never find another woman to yield to him so completely.

But what if he had, what if one of the other women he visited was just as appealing to him? The pang of love in her heart soured instantly to jealousy. Now that she had left him, of course he would turn instead to another woman. She had betrayed him—of course he would be hurt and seek comfort in another!

Lucy rose to her feet, and turned toward the road back home. On a certain level, she knew that these thoughts were folly, that to go back meant only certain misery. But she was plagued with wondering what Dracula would think when he found her gone. What if his heart was broken? What if he despaired at the loss? Or what if hated her for what she’d done, and this very night would pour out his emotions to someone else, weeping on someone else’s shoulder?

You can’t go back—don’t go back! cried a small voice deep in the back of Lucy’s mind.

But soon it would be dusk, and if she turned around right now and hurried, she could be back before the Count came to her room. If she waited even another half  hour, it would be too late. She had to know, she just had to know….

We’ll find out Lucy’s decision in Mod 4, but for now, my story with Max continues.

Copyright © Lucy Rising