Mod 4: Lucy’s story


I have to go, I have to see him, Lucy said to herself, and started back down the path toward her home, and Count Dracula.

As she hurried through the forest in the failing light, Lucy couldn’t say she was confident in her decision. There was still the nagging feeling that she had made a huge mistake. But at the same time, there was great relief in knowing there was still some possibility to make things right with the Count. As she rushed along, Lucy focused on this hope.

She imagined herself in her bed that night, with Dracula coming to her bedside. She imagined telling him that she had run away, but then realized that it was wrong and she still wanted to be with him. He would see this as a new commitment, and be happy that she had done this. Dracula would see how she loved him, how she didn’t mind the sacrifices, and he would be touched. Lucy pictured herself explaining to him her wish that he not drink so much of her blood, so she could be stronger and therefore more able to tend to his emotional needs. He would see—he would understand—it could be better, much better!

It was late when Lucy let herself into her house. Her parents were away. The servants, even the butler, had retired.  She made herself a cold supper and ate alone in the dining room, and although she was ravenous, the food had no flavor. She was too worried, too anxious. What if the Count didn’t come to her tonight?

When the clock chimed eleven, Lucy lit a lamp and ascended the stairs to go to her bedchamber. After the first few steps, she heard the sound of a carriage rolling up the drive. She ran back down the stairs, to the foyer, both hoping and fearing that it was Dracula.

Something—maybe it was that fear—made her extinguish the lantern and hide herself in a side hall to wait. The Count was a guest at residence in the house, but had not been given a key; if it were Dracula and not her returning parents, he would be ringing the door chime any moment. At the sound of the chime, the butler would rise to answer.

It was a warm night, and the windows were open. Lucy didn’t have to wait for the butler to learn who had come calling…she heard Dracula’s voice speaking low as his sure strides crunched across the gravel walk.

And then she heard a laugh.  A woman’s laugh.

The Count responded with a faint chuckle, and then a whisper.

Lucy felt like her stomach had plummeted right out of her body, leaving her empty and black inside.

She withdrew further into the hall, her back flat against the wall. She realized she was about to start sobbing and put her free hand over her own mouth to keep still. She listened as eventually the butler answered the door, and admitted Dracula and his guest. She barely heard the Count’s explanation for his companion and her need for lodging for the night. But she did hear him ask that the room next to his in the guest wing be made up for her.

It seemed an eternity while the pair waited in the anteroom off the foyer, talking and laughing together. With much dismay, Lucy recognized the voice of the Count’s new lady.  She was named Elizabeth and lived in Whitby; Lucy had seen her many times in town. When at last the room was prepared and Dracula escorted his guest up the stairs, Lucy was left alone in the dark and could breathe again.

Much to her surprise, she no longer felt like sobbing. The shock of what had just happened had blasted away her false hopes and foolish imaginings. Once again she remembered what Dracula was, how he had deceived and used her, and how he had never, not even at the beginning, truly had feelings for her.

Lucy saw that he was a monster who could never have such feelings. Now the tears began to flow.

It was too late at night for her to flee again. She would have to hide herself in the house somewhere and wait until morning. She did not light the lamp again, but made her way by feel to the nursery, where her childhood bed was. Lucy uncovered it from the dust cloth that protected it and curled up on the small mattress and wept.

But these were not tears of sorrow. They were tears of rage. Lucy felt a complete fool and she was tired of turning that feeling upon herself. If she had been a fool it was because of what he did to her. He had worked his wiles on her entire mind and soul and made her his prisoner, so she couldn’t even think for herself anymore. And then, when she was in thrall, he had used and tortured her!

I am not well, she thought. I will not be well for awhile yet. But I won’t let my weakness get the best of me again.

Lucy’s daydreams of blissful reconciliation were dead. She had a new fantasy now: one in which she took a sharp, sturdy wooden stake and plunged it into the evil creature’s heart, and laughed at him while he perished in pain.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had similar feelings to Lucy’s. Read on to my story with Max

Copyright © Lucy Rising