Mod 6: Lucy’s story

It would be wonderful if the next chapter in Lucy’s life was her attending the ball, meeting a new and wonderful man, and forgetting all about Count Dracula. Well, it didn’t go exactly that way.

She wasn’t sorry for getting out in public again, dressing up, dancing, and trying to put the pain behind her. It made her feel a little bit like normal life could be possible again. But Lucy realized quickly that getting over her experience with Dracula was going to be a long, slow process. It was so hard to recover her old self:  her laughter felt forced, and the steps of the dances seemed mechanical.

And she couldn’t get the Count off her mind. Half the time she was looking over her shoulder anxiously fearing he would appear, and the other half she spent wondering what he was doing and if he missed her.

I mustn’t be so distracted by what is now in the past, Lucy told herself. There’s a whole house full of people here to talk to, and fine food, and lovely music.  She really tried her best to enjoy the present. Nevertheless, what made it difficult was that she couldn’t truly connect with the people around her. They couldn’t know what she had been through, or the challenges she faced now trying to put her ordeal behind her. Who could possibly understand?

No one could imagine what it was like being in thrall to a vampire. No one could comprehend the power of that dark magic, the way it twisted your soul. People would think her a fool for not breaking free sooner. What kind of idiot would let a devilish creature feed on her own blood, over and over? Lucy knew there was no use expecting anyone to believe what it had been like, much less understand.

She felt lonely in spite of the crowd around her, and in that loneliness decided to step out into the courtyard to take some solitary air. She hadn’t taken ten steps into that shadowy garden before she heard the sound of weeping.

Lucy turned to the sound and saw the figure of a young woman, sitting alone on a stone bench, her face in her hands. The girl’s sorrow mirrored Lucy’s own, and she didn’t hesitate to approach her.

“Miss? Are you quite well?” she asked.

The young woman startled and looked up. Her tear-stained cheeks shone in the moonlight.  “Oh!” she cried, “Forgive me…I…I…”

Lucy sat down by her side. “I’m Lucy,” she said. “Would it help to speak of your troubles? I’m glad to listen if it would.”

“I’m Mary,” said the girl, wiping her eyes. “Thank you for your care, but it’s no use. No one would understand.”

“Well,” said Lucy, “that’s how I feel about my own troubles. But I will try with all my might, if you let me.”

Mary regarded her with wide, pensive eyes for a long moment. Then she said, “I suppose I won’t be worse off if I tell you than I am right now. But if you laugh or call me a fool, I swear my heart will break.”

Lucy promised to do no such thing. And what followed, much to her amazement, was Mary unburdening herself of a story amazingly like Lucy’s own. Mary had just been bitten for the very first time by Count Dracula the previous evening. She was confused and frightened, far more because of her reaction to being bitten than by the bite itself.

Needless to say, the two women lingered a long hour in the courtyard, talking and talking. Lucy unburdened herself of all her trials, and advised Mary in every way she knew how, the way to break the thrall of the Count. When the conversation had run its course, the two women embraced tightly and vowed to speak every day, by letter if not in person, and do whatever needed to be done.

When the ball was over, and Lucy was bound for home in her carriage, she marveled at what the night had brought. Perhaps she would never again be the carefree, innocent person she had been before the Count, but now she saw how perhaps that was actually a good thing. The other happy discovery the ball had brought was that Lucy now knew she wasn’t alone. In fact, she wondered if it might not be true that behind all those happy, laughing faces at the ball, the others bore hardships of their own as well. Maybe not exactly like hers, but hard to bear nonetheless.

It was not a cheerful thought, but as Lucy looked out at the moonlit streets, she felt a certain comfort in it.

It’s a comfort I have now, but back in the days after my separation with my ex-husband, I would have envied this of Lucy. On to my story with Max

Copyright © Lucy Rising