IN THIS EPISODE: …Victoria settles accounts with an old friend & meets her destiny…
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CHAPTER 35 – Ritual of Blood
Victoria Duprix – The Chamber of Horrors
First Night of the Full Moon
Lily Carlson dangled from the ceiling of Dr. Cushing’s Chamber of Horrors. She hung head downward, naked, over Countess Bathory’s infamous tub, with her ankles bound tightly and her hands tied behind her back.
She looks quite lovely, Victoria thought, almost like the pale chrysalis of a caterpillar, all trussed up and ready to transform into something better.
Something better for me!
Lily swayed and twisted slightly as her eyelids fluttered open.
Countess Erzsebet Bathory stalked to the front of her mirror, which Victoria had stood next to the tub.
“The moon is risssing!” Erzsebet said. “Do it, my aprentisssce! Do it NOW!”
“Without taking a moment to luxuriate in my triumph?” Victoria scoffed. “Oh, no. I want to enjoy every glorious second of this.”
“Where am I?” Lily asked, looking around, confused. “What’s going on?”
“Do it!” Erzsebet urged. “Join ussss!”
Lily’s blue eyes widened with fear. “Victoria? What are you doing?”
Victoria smiled sweetly. “I’m giving you what you deserve, Dear Lily.”
The captive woman struggled against her bonds, which only made her sway and spin more. “No. Please. Let me go. This is some kind of mistake!”
“Mistake?” Victoria scoffed. “No, my dear, the mistake was you sleeping with my husband. The mistake was thinking that you could get away with it, that you wouldn’t have to pay.”
Lily looked around, like a rat caught in a trap, seeking assistance from anywhere. But no one else was in the room save the specter in the dark mirror.
“But… It wasn’t anything serious,” Lily explained. “The affair was just for fun. Just for a little while. You’ve had dalliances of your own, after all…”
“And you think my adulteries excuse your own—with my husband?! You… my ‘best friend.’” Victoria said this last with all the venom she could muster.
Sweat dripped down Lily’s naked body, now. “Victoria, we are friends. We still are. This is nothing—just a little mistake.” Her eyes locked on the knife in Victoria’s hand now, on the wicked gleam on its thin blade. “I-I realize you’re upset but, please, let’s not do anything drastic.”
Victoria smiled at her. “No, no, Dear Lily… Let’s do something ‘drastic.’ Let’s!”
“Victoria, I swear… I’ll scream.” She took a deep breath.
With one swift move, Victoria drew the knife across the nude woman’s throat.
Lily’s scream came out as only a choked gurgle and bubbles of blood.
Victoria stuck the stiletto into her former friend’s neck and twisted it, just for good measure.
Lily’s blue eyes widened in horror and fear.
And then the light behind those eyes went out—for good—and her blood drained from the wound in her neck into Erzsebet Bathory’s bathtub.
“Perfect!” Erzsebet cooed. “Now, get in! Get in!”
Victoria quickly disrobed and climbed into the tub. The blood felt warm and wonderful on her bare skin.
The dead woman dangled above her, slowly spinning, the last of her lifeblood draining out into the tub below.
Victoria caught some of the remaining trickle in her hands and rubbed it over her face, and then her breasts.
She scooped up more from the tub and lathered the rest of her body with it. It felt good… so good!
I should have killed her ages ago, Victoria thought.
“Drink now!” Erzsebet urged. “Drink!”
Victoria did, bringing a double handful of the gore to her lips and greedily slurping it. Then she tilted her head back and let the last of her late friend’s blood drip down from the slaughtered corpse and spatter upon her face.
She opened her mouth, and the final drop fell directly onto her tongue.
She licked her lips.
Victoria’s whole body was tingling now.
She rose, standing drenched in blood, feeling as though every part of her had been set ablaze—but it was a cold fire; it didn’t hurt at all. In fact, it felt wonderful!
“Is this it?” she asked. “Is it happening?”
“Yesss, my aprentisssce. Now, we are becoming… one!”
Victoria looked at her nude, blood-stained body in the mirror. It was almost as though she were dressed in crimson silks. She moved slowly, touching herself all over, enjoying the electric thrill of her transformation.
She savored the taste of the blood in her mouth, and her delighted tongue felt her eye teeth grow long and sharp.
Why did I wait so long for this? Victoria thought, rejuvenated, slender figure trembling with pleasure. She felt younger, more vital, now than she had in ages. All it took was a simple murder!
Countess Erzsebet Bathory stood behind her in the glass, admiring, smile showing gleaming white fangs. She seemed to be embracing Victoria.
And then, as Victoria watched, her own gore-draped figure faded from view until she vanished entirely, and only Erzsebet remained in the dark mirror.
“W-what’s happening?” Victoria asked. She looked down at her hands, suddenly smooth and white—youthful, with not a trace of blood on them—and at the daring red silks that now clad the rest of her body. She could see herself, and the diaphanous clothing, apparently woven out of her former friend’s lifeblood… but not in the mirror.
In the mirror, not a trace of Victoria Duprix remained.
“Now you are one of usss,” Erzsebet said proudly. “Now, you are a vampire!”
“A vampire…” Victoria echoed softly, her voice almost a purr. “Immortal!”
“Yesss! Now only God isss your enemy! Only He hasss the power to dessstroy you!”
“He’s not my only enemy,” Victoria replied. “There are a few more that I can think of—one or two, at least.” She imagined plunging her new-grown fangs into the neck of her unfaithful husband, and the pleasure doing so would bring.
Too bad she hadn’t been able to bite Lily as well. (But then, sacrifices had to be made.)
“So, you’re telling me that nothing on this earth can hurt me?” She could imagine a thousand ways to kill Vincent—and Paul and those simpering girls, too, now that she thought of it. Perhaps she would try them all!
“Not… pressscisssely,” Erzsebet replied coyly. “We can be ssslain by others of our own, or sssimilar kind… or harmed by the devisssces and cleveressst minionsss of the Mossst High—but sssuch beingsss remain few and far between.” The vampire Countess in the mirror smiled with satisfaction. “Among ordinary men… You are invinssscible!”
Victoria stretched out her arms to either side, feeling the power of the undead flow through her reborn body. Her crimson gown clung to her slender figure and fluttered around her arms like silken bat wings.
“Then it’s time to settle accounts with my worthless husband!”
TO BE CONTINUED…!
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