It did not take long for Nerina to hear the whispers. Villages lay to waste. The dead coming back to life. Religious cleansings to fight off the scourge of evil that was running rampant across Europe. Nerina simply followed the trail of fear right to her sire. Soon she started to see the physical trail that left behind.
The village she happened across was nothing but hollowed, burnt out structures. Nerina moved about searching in the rubble. No bodies. Minimal blood. The scent of which was weeks old. The next village—more like a small town— laid burnt to the ground as well, no signs of life. Once again, there was no evidence of the blood bath she had expected. The scent of blood here too was weeks old. People had whispered about the dead coming back to life but Nerina was not seeing any signs of a slaughter. She started to fear the worst.
She moved from one town to the next checking for life. In each place, the people were gone and though she smelt blood, it was always a small amount. In this latest town, the smell was older than the others were. Nerina figured this was either where it started or she was getting closer to where it had begun. Music had her stopping in the middle of the deserted street. It was a faint melody coming from a piano.
The music led her to the city square. Sitting at a grand black piano was a girl. When Nerina listened, there was no heartbeat. She stopped. Cautiously, Nerina made her way over to the girl. In the midst of burnt out buildings and ashes blackening the streets, the girl stood out starkly in white.
Sitting there playing as if nothing was the matter, her fingers moved with grace and years of experience, never hesitating over a single key. Entranced Nerina stood listening. Eyes closed the music flowed from the girl's fingers, through the piano and out in a hypnotic stream. It took Nerina awhile before she snapped out of it.
The girl kept on playing. Nerina's jaw clenched as she noted the similarities between the girl and herself for the first time. They were both about the same age, the same build. Nerina moved around the piano taking in the town and spreading her senses to encompass her close surroundings. At the same time, she kept glancing over at the girl who had not stopped playing. Lost in her own world it was just her and her music, Nerina did not exist. The only differences really between the girl and Nerina were the color of their skins and the color of their hair. She could not see the girl's eyes as she played with her eyes closed. The whole thing was symbolic. Eve had chosen her especially.
Silence fell as the music came to its natural end. Nerina faced the girl who was slowly getting to her feet. Her eyes were a creamy brown where as Nerina's were a weird shade of silvery blue.
"I've been waiting for you."
"Never would have guessed that." The sarcasm was either missed or ignored by the girl who smiled. Nerina kept looking over her shoulders expecting an ambush. There was minimal blood and no bodies here either.
"She's been waiting for you," the girl said as she started to walk away. She stopped, looked over her shoulder. Nerina had not moved from where she was. "Follow me please." The girl did not start to walk again until Nerina moved around the piano. Nerina stopped again and the girl turned to face her completely. "Is something the matter?" Her question was asked with a considering frown.
"I don't make a habit of walking blindly to my death."
The girl laughed delicately, fingers over her mouth. "You are not to be killed. At least— not yet. Follow me. You'll see."
Again, the girl walked off expecting Nerina to do as she said and follow. Nerina did looking about her warily.
"Plans have changed," the girl announced.
"What plans?" Nerina was walking three steps behind her, off to the girl's left.
"For the chest. Eve believes that you do not have it. That you'll never find it."
Nerina could not help but be slightly taken aback by what the girl said. "I see."
"So she went on to the next plan. A new plan."
"Going to tell me what it is?" Nerina was not almost, she was afraid to ask. Eve had such a— colourful imagination.
"Soon you shall see for yourself."
Soon came soon. Nerina could hear the screams now. The shouting. She could smell fresh blood in the air. She had reached the massacre. In her mind, she could see the bodies piled high, the amputated bits strewn about. She braced for the scene she pictured. Nerina blurred past the girl and came to an abrupt halt. She paused for a second as what was really happening started to process. It was not what she had expected. Humans were setting the houses on fire, dragging the occupants out of the houses before they too perished in the flames. More than half the village was on fire most of its occupants already rounded up and a safe distance away.
Nerina was clearly confused as she stood there looking down the slight incline. She had come blazing to fight off vampires, but humans? Not what she had expected at all. Was it a bad thing that there wasn't a mass butchery and she was disappointed?
The girl saw Nerina's confusion. "Not what you had expected." It was a statement, not a question.
Definitely not. The humans were rounding up the villagers grouping them up: men, women, and children. Nerina watched them being shackled and lined up in single file. Eve must have compelled these human to do her bidding. Vampires would not have been able to enter the homes. The most they could have done was light a fire and hope the occupants made it out. There were only two reasons Eve would want these humans live. Either for food or she intended to change them like she had the girl with the piano.
Nerina was about to take a step forward when a woman— child in her arms— took off running. Before she could get far and before Nerina could go to her aid and the aid of the others, a man blurred to her grabbing her around the waist. He dragged her back to the others getting into her face with what Nerina knew would have been a very stern warning.
To punctuate it the man grabbed the child from the woman—a little girl— and held her as leverage. The woman cried pleadingly but she went where she was directed, complying for the sake of her child. The man kept the child under his arm like a piece of luggage that weighed nothing more than the clothes she was in. Frightened, as the rest of them were, the child struggled in vain weeping. Her mother was helpless to do anything about it.
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Nerina [eShort Series]Fantasy
Being stuck forever in the body of a teenager was only one of Nerina's problems. Having a psychopath as her sire was a much bigger issue. She thought she had escaped only to be drawn back into their twisted relationship marked by death. Running away...