I’m a Freemason and I have some stories to tell you. - Chap 9
Even when you are getting used to seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing things that should not be of this world, there can always be some situation or occurrence that can shock you to your very bones. This happened some three or so years ago, when we were invited to, of course not in an official capacity, but just as regular people, I guess, to a large dinner that took place place in what looked like an abandoned castle, surrounded by a thick forest, almost looking like a place where you would be lured in and then you could get never get out of.
Well, of course, I was accompanied by the Professor and, curiously enough, we were the only two people invited from our Lodge. I say curiously, because usually the Master is the one that gets the invitation to a certain event, even if it’s not an official one. That made me believe that either the Master was not welcomed there or that he actually attended some similar dinner in the past.
Of course, I was not worried about it, but to be honest I was starting to kind of get bored with these parties and in some way, a bit scared because, you see, the locations in which these banquets usually take place have some sort of an ancient evil halo surrounding them.
The invitation came from a certain Ivan Negru, of which we found out, after thorough investigations, that he was the owner of the castle, although he was rarely there. He was residing in Vienna and Budapest, owning two very beautiful old mansions. So he decided to come up to his castle and do a banquet, a feast, a dinner with certain individuals that shared his passions, whether history or numismatics, antique or paintings collecting. We found out that his biggest hobby was to collect chalices. From my information, he had over 10000 of them, from different times in history, including one that was presumably used by Judas Iscariot.
We arrived there at around 8 PM, but we were forced by circumstances to leave our cars at the base of the castle, and after that we had to climb up 1480 steps just to arrive at the main gate. The castle looked at least 750 years old and, and after we entered in the interior court, we saw some pretty unusual statues looking down on us, the walls were all covered in moss, while the windows were old and creaky, but all the lights were turned on inside the castle.
Soon we were greeted by a man, he said:
“Good evening, sirs, and welcome to Master Ivan’s Red Dragon Castle! My name is Sebastian and I am his servant, his right hand if you will. Master will arrive in a very short time, he had some errands to run down in the city… The rest of the gentlemen have already arrived, so please enter. You can leave your coats here.”
The air suddenly became cold, like the temperature dropped 10 degrees Celsius. The inside of the castle was rather odd, there were portraits hanging on the walls, portraits of what seemed to be people from very important families from a few centuries ago, like those counts, lords, duchesses, princes and princesses, king and queens, gone forever… However, some of them were fully colored and their gaze was normal, but others were looking like they were screaming in terror with their faces distorted and covered in tears.
The main hall was filled with armors that looked like soldiers guarding the place, a large chandelier was hanging from the middle of the ceiling, old maces and swords were displayed on the marbled walls and the dining table already had different chalices waiting to be filled with the best wine varieties. Some of the gentlemen were admiring the paintings, others were inspecting the armors, me and the Professor were waiting eagerly for the dinner to start and to meet the owner of the castle when suddenly…
A window opened and through it came a swarm of bats, like they were flying in tandem, one exactly following the other to an precise location. The bats landed and morphed into a man, a thin man dressed in a black suit that sometimes reflected a dark crimson in the lights of the hall…
“Greetings and welcome, gentlemen! I am Ivan Negru and let me welcome you to my citadel, to my exquisite fortress. Thank you for accepting my invitation and coming here tonight. I will personally greet each and every one of you, but before doing that let me propose a toast. Sebastian, please, fill everyone’s glasses with that ‘45 Musigny Vielles Vignes Magnum. I want to propose this toast for each and everyone of you. Drink up!”
Everyone did so, some more scared than other, me and the Professor were almost shaking and when he came to us, he said…
“I have been waiting to meet you two for quite some time now. The silence of the night whispered me through wolves, owls and the rustle of leaves that there are two historians that have a special mission… I know you and I know what you are trying to do. Young man, come with me, I want to show you something. Come.”
As I stood my ground as to no be scared so much, I went with him in the study upstairs where he started saying:
“So, what is a young man like you looking to find in that organization that you are part of? Or what are you trying to achieve? Be careful what you say, I can sense you heartbeat rising if you lie. Do you know what I am, yes?”
“I… I… I think you’re a creature of the night, the thing that should not be… A vampire.”
“Now, young man, there is no need for rude words like that, I take you are a man of culture, a savant, are you not? Now, take a look over here at this painting, do you know who that is?”
“Listen, Ivan… If you plan to kill me and drink my blood, just do it quickly, please.”
“Silence! Answer the question. Do you know who that is?”
“Yes, that’s… Vlad Dracul, or Vlad Tepes, or Dracula, as most of the world knows him…”
“Correct. He was my great-great-great grandfather, history never knew me, because I destroyed every single evidence, as it was too dangerous for people to know we exist.”
“But… why are you telling me this?”
“There is a war coming, young man. You must be prepared. I am not allowed to take part in it, yet He will let me live forever. He sometimes does mistakes, too. Soon everything will change, and you have been chosen. Now, depending on what you answer to my most important question, I will let you live. Or not. Usually at these feasts, I like playing with my prey and I only let two people live. Will those people be you and your mentor, or will you bones rest eternally under my domain?”
“I will try to the best of my abilities to answer the question you are going to ask me.”
“I like you, young man. Maybe I will not kill you, maybe I’ll just turn you into a…strigoi? I remember one night in Wallachia when they killed a strigoi… I watched from the shadows, I could have killed them all from the shadows right there and then, but I didn’t. Those lands were already cursed by a plague, so their blood was poison. So, tell me, indulge me with one simple answer to this question: Do you wish to have eternal life in the eternal night? Do you desire immortality? To live forever?”
“No!” I said. “To live forever is to suffer, to see everyone you love die, I could not bear that. I just could not do it. And the loneliness… the loneliness will just make eternity seem like a curse. So, please, just kill me quickly now.”
“No… I will not. I was expecting this answer, to be frank with you… You’re the first person who said it like that, your words are like poetry to my ears. You and you mentor are free to go, but hurry. I am starting to get hungry and if I catch you here, I will not be able to control myself. Go, run, little human!”
He then vanished right in front of my eyes… As I was heading to the door, I noticed a rather strange tome standing on top of the fireplace, I quickly went to see what it was… It said just this: “My life as a vampire.” It was as it has been left there specifically for me to take… I quickly grabbed it, and went downstairs where the men were already drunk.
“Professor, we must leave immediately. They will all die.”
“What are you saying, son?”
“Quickly! There is no time. We must leave now.”
We started running and as soon as we began our descent down the 1480 steps, the screams started from inside the castle… Agony, desperation, the quick taking of a human life by a monster. A bloodbath, the living dead living through death.
A war is coming? What war?
Should I open this book, this journal that I found? Should I start transcribing it here?
A war is coming.