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A High Sweet Song
I’m going back to my writing roots with this story. It’s been a long time since I wrote a Gothic weird tale/terror story and I didn’t think I would ever write another. However, the idea for this one jumped into my head from nowhere and it just begged to be written. So for what it’s worth, here it is and I hope you like it (although it may not be suitable for readers of a nervous disposition).
A High Sweet Song is a love story of sorts—there is sex but it’s secondary to the plot.
Characters in sex scenes are eighteen years old or over. All characters and places are imaginary—any resemblance to persons dead or Undead is coincidental.
Copyright © 2020 to the author
The ancient, brooding, dark-stoned castle grew from the high crag as if it was a part of the mountain and the young woman stared up at it in fascination, wondering if there was any truth in the legends and if so could she somehow exploit them…
* * * * *
Elena Havlec jammed the heavy wooden plank under the handle of the barn door and glanced up at the small, high windows to ensure that the strings of garlic remained in place. Superstition? She couldn’t be sure but observing tradition did no harm. Satisfied, she turned to Marla, her friend and foster-sister. “Good, we’re safe for another night.” Taking Marla’s work-roughened hand in hers, she led the way to the ladder ascending to the hay-loft where they habitually slept. On reaching the loft they hauled the ladder up behind them.
They were safe up there. The farm’s owner, Elena’s distant cousin Traian and his son Aurel, were constantly leering at the two young women and making suggestive remarks. This had been going on since Elena and Marla had turned thirteen or fourteen. Elena had complained to Father Nicolai about this and the priest had warned the two men off. Now the girls had turned nineteen, the farmers were constantly watching them. Traian was the more careful—his wife Ioana was notorious for her savage temper and her tendency to lash out with any weapon that came to hand. Traian had been seen more than once with a bandage around his head. But Aurel would openly ogle the girls as they worked, licking blubbery lips and tugging incessantly at his crotch, sometimes grunting like a rutting boar. Even Ioana’s shrieks and frequent blows had little effect on her son who was considered to be the slowest-witted lad for many kilometres around.
But even had the men been as handsome as those in the folk-tales instead of the ugly and uncouth oafs they were, Elena and Marla had no use for them. They had each other and that sufficed.
Neither man was aware that Elena had acquired a large, keenly-edged hunting-knife that she kept hidden beneath her smock. Deep inside Elena was a hard ruthlessness she concealed from all and she was prepared to use the weapon on her cousins if necessary. Marla had asked where her friend had obtained the knife. “I took a few things from Ovidiu’s hut,” she admitted. Ovidiu had been a local huntsman who had died recently at the tusks of a wild boar. He had been friendly to Elena, at times treating her almost like a daughter (or perhaps a near-son for Elena was something of a tomboy and keen to learn many of Ovidiu’s skills). Her ability to provide plentiful game for the pot was one reason for Ioana to treat the girls better than she treated any other worker on the farm. Elena had also cultivated the friendship of the elderly blacksmith and persuaded him to teach her how to fashion things from iron.
Another attraction of the hay-loft for the two was its comparative cleanness. From spring through autumn Elena and Marla bathed daily in the fast-flowing stream that fell from the mountains and ran through the land near to the farm. Even in winter they would wash in the icy water as long as the snow was not too deep. No-one else on the farm bothered to wash other than rinse their hands before eating as prescribed by the church. As a result, the stench of unclean bodies in the fug of the farmhouse was nigh unbearable. The hay-loft smelled sweet despite the small number of cattle in an enclosure at the far end of the barn and in winter it was warm and cosy.
As they settled among the soft hay, Elena said: “I have kept it from you until now but tomorrow we leave this place, hopefully for good.”
“But we have nowhere to go,” Marla replied.
“Trust me,” Elena said, putting an arm around her friend to hug her tightly, “If I am right, we will be going to a place and life far better than this.”
Marla snuggled in closely. She threw a leg over the other and undulated her hips to rub her pubes against Elena’s thigh whispering: “Will you make me feel nice please?” Elena had been anticipating the request; except for the times of their menses, the two girls pleasured one another perabet almost every night before sleeping.
Elena smiled and bent her head to kiss Marla on the lips. As she did so, she loosened the strings at the neck of Marla’s smock and reached inside the garment to cup a breast. The nipple was already hard as it pressed into Elena’s palm. She sat up swiftly and pulled her own homespun over her head, leaving her quite naked. She helped Marla to do the same, delighting as always at the sight of the girl’s hair-covered mound and the silky dark tufts peeking from under her arms. Again Elena cupped and caressed one breast while taking the nipple of the other into her mouth to suckle. From tomorrow, if all goes well, she thought, our love will be a thing to last forever.
Marla’s hand clutched at Elena’s head as if to pull her closer and Elena nuzzled between the girl’s breasts. For all their cleanliness, when aroused Marla’s body gave off a strong natural fragrance which never failed to excite and captivate Elena. She reached between Marla’s legs to probe among the thick nest of hair and stroke the cleft which was already wet and slippery. Elena inserted two fingers into Marla’s tight passage for a moment then brought them up to her nose and mouth to sniff before sucking off the musky nectar.
“Please, I want some,” said Marla.
Elena slipped fingers into her own parts then offered them to Marla who licked them clean very slowly as if enjoying a sweetmeat at a great boyar’s table. Elena reached down to Marla’s legs once more, rubbing with the palm of her hand until the girl’s pubic hairs were soaking. She positioned herself between Marla’s legs and eased the lips back gently. There it was, the little nub which could give so much pleasure when caressed by a gentle finger or eager tongue. Elena began to suck and nibble at the tiny pearl until Marla was writhing under her, making tiny whimpering noises. Once the girl had first climaxed with a soft cry, Elena gently turned her so that she was on all fours, bottom and saturated genitals presented for further attention. Planting wet kisses over each shapely buttock Elena penetrated Marla from behind with crossed fingers, natural suction causing the thrilling wet noises that she loved so well. She plunged her fingers back and forth until the other young woman squealed and climaxed a second time.
A panting Marla quickly righted herself and plunged her mouth into Elena’s vulva, licking frenziedly as she penetrated the outer lips. Elena was already highly excited and within moments cried out with pleasure. Marla did not stop licking and sucking until Elena gushed onto her a second time. Face shiny with Elena’s nectar, she moved up so that her lover could lick her clean, after which they lay in a close embrace.
“Sleep now,” Elena told Marla, folding her foster-sister in a close embrace, “We must rise early so that we can be away before the others awake.”
“Where is it we’re going?”
“You will see.”
“But they’ll come looking for us.”
“I doubt it,” replied Elena, “There will be two less to feed and Ioana won’t have to worry about that pair of foul wretches constantly lusting after us. Hush now and sleep.”
* * * * *
The ancient, brooding, dark-stoned castle grew from the high crag as if it was a part of the mountain rather than simply a structure upon it. Moreover, it seemed to give off a malignant exhalation, a charnel breath calculated to drive away any casual intruder. Certainly no animals were known to graze around it nor birds to flutter and chirrup in its shadow.
Elena eased the crudely woven sacking bag on her shoulder and gazed upwards at the time-gnawed stone, at the broken battlements and the crumbling turrets, overgrown with weeds and with profusions of wild flowers sprouting from innumerable cracks and crevices. One of the turrets had a crazy, zigzagged split reaching almost to the ground, mimicking the path of the lighting which had wrought the damage. Another was open to the elements, its conical roof having collapsed inwards countless years before. Yet a third was surmounted by a sagging, rotten flagpole from which fluttered the unrecognisable tatters of what might once have been a pennant.
By her side, Marla whimpered softly and clutched at her friend’s hand. “Please, Elena, why did we have to come here? This place frightens me. It is evil. Let us go now.”
“Hush, girl!” Her tone was rough but the shake Elena gave Marla was gentle. “Did you ever know me do anything without good reason?”
“But Elena, you have heard the tales. Those said to dwell here are not of the living but of the Nosferatu—the Undead. You know what will become of us if we are caught by them.”
“I do indeed.” Elena smiled and kissed the girl’s pretty face. “Oh yes, I know what will become of us.” She tugged at Marla’s hand. “Come on, let’s go inside.”
Dragging her reluctant lover behind her, Elena continued to the end of the old dirt road and thence through massive bronze perabet giriş gates—their huge weight sagging upon worn hinges—into a cobbled courtyard beyond. Marla cowered as they passed the gates and averted her gaze, pressing her face into Elena’s shoulder, for the embossed sculptures embellishing the portals should not have been seen by any Christian person. Hideous demons cavorted upon them; were-things leaped and pranced; ghouls feasted within the purlieus of tombs; satyrs ravished man and maid and animal; and leeches in human shape battened upon slumbering innocents.
Ruined buildings and outhouses, once used as stables for hard-worked war-horses and rude quarters for men-at-arms, bordered the confines of the courtyard. Now they housed only rats and spiders and other scuttling creatures of dark and secret places. Outside, the westering sun still shone, reflecting warmly from the distant mountain peaks, but here within the castle walls, for all that the courtyard was open to the sky, brightness was nigh eclipsed by unnatural, icy gloom. It was a place where chill shadows held sway, gnawing at the bones and clutching with frosty fingers at the soul.
In parts the worn and uneven stones of the yard were deeply rutted, evidence of the coming and going of countless heavy wagons over long years. Beyond the compound—much of its cobbled paving thick with fungus and lichens and treacherous beneath the foot—were broad steps which ascended to the castle’s arched entrance. Above the double doors, deep-carved into the massive key-stone, was a coat-of-arms, three ravens’ heads impaled upon pikes, beneath which was an ornate scroll bearing the single word: “CORVUS“.
The doors themselves, heavy and dark with age were studded with ancient metal bosses. A scrap of something leathery and blackened fluttered upon a great brad which pinioned it to one of them. Marla shivered. She recalled the story—perhaps myth, perhaps not—that some long-dead Corvus had always nailed skins ripped from his living enemies to the castle door as a warning to others.
Elena tugged the reluctant Marla behind her as she strode to the foot of the steps. Closer now, the two could make out ominous dark blotches so ingrained in the old stones that centuries of weathering had failed to cleanse them. A moment’s pause and then, mouth set and determined, Elena started to mount the steps, Marla stumbling behind her. She paused at the top, peering through an entrance which was slightly ajar, attempting vainly to penetrate the thickly-clustered shadows guarding the portals.
Marla’s hand in hers was now icy cold and her breath came in short, fear-filled gasps. “Elena, why have you brought us to this terrible place? What do you want here?”
Elena gripped the girl’s shoulders and her appearance was almost that of a stranger. “Listen, Marla. You remember the dreams and ambitions that we spoke of as we entered our years of puberty: our dreams that we were robbed of our true birthright and abandoned into the hovel of those clods said to be our cousins and foster-parents; our ambitions not to be peasants struggling to force a living from a hostile earth but grand boyars in a great castle, holding sway over all those about us.
“We are here to realise those dreams, those ambitions. Here we can petition the Lady Corvus herself, here we can join the ranks of her nobility and stay as one forever.”
Marla’s eyes widened, terror reflected in their blue depths, and a shock-driven gasp escaped her lips. “What are you saying, Elena? I do not understand you.”
“You will see.” Elena hugged her close. “Soon, if the legends are true and Lady Corvus exists, if all goes as I intend, we two will become a power to contend with, a power to hold those cowering animals we have left behind in thrall for time everlasting.”
“I still do not understand. And this place scares me.”
“Trust me, Marla,” Elena said. “Come, let us see what lies within these walls.” She pushed hard at the doors which creaked and groaned their reluctance to open more widely. With an extra effort they began to give and a little of the outside light flooded into a vast and barren vestibule. The friends and lovers crossed the threshold, Elena treading boldly, the girl sidling in fearfully. Both of her hands, gripping at one of Elena’s, were white-knuckled and damp with fear.
“Supposing that…they come…what shall we do?” Marla’s voice was reduced to a whisper, seemingly coming from a place far away.
Elena hefted her cumbersome pack. “I am prepared. Those many hours that we spent with the good Father Nicolai were not wasted. He instructed us on how to confront and hold at bay the dwellers of the night.”
In contrast to the chill of the courtyard, the atmosphere within the vestibule was dry and stale. In deep winter, with its bone-cracking cold, the walls might well stream with moisture or glisten with ice, but recent months had been hot and arid and the eroding stones of the castle must have captured perabet güvenilir mi and retained much of the summer’s warmth. Yet there was something else underlying the staleness, a distant but lingering whiff of corruption. Marla flinched and would have retreated had not Elena retained her firm grip.
The young woman looked around the antechamber. Sufficient light came from the outside to allow her to note the salient features. To the right of the entrance a spiral stone stairway circled upwards while in a far, shadowy corner its twin plunged down to unseen depths. There were a number of portals, some low and narrow, others high and wide. Elena indicated a cumbersome set of splintered doors off to her left.
“If I recall my lessons rightly, the great audience hall should be through there,” she said, pulling Marla with her. The place echoed dully to the soft thudding of their ill-shod feet on dust-carpeted stone flags. “Yes, here!”
To their eyes, used only to the simple confines of a peasant dwelling—the largest building they were used to was Father Nicolai’s tiny church—the audience hall was immense and had obviously once been a very handsome place. Crimson shafts of sunlight sidled slyly through high, narrow windows, a few of which still contained panels of elaborately stained glass. Most of the windows, though, were shattered, leaving multi-coloured shards strewn about the huge chequered tiles of the floor.
Taking out her tiny tinder box, Elena managed to light several stubby remnants of torches wedged in cressets on the walls. Reluctant flames illuminated a little more of the room but the chamber’s gloomy extremities mostly remained concealed by sinister shadows and filth-encrusted curtains of dilapidated cobweb.
Some fragments of broken furniture remained and remnants of banners and flags hung upon the walls together with rusted weapons which boasted of military prowess: swords and battle-axes; halberds and pikes; maces and arbalests.
“Elena, how do you think that being in a place such as this will help us to realise our childhood dreams?” Marla’s voice was barely a whisper.
“You will see soon,” Elena replied. “It will be some time yet before the sun sets, but then we should not have to wait too long to meet our hostess.”
“Perhaps you will meet your hostess sooner than you think.”
Marla screamed and would have dashed for the door had not Elena been holding her firmly. Even Elena, although she would have been reluctant to admit it, felt a cold blow of fear. The contralto voice rang out clear and resonant, echoing about the chamber like slivers of crystal falling to the ground. The words struck at her bowels like a hissing snake.
Gritting her teeth, determined not to show fear—for was she not carrying impenetrable artefacts of protection?—Elena turned to face the direction from which the chilling words had come.
At the distant end of the grand chamber, where the shadows lay thickest, was a trio of shimmering, misty dust clouds which, as Elena and Marla watched in terrified fascination, slowly materialised, took on form and became something else. A whimpering Marla sank to her knees and buried her face against her lover’s thighs.
The shapes became women with staring eyes, eyes aglow with malignant red and silver splinters. The central figure, tall and slender and unnaturally beautiful, with a helmet of silver hair tumbling down her back, was clad in a gown of pure white lawn which from her shoulders plunged almost to her navel, barely concealing substantial breasts. Power radiated from this woman; there was little doubt in Elena’s mind about who this was.
To her right stood one who was only slightly less tall, elfin-faced, hair black and curly, her striking looks brooding and sullen. The third, with hair the deep red of burnished copper, was slight in build, emanating nervous energy like a deerhound straining at the leash. Elena noticed almost in passing that the red-headed woman wore a huge ring set with a dark-green stone. An heirloom perhaps?
Elena assayed a respectful bow to the tallest woman. “My Lady Corvus? It surprises me that you walk abroad while the sun shines. However, I come to crave a boon.”
“I am Elisabeta of the House of Corvus,” the other acknowledged, barely-concealed amusement in her voice, “As long as we stay within these walls, these shadows, the sun will not affect us. But, you will forgive my surprise. It is rare now that one of my… subjects… approaches my domain in supplication. It never was very common.” Her laugh, silvery but harsh, echoed and re-echoed, while her dark companion glowered silently. “Very well, a boon. What is it?”
“I, Elena Havlec, would be as you—Undead!”
“Elena! No!” wailed Marla, her clutch tightening about Elena’s legs.
“Insolent peasant!” screamed the black-haired vampire. She sprang forward, covering the length of the hall at frightening speed, very much faster than Elena had anticipated. A mouth filled with needle teeth gaped and threatened like the striking jaws of a shark. The young woman barely had time to snatch the contents from her satchel before the creature was upon her. With less than a metre to spare, Elena thrust the artefact before her and the vampire recoiled.
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