Six Sentence Stories is a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge blog.
This week’s cue word is: Improvise
With arms crossed about my bosom and eyes wide shut, I set sail, my wooden casket secured in the black belly of the ship’s hold, where the slaying luminosity of sunlight’s coverlet upon the wretched sea could not burn me.
At night I would emerge to feed on my fellow passengers, and after I would gladly stare at the black coals of the ocean and sky and feel myself becoming stronger, vital, an 800 year-old monster in the shape of a human woman, and with all of mankind’s evils in my arsenal; a parasite of a parasite.
Those nights of bliss, but days of hell in that rat-infested hold, O, the agony in mahogany, mocking me, the angry sea reflecting the sun as if sensing my brutality to poison English shores and unsuspecting humanity, and I… clinging on to sanity by dreams of arriving at my harbour under a veil of stars, disembarking every bit a lady in fine costume and furs, where from my coach I would extend unsaid invitations to society strolling about the avenues, while my servant drove our horses onwards to our castle.
But, alas, this was not to be, as one night a ferocious tempest ripped apart our ship and sent us under, and I the only survivor in a coverless lifeboat, with all certitude of being burnt to death the moment the sun rose the next morning.
By light of the moon, and with only my fangs and claws, I stripped the skin clean from the drowned passengers strewn about me, used sinew and hair and finest bones to stitch together a corpulent suit to shield myself against the coming sun.
I survived for a number of days in this foul skinsuit, until I at last reached shore; though it was not the shore I had originally sailed for, and was poorer for its people and culture, yet those people were rich in charity and offered me a room in their humble inn, where I began the plotting of my improvised reign of a blood-letting to come, and a notoriety which would soon tempt vampire-slayers from all over Europe to hunt me down in the middle of this ocean.
Editor’s note: My micro-story/poem Lillianna is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and adds the dilemma: what if Dracula suffers a shipwreck on his passage to Whitby, England, and never makes it to his intended destination?
Lillianna is the grim tale of an 800 year-old vampire who survives a shipwreck while on course for England to begin her reign of blood. Too far from land to transform into bat form and fly to safety, she is faced with the inevitability of being burned to death the moment the sun rises the next morning. Lillianna must improvise a way to survive daylight until she reaches dry land. Once more, this vampire must turn to humanity as her resource for survival.
Lillianna micro story/poem by Ford 13 May 2021
Lillianna artwork – ink, ribbons and netting and digital render by Ford 13 May 2021