Monday, July 5, 2010

Klaus von Mittenwald

Germany, 1530 AD
It was a dreary, rainy day in the German city of Aachen.  Klaus gazed out the opaque window onto the dirty street below; he saw merchants, artisans, soldiers, and commoners trudging through the muddy street.  He turned away from the window and crouched beside his ailing mother, Hanna.  His mother looked up at him.
"Klaus?  Is that you?"  Klaus's mother said in German.  Hanna's voice was weak.  Her face was sweaty and pale with fever; she had been bed ridden inside their little apartment for weeks.
"Yes, Mother, it is me, Klaus.  I'm going out, Mother, but I will be back soon, with medicine."  Klaus said.
"Where are you getting the money for all these fancy medicines, Klaus?"  Hanna furrowed her sweaty brow.  Klaus freshened her cold head cloth.
"Do not worry about that, Mother, just rest and drink water."
His mother nodded wearily and laid back, deeper onto the straw mattress.  Klaus put on his cloak and placed his hat over his head, he grabbed and strapped on his knapsack, then headed outside, into the rain.  It was nearly dusk by the time Klaus exited the bank; he had built up a small sum of money, no thanks to his brother, Lukas.  Klaus bought some groceries from the last straggling merchants, then headed to the nearby chapel as the fat disc of light disappaered behind the horizon.  He shook his boots of, then walked down the aisle of pews; he sat down in one and prayed inwardly that God might forgive him.  He had never been one for confession.  The paster, Wilhelm, came out and was sweeping the floor, when he noticed Klaus.
"It has been a long time since you were in church, Klaus."  Fr. Wilhelm said, sweeping up dust.  Klaus grunted.
"Well, I'm not the most pious man."
"Do... you want to talk about it?"
A thunderclap boomed outside.
"No.  I think I should just go."  Klaus put his hat on and quickly left the church.
Klaus walked past a gambling den, he saw his brother, Lukas, willing their families money away on drink and game and nightly company.  Klaus adjusted his beret and continued on his way to the pharmacy.  He broke open a window, evaded pharmacy employees, and filled his sack with the needed drugs.  Klaus accidently ran into an old pharmacist, Klaus had no choice but to kill the elderly man.  He grabbed his knife and slipped it in between the pharmacist's ribs, right into the heart.  The man fell over dead, his blood soaking into the wooden planks.  Klaus ran away as some other workers came around the corner, but they didn't see him fortunately.  He was able to slip back to their apartment, and give his mother some medicines.
"Oh, Klaus, how did you get these drugs?"  Hanna asked, sitting up somewhat to take the medicines.
"Well, I have been saving up money for sometime.  Now just rest and get better."  Klaus smiled at her, giving his mother a dose of drugs.

Tears tumbled from Klaus's eyes as he watched his mother's coffin disappear beneath a layer of earth.  He looked up at the scrubbed-clean blue sky and the beautiful spring day.  Why must the day be so beautiful when his mother was not here to see it?  Wilhelm finished the funeral prayers and said a final farewell
"Rest well, Hanna; daughter of Jonas and Lena, wife of Albrecht, who fell to the Venetians, mother of Marie, may she rest in peace, Lukas, and Klaus.  May God be merciful to you."  Wilhelm wiped a tear from his eye and closed his book.  Klaus put a little bunch of flowers at his mothers headstone.  He stood by his mother's grave as all the other attendants left.  It was a while until he heard the stumbling steps of his drunk brother.  Lukas came up, he wiped his nose on his filthy shirt, he looked at his mother's grave with uncaring eyes.  Klaus gritted his teeth and clenched his fists as his older brother stumbled up next to him.
"Why so down, Klaus?  Hmm?  So what that Mam is dead?  She didn't do anything, just cost money to take care of."  Lukas mumbled.  Veins bulged on Klaus's forehead.  He slugged his brother in the face with all his might.  Lukas flailed backwards falling on the ground.
"You're one to talk about wasting money, you gutless pig!  It is because of your filthy habits that we couldn't afford a real physician!  It's because of you that Marie and now Mother are dead!"  Klaus roared, beating his brother while he spoke.  Covered in blood, Lukas jumped to his feat and smashed his fist into Klaus's temple, who fell over, dazed.  He sprang back up and snatched Lukas's half empty rum bottle and brought it smashing down on Lukas's head.  His brother fell to the ground, cold.  Klaus knelt beside him.
"I think this is the best path for you, Brother.  May you rot in the Hell."  Klaus left Lukas's corpse in the graveyard, he went to their empty apartment, gathered his things, and left Aachen; the city where he had lived all his life.

Klaus studied the gilded crown.
"Hmm, solid gold crown, yet it doesn't look like any craftsmanship I've seen."  He tossed the crown in his sack.  He had been robbing houses and estates in and around Vienna for months now, he had left Germany far behind.  He was about to leave the little ransacked room, when a figure opened the door, letting moonlight stream into the apartment.  Klaus and the stranger froze, Klaus thought this mysterious owner of the room would be home later.  The owner came over to Klaus; he wore a cloak, tunic, trousers, and leather boots.  He also wore a bursting knapsack on his back and had a sword on his hip.
"Now what would you be doing in my room?  And I'm guessing that sack is full of my possessions?"  The stranger spoke fluent German, though with a Hungarian accent.  Klaus saw a glimpse of the stranger's skin; chalk white.  And the man's eyes looked red, and slits for pupils.  Klaus became filled with cold fear, the tales of vampires coming to his head.
"W-who are you?"  He stammered keeping his eyes on the stranger.
"You can call me Imre.  Now please give back my treasures."  Imre took another step forward.  Klaus threw the bag of goods, drew his knife, and leaped for the nearest window.  But an arm like iron and twice as cold, grabbed him around the waist and threw him against a wall.  Imre held him their with a single hand.
"Do you know the importance of this crown, Thief?"  Imre asked, holding the crown in his other hand.  Klaus didn't move or make a sound.
"I didn't think so."  Imre smiled, "This is the Crown of Revelations, one of the greatest artifacts of the lost eras of Terra.  Now I'm not sure what it does, but Lord Dracul will find out once I return to Noctheim."
Tears flowed from Klaus's eyes, he was lost and bewildered; it was a simple break in, until this pale freak came in and started blabbing about weird places and things.  Imre looked at Klaus.
"I think you would make a good vampire; you hate everyone around you don't you?   You don't fit in, your sad and weighed down by human emotions, at least, that's what I guess.  If you'd rather just die, then I can do that too.  Your choice."
Klaus mumbled something, so Imre moved his hand, Klaus coughed.
"W-what are y-you?"  He sobbed.
Imre smiled again.
"Why, I'm a vampire."
A flash of fangs, and then, blackness.             

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