She sat her luggage down on the ground; she did a little stretch before continuing on. It was a nice day pretty hot, that’s why she wore a t-shirt, a skirt, and some classic converses.
(Name) was visiting her old friend Vladimir Dimitru; they were the best of friends in their freshman year of college. They parted ways after Vladimir moved back to Romania; they met each other again after another year of college, Vladimir sent her an email witch was strange; she didn’t even tell him her new email.
“I wonder what Vladdy is doing in a castle,” she said to herself, “What if it’s his?”
She looked to the castle in the distance, and shrugged, “Well whatever Vladdy was always a bit weird.”
She lifted up her luggage again and headed for the castle, she was going to spend a week with him and had enough for that much. Romania was a beautiful place; Vladimir was born in Romania, moved to America for two years and moved back. (Name) missed him he always managed to out a smile on her face.
She finally reached the door of the castle, it was wooden, and all in all, the castle had a Scooby-Doo feel and look to it. She knocked on the door, but only once, the door slowly opened on its own making a loud creaking noise. She was weary stepping inside; doors don’t open like that on their own.
“This is Vladdy’s place, I know he sent me the right address,” she pulled out her phone and checked her email, she was right she had the right address and even a map with directions. She put her phone back in her pocket and looked around.
She just wanted to make sure no one was watching her, as a precaution. She took a deep breath and entered inside the castle, she walked slowly which she didn’t want to, but she just couldn’t help it. She looked around and it was pretty dark, the only light that shined was from the windows and the open doors. She stepped further inside and looked around and admired the stair case, two actually. They went inward up, the connected to a balcony that granted access to the second floor.
Suddenly without warning the doors slammed behind her, (Name) gasped and almost jumped, she turned back around and coming down the stairs was a black mist came flowing down the stairs, whispers were filling the room and a great wind started to gust. As the mist the mist grew closer (Name) she tried to back away but inevitably tripped and fell over her luggage.
‘Wow, really?’ She thought to herself, she propped herself on her elbows and looked to the black mist. It grew taller and taller until it was at least 6 feet above her. Hands started to form then arms; soon they started to reach out to her. (Name) couldn’t do anything she was too scared, she was stricken with fear.
The arms went closer to her and wrapped themselves around her, like a hug, the mist slowly became solid and it formed in the shape of a man.
‘What?’ She thought to herself.
“Oh (Name)! It’s been such a long time! I scared you good huh?”
‘Again, what?’ The man ceased his hug and held her at arm’s length on the floor, he smiled at her with his one fanged grin, he had light tanned skin, and light brown hair topped off with a little red hat. He wore a coat to go along with it and black pants, he had shining red eyes; not to be mistaken for her friends Gilbert’s eyes which were also red but that is because he was an albino.
“V-Vladdy?” She stuttered her heart was still beating in her ears; he smiled and nodded so fast he looked like a bobble head. He looked down and gave a toothy grin.
“Your panties are really cute, blue and white striped. I think you would look cuter with red and black panties~!”
She looked down and noticed her skirt was up from when she fell, she blushed and pushed him away, she pulled her skirt down and tried to pull an angry face but it didn’t work because of her red face. Vladimir couldn’t stop laughing; he stood up and offered a hand. (Name) rolled her eyes and smiled she took it and him pulled her into a hug.
“I missed you Vladdy,” she said burring her head in his chest. He put a hand on the back of her head.
“I missed you too.”
They parted and Vladimir picked up her luggage, he smiled with his one fang and tilted his head to the stairs, “Come on I’ll show you around.”
They walked up stars and Vladimir talked about the history of the castle and how it was big and had many twists and turns and blah, blah, blah. He finally reached a corridor with many rooms; he went to the end and stopped in front of a room.
“This is where you sleep, my room is right across from you so if you need anything in the middle of the night you can just take a few steps to find me instead of you looking high and low, each room has their own bathroom so you don’t have to worry about that. Let’s get inside and drop of your things, so I can show you where the library and the kitch—
“Wait hold on, what was that before though?” She asked using her thumb to point back down stairs.
“What was what?” He asked obliviously.
“Oh let’s see where to begin? Um first: The Door closed by itself. Second: The creepy whispers. Finally Three: You were coming out of Black Mist!”
Vladimir stared at her for a few seconds then his face looked like he had a moment of self-realization.
“Oh! That? I’ve always been able to do that it’s just a matter of Black Magic is all. I’ve always been able to use Black Magic, but it’s dangerous.”
“I can imagine, why didn’t you tell me before?”
Vladimir smiled and shrugged, “It just seemed to never come up, and not a lot of people are fond of those who can use Black Magic. It’s one of the most darkest and powerful of all the magics, along with voodoo, but that is not my field.”
(Name) shrugged not really sure how to respond with that, he was so chipper and cheerful yet he did something so dangerous and dark, question was, why?
“Come one you’ll love the room I fixed it up just for you!” Vladimir opened the door and stepped aside for her to go first. She stepped inside nodding to him silently thanking him. When she entered the room she felt a sudden burst of warmth, like it was really meant for her, it felt like home.
The bed was up again the wall in the middle of the room, on one side there was a drawer that looked very old, on the other was a night stand that was as large as a desk. One the other side of the room there was a wardrobe, another drawer, and a door, probably that led to the bathroom. There was a window right across from her and it had the perfect view of the trees and mountains in the distance, it was quite cozy.
“So what do you think? Do you like it?” He asked stepping nest to her, he was like a little puppy showing you his favorite chew toy, and if he had a tail it would be going crazy. She patted him on the head to ‘test’ to see if he was part dog somehow, that theory was almost proving when he jumped up and hugged her.
‘I always wanted a dog, I guess he’ll do.’
Vladimir was an excellent cook he had to be if he lived alone, they spent great time catching up with each other; it felt as though they grew closer by doing so. In the midst of their laughter, a phone ring was echoing throughout the dining room.
“Oh! Excuse me,” Vladimir wiped his mouth with a napkin and stood up, he walked to a place that was behind (Name), he went to a podium that had a cloth draped over it. Vladimir lifted the cloth and a crystal ball was clear. It glowed green with every ring and inside it was like a fogged window.
Vladimir looked to (Name) and gestured her to come over, she stood up and walked over to the ball, she looked at it tilting her head from side to side like a cat. Vladimir poked it and a tiny gong sound pinged. The ball cleared itself of the mist and showed two boys, looking to be about in their teenage years.
“Perfect targets, you get to see my job (Name)!”
“You’re job?” She asked looking away from the crystal ball.
“Uh-huh, how do you think I’m able to live in the castle? The city loves tourists and Romania is very famous for its many castles and creepy places. Well the capital sends a few tourist to follow a certain path to my castle, with a modest fee of course, when they enter I scare them out of their pants and they go screaming all the way home.”
“You get paid to scare people using Black Magic?” She asked for clarification.
“Uh-huh! Wanna watch?” He asked and he leaned in a bit close to her face. How could she resist that smile?
“Yay! Come on!” He grabbed her hand and dragged her hand and went all the way to the main entrance of the castle. They stayed up on the balcony and had the perfect view of the door.
“They should be here soon. Okay I’m going to need you to stand here.” He grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back. He went back to the edge of the balcony and breathed out. He leaned his neck from side to side and rolled his shoulders. He straightened out his coat and tightened his gloves; with a simple flick of his fingers he pushed his hat to the side of his head.
He looked to his left and waved his hand, an organ faded in and sitting at it was a small little black creature, with horns, wings, and a tail. It turned to Vladimir and snickered its eyes were glowing red and had razor sharp teeth.
Vladimir smiled cheerfully and nodded to the small creature, the creature snickered and nodded. It looked to (Name) and waved, (Name) smiled weakly and waved back. Vladimir clapped and the whole room became dimmer and darker. (Name) shifted in her place getting uneasy.
“Don’t worry (Name), nothing’s going to happen to you, I promise.” Vladimir said. He didn’t turn back he continued to look ahead.
Vladimir held his hand out and pretended to grip something he turned his hand and below the lock on the door was undone. He stepped up on the banister and went into a starting position, one hand was on the banister keeping him balanced and the other was out behind him.
The door slowly opened and the two teenage boys entered the castle looking around with no fear.
“So do you really think this place is haunted?” One asked the other.
“Pff, no. There are no such things as ghosts.” The other on said reassuringly, but as he said that the door slammed they both jumped and looked behind them. Vladimir grinned to himself and snapped his fingers, the little creature snickered and smashed down on the organ causing a loud bone chilling tune and began to play.
“Oh how quiet right you are, ghosts aren’t real.” Vladimir said menacingly, he voice was different was different it boomed throughout the room. Black mist started to form under his feet he lifted off the banister and flew down to them.
“Ghosts aren’t real,” he repeated. The boys were frozen cowering with fear, Vladimir’s eyes went pupil less and began to glow red, the black mist below him leaked onto the castle floor flowing down to the stairs and around the boys. (Name) sat on top of a drawer in fear of touch the black mist not sure what will happen if she did.
The whole floor was covered in Vladimir’s black mist, little green lightning strikes sapped in the clouds; thunder roared shaking the whole house.
“I-if ghosts aren’t real, th-then wh-what are you?” One of the boys asked, stuttering.
Vladimir let out a loud maniacal laughter, “Me? I’m dead!”
Suddenly skeletons dripping black goop and glowing green slowly raising from the black mist, the boys screamed like little girls, and that only made Vladimir laugh harder, and (Name) giggled a bit too. The boys ran screaming out of the castle probably all the way back home.
Vladimir puckered his lips and sucked in the black mist and the skeletons along with it. The creature playing the organ faded away snickering and waving at (Name). Vladimir had finished cleaning up house when he flew back to (Name). He had a little bounce in his step, and was rubbing his hands together.
“So what did you think?”
“That was actually pretty cool, how did you learn how to do that?” She asked hopping of the drawer; Vladimir smiled and rubbed the back of his head.
“I’ve always been able to do that, ever since I was young.”
(Name) tilted her head and raised an eyebrow, “Really?”
“Really! I want to show you the library!” He grabbed her hand and dragged her all the way to the east side. He pulled her up to another flight of stairs, three stories, what a grand castle. The approached two large doors, Vladimir kept at his paste and dragged (Name) along, he pushed the doors and walked into the dark room.
It was pitch black inside, Vladimir stopped and let go of (Name)’s hand, “Now you wait here I have to open the curtains.” He walked and (Name) lost sight of him in the darkness, there was a band and a crash, then a thud.
“Vladdy, are you okay?” The curtains flew open and (Name)’s eyes squinted, trying to adjust to the new found light. She looked to the floor and found a chair knocked over and a vase in shambles. Vladimir was dusting off his hands looking out the window to the setting sun.
“This is the library!” Vladimir cheered with arms open wide. She looked around and he walls were covered with books there were isles upon isles, shelf after shelf, page to page.
“This is amazing!” She felt a sudden pull, something was calling her she looked to her left and saw a dark isle, darker than the rest. Vladimir noticed and walked to her, and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Please don’t listen to the whispers okay, just stay away from there,” he said. He pulled her away but she pulled back.
“What’s down there?” She asked. Vladimir walked in front of her blocking her view.
“A bunch of really dangerous books, they are mostly spell books. The other’s I don’t know, that’s why it’s dangerous, it’s full of black magic.”
“Then I want to see. If I’m going to be here for a week then I want to see what I’m going to be sleeping with.”
Vladimir for the first time all day stopped smiling and frowned, he sighed and nodded, “Fine, but stay close to me, never let go of my hand okay?”
(Name) looked back down the aisle and continued to hear the whispers; he must’ve been serious about this, “Okay.”
Vladimir held out his arm and (Name) wrapped her arms around it, he led her down the aisle. She stuck close to him every step of the way. Her heart went faster; she had a butterfly feeling in her stomach. They entered the aisle and it was so dark and very cold their breath was hanging of the air.
She looked at the books, they looked old and decrypted, white fog leaked from the cracks between the books. The letters on the spine glowed many different colors in their presence, the whispers grew louder and louder.
She looked at a book that print glowed green she stopped and reached out for it, Vladimir held her hand back.
He covered her mouth and shushed her, “Don’t let them hear you.” He whispered. She reached for the book again, but he stopped her one more time. She rolled her eyes and looked at him.
“Now what?” She hissed.
“Don’t touch that one.”
Vladimir looked back at the book then to her, “It’ll burn you and once it does, you won’t be pure anymore. I don’t want that.”
She nodded and wrapped her arm around his again, “I still want to see inside one book,” she whispered.
“We have to find a blue one, that’s safest one, stay away from green. Don’t talk back to yellow, and please if you see red tell me immediately alright?”
She nodded swiftly. Vladimir let out a breath, “Alright let’s go.”
They continued to walk further inside, (Name) searched and searched but didn’t find anything with blue glowing text, “There, see?” Vladimir whispered. On a second shelf between two yellows was a blue.
She slowly made a grab for it when someone started to speak to her, “Don’t choose him choose me, choose me!”
She didn’t look Vladimir told her not to talk back and she didn’t, then the other one spoke, “No, no. Choose me, I’ll make you beautiful!”
“No I’ll make you rich!”
“NO, I’ll make you rich and beautiful!”
The books went like that back and forth saying what they could make, give, and do for (Name) she ignored them even though they were practically screaming in her mind. She snatched the book off the shelf, and the screaming stopped.
“Let’s go okay?” She whispered to Vladimir, he nodded and begun to led her out of the library, they walked together in silence she felt safe with Vladimir, he knows this magic, he played with it as a child and still fears it, (Name) thought he was brave that way.
Before they could reach the end of the isle, something grabbed (Name) and pulled her down, she looked back and a red book was open on the ground and wrapped a spectrum of red around her legs.
“Vladdy!” She cried. Vladimir tried to pull her but the book was to strong, he pointed his finger like a gun and a green light shot from it separating (Name) and the book. He picked her up and wrapped her legs around his waist and rain out of the aisle.
They didn’t see it but a red glowing demon emerged from the book like a zombie would from the grave. It ran after then and let out a horrible roar, Vladimir jumped out of the aisle still holding (Name). He turned around and held out his hands.
Green spectrums flowed out and made a wall, chains appeared and made and ‘X’ and in the middle a huge lock formed. The red demon tried to punch its way through but it was no use, the barrier was just too strong. It eventually gave up and walked back to whence it came.
Vladimir let out a breath, and turned back to (Name) who still held the book, she was breathing heavily, and that was one of the most thrilling things of her life. She smiled at him and he smiled back, they both laughed together about the trouble they went through for a book.
They heard a ringing and Vladimir held up his hands for another attack, (Name) out a hand on his shoulder and pointed to her right, crystal ball was glowing.
“Calm down Sparky.” She chuckled; he scoffed and went to see who was coming. A woman was approaching, it was night, and Vladimir laughed.
“She has to be brave, it’s rare people come here at night.” She looked to be in her mid-twenties and she was holding a camera, maybe trying to get a picture of some of the hauntings.
(Name) opened the book and flipped a few of the pages; she smiled when she came across something she liked.
“Can I try to scare her? I’ve got idea!” Vladimir looked to her surprised.
“Sure, what do you have in mind?”
“You’ll see,” she said winking.
The woman walked inside the castle with no fear, she took pictures of the castle, and she got light using the flash. After she took a few pictures she looked around.
“Hello anyone here?” She called her voice traveled through the stone. (Name) walked onto the balcony and leaned on the railing nonchalantly.
“You know, some enter other people’s home they usually knock first,” the woman looked up and noticed (Name) standing there smiling. The door slammed behind her (a crowd favorite) but the woman didn’t jump or flinch she kept her eyes on (Name).
“You think you can scare me with the door slamming?” They woman asked.
“That door always does that, I’m not trying to scare anyone.” (Name) said playing it off cool.
The woman looked at her like she didn’t believe her, “Alright I’m sorry for not knocking, I wanted to take pictures of your lovely home.” The woman said smiling.
(Name) clapped her hands, “That sounds wonderful.”
They walked together with (Name) leading her though out the house, every so often the woman would take pictures and ask questions about the castle.
“You know I’m glad that you’re not a vampire, vampires can only enter someone’s home with permission.” (Name) said as if it was normal conversation. The woman stopped in her tracks taking in what she just said.
“A…vampire?” She asked.
“Yep, they are nice people but sometimes they can be really hard to please especially at night.”
(Name) turned around smiling to her.
“You’ve met vampires before?” the woman asked getting a bit uneasy.
“Yes of course, I’ve met: Vampires, witches, ghosts, goblins, trolls……demons,” after she said that (Name) blinked and her eyes turned red. The woman stepped back, clutching her camera.
“D-demons?” She stuttered. (Name) grew a tail and it wagged back and forth.
“Yes many demons, some that talk,” her teeth grew razor sharp. “Some that fly,” she sprouted small black bat wings. The woman stepped back even further, she was breathing rapidly and sweating bullets.
“Others have claws,” she held up her hands and her nails grew long, even talons grew out of her elbows, “The ones that are really scary are the ones that can smell and hear your fear,” her ears went pointed as well as her nose.
“What are you? What the hell are you!?” The woman screamed.
(Name) covered her mouth and giggled, “I’m one of the most dangerous ones!” Horns grew from her head and she let out a screech. The woman went screaming and running down the hallway. (Name) chased her all the way through and down the stairs. The woman quickly opened the door and ran out.
(Name) ceased chasing her and landed down, she morphed back into her original form, and she laughed so hard and realized why Vladimir liked it so much. She closed the door still laughing and was swooped up by Vladimir; he gave her a kiss on the cheekand she giggled.
“That was amazing. You did wonderful for your first scare!” He sat her down.
“It was really fun! Now I see why you like it so much.”
“But you have to careful, I’ll teach you how to control it!” Vladimir smiled.
“Yeah…that sounds great.” (Name) said unsure.
‘The only problem is having to leave in a week.’ She thought to herself.
Later than night (Name) lied on her stomach reading her book, the blue glowing print was very interesting to her, she knew it was in another language but she could make it out perfectly.
“Psst, hey.” She looked up from her book and to her window; Vladimir was floating right outside her window. She got up from her bed and went to the window.
Vladimir pulled out a small cloth, “Here tied this over your eyes.”
She took it and tied it, “Why?” A redundant question.
“I want to show you something and it’s a surprise!” He grabbed her hands and led her out of the room. He carried her bridal style and flew up to the roof. He sat down on the roof and sat her on his lap.
“Okay, ready?” He asked, she could hear the excitement in his voice.
“Uh-huh,” he put hand on her cheek and turned her head away from him, he untied the blind fold and she opened her eyes to the biggest full moon she had ever seen.
“This is,” she was breathless, speechless, amazed. She looked at the starry night sky, the stars surrounded the moon like moths to a flame. She felt Vladimir’s lips softly touch her neck; her face went to a light shade of pink. She looked back to Vladimir whole smiled with the stars in his eyes.
“That’s why I wanted you to come this week. The moon is almost as beautiful as you.” He kissed her many times on the cheek, “You were always the one who pulled at my heart. I loved everything about you, the way you smiled, laughed. You stood up to Elizabeta for me even though she was one of your best friends. You never saw me as a freak, geek, or weirdo, you saw me as a human.”
“I saw you as Vladimir.” She put her hand on the back of his head and pulled him in for a kiss. He kissed her back with so much passion; he wrapped his arm around her waist and ran his fingers through her hair. She parted the kiss leaving Vladimir whining a bit obviously wanting more.
“Sorry but I need to breathe,” she laughed.
“Fine then,” Vladimir began kiss around her neck and cheek, she giggled and rubbed his hair.
“You are such a puppy.”
He stopped for a moment to laugh in her shoulder he looked up at her, “Um, I sort of lied to you too.”
She tilted her head, “What do you mean?”
“I um, tried to make you see how cozy, fun and beautiful my home was so you could stay with me. I um do get lonely sometimes, but it’s kind of selfish.”
She smiled and kissed him on the cheek, “I’ll stay.”
His eyes went wide in surprise, “You-you will!?”
“I like it here, too much, and I want to learn from you. I love you Vladimir, I’m staying.”
He smiled and closed his eyes, he touched his forehead to hers, “I love you (Name).”