So I’m going to try to respond to at least one prompt a week while I’m in this limbo. This week, my favorite: Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt. A little late, I know, but better late than never (words to live by!).
Since I’ve updated both Provisional Freedom and Secondhand Soul pretty recently, today’s post will be going toward A Vampire’s Bride. To be honest I’m pretty lost as to where I’m taking all three stories. SS is pretty close to the end, I think, but the other two are as much in limbo as I am. Then again, what else is new?
If you need a refresher or you’re new, check out the complete story from the beginning here!
Prompt: Absolute uncertainty
“And you’re sure I can do this?”
“You already killed a rogue vampire by yourself, without training. You’ll be fine. From what we heard, they’re barely a fledgling.” Nadya looks me up and down, occasionally adjusting my hatchet and double-checking my quiver of arrows. “Besides, it’s about time you put your skills to the test.”
Niklaus stands off to the side, letting Nadya fuss over me. I look to him for help, but he shrugs. “She’s right.”
“If they’re just a fledgling, why did the council send you two after them? Seems like a waste of the vampire royals if you ask me.”
“We volunteered. They want to keep these attacks as little known as possible. The fewer vampires that know about them the better…don’t need others getting any ideas.” Niklaus finally walks over and gets Nadya to leave me alone.
“No buts.” He takes both my hands, raising them up to his lips and kissing my knuckles. “You’ll be brilliant. Nadya and I have every confidence in you.”
“And if you need us, we’ll jump in.”
“Yes – I won’t let you get hurt.” Niklaus places a kiss on my forehead, as if to punctuate his words. He’s much more liberal with his affection now, and that puts me at ease, at least a little bit. If he’s confident enough not to put up a fight at the thought of having me take down a vampire, then I should be a little more confident in my skills, right?
Still, I’ve never been less sure of anything in my life.
It’s not long before I’m following them out of the woods in the opposite direction from the path home. They came prepared with horses, knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them on foot. We ride for what seems like a couple of hours before we’re near a neighboring village I’ve never been to. It’s quiet – quieter than a sleeping town should be. There’s a strange tension in the air and I wonder if, behind the closed doors and windows, the people are actually asleep. It’s not hard to imagine them huddled and scared.
While the vampires were trying to keep the knowledge of the attacks contained, rumors spread pretty quickly among the rest of us. Most people didn’t believe they were actually happening, at least not in my village. According to my stepmother everyone thinks it’s animal attacks. Even she doesn’t bring up the possibility of vampires. My father doesn’t either, but I wonder if that’s out of courtesy for my feelings.
“According to the report we received, there have been three separate attacks over the last two nights.” Nadya maneuvers her horse ahead of Niklaus and me.
“Smell that?” Niklaus stops his horse, holding out a hand for me to stop mine. Ahead of us, Nadya turns around to face us. “It’s fresh.”
“It is.” I know they’re talking about human blood, their sense of smell infinitely better than mine.
“Can you pinpoint where it’s coming from?”
“Yes – this way.” This time, Niklaus takes the lead and Nadya rides beside me. As we continue to make our way through the town, my eyes focus on the tension in Niklaus’ shoulders. He gets stiffer the longer we continue, and I wonder if it’s the smell of the blood or the danger. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
Here’s hoping I can live up to their expectations.
What lies ahead for our fledgling vampire hunter? At this point, I still have no idea, but that’s to be expected. Here’s to more prompts moving us forward.
As always, think happy thoughts!