The Real Undead Part 3
She went up the steps and went to the back of the bus, taking her seat. Soon all the seats were filled and the bus moved out of the parking back onto the road. There were off again, to where, Alexis did not know, was not sure when wanted to know. She dropped the cigarette on the floor of the bus. She did not make a move to put it out. The one on her left side stepped on it. Alexis watched her do so and lit another. Throughout the night, Alexis smoked one cigarette after another, dropping the lit butts on the floor where one of the women flanking her stepped on them, snuffing them out.
Feeling the effects of too many cigarettes Alexis had a headache. She had just leaned her head back and closed her eyes when the bus stopped. She opened her eyes and looked out. It was still dark outside but again the glow of the rising sun gave just enough light to see. The bus had stopped at an ornate gate blocking a driveway. There was a high brick wall that, even with the height of the bus, Alexis could not see what was on the other side of it. The driver was talking into a pillar. Alexis could not hear what he said but he was obviously gaining entrance as the gate started to open. As it rolled away to the side the bus went forward up a driveway flanked by trees. All she could see between the trees was a rolling green grass. There was nothing but the trees and the grass. Finally, the bus rounded a curve and Alexis could see a house through the front window of the bus. It was huge. I was in three sections with the middle section at least three stories. The left and right of the house spread out like large wings. In the early morning light, the house looked dark and formidable, almost evil. There was something familiar about the place though. Alexis swore she had seen it before, perhaps in a magazine maybe a TV show. The bus stopped in the front of the steps leading to the house.
Alexis had no idea where the others went. She was met at the bottom of the stairs by a very proper gentleman who introduced himself as Edward. Edward was actually dressed in a tuxedo type of suit and had brought her to a large room so the she may “freshen up” He had shown her a bath that was already been drawn. It actually had flower petals floating in it. Soaking in that bath had eased her headache as well as the plate of fruit sit next to it. She had found a closet that was full of clothes in her size and she had chosen a lovely and quite proper dress in pink to wear. She was now sitting on a chair that she was sure probably cost more than her condo in Los Angeles. The whole room was very girly and very elegant. She had never seen furniture likes this in any home, a museum maybe, but not in some ones else. What she saw of the house, as she was lead here and this room itself reeked of unimaginable wealth. She wondered if the owner was the same fanged crazy as the others. What was this cult that they could afford such opulence? You would think someone would have noticed. As she sat absently, rubbing her hand on the velvet of her chair the door opened and Edward walked in.
“If you are ready Ma’am, he will see you now,” he said in a deep baritone.
“Who is ready?” Alexis asked. “Who will see me? Where am I? What the hell is going on?”
Edward smiled briefly and replied, “This way please”
“I am not going anywhere until you answer my questions!” Alexis folded her arms to show she meant business.
“Madame please. It would be best if you just come with me”
Alexis shook her head “No”
Edward sighed and then looked behind him, “gentlemen if you please”
Two very large men walked into the room. Alexis looked at them; they had that air about them that said they were serious. She decided it would be better if she didn’t fight too much; her arms were still hurting and already sporting bruises.
“Fine” She got up and followed Edward out the door.
They went down a hallway whose walls were covered in pictures and artwork of all kinds. Some looked as if they had been painted by some of the masters; others were movie posters and memorabilia. Alexis did not know, she was not versed in artwork and collectibles but she had a feeling that much hanging on the walls were probably worth a lot of money. The hallway ending in a set of doors that instead of leading into another room was actually an elevator. Alexis Edward and the two goons entered and rode to the top of the house. The exited and walked down another hallway. This one was very bright; there were lamps of all kinds all the way down the hallway. Alexis spotted what she thought was probably an original Tiffany lamp and again some of the others looked as if they belong in museums. They finally reached the doors at the end of the hall. Edward opened them and indicated she should enter. Alexis did and found herself alone when Edward closed the door behind, leaving himself and the two others in the hall.
The room was bigger than her entire house and as ornate as the one she freshened up in, but a bit darker. There was a huge marble fireplace with logs the size of whole trees laid in it, ready for a match. The furniture again was museum quality, most dark wood and leather. There were marble tables everywhere, some with flowers on top, others had statuettes, and there was even some with candy in crystal bowls. There were heavy drapes that started at the ceiling and flowed onto the floor. Alexis wondered what she would see if she opened the drapes and looked out the window. They looked so heavy though that Alexis wasn’t even sure she could open them. As she walked over to the nearest drape to confirm her suspicions, a door opened and in walked a man. She turned to face him. Every nerve on edge.
He was dressed in, was it? Yes, it was a smoking jacket of all things. It adorned a tall man, who was walking towards a cluster of chairs on the far end of the room. . He stopped by them.
“Please come have a seat. I have taken the liberty of having tea brought in a bit. Please. Let us talk”
His voice sounded familiar to Alexis but she couldn’t place it. Having learned earlier that saying no would not work out for her she moved closer to the man. When she got there, he had turned away and was examining a small statue he had picked up.
Plea have a seat, he implored.
She did as he asked. Edward entered into the room from another door, carrying a tea service. Alexis looked around, she had not noticed any doors. How many was there in the room and a tea service indeed. She swore it was real silver. Edward set a cup in front of her and one on the other side of the small table.
“Shall I our?” he directed his question to the man.
“No I shall Thank you Edward you may go.”
The man turned and came forward into the small pool of light illumining the sitting area. For the first time Alexis saw his face, she gasped.
“Your Andrew Telling!” She blurted out the obvious as the famous actor sat down in front of her.
“Yes” he said, then picking up the teapot added, “tea?”
She shook her head yes. She couldn’t believe it. Andrew Telling was her all time favorite actor. He had started his career playing vampires and such in horror movies, bring some class to flicks that otherwise would have been cheesy. He quit making movies and went on to Broadway, which is where she fell in love with his acting. He was able to bring any character to life whether Hamlet or the Wizard in Wicked.
It all made sense now, the fanged vampires the mysterious bus trip, quite elaborate and quite cheesy. She started to laugh. The actor looked at her quizzically.
In between giggles, she said, “oh you are too funny. Getting actors to dress up like fanged monsters, vampires, kidnapping me, the bus everything too rich”
He watched her until she quit laughing so hard, calmly sitting back in the leather chair sipping his tea. When Alexis had controlled herself a bit he said
“I assure it is no joke”
“No joke” she snorted, “maybe but it is funny. I have one question why the elaborate scheme. Couldn’t you have just invited me, instead of scaring me? Yes, it is funny but really I think you took 5 years off of my life”
It is no joke, and the “elaborate scheme” as you put it was necessary. I needed you here and it was the only way to do so. “
Alexis shook her head “no you could have called”
He set his tea down and leaned forward, “ no I couldn’t. You see I had to send my people to get you. It would not do to have others knowing where I live or who o I truly am.”
“You could have just called I surely would have kept your secret, you could have blindfolded me. I will say the makeup job on your people is very convincing. I would have sworn they were vampires.”
This time he laughed. “It was no makeup job. My people are as you say “vampires” although we prefer Nosufur-atuan. I needed you here and they brought you here. I am, as you would say, their king, their leader. I am a direct descendant of the very first Nosufur-atuan people. My position is hereditary.”
“A vampire? Nosufur-atuan? What? You are saying you are the hereditary king of these people these Nasufur-atuan? I though vampires are fiction and besides you are the undead you don’t have children. You have to suck someone’s blood to turn them into a vampire. Indeed, you are creative but I demand that you tell me why I am here or let me go.”
“That my dear is why you are here. More tea?” when she shook her head no he poured himself another cup and added sugar before continuing.
“We are most certainly not fictitious. My people have been around for thousands of years. At one time, in the past, we were accepted but somewhere along the line, some of which thanks is due to writers and tellers of legends, pure ignorance in fact, we became known as evil. Messengers of the devil. Popular books and movies have done nothing to dispel this notion. I myself have been involved with the ruse. Well now is the time to dispel all that. To tell the truth. The truth is we are just like you but with minor differences. We stalk the night because we are unable to tolerate sunlight. We lack the melanin to protect us from the sun’s ultraviolet light. Therefore, we live in the night. I must say it is easier these days as there is so much opened 24 hours a day. As a kid, not so much. Boring life if it wasn’t for the others who came to America with my father. Oh and as to that, since I am as human as you, we do have children.
“But I saw your people drink blood. That is what vampires do. Human my ass. I think you are full of shit. Let me go now” Alexis stood up.
“Please Alexis Carrington, sit down. You wouldn’t make to the door”
Knowing he was right, Alexis sat down. She grabbed one of the cookies from the platter and pointed it at him, “Go on tell me what you want”
“Well my dear, as I was saying, we are human. I have a daughter who is the love of my life and and a son who will succeed me. My beautiful wife unfortunately died not too long ago from skin cancer, she always did like to stand in the sun for a few minutes in the morning. Couldn’t stop her, it killed her.” He stopped, staring into the distance.
“Blood drinking?” Alexis prompted.
He came turned his eyes to back to Alexis and she could see there were tears in his eyes. He took a handkerchief from his coat pocket and wiped his eyes before going on.
“Blood, yes. Well that is the other thing. We eat food, like you, but we cannot extract the iron needed from foods. The same with vitamin pills, iron pills, our systems extract nothing form it, we just piss it out. The only way for us to get the iron we need for our own hemoglobin production is from blood. However, unlike popular fiction, it is not totally necessary to get it from humans. Human blood is and still is the best for us but we can get by with the blood of cows and pigs. Pigs are second best for us. What you saw was pig blood. It keeps us energized. It helps with our oxygen levels and frankly, we die if we do not get some everyday. When we need to be up for long periods however, we will drink more. That is what you saw.”
But I saw the fangs and the blonde tried to bite my neck, don’t tell me you don’t attack humans and drink their blood.” Alexis protested.
Andrew grimaced. “Yes. Esther is a bit of a problem. Unfortunately, our lifestyle proves too much for some and insanity does run in our people. Every generation has one. They go insane and they revert to our ancestral ways. It is true we have fangs. That, again is hereditary. And is truth, that I we have and still can suck the blood from humans. The neck because the carotid artery is easy, but not necessary. The femoral artery works will too. It is untrue though that we can turn another into one of us. Sorry you have to be born this way, there is no mixing of the blood and you become a Nosufur-atuan. Actually you just die. Remember that for eons there was no other way. It wasn’t until modern science come along that we found out what it is we actually needed and with blood banks, there is no longer any need to kill another. But each generation and each family does have the one who goes insane. She has been taken care of.”
“Ok” said Alexis “what if I buy into all this, the whole iron in the blood, the Nosufur-atuan, all that. What do you want with me? Why am I here?
“Now that my dear Alexis Carrington, is quite simple. I like your writing. I think you are incredibly talented. It is time for the true story of Nosufur-atuan to be told. No more of the bullshit stories, the team this or the team that or the monsters who turn into bats. We need the truth to be told. THAT is why you are here. To write the story.”
And if I don’t agree? If I refuse to write this?”
The actor set his teacup down and a smile came across his famously handsome face “well, of course, that is your choice, but you are not leaving until you write.”
At the look on Alexis’s face he added “Oh don’t worry you shall have everything you need to get it done quickly. The faster you are the faster you go home”
He picked up a small bell and rang it. When Edward and the goons showed up, he instructed them to “take Miss Carrington to her living quarters”
When she walked into her “living quarters”, she found that he was true to his word. There was everything she needed. Not only was there a computer (no internet, first thing she checked) but there was a coffee pot with Jamaican blue mountain coffee to brew. There was a carton of her favorite cigarette brand. There were reference books for writers; there was even a family history of the Tellings, first family of the Nosufur-atuan. Small dishes of chocolates and animal cookies were placed about the room. Yes everything she needed except her freedom. That would be earned she supposed.
Alexis walk over to the desk and sat in the chair. The chair was comfortable and felt as if it was made just for her. She supposed it was. She reached over and turned on the computer. Opening word, she begin to type.
“The house was huge. At one time, it was probably considered quite elegant, the type of in your face display of wealth. Yes, it was huge but now, instead of stylish, it seemed odd and poorly planned. There were rooms whose original intent was lost on many of the people at the Housewarming party.”