– Chained –
* A vampire in chains following a hunter dressed in black. The woman keeps her head down, almost in tears. They are walking on a road leading through the country, passing by a forest. *
Andurile dragged in chains. She was a prisoner to a merciful monster hunter.
Kareem: There are worse fates, than being sentenced to be my wife. Your punishment to fulfil my every wishes… Well it does not seem like eternal torment.
Andurile: Then… In your opinion, what would be so grim to be a fate? Serving YOU! A human! ME a vampire!? It is shameful! At least why couldn’t you grant me an honest death?
Kareem: I honestly cannot understand you. I just saved your life… How ungrateful you vampires can be… Besides, despite the popular belief that we are mindless butchers, we monster hunters are not heartless and in cases where the so-called “monster” can be reasoned with, we tend to negotiate instead.
Andurile: I did not need your help, nor you pity…
Kareem: You did seem like a maiden in distress to me. But, anyways, would it be better to be burned alive at the stakes? I do not think so.
* They were walking silently for a while. *
However, eventually humans tire. They need rest. So Kareem stopped to make a camp. Gathered firewood. He chained Andurile to a tree with his enchanted chain. Just left her there, if it was nothing. He trusted the magical metal that kept the vampire at bay, and ventured into the forest without fearing she would escape.
I could not escape and that magical chain made me weak, unable to cast my own magic. Even the simplest one…
* Upon returning, the hunter pulled out his knife and from his backpack, and then he started to put meal in front of himself. Then when everything was set, he started to have dinner. *
Kareem: Anyways, you know my name, but did not answer to me before. Maybe you will now. How do they call you my dear wife?
Andurile hesitated, but this time, she felt some kind of urge to answer. She had nothing to lose with it. At first she was thinking about a fake name, but then she gave in…
Andurile: They call me… Andurile… Andurile la’Hessen.
Kareem: La’Hessen you say? Hmm. In your elven tongue it means, from Hessen… Right?
Andurile: Yes… You are right. It is my birth place. The village I hail from.
Kareem: Hessen… I didn’t hear about it before. Is it far? Because I travelled around elven lands for some time and I did not run into any town named like this…
Andurile: It is… Indeed, it is far. Not just in distance, but in time. I do not know if it is still there at all… It might be non-existent now…
Kareem: I see… I am sorry…
* A little silent followed. The hunter tried to avoid the eyes of the vampiress, and so did she with his. *
Andurile felt sad about this thought. She had lost trace of her home a very long time ago…
Kareem: Are you hungry? Would you like a slice from my ham? Or perhaps from the cheese?
Andurile: I would be grateful for some… yes…
* Kareem hands some of his meal to her. His hands were steady. *
Kareem did not even had the slightest fear in him. He just handed over the food to her, like she was and ol’ pal of his. Though Andurile could rip off his arm easily, still… But something stopped her…
* Andurile starts to eat hastily. *
Andurile: Thank you! Thank you very much…
Kareem: Do not mention it… I gave it with kindness…
* They continued to eat together. *
After Kareem finished his dinner, he prepared for a sleep. Andurile still had some cheese to munch on. And did just that, with a little smile on her face.
Kareem: I know, you will not sleep, so would you be kind and keep a watch? I wish you good night!
So it was, Kareem fell asleep. Yet something in Andurile kept her from drinking from his blood, or to kill him. Kareem literally lay in front of her.
Something moved in me. Something kept me from hurting him. Like a promise I made. But I cannot say for sure. This was the feeling of change perhaps…
* Morning came. *
Kareem: Good morning my dear wife. How are you today?
* Andurile raised her eyebrows, but answered politely. *
Andurile: I am fine, thank you for asking. And thou art?
Kareem: I slept well. We shall get going soon.
* Kareem packed up his camp. They slowly got on the road again. *
* After some hours of walking Kareem broke the silence. *
Kareem: I knew I could trust you. You may not see it that way, but when I saw you in those cages, I saw something else, not a monster like most of the people. As you were sitting there, wounded, I saw a bird, which just needs some nursing. I saw something good in you… And I was not mistaken, you had your chance, many times… You could have killed me and just got on your way. But you did not. You have some goodness in you. Do not let others tell you otherwise.
Andurile: So you were prepared for the worst all along? You surprised me… I guess I owe you now… Thank you…
Kareem: You are most welcome… I redeemed you, not to mock you, but to help you…
* They were walking for some hours again. The forest was left far behind them, but they kept walking until they were in the middle of a field. *
When Kareem stopped Andurile still had some doubts, she could not know what to think or what to make of his actions.
Kareem: I suppose, we are far enough away from any town.
* Kareem pulled out a key and opened the shackles on her hands. *
Kareem: You are free now. So… go… But use this freedom well this time.
This was her last chance… Some might call it as a turning point. For her to change.
Andurile: Thank you… I owe you…
Kareem: There is one way how you could repay to me… Just try to be the very person I saw in your eyes. Nothing more, nothing less.
Andurile: I think this is my last chance… Stay safe hunter, may we not meet again…
* She turned into a bat and flew off. *
Kareem: Stay safe… Stay safe Andurile…