Lost in the Mists
"They thought they left me for dead. They were wrong."
You know that moment of relief you feel when you wake from a nightmare and realize it was all just a bad dream? For me, it’s the opposite. I dream of holding my daughter, Astrid, hearing the sound of her laughter, seeing the blonde highlights in her brunette hair catch the glow of the midday sun. I dream of my husband, his handsome face in the moonlight as he would put his arm around me and name the constellations in the skies of our home world. I dream of my mother and father, my sister and my brother. I dream of my home. I am at peace in my dreams; it is when I awake that I reenter the nightmare that has become my life. When I awake alone in the cold darkness, I remember their faces as I last saw them: covered in blood with the terror of their final moments forever etched into their faces.
Miredus. I can barely recall its sun and star constellations since I last laid eyes on them five years ago back when it still existed in Jura. My family worked tirelessly to supply Vosk’s army, the King’s Blade, with the finest in enchanted weaponry. The Tsaruka family, full of those skilled in both weapon forging and manipulation of arcana magic, were uniquely qualified for the role that we held for centuries.
I suppose that’s why they came for us.
The attacks began within hours after Miredus arrived in Ravenloft. Monsters poured from the darkness. We hid in our home and listen to the screams of their victims, the cries for mercy that would not come.
I remember every vivid detail of that night. The door exploded inward. From the darkness, we heard a man yell, “This is where the weapon makers live! Now please, spare my life!” His screams were interrupted by a wet ripping sound. Then his head rolled through the door. My husband and father pushed Astrid and I into the bedroom and locked us in. I covered Astrid’s ears as I heard the sounds of my family being ripped to pieces. When the screams began to die down, I knew they would be coming for us soon.
“Astrid,” I whispered. “Listen to mommy now. I want you to hide under the bed, close your eyes and cover your ears, and don’t make a sound. Don’t come out until it’s safe. And remember that I will always love you.”
Silent tears fell from my five-year-olds pale blue eyes but she hugged me tight and crawled under the bed. I turned just as the bedroom door was broken down.
I stared in horror at the vampire before me, his hair stark white and his features twisted into pure rage and hate. I looked into his glowing red eyes as his blood stained lips curled into a horrible smile, revealing a mouth full of sharp teeth. Behind him I saw four other vampires watching us. They were standing perfectly still among the carnage that used to be my family. I have never seen so much blood.
Before I knew what was happening, he was on me, draining the blood and life out of me. I lay on the floor, the edges of my vision darkening as death came for me. But then I turned and saw Astrid under the bed, her eyes meeting mine, her hands covering her mouth. I held this image in my mind as I passed out and I used it to fuel my will to live. I needed to live. My daughter needed me to live.
The first thing I noticed when I came to was the cold. It has never left me since. I leapt up and ran through the house yelling for Astrid. I searched everywhere, overturned every piece of furniture, but she was gone. I don’t know how long after that it was that I realized I was much stronger than I should be, especially for someone who was so near death. With trepidation, I looked at my reflection in the mirror.
Five years later, I am no longer startled by the image that reflects back at me in the mirror. But when I first saw what I had become, I could not stop screaming. My skin was deathly pale, my brown hair was now completely white, and my canine teeth were now sharpened at the tips. The only thing that didn’t change was the pale blue color of my eyes.
I had become a half vampire and I don’t know if they meant to turn me or if they thought they had left me for dead.
I joined the Midnight Watch to continue the legacy of my family and to protect what is left of the people of Miredus. I wait for moment when I can exact my revenge, whether the band of vampires returns or I can find a way past the King’s Blade into the mist and hunt them down. No matter what it takes, no matter what has become of her, I will find my daughter.