This Sunday I took a late nap after a long day. It was a really short thing, about half an hour all in all, but it seemed to last forever. I was dreaming; dreaming one of those dreams.
There were these children, I remember only a few of them specifically, but I remember there were a bunch of them, all different ages and sizes. They were staying "at court". They seemed to be from important families and they were staying at some sort of palace. As is often the case, the palace looked, unfailingly, like my grandparents' house. It had the same trees, the same garden, the same wall and the same little bungalow my uncle inhabited where I so often walked in uninvited.
The children were at play and it was hard to tell whether they were getting along or not. Their families certainly weren't and there was a strong implication in the air that the reason they were all hanging around at court was to remedy this state of affairs. Someone had suggested they go hunting, or so it seemed to me, and they left the garden by my grandparents' old door, down the brick road, the one with the iron bell, the wall with the ivy over it.
There was a girl, still a girl but evidently fancying herself a woman already. She had the sort of headdress sixteenth century noble ladies wore, a bit ridiculous for a tiny slip of a girl with a little round face and a snubbed nose. She was wearing one of those gowns with a high waist and a low cleavage which hardly made her look womanly in spite of itself; there was very little bosom to work with. She was dressed all in green and gold. Her hair was a honey brown.
There was a lad, maybe a bit older than the girl, but not by much. He had that ridiculous page bob all little princes seem to have, and he was dressed in the way Henry VIII would have dressed if he had been a skinny boy, scarce able to carry so much cloth on his thin shoulders. There was the fur and the rich linen and the gloves. I think the boy was a hunter. Green and gold for him too and the same honey-brown hair. Or ashen brown, I can't seem to recall.
There was a mad dog outside, not much really, a little feist running up and down the street with foam flying of his mouth. Not a danger really, except all mad dogs are sooner or later. I think the lad in green shot him down. Or it might have been his older brother, for there was an older brother, someone who was too much of an adult to run with the children but still slender and young and fair. He did not have the ridiculous page cut, his hair was long and lose. But his coloring was exactly the same as his younger sibling's.
When she saw him, the girl in the womanly gown beamed and preened and flirted, for he was beautiful. I do not believe the young lad was pleased for they seemed to have struck a friendship of sorts. They went back into the gardens and into my uncle's bungalow, which by the magic of dreams, was transformed into handsome quarters, fit for these nobly born youngsters. She laughed at the lad in green and teased him and then asked if she could go into his quarters to refresh herself. He acceded, a bit shy but gentlemanly.
In those private quarters, those appointed to his family, she couldn't help but nose around. She prodded and spied until she came face to face with his father, who had the same unfortunate page bob and the same blonde hair as his sons. But he had a kind face, big nose, big jaw, big smile. He had the furs too and the big Henry VII shoulders. They talked easily and he was evidently charmed. I don't think he had meant to be quite so charmed. As I have said their families seemed to be at odds. All of them.
When they came back into the garden, the young lad was quite as surprised as his father. The young lady was all smiles and graces and he couldn't help feel a bit jealous, that she so easily charmed everyone, as she had charmed him. But again the children were left to their own devices and again the lad and the girl were alone. He was sulking and resentful and she sat by his side and shyly asked him, "So when you are older, will you let your hair grow long like your brother?"
He smiled and said yes and things were mended between them.
The youngsters retired to their parents' quarters and the girl and her lad parted amicably. She went up a flight of stairs that had the railing and my grandparents' red carpet. But as she climbed and climbed the house grew (of course, it was a palace in my dream after all). Her apartments were on a top floor in one of those rectangular courtyards that have a balcony all along its inner walls. There was another girl who had come up to this part of the palace. She had been among the group, quiet and inconspicuous. Dark and mysterious. I think she was the oldest among them. About the same age as this not-quite-a-woman and her lad, but standing just the littlest bit taller. She gazed curiously at our girl in green.
Our little lady was taking down some Halloween decorations, or at least that is what they seemed. Little bats and boogies and other creepy crawlies made of paper. Evidently the celebration was not far behind. And evidently, the lonesome task of taking these apart was entirely hers. She seemed well-content with it and therefore used to this solitary state of affairs. The older girl stared at her strange decorations. I think some of them resembled our Día de los Muertos papers. They were lovely, dainty things, very much in the taste of this mysterious young lady. When the girl in green became aware of her scrutiny she smiled, such a friendly thing. They talked about the decorations, about the loneliness and the disinterest or busy schedule of their parents. Out mysterious lady seemed surprised, but she had made a friend. When she continued on to her quarters she did so with the gift of a paper decoration. She was lodged right in front of her new friend.
Her father was there, busy, I think, reading a paper. Her father was dressed exactly like a grandfatherly version of Bela Lugosi. You see, these two were vampires, what a strange thing. They said their hellos, asked about each others day and settled in the sort of comfortable co-habitation of two people who have had only each other for a long time. And then he warned her, of course.
He said to her, "I saw you talking to the Luther child" (so our little lady's family were the Luthers, I had come to find out). "You must be careful with her," he said to his beloved daughter. She seemed unimpressed. She knew the Luthers were church and would not look warmly upon their kind, but, I suppose, wasn't this the whole point of living at court? To know one another.
"No," her father said. "Come with me and I will show you."
Together they looked out their window, beyond their balcony and into the long descent towards what should have been an inner courtyard. But this wasn't a courtyard, rather a beautifully furnished sitting room. It had books and dark colors, heavy furniture with warmly glowing wood. There was an enormous fireplace with a mantlepiece full of nicknacks and such. There was, I think, a little statue, or a toy, something in the vague shape of a man.
"Look," her father said. "Look closely."
And so the little vampire was able to see the glamor, the magical deception cast upon it.
"It's one of us," she said to her father with a hint of fear.
"And he has his eyes fixed upon your little friend."
The Luther girl came back, of course, for when have young girls ever listened to their fathers? She came back and met her father. There was an old phonograph which she exclaimed over much to his pleasure, and she danced with this grandfatherly Bela Lugosi and charmed him as easily as she had charmed everyone else. Somehow or other she knew they were what they were. So this strange vampire condition must not have been so strange in this palace, this country. Strange enough to hide it from court, but not so strange as to keep a clever, little girl who saw them often from guessing. And the pair of monsters were delighted! For our little lady did not turn away or grew scared but commended them on their fierceness and admired their mysterious qualities. It wasn't long before they had invited her to stay, to sleep over with her new friend, to better keep an eye on her safety.
And this little lady with the luxurious headdress and the womanly gown and the absent parents, what did she do first but inquire as to how two such great monsters could have but a pair of rooms for their use when she and her parents were occupying half this floor and one below? Oh, it was no problem really, they had little servitude and their coffins could well fit in a single room. Oh but the Luther girl was distraught. Should not her friend, a young lady in her own right, have a room of her own? A place to lay her coffin in private and entertain and carry her own affairs?
So it was, and the two girls settled into a disheveled bed, more rooms having been cleared for the use of our two vampires. With such a charming guest the need for a coffin was forgotten. But not the need for alertness. The young vampire girl looked out her new window, trying to ascertain if this simple change in location had somehow dissuaded her friend's admirer.
But he was there still. The face of an almost feline statuette firmly facing towards this very window. She glared at it while her friend complained behind her, told her to come into bed and hear about what those fools at court had done now. But her friend would not move from her vigil; and as often happens, when you stare hard enough, something stares right back.
The Luther girl gave a little cry of protest when she saw her friend climb out her window, but whatever else followed was drowned when the girl let herself fall. And of course, because this is a vampire and this is a dream, our young undead turned into a bat and flew, intent upon having words with whatever intruder would dare menace her friend. She landed upon the beautifully furnished sitting room and looked to the mantlepiece to confront her enemy but there was nothing there. When she turned, there he was, huge, magnificent and full of dark ferocity.
I woke up then and turned to my boyfriend. I said, "I just had the best dream, let me tell you before I forget..."
The girl in the green and gold dress came ready made with a family name, a family name that suggests a history of sorts, but I think I've decided on everyone else. The last week I've been wishing to try and tackle a fantasy project, not the big ambitious one which I've had forever, but a smaller, less intimidating one. I wanted something that would let me stretch my muscles and be a little silly. I wanted to do as GRRM does and name my main family Stark after Iron Man just because that sounds so cool.
I think this is the sort of project I needed. My vampire girl and her father will probably have the family name of Polidori. Her name will be Lucille. Our little family of Henry VIIIs shall all be named after different versions of Lanval... Landeval, Launfal, so on and so forth. This is the dream of the people with L names. I've got such a clear visuals, and it's like discovering a story that's already written. So there are vampires in this country, and some are hidden, but people know. What else is there? I think there shall be fairies. I think my Lanvals have such a very uniform coloring because they might have fairy blood.
Who knows what else will come up?
(There was also something else I think I was dreaming before this big dream story. I think it's connected or so I would like it to be. I was dreaming of something kind of like Hellsing's Alucard. I think that's where I got my perverted scary vampire stalker. I was dreaming there was this young man and he was very sweet and gentle and he was in love. He was courting this young lady. So after getting her consent I think, to something or other, maybe marriage, maybe something else, he comes to his room, all ecstatic. And in that room he finds our vampire, hungry, jealous, but infinitely seductive. I think they must have been old lovers, there was that sort of tension. I think there must have been a heated exchange. I think this man is Luther girl's father. I was worried that her colors, her dress and hair were to similar to those of her Lanval lad. But I think it must be because her mother was of that family. That must have been the lady this young man was courting. Pieces, bits at a time. A young man from a church family with a vampire (ex?)lover who courted and wed a fey-blooded lady. Who knows indeed.)