Last year, as part of my October Daily Writing, I did 8 Halloween-themed pieces for the week before and the day of Halloween itself.
I’ll be reposting those this year in the lead-up to Halloween 2022.
Quick reminder: Realmgard’s equivalent of Halloween is Heroes’ Eve. I haven’t worked out many of the details beyond that it exists and people dress up for it — though my general sense is that it’s a day to celebrate history’s great heroes that eventually got a little out of hand and turned into an excuse just to dress up.
For today’s scene, we’ve got a real Vampire feeling some feelings about a holiday that usually involves people dressing up as pretend Vampires.
Immediately upon arriving at the soirée hosted at Darkstone Manor, Margravine Alessia di Racula seeks out the darkest corner of the room and glides over to brood there for the duration. The iron laws of etiquette and protocol dictate that she accept an invitation sent by one of her few mortal friends in the world of Terrace.
She owes that much to Estelle, at least, having developed a rare friendship with Estelle after buying some property in Porthaven through her parents’ business connections in the city — a long, strange odyssey most parties involved would likely prefer to forget.
However, her only opinions on the Heroes’ Eve festival — a tawdry, tacky, grating, galling, utterly ridiculous affair — dictate that she will not enjoy it.
As a Vampire — a powerful woman in her own right and a member of a powerful line of Vampires — there are few things capable of vexing of distressing her. But Heroes’ Eve, this accursed, unsightly holiday is foremost among them.
Still, the approach of one of the few people she holds any affection for does manage to bring a fate smile to her crimson lips.
“Happy Heroes’ Eve, Aunt Alessia,” an unusually piratical Kat says, settling into the corner beside Alessia.
“What in the world are you wearing, Kat?” Alessia asks.
“Yeah, well, it’s Heroes’ Eve,” Kat says, gesturing to her costume. “This is the closest I’m ever going to get to being a pirate.”
“You look ridiculous in that costume,” Alessia mutters, heaving an inward sigh.
Kat nods. “Tell me about it! But it’s a holiday,” She glances down at her own feet. “I do like the boots, though.”
“They are rather nice,” Alessia concedes. She thoughtfully raises a finger to her chin. “Hmmm. I could do with a pair like that.”
“You look grumpy, Aunt Alessia,” Kat notes. “Are you not enjoying the party?”
“I am grumpy,” Alessia says. She frowns and crosses her arms over her chest. “I hate this holiday.”
“But why? It’s just a chance to for everyone to cut loose for one night of the year,” Kat says.
“They could cut loose without tying bedsheets around themselves, buying cheap prop fangs and jumping around going ‘Bleh! I’m a vampire!’” Her frown deepens and her pale brow furrows. “We do not say Bleh!”
“Well, Mom will be happy you came,” Kat offers. “Even though you’re not wearing a costume.”
“Oh, but I am wearing a costume,” Alessia says with a wry smile. “I’m pretending to be someone who enjoys Heroes’ Eve parties.”
“I, uh, I don’t think that counts,” Kat says.
They are interrupted by Dunstana leaping into their corner with a dramatic flourish of her red-and-black cape.
“Aunt Alessia! Look! Look!” Dunstana says eagerly as she shows off her costume. “Look! I’m a Vampire! Just like you!”
She strikes what she is sure is no doubt a suitably dramatic and scary Vampire pose.
Alessia groans and buries her face in her hands.
“We do not say Bleh!, Dunstana,” she mutters. “Blegh.”
“Uh, Aunt Alessia —” Kat ventures.
“That was a blegh of disgust, Kat,” Alessia says. “Not a Bleh! I’m a vampire!”
“Ugh. I need a drink.”
Kat and Dunstana shift uneasily and surreptitiously cover their necks.
FYI, that “buying some property” line is a fairly obtuse reference to Dracula — unlike the surname ‘di Racula’ which is a rather flagrant reference to Dracula — named, as you’re likely aware, for a real person.
Basically, the entire plot is kicked off by Jonathan Harker going to Castle Dracula to help the Count buy a house in London. Though, of course, Alessia’s intentions were 100% honorable in wanting to buy some property.
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