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Authors: Isabella Kruger

Afterlife

BOOK: Afterlife
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Afterlife

A Discovery Of Vampires #1

 

By Isabella Kruger

 

 

 

Adiscoveryofvampires.blogspot.com

 

Copyright © 2011 ISABELLA KRUGER

 

                                                              All rights reserved

 

                                

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Before the curtain

 

Chapter 1

 

Chapter 2

 

Chapter 3

 

Chapter 4

 

Chapter 5

 

Chapter 6

 

Chapter 7

 

Chapter 8

 

Chapter 9

 

Chapter 10

 

Delicious

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B
efore the curtain

 

As the manager sits before a performance, as the critics wait like hungry dogs to rip apart the performance, they all become entwined in the theatrics of it all. The public stands outside the great building in lavish gowns and over the top suits and top hats. They flourish in their vanity and ambition to be the next best thing.

 

Welcome to the world of pretense. It’s a moral one with many faces and people who have been to a few too many places. I'm one of those people. I stand in the crowd I laugh out loud, I wave my hands and sometimes just for a single moment, buy into the surealness of it all.

 

After all the big talk and mindless gossiping we go inside to laugh and hide and then to mock the performance of a very rigid man with a story. He was a magician of sorts who cut woman into pieces and put them back together. To them the mortal beings who find this all too amusing it's all a story, a performance, a play, a theatrical piece of sorts, or just another literary game. However, I'm here to tell you dear reader that there is always more than meets the eye.

 

That is why I have no other moral, but to tag this book as "afterlife". Some people consider the afterlife all but a mindless conspiracy theory. They see nothing but their own mortality and plot that there is nothing beyond this plain old earth than dust and fog. Dear reader, what you are about to read will shock and frustrate you, but I have no other choice but to tell you this tale. What more have I, a historian of sorts to say, but to let the curtain rise!

 

France, September 21, 1951

 

 

 

The shell of objects inwardly consumed

 

Will stand, till some convulsive wind awakes;

 

Such sense hath Fire to waste the heart of things,

 

Nature, such love to hold the form she makes.

 

Thus, wasted joys will show their early bloom,

 

Yet crumble at the breath of a caress;

 

The golden fruitage hides the scathèd bough,

 

Snatch it, thou scatterest wide its emptiness.

 

For pleasure bidden, I went forth last night

 

To where, thick hung, the festal torches gleamed;

 

Here were the flowers, the music, as of old,

 

Almost the very olden time it seemed.

 

For one with cheek unfaded, (though he brings

 

My buried brothers to me, in his look,)

 

Said, `Will you dance?' At the accustomed words

 

I gave my hand, the old position took.

 

Sound, gladsome measure! at whose bidding once

 

I felt the flush of pleasure to my brow,

 

While my soul shook the burthen of the flesh,

 

And in its young pride said, `Lie lightly thou!'

 

 

Then, like a gallant swimmer, flinging high

 

My breast against the golden waves of sound,

 

I rode the madd'ning tumult of the dance,

 

Mocking fatigue, that never could be found.

 

 

Chide not,--it was not vanity, nor sense,

 

(The brutish scorn such vaporous delight,)

 

But Nature, cadencing her joy of strength

 

To the harmonious limits of her right.

 

 

She gave her impulse to the dancing Hours,

 

To winds that sweep, to stars that noiseless turn;

 

She marked the measure rapid hearts must keep

 

Devised each pace that glancing feet should learn.

 

 

And sure, that prodigal o'erflow of life,

 

Unvow'd as yet to family or state,

 

Sweet sounds, white garments, flowery coronals

 

Make holy, in the pageant of our fate.

 

 

Sound, measure! but to stir my heart no more--

 

For, as I moved to join the dizzy race,

 

My youth fell from me; all its blooms were gone,

 

And others showed them, smiling, in my face.

 

 

Faintly I met the shock of circling forms

 

Linked each to other, Fashion's galley-slaves,

 

Dream-wondering, like an unaccustomed ghost

 

That starts, surprised, to stumble over graves.

 

 

For graves were 'neath my feet, whose placid masks

 

Smiled out upon my folly mournfully,

 

While all the host of the departed said,

 

`Tread lightly--thou art ashes, even as we.'

 

Julia Ward Howe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

Miss Madison’s Academy

 

I
n a century before the millennium on a rainy and thundering day, an old Ford drove up to the steel gates of MissMadisonAcademy for girls. It was a dreadful place and looked much like a graveyard. The driver stopped next to Miss Madison’s brass plate. The children, both young ladies, climbed out of the car. Fleur, the youngest was a shy child with red hair and freckles. She held tightly onto her sister’s hand. Her sister Louisa, a few years older, was a bright and intelligent child who had seen her share of heartache.

 

Aunt Petunia their aunt, waited for a black servant to open the door as she climbed out and straightened her posh attire. She stared with disdain at the children. She was a witch of a woman with a temper worse than a strong wind passing through the Saharan desert.  Aunt Petunia hated all children, small, big, fat and thin. Those who knew her knew that she wasn’t just an ordinary woman, she was a witch and not just in the metaphorical sense. She cast spells and put naughty little children in closet’s and cages for a whole week with just the barest minimum of food and water.

 

As the children walked to the front door of the huge school Aunt Petunia said a final goodbye to the children, “At least dear ones you were left some money, otherwise I would be forced to send you to the circus.”

 

In a series of unfortunate events, Fleur and Louisa's parents died a year before in a boating accident somewhere in Africa. Their bodies were never found. The children would often fantasize and make up stories of how their parents would magically appear. Unfortunately that dream never became a reality.

 

The girls looked at the building before them and wondered if it would be just another chapter in their journey through hell. What would Miss Madison’s Academy bring? Somehow they knew if it had anything to do with Aunt Petunia it wasn’t going to be pleasant at all.

 

Reader let me interrupt you for just a second, I must stress that what you have read about hell on earth and even this, is nothing like the pain that would soon come.

 

But alas, let the story commence. Miss Madison, a pale thin woman with round glasses, opened the big wooden doors and walked down the stairs. She had a limp and scars on her face. The woman looked as if she had battled seventy men in the First World War with her own bare hands. As she came to a standstill, Miss Madison stuck her incredibly sharp nose in the air and sniffed. “Do I smell little stinking children Miss Lamington?” She asked her housekeeper.  Fleur sensed her dark presence and hid behind Louisa.

 

“So these are the two little brats?” she asked in high English, pelting her walking stick. Aunt Petunia smiled at Miss Madison who was clearly her kind of woman.

 

“Yes I hope you can teach them some manners, because I simply cannot. They are a pair of hooligans … horrible children.” replied aunt Petunia, pushing Fleur towards Miss Madison.

 

“I assure you they will be well taken care of. I trust that you will pay the fees in the amount of 6 pounds and 24 shillings to our school?”

 

“That is in order.” Petunia replied while holding out the money. The driver tossed two small bags out of the Ford and Louisa and Fleur stood alone in a world that had shown them only pain. Aunt Petunia gave the children a brief look of disapproval and abruptly climbed back in the car. The car drove off and the girls watched as the car and Aunt Petunia disappeared never to be seen or heard from again.

 

Miss Madison looked at the children with disgust, “Well first things first, get your bags and follow me,” she sneered.

 

The children each with a heavy bag in hand walked up twenty flights of stairs in the old mansion. Fleur pushed and pulled and with every step she felt as if her head was about to explode. When Fleur took a rest for just about a second, Miss Madison whipped her with her walking stick. Louisa tried helping Fleur, but it was to no avail for there was no helping others in this place, especially not with Miss Madison and her iron fist around.

***

 

 

 

 

4 years later

 

Fleur had grown to understand Miss Madison’s ways. She was already accustomed to her abuse and her ill treatment of every single good hearted soul that had ever passed her way.

 

There were never any birthdays or parties at Miss Madison’s, only the scrubbing of toilets, the warmth of stoves and the chocking feeling of the horrid room where she had lived with Louisa for the last four years. There was never a day’s rest and never a kind word to spare. Louisa was all Fleur had and vice versa. Once in those four ghastly years, Miss Madison tried to turn sister against sister.

 

Fleur, a pretty little thing by nature, got hold of a comb and a mirror and brushed her unruly hair and admired herself in the mirror. Miss Madison’s assistant house keeper, Miss Page Lamington, caught her and gave her seven whippings for being a bad girl. Miss Madison again tried to force Fleur to turn against her sister and say that it was indeed Louisa who had given her the comb and mirror. Fleur had a strong and righteous will and simply refused. Miss Madison sent them both to the attic. A place where there was no food and just a bit of water and they were forced to kill and eat rats to stay alive.

 

Since those days things have never gotten better. The girl’s lives were the same and they had no hope of ever getting out, until a magician, a very strange and wonderful man came to town. Miss Madison a big fan of the man, arranged for him to entertain the kids. This was very unlike Miss Madison, but she had a silly school girl’s crush on him and in her mind hoped the magician would fall for her.

 

The girls did not complain as they never saw other human beings besides the girls in the school. Most girls were left there after their parents had died. Others were treated quite royally, depending on their circumstance.

 

That week in preparation for the magician’s arrival, Miss Madison bought every girl a dress and had her keepers do their hair. The last thing she wanted was for the world to find out how much she hated them, or how badly she treated some girls. She did not want her evils exposed to the world. She loathed seeing them in pretty dresses and all scrubbed up, but she had no choice if she wanted to continue running her school
her
way. She had to make sure that every inch of suspicion or rumor would disappear, as some rumors had been circling the town.

 

Miss Madison’s kindness stopped at the buying of the dresses. She still went out of her way to silently make life hell for every middle class student at her school. Fleur screamed as Miss Lamington tried to comb the knots out of her hair. Tears welled up inside of her but she couldn’t utter a word. The maids scrubbed her dirty body and she could see the color of her skin for the first time in four years. Baths were not allowed in Miss Madison’s school, especially for girls like Fleur and Louisa. Fleur sat in the bath smelling the sweet smell of Palmolive covering her body. The warmth of the bath felt like a mothers touch … like her mother’s touch … washing away the pain of the last few years.
 

 

***

 

Jacques St Cloud arrived the next day at twilight. He couldn’t risk being seen in the sunlight. The last few weeks had shown an influx of ultraviolet rays in Cornwell accompanied by harsh sunlight and heat. He looked at the big school in front of him and a definite strange sickening feeling came over him, a premonition of sorts. The cold stone building reminded him of Lucia’s the evil ruler of Crastias in his Babylonian palace, it felt cold and soulless. His driver opened the door to the car and he exited elegantly out of the car, tipping his hat to the driver, his pale skin showing only slight signs of goose bumps.  He folded his arms and leaned against the car. A woman came running down the steps at an overly fast pace. He thought for a second that she was going to tumble down the stairs.

BOOK: Afterlife
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