The tour of Bran Castle was brilliant. I had chosen the twilight tour as it was the most creepy; but my friends had opted for the daytime one, so I was alone with only two other people and the tour guide.
With my camera in hand, we ascended the stone stairs and walked around the place. The tour guide told us of wonderful facts and some fun myths of the place with this strong Transylvanian accent rolling gorgeously off his tongue; it was almost sexy in a way as his voice bounced off the empty walls of the place, and yet he was older than he appeared.
I took plenty of pictures with the light that there was, and found that the rooms had been sparcely furnished to show how big they really were; and I used the light and the furnishings in my shots to my best as I didn’t want my holiday snaps to feel like just happy-snaps… I wanted them to tell a real story.
“Mina, are you ready to follow us?” Georgio asked at the door, “I do not wish to leave anyone alone in his room.”
“His room?” I asked.
“Yes, this was his master bedroom.” The guide said looking around, “The place where Mina and the Count spent so few nights together…” he smiled a little, “Such a pity the myth is what people believe instead of the right story.”
I gazed at the beautiful mirror, the view out of the window and the huge, four-poster bed, “Yes… pity.”
“We cannot linger.” He said, “I do not like losing people in this place.”
“Okay.” I smiled.
He turned and went across the corridor into the next room as I looked around for a last time, then turned to leave, when I heard a footfall behind me and a soft, charming voice, “Mina, my love.”
I turned and looked around, but nobody was here, “Ghosts.” I turned to leave again, and a cool finger moved my hair from my shoulder! I spun… searching the room in the fading light of the day!
“Mina.” His voice was louder, but still on the breeze, “My dear, you’ve returned to me.”
I turned and found the room had come alive with the Count standing before me. His face lit up as I stood before him, his arms open to me as he walked toward me and embraced my tiny form. I didn’t know what to do as he took in a deep breath – smelling my hair – and sighed.
This man was obviously in love with me – well the Mina he knew – and it looked like I had to play along until this little fantasy was over.
“Returned?” I asked.
“Yes.” He drawled, “You have been gone all day and I missed you.”
This guy was nothing like what the myths led me to believe! He was nice, kind and he led me into the room by my hand, sat me down and asked what I had gotten up to during my day. No man does for me now!
Before long, we were seated in our room at a lovely little table by the window eating a meal chatting. It was the most intelligent conversation I’d had in years; well with a man anyway, and I was totally enjoying myself! How could people call this man a horrible person? I wondered about it all through this evening.
Then, as it became late, I turned toward the door, and heard a few voices out in the corridor calling my name. They were distant as I pulled open the heavy wooden door that sat ajar and I saw across the corridor, my tour guide who stepped toward me and grabbed my shoulder as I heard the man in the room behind me shout: “No! Mina, come back!”
That night, I was looking at my photos on my laptop back at the hotel. My friends were amazed I had gotten such a great collection. I went to bed at around 10pm, just as my friends did in the surrounding rooms. As usual, I kept my camera in the bedside table; where I could lock it up and it was close by and went to sleep.
But it wasn’t long before a cool finger crossed my cheek, waking me in the night. Opening my eyes, I looked up to find the man I had seen earlier that evening at Bran Castle, standing over my bed! I couldn’t move as he leaned down and whispered in my ear, “You cannot escape me, Mina. I am always here.”
“But I’m not your Mina.” I replied shakily.
Without moving away, he paused for a moment, “Then, I shall make you mine…” Faster than I thought possible, this man held me down, pushed my head to one side and bit into the tender flesh of my neck! It was painful, delightful and horrifying at the time; and yet when he had finished, I wished deep down he hadn’t, “You will be mine in the end, Mina.”
“No, I won’t.” I said as his vanished into the shadows.
He returned twice more. By the time the third time he was due, I had found my way to Bran Castle where he met me at the gates, “I told you that you would be mine, Mina.”
“And I told you that I won’t be.” I said, “Leave me alone.”
Turning to leave, I heard a voice in my head, ‘Mina, please stop, my love.’ And I paused a moment, half-turned then kept walking. This kind of hypnotism wasn’t going to work on me.
My eyes opened in the hospital, and my folks were shocked to see me survive the car crash in Transylvania. Mum rushed to my side as she brushed the hair from my face, tears wetting her cheeks where they had already been before while Dad raced out into the hall shouting for a doctor. But I didn’t see them… I saw the man from the castle standing over in the corner.
‘Mina, my love, I shall always be with you.’ He smiled, ‘No matter how many centuries of time separate us, I shall always been here for you, my dear.’
I looked away from him as the doctor came in, “Make him stop talking to me.” I begged.
“Who are you talking about?” the doctor asked.
“The man in the corner.” I pointed.
He turned and glanced to where I was pointing, “What man?”
“The Count, he thinks I’m his Mina.”
The doctor paled, “Oh no, not again… the Count has claimed another mind.”
Dad pointed to a pamphlet, “It’s a myth.”
He looked down, “But it’s not, and there’s no escape for her once he’s made contact…” he inspected my neck, “… and he has.”
This was one of Chuck's great mixtures of genres... there were 20 to mix up and I got 'paranormal romance' and 'time travel'... and I thought Dracula in modern day would be fun!