tagErotic HorrorDracula's Daughter

Dracula's Daughter


"'Dracula's Daughter' would require half a dozen languages to adequately express its beastliness. I consider it absolutely unfit for exhibition."

-British film censor, 1936


They reached Borgo Pass well before sundown, but the coach driver would go no further. "I shouldn't even have taken you this far," he said.

This was a black, rocky place in the Carpathian Mountains, with only the one road running through it and a half day's ride to civilization in any direction. David tapped his foot and made exasperated faces at the driver.

"If it's a question of money—"

"It's not," the driver said. He was a broad-faced man who seemed not to blink often enough. "You should come back to the village. Nothing good will happen to you here. And with such beautiful young ladies..."

He gave a sympathetic look to Helen and Gwen, who stood by the side of the road, stretching after the long ride. Gwen humored him with a smile in return. Helen was busy examining the landscape, as if she meant to memorize it.

John stood on top of the carriage, unloaded their traveling bags, as the driver had insisted. He tossed them to David one by one.

"Let the man go if he's scared of a few bogeys," John said. "We'll camp out in the castle and make the next town on foot tomorrow. All the better."

He clapped David on the shoulder, but his brother wouldn't banish the sour look on his face. The driver grew even more pale and somber.

"You shouldn't go to the castle," he said, "It's an evil place. Come back with me. For your mothers' sakes."

He'd been talking like this all day, but none of the four travelers had really thought he'd make good on his declaration that he'd drive them no further than the pass. Everyone back at the little village where they'd secured passage had said equally dire and colorful things about the mountains and the castle. At the time it seemed quaint.

"The castle is the entire reason we're here in the first place," David said, his face turning red. "If you're not going to give us a ride and you're not going to say anything helpful then just get along."

The driver tried twice more to dissuade them, but when he saw that no one was going to listen and, more importantly, that the afternoon light was waning, he shook his head, climbed back into the coach, and began the long ride back, sans passengers or luggage.

David, John, Gwen, and Helen watched the carriage trundle back down the narrow mountain road until it was only a black speck below the summit. John quirked an eyebrow. "Well, he was colorful."

"He's a cheat," David said, shouldering his pack. "We paid him for the whole way."

"But you knew he wouldn't take us beyond the pass," Gwen said, touching David on the cheek. "Everyone said so. Look on the bright side: Think what an amusing anecdote this will be for your book."

David's face finally softened, and he kissed Gwen once on the lips.

"I just hope Helen made a good sketch of that scaredy-cat look on his face," John said. "Please tell me you did, darling? Did you see how his mustache curled when we mentioned the castle? Do you think I can train mine to do that?"

He demonstrated with two fingers. Helen gave him a thin-lipped smile and said, "Let's hurry. If we don't get to the ruins soon the light will fail and I won't be able to make any decent sketches."

"Do you think you can manage the hike?" David said to Gwen. But she was already shouldering her bag.

"There's one way to find out," she said. "If it turns out I can't keep up, I'll know to go faster." She flashed him a smile.

"Do you think I can manage the hike?" John said to Helen, pretending like his bags were too heavy to pick up.

"I'm surprised you managed the coach ride," she said, and pushed him over.

In a few minutes they were all ready to go. And, arm in arm, they set off into the craggy Transylvanian wilderness, toward the lonely and foreboding towers of Castle Dracula.


"It certainly is a grim place," Gwen said, surveying the courtyard. "I see why the villagers are so frightened. It must have been deserted for centuries."

The castle was quiet, gloomy, and skeletal. Thick curtains of cobwebs shrouded everything, ensnaring the central staircase. Most of the ceiling here in what was once the grand entryway was gone. Now and then some rooting animal stirred in a dark corner. John climbed up and swept the cobwebs from one of the great stone windows, letting the feeble sunlight in.

"No, it was only abandoned recently," Helen said. "To hear the villagers tell it, Count Dracula himself lived here until just a few years ago. He moved to London and died shortly after."

"Which Count Dracula?" David said, alarmed. He was picking around the room, looking for recognizable inscriptions. "There hasn't been an heir to the House of Dracula since the 14th century."

"After you went to bed early like an old maid, Helen and I stayed up and learned all about the great House of Dracula from the locals," said John. "Shall we tell them the story, dear?"

Helen was sketching the castle entry in a notebook, charcoal flying across the page, and she only nodded in reply. John crept up to Gwen and leered. "It's not a story for the faint of heart," he added. "You see, Count Dracula was what the locals call one of...the undead."

He held up two fingers to indicate long teeth. David rolled his eyes but Gwen shrank a little closer to him and tucked one hand into his.

"Apparently one night back in those old 14th century days the count took it into his head to kidnap all the pretty young village girls for one of his parties," John continued. "The peasants stormed the castle, and brought a genuine black-magic sorcerer with them."

"Where did they find a thing like that?" said Gwen.

"Maybe in those days there was one in every village, like having a dentist or a locksmith on call. Anyway, this is just how the villagers tell the story today. Apparently the wizard cursed all of Dracula's guests and turned the count himself into a vampire, so that he could be eternally punished for his wicked ways."

"Sounds more like a punishment for the poor villagers, having to live with a vampire in the old castle!" Gwen said.

John shrugged. "You buy black magic, you get what you pay for. Now isn't that a plum for your book, David?"

"Peasant superstitions," David said, although he was making notes anyway.

"You're writing a book on Transylvanian history," John said. "You must believe in vampires?"

"Complete nonsense."

Something stirred at the top of the stairs. All four travelers froze, then turned to look. But there was nothing there except the fluttering of cobwebs.

"The light won't last much longer in these mountains," Helen said. "Let's find the highest place in the castle and get the best view we can."

"You two big important researchers do that," John said. "Gwen and I will set up camp here, and then maybe go find the room where the count kept all his dead wives."

David took an electric torch from his bag and poked a hole in the curtain of cobwebs over the main stairs large enough to admit a person. Helen went to follow him, pausing for John to kiss her once on the cheek and once on the lips.

"Don't get so wrapped up in the angles that you go falling off a tower," he told her. "We'll have a hard time getting you down the aisle back home in a body cast. Not that I wouldn't push your hospital bed every inch to the altar myself."

She stroked his fingers, giving him a long, silent look full of feeling. Gwen felt an unpleasant twinge in her chest.

David and Helen disappeared up the gloomy staircase, David and the electric light leading the way. Gwen opened the packs, dutifully fixing up bedrolls, but as soon as the others were out of sight John grabbed her by the hand. She looked startled.

"We have to have camp ready by the time they get back," she said.

"There will be plenty of time for that," John replied. "Meanwhile, this is our chance to get some real exploring done, without Old Maid David getting after us. Come on; this is the only night we'll ever spend in a haunted Transylvanian castle, right? Let's make the most of it."

He began dragging her along with him toward a gloomy arch nearby. Gwen dragged her feet.

"Don't call this place haunted," she said, shivering. "And don't think for a moment I'm running off with you. If we get hurt in here somewhere David and Helen will have no idea where to find us."

John produced an electric torch like David's and shone it into the arched passage nearby. Hundreds of years of decay and disuse greeted them.

"We'll scream very loudly and they'll find us in no time," he said. "Think about it: We might be the first people to step foot in here in almost 600 years..."

"Unless the stories about vampires are true..." Gwen said. John grinned at her.

"Imagine meeting a real-life vampire," he said. "That would be quite an interview for David's book, yeah?"

He led, the light bobbing this way and that with every step. The roof was low, and the crumbling castle walls allowed all manner of icy drafts that felt like cold fingers on Gwen's arms and neck.

She moved a little closer to John and caught the scent of his cologne—three weeks in the field and he still put a dash on every day. The drip, drip, drip of running water came from somewhere nearby.

"As long as we're alone, tell me: What do you really think of David's work?" John said, trying to sound casual.

"I think it's very important," Gwen said automatically. "The book's going to be a big step forward for historical research in the region. And of course Helen's sketches are part of that too."

John snorted. "I think it's all a bunch of baloney, and I think secretly you agree."

Gwen felt like slapping him. "How can you talk like that about your own brother? To say nothing of your fiancée!"

"The fact that he's my brother and she's my fiancée is exactly why I can say it. They're doing all this work of traipsing around ruined castles and not even bothering to write about any of the good stuff.

"That Dracula story is the sort of thing people want, not David's muck about family lines and ancient treaties."

He had stopped walking and was paying very particular attention to one wall. "

They're going to do all this work and nobody's going to care, and that's going to break both of their hearts. Can you stand to see that? Aha!"

This last he said in response to a slight noise when he pushed on a stone, which turned out to be a slab covering some sort of doorway. When new it must have been cunningly hidden, but age had given it telltale cracks around the frame.

He handed the light to Gwen and then set his shoulder against it, pushing with all his might as it slid slowly but surely under the pressure, liberating a musty smell from the gap. The wall yawned for them and John shone the light in.

"We have a responsibility to save both of them from themselves," he continued. "On that note, let's see what we've found."

Gwen peered in. "It might not be safe."

"All the more reason it'll be interesting."

John's light revealed a lurid spectacle of cobweb-draped candelabrums and claw-footed tables and chair, and the skeleton of a chandelier that had shed all of its crystals in a still-glittering pile on the floor. He whistled.

"Why would you keep a room like this all sealed up, do you think?"

"No reason I want to think about. I don't feel safe in here."

"Don't worry so much. It's perfectly—"

Gwen screamed as the rotted legs of the chair she'd grabbed broke and sent her tumbling. John dropped the light (it flickered once, threatening to plunge them into hopeless darkness after rolling to a corner) and caught her. But his foot slipped and he stumbled as well.

They wheeled across the room in a kind of clumsy dance before coming to a stop against a low table, panting and holding onto each other.

"Are you all right?" he said.

"I think so."

Gwen realized how close they were. She ought to be telling him to let her go now, but she wasn't. She could feel his panting breath on her mouth. She turned away, but to her surprise he turned her back again. She squirmed.

"John, Helen is my sister. She's your fiancée. I'm engaged to your brother..."

"And where are both of them now?" John said. "Why do you think they're always going off alone together like that?"

"You don't really mean that."

"I don't know what I mean. All I know is—"

"You're leaning on a coffin."

"That's a strange way to put it, but okay."

"No, John, really, that table it a coffin!"

John jumped. The cloth covering the oblong shape wafted up, revealing the black lid, the brass hinges, and, most curious of all, a pair of tarnished brass padlocks.

It was a beautiful thing, black finish gleaming in the artificial light. John whistled. "Holy moly," he said. "Do you think anyone's in it? If we break this open and find some royal skeleton it'll give David's readers one hell of a surprise."

"Oh, we couldn't do that," Gwen said. She also tried very hard not to think about how quickly he'd abandoned their talk of a moment ago, and then admonished herself. After all, she'd wanted him to drop it...

She was still chewing over this when both of them got the shock of their lives: Very clearly and very distinctly there came the sound of something knocking on the lid of the box.

Gwen gasped. The electric light flickered again. They exchanged wide-eyed looks. "It couldn't be," Gwen said.

"It sounds like it is anyway. Help me find something to open it with."

"But it can't be a person in there, it just can't," Gwen said. "Who would do such a thing?"

"There'll be time to ask that later," said John, brandishing the heaviest candelabra he could and beating at the locks with it. But they didn't budge; age had made them no less solid. The sound of infernal clattering filled the castle.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, John said, "I can't do this alone. Call David."

The knocking came again, louder this time and unmistakably coming from inside the casket. Heart racing, Gwen ran back to the passage and opened her mouth to call out—and the door slammed shut behind her!

The tunnel plunged into total darkness. Gwen screamed, pawing for the door, but without any light it was impossible. She cried out: "John? Can you hear me? Push the slab out again. John? John!"

John dropped the candlestick, startled. The stone slab it had taken him two minutes to painstakingly push away had slid back into place in seconds, as if gliding on a freshly oiled hinge.

He gaped and then, panicked, ran to the wall, putting his shoulder against it. It didn't budge. Maybe it could only be opened from the other side? Poor Gwen was out there without any light. What would—

He heard a thump behind him. Not the knocking again; something different. His eyes went to the floor, where a glimmer of brass caught his eye. One of the padlocks had fallen off the coffin.

He picked it up and found that it was intact. In fact, it was still locked. What in the world?

There was another thump. The second lock lay in the dust, apparently fallen off without the mechanism even opening. It was stuffy in the little room, and suddenly he was sweating.

Then he heard the knocking inside the box again, one, two, three, and the lid flew off with a bang.

When John dared look again, a girl was sitting up in the coffin. She had dark hair and eyes, like the women in this country, but she was so terribly pale. The sight of her made John's heart race.

She was dressed all in white, though what she wore didn't cover much, leaving her almost bare-breasted in front of him. She placed one lily-white hand on the coffin lip and pulled herself up, stepping down onto the rubble-strewn floor with bare feet.

"At last," said the girl. "I've waited so patiently for you."

"For me?" John said. "But I've never...my God, you're beautiful."

Had he really just said that?

"Why were you...in there?" he ventured. "What are you doing in this awful place?"

"Don't speak too hardly of my home," the girl said, putting one hand on John's arm. Her fingers were cold. "But how wonderful to think that this won't be my home any longer. You'll take ma way, won't you?"

Looking into her eyes, John knew on some level that he should try to run away now. But he stayed, and she began stroking his hair and speaking in such a soothing way that he couldn't even avert his eyes.

"Father locked me in here as a punishment for being willful, but all I was doing was waiting for you," she continued. "I need a strong hand to guide me into the world of living people. We'll make our plans tonight, you and I. We'll go to the great cities and taste all the joys I've longed for.

"I need a living man for my journey, for I must travel in strange, dark ways. I long for the world, John dear. Your devotion will open its gates to me. At least I'll see it all: the lights and the gaiety, the strong, young people..."

"And I'll repay you, John. I have wealth and power and strange delights you know nothing about yet."

He was staring at her lips, which were very red despite how pale the rest of her complexion was. "I'll...help you if I can," he said. "But there's a woman—actually, there's another woman too, and then also I have a brother and, well, it's all very complicated, you see..."

He trailed off, suddenly unsure what he was even saying.

"I don't want to hear you talk about other women ever again," the girl said, and now her hand was around his throat. She squeezed only a little, but it seemed almost to paralyze him. Then their lips met, and although she was cold there was something soft and inviting about her skin, her figure, the hungry pull of her mouth...

He kissed her back, and when she didn't break off he did it harder, and soon they were leaning over the coffin, devouring each other with kisses, her half-naked body slipping against his, her naked breasts, pale as purest ivory, pressed against him.

His heart beat so loud that he imagined the pulse reverberating through her. When they finished he gasped and crumpled to the ground, hugging her knees, sobbing. She stroked his head like a loyal dog.

Suddenly he felt that nothing was more important than helping this strange, beautiful woman. Somewhere nearby, on the other side of the wall, he heard a voice—Gwen?—screaming, but it was like it was happening in another world.

John kissed the strange girl's bare legs, his lips tracing the curve of her exquisite calves. She purred and reclined in the coffin. Then she pushed his head back, opened her mouth and seemed to kiss his neck, and then—

Darkness descended on him.

Outside, Gwen kept beating at the wall, but her strength was fading. Her voice was fading. The light had long since faded.

She cried out for Helen and David, but they didn't come. She cried out to John, but he didn't answer. Eventually she just cried. And Castle Dracula swallowed her cries up, one by one.


Six months later:

Helen neither replied nor turned to look up when Gwen talked. She sat on the garden bench and watched the flowers bob in the wind, and even when Gwen took her hand she responded only by glancing at her, once, and pursing her lips. She looked pale and her hair was thinning.

Gwen did her best to smile. "Hello Helen. How are you?"

No reply. Helen held a single flower blossom, which she plucked the petals from one by one, shredding them with nervous fingers. It was a gray day in London, and even here in the big garden everything looked muted, washed out, and half-real. But at least it was more cheerful here than in the cell the doctors kept Helen in the rest of the time...

"Dr. Seward says you've been drawing again," Gwen ventured. "He says you drew...the castle." She rushed over the word, fearful, and then plowed on. "He asked me to ask you if you might keep drawing. It helps him understand how to help you."

Report Story

byTamLin01© 8 comments/ 28572 views/ 22 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

4 Pages:123

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar: