1945 A.D Romania
The doors to the litle Romanian church I visited were black and charred, barely standing after thousands of years of elemental abuse. I creaked one of them open, and slipped into the darkness, my only light coming from my small cigarette lighter. I walked past rows of wooden pews, each one with ancient religious art expertly carved into the armrests. As I approached the altar, I grew very cold, and I felt my boots become wet. I looked at the ceiling to see if there was any way the thundering rain from outside could have entered, but there wasn't. The liquid on the floor felt very thick, clinging to my boots as I moved forward. I stepped up to the altar, and saw that the wooden crucifix which should have been hung on the far wall was now on the ground, cloven in two. I heard something move behind me, and I spun around, staring into the darkness. I knew full well what stalked me from the shadows, but it terrified me none the less. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, and I knew I was being watched. I opened my mouth to speak, to call out into the shadows, but my throat was parched, dried with fear, and the only sound I could produce was a gasp. Then I saw him. I saw it. It was standing on the balcony above the doors I had come through. It stood behind the railing, it's hands out in front, clutching the railing, its gray, snake like fingers wrapped around the old, cracked wood. It was wearing a tattered black robe, with a white collar. I could not see its face, but I could see the outline of its head, round, bald and scaly.
"Yevgeni Romanov." It whispered, although it's voice echoed more in my head than in the church. "You are either very brave or very foolish for entering my home."
I shifted my feet and leaned on the altar, trying not to show it my shaking knees, although it already knew I was terrified.
"I'm going to bet on the latter." it hissed. "So how about you just tell me what you're doing here."
"My family is weak." I shouted, trying to conjure an illusion of confidence. "The other families are trying to destory us. They shoot my brothers in the streets like dogs, and they take our money as if we were children."
"And you want my powers to save them?" the monster hissed. "How noble."
In a sudden burst of screeching and flapping wings, a cloud of bats swept past the balcony, cloaking the monster from view, and as quickly as they had appeared, the bats vanished into the shadows again. I looked back at the balcony, but the monster was gone.
"Do you know what happened to the last man who made a pact from a demon to save his family?" I heard behind me. I spun around to see the monster on the other side of the altar, his face now fully revealed to me. His lips were cracked and dry, his eyes narrow slits sunken back into his skull, his only hair faint wisps and strands hanging from his scalp. His skin was so dry and rotten it had become thick, crusty scales, and he made a stench so pugnant I had to stop breathing although my heart was racing.
"Vlad Dracula" I said softly. " He made a deal with the devil so that he could stop the Ottomans and save his kingdom."
"And do you know where he is now?" The monster said, leaning in close to my face.
"He's been dead for thousands of years." I said. The monster grinned.
"Wrong." It said. "When he accepted the devil's gift, he also accepted his curse, the curse that would force him to roam the darkness for eternity. The same curse that you are going to accept."
I suddenly felt very unsure of this decision. When I had heard about the Vampir, these monsters with the strength of a hundred men, the speed of a hundred horses and the power to control the creatures of the night, I knew that this was exactly what my family needed. But now this all seemed like a very, very bad idea.
"You don't know if you want to do this anymore?" The monster cackled, backing up, skulking into the shadows. "You don't have a choice..." I suddenly felt its cold, dry breath on the back of my neck. "I was going to kill you the moment you walked in, Yevgeni Romanov."
I felt two sharp pains in the side of my neck, and I felt my warm blood running down my shirt, pooling with the blood on the floor of the church. My entire body stiffened, and I could not make a noise as the Vampire lowered my body to the floor, draining my blood from every vein. My vision went black, and all warmth escaped from my body, which lay on the cold wet floor of the small Romanian temple.
But I did not die.
I was reborn.