|"So my master's castle is pulled back from its nesting ground when he meets his temporary end, banished back to a realm filled only with chaos. But what would happen if Dracula ever found a loophole in the contract? What would happen if some remnant of the huge shape-shifting estate were to avoid meeting the darkness of the seal that beckons its return? If a part of the castle remains, does it merit evil? Surely a Belmont would sense the imbalance and become drawn to this lonely shard that was once known as 'the dungeon.' I leave it to the Shadow and Sam Mills to show us the result of this anomaly."|
A Belmont's Quest For Meaning
By Shadow and Sam Mills
There was something to be said about the silence of it all: the corridor, the inner wall, the darkness. It all seemed to real to not be true. If ever there was a place to feel contentment, this was it. There was no sign of evil here, nor were the signs that it was in hiding. But there lied the irony that finally made him see the truth. The evil was so absent from this dark place, it had to be hiding a little too well.
Peter Belmont had heard of this place from his father, Simon. He was starting to wonder if what he had said was true. "You will not have to bear this horrible burden, my son. But your child, or perhaps grandchild, will be there when Dracula rises again." He had heard the stories, but there was no proof of it. "Dracula's castle crumbled to the ground..."
But here, he had finally found it. This was the dungeon of the castle, which he came across while exploring a cave near the wreckage sight. It was a least a mile deep, and hidden away below the depths of the earth. Why it was still here was a mystery.
Looking at this place by torch light, it was easy to see the evil that used to inhabit this place. Long chains hung from the ceilings, shackled skeletons hung from the walls. It was dirty and filthy, and there was a fowl stench he was trying will all his might to ignore. Yet, no evil vibrations filled this place.
He didn't know what it was he wanted to do here. He was expecting to find more. A ghost, perhaps. But there was nothing. He felt a total calmness and peacefulness here. In fact, as he looked at the skeletons hanging on the walls, he began to feel a sort of satisfaction. "They probably didn't deserve to live anyway," he said out loud.
Shocked by what just came out of his mouth, he gasped and dropped the torch. There was something hiding in this place, and it was in his head. "No, I don't feel that way!" he said. He grabbed the torch, and peered around the place. Still, there was nothing to see, but he felt something in the room with him. "No, I don't feel that way. This was a place of intense evil. A stain of blood like that never washes away."
He walked deeper into the dungeon, and came across a staircase. It appeared to lead into complete darkness. A wind blew from below, and he figured this had to be the way to another plain of some kind. Though he knew he probably shouldn't he decided to take the risk of finding out where it lead. "Perhaps I will get a glimpse of the good count himself," he thought.
As he descended, the torch did not do good at illuminating his surrounding. Though he could feel the steps below his feet, it was utter blackness. He walked downwards a way, and the wind began to pick up. He felt around him to see if there was a wall around him, but there was nothing. He walked close to the edge of the stairs, and realized they weren't very wide. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew so hard, it almost tipped him over the side!
He crouched down to avoid going over. Shocked, he was beginning to get scared. But he continued downward, hoping to find something to satisfy his curiosity.
After a few minutes, he saw a dim orange light up ahead. As he got close, he realized it was a torchlight in a small brick room. When he arrived in the room, he found a door, crested with some kind of plaque. When he looked closer, it appeared to be the sign of a cross. An inscription below in Latin read, "This door is sealing the power of evil Dracula. Enter not, or enter into hell and death."
This intrigued Peter more than anything. Who could have written this, and where were they now? He didn't worry about it now. All he really wanted to do was see what was on the other side. "Enter not..." he repeated. "Well, perhaps I can just take a peek from out here," he thought.
He reached for the door knob, which was warm to the touch. Slowly, he pulled the door slightly open. Peering through the crack, he could see very little. There was intense heat, and a loud rumble in there, but nothing to see. Peter wondered for a moment if he should go in, but he didn't think it was worth death to find out.
As he began closing the door, something from the other side banged into it. Peter fell to the ground, and watched to door slowly open. First, there was nothing to see. Then, from the darkness, emerged what he didn't want to see. It had to have been Dracula.
Dracula's clothing was soiled and burned in some places. His skin was silky, but also soiled and slightly burned. His black hair was a mess. He looked very, very angry. There was pure yellow light coming from his eyes, and they stuck Peter down so that he could hardly move. "You are a Belmont?" Dracula asked.
"Yes, I am...Peter."
"And you have freed me?" Dracula asked.
Peter wasn't sure how to answer that. "If by opening the door, you have been freed, then my answer is yes. I suppose I have," Peter said.
"Why?" Dracula demanded. "Only a Belmont could free me, but only if they wanted something! The last time a Belmont brought me back, it was to destroy me to lift a curse I had placed on them."
Peter remembered his father's story. His father had to reconstruct the body parts of Dracula in order to lift a curse. His intent for resurrecting Dracula was clear, but not it had not been an easy task. Now without much effort at all, Peter was able to bring Dracula back once again. But for what purpose? He didn't think he had any. So he told Dracula the truth, "I don't know why I brought you back."
The count nodded. "I made it easy for you. This place survived due to my growing power. I knew that an eager Belmont would find me, but I didn't ever think one of you would desire to rescue me. However, whether it be a master plan, or simple curiosity, it was enough desire to free me," Dracula explained. "But enough talk! Though I am grateful to you, I cannot afford to let you live!"
Dracula unleashed his power, disappearing into a shot of light. Peter rose to his feet, and hearing the vampire's sinister laugh fill the room, began running up the stairs. As he ran, he saw the count reappear in the distance of the surrounding darkness. Dracula transformed into a bat, and rushed towards him! Almost colliding with him, Peter quickly ducked as the count flew by. Then, he rose to his feet, and ran even faster. He had to reach the top of the stairs before the count came by again.
He ran and ran, but the way up seemed even longer, almost endless. "It wasn't this far before. Something has changed!" Peter exclaimed. "Damn you Dracula!"
Then, he saw the bat coming again. Peter ducked, but he could see he was aiming right towards him! Peter had no where to run! Dracula was coming too fast! When Dracula was close enough, he jumped into the air and onto the bat's back. Dracula slammed into the staircase, breaking off chunks as they flew away.
On the back of the bat, Peter, hung on tight as they flew into the darkness. He couldn't see anything as Dracula started trying to shake him from his back. "It's about time I killed a Belmont!" Dracula exclaimed. "You are no warrior! Your father hasn't bothered to train you, and you don't have your precious whip this time!"
"I have more in me than you realize, count!" Peter exclaimed. "And it's more than just a sharp tongue! I have a desire to be like you! Make me one of yours!"
Instantly, Dracula transported them back to the dungeon where Peter had entered. Now in his original form, Dracula grabbed the young man by his collar. "Are you offering yourself?" Dracula said. "A Belmont wants to be a vampire?"
"More than that, count. I wish to be your new kin, the son you never had," Peter said.
"Alucard...he was never a son to me. The Belmont's took him from me forever, inviting him to their side." Dracula thought a moment, then grinned. It was only fitting that he took a Belmont to replace his son. And what better way than from one that is eager and willing. "So then it is settled, Belmont!"
Dracula's fangs extended. Peter grasped tightly to the great figure as Dracula sunk his fangs into his fragile neck. He gasped as he felt Dracula sucking the blood out of him. The sensation was terrible...but it only lasted a moment.
The count pulled back, his lips burning and smoking. The burning slowly spread into his cheeks. "What is wrong with this? What is happening?" the count demanded.
"Before I came here, I consumed several pints of holy water. So as you can imagine, it runs through my veins, Count Dracula! And now, it runs through you too!" Peter exclaimed.
The count began burning up from the inside. The count quivered in pain as smoke began coming from out of his mouth. As the burning reached the surface, the counts fragile skin became to burn like paper, and the ashes started to whirl into a circular motion around him. After he was entirely consumed into ashes, the swirling cloud of ashes let out a flash, and in a quick sucking motion, was pulled back down the staircase, into the chamber down below.
Peter fell to the ground, weakened for the moment by the loss of blood. But he soon gained his strength back as the holy water healed his neck wound. He stood up and smiled with satisfaction. He left this place, and as he made his way out and into the cave, he heard the crumbling sound of the dungeon collapsing.
When he got home later that day, his father was waiting for him. "Where have you been?" Simon asked, very worried. "You didn't tell anyone where you went! I was worried, son."
"Dad, don't worry about it. I must confess, I resurrected Dracula." Peter told him.
Stunned, his father demanded to know why. "And how was that possible?"
Peter explained that it took desire to bring back the old count. He went on to tell him the whole story about what had happened. Peter confessed that at first, he thought it was Dracula controlling his mind. Then, he figured it was just dumb curiosity. "But then, I realized exactly what kind of desire it was. I wanted to kill him."
"But Peter," Simon protested, "Dracula was already dead! You didn't need to take on the burden of killing him!"
Peter shook his head and laughed. Apparently his father didn't get it. After all, to Simon and his ancestors, fighting Dracula was a burden. But to Peter, it wasn't something he viewed as a chore at all. "Then you tell me, father. Why is it that I had to miss out on all the fun?"