The Night of the Black Lotus ball

January 27, 2010
One night, while I was attending the annual Black Lotus Ball, a tall, sleek, handsome man, around his early thirties, walked through the polished marble doors of the Grand Ballroom.

He had trim, midnight black hair, and an albino white skin tone. His expression was relaxed, but tense at the same time, and he looked slightly un-amused; like he was not here for the frivolity, but for something more important. The shape of the man's face was heart-like, with a long, slightly pointed nose. Thin lips and a slightly protruding forehead gave him the look of an extremely important aristocrat, probably some Duke or Count. He had piercing, dark black eyes that seemed to stare down into your soul. Also, he wore a springtime, jet black cloak with dark red velvet on the reverse side. Under that, he wore a black town coat with golden buttons and a blood red low cut vest with a white silk shirt and a golden medallion with a golf ball sized ruby around his neck.

He walked down the marble staircase, slowly and gracefully, his cape flowing behind him. He casually picked up a glass of red wine, and started to talk to a lady in a long green dress and a peacock feathered hat…

I turned to the person next to me to see if they knew who the mysterious man was.

"Excuse me, Madam. Do you have any idea of who that man is?" I said, pointing to the strange man…

"Oh! Yes, that would be Count Victor of England. He's extremely wealthy, but also very private. Not much is known about him." She said, answering my question.

"Well, thank you for the information Madam. Have a wonderful evening." I said with a friendly smile.

I turned around, to see the man, Count Victor, looking down at me with a slight smile playing on his lips.

"Well, Good-evening Mistress Elizabeth, what a fancy seeing you here on this fine night." He said in a velvet smooth voice.

"It’s a pleasure to meet you, finally. I've heard so much about you." He added, bowing like a fine gentle man.

I stared up into his eyes, and had trouble looking away. I blinked a couple of times and broke the odd trance-like state…

"Oh! Count Victor," She said curtsying in front of him, like a young lady was taught to.

"No, no, Sir. The pleasure is all mine. I've heard much of you also. A dashing gent like yourself is to be known all over Europe, Count." She said, trying not to show any tell tale signs of lying. Honestly, she had never heard of this Count in her life time.

After a moment of uncomfortable silence, a waiter came up to us carrying a sliver platter.

"Good-Evening, would either of you like to try the Garlic Bruschetta tonight?"

Strangely, Count Victor backed away in alarm and made a slight hissing-like noise, but tried to retain it. As he seemed to restrain himself, he straightened up and coughed into his hand.

"Terribly sorry, I am extremely allergic to… garlic," The count said, straining at the word "garlic."

Then the man turned and walked away in a slight hurry; almost like he was pushed by an invisible force.

That’s strange, Elizabeth thought to herself. I have never heard of anyone being allergic to garlic…

"Well," The Count broke through our awkward silence, "Would you like to dance?" He asked, leaning towards the dance floor a bit and holding out his white gloved hand.

Reluctantly, I took his hand, and he whisked me off to the dance floor. I curtseyed again as he took a bow. He gently put his hand on my waist as I did the same, then we both took each other's hand. A beautiful rendition of a French fox-trot started to play from the orchestra. The whole ballroom went into motion. In the whirlwind of flowing ballroom gowns and polished black shoes, I could see myself in the many mirrors surrounding the ballroom, but that’s all I saw! I saw myself, dancing, but with no one else. The Count's reflection wasn’t there. Now, I started to panic. How could this be? There is no way that someone didn’t have a reflection! The only thing I could think of was… No, there were not such things. The only idea I could think of was that Count Victor would be a… a vampire. But, surely there were no such things. Only tall tales told to keep children in line, wasn’t it? I didn’t know what to think at the moment. All this was preposterous, but then, all the clues were right in front of her. He couldn’t stand garlic, and he had no reflection. There was no logical explanation.

When the waltz had stopped, everyone began to clap. The gentlemen took their bows and the ladies curtsied to the men. Count Victor and I did the very same, but I was still astonished by my hypothesis.

"You dance like an angel, Mistress." Count Victor broke the silence.

I couldn’t help but blush, and that just seemed to make him go wild.

"Oh, why thank-you, Count." I said, trying not to be nervous.

This is absurd! I thought to myself again. There is no way that vampires exist. It's just my imagination…

"Elizabeth, will you come out to the terrace with me for a bit, I want to talk to you in private." He said, staring into my eyes with a soft, sincere look.

"Yes, of course Count." I said, and then followed him onto the dark terrace that over looked the Eifel Tower in the distance.

The terrace was surrounded by Ivey and other climbing vines blooming with flowers of all assortments. The sun had long since set, and the moon was full tonight, glowing brightly onto the streets below. Thousands of stars twinkled in the sky, like thousands of candles flickering in the sky. I turned towards the Count, who was standing next to me, leaning on the stone rail.

Without saying a word, he slowly pulled me towards him by my waist and held me close to him. I put my arms on top of his, resting them there, assuming that he was going to kiss me. I closed my eyes and waited for the kiss. Then, all of a sudden, there was a sharp pain in my neck; the warm feeling of blood graced the top of my neck. My hearing was becoming poorer and poorer; I opened my eyes to see that things were going dark. My eyelids drooped close and my breathing slowed. I drew in my last breath, and everything went dark.
The End

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