Earlier, as a child, I had considered all funerals to be sad, dismal and silent gatherings. But the funeral of my great-aunt was none of it. Marzenna had fallen asleep with a warm smile on her face. And they had all come to give the woman that had been there when I had breathed my very first breath on this earth and who greeted me in my new life as well, teaching me so much about my hidden nature, one last escort. I was relieved to have been by her side when she drew her last breath because Godric and I almost didn't make it in time. After visiting my fathers, we had gone into the jungle as we had planned – to the place I had found on my travels. And there Godric had been able to make peace with his past. Sometimes I could hardly believe how much he had changed in the middle of nature in the months of our stay there. It was really a magical place and maybe my love has also contributed something to his new sense of worth...
Unfortunately, we were also difficult to reach there and my grandmother Konstanza finally had to send me a pretty painful dream as a message because no one could find us. But thanks to Godric's ability to fly, we arrived just in time. I could sit with her for half an hour before her eyes closed forever. And what made me proud is that my vampire was the reason for her last smile. Because seeing us, seeing our love for each other and how his power embraced me in gentle protecting waves, she had recognized that I was safe at his side.
Yes, she had died in peace. Together with my fathers, my grandmother, her sister Katharina and her daughter Alicia as well as Roberto – grandmother's nephew – and his three daughters we handed Marzenna's body over to the earth. It was a deeply peaceful and grateful atmosphere. And because my great-aunt wanted to be buried on a full-moon night, Godric could also be by my side...
Enid dropped her pen and looked up into the wide night sky. She would always remember the funeral with a smile. But that night had also been the beginning of one of her worst nightmares. A week had passed since she had buried her last paternal relative, and since then she had been separated from Godric again. A shiver ran through her body while recalling the moment her old and newly recovered family had left the cemetery together. During the entire ceremony Godric had held her hand without interruption, but when they had walked through the stately decorated iron gate, his tender but at the same time strong and soothing touch was suddenly gone. The unfamiliar absence of his touch had stopped her, and when looking back at him, Enid had seen something she would never forget in her life – fear. Such overwhelming fear had been written in Godric's eyes that Enid had suddenly felt sick. She hadn't been able to speak, her throat had felt so tight. Then her vampire had snarled his daughter's name and a second later had grabbed his chest over his heart.
"She is scared to death and Eric's blood is raging with furor."
With her heart full of fear, Enid had watched helplessly when his face turned into a distorted expression, screaming irrepressible wrath to the bystanders. In the next second, he had embraced Enid's arms and had looked at her with an unspoken plea. And she had known what he had not dared to utter. Cupping his face with both her hands Enid had kissed him with all the love she felt for him. After having broken away again, she had looked into the night-black eyes of Death and had nodded determinedly.
"Go, Godric. Do what needs to be done to save those of your blood. I will wait for you."
"And I will come back to you," he had sworn her as goodbye, merging with the night a heartbeat later. Death had returned to the States and had left Enid with her relatives.
And there she still was, at the orchard a bit outside of Maracaibo. Enid knew that this place was safe. If it hadn't been, Godric would never have left her there. But she was worried, very very much. Having a restless night after the funeral and his departure, Enid had gone in search of information. And what she had found had literally frozen her blood.
With an arduously suppressed anger she wanted to bring her cup to her lips. But with a sigh she noticed that her tea was already drunk. 'I must have been sitting here for hours...again…' At that thought, her back began to hurt immediately and Enid quickly got up to stretch herself. While doing so she looked out into the starry night. Actually, she should have been sitting there with her Godric, enjoying the night together. But instead...
A door creaking behind her made her turn and she faced the eldest of the three sisters. Romy came to the veranda railing with a lightly steaming cup in her hands and then leaned against the table where Enid's writing utensils lay.
"Here, Enid. You've been out here quite a long time. Drink something warm or you'll get yourself a cold. Or be eaten by mosquitoes."
Enid grimaced at the thought of the small animals. In fact, she had already collected several unattractive memories of the little bloodsuckers. So she gratefully accepted Romy's cup, because whatever she put in there somehow kept the beasts at bay.
"Thank you, Romy. But I want to stay out here for a bit longer. Maybe he'll come back tonight."
For a while, the two young women then stood together on the porch listening to the nocturnal noises. But then the two-year-older woman turned to Enid and looked at her thoughtfully.
"I don't think he'll come back that fast, Enid. I'm sorry, but if you think about it, you'll know that's just the beginning."
"I know..." Enid tried to suppress a sob. "How could he do such a thing? Not only did he build a… a… a goddamn concentration camp for vampires, he even paralyzed the entire TruBlood supply in the US."
"Well," Romy said dryly, "Mr. Burrell is a politician and I've never trusted those. Most of them always talk a lot and then do nothing or just the opposite of what the people actually want. In any case, because he wanted to help ease this mess, your Godric will have plenty to do."
"And it's getting more day by day!" Behind Enid and Romy, Mathea had left the house too and joined them by leaning against the handrail. "The news just came in that there was an uprising in Europe. Last night, sick vampires invaded a village in Poland and completely wiped it out. These vampires were killed by the military before nightfall and now more vampires have sworn revenge." Mathea rubbed the back of her nose with a faint groan. "You know, we have to do something. Magda is frozen with fear. The attack wasn't far from the border with Germany and even though she lives in Schwerin with Kristian, her parents-in-law live in Pasewalk near the border. If she could, Magda would fly right back now and conjure everyone around her in a security bubble."
Enid's chest tightened painfully at these words. She had hoped so much that this crisis wouldn't spread to the other continents. But her hope had been in vain. Already two days ago similar reports had come in from several countries in Asia and also Australia.
"It's only going to get worse, am I right?"
"I'm afraid so, Enid," Romy sighed, frowning. "But the idea of a security bubble isn't stupid at all. What if we all fly home as long as the general traffic routes are still intact? Consider it, from Magdalena's Schwerin to your Ystad, Mathea, to my Viborg in Denmark and back to Schwerin... That makes a triangle and we could certainly protect it with a spell."
"Are you crazy, Romy? Do you have any idea how much power we need for this? This crisis won't be over in two or three months. A global war between vampires and humans is approaching and in worst case it will take years! We aren't that powerful to protect such a large area!"
"Maybe, but we are desperate and want to protect those we love. I cannot think of anything else." With a tired expression Romy dropped into one of the rattan chairs that stood around the table. "We have to do something!"
"Is there such a spell? I mean, with which you could protect a whole area... from attacks?" Enid wished so much in this moment, to not only be a were, but also a witch with active powers. But unfortunately, she had only inherited the look of her mother.
"Yes, there is. But as I said, the power you need is immense, and even if we create such an area that would serve as a safe haven..." Mathea shook her head with a resigned snort. "What do you think would happen? The rich and powerful would seize it and the normal people would have no chance to go there as well. That's the way it always works. And besides, then we would be the ones who would reveal to the world that vampires aren't the only supernatural creatures in this world."
The three women looked at each other silently and didn't know what to do next. Each hung on their own thoughts for several minutes. Only the sound of the door brought Enid back into the present and she saw Magdalena approaching their small group with an unreadable expression on her face.
"Magda, how are you?" Enid had to agree with Mathea, the youngest of the three sisters didn't look good. She could see that Magdalena had dark rings under her eyes and was very pale. Nevertheless, her friend and maternal relative answered her question with a small smile.
"I'm fine so far, Enid, thank you. Here, your cell phone battery is charged again and you have a message."
"Oh?" With an uneasy feeling Enid took her cell phone and opened the message program. She read it quickly but then had to sit down.
"Enid, what's wrong? Is it from Godric?"
"Yes... It's from him. And it also affects you and the rest of the family." With a slightly shaky hand she gave Romy the phone, so that her friend could read the message aloud.
Min sol, I could save Nora. But it cost me a lot of strength and in recent days, the hepatitis V virus has spread so much that it can no longer be contained easily. So be careful! All of you! The future will bring big changes to this world. But do not be afraid. Eric, Nora and my son's newest daughter will come to you tomorrow night. Expect them to arrive at Maracaibo airport two hours after sunset. Your fathers will also be on the plane. There is room for your whole family, because even if they are attached to the plantation, I recommend that you all fly to Europe with Eric so that he can protect you all. Perhaps your family can weave a protective spell around an area to create a safe shelter for the beginning, which we can gradually expand. For the time being, I will stay here with Pamela, her daughter and Isabel and her son and make sure that North America will be restructured. Eric will explain our intentions in detail to you. Be safe until we meet again, min sol och kärlek!
Slowly Romy let the mobile phone sink to her lap and looked at the other women around her. It was obvious that she was seriously thinking about this news. And so it was Mathea who spoke first.
"Oh, wow… I guess that's what they call great minds think alike." Sighing, she looked at her sisters and Enid one after the other. "We should probably wake up the others and not wait until tomorrow. If we agree to leave this place for good, we'll have a lot to do tomorrow."
Romy nodded and looked at Enid questioningly.
"Are you sure we can trust this Eric? That we get along with your Godric doesn't mean that it will be like this with his son. After everything you've told us about him..."
Hearing these cautious words, Enid couldn't resist a smile. But then she got serious again. Yes, this development was anything but planned; after all, she had wanted to live together with her vampire in the jungle for much longer. But at least it seemed to her that Godric wanted to face this crisis full of zest for action. And that not only calmed her down, but also made her proud. There was nothing left of his displeasure to live on and Enid simply knew in her heart that she would see him again in the not too distant future. Everything else she would learn in less than 24 hours from Eric – and finally meet Godric's daughter. And what was that about Pam no longer being Eric's only daughter? With a grin Enid was looking forward to meeting the two women.
"Oh you know, Eric may sometimes be an arrogant and grumpy Viking, but at the bottom of his undead heart he is a loving son, brother and father who would do anything for his family. But don't tell him I said that."
Enid winked at the three sisters and laughed quietly while Romy nodded calmly.
"All right, then I'll wake up father and the others."
"I'm coming with you, Romy. I need a coffee..." Magdalena and Romy went into the house together and Enid closed her diary after drinking the last sip of tea. Turning around to Mathea, she grimaced because the tea had become cold again.
"Tell me, Enid, are you sure you want to go through with this?"
Enid looked at Mathea questioningly, but when her friend nodded her head towards her diary, she knew what Mathea meant. With a quiet smile she looked dreamily into the starry sky.
"Yes. As long as I live, I will always love him, stand by his side and support him. But I won't force him to bind himself to me forever if he doesn't feel the call of a maker. He once told me how it fills you… how the call fills every cell of your body when you feel it. It's like a vibration of your soul... a knowing that captures your body... no… your whole being. When he saw Eric fight over a thousand years ago, he felt it immediately and they are still very close today. His daughter on the other hand... Eric had asked him to turn her and a little later she wanted to be released and their paths separated."
With a sad sigh, Enid laid her hand on the cover of her diary. "I know that my vampire loves me... But I'm not destined to become one of them. At some point – hopefully at a very old age – my body will reunite with nature, like Marzenna, and my soul can be reborn."
Thinking about her plan again, Enid came up with an idea. She looked at Mathea and gave her a questioning smile. "If we survive this, this crisis... I will need your help."
Mathea looked at her seriously and nodded briefly. "Okay. Let's hear what you have in mind."
"When I'm finished writing it down, Godric's and my story, I want to seal the diary. And for that I need your magic. I can imagine that Godric won't be enthusiastic about my idea and will doubt it when he finds the person who carries my reborn soul within. And that's why I want the book to respond to my soul no matter when in the future this will be. It would allow him to see that everything in life is a cycle and that he can approach my soul again if he wishes it."
With a deep sigh Mathea let herself fall into the armchair in which Romy had been sitting before. She looked at Enid with a shake of her head.
"Tonight is the night of crazy ideas, isn't it? Oh goddess..." Frowning, Enid's friend put her head in her neck and looked at the stars for a little while. "Well, I guess it would be feasible. But we would also need a lot of power in order to accomplish it. And your blood." Shrugging she looked at Enid again.
"You should know that my sisters and I have been mostly theoretical witches so far. Through our years of studies and the work with Konstanza we know pretty much every spell of this realm and what is possible. But theory and practice can sometimes differ. So I can't tell you what the effects of such a blood soul spell will be. It's a tricky one."
Mathea's words made Enid think. What would she do if the three sisters weren't strong enough for the spell? Surely there was Konstanza she could turn to. After all, her grandmother was the powerful matriarch of the family. But she already felt the call of her goddess for eternal sleep too and no one knew when she would follow Marzenna. Enid had promised herself to try everything to make it work, so that her Godric would eventually have the chance to meet her soul in another body again and receive the fulfilling call of a maker. But she also knew that so much could happen every day. And that made her look soberly at her coeval relative.
"Well, maybe everything will be different and I won't even have a chance to finish our story so that my reborn soul can read it and they find their way back to each other." This thought made Enid infinitely sad and she had to swallow a lump in her throat. But before she could drift into a depressive spiral, Enid felt a warm hand on her shoulder. Mathea had risen from her chair and was now facing her.
"Nothing can happen to you in our company until tomorrow evening, Enid. And from tomorrow on you have Death's son watching over you himself. Believe me, you will be able to write it to the end."
Enid looked at Mathea a little unbelieving, but her knowing grin was so contagious that Enid's lips also turned into a smile.
Her friend turned around with a wink and walked to the door at a leisurely pace. "That's what family is for. And don't worry unnecessarily. The future will bring what it may bring... And in the vast majority of cases, it gets good. Just remember that you've already cheated death twice."
That said, Mathea disappeared into the house and Enid looked after her with a calm smile. Her relative was right. It didn't help if she was worried now. First they had to talk to the others and then see what Eric would reveal to them tomorrow. With new determination Enid took her cell phone off the table and read Godric's message again. She couldn't wait to see him again.
Thank you for your message, my Godric. We will wait for them at the airport. Be safe, too, min måne. And please, say congratulations to Isabel and her son...
With a contented smile Enid looked at the stars one last time and then went after Mathea into the house to prepare herself for the future.
To be continued...