Monday, February 16, 2015

Excerpt with Eco and Countess Erzebet Bathory!



Eco, winner best villain eFestival of Words 2014

From Eco's journal:
"As the girl had been drained and was of no further use, she had the corpse taken away and had another girl brought in, and another after that.
“This should get us through the night.” She smiled as she sank her teeth into the girl’s soft white flesh.
“Do you never drink the blood, Countess?” I asked.

She looked up with her blood stained teeth and smiled. “Never, or I should be a wanton vampiric creature and not the noble lady that I am.”
The irony of that remark did not cause her to smile, but made her look even wickeder if that was possible.
The hours passed and with them the barbarous torture of more young girls; girls that were bitten and stabbed. She had a variety of implements she used in her torture—like pincers that either she or a servant heated before their use.
Though I am ashamed to admit it, I must say the torture fascinated me. I could not move away, nor could I even turn my head.
Have you never looked at a train wreck or an overturned carriage? Most people have. There is, I fear, the beast in all of us.

She did offer me the dagger a couple of times; a handsome thing it was, too. I begged off, which caused her to laugh and call me a coward.
Me! Rose, can you imagine being called such a name?
While this was happening, the servants had to keep coming in to remove each corpse. It seemed an unending task. At last, she looked exhausted. “I will talk to you now,” she said.

She began to tell me the most amazing things about how she was true to her husband more often than not.
“There was a man…”
She spoke of Satan. She didn’t know him as Satan, just a handsome man who called to see her when she was lonely.
“There were a few actually, but I always felt they were really one man.”
She looked hard at me when she said that. “Is that possible, do you think? Could they have been the same person?”
I shrugged and said I didn’t think it was possible.

She stared at me for a long time as though she could read my thoughts. Then she took my hands in hers. “I can feel your evil, do you know that?”
If I had come to use her in any way, the roles were being reversed. It was she that had the upper hand. The thought made me tremble.
She smiled. “Are you well? Shall I call someone?”

She was taunting me, teasing me with her mocking lips and her wild black eyes. Whatever I was capable of, whatever evil there was in me, she was bringing out more! I knew then why I was here. It was all Satan’s doing! Bathory—this murderous woman—was to show me my own destiny.
I took her by force then, not as I had earlier but differently. I have never been rougher with anyone. I thought to see terror in her but she laughed, though she screamed too with pain from each thrust.
Her shrieks got so loud that a stout old servant came in. The old nurse, Darvulia, half blind and crippled, came to make certain I was not killing her mistress.

Bathory called out to her. “Be calm, Darvi! I have had pleasure with him! No one else has given me what he has.”
Darvulia nodded for she was relieved.

“You may go now, but bring us some sustenance!”
If I thought she meant food, I was wrong. Soon, several girls were dragged into the bedchamber.
Bathory got up, and exposed each girl for me to examine. “Well?”
My body began to quake with what I can only describe as murderous excitement for I wished not only to ravish them, I wished to drain them and then feast upon them.
The girls whimpered and pleaded, but she was unmoved. Each plea was answered with a hard slap or a punch. She bit them but she did other things too and with each horrid act, she coaxed me into participating.
In truth, I did indulge myself as I too began to torture the girls, to burn them and slap them. When I was not doing it, I was watching her do it. We were not alone, however. Most of the time we did this in the presence of a bevy of servants and guards.
It was quite violent and depraved and outdid anything I had ever seen. No excesses in Ancient Rome could match this horror. If I thought de Rais’ crimes incredible, Satan was teaching me by example that I, too, would relish such carnage.
I realized I would never waver. That was the purpose of this interlude, this instruction in the ways of evil would ensure that I did not. If she bathed in blood, I did too. Yes, I did.

“Come,” she coaxed. “See how it is, it is most amazing. It will soothe you, my love.”

And so I did. I cared not if Satan saw. Let him watch, I thought.
Girls were dragged screaming to her tub—two, and three at a time—by the guards. One of the countess’s most evil helpers was the dwarf, Ficzko. Ficzko was always on hand to cut the girl’s throats. Once that was done, they were bled over the tub.

When I stepped into that Hellish liquid the first time, I heard Satan’s voice. I knew he wasn’t there, at least not physically.
“I am pleased with you, Eco.”
I was overcome—not only with his approval, because despite what I occasionally thought, I did so want it.
Suddenly, I threw my head back and shrieked, not in terror but in surprise for it seemed that the blood did in fact have its own energy; she was right. There was something unearthly about what it did to me. I called out in amazement and the countess laughed.

Countless pitchers of blood were poured over us as we sat, luxuriating in it, feeling the power and magic of it all.
Occasionally, we’d rise from the bath and make love for hours in her blood-soaked bed, being too hungry for each other to be dried off first!
If Hell has no time, there was none in her castle for time was meaningless. All one could find were blood, fornication, torture and murder.
My head swam from it; I cannot remember thinking of anything other than the spectacular madness that surrounded me.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months, but then things began to change. For one thing, Darvulia was dying; Darvulia who had been all things to the countess—her nurse and her lover too, as well as her teacher in torture and murder.
You see, it was she who had taught her new ways of torture—such as needles under the nails and if the girls pulled them out, their lips were torn off by red hot pincers. Yes, Darvulia had been of much use to the countess. She had always thought of newer methods of torture like having the girls covered in honey and then stung to death by bees. A variation on that was that in winter girls were taken outside where water was poured onto them until they froze to death.
Darvulia was especially clever in her machinations for she always urged the countess to get her victims from the peasantry. However, all this was to change with her death, which would signal the beginning of the end for Bathory.
Darvulia finally died. How the countess mourned her old servant. She railed and shouted for her beloved Darvulia. I did not touch her other than to try and comfort her—but she would not be comforted. She just stayed in her own bedchamber and wept. I was even barred from entering.
Then, someone came to replace Darvulia. This woman was a widow, a farmer’s wife. Erzsi Majorova had arrived.
The gossip was—and yes, there was plenty of gossip—that Bathory had actually sent for her for she needed someone to help with the torture. The other servants could help, but they were of limited intelligence. Bathory wanted someone cleverer than that and Erzsi was very willing and keen.
The killings and torture began again, but with a difference that would prove fatal, for Erzsi encouraged the taking of girls from the nobility. I tried to warn Bathory but she would not listen.
She had changed; Darvulia’s death had done it. I think she had a kind of breakdown. Well, she was never entirely sane, but now she was worse.
I still bedded her but it was different; she was different. Whereas I was enough for her before, now if I bedded her she needed to have girls screaming in agony nearby. Yes, Rose, I am well aware of what that makes me look like.
Her torturing and killing reached a fever pitch for she was insatiable, worse than ever. Even I was beginning to sour on her and her excesses.
Now a very interesting thing happened. Since the new victims were of noble birth, she insisted on giving them a Christian burial and engaged a pastor to perform the services. But, as more dead bodies came to him, he began refusing to perform the rites, so she started to have the bodies buried secretly.
Once again, I tried to warn her.
“You must stop. You will draw attention to yourself!”
Yes, Rose, I was still seeking to protect her!

She would not listen. Had I known what would happen, I’d have created her for I still did care for her despite her monstrousness.
Then something happened very unexpectedly. She was stopped. The government in the guise of the Palatine came and told her various complaints had been received. Now, as with Gilles de Rais, since the nobility was beginning to be victimized, the officials were ready to take notice. Murdering girls from the upper classes was an outrage, never mind that hundreds of peasant girls had been slaughtered over the years.
The countess took no heed of my warnings. She had her servants toss out four murdered girls from the castle ramparts in full view of the villagers!

“I don’t care! They won’t dare to stop me. I can do as I wish!”
She felt she was above the law. Well, if you think about it, she had been for the longest time.

When I saw what she had done, I exploded in anger—truly, I did. She ordered me from the castle.

“Get out, get out, you gutless devil!”
I did in a fury.

Her castle was eventually raided and what they found there was shocking as you can imagine. Her reign of terror was finally over.
It was decided that she be held in her castle. She was not to appear before the court. This she had begged for and it was to be so. There were two trials though for the others who were not above the law.
The court took testimonies of her four accomplices and their sentences were pronounced. They testified that the body count only numbered between thirty and sixty, but a fifth witness placed the number at over six hundred.
This witness had come forward to reveal a register that was written in the Countess's own handwriting. This was the proof that the number of girls killed was over six hundred.

The servants were judged guilty. Two of the women had their fingers pulled out; they then were burned alive. Ficzko received more mercy because of his youth and was decapitated. His body was then drained of blood and burned alongside his two accomplices. The widow, Erzsi, was also found guilty and executed.
As for Bathory, she was to be imprisoned in her castle. Stonemasons came to wall up the windows in her bed chamber. Once she was inside, they walled up the door, leaving only a small hole for food to be passed through.
I was still under her spell and could not stop thinking about her. I felt guilty, too. I was filled with recriminations for I hadn’t created her.
But I hatched a plan..."
(End of excerpt)




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