Blesok no. 33, July-August, 2003
Prose


An Archival Mosaic

Slavko Janevski


    (Vlad Tepes, Dracula--1431-1476--three times Count of Vlaska. Documents concerning him are housed in the Swiss monastery of St. Galen, in a Leningrad library, and in many other places in Romania. Bloodsucker. Legend. Vampire.)
    Long after the time of Dracula, Vlad, Agarta, and their son Mircha lived in a certain city. The family, with the surname Sigisoara, was among the ten richest in the city, known for its manufacture of mascara, prepared from the eyes of Danube carp. Vlad was 1.6 meters tall. By night he grew, by day he shrank. At home he wore some kind of Turkish or Tartar hat; he had big eyes; a slender, straight nose; jaundiced, he resembled a fifteenth-century portrait that hangs today in the Austrian castle of Ambras near Innsbruck. Agarta had white eyes and white fingernails. On Saturdays she seemed twice as thin as on other days. Mircha teetered on his rickety legs and somehow balanced his Cyclops head on his shoulders. From a lock of his hair he squeezed the sounds of a harp. His father could not tolerate winter. The cold gnawed at him. As a result, he wore one hundred and eight scars, three for each of his years, if indeed he was only thirty-six years old. The mother hated the summer. She had a cape made from a silver fox, in which she resembled a noblewoman. She kept it in a wooden case upon which Transylvanian wolves had been carved by ancient craftsmen. The son had neither scars nor fur cape. He had the ears of a dog and did not like his parents. Vlad observed one faith, Agarta another. With the help of dark forces they married their faiths. A third was born. An unknown one. Vlad and Agarta plastered the newborn faith onto Mircea’s eyes as raw meat is plastered onto a bruise. Their story became muddled as hell.
    (From the testimony of witness A, a housewife, known by the many locusts embroidered on her goatskin):
    Around midnight, between the fifth and sixth of September of that year, she was awakened by terrible screams, as if hell had broken loose above the street on which she lived, near the Sigisoaras. Trembling, but already in bed, she looked out the window in fear. As if on a stage lit by the moon, son Mircha chased the panic-stricken Vlad and Agarta, who were spattered with blood, as if they had been attacked while asleep. Their little boy chased them with a long knife in his hand. In this demonic dance Vlad and Agarta were small, and Mircha was double his normal size: he had a wolf’s snout, snarling and baring his fangs. In this flight and pursuit, the three of them vanished into their house, from which some minutes later flames spewed forth, in whose demonic fury the Sigisoara family was most likely consumed. The fire died down as fast as it began. In that place several minutes later, there were neither embers nor flames. There was nothing.
    (From the testimony of witness B, a private chemist known by his manufacture of products that prevented hair from taking root in the brain, which, according to his research, strangled progressive thought):
    He was returning from his uncle’s wedding. When he saw a light in the Sigisoaras' house, he glanced absentmindedly through his ground-floor window with thin curtains and witnessed the ritual of a strange, unknown faith. Vlad, Agarta and Mircea sat on three chairs without backs, and, rocking to the left and right, sang. The words of the song rolled from their mouths in the shape of balls--some red and blue, some unripe and almost without color. When the balls touched, they would burst into flames. It was all he saw. The house burned down too quickly.
    (From the story of witness C, a man with his own stadium of glass for the racing of cockroaches and spiders):
    On the night of the fire he could not sleep and sat on his terrace, from which he could see the Sigisoaras' house. He turned his eyes in that direction. That is how he saw the incident. They, the father Vlad, the mother Agarta, and the son Mircha, danced in a mad rhythm on the roof of their house. Even a ghost would shudder at the sight. Screaming some kind of prayer, they burst into flames. More and more. Before witness C could regain his composure, the fire consumed the entire house. Nothing remained of it or the Sigisoara family.
    (A forensic finding in connection with group hysteria concerning a fire, which calls into question all three testimonies):
    The information provided by different people concerning the incident, in which allegedly even the bones of the three-member Sigisoara family were incinerated, can be regarded as self-deception. It was a state of hysteria, discussed at length in the scientific study “The Spirit as a Medium of Our Own Deceits,” as well as in a thesis concerning the false perceptions of beings in the current stage of evolution:
    1. Once every hundred years, when the sickle of another moon harvests rye from the belt of the Zodiac, there are certain changes in the human psyche. In dark corridors, the instinct of ancestors awakens under the third layer of consciousness. This instinct, taking central place in the consciousness, witnesses events that did not occur, images that can be said to derive from a Pagan Bible. Such an event was experienced by the visionary Emanuel Swedenborg in 1744 when he met the Almighty, or so he claimed, without fear that he would be considered a fraud.
    2. This group hysteria could also take place under the influence of insect rabies. It is mostly transmitted by the caterpillar and butterfly of the so-called pine witch (Splindts pinastri). These browsing creatures attack forest animals as well and gnaw them to the bone as on some Holbein etchings. The virus of this type of rabies is also transmitted to people through the air, but the disease passes. It lasts sixty seconds, leaving no further consequences.
    3. One of the most crucial factors in group hysteria is another phenomenon. The dolomite rocks of calcium and magnesium-carbonate boil like quicklime after spacecraft cross diagonally over them, principally those from the meteor belt in the constellation Leo. An unusual process ensues: the human brain compels the senses to experience illusions.
    (A police report, two years after the fire mentioned above by witnesses A, B, and C):
    Near Bresov a poor family was discovered in the ruins of an old church, consisting of the following persons: Vlad the father, Agarta the mother, and Mircha the son. They revealed their names themselves; however, exhausted, they were not able to answer a single question. An additional report to follow.
    (The additional police report stated that the three persons mentioned disappeared overnight from the hospital in which they had been admitted for recuperation. The report does not mention the name Dracula).


Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska




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