The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire (Chapter VI.)

Dr. Armitage’s Journal. (October 4 — continued.) Carnacki opened the door and reached inside his jacket to a dagger sheathed at his side. When recognition dawned on his face, his expression changed from alarm to friendliness to concern in the blink of an eye. "Dr. Armitage, have you met Miss Westenra?" he asked. "I just heard the most horrifying sound," I said. "It came from down that hallway." "I’ll see what it is," Carnacki said. His hand went back to the dagger at his side and he pulled out a curved blade. "Wait here." "No," I said, summoning my courage. "I’ll go with you." I smelled alcohol on Carnacki’s breath, but his hands and steps were steady and his eyes vigilant. He raced to the room with the coffin and looked inside. "Miss Westenra?" The dead woman did not answer him. But the eerie moan had been so horrifying, the sound of death come upon a man unwilling and unready to accept his fate, that I preferred the company of a potential madman to being alone. I indicated the direction from where I heard the sound. I held the candelabrum in one hand and my walking stick in the other. On padded feet, we walked down the hall. My nerves tingled and my senses felt alert to a key pitch. I glanced repeatedly over my shoulder behind me, fearful of the thought of someone or something sneaking up. Carnacki led me through the maze of hallways and rooms, peering inside doors with wariness. Despite the coolness of the house, beads of sweat formed on my brow. Finally we entered the kitchen. "Good," he said as he saw a basket on a table. "Lord Godalming sent more food. Please excuse me, I am famished." He opened the basket, pulled out a paper-wrapped sandwich and offered it to me. I shook my head. He unwrapped it and bit off a corner before he opened a note and read it by the flickering candlelight. It was all too bizarre for me. I sat down on a stool as the room strangely started spinning. The next I knew Carnacki knelt over me on the floor, flicking water into my face. "Dr. Armitage?" He stopped when I blinked open my eyes. "Stay still," he said. "Just rest for a moment." "What happened?" I asked. "You, uh, fell, sir, and bumped your head on the floor," he said. After a moment, Carnacki helped me to my feet and guided me to the stool. "I fainted you mean," I said with embarrassment. "You must think me a fool, frightened by noises in an empty house." "On the contrary, I know you are not a fool," Carnacki said. "That is why I asked for your assistance. It is I that owe you an apology for dragging you into this nightmare. Are you positive you are better?" I nodded, but must have appeared unconvincing for he handed me a sandwich and ordered me to eat. Once I took a bite of the roast beef, Carnacki looked into my eyes. "You also did not imagine the sounds," he said. "Something queer is going on here. You are not the first to hear the bizarre sounds. Miss Westenra has heard them, too." "The dead woman in the coffin?" I asked, unable to keep from sounding incredulous. "You have seen her?" he answered. "She is a vampire." I swallowed my sandwich though the rye bread had gone dry in my mouth. "It is rather hard to believe," I told him. "I understand. If you’re feeling up to it, I’ll try to persuade you." We finished the sandwiches then he led me to the coffin. "Miss Westenra?" he called. "You truly believe she is a vampire," I said. Carnacki nodded and opened the coffin lid. He touched her neck. "She has no pulse," he said. "She is dead," I said. "But do you see any indication of postmortem decay?" I told him no, but that she might be a recent corpse. He nodded, touched his fingers to her lips and gently pulled back to show her teeth. Her canines were noticeably long and pointed. "They seem to grow when she is angry," Carnacki said. "Notice the bloodstains on her shroud?" "I confess I am nearly convinced. But if she is a vampire, why does she lie in her coffin? Why does she not arise?" "I do not know," he said at last. "That troubles me." With a sweep of my hand, I indicated the wreckage of the furniture. "What happened in this room?" "We had a visitor shortly before dawn," he said. "Count Dracula." As he said the name, I noticed he shivered. Carnacki looked exhausted, his face worn with care. His eyes had a hollow look. "I know it is difficult to accept," Carnacki said. "I suspect you think me insane. But there are others who have seen her and spoken with her. They are not here now, but they can confirm what I am telling you. I want you to believe me because I need your help." I gazed at him with deep consideration. "That you will have," I said. "Thank you," he said. "I’ll walk with you to the street where we can hail a cab to take you back to your hotel." "It is not necessary," I said. "I will stay here. Maybe I will get a chance to meet this vampire of yours." He closed the coffin lid. No further noise disturbed me nor did the dead woman leave her coffin, but I spent a frightening, uneasy night sitting in a chair and jumping at shadows. However, the next morning when Carnacki asked me if I would return to Hillingham that evening, I promised him I would. Mr. Carnacki’s story — continued. "I had not expected to see Dr. Armitage at Hillingham when I returned. By Jove! both of us had obviously had our nerves stretched by our frightful experiences. Whilst waiting for me, he apparently heard the same mysterious entity that had visited Miss Westenra. "I checked on Miss Westenra, who still lay in her coffin; then Armitage and I searched Hillingham together, but did not find anything. Exhausted by my lack of sleep over the past two nights I went to bed after he volunteered — quite bravely under the circumstances — to stay up in case Miss Westenra should awake and need anything." "I dropped onto the covers, too tired to even take off my clothes, and slept like the dead. "The next morning, Armitage returned to his research at the British Museum. "Slowly our forces gathered. I waited eagerly for the arrival of my old friend and mentor, Rabbi Metzner, and for the friends of Lord Godalming and Quincey Morris. The Inspector and I would need them to find Lilith. "As I read Armitage’s latest research report, his work convinced me more than ever of how important he could be to our cause. I had met the librarian only once before seeking his help. Fellow bibliophiles had introduced us and I had taken an instant liking to the American. "Once I finished reading, I set about restoring order to Miss Westenra’s room, clearing the debris of the broken furniture and moving in a desk and table from another bedroom. "As I swept the room, I came upon an odd find — three flattened lead projectiles from my gun. My shots had struck Dracula, but had not penetrated. "For a time, I leaned over the broom handle, trying to determine a way to experiment on Miss Westenra the effectiveness of different metals. I wondered whether she would allow me to stick her with needles made of lead, forged steel, silver and gold to see which type could harm a vampire. "I swept carefully around the ‘Defensive Circle.’ When the last of the splinters, broken glass and plaster dust went into the dust bin, I examined the ‘Defense’ to make certain none of the chalk marks had been marred. Fortunately, they had not been. "I was eager to hear from the Rabbi because I wanted his help and advice. He had taught me the secret behind the ancient wards and had introduced me to the world of occult lore. "I also knew Miss Westenra was deeply concerned about her soul and whether her transformation into an evil creature after her death would damn her to hell. The Rabbi was one of the most learned metaphysicists in Europe. He would know the answers to her questions. Jessop, forgetting one of Carnacki’s unspoken rules about interruptions, asked, "How did you meet this Rabbi Metzner? You’ve never mentioned him before." Carnacki stood up and walked over to the window. With his hands in his pockets, he stared past the rain-splattered panes to the darkness outside. Lightning punctured the black. "The Rabbi lived near where Mother and I resided when I was a boy," Carnacki replied. "My father died when I was quite young. When he died, it was like the world dropped from under my feet. One day, feeling low, I walked by the Rabbi’s home just as he stepped out. By coincidence, our steps carried us in the same direction down the street and we fell into conversation. Soon I developed the habit of visiting Rabbi Metzner. The Rabbi was a scholarly and well-traveled man. He was a widower with a daughter, Adena, even younger than I was. He began to act as a surrogate father to me. He would tell wonderful stories about his experiences in Prague, Vienna and Warsaw. He gave me a glimpse of faraway places at a time when my world consisted of the four corners of our block. He taught me to hurl a cricket ball and how to hold the bat. He took me fishing, though mostly he napped as his daughter and I fished. "When I grew older, about 12 or 13, every Friday night after Adena had been sent to bed he would sit in his big leather chair by the fireplace and tell me ghost stories. Terrifying stories of haunts he had investigated and demons he had cast out. His tales frightened me so much that when he finished and walked me to the door, I ran all the way home to hide under the blankets. But the next Friday, after supper with Mother, I would be at his side, waiting to hear his next tale." "Like us now," Arkright said. I could see Carnacki’s smile in his reflection on the window. "Where was I?" he asked. "You had just finished sweeping the floor," Jessop answered. "Yes. It seemed important to me to have Miss Westenra’s room in order for when she woke," Carnacki said. "By doing so, I hoped to remove the physical reminders of Dracula’s visit. I took the broken window frame to a carpentry shop, paying double to have it fixed quickly. I moved a dressing screen to block the sight of the damaged wall that I did not have sufficient time to patch and paint. "Shortly before dusk, I finished installing the repaired window and moving in the furniture. Armitage arrived with notebooks filled from his day’s research. "We stood expectantly at her bedroom door. We waited and waited and waited. After it became apparent she would not appear we approached her coffin and eased up the lid. "Miss Westenra lay with her arms folded across her chest in repose. "Armitage looked at me with a sympathetic expression. "‘She’s never done this before,’ I told him. "‘Mr. Carnacki, she is dead. My concern is for you.’ Armitage said in a kindly way. "‘Of course she is dead. She is a vampire,’ I answered, rather sharply I’m afraid. I felt oddly deflated and disappointed when she had not appeared. In my eagerness to ready the room for her, I had not considered the possibility that she would remain in her coffin for two nights in a row. "‘There is obviously something terribly frightening occurring in this house,’ Armitage continued. ‘Have you considered that you might have experienced a shock to your mental system and hallucinated that this poor woman is a vampire?’ "‘No,’ I said. ‘I wonder if something is wrong with her.’ "‘Besides her being dead?’ Armitage said. "I ignored his remark. ‘Perhaps Count Dracula’s visit is responsible. She was distraught by his return.’ "A horrible thought entered my mind. ‘What if she is truly dead?’ I asked Armitage. ‘How would we know?’ "‘Mr. Carnacki, I think we should get you away from here for a while to some place quiet where you can rest,’ Armitage said. "‘I tell you others can vouch that she is a vampire, including one of the great minds of Europe, Professor Van Helsing,’ I said. "‘The medical expert? Is he in London? Yes, we should go see him and let him know of Miss Westenra’s condition. He should be made aware right away,’ said Armitage, looking thoughtful. "Suddenly, Miss Westenra’s hands moved from her chest to her sides and she moaned in her sleep as if dreaming. Even though I had witnessed something similar once before whilst looking at her sleeping form, her movement still caught me by surprise. Armitage and I jumped back in fright and the coffin lid dropped down with a bang. "Red-faced, I raised the lid. I called her name, but she did not answer and her eyes did not open. She stirred, but then settled down, her fangs protruding over her lower lip. "I closed the lid and turned. Armitage stood outside the barrier, his face ashen. ‘She is all right,’ I told him. ‘She must be dreaming.’ "‘I am sorry I doubted you,’ Armitage said. "‘It was perfectly understandable,’ I said. "Soon after, Inspector Johnstone arrived to inquire about Miss Westenra. I introduced him to Armitage and I explained she had not risen for a second night. "‘Maybe it is the Count’s doing,’ Johnstone said. "‘That is my fear,’ I said. ‘Perhaps, since he created her, he had a power over her that he has withdrawn. I admit, I do not truly know.’ "We told Armitage of our experience with Count Dracula. The librarian listened attentively and asked intelligent questions. "The Inspector said he could not stay. ‘We’re frightfully busy. I am on my way to investigate yet another death.’ "‘Do you think the crime is related to Lilith?’ I asked. "‘It is probably not,’ Johnstone answered. ‘Sometimes it simply gets busy like this. Next week might be as quiet as a tomb.’ "I suggested to the Inspector that we meet with Van Helsing to inform him about Lilith. "The Inspector agreed and said he would send a telegram to set up the meeting. ‘I’ve also been thinking you need a guard dog here,’ Johnstone said. "‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Dracula is gone.’ "‘Hillingham sits in a rather lonely spot,’ he said. ‘The house is believed empty. London has a lot of crime even without a Transylvania vampire and a biblical demon of the desert. Otherwise, the Metropolitan Police would not employ 15,000 officers. I shall bring over a dog. You will have to feed it though.’ "With that, the Inspector departed. "Armitage and I discussed his notes and different aspects of the case. The earlier tension had disappeared. "We spoke for hours, without hearing any frightening noises in the house. Armitage departed about midnight and I was again alone with Miss Westenra’s sleeping corpse. "I decided to turn in and fell quickly to sleep. If anything haunted Hillingham that night, it was not loud enough to wake either the dead or those dead asleep. Dr. Armitage’s Journal. October 5, 1 a.m. — Tonight I saw a corpse move! Not the spasms of rigor mortis, but the graceful, natural movement of a sleeping person only this person has no pulse. I have just returned to my hotel, but I had to record what happened. When the vampire tossed in her sleep, my senses reeled. I had thought Carnacki mad, but it is reality that has gone mad. So help me, I now believe him. She is a vampire. As I put pen to paper, my heart races with the ramifications of what I write. If I tell others, they will judge me insane just as I did Carnacki. But I also must admit to myself that I would not miss this fantastic experience for the world! Thank goodness Miskatonic U. does not expect my return until after the New Year. October 6, 2 a.m. — The Princess of Darkness is a gentle lady. Yesterday I arrived at Hillingham shortly before sundown. I had spent another day in the British Library, delving deeper into musty tomes of long forgotten lore, as Poe would say. The hours I spent poring over books, taking notes and comparing passages will be worth it if the information aids Miss Westenra. At Hillingham, Carnacki answered the door and we spoke for a few minutes before entering her room. This time our wait was not in vain. I watched as a cloud of dust appeared next to the coffin and took human form. She greeted us and Carnacki introduced me to her. She has a haunted beauty. She stood in her white funeral shroud with an indescribable repose. I bowed and she nodded politely and then asked to speak to Carnacki alone. I left the room and waited in the hall for several minutes. Then Carnacki stepped out and asked me if I would stay with her since he had a meeting with Inspector Johnstone and Professor Van Helsing. I told him I would be delighted. At this, he said, "Do not forget what she is," as if such a thing was possible. I saw him to the door and returned to her room. When I entered, she was sitting behind her desk with a mournful expression. She turned and motioned for me to take a seat and seemed to brighten. After reading so much about vampires, I had to admit to myself that she was different than I had expected. We conversed of books, of theater, of America and New England, and of my trans-Atlantic voyage. Earlier, Carnacki had suggested that I not discuss our investigation with her, but Miss Westenra and I spoke on so many other topics that the subject never came up. When Carnacki returned shortly before midnight, I bid Miss Westenra goodnight with reluctance. He had asked the cab driver to wait for me and I returned to my hotel where I turned to my journal only after having difficulty falling to sleep. Lucy Westenra’s Diary. 6 October, 1 a.m. — In my dreams, I soared over the city, over the millions of people in their homes below, over the blackened dome of St. Paul and the square bulk of the Tower of London, over the gray Thames and the green gardens outside Westminster Abbey. I slept for three days and two nights and in my dreams I saw people not as I did before, but as prey. I swooped down upon a man and felt my teeth sink deep into the warm skin of his throat, swallowing deep as his blood filled my mouth, both of us moaning in pleasure until his death quieted him. I looked up at the bright moon and howled in ecstasy as his blood spilled down my lips. And then I heard my voice, sonorous in my dream: "This is how I should be." I woke. When I did, I knew how long I had slept, but I did not know why. Instead of leaving my coffin upon awakening, as was my habit, I remained prone. As scenes from my dream played in my mind, an overwhelming urge guided my left hand, which slowly reached down and pulled up my shroud. My fangs sank into throats. Images of blood flowed through my fantasy until I arched my back and floated in sensuality. My hand rested on my thigh until I heard the door to my boudoir open. Two hearts beat. I recognized Carnacki’s, but the other was new. I continued luxuriating in the pleasure. Then I composed myself and left my coffin. "Good evening," I said, smiling at my secret wickedness. "Good evening, Miss Westenra," Mr. Carnacki said. "It is good to see you. This is Dr. Henry Armitage. He is a scholar from the United States." Dr. Armitage bowed. He stood taller than Mr. Carnacki did. He was a handsome gentleman in his mid-30s with a full beard and inquisitive gray eyes. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Westenra," he said, smiling. "The pleasure is mine, I assure you," I answered. "Dr. Armitage, may I have a moment alone with Mr. Carnacki?" Dr. Armitage bowed and closed the door behind him. Mr. Carnacki waited with his hands in front of him, his fingers intertwined. I thought I could hear the blood coursing through his arteries. I ran my tongue over my fangs and said, "Mr. Carnacki, I need blood soon. I hunger." He nodded and I motioned for him to be seated. When I had left my coffin, my attention had been on the two gentlemen and not on my surroundings. I had noticed the furniture had been replaced, but had been distracted and not given it more than a passing thought. But when I sat down, I recognized the writing desk. My hands caressed the worn, familiar wood. At once, I felt ashamed of my earlier behavior and thoughts. A sharp ache filled my chest. A stake through my heart would not have pained me more. "Miss Westenra, what is it?" "This desk — it was Mother’s." "I am sorry, Miss Westenra. I did not know. I will return it to her room." I shook my head. "Please leave it, Mr. Carnacki. It is good to have something of Mother’s near me." I hesitated. "And thank you for putting the room in order." "It is the least I could do, Miss Westenra. You saved our lives." "How is the Inspector?" "A little battered and bruised, but otherwise well. He has looked in on you whilst you slept." "And Count Dracula?" Now Mr. Carnacki hesitated. "He has left England to return to Transylvania." "How do you know?" "We saw him off," Mr. Carnacki answered. "Oh?" "Yes. Inspector Johnstone told him to never return." "That must have been something to see," I said. "It was. I would like to tell you we gave the bounder a good thrashing, but I have never lied to you and I won’t begin now." A slight smile came through my melancholy thoughts. "I am certain you both were quite brave," I said. He made a dismissive wave. "We would not have lived to face him if you had not intervened on our behalf." "I didn’t," I said. "Oh," he said. There was a slight pause, then I asked, "Mr. Carnacki, do you think me a monster?" "Why do you ask?" "I saw the look on your face when I turned to grab the desk to strike Count Dracula," I replied. "You thought I was going to attack you. You were frightened of me." He tilted back his chair and stared up at the tin ceiling squares whilst he recollected the details of the event. He leaned forward and our eyes met. "I’m sorry," he said. "I mistook your intention." "You still do not trust me," I said. "You are still frightened of what I might do." "That is not entirely true," Mr. Carnacki said. "I replaced the desk even though I witnessed what you are capable of doing with it." I considered his words. "But you do not trust me enough to release me?" "Right," he said. "Nor do you trust yourself." I rubbed my hands on the front of the desk where Mother’s arms had worn the wood smooth. "You may be correct," I said. "I want blood and I might again harm others to obtain it. Will you bring me blood soon? And not the blood of a self-murderer, either, but blood from the living." "How did you know the blood came from a suicide?" Mr. Carnacki asked. "I could taste his death on it," I replied. "When I drink blood, I get a taste of the person’s life. It’s like I absorb part of the person’s essence." Mr. Carnacki noted my observation down on a small notebook. "That may have been why you favored the blood of children," he said as he wrote. "You wanted to recapture innocence." "I suppose you want to resume your experiments," I said with a sigh. "No. I thought you should have a night without them," he said. "The urgency is not as great with Dracula’s departure. But there is still a lot to learn about your condition. For instance, why did you sleep so long? I had begun to worry." "Worry, Mr. Carnacki?" He paused. "Yes," he said. "But if you were ready to kill me, or at least to try, why should you worry about my fate?" "I would kill you only if left with no other choice," he said solemnly. His voice lost its professional tone for a moment. "To be honest, I have grown fond of the time we have spent together. I fear you have become like a friend to me." "Why would you fear that?" I asked with surprised curiosity. "Because until I met you, I never realized how lonely my life was," he said quietly. Before I could respond, he changed the subject. He resumed his professional demeanor. "I have read that vampires may drink the blood of animals," he said. "Would that be satisfactory?" "Maybe," I replied. "Would you prefer a calf or a lamb?" "Calf, I think." "I will bring you one tomorrow night. I must leave to attend a meeting with Professor Van Helsing this evening, but Dr. Armitage has offered to stay with you and keep you company. A secretary-companion also should be here soon. A lady recommended by Dr. Seward." "Will Arthur be at the meeting?’ Mr. Carnacki paused then answered, ‘Yes.’ "Will you give him something for me?" Mr. Carnacki nodded. I took off the ring Arthur had given me and wrote a note to formally end our engagement. I placed the ring into the folded note and held it out to Mr. Carnacki. He hesitated only briefly before reaching his hand across the barrier to take the paper. "Thank you, Mr. Carnacki," I said. "Au revoir, Miss Westenra." A moment after Mr. Carnacki departed, Dr. Armitage entered. We sat down with an awkward silence between us until he commented upon the books Mr. Carnacki had left upon the desk for me. After that, Dr. Armitage proved an interesting companion. I asked him to tell me about himself and he did. He told me he had earned a doctorate in literature and had made a particular study of the works of Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. When he told me that, I gave him a shy smile. "Then I must remind you of Ophelia," I said. His face showed his confusion. "‘She should in ground unsanctified have lodg’d,’ I quoted. "‘Till the last trumpet: for charitable prayers, shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her; Yet here she is allow’d her virgin crants, her maiden strewments, and the bringing home of bell and burial.’" Armitage applauded, the claps echoing in the stillness of the house. "That was wonderful," he said with a broad smile. "Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1. Do you have all of Shakespeare’s works memorized?" I shook my head. "I do have a terribly good memory for lines I’ve read or heard spoken," I said, "but it’s not that good. I recently looked up the scene. I had compared myself to Ophelia in a diary entry when..." My smile faded as I finished the thought. "It was recently," I told him softly. "When I still lived. Ironic, isn’t it, that I compared myself to Ophelia in the graveyard scene before I died? I must have known my death was coming." My words had left him at a loss as to what to say. Yet his look conveyed such kindness and compassion that he did not need to say more. "I always preferred the comedies," I said to change the subject. With that, we spoke of different plays we had seen and different actors and actresses. When I told him I had seen Ellen Terry and Sir Henry Irving performing at the Lyceum Theatre, Dr. Armitage couldn’t hide his envy and asked me countless questions about the performance. We spoke of his voyage to England and of many other subjects. The life of an heiress does not prepare one for many situations, but it does teach how to be a good hostess. When Mr. Carnacki returned, I told Dr. Armitage I looked forward to his next visit. The two of them stepped outside to speak, leaving me alone to write in my diary. Mr. Carnacki must have news from his meeting to share with Dr. Armitage. I hope he does not keep it secret from me. It would be nice to hear of the outside world. Later. — Mr. Carnacki just told me the most awful news. The Abomination has tainted my dear sweet Mina. Dracula visited her and only the arrival of Arthur, Van Helsing and the others saved her from immediate death. Mr. Carnacki stood outside with Dr. Armitage for a long time. I could not hear their words. Then Mr. Carnacki entered alone and I could tell from his worried expression that he had sad news to give me. Yet all is not lost. Though Dracula has cursed her, his true death may save her from dying and becoming a vampire like myself. Because of what happened to me, Dr. Van Helsing and the others know better how to save Mina. They plan to pursue him to the ends of the Earth if necessary. I do not want Mina to suffer my fate. The worst is not the unnatural hunger and lusts, the dark evil thoughts that I constantly suppress nor the chance to dwell amongst the living. The worst to me is the not knowing if I am lost from God’s grace, if my soul is damned to the torment of hell. I understand why Dracula fled my gentlemen, my warriors, my avengers. When you are a vampire, the fear of hell gnaws at the back of your mind like a rat behind a wall eating away at your courage. Sometimes you do not hear the rat, but you know it is there to plague the mind with doubt and fear. I want to go to Mina and comfort her, but Mr. Carnacki tells me that she believes Arthur staked me in my tomb to end my existence. I do not know really understand why they are deceiving her. Maybe it is for the best that she does not see me now. Mina knew the old me better than any other did and she is the one most likely to notice the changes in me. At this time of her crisis, she does not need to see what dreadful fate might lie ahead for her. After Mr. Carnacki had finished telling me about Mina, he said he had one other matter to discuss. He had obtained from Jack the device that had been used to perform blood transfusions on me when I lived. Mr. Carnacki suggested that instead of animal blood, he and other volunteers could donate the occasional pint to satisfy my need. I thanked him, but when he asked if I wanted him to give blood at that moment, I shook my head. "Not tonight, Mr. Carnacki," I told him, thinking of Mina. "Tomorrow night." Mr. Carnacki bid me goodnight, told me to not hesitate to call him should I become nervous, and then he headed off to bed. I could tell from listening to his heart pattern that he fell asleep within moments of hitting the pillow. I am tired and I feel the sun edge closer to the horizon, but I do not want to sleep. I am too worried for my beloved Mina.


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