The wind blew into the house, sweeping the curtains off the ground and blowing in the air of a new dawn. The house was eerily quite with a growing sense of anticipation. The wooden floors looked dusty under the pool of growing sunlight streaming through holes in the rumbling clouds. You could smell the rain in the air and the rustling of the leaves under the drooping trees that made up the forest. A smile was playing on her lips and she surveyed the forest overlooked by the house with a secret air of delight. Today was a very special day because today, She was coming over.
Even Elizabeth’s eyes were smiling as Her car rolled into the brick lined porch and reversed back after she slowly stepped out of the vehicle. Immaculately dressed for the occasion in black; Elizabeth could not have asked for a better candidate. Hesitantly stepping through the door after being greeted cheerily by Elizabeth, she began to take off Her coat.
“Oh, no! No need for that right now,” Elizabeth hastily exclaimed. “I thought we could step out into the forest for a while, seeing as how it’s such a lovely day today.”
“Um, okay. Yeah, sure. Just…..where are your parents?” the ever compliant new girl was asking.
“Oh, they’ve just gone out for a bit. Seeing as how splendid the weather is, they thought they should go for a drive. The longer the better, right? Don’t worry, they left food,” Elizabeth winked.
She nodded awkwardly.
“I just discovered this lovely spot in the forest yesterday where you can see the strangest birds in the trees. I thought I’d take you there,” she smiled encouragingly.
“Sure,” accompanied by a nervous attempt at a smile by Her.
As they made their way to the back door, She looked around, noticing the fact that there was hardly any furniture in the house and it wore a very desolate, unlived look about it. This did not help ease Her growing uncertainty that something was not quite right. Nonetheless, She followed Elizabeth to the back of the house, making footprints on the dusty floor as She walked timidly behind her. She could see the forest through the huge windows that stretched from the ceiling down to the floor and from one corner of the shabby room to the other. They seemed surprisingly clean despite the grimy, ragged curtains that hung limply on their sides. A spider scuttled up one of the blinds as Elizabeth slid opened the windows. She worked hard to suppress her disgust as She stepped outside onto the creaking verandah.
It overlooked the whole forest which started about 20 feet away from the building. The trees wore an ancient, wizened look while the brilliant gold-colored leaves they had shed in the fall lay beside their feet and crunched under the girls as they walked towards the entrance. There seemed to be a natural path made through the forest but She could see that no one had used it in a long time because there were tiny twigs and untouched leaves lying all across it. The hairs on the back of Her neck began to prickle. Maybe this was not the best place to be, especially since the rumbling of the clouds was getting louder every minute. She turned around to tell Elizabeth that they should probably turn back before it started to pour but Elizabeth put her finger on her lips with an eager smile and gestured Her to come forward. They stepped into a clearing in the trees, devoid of any vegetation except a tall pile of dead leaves.
“What exac-,” She began.
“Shhh. Listen!” Elizabeth silenced her.
But She could not hear anything, A bird hooted in the distance, the grey clouds above them rumbled again, but other than that, the forest was deadly quite like the calm before a storm. She wasn’t even sure what She was supposed to be listening to.
All the while She could hear Elizabeth breathing softly on Her neck but suddenly, even that ceased. She swung around and gave a cry of surprise. Elizabeth was standing with her legs apart, holding a large, glittering dagger in her raised arms and She could do no more than give a faint yell of confusion when Elizabeth swung it down with an astonishing amount of force and stabbed her in the chest. She laughed in quick, raspy cackles as she repeatedly cut into Her smooth white skin. Her eyes gleamed with mirth as she saw the life seeping out of Her body. The raindrops were beginning to fall slowly and steadily from the sky and trickled down the few leaves that were still hanging from the trees before dropping down softly to the ground.
Elizabeth walked over to the large pile of leaves and began to clear them hurriedly. When she finished, long strips of wood could be seen lying over an opening where the leaves had been. She kicked them aside, again with the same overwhelming strength to reveal a marble bath deep enough to slowly slide into and wide enough for a person to lie down in. She went back to Her and dragged Her by the tufts of Her silky, auburn hair and lay Her near the path in such a way that Her head was hanging off one of the ends of the bath to the inside. Elizabeth then expertly slit Her throat and began to remove her clothes as the warm blood gushed from Her neck. She laid down in the bath while getting sprayed by the blood, which she seemed to enjoy very much. She sighed and lay back luxuriously as a mixture of rain and blood began to rise up, enveloping her body.
“Nothing like a good blood bath in the fall.”
The clouds thundered louder than ever.
*Inspired by Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1615) of Hungary who is alleged to have killed a total of 650 girls in order to drink their blood and bathe in it, an act that she believed would preserve her youth.*