Been a bit of a chaotic week here in the Miller household. Not chaos in a brother-killing-brother, babies-having-babies, dogs and cats living together out of wedlock kind of way (hold on I think I just described North Korea, except for the dogs and cats part, the Norks ate all those creatures decades ago).
But I have just finished the first (aka worst) draft of the latest Zoltan story. I’ve already got some big changes in mind but this came a lot easier than the first story I shared on this blog.
If you haven’t been following along, you can catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 here.
Maria followed Zoltan through the darkened halls of the hospital and into the janitor’s closet. They were a floor below Dr. Constantin and Sophie Canclosi, but Maria could not help but look over her shoulder. The pitch black closet stank of ammonia and garlic. Zoltan closed the door and flipped the light switch to illuminate his armory.
The walls were lined with sharpened wooden stakes. Ropes of garlic were stung about the room. At the far end of the room, there was a small statue of the Virgin Mary. On the interior of the door, hung a small wooden crucifix. The tiny shelf that had once held cleaning supplies was lined with bottles of holy water. Maria recognized the glass bottles from girlhood when an elderly priest had blessed their new apartment.
Zoltan removed a belt from the wall and began stuffing it with articles from his arsenal. He spoke quietly as he worked.
“Based on his heightened color, ve can assume the doctor has fed recently. He probably gorged himself on as much of the blood bank as he can stomach. When you spoke, he vas probably full to the point of bursting. This is to our advantage, he will be a little slower.”
“Should I be doing anything?” Maria asked.
“Take dis and dis and stay out of da vay!” Into her hands, Zoltan thrust a bottle of holy water and a small silver dagger.
“If da doctor come after you, try to get some of da water on him and slash him wit da silver. You won’t kill him, but you vill cause him acute pain. It may be enough to hold him off long enough for me to recover. Are you sure you wouldn’t rather stay here?”
Maria thought of Sophie, her pale face and sunken eyes. “No. I’m coming.”
“As long as you stay back. I won’t stop you.” Zoltan nodded. “Excuse me, please.”
Zoltan used a little footstool to reach above Maria and take an object that hung on the wall above the Virgin Mary. As the square block of a man descended, Maria saw he was holding a curved sword in a battered leather scabbard.
“What is that?”
The hilt and guard belied the humble scabbard. The guard was gold and the hilt had a fat red ruby set in it.
Zoltan snorted, “A saber. Made for a mighty lord’s son to play at cavalry officer with. No use against steel” He pulled the blade halfway out of its sheath and let it shine in the dingy light of the cleaning closet. “But it is inlaid with silver. Which makes it essential for the nights work.”
He slid it back into the scabbard and attached it to his belt. Finally, he grabbed a weathered leather jacket from a hook on the wall and slung it around his shoulders. He opened the door again and held it open for Maria.
Maria stared for a moment at her companion. His navy blue scrubs and white tennis shoes clashed horribly with the knee-length leather, military-style jacket. And the utility belt looked just looked bizarre. What have you gotten yourself into? she thought.
Maria took a deep breath and let it out. She grabbed one of the empty spray bottles and walked out the door.
“Ready.” she said.