Ugh, you guys, this book. This fucking book.
But I said I’d do it, and I’m going to do it. For you. Because I love you. And because I want you to feel my pain.
So we open right where we left off, with Seward staring at Bathory. He’s all “entranced” by her beauty, which includes her eyes being “icy blue”. Don’t do that. Do you know how many shades of blue there are in the world? Icy. Feh.
She turns toward him, so he throws himself in the mud. He waits, and when he finally raises his head, she’s gone into the house. We then get two paragraphs about the mud and getting out of the mud and walking through the mud and losing a shoe in the mud.
He climbs a tree and starts inching along the roof of the villa. Which has a wrought-iron railing, for some reason? Like, is this a patio or a widow’s walk deal? Because we’re told it’s the roof, but then railing, so…Yeah, I have no idea. In the next paragraph, he’s heading for the shelter of an awning over a second-story window, and then looking in the window, so clearly, this is not the roof. Watch your descriptions, kids, because as it’s written? This is the weirdest damn house ever.
He starts his peeping and looks into an empty ballroom. Bathory’s two…assistants? come in, carrying a chest. Seward doesn’t want to be seen, so he climbs the railing (what railing?) and hops to the next balcony (what balconies?!). The assistants have been costumed by Hammer Films, so we know they’re vampires, too.
Bathory comes in and takes off her cloak, and she’s in men’s evening wear. She kisses each of the other women “on the lips passionately”, so clearly she’s evil, because duh, gay.
Don’t worry. It gets more offensive.
There’s a woman inside the trunk. She’s fully dressed, for the moment, but Bathory takes her out of the chest and uses a medical amputation lancet – seriously – to slice off her clothes. Because God forbid we not have some more gratuitous female nudity to make everyone uncomfortable! I mean, I was just asking myself, “Self, what could make this book worse? Homophobia and sexism? Surely no one’s that awful!”
Oh, but they are. They are.
Bathory also slices off the girl’s crucifix necklace. Seward watches all this, praying that “Mary, Mother of God, protect her.” The assistants take the girl and hang her by her ankles on a pulley system, and Bathory starts whipping her with a metal-tipped cat o’ nine tails.
Seward wants to attack right then, but knows he’d never win. Instead, he turns away, because he can’t bear to watch this gratuitous naked BDSM travesty anymore. But the last words of his Benefactor make him turn back:
No matter what you see or feel, nothing must distract you from your duty.
Oh, okay, then. It’s his duty, you guys. He just has to watch all these naked shenanigans!
Bathory keeps whipping, while the assistants lie underneath the girl and drink the blood showering down on them. Seward makes plans to kill them all, but feels bad that he can’t save the girl right now. He even takes out his scalpel – which he plans to use to cut their heads off – and grasps the blade so tightly he bleeds on the roof tiles. Of the balcony he’s on. Because…reasons.
Seward then has a memory of Lucy’s “true” death – you remember, when Van Helsing, the sadistic prick, forced her fiance to drive a stake through her heart while two other men who were in love with her watched? Yeah. Seward admits to himself that he felt a secret satisfaction in watching Arthur lose Lucy, and killing Bathory is going to somehow atone for that.
The girl passes out, and Bathory demands the assistants prepare her “bath”. They pull the girl along the pulley system until she’s over a Roman-style bath. I don’t know what that is, but at least it’s not simultaneously a roof and a balcony, so I’ll go with it.
And now, of course, Bathory gets naked, too, which makes a little bit of sense – she does call this a “bath” – but come the fuck on. We’ve had, what, three naked women in two chapters? Why?
Our authors describe Bathory’s curves as “wanton”, which makes about as much sense as calling a woman with big breasts a slut without ever having spoken to her.
We know what comes next, yes? The girl’s body is emptied of blood right over Bathory, and all this serves to strengthen Seward’s resolve to the point that he reaches in his bag (which I didn’t know he was still carrying) for his crossbow. He aims it, preparing to fire, when he catches sight of a poster on a desk (in the empty ballroom). It advertises a performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III for the next night, in Paris.
This so shocks him (why? Who knows!) that he takes a step backward (on a balcony) and steps on one of the roof tiles (on the balcony), which cracks and falls to the cobblestones below.
One of the assistants hears this and rushes outside, but sees nothing on the roof. She finds the shattered tile, and can smell human blood on it – blood tainted with chemicals. She scales the building and finds Seward’s silver scalpel, noting that only an inexperienced vampire hunter would use silver. She doesn’t find Seward, but she knows they’ve been found out and will have to leave.
Seward’s fine with that, because he knows they’ll be at the play in Paris tomorrow night, and that’s where he’ll attack them. How does he know?
Next week: Chapter 3! Which is also short, and could probably have fit here, but then I would have had to read two chapters of this shit in a row! Not gonna happen!Show RitS Post List