Chapter 6: The Owl of Undoing

Where there’s a will, there’s a way…

All is not lost, the unconquerable will, and study of revenge, immortal hate, and the courage never to submit or yield.
― John Milton, Paradise Lost

Vlad stood up. He felt worse than usual, as if this time drinking from a sim without permission was harder.

Because you did something awful. Because you feel guilty, his conscience whispered.

But Vlad shook his head. He wasn’t going to argue with himself. The real problem was that there was something else vibrating in the air and making him feel off…a low frequency hum. He narrowed his eyes and flicked on the light switch, testing his suspicions. 

The bathroom was suddenly very bright. Too bright

Vlad roared in fury. Decades ago, Caleb had given the house a small makeover. It was the ’30s and though they would outlive the market crash, most of the Windenburg vampires had become very sullen—Caleb included. It was a small dalliance that Vlad allowed because there was no electricity flowing to Straud Manor. 

Or at least, there was not supposed to be electricity flowing to Straud Manor.

Vlad stalked from the restroom through the livingroom and down to the basement where he found William and Caleb sitting comfortably in two chairs. 

Caleb had the good sense to look guilty and immediately jumped up pretending to examine the bookcases for dust.

William, however, continued lounging as if he had not shoved Vlad’s pipe organ out of the way and installed a giant flatscreen on the wall in its place.

“For all of the gold bars you hoard, I would’ve thought you could afford at least one more carpet for this drafty basement,” William teased, his lilting accent making the sentence sound almost musical.

Vlad looked around. It didn’t look much different from the records room that the monks had kept at the abbey near the castle, but this was how he preferred it. In fact, he wished the whole house looked like this.

“Carpet? And miss hearing the footsteps of an enemy? Like one shoving a large piece of furniture out of the way? Wasn’t it you who taught me that trick?”

William snorted. “And that’s the one piece of advice you choose to follow?”

Vlad tried to clasp onto the anger that was slowly burning away in William’s presence. This is what you need. Home. Comfort. Friends, his conscience sang. But a king did not have friends or comfort.

Still, Vlad itched to sit down and banter with someone who truly knew him. A king needed to confer with his council, right? That’s all this was: conferring. Vlad gave William half a smile and took a seat. 

When he was a boy, William had taught Vlad how to swing a sword, what berries were poisonous, and, when he got older, how to woo a romantic interest. He loved giving advice. Or, as his husband used to say: William loved hearing himself give advice. He was Vlad’s most trusted advisor.

Friend, his conscience corrected.

William had fought with him and, in the woods of Forgotten Hollow, he had died with him too. Just that thought made Vlad feel forlorn, but he quickly covered it with a scowl. “What in sages’ name is a television doing down here? And, for that matter, what is electricity doing in my home—“

William stood up. “You need a good workout. Spar with me.”

“Sims don’t pull out swords for a fight anymore,” Vlad insisted, “And besides, you are changing the subject.” 

Why was he resisting? He did need to do something with all of this dark energy swirling inside of him. 

“I’m sure if they come back in fashion, you’ll be first in line to use them. Come on. What’s it been? 300 years? You’re due to beat me again.”

Vlad growled. Of course William would bring that up. Of course he would use that against him. In all these centuries, Vlad had only beaten William three times. Three times! And William hinted that at least one time was because he let Vlad win. 

“Fortune doesn’t favor the smug,” Vlad said, his upper lip curling. 

But William just laughed. “I tell you what, you win and I’ll get the power to the house shut off immediately.”

“And if you win?” Vlad asked, his arms folded. Here he was negotiating about rules in his own house. This curse was worse than he thought. 

William gave him a crooked smile. “We’ll see. A king grants favors at his discretion, does he not?”

  • Dolly Llama
    Oct 28, 2019

    Test time! Is the curse he wants to lift:
    (a) his vampirism
    (b) his conscience
    (c) his daddy issues
    (d) necromancy-related

    • feroshgirl
      Oct 30, 2019

      LOL Imagine what he could do with a little therapy hahaha

  • theplumbob
    Jul 3, 2020

    William seems like auite the character. I’m liking him so far (especially the line “I wasn’t talking about life, I was talking about sneaking out of a lover’s room!” made me lol. A smooth charmer with layers of hidden complexity underneath, sign me up).

    It’s interesting to see Vlad vulnerable, and spending time with friends. I never really saw him that way, needing others, but you’re doing a great job humanising him. And of course, it makes sense that somebody his age has a lot of preexisting relationships. I’m a huge fan of the Vampire Chronicles, and one of my favourite things about those vampires was the complexity of their relationships caused by their lengthy lifespans – they have enough lifetimes to go from love to hate and back to love again.

    It’s fun to see how our protagonists are slowly getting down the path towards each other. I wonder how the show ended up in posession of such an important relic. Are they aware of its power? They might be oblivious… though of course, perhaps they know exactly what they’re doing here and are hoping to draw in exactly the kinds of people that they are, for some higher reason. Hmm… (This is pure speculation, I don’t actually want to know! 😊)

    • feroshgirl
      Jul 4, 2020

      William is my absolute favorite! I love all my characters and I’m not supposed to play favorites, I know, but he just is. I can’t wait until you learn more about him, you’ve definitely picked up on something significant about his character – he is a charmer but that’s just the surface, a very deliberate mask.

      I’m such a paranormal romance/paranormal nerd I definitely got some of inspiration there. I figure long-lived creatures of any type would have messy relationships. On the one hand, they are incredibly strong connections just by virtue of time, on the other hand, they really fragile because of all the ups and downs they suffer. There’s another series I love – Immortals After Dark – that asks some similarly questions about immortality, relationships, and madness.

      I’m so glad he does come off vulnerable and almost human. I don’t like a one-dimensional villain and I certainly don’t think they make for a good love interest 🙂

      I love that you’re asking the question about how the show got The Owl so early in the story. There is an answer, but its a while before the characters even begin to get into it because they are all so focused on their goal, they haven’t really stopped to ask a lot of questions…

      That may come back to bite them…

      Your speculation is very interesting…

      • theplumbob
        Jul 4, 2020

        Haha I think it’s pretty natural to have favourites, even in your own story – we all do it. Question is, are you the kind that treats their favourites better, or the kind that makes things tougher for them than for anyone else? 😁

      • feroshgirl
        Jul 5, 2020

        Hmmm, I do like out my characters through the ringer in general. I just have a weak spot William that makes it hard for me to hurt him…

        Hard, but not impossible 😉

  • Yimiki
    Jan 5, 2021

    I wonder what happened to Miss Hell that she responds to the use of her name like that. It can’t have been good.

    LOL, oh gods, Vlad is going to participate in the baking show too, isn’t he? xD So that’s where the title of the story came from, haha. He’s trying so hard to end his curse that he doesn’t realize he’s gained his humanity through it. Or maybe he does realize, but just doesn’t want to acknowledge it.

    • feroshgirl
      Jan 5, 2021

      Miss Hell has been through some things, let me tell you!

      Haha, yes Vlad is desperate to undo this curse, but you’re right, he hasn’t even thought much about what he could be losing. What a journey of self-discovery our resident sociopathic mass murderer vampire love interest has ahead of him 😉

  • Ninja Pink Sex
    Aug 27, 2022

    Let out some tension with a swordfight *snort* oh gooooooodness. I know you didn’t know me yet, but I feel like that section was meant for me regardless. Yeah, that’s all I can think of at this time.

  • sirianasims
    Sep 26, 2022

    I love William and his smug face already. Also, having a gay man challenge another man to a sword-fight to release tension just makes my dirty mind read this very differently.

    “It was a wonder they hadn’t broken the blades with both of them now going at full strength” *snort*

    That being said, I do love their dynamic. I think William could be would be good for Vlad if he’d let him.

    “drawing his long gray coat around him as if it were some sort of talisman.” Vlad confirmed for autistic. Because 14-year-old me said so, while wearing my black jeans, black turtleneck sweater, and black combat boots in the middle of a July heatwave back in 1999.

    Nicolai Flamellius – did he also make a philosopher’s stone? 😛

    I am giggling like a lunatic at “ye olde simlish rather than just olde simlish”. Must be the lack of sleep.

    B’Ollathirnon (some long forgotten god of death or agriculture or some such activity).
    No! Ben is the God of Death AND resurrection AND agriculture AND fertility AND nectar! Get it together, Vlad!

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