What Is this Darkness?
Children playing above his grave felt the ground tremble as he awakened though they could not yet hear his voice.
What is this? Dirt over me? Have I become the seed of an olive tree ready to burst forth into sunlight?
They could sense something large under the ground trembling with the need to escape? Human? Or Monster?
Numb in form, and yet he could feel them lingering above him as his thirsty grew. His veins popped as though filling with carbon air. And then he heard voices, not the children’s above him, but of the demons and they were inside him.
…as though worms have crawled into dead pores, the crawling creep of evil underground grasp the mortal soul and the screaming begins with many mouths from the minds of worms stretching and growing with claws and the thirst of revenge.
Mikos the now undead struggled to get away from these demonic voices hidden in his corpse, struggled to burst free of this grave where he was so carelessly buried—Althea! He remembered. He could see and feel every moment of the last of their lives together, as though they were being murdered all over again. The memory was so vivid!
And now he had awakened. For revenge.
His hands broke through the surface of the dirt layer over him, into the chill of the night air. The children could now see what had been wiggling below the ground—human and yet not, bursting free of the ground where nothing was ever meant to burst free. And now they knew they were no longer safe. The night belonged to them....
…wanting to scream back but this corpse mouth opened and filled with dirt, swallowing dirt, not feeling, not caring, the passionate wings of thirst beating the skin with hate, forcing the
numbed body upward through the mound of dirt.
Mikos sat up. One child left behind with courage to witness saw him turn and stare. The child saw him lean over and puke up the dirt of the grave from his lungs. A thick puddle of mud formed as he purged out the last remnants of the ground in his final stage of awakening.
He was Mikos no longer. “I did not ask for undeath!” he shouted to the heavens.
The child screamed and ran.
Mikos the undead thirsted for revenge, not innocence, and did not pursue. Not yet. He tried to understand how this could have happened to him. Still half buried in dirt, he felt his chest. He was in a corpse, perhaps in his own corpse. He knew the legends. He had become vrykolakas (vre-KO-lekus) … vampire of the Mediterranean islands. He is walking vengeance.
I came to know him because of his need to seek his family again. For 500 years he sought someone who could either accept him, or help him end this un-existence. This quest led him to eventually compile his tales so that he could find someone to understand him—to at least understand him before he ends his quest.
Fasten tight to your seat. You are on a journey like no other.
Imagine being in 1503 Greece at the time of his awakening. You are living in a modest house with your three children, having your dinner of lamb and dumpling when you hear a knock on the door. You open the door and a man is standing there. He is covered in dirt. Your family had been laughing about the day’s events in the rock field—happy, of course, to have employment within the Ottoman Turk Empire. But all noise and activity ceases when this man stands there in the open doorway, just stands there as though he’d been expected and was late and didn’t have an excuse.
“Please do come in. We have enough to share,” your wife says, to your displeasure.
The dirty man sits but does not touch the plate he was given. Your family finishes the meal in total silence. Even the baby has stopped babbling. And as you stand to clear the plates, the man disappears. Just vanishes, as though he had not been there at all. Or so you try to tell yourself as you eat from that extra plate.
At the next house, they refuse to let him in. He gets in anyway. And they don’t survive.
Would you let him in? He might knock on your door into today’s world but now he’s cleaned-up, controlled—a mostly human-appearing man all in black, wearing sunglasses, standing on your stoop. You peer out the window at him, and don’t see the monster covered in dirt from the grave. But why is he wearing such heavy clothes in the middle of summer?
Such is the difficult world in which we live. To open, or not. So, believing as you must that all things happen for a reason, you open that door. You are at first startled by his pale and thin countenance. He will turn down your offer of food and rest and ask for pleasant conversation. After a spirited conversation about the day’s social movement, he gets up and leaves. Nothing more. Your kindness has been your reward. This vrykolakas, this Arabus Drake, tells his stories of his existence in these centuries as though they had happened to someone else, as though no more than myth himself. Perhaps that’s all he is.
Here in the first transcribed tape are five romantic tales of his long search for acceptance or release for his imprisoned soul. With memories so vivid he feels he is reliving them, he revisits his childhood to see how this happened to him.
Have you ever wished for immortality? Read on and see if you keep that desire, as Mikos travels back into his memories to try and change this horrible fate. �:
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