I was never short of visitors once I moved to Romania. Everyone and his brother was only too eager to come and stay at my little house and relax on the patio, taking in the cool, clear mountain air.
Six months had passed since the big power struggle in the London office and I had been sent to the city of Oradea. Not having a high enough ratio of sales to my credit and never indulging in any heavy petting with the Chairmen of the board, I was dispatched with alacrity to this far-flung Northwest region of Romania and the anonymity of the Crisana area office.
Oh, how my colleagues had laughed and joked about Dracula and vampires and Transylvanian castles and bats, but, of course, I didn't believe in any of that nonsense.
Oradea was beautiful and the landlord had showed me round the delightful little timber house, which nestled in a pretty garden on the edge of the forest, just a few hundred yards from the city limits. I had read the salient points of the lease, then signed it and as I handed it back to him, he had grabbed my arm and looked straight into my eyes and , in his thick Romanian accent, he had whispered,
" Oh, miss, don't be uncloses vindows at night ! Ze vampire still roam zees area !!"
and I had smiled and nodded and thought how superstitious the people were in this part of Europe.
And so, all of this is going through my mind as I walk through the forest with my four latest visitors. They have done all the other touristy things and now we are on our way to see a particularly lovely waterfall that one of them has read about in an old guide book, but , against my better advice, we have set off rather late in the day. Now it is getting dark and the wind is beginning to rustle the leaves and sway the branches and I am starting to realise that we are hopelessly off course.
No-one ever tarries in the forests at night and now, here we are , totally lost with a storm brewing. I begin to fasten my wrap, which is now swirling around me in the wind and then I urge the others on. Their faces say it all, they are terrified ! All around us the eerie silhouettes of trees fire our imaginations and , as clouds scud across the full moon, it is oh so easy to believe the vampire stories.
I gather my guests around me and lead them down a long winding path that, I hope will lead us to safety, but as the darkness envelopes us I know there is really no hope of that.
Suddenly, we come to a clearing and there is salvation ! A little woodman's cabin looms in the darkness. Rushing towards it, my companions breathe a collective sigh of relief and we all heave on the thick wooden door and tumble inside. The windows are all shuttered, the place is deserted, but it is safety ! Safety from the evil outside. Candles are found and lit, coffee is discovered and brewed and a fire is soon burning brightly in the hearth. Yes, we are safe !
I open the door slightly to gaze up at the moon and see the shapes of bats flying in the night sky, then closing the door firmly behind me I turn to join my companions. My heart is thumping like an earth-pounder and, as I smile at the four relieved faces, I wonder if they realise that the evil is inside the cabin with them.
Well, we should almost have a Muhahaha! at the end of that story, which happens to be my entry for this weeks word game , brought to you by the marvellous Matt and the words;
Fasten, Power, Patio, Ratio, Uncloses, Pounder, Salient, Tarries, Petting, Relax.
You can visit Matts blog at http://miblodelcarpio.blog.co.uk/