January 1st 1591:
There’s an uncomfortable silence filling every room of the castle. I’m putting it down to last night’s merriment. I figured everyone was trying to put their pieces back together and mend their sore heads. The Countess has taken Anna to the castle of Sárvár for a few days, so I have time unscramble my jumbled thoughts – thank the Lord.
I wasn’t in the mood for anyone today, so I stayed tied to my bed and was rather hoping I would stay there for the duration as I read my book.
Unfortunately, however, you always manage to encounter one person in life who can’t help but disturb you, and with that, a knock came at my chamber door. I tried ignoring whoever it was, hoping they would think I was asleep. But, much to my annoyance, they were incredibly persistent. I threw both my book down and my covers off me in a fiendish temper and got up to open the door. It was Katarína. A gasp involuntarily escaped from my lips – I didn’t have a chance to contain it. I apologised to her appearing so startled, strongly hinting that the wounds on her face were the cause of it and that it had nothing to do with the incident from the other day (when it actually was). She offered me an apology for thinking she had disturbed me from my sleep, to which I feigned acceptance. I asked what her visit was about, and all she did was just shrug and smile, merely saying it was just a visit from a concerned friend and that she wished I had stuck around last night. I responded with, ‘Yes, well, I’m fine, thank you, and I’m dreadfully sorry, but the wine went straight up north.’ And after that, she just nodded and walked away, not uttering a single word.
I didn’t ask how she was doing, and it wasn’t because I was keeping up the ruse of being half-asleep or that I was being impolite; it was due to the way she was staring at me and, by God, I sincerely wish I was making this next part up, because it became clear as day to me what her eyes were filled with as I looked into them: Lust. The worst part was that silk handkerchief that she had used to clean the blood off my face: She was running it deliberately, delicately and suggestively through her fingers. In my mind’s eye, the handkerchief had taken the form of a moist tongue, with Katarína’s fingers taken the shape of a woman’s lips from that of a v****a, where the tongue was sensually being used to probe all pleasure points inside and around it. I wish I was making this up, I really do. I hated having my head filled with such a debaucherous picture, but even if forbidden and unnatural, God still made it so that we imagine such things. If this woman is attracted to me then what in God’s name do I do? How do I confront such a thing? I feel like I’m going mad.
January 3rd 1591:
The new servant girl Jelena, hasn’t been seen or heard from for the past three days. I do hope she is all right.
It’s almost as if nobody wants to acknowledge Jelena’s disappearance around here – like she never even existed. I pressed to them that a girl is missing and that we should immediately contact the police, but they simply shrugged their shoulders. Some of them were agreeing amongst themselves — in an obvious attempt to convince me — that she may have taken off with one of the guests from the other night and taking up the offer of becoming a low-payed servant girl for some lecherous nobleman, who would gladly increase her payment if she became a sordid secret of his while the wife was away.
Something odd is going on with these people regarding the disappearance of the girl, and when the Countess returns, I shall immediately make it her main priority of concern.
January 4th 1591:
I’m in a state of shock. I just can’t believe the news: Jelena has been found. Dead. I hate that word. Hate it. I don’t know the full details, but she was discovered by a young boy while he was playing with his friends. Poor child discovering something like that. Poor Jelena.
All castle staff — except Katarína, who (thankfully) was urgently called away on a personal family matter — have just been interviewed, myself included. According to the leading investigator, Jelena was found floating in a lake not far from the village down the hill. She was completely naked and covered from head to toe in bite marks, with bits off her flesh actually torn clean from her bones! The investigator might have believed that wolves were the culprits in the girl’s slaughter, if not for the fact she had been sexually assaulted… Her v****a had been mutilated. Mutilated, the inspector alluded, not by a man’s “piece of anatomy” (for a lack of a more appropriate description, on my part), but by the suspected usage of needles. What sort of monster would do something like this?
That night, I should’ve jumped out of bed as soon as I heard that horrible scream, which I now know was Jelena’s as she was suffering unimaginable horror. What were her last thoughts, I wonder? Flashes of her childhood and family? God rest her soul.
I can’t quite sanely grasp the indescribable notion that someone had actually tried to eat that poor girl… I can’t grasp the thought that someone had used needles to violate her. I don’t think my poor heart will be able to survive under such heavy thoughts.
I took the liberty of heading into town and bribing the local locksmith to return with me to the castle so that my door could be laced with the strongest of locks. From what I see, I reckon they are sufficient. I know I should really put my faith in the security measures we already have, for no madman would dare attempt to break down any door in here, no matter how strong his desires to savage the human flesh may burn… Hopefully the authorities capture this monster soon.
January 5th 1591:
It’s being going around in my head nonstop, certainly and curiously more so than the fear of having a murderous madman with a lust for flesh and needles on the lurk somewhere in the area: Nobody in the castle was even a little bit surprised when they were told the girl had been found dead. I’m going to snoop around, see what I can find. Cursed obsessions of mine.
I’m positive that some individuals in the castle know the identity of the monster who savaged Jelena. In fact, I bet my life on it, and the way some of these certain individuals were looking at me, as I ever so casually questioned them, was very telling to my suspicions; the knowledge and guilt(?) was definitely clear in the eyes of some as I held them in my accusing gaze.
There’s such an esoteric atmosphere that’s beginning to creep inside my consciousness, making my heart flutter and left arm tingle, that it may not be a lunatic who will be the death of me. Dear God, I hope I’m not becoming ill with such childish delusions again… Am I indeed getting carried away in my thoughts of these people being privy to the identity of Jelena’s killer? If I’m incorrect over these suspicions, then I must cast them away; I must build a ship, place these nuisances deep inside its hull and push it out to the most vast of oceans, where they’ll never have the chance of returning to haunt me.
A perfectly sane thought has entered my mind: Katarína’s injuries. Was she attacked by whoever it was that killed Jelena? Does she know the identity of the killer and is too afraid to say? It could explain her sudden departure from the castle on the same day the police arrived to interview us over the discovery of the body. A sane thought, yes, but truly terrifying. A majority of the people in this place are suspects, at least in my opinion.
January 6th 1591:
A noise startled me awake. It was the sounds of my doorknob rattling, and of the door itself being pushed, as someone, who by now seemed incredibly frustrated, tried to enter my room. Whoever it was trying to get in here must’ve been insanely desperate for them attempt such a risky thing. Could it have been Jelena’s attacker come to sink his teeth into my neck and rip out my throat before I had a chance to awaken and scream for help as he violated me and consumed bits of my flesh? The troubling thought runs in conjunction with the nightmare I was having (before the uninvited guest woke me up) that had me gripped; I can remember it so vividly and I wish for the opposite:
I was bound to a chair with the help of a large, silk handkerchief that was wrapped around my entire body. I was alone and sat in a very dark room (that I have come to interpret as the Countess’s bedroom upon reflection of the situation), where the walls were comprised of stinking, rotten and diseased human flesh. However, I soon discovered I wasn’t as alone as I thought. Sickly screeching sounds from above made me look. Sticking to the fleshy walls like insects were deformed children who all resembled Anna! It was as if she — all of these “children”, I should say — had fallen ill to some disease that caused their skin to blister, and ooze pus and blood. Their eyes were feral – like the eyes of a wolf. And as they fixed their evil stares at me while smiling cruelly, I saw that their teeth were jagged and rotten. Then, the most terrible part… As I looked beyond the darkness, I saw a figure rising from a blood-soaked bed that was being showered by what I interpreted as giant human arteries that hung from above. The figure was naked and drenched in blood. It began slowly slithering its way towards me. I was screaming all the while, but no sound came from me. And finally, I saw clear as day who it was, as the individual pressed their face close to mine. It was Katarína! She looked beautiful and, strangely, I found myself admiring her perfect, naked body. But as soon as I pulled my eyes from off her breasts, and looked into hers, her face began to morph into something far worse than those grotesque children who were closing in on us. Her face became contorted and screwed like those particular bats that suckle blood from the necks of sleeping men, women, children and babies.
Then the creature that was once Katarína slowly brought its disgusting, labia-like lips close to my own, gently stroking every jagged tooth in its vaginal-like mouth with its long, slimy, dagger-like tongue. It felt almost deliberate, as if to seduce me so that I would hypnotically leap into a forbidden form of oblivion, where, once inside and death had taken me, I would understandably discover that only Hell would accept my soul due to falling for the unnatural temptation… But before anything could happen, the person trying to get into my room startled me awake…
Help me, God…
I’m unsure of the time, but I have been sat in the dark, just staring out of the window for what feels like a forever night.
The dream has stirred up a particular traumatic memory: It involves an incident involving a blood-sucking bat – the sort of thing Katarína had turned into – and my beloved childhood pet, a b***h named Sky; one had flown in through my bedroom window during the dead of night and Sky, being my faithful protector, rove it to pieces before it had the chance to bite me.
I somehow peacefully slept throughout the whole thing. Unfortunately, however, the bat had managed to sink its evil teeth into Sky, infecting her with rabies. I was never the same after watching my father put my beloved hero of a pet out of her pain – but the look in the mutt’s eyes… it filled me with an everlasting guilt. I couldn’t help but feel that it was me who was responsible for her death. It was out of my control, yes, but ever since it happened, I have been filled with a strong, burning desire to never fail anyone ever again. But, I have recently failed Jelena, and there’s no denying that. It should be me who is lying on a table, being dissected and examined, and no doubt being sexually fondled in the ungodly lab of some lonely pathologist with a touch of necrophilia, and, of course, when he saw the beautiful and young Jelena, there’s little doubt that he would’ve been in for a nice treat – must’ve thought all his birthdays and Christmases had come at once…
God help me. Please, please help me. Why would I dream of something so perverted and evil about the innocent Anna and Katarína? Why would I think of something so twisted about Jelena? Who was the person or monster trying to get to me from outside my door? So many cursed questions!
January 7th 1591:
I haven’t left my room for the past two days, not even to collect one scrap of a meal. I’m just too frightened. No one has even been to check on me. Katarína did, though.
I really can’t trust anyone in this castle.
I’ve been thinking on this – can’t shake the exploration of the themes found in that nightmare: I no longer believe that Katarína was attacked by Jelena’s killer… I believe that SHE is the killer.
Is there a part of my mind that believes that it’s Katarína who is the monster that murdered Jelena, or does it have to do with the fact, which I’m only confessing to now due to describing the dream, that she is a monster in the form of a temptress for having me find her desirable? My thoughts on Jelena being the sexual play thing for someone… did they come from the same door that’s been opened concerning my feelings towards Katarína? I so, if my belief that she has a lust for women is an undeniable truth, did she see the same attractive beauty in Jelena that triggered a sexually frustrated and murderous frenzy? (Did her attraction to me cause this? Her inability to obtain me; did it result in Jelena taking my place?).
No! Then how do I explain Katarína’s own injuries? Perhaps they were the result of self-harm, brought on by the struggle of her conflicted sexuality?
But she’s gone – she’s miles away! So, how do I explain the person trying to get into my room? Maybe she hasn’t left the castle at all, and someone — an accomplice — is hiding and helping her? Someone who shares the same devilish desires as Katarína…
Again, I pray the Lord helps me.
Madness is surely taking ahold of me, for I feel strongly compelled to investigate Katarína’s chamber while the opportunity is there. My sanity and my life are both at risk, so I must do this. I must.
End of Part 2.