Acknowledging Bram (Stoker)
Jonathan Harker’s Journal
May 5 The Castle
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What horror can this be? What marvel transports me in time and space?
After leaving the Carpathians, we plunge forward through gloomy birch, oak and pine. The road is rugged until thundering beside us, their breaths steaming, four immense coal black horses and caleche overtake us.
Driven by a tall man with hard looking mouth, very red lips and angular razor-sharp teeth, the thundering herd scatters a host of disheveled peasants as we approach the village at the base of the castle.
When I disembark from the coach, the tall man catches my arm with a grip of steel and the peasants scream and cross themselves.
One of my companions whispers the line from Burger’s “Lenore”.
“Denn die Todten reiten Schnell.” (“For the dead travel fast.”)
What strange land looms ahead? From whence come the moneylenders?
As he turns, I see his eyes, hungry and deep-pocketed when he says, “The rich men of Khazaria descend upon you.”
~ Stephen J. Bergstrom
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