This is the dark tale of Count Dracula, told through chilling journal entries. It starts with Jonathan Harker’s visit to the Count’s castle.
Same day, night,
We had a pleasant day. The air was clear and the sun was bright. There was a cool breeze. We had our lunch in the Mulgrave Woods. Mrs. Westenra drove down the road, and Lucy and I walked along the cliff path to join her at the gate. I felt a little sad because I couldn’t help but imagine how happy I would be if Jonathan were with me. But stop that! I must be patient. In the evening, we strolled along the Casino Terrace, and listened to some good music being played by a band. Then, we went to bed early. Lucy seems more restful than she had been lately, and she fell asleep at once. I will lock the door and secure the key on my wrist just like before. I don’t expect any trouble tonight.
My expectations were wrong. Twice during the night, I was awakened by Lucy trying to get out. She seemed, even in her sleep, to be a little impatient at finding the door shut. She went back to bed angrily each time.
I woke up with the dawn, and I heard the birds chirping outside of the window. Lucy woke up, too. I was glad to see that she looked even better than yesterday. All of her happiness seemed to have come back, and she came and snuggled beside me in my bed and told me all about Arthur. I told her how anxious I was about Jonathan, and she tried to comfort me. Well, she succeeded somewhat. Sympathy can’t alter the facts, but it can make them more bearable.
Another quiet day. The same as before, I went to bed with the key on my wrist. Again, I woke up in the night and found Lucy sitting up in bed. She was still asleep, but she was pointing to the window. I got up quietly and pushed the window blinds aside to look outside. There was brilliant moonlight over the sea. It was beautiful beyond words. Near the window, there was a large bat flying in whirling circles. Once or twice it came quite close to the window, but, perhaps frightened at seeing me, it flew away across the harbor towards the abbey. When I came back from the window, Lucy was laying down in bed and sleeping peacefully. She did not stir again all night.
I’m on the East Cliff, and I’ve been reading and writing all day. Lucy seems to have fallen in love with this spot as much as I have. It’s hard to get her away from it when it is time to go home for lunch or tea or dinner.
This afternoon, she made a funny remark. We were on our way home for dinner, and we had come to the top of the steps in front of the West Pier and stopped to look at the view, as we always do. We were silent for a while in front of the beautiful rosy sunset, and suddenly Lucy murmured as if to herself:
“His red eyes again! They are just the same.”
It was such an odd thing to say out of nowhere. It startled me. I looked at her from the corner of my eyes so that she wouldn’t notice me staring. She was in a half-dreamy state with an odd look on her face that I couldn’t understand.
I said nothing, but I followed her eyes. She appeared to be looking at our favorite seat, where a dark figure was sitting alone. I was a little startled because for an instant because I thought I saw the stranger had great flaming eyes, but when I blinked, the eyes were normal. It must have been an illusion of the red sunset.
I called Lucy’s attention to the illusion of the sunset’s light, and she became herself with a jump. But she looked sad. She must have been remembering that terrible night up there. We never talk about it, so I said nothing, and we went home to dinner.
Lucy had a headache and went to bed early. I checked that she was asleep, and then I went out for a little stroll by myself. I walked along the cliffs to the west. I was full of sadness because I was thinking about Jonathan.
When I was coming home, there was bright moonlight. It was so bright that I could see the whole Crescent house clearly. As I got closer, I glanced up at our window, and I saw Lucy’s head leaning out. I thought that perhaps she was looking out for me, so I opened my handkerchief and waved it. She did not notice or make any movement whatsoever.
Just then, the moonlight crept in brighter and the light fell on the window. I could see her distinctly now. Lucy’s head was tilted against the side of the window and her eyes were shut. She was fast asleep. And next to her, seated on the window sill, was something that looked like a big bird. I was afraid that she might get a cold, so I ran upstairs. But as I came into the room, she was already moving back to her bed, fast asleep, and breathing heavily. She was holding her hand to her throat, as if she was feeling cold.
I did not wake her up. I tucked her into bed warmly. This time, I not only took care of the door, but I also made sure the window was closed.
She looks so sweet as she sleeps, but she is paler. There is a haggard look under her eyes. I think she is worrying about something. I wish I could find out what is bothering her.
I woke up later than usual. Lucy was tired and kept on sleeping even after we had been called.
At breakfast, we had a happy surprise. Arthur’s father is better, and wants the marriage to come soon. Lucy is full of quiet joy, and her mother is glad and sorry at the same time. Later on in the day, her mother told me the reason. She is so sad to lose Lucy, but she is rejoiced that Lucy will soon have someone to protect her. Poor, sweet lady!
She confided in me that she will die soon. She has not told Lucy, and made me promise to keep it a secret. Her doctor told her that within a few months, at most, she will die because her heart is weakening. At any time, even now, a sudden shock would kill her.
Oh, I am so glad I never told her about Lucy’s sleep walking!
No diary for two days. I have not had the heart to write.
A shadowy fog seems to be coming over our happiness. No news from Jonathon. Lucy seems to be growing weaker. Her mother’s days are numbered.
I do not understand why Lucy’s condition is getting worse. She eats well and sleeps well, and enjoys the fresh air. But all the time, the pink in her cheeks is fading. She gets weaker and more tired day by day. At night, I hear her gasping for air. I always keep the key of our door fastened to my wrist at night, but she gets up and walks around the room, and sits at the window.
Last night, I found her leaning out of the window when I woke up. When I tried to wake her, I couldn’t. She was deeply asleep. When she finally woke up, she was so weak, and she cried silently between long, painful struggles for breath.
When I asked her how she got to the window, she shook her head and turned away. I hope that her illness has not been caused by my careless pin prick. I looked at her throat just now as she lay asleep, and the tiny wounds haven’t healed yet. They are still open, and, if anything, larger than before. And the edges of them are faintly white. They are like little white dots with red centers.
If her neck doesn’t heal within a day or two, I will insist that a doctor comes to look at her.
One thought on “Dracula – Part 18 – Mina Murray’s Journal”