The elder Henrik tells fledgling vampire Christian a story about World War I, shortly after the failed invasion by the Austro-Hungarian Empire against Serbia:
Henrik chuckled in a humorless way that made Christian’s blood run cold as ice. “I will tell you what happened. We were surrounded on all sides by Serbian fire. We fought valiantly, but the invasion was poorly planned and the situation futile. But there was one moment, the longest moment of my than young life when I had a premonition. I could sense something was very wrong. I glanced up to the ridge and there was my old school mate, Boris aiming his rifle. He had become a sniper in the Serb Army and his weapon was pointed in my direction. I didn’t hear the sound of the gun fire, but I felt the pain in my chest before I collapsed.”
“That’s terrible! Why did he aim his weapon at you? Couldn’t he have spared his own classmate?”
“I fed on the dying blood of my fallen comrades to survive,” said Henrik, not answering. “After that rats and other putrid life until I had the strength to feed upon the half starved peasants of the Serb countryside. “
“Yes, rats. It was disgusting, but it kept me alive for a time. It took many months of eating rats and peasants before I came strong. But I at last I was stronger than ever. I felt that I was no longer a human being, but a god with unparalleled strength and grace. In time, I found Boris.”
“What did you do?”
“My idea was to make him slave. I felt this was a more fitting punishment then death. You make a noble a slave; you do worse than kill his body. You kill his soul. So I burned down his castle and killed all his animals. As for Boris himself, I pulled his eyes from their sockets. He would never aim a rifle with those eyes again.”
“My God!” said Christian.
“He served me for some time reasonably well. I made him into a maid, including forcing him to wear a maid’s outfit. But there was one thing I didn’t count on. I had grown complacent about him, and had dropped my guard. “
Christian nodded attentively.
“And I found myself face to face the same rifle that had shot me before. A true marksman knows his weapon, the feel of the wood, its length, its accuracy and hardly needs his eyes to aim. The bullet pierced my chest. The castle guards that I had at the time heard the shot and captured him quickly.”
Christian gasped. He wasn’t sure how to feel about this. On some level, he felt Henrik deserved to be shot again. But Henrik was also his uncle and there’s the loyalty of family. Besides, Boris did draw first blood.
“I had him impaled on his own gun. I did this Vlad the Impaler style. I greased the rifle and his rectum. I pushed the end of the rifle into his anus and kept threading until the end of it emerged from his mouth with a gurgle and a pop.”
“Fuck!” said Christian.
“Why does this shock you? Is it not fitting that his death shall be by the same instrument he used to attempt to kill me not once, but twice? Retribution is a dish best served with a side of irony. Don’t you think?”
Read More about Henrik and Christian in the coming of age as a vampire novel Christian Blood by Douglas Ryan