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108 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1872
’One sign of the vampire is the power of the hand. The slender hand of Mircalla closed like a vice of steel on the General's wrist when he raised the hatchet to strike. But its power is not confined to its grasp; it leaves a numbness in the limb it seizes, which is slowly, if ever, recovered from.’
"would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration. It was like the ardor of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet over-powering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips traveled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, "You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever." Then she had thrown herself back in her chair, with her small hands over her eyes, leaving me trembling.
The act of interacting with text - that is to say, of reading - is that of inserting ones self into what is static and unchanging sounds that it might pump with fresh blood. Having read this introduction, I hope you will enter into Carmilla thusly, using your fingertips and mouth and mind to locate ...what exists below: the erotic relationship of two high-strung and lonely young women.
to be finally butterflies when the summer comes; but in the meantime there are grubs and larvae, don't you see - each with their peculiar propensities, necessities and structures.
The sultry summer evening had barely given way to the night. I had left the bedroom doors open to the balcony to allow a light breeze to circulate. I lay back on the bed, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. The house belonged to me, I was its sole occupant, but the loneliness of this house weighed heavily - it was not a home.
Moonlight cut through the room, then it vanished for an instant. A momentary shadow flitting through the doorway, entering my bedroom and filling it with a pervasive sense of possession - the room was no longer mine.
My heart thudded in my chest. I sat up suddenly, pressing backward against the headboard. There was someone in the room, the feeling of Her presence was overwhelming, but I couldn't see anyone - there was no one there.
The shadows thickened at the end of my bed. I stared, frozen where I sat, as the shadows coalesced into the ethereal shape of a young woman. She wore a light diaphanous gown. Her hair was lustrous black, her skin pale like marble, her eyes were large and dark, her lips red, full and slightly curved in a coy smile.
Her form solidified. A faint perfume filled the air. She seemed deeply familiar, and yet, I had never seen her before - at least I had no memory of ever meeting her and I'm sure I would not have forgotten.
She moved to her right, floating, lithe, serene. She was majestic and mesmerizing - power beyond words was bound up in her gaze. Her eyes glittered like black diamonds, brilliant and hard. I couldn't tear my eyes away from them even if I tried.
She sat down beside me, gently picking up my left arm with her cool hands. She turned it over, palm up. I didn't resist - I didn't want to. I lifted my arm up and she lent forward.
A bell rang in the distance, a muffled warning - ignored and discarded in the face of her needs. Needs I was a willing servant to.
Moonlight gleamed on her ivory fangs. She leaned further in, first kissing, then licking - finally biting. A single drop of blood fell off my wrist, dark against the white bed sheet. She murmured in delight, my heart beat hard in my chest, but I stayed still - unwilling to disturb her feast.
Everything was for her...
(inspired by my dream while reading this book...)
It was like the ardor of a lover; it embarrassed me; it was hateful and yet over-powering; and with gloating eyes she drew me to her, and her hot lips traveled along my cheek in kisses; and she would whisper, almost in sobs, "You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever."
.....While not scary, CARMILLA is indeed an atmospheric well told story and one of the earliest works of vampire fiction. First published in 1872, CARMILLA predates even DRACULA by more than 25 years.
.....It all begins with a creepy carriage misadventure....is filled with phantasmagoria and ends....well, I'm not going to say, but there is the slightest lesbian undertone to the tale that I found surprising.
.....Highly recommend for a bit of mild gothic horror!