Ninth Letter

 6 November

Dearest Margrijt,

never has a wait seemed longer and too short at one and the same time. I wish the hour was upon me or an eternal span away. How much waiting takes out of us. We are so wrong in calling you the weaker sex. I believe you let us take the active part because you know we are not strong enough for the ordeal of waiting. And that you at least are stronger than me is undisputed. I wonder if Harker is aware of the true state of affairs. But maybe he is too young to have realized it yet.

We have taken what precautions we can in our last stand between two boulders by the road. My hand is freezing on the rifle, I can hardly hold the pen, and my breath is white in the air. The cold seeps through the soles of my shoes and trickles into my collar. Time until sunset is getting shorter and shorter, and still they are not here. Should they not make it, should we not catch him before sundown, I do not believe we stand a chance. The thought that he is at the root of all the evil I have encountered since that fatal day so long ago would be enough to make the blood boil, were it not so cold. I want to rip his heart out with my bare hands. Only when my fingers started to hurt did I loosen the grip on the rifle.

If we are not in time … Should we fail, I would almost welcome the oblivion of amorality. Only the thought of all the further pain and grief I would cause keeps me from adding that wish to my prayers.

There they come. The Count must know desperation to make his henchmen race over this ground so. And no sight of our friends. Their absence induces a sharp feeling of loneliness in my soul, even though Mrs. Harker is by my side. But she is half his already, and in truth, when she talked of ‘going to meet her husband’ I was uncertain whether she meant the one she married in the presence of God, or the one she is bound to by the drinking of blood.

Does he know he is the last of his kind? Does that make him feel as lonely as I am?



Morris is dead. They say hope is the last to die, and against all odds I hope I have now been punished enough for my sins. I wish it had been me. But if God wants me alive to taste the searing guilt and the ashes of defeat in every victory, so be it.

It was over too quickly and me not close enough to have a hand in the Count’s undoing. Did you think you had known all of my depravity? Perish the thought. When I realized I would not make it, I was actually capable of feeling hate and jealousy towards my friends, and the wildest urge to leave my most precious charge to her fate, jump into the fray, rip one of the great knives out of their hands and plunge it into the Count’s heart. My hands trembled with helpless rage when, like a bolt of bright lightning, the realisation struck me that I am not so different from the monster.

His very existence seems to strike something deep and old in men and brings out the worst in them. Did we not break into his house like thieves? Did not Mr. Harker, a solicitor, swindle the Count’s agent out of confidential information? Did not my own good friend John Seward sign a false death-certificate? And me. Does he not turn me into a gibbering, contemptible coward, him and the likes of him?

God, Margrijt, for the dropping of a hat I would have left that dear, brave Lady alone in her ordeal. Like I left you alone then, in what I should have shared, nay, taken the brunt of. After all that happened this year, after all my protestations and vows, I was on the brink of making the same mistake again. This time not out of fear and revulsion, but out of a petty need to prove myself. How you must loathe me. I do not wonder you never let me touch you when I come to visit.

I was the one who brought the monster to our house. I was the one who found out how to destroy her. I was the one who delayed and delayed until the unspeakable happened. I should have been the one to bring deliverance to our son, instead of standing aside, a pitiful wreck and leaving the gruesome task to you. To watch the horror on your face, the shudder run from the stake on through your body, to watch your eyes finally glaze over as your mind slipped away before your awareness could behold that you had not butchered our son, but delivered him. Again.

I am not bold enough anymore, but still desperate enough to ask you once again to

forgive me,


What is this?

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