Okay, so going off to see Vlad the Impaler was a bad idea. I’d no sooner arrived than I was under attack, which was not hard to understand why because somehow I landed in the middle of a damned battle. But I did see enough to know that Vlad was there, and that he was just as vicious as the history books say. I saw him impale a couple of people in the heat of battle, though he didn’t stake them into the ground as the legends go, at least not then and there. That came after, when I got to experience it a little too close and personal for my liking.
I’m not a fighter, so far be it from me to engage in the sort of behavior that I saw all around me when I was unceremoniously plunked into the middle of a battlefield that was pitting Vlad’s forces against the Turks against whom he’d been fighting for some time. The only way I could identify the dreaded Impaler was from a mental image I’d had of him and the fact that he fit the image quite well as I saw. Other than that however, I was at a loss. There were so many people around trying to kill Vlad and his guards that it was all I could to just stay out of the way and not get killed.
That didn’t go so well. I got knocked down, trampled, stabbed a couple of times in the back, once in the buttocks, and had my ankle stepped on so hard I think I actually heard the bone snap over the cacophony of battle. So in other words, I got hurt so badly that I passed out from the pain.
When I came to I wasn’t back in the water, and the pain had only intensified as my ankle was swollen like a balloon and my back was on fire from the wounds I’d been given. I couldn’t move if I’d wanted to, but given what happened next I really wish I could have. You see, Vlad’s forces didn’t just sit around and watch as he rammed people onto stakes and then stuck said stakes into the ground. Oh no. They helped, and managed to stick enough people with those sharpened stakes as Vlad ever did.
The only difference was who was I was placed next to when it came right down to it. Let’s get past the staking part first by saying that never in your life will you ever hope to feel the sensation of something the size of your leg being shoved up your backside, the sharp point used for entry and to widen the entry digging at your insides as you were stuck like a rotisserie chicken and then hoisted into the air. Imagine the sensation of sliding down said pole, stake, whatever you want to call it, as the damn thing cores you like an apple and eventually comes bursting out of lung to carry on through your chest. It took forever to die, and in that time I saw through pain and shock-filled eyes who was next to me.
It was Vlad. There’s no mistaking it, he’d been staked by his own people, or perhaps by the Turks, I don’t know. All I know is that the same man I’d seen on the battlefield was now riding the pine right alongside me. I know it likely wasn’t pine but give me a break, I had a giant pole shoved through me like a skewer and my body was taking its sweet time realizing I was already dead.
Thankfully shock took over after a while and I simply drifted off.
That almost turned me off to the whole experience of it. Almost.
(to be continued)