Content Warning: Firearms, animal attack, self-harm, grisly images
Then, as they did not back down but brandished their weapons anew, she tilted her head back, opened wide her mouth, and screamed with all the breath she could hold in her lungs. The sound rose in pitch and intensity, until she was shrieking to pierce the eardrums of any who heard. Her enemies clamped their hands to their ears and fell to the floor with madness upon them. Then, as the scream reached beyond the frequency of human hearing, it faded beyond torment into oblivion, and they recovered themselves, struggling upright again.
Before they could gather their wits, she sprang over their prostrate forms and up the stairs. “Quick! Put an end to her before she summons any more diabolical tricks to her aid,” shouted one of the gun-wielders, pointing his pistol up at her.
“You know not how truly you speak of summons,” she cried, and as the retort of the gunshot echoed from within the crypt and the bullet glanced off the stones at her feet, she sprang away into the darkness. They clambered up after her, but before they had reached the head of the stairs a shrieking and chattering began to fill the air overheard. Out of the night sky a massive horde of bats swooped down toward the mausoleum, blotting out the light of the moon. They swarmed down the stairs and filled the crypt, driving her assailants screaming and panicking before them.
And now she lay in a tomb of her own, with bleeding wrists and eyes closed as if in death, and her enemies stood over her. Having slowed her own pulse to a feeble pace nearly indistinguishable from death itself, her flickering consciousness waited in stillness as one of them placed his fingers at her throat.
“No pulse,” he said after a few seconds. “The countess is dead.”
After a moment’s silence, another spoke. “I don’t like it. Why would she kill herself now, after giving us the slip so many times?”
“She thought she was in love,” said another, with a sneer in his voice. “Killed herself out of grief.”
“We should make certain of it,” said the man she dimly recognized as the leader. “Do to her what we did to Lucy. First we’ll take off her head, then we can lay her out and put a stake through her heart.”
She heard a ring as he drew his sword, but even before she recognized her own peril her eyes had already opened, and she sprang from her humble resting place, her pulse pounding back into life as the four of them stumbled away from her in shock.
“Fiends!” she cried, eyes blazing. “Have you no fear of God? You defile the dead through your superstition, but somehow I am the monster, the witch? I gave you every opportunity—if only you had let me lie in peace!”
She left their impaled, headless bodies in the crypt below, slamming the door behind her. Then, stalking through the decrepit halls and out into the moldering courtyard, she left Castle Dracula behind forever, still drenched in the blood of those who had come between her and her love.