In 1897, at the beginning of his most famous publication, Bram Stoker wrote the following:

“How these papers have been placed in sequence will be made manifest in the reading of them.  All needless matters have been eliminated, so that a history almost at variance with the possibilities of later-day belief may stand forth as simple fact.  There is throughout no statement of past things wherein memory may err, for all the records chosen are exactly contemporary, given from the standpoints and within the range of knowledge of those who made them.”

Unfortunately, three of those records were missing.

THE DARK LADIES is a new drama which exposes the true nature of the three women who existed in the gloomy Transylvanian castle – a new twist on an old tale.

Dear Reader – tell our story, yet be kind… for we were once kind”   from the letters


        Panna continues to eat.  Katherine and Julie watch her for a moment.

Katherine: (To Panna)   You cannot recuperate here.  You cannot recuperate anywhere.  You cannot watch the sun rise again, I’m afraid that joy is denied to you.  You cannot walk in the sunshine.  You can move during the daylight hours providing you remain in the castle.  Try to face the sun and you will burn like dry grass.

Panna:   Straight out of a gothic novel.  Are you insane?

Katherine:   I wish we were.  Then we could be happy.

Julie:   Walk tonight along the balcony and take long deep breaths, for your body will soon reject such simple pleasures as wine, food, and air.

Panna   Watch me eat, Julie.  Your game is not amusing to me.  I still have hunger.  I need water.  I need food.  My stomach hurts with yearning.

Julie:   That also will pass.  The desire for food will fade leaving nothing but a sad memory.

Panna:  (Thinks for a moment, then in all seriousness)    No food.  No sun.  What kind of an illness is that?

Katherine:   Panna.

Panna:   Yes?

Katherine:   You have a little food on your chin.

        Panna rubs her chin.

Panna:   Got it?

        Katherine shakes her head.  Panna tries again.

Panna:   Got it this time?

Julie:   No.

Katherine reaches out with the fragment of mirror.  Panna takes it, smiling, and holds it up.  She struggles for a moment, unable to understand.  She lapses into a silence.  Katherine reaches across and takes the mirror from her hand.

Katherine:   Your old life is leaving you.  What sustained you before will no longer satisfy your bodily needs.  The most basic instinct – survival – remains, but will require a new kind of sustenance.

Panna:   Which is?  What will sustain me now?  What will I eat?  What will I drink?

    The Dark Ladies by Thomas Gemmell Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.