God's Madmen – An Anthony Hopkins/Van Helsing Fic set in the vampire mythology of the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula

God's Madmen

An Anthony Hopkins/Van Helsing Fic set in the vampire mythology of the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Authors Note: The story is set three months prior to the film.

'We have all become god's mad men; all of us' – Van Helsing

'I know that Lucy harboured secret desires for you. She told me.' – Mina stating the obviousness of his attractiveness!

The torch flickered softly as he made his way through the cemetery and on towards the crypt. He moved with stealth, the refined power of a large animal as he held each limb in careful check so as to conceal his movements in silence. The flames flickered in his face, casting their colour into the depths of his eyes, normally such a brilliant blue. His face was unshaven and his grey hair fell to his collar. Long he had tracked this creature unable to bring himself close enough to act, and though his fatigue showed in the lines of his face, his excitement twinkled in his eyes. Tonight would be the night. A point of no return.

Van Helsing stopped by the mouth of the crypt and studied its entrance, the door flung aside easily by the mysterious force that was the vampire. He glanced at the cool moon above him, the silvery light catching the hair that escape from beneath his wide brimmed hat. He jerked and turned at a noise behind him and watched a wolf slink into the undergrowth. She was not yet here, he could not sense her, his intuition honed by years of the hunt he felt no presence in the grave. Clutching his leather bag tightly he slipped shadowlike into the freezing damp of her ill named resting place. No soul rested within these stone walls.

He followed a short passage before he reached her tomb and holding the torch high above his head surveyed the grim scene of her destruction. The coffin open and empty, a hundred unlit candles, the displaced remains of her victims flung aside in contempt, littering the gloom of the corners. He stooped as his eyes roamed her lair, the slightest pricklings of fear at his neck. How long since he has seen her now? What had she become?

With measured caution he unpacked his tools. A large knife glinting in the faint light, his bible and holy water, his wooden crucifix, the wrought iron stake and hammer to deal the blow. In the darkness his memories threatened to throw light and distraction on his works, but he had to concentrate, he had to remember just what this creature was now and now what she has once been.

A sudden blast of cold air alerted Van Helsing to her return and he quickly dashed into an arch for protection as the winds picked up and hummed eerily. The candles around him sputtered and lit and he watch mesmerised as the figure appeared from the passage. A thud and he knew that the crypt door was shut again. There was no going back, no second thoughts. He was trapped and there was but one way out.

Her slim figure glided to the coffin and as she passed he caught a glimpse of her profile unchanged even after thirty years, her features frozen in the pallor of eternal youth, her blonde hair pleated in a single tail which ran from her neck to her waist. She wore still her funeral gown and for a moment Van Helsing felt as though time had not moved. As though she read his thoughts she turned and with an expression as familiar as his own hand she greeted him. Her full lips smiled and it was only when they parted with her words that he saw the blood and the elongated canines of nos feratu.

'Abraham,' she whispered and her voice seemed to float in the air between them suspended on the mist of icy air.

'Back, devil!' he moved forward from the shadow and held the cross before him like a weapon. She trilled a laugh which swept towards him and ignited the crucifix as though it were tinder.

'So you have returned to try again, husband,' she said clearly above his muttered prayer. She watched derisively as he crossed himself and stole towards him. 'You have aged well , Abraham, but the bloom of youth has left your cheeks and you are not as I remember. Perhaps you have realised what I can offer you.'

'You can offer nothing but damnation, Eliza, and I will release you from that before you trade your gift with others.' The candles grew brighter with her anger as her husband stood before her, bracing himself against the preternatural power which exuded from the thing that has once been his wife.

'Be with me,' she whispered again and held him fixed with her gaze, she moved to within inches of his face and breathed sweet breath across his lips. He struggled, inwardly revolted by the touch of her fingers on his cheek, but somehow hypnotised by the iridescence of her green eyes, otherworldly and yet so like those he had loved. Her nail trailed across the stubble of his cheek and paused on the sensitive flesh of his lower lip. She had him now transfixed, the heat from his living body touching her, the feelings of loss plain in his kind blue eyes. 'You cannot do it Abraham, just as you could not do it long ago, even in this new form I am your wife and your love is too great.'

She bent then and leaned her mouth towards his lips, motionless Van Helsing waited as she flickered her tongue over his, a strange perfume washing from her garments and entrancing him. She let her hands move to his head, removing his hat and letting it drop, entwining her fingers in his thick hair, deepening her exploratory kiss and filling him with a lost passion. She felt the same, the woman he had cherished. His large hand clasped her at the waits and stretched the breadth of her narrow back, He pulled her to him and closed his eyes, remembering. Her mouth left his and began to trail his neck, he knew her intention but the ecstasy of her touch pervading him and with ragged breath he long for her kiss. Her hands had removed his cape and now slipped under his cravat, flecking it away, unbuttoning his shirt, tracing bloody lines across his haired chest. He felt the prick of her teeth at his throat and longed for them to penetrate the soft flesh that lay there. The blood seeping into his shirt he tightened his grip on her cold body and pressed hard against her until finally with a rush of pleasure he felt the fangs glide through his skin. The life blood flowing into her and a swimming feeling of pleasure clouded his sight.

Eliza drank deeply before pushing him away spellbound and helpless . She opened her bodice and drew her thumb across her bare breasts, the curiously dark blood of the undead spilling across them. Without waiting and before his enchantment could lift she dragged him towards her and down, nestling his head between her breasts and forcing him to drink. The heat of it surprised him, the softness of her skin against his hungry lips. He felt it flood through his body a rich warmth of forgotten arousal filling him. His hands caressed her as they had years before, and she yielded, her need so obvious before him. She moaned deeply as he quenched his unnatural thirst and pulled him with her to the floor, freeing herself of her garments and allowing him to run his hands over the cool whit skin of her stomach. She arched under him and opened her thighs to receive him, urgently unfastening his clothes in the knowledge that he would soon be hers entirely. He paused from his drink and gasped, his soul fighting hard his heart.

His mind whirling in darkness Van Helsing could only taste the sweetly sour blood and his own desire but his memory raged in the delighted of their marriage, in the vision of her wedding clothes, of her brilliant smile and of the ghastly scene he had encountered when Dracula had taken her for his own. Revenge for her husband's constant quest for his death. Revenge executed upon their wedding night just hours after their consummation. He had taken and mauled her, transformed her into evil. And now through her he would do the same to him, the poison of her blood had entered his body and filled his mind with nightmarish visions. He must fight against the simplicity of death.

With a torrent of will he wrenched himself from her and made a dive for the small vessel of holy water he had placed in an alcove. 'You are a fiend, my wife is dead and you dwell only on her poor body!' he flicked the water across her breast where it seared the bare and bloodied flesh burned through the remaining fabric and onto the dead skin below. She howled brutally, her face flickering between that of Eliza and that of the beast which now inhabited her.

'Dracula will no use you as his pawn, you will not defeat me!'

'Its too late,' she hissed, 'you have drunk of me Abraham, you're mine. You were always mine, no strength with which to end your own nightmare. Instead you freed me! How many death have you on your conscience because you could not do the thing to me you had to? How many lives have perished? You are doomed Abraham. God would not accept you now. You have no choice but to join me in darkness.' She circled him slowly as she spoke, her predatory stance so like that of a cat, teeth bared, thin tapered nails stained with his blood. 'You want to join me….'

'Never' he roared and pulled the knife from his belt. For a moment the world inside the crypt froze and with a sudden fear Eliza saw him hold the knife high, his shirt open to the waist, rivulets of blood trickling against the muscles there. His eyes were fierce and she suddenly believed he was capable of doing what he failed to do before. He was capable of ending her black existence. She shrieked and flung and invisible force to him which hit him hard in the stomach but quickly he was up again and had caught her by one wrist, with a desperate cry she scratched at his face, her mind calling at the infection in his blood that was hers, he felt it growing stronger and his soul threatened to give in but with a sudden decisiveness he lunged forward with the knife and plunged in deep into her chest. The blood poured from her, her eyes wide in shock, but it was not over yet. He must finish her before he succumbed to the evil which she had placed in him. With a howl he wielded the knife at her neck, cutting off her cry before it ended and allowing it to echo like a ghost in the crypt.

'Abraham!'

It resonated softly and vanished as he dropped to his knees by her body, exhausted. He had done it. He had freed both her soul and his. The wealth of emotion rose in his chest and with a tortured heart it escape. He laughed. A laugh of relief and of bittersweet joy, of closure and of the desperate pain of loss.

In the cemetery outside a grey wolf pricked his ears and listened knowing that he was next.