It was no surprise that Magdalena felt drawn to Kessel House. The spiritual energy swirling both within and around the old house called to her blood like the scent of a flower called a bee.
On a quiet moonlit night Magdalena landed on the deserted balcony and easily gained entry to the dilapidated building. As expected the house's energy enveloped Magdalena like a warm blanket and urged her out of the attic and downstairs to a small room at the end of the hallway.
The room had clearly once belonged to either an infant or a small child.
'Most likely a boy.' Magdalena noted as she noticed the fading blue wallpaper printed with white sailboats.
Grimy dark cloth curtains limply stirred in the slight breeze as Magdalena inspected the room. Save for a crumbling chest of drawers the room was bare at least to the mortal and the vampiric eye.
Magdalena's sooth sense picked up on the aura of youthful playfulness and innocence that permeated the room and it made her near giddy. As she turned away from the window the smile Magdalena had been wearing vanished.
Standing before her in the middle of the room was a small boy looking no older than ten years old but the ice blue orbs that stared back at her seemed far older. He was a fairly tall boy for his age. The mass of unruly deep brown curls on his head contrasted sharply with his faintly glowing pale skin.
He was clothed in a belted tunic of the deepest green along with matching hose and soft brown cloth shoes. Clothing similar to what her son Nicholas had worn as a boy in the early thirteenth century.
"Who are you?" she softly whispered.
"Don't you recognize me, Maman? Matthias. Your firstborn son. Have you forgotten me?" the specter asked with wide eyes.
Magdalena shook her head rapidly, "Of course not! A mother never forgets her babies but you cannot be Matthias! He never saw his first winter and you look as if you saw far more before you passed on! Isn't that how it works? The form you had in life is the one that you retain in death?" Magdalena demanded.
"Oui but Kessel House is no ordinary haunted house. The rules of the vampires do not apply here. It is the memories of the living that rouse the unsettled from their slumber. Unlike others your perception of me changed as you watched my brother grow older and stronger. Your mind conjured an image of what I would look like had I lived yet for some reason your subconscious never allowed me to age past ten years." Matthias explained.
"No mother ever truly wants her little one to grow up." Magdalena replied weakly.
Magdalena couldn't help but chuckle as Matthias rolled his eyes and heaved a soft sigh, an expression she'd often seen on LaCroix's face whenever he became resigned to the fact that he would never understand the inner workings of the female psyche.
Matthias's luminous form suddenly began to shimmer.
"My time is running short, Maman. I do not have much time before the life beyond beckons me to return." the boy replied.
"No! Don't go! Not so soon! You still must meet your brother and your father will want to see you!" Magdalena begged as she kneeled before her child.
"Nicholas will eventually come to this place but he is not meant to meet me and Father has never been one to let the sorrows of his past trouble him enough that he would be able to see me but I'm not saddened by that, Maman, I know that he loves me and wishes me peace." Matthias answered as he gently took his mother's hand in his own.
Magdalena was surprised at how warm it felt.
"I am in a safe and wonderful place, Maman, please believe that. My time came as yours, Father's, Nicholas's and the little one's will come." Matthias assured her.
Magdalena's eyes grew wide.
"Yes I know you are with child, Maman, and I am happy for you. It is a strong child. Guard it well, Maman, there are those in this realm who will seek to harm it." Matthias warned.
"I understand and I will. I miss you so much, my precious son." Magdalena confessed desperately wishing she could hold him in her arms.
"I miss you too, Maman, but don't worry we will see each other again." Matthias assured her as his form faded away.
"Je t'aime, mon fils." Magdalena whispered softly to the darkness.
"Je t'aime, mon mere." the boy replied softly.
Magdalena sensed that her son's spirit had departed and settled to eternal rest.
Nearly seven months later….
"Lucien, for the last time you are not carrying me down there!"
"The doctor said you mustn't strain yourself, ma cherie, that was the only reason she agreed to let you come along with me."
Magdalena rolled her eyes and muttered, "You're lucky I let you come along with me, dear husband."
LaCroix sighed, "You don't have to do this, ma cherie. There is no point in dwelling upon what is long past."
"Says the man who returns every year to the place of his birth to leave flowers alongside the body of his long gone lover. Stop trying to talk me out of this, Lucien; it is one battle you will not win." Magdalena growled as she pushed past him then proceeded to glide above the narrow stone steps of the passageway and follow its downward path with her husband close behind.
The bottom of the passageway though pitch black to a mortal's eye appeared dimly lit to the two vampires. To alleviate the darkness Magdalena reached into her bag and pulled out a small matchbox along with several small candles and passed a few of them to LaCroix.
Within moments the small chamber was filled with the warm flickering glow of the tiny flames illuminating the newly polished stone slab on the far wall.
It was a simple slab of light gray marble and engraved with an equally simple message in medieval French:
Matthias James LaCroix
Beloved son and brother
Forever in our hearts
The baby within Magdalena's womb stirred as she traced the inscribed words with her finger. The masons had done an admirable job in placing the slab and had been extremely careful not to disturb the aged stone behind. A matching stone vase that had been placed alongside the plaque allowed Magdalena to place a bouquet of red chrysanthemums, amaranth globes and honeysuckle inside.
LaCroix pulled his wife into a tender embrace as their third soon to be born kicked once more. A serene smile appeared on Magdalena's face as she laid her hand on her prominent belly and leaned into her husband's hold. Magdalena would never forget Matthias but she would honor his wish and not dwell on his absence with sorrow but instead remember him with joy and silently anticipate the day she would be reunited with him once more.
For Kyle and Ashton.