Mina Murray’s Journal
11 August, 3 a.m. — No sleep now, so I may as well write. I am too agitated to sleep. We have had such an adventure, such an agonizing experience.
I fell asleep as soon as I had closed my diary. . . . Suddenly
I became broad awake, and sat up, with a horrible sense of fear upon me, and of some feeling of emptiness around me.
The room was dark, so I could not see Lucy’s bed; I stole across and felt for her. The bed was empty. I lit a match, and found that she was not in the room. The door was shut, but not locked, as I had left it.
I feared to wake her mother, who has been more than usually ill lately, so threw on some clothes and got ready to look for her. "Thank God," I said to myself, "she cannot be far, as she is only in her nightdress."
I ran downstairs and looked in the sitting-room. Not there! Then I looked in all the other rooms of the house, with an ever-growing fear chilling my heart. Finally I came to the hall door and found it open. I took a big, heavy shawl and ran out. The clock was striking one as I was in the Crescent, and there was not a soul in sight.
At the edge of the West Cliff above the pier I looked across the harbour to the East Cliff, in the hope or fear — I don’t know which — of seeing Lucy. For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud obscured St. Mary’s Church and all around it. Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the Abbey coming into view; and there, on our favourite seat, a half-reclining figure, snowy white.
The coming of the cloud was too quick for me to see much, for shadow shut down on light almost immediately; but it seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it. What it was, whether man or beast, I could not tell.
I did not wait to catch another glance, but flew down the steep steps to the pier and along by the fish-market to the bridge, which was the only way to reach the East Cliff. I must have gone fast, and yet it seemed to me as if my feet were weighted with lead, and as though every joint in my body were rusty.
When I got almost to the top I could see the seat and the white figure, for I was now close enough to distinguish it even through the spells of shadow. There was undoubtedly something, long and black, bending over the half-reclining white figure. I called in fright, "Lucy! Lucy!" and something raised a head, and from where I was I could see a white face and red, gleaming eyes.
BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. Abridgement copyright (c) 2004 by Jan Needle. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
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About Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.
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