Chapter 12: The Farmer’s Afterlife

Chapter twelve of Wallachia is out. Get it from the App Store and read it for free (then leave a tip, if you please).

Abraham deals with the body he discovered in chapter nine.

For those keeping track at home, it’s Monday, 19 June (old style dates). The moon will be a 🌒waxing crescent. Marley got back home last night (ch 11). Around the time Abraham is riding back the village, Eugen is transferred to the village jail from the castle dungeon (assuming that all happens).

There’s no chance anyone will notice, but in chapter one I said there was a fountain in the middle of the town square. As I was writing Abraham passing by it, I realized this probably isn’t historically accurate. Fountains require either pumps to move the water or an elevated water source. So, I changed it. If you go back and read chapter one, it now says:

The carriage pulled up to the csárda. The village inn, tavern, and meeting place sat at the back of the town square. In the center of the square stood a statue of a boy and a girl looking up at the sky just above the mountains across the river. A large display of flowers were planted at their feet. Surrounding the statue were a number of shops, including the bakery above which Marley’s family lived.

As I say in the news section, this chapter includes a brief recap of Carmilla. I was a little worried I’d have to fudge the timeline, but it turns out Bram Stoker already did that for me.

Carmilla never establishes what year it’s set in. It appeared in a collection called In a Glass Darkly, which opens with a brief framing device. The stories therein are supposed to have been compiled by the assistant of Dr. Martin Hesselius, a paranormal investigator. Dr. Hessellius corresponded with a Professor Van Loo of Leyden. After the professor’s death in 1819, the assistant collected the interesting cases from their letters and included them in what we’re reading as In a Glass Darkly. So, everything in the book must have occurred at least a few years prior to 1819 when the professor died.

In Carmilla, the characters come across a portrait of Countess Mircalla painted when she was still alive in 1698. Later, when they discover that Carmilla is actually the Vampire Mircalla, Laura’s father says, “Why, she has been dead more than a century!” If we assume she died not long after it was painted, the story has to be set after 1798 to be “more than a century” later.

In Dracula’s Guest, a traveller comes across a grave intended to be that of Carmilla from Le Fanu’s story. It’s dated 1801. And there we have it! (Why the characters of that story would have erected a tomb for her, I’m not sure.)

Lastly, because I’m certain I mispronounced it in the audiobook, a short note on Romanian greetings. Now, bear in mind that I don’t actually speak Romanian. As with a load of things, I’m faking it here and hoping people won’t notice (except of course that I’m pointing it out).

Buna dimineata: Good morning
Buna ziua: Good day (“zee-wah”) Buna seara: Good evening
Noapte buna: Good night, but literally said when one is going to sleep

The characters are obviously speaking Wallachian Romanian all the time that we’re reading as English, but I like to toss in a word here and there just to make the book more annoying to read.