The night is choking me. My fingers shake as I write this, and yet write this I must. How many times has this journal saved me from insanity? I beg these pages to once again rescue me from the darkest depths of my mind, for my darling Mina's sake, if not for mine.
She sleeps now, thank God, nestled safely in the bed where I a few hours ago tucked her in like a small child. Please, let the sun come now. Let it bathe her pale face in rosy light. I can not bare for this night to last any longer. I wish only for a respite from this fevered dream.
But let me write down this night's events, so that I may cast them away with a clear conscience, in the hopes that this book need never be reopened. How am I to start this? It seems this evening has been nothing but a series of lightning brief lucid flashes in a sea of incoherence. How am I to endeavor to tell things in a chronological order?
We arrived at the castle Dracula only an hour before sunset, in hopes of staking the monster before he could rise for the evening. Perhaps we waited too long. How am I to say, when I am so untrained in the task of vampire hunting? At any rate, his sleep was not complete when we found his coffin, and his hand soon brought irrevocable sleep to Quincey Morris. Irrevocable sleep. I mince words here, and such indirectness does not bring honor to Quincey's bravery. The man is dead. There. Now I have written it. The count drove the weapon we sought to use against him through Quincey's chest, and with uncertain faltering steps this noble man fell, blood bursting from his mouth. Dear God, that was the wrong thing to write. Why do my words refuse me the solace I so need?
Do I, in writing this, merely delve deeper into self torture? No, I can not believe that. In the Count's castle, when this all began so long ago, I wrote because I needed to. These words are like a bitter medicine that I must take in order to bring about healing. To write everything, in slow monotonous detail, however, is more than I can take. If I try this, I will only awaken my sweet Mina with my screaming cries.
Mina. I shall write about Mina. It is her story which I must record now. When we came upon her in the castle, she stood alone in the crypt like a tragic stature, holding the knife to her breast. I ran for her then. I think we all did, but it was I who reached her first, crushing her in my arms. Now I worry that I may have hurt her, but oh... Oh what? I do not know. I wonder how later I will read these words; I tremble so as I write them. Mina... My Mina, she neither cried out nor struggled against my tight grip. The knife dropped from her hands, and I believe I saw rose petals fall from the sky... how this is possible I do not know, yet now I can see that a pure white petal still lingers in her hair. Why do I doubt the simple impossible, when I have been assaulted by that which is most profoundly impossible?
Holding Mina to me, I saw that The Count had been killed. Indeed, it was then that I noticed the unholy brown of encrusted blood on my darling's hand. She must have also noticed it, because it was then that she fainted. Try though we did, we could not bring her out of her swoon. Her lashes flickered open briefly when Dr. Seward touched a canteen of brandy to her lips, but she closed them almost at once, as if unwilling to wake. In the end, I had to carry her to the carriage, though I suspect I would have tried to do this even if she were awake and firm of step.
She has barely stirred since I brought her to the inn. She awaked for a time when I began to wash the blood from her hands. She did not say a word, but looked at me so sadly that I nearly began to cry. I told her then that she was safe, that she had been brave in destroying our adversary. I told her that she must rest, that I loved her, and I would care for her. Perhaps my fatal mistake was that I begged her to smile, and though she tried to oblige me, the tears in her eyes bore into me like a silver stake through the heart. I kissed her then, on the forehead, so I would not have to taste her salt tears.
She did not speak for the rest of her time awake, nor has she spoken yet. Jack Seward has told me I must not despair because of this. He assured me in tones that were unspeakably comforting in their clipped calmness, that my Mina's behavior was normal for someone who had undergone as much stress as she had, and something that would heal in time. He seems certain that this silence will last a night or two at most.
This is too much. I want... I do not want much. I want only to have my Mina back. I want the simple life that we had together before this ordeal to return. I want to pass out of this shadow forever, into a safe and benevolent sun. Yet, a growing apprehension has settled in my stomach like a lead weight. I know this can not be so. Something has been irrevocably changed.
I feel fear. The air outside is thick and impenetrable, a trickster waiting for suffocate anyone daft enough to be fooled by its sparkling tapestry of stars and black velvet. A cross hangs on the window, and another around Mina's neck.
Please, lord, keep us safe this endless night. My Mina stirs. The time for contemplation has passed.