Mina Harker’s Diary by Divalle Curie
While on summer holiday, Mina notices her friend Lucy is beginning to act strangely, expressing sensuous appetites considered shocking in late Victorian England. Mina soon learns the cause: recurring dreams of a sinister man ravishing Lucy in her sleep. But when Mina experiences these dreams too, and her own forbidden desires awaken, the women embark on an adventure of pleasure together—not realizing that their nocturnal seducer is Count Dracula, Lord of Vampires.
What might Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley have written without Nineteenth Century mores inhibiting their pens? And what did they write to hint at sexual license lurking just beneath the surface of propriety and the printed page?
Mina Harker’s Diary explores the hidden eroticism of Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein to cast these familiar tales in a new and voluptuous light.
EXCERPT OF MINA HARKER’S DIARY
HERE begins that part of my true account of what took place in our late summer days and nights in Whitby, while awaiting word from Jonathan and watching my dearest Lucy fall into illness. In transcribing my diary to type, I included many inconsequent matters and withheld certain details. My motives came of modesty and uncertainty, which will become clear as I progress.
From whoever may read this excerpt, I beg forgiveness and understanding for its redaction. Many things I had left out, and many I transfigured into what I could bear to confess. Of this rendition, I dread that Jonathan might one day see it, or Dr Seward, or some soul unknown to me, and fear stern judgment for the tale it tells. But Professor Van Helsing assures me that the details in my memory are vital to our endeavour, and he promises to withhold this version from the official account. I trust that good gentleman. I feel that his heart comprehends a woman’s sensibilities.
I must make a point clear above all else. Much of those nine strange days remains unsure to me. Even now, I gaze back into the blur of memory and can’t grasp what happened, neither to Lucy nor to me. It’s like a masterwork painting, plain to the eye and yet fraught with subtleties. And as I notice these, they provoke awe in my heart. Much of it felt and still feels like some cruel vagary had seized my mind. I can’t be sure how much truly happened. Professor Van Helsing tells me: all of it. My doubt, he says, is but one of our enemy’s weapons to use against us. Here then, I parry the assault and riposte with bold truth, no matter what pain and shame my story brings. But I cringe as my typewriter’s keys bare the sins of my soul for the world to read. I beseech my fellow errant creatures for what mercy they can proffer.
Here then, at the professor’s insistence, is that memoir.
11 August—I awoke last night to find Lucy’s side of the bed empty. Looking for her, I found the doors to the garden open. A fog had rolled in from the sea, making the night air chill and damp. I took a shawl before setting out to find her.
I espied her through the mists, sprawled on the stone bench—what we’ve come to claim as our seat—in the churchyard. I also perceived some vague apparition, the semblance of a man, leaning over her. Red, horrid eyes seemed to leer into mine, conveying all the sins of the devil himself. I felt strange tumult in me, queer excitement like a passionate sea crashing on the dams of my virtue. I read hunger in those eyes. I felt their desire to consume me, which sent an electric tremor through my body. Before my conscious mind could regain its mastery over the cravings of the flesh, I welcomed it.
But this uncanny vision departed with a swirl of fog.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Divalle Curie was born in Minnesota and is a retired military veteran. He is also an alumnus of the University of St. Thomas, from which he graduated Summa cum Laude with a double-major in History and English. He’s UST’s only three-time winner of the John Ireland Award for historical research, and he won Best Short Story in the Delta Epsilon Sigma national collegiate writing contest in 2006. He currently lives in Wisconsin, where he devotes his time to reading and writing.
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