Hello! This is the first of my original works I've put on FictionPress. Please give me some reviews and concrit!

Just to forewarn, many of the chapters in Part 1 will be very short as they are written in diary entry style, mostly the diary of a child.

I am staying true to fact as much as possible, and rest assured, I have done my research. Hope you enjoy it - but it's not a happy story, be warned.

xbee

Erzsebet

My childhood was not a happy one. Undoubtedly, the most unfortunate event in the duration of my life was my birth. Ecsed Castle was a prison for me. It was also the first of many to be experienced in my woefully incomplete life.

I was born in 1560, in the deep, oppressive heat of August. It is never a good sign for child to be born into the humidity of a summer such as that one. A terrible omen for the rest of my days... Many times it was told to me by my long-suffering mother, that the months in which she carried me were the most difficult of her life. Even now I cannot bear to think back to my childhood.

Pitifully enough, it is the only thing I have left. The last remainder of my life as a child is seeping away from me. The fog in my mind is clouding over, and I have my doubts as to how long I will hold my own against the demons which threaten to overtake me. Of course, I was not a child for long. Who is?

My mother, Anattana Báthory, never lived up to the name of her family, as was her opinion of herself. She married at a young age to my father, Gyorgir, also of the Báthory line. He was of the Ecsed branch, of course, as opposed to my mother's lineage of the Somlyó branch of our esteemed family.

Unfortunately, she was never strong, and died when I was only just 10 years of age. A terrible occurrence for any child. However, she was never a particularly caring woman, and would often punish me for small errors, even during my early years. As I have said, I did not have a particularly happy childhood.

I never knew the majority of my family. I always knew they were well renowned, and respected. The Báthorys were kin to royalty, and indeed, many became royalty. For instance, take my uncle, Stefan. First he became Duke of Transylvania, then eventually King of Poland.

I knew of their cruelty, but I never knew their faces...

My closer family, however, were not as... respectable. My brother, also named Stephan, was, and I say was because he died long ago, a notorious drunkard and lecher. He brought incomparable disgrace to our family.

I, in my little corner of Hungary, by the mountains, remained wonderfully unaware of these statures until around the time when I turned 8 years old.

I never knew just how much work it took to be a valued member of the nobility. I had no way of knowing about the protocols, the strict regulations and expectations. Society wanted us to be set apart, and so we were. So we have always been, right through our ancestors' lineage, where we can see that woeful exclusion from society, hidden beneath titles and airs.

My education was thorough ever since I was a small girl. I never wanted for anything, and my tutor was a wonderful source of knowledge, and an outlet of normality in my world of graces and frosty airs. By the age of 10 I was unnaturally advanced in the languages of Hungarian, German, Greek and Latin.

But it was not all as blessed and charmed as you may be inclined to believe. Behind a facade of beauty is always a mastermind, a decision-maker. This was my father. From a very young age, I knew he was to be feared.

Perhaps if I was a stronger child, I would have had the will to escape from my prison...

Many peasants worked on our lands. I rarely saw them. I only ever encountered them when they were summoned to the main castle. The housemaids and staff were usually out of sight. When they were summoned to the castle, the reasons were often grave.

Many a time did I see a servant flayed, punished. I saw them grovel to my parents, who looked upon them with scorn, not mercy or compassion. The monster who I have become learnt from them, fed on the misery and pain, the blood and tears that were shed within those castle walls. It was always a bleak place, and frightfully cold. A permanent chill seemed to linger in every room. And of course, the winters are so very cold here.

I was never inclined to run away in my younger years. In hindsight, I suppose it would have been one of many solutions.

I was never a particularly healthy child. I was of a weak disposition, and I suppose I was not built to withstand the chills which seemed to have surrounded me in those years. I was often afflicted by seizures, fits from the age of 5 where I would jerk around uncontrollably, to the terror and surprise of those around me. Some said I was cursed. Some blamed poison. I believe I was simply... somehow not right.

Sometimes I felt...separate from myself somehow.

Ridiculous as it sounds, I have always seen myself as 2 separate people.

I am speaking to you now from inside my head, as I will never again have control over myself. I became somebody else long ago. This particular somebody has turned me into a monster. I never meant to be feared...

Please review!

xbee