Bran Castle, Romania . . .

. . . otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle because it is the only one in all of Transylvania that fits Bram Stoker’s description.

“Look at this, Ave. This is what I was trying to show you. It’s so funny.” Izzy thrust her phone under Ava’s nose. The white medieval castle on the screen was crowned with a jumble of angled roof slabs and turrets and covered in vermillion tiles.

“Well, yep that’s certainly lovely but not so hilarious.”

“But wait, don’t look at me like that. This is the castle. The one known as Dracula’s castle in Romania. Guess what it’s called? Go on.”

“Um … Castle Vlad? Fangtacular Castle?”

“No, Bran Castle!”

“Yeah. Definitely not funny.”

My God. Now even the image she’d picked from the film to distract herself with was ruined. There was no escaping him.

Izzy and Ava, post viewing the 1930’s film Dracula, at Melbourne’s gloriously art deco Astor theatre – Siren’s Wave novel.

bran-castle-stone

 

 

 

 

 

Bran the Blessed, Celtic God of Regeneration … raven.

Throughout history, gorgeously Gothic ravens received a bad rap. From Middle Eastern, Norse and Celtic mythology to Egar Allan Poe’s dramatic poem, their dark allure sends a shiver running through us with ease. They’ve been depicted as oracles, tricksters, and messengers of ill omens. What power, exactly, does Bran need to harness from his glossy namesakes? Regeneration perhaps or something a little more sinister?

“And being called Bran, how did that come about?”

“Nate, in high school.”

“Do you know about the Celtic legends? About Bran the Blessed, the Raven? God of regeneration etcetera?”

“Nate’s brought it up over the years. Usually, when he wants to be a pain.”

Beth ignored the warning. “And your mum is the only person who doesn’t call you Bran?”

Staring stonily at Beth, he gave her a barely discernible nod.

“Middle name?” she asked, allowing no quarter.

“Henrik,” he said flatly.

Henrik? Alexander Henrik Brantsen.” Beth laughed loudly.

“Shit, you even know my last name?” He gave her a look of mock suspicion, trying for levity but not quite managing it.

“I aim to know a lot more about you, Bran. So, where are your parents from?”

His eyes skated over to Ava’s then back to Beth’s. He sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, all signs of playfulness gone. “The Netherlands.”

Dix’s wife, Beth, interrogating Bran at Izzy’s party.

the-seven-raven
The Seven Raven’s by H. Koppdelaney