A meeting at midnight.
This is the second page of a multi-page story. To begin at the start, click here.
This is a vampire story with moderate levels of horror, gore and violence. There is also some steamy content (though nothing explicit). If this is not your cup of tea, please don’t read any further.
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The shadows crowded in on them, the last dead leaves on the looming trees rustling in the light night-time breeze. Sir John and his constable sat astride their restless horses at the cross-roads between the forest and the crumbling village of Osford, abandoned five years ago after the plague carried off almost every man, woman and child. The huts there had looked even more run-down than the last time he had passed through. The first winter storms had done their worst: several more of the turfed roofs had caved in, the last of the wattle hurdles around the weed-choked vegetable gardens were strewn flat and the old yew by the church had finally toppled, smashing the slate roof of the nave.
It was two weeks before Christmas. Sir John should have been looking forward to the great Yuletide feast that would see all his tenants packed into the castle hall to feast, laugh, sing, and finally slide dead drunk under the rows of trestle tables. Instead here he was, waiting for midnight and a rendezvous with his dead, vampiric wife.
He would have laughed at her choice of meeting place, so laden with clichéd portents of doom, had the shiver up his back not made him fear that his voice would break and reveal his fear to his companion. And it was his own fault anyway. It had been he who suggested they meet far from the castle and at night so that he could bring her back home as if they had just ridden all day from the nunnery where she had supposedly been incarcerated. He had offered her no help in making the rendezvous, yet she had agreed as if her escaping the castle and travelling miles across country to this place, on foot and in the dark, presented no problems whatsoever.
Suddenly he became aware that the wood had turned quiet. The scuttling of rodents, badgers and foxes, the swish of night birds in flight, all had stopped.
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