Transition #WritePhoto

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It wasn’t the priest hole in the wall or under the floor the Catholic priest had been expecting. Looking out of the small arched doorway, he could see a neat flagstone path leading to a small hut covered with ivy.

‘The well house,’ one of the maids explained.

‘Oh,’ was all he could reply.

The maid led the way with a quick step and the priest still clutching his bible followed her.

They left the family and other servants in the chapel behind, hurriedly tidying things away. Then everyone scattered as on the other side of the house, the guards and pursuivant entered through the main door and began their search for Catholics.

The maid open the hut’s door and rushed inside. The priest followed, closing the door behind him. He looked around in the gloom and saw the moss clinging to the walls and before him the huge construction of the well. Above ran thick wooden beams and there was a system of pulleys and weights to the left side.

The maid was turning the handle which was causing a long pole to also turn and a thick rope began to twist around the pole as the bucket was drawn up.

‘Where am I to hide? The guards will search in here!’ the priest cried for he could see no where safe.

‘In the well,’ the maid gasped.

‘In there….’ the priest trailed and looked over the edge of the solid wall of the well.

He couldn’t see anything but darkness.

‘They won’t look for you down here,’ the maid added.

The priest looked towards the door, ‘is there no where else in the house?’

‘Not that I know. I was told to bring you here. The bucket is coming up now,’ the maid pointed out.

The priest stood back as the rope came to an end and the bucket full of water appeared.

With some effort, the maid pulled the bucket over and unattached it. Water sloshed on the floor and splashed up her skirts. From the corner, she brought out an empty bucket and attached to to the rope. Then turning to the small window sill, she did something the priest could not see.

‘Here’s a candle,’ the maid said, lighting a thin white candle and handing it to the priest, ‘there’s a ledge down there for you to stand on. When the bucket gets there shout stop and I shall try to do so. Blow the candle out when you can. We shall come and get you when the guards have gone.’

Nodding the priest, helped put the bucket into the well then climbed in. Juggling Bible and candle in one hand, he held the rope with his other then watched the maid lowering him in.

The wet walls of the well rose up above him and the priest watched for any ledges sticking out. The candle flame fluttered and wax droplets burnt his hand. The priest held tightly on, feeling his stomach aching. Then meters down the well, he saw the ledge.

‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ he screamed upwards.

The bucket jerked and he heard the echoing strains of the maid trying to hold on. The priest scrambled out and found to his shock that the ledge was just enough for him to stand upon. Almost tripping on his robes, he nearly tumbled backwards and the candle fell from his hand.

Hugging the wall, he pressed his face into the cold, wet stone and took a few deep breaths. He shut his eyes and started praying hard as the bucket went down passed him. Further below, he heard it hit the water and then the bucket began to raise up.

The priest stood in the pitch darkness for so long he lost track of the time and his repeated prayers. At one point, he thought he heard voices above and the maid had returned for him but no bucket came down.

God delivery me for this, he thought, bring me peace.

What felt like a long, long time later, the priest heard movement and the creaking of wood. Gently, moving his face from off the wall, the priest looked up but could not see anything for awhile. Then a light, like the Spirit of God, shone down and the priest saw the bucket and a candle inside.

He grabbed the bucket, pulling on the rope to signal he had it. Taking the candle out, the priest climbed inside and tugged on the rope again. The bucket swung then he as lifted up and up till at last he could see the lips of the well.

He reached the top and all put fell out of the bucket as two male servants tried to help him.

The priest rested against wall, sipping wine that someone had pressed into his hand and shaking his head whilst repeatedly saying, ‘never again, never again.’

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/05/23/thursday-photo-prompt-transition-writephoto/ with thanks).

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Dear Diary #34

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Dear Diary,

I’m curled up in the bathtub right now waiting for the thunderstorm to be over. I’ve turned out all the lights and unplugged everything electrical, as you should. I’m writing this by the three tea light candles balanced at then end of the tub and my camping torch. It’s kinda creepy which is making me even more anxious.

I can hear the wind howling and rattling the trees outside like a giant beast enraged. I want to peek out of the frosty glass window to make sure that’s not actually true right now but I can’t. My legs don’t want to move and my body feels like a half set jelly.

The rain is pouring down like a tsunami. It sounds like the very sea is going to wash my house away. It’s so loud alongside the wind and the deep rumbles of thunder that I can’t hear anything else. This would be the perfect time for a serial killer to break inside my house because I would never hear them coming.

Is there actually someone else inside right now? I’m listening hard diary, but I can’t because things are creaking and banging about. I’m sure it’s just the trees against the windows and loose things in garden….

What if someone is trying to get in?

I can’t go and see! I can barely keep moving my hand to write this. Think, think…okay… The bathroom door is locked and who’d want to use the bathroom if you were breaking in anyway? Wait though….doesn’t everyone hide and get murderer in bathrooms?

Maybe, I should have left before the storm arrived. Gone stayed with friends or family or just found some place to hide in my car. A jail cell might be safer right now. Or another country.

Ah! What am I thinking? They said it was only going to be a small storm…Lightening just flashed, it was loud and bright, crackly and caused all my hair to stand on end. I couldn’t see it clearly in the frosted glass but I saw it enough!

I need to hide some more. Going to put my second sleeping bag over my head. That’ll make me look like a body, so if a serial killer is going through my house right now and he makes it to the bathroom, he’ll think I’m already dead.

So long diary! If I survive this see you tomorrow.

Candle

candle-197248_1920

She put the candle in the window and prayed that her loved ones would come home soon.

 

(In memory of all those lost and injured in the Manchester Arena Bombing on Monday 22nd May 2017)

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The Yearly Drawing

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Roisin sat alone in a darkened room with only the flicking of candle light for company. Arranging her long and many skirts around the stool before settling at the low table, she shut her eyes, drew in a deep breath and prepared herself. Gently tugging back the purple velvet cloth she had draped around her like a shawl, she picked up the card box in her left hand.

The black liqueur box felt cold and smooth in her net gloved hand. It weighed heavily in her palm and she thought about this feeling. The box seemed to hold fate inside of it and mysterious that only the universe knew. That’s where all the weight come from secretly. With her right hand, Roisin slide the lid off and looked inside.

A very faded, but once bright red colored patterned card back met her eyes. The design was flowing, plant leaf like and had an Italian air to it. She touched the white board, which was yellowed with a hundred or so years of age and many fingers. Slowly, she lifted all the large cards out and put the box to one side.

Even though the cards weighted less, they felt more heavier in her hand. Roisin looked at them then held them out as she asked the invisible fingers of fate to touch them. She shut her eyes again and pictured shadows reaching out from the corners towards her. Upon opening her eyes nothing had changed and she was still alone in the room.

Pressing the cards together in her hands, she thought about what she wanted to ask. She felt a slight tingling in her fingers then began to shuffle the cards. For a few moments, she imaged herself in Ireland, deep in all that green and legendary land. The sound of the sea maybe or the wind in the trees. She was there with other people who were waiting in the shadows. They were farmers, maybe, village folk and they feared her yet were fascinated by her.

The image faded and Roisin came back too. She was sat in her bedroom again. The black out curtains on the window, the candles flicking against the walls and the silence pressing down on her. She looked at the cards and realised the shuffling had stopped. Placing them down, she drew the top three and lay then side by side.

Her fingers strayed towards the set aside deck and for a moment she thought about drawing more and making a cross. The reading would be more in depth, but not any clearer. Deciding, she didn’t want to be sat puzzling over the messages, Roisin removed her hand and touched her finger tips to the first card.

She flipped it over, the nine of cups; the wish card. One of her wishes or hopes had come true recently. Happiness and love was her’s and there was good luck in her daily work.

The next was the three of wands; presently she should be experiencing more success and financial matters were better. She should be proud of her work and perhaps a new job was coming up. Life and love was looking fine as long as she was being treated as an equal. If not it was time to move on and if she single, she needed to allow more time.

The last one. She turned it and pressed it down on the table. strength; remember to stay focused and keep things in check. Spend quiet time being reflect and keep a straight head. Work should be going well, there is room to move up or around though and finally find your true worth. If she was in love it was going well and if not now was a good time to find someone.

Roisin rested her hands on the table. She didn’t need to ask the deck anything else. She slipped off the make-shirt shawl and gathered the cards back together. She put them back in the liqueur box then from under the table took out a plastic box. Ignoring the papers and other stuff inside, she put the tarot cards away.

She got up, her thoughts still reflecting on the reading. She blew the candles out and lifting the blinds, let the dull autumn afternoon back inside. Her bedroom lost all of the sinister atmosphere and became a bright space once more.

She packed everything away and got changed into normal clothes again.

The reading had been good. Yet, she felt drawn to find out more. There was always a turn. The cards promised so much and yet fate loved snatching it away. She sat down on her bed next to the box which she couldn’t put away until the candles had gone back in. Roisin looked at the black tarot box through the wavy plastic lid.

They called to her in away she couldn’t described. She could heard them whispering to come out again. Other people needed to hear their fates and she had to be the one to tell them. Her family line was of tellers, so it was her destiny. But she couldn’t do it. Never had she been able to bring herself to embrace it and become one with this ancient magic.

Roisin couldn’t keep away and that was why on Halloween every year, she opened herself up to it to give her some peace. One day though, she knew it would consume like every female member in her family. She would leave like her mother, grandmother and aunts, going wherever the string of fate lead her, telling those who would listen the messages she had for them.

There would be no coming back from that.

Boots (Part 3)

Silhouette, Bokeh, Man, Out Of Focus, Fig, Bent, Black

Faith stepped down from the small buggie, feeling grateful that the Rector had offered it and his valet for her short trip home. Originally, she had been perfectly happy to walk home, but then the rain had started and the Rector had said he simply could not allow his guest to walk in such bad weather.

As the valet urged the chestnut horse on and the animal broke into a trot, Faith opened her front gate and walked up the path to her cottage. The night wrapped around her like a heavy wet blanket. The rain dripping off her hat and ruining her hair. She unlocked and opened the door, pitch darkness met her.

Stepping inside, Faith search for the candle and matches she knew Mary had left for her. She had dismissed the maid before she had gone for dinner and no doubt Mary had rushed home to her ill mother and five younger siblings, who Mary was now the soul provider of. Faith had taken the maid with the house, only because it had saved her the trouble of finding a new one.

Faith lit the candle and straight away the shadows thinned. She shut the door, making sure it was locked then went up the stairs. In her bedroom, she touched the flickering flame to the other candles and banished most of the darkness. She undressed, put on a night gown, then sat at her small dressing table and brushed out her hair.

The sound of boot steps echoed along the hallway.

Faith paused, brush stuck in her hair. She turned and looked at her bedroom door. The latch was lifting slowly upwards. The breathe caught in her throat and desperately she wanted to cry out, but she couldn’t force the words through her lips. A tiny click, which seemed earth shattering loud, came from the door and it eased open.

‘Who is it? What do you want?’ Faith suddenly shouted.

The door swung fully opened to reveal the empty hallway. Faith thought she saw a flicker of the shadows then she heard the man’s boots going downstairs. Each step sounded like a doom bell ringing out.

Somehow coming back to her senses, Faith placed her hairbrush down, grab a candle and hurried out of the room. She shone the flame about the hallway and the stairs, but there was no one to be seen.

‘I am not afraid of you!’ she cried, ‘this is some school boy trick is it? Well, it is not funny and I shall catch you, mark my words. There is no such thing as ghosts!’

Faith stormed back in her room and slammed the door shut. She locked it and got into bed, her hair only half brushed and still wet. Arranging the bed clothes and the candle, Faith picked up her Bible and began reading from it. The rain rattled against the windows and the sound calmed her nerves.

Soon, sleep came for her and Faith gladly went to it. She rested fitfully and as the grandmother clocked chimed two, she awoke. Turning over, she listened to the chimes fading then the boot steps sounded in the hallway. Frowning and muttering to herself. She got up as quietly as possible, snatched one of the bed sheets up and without a candle went to the bedroom door.

Opening it slowly, she ventured out and down the stairs. At the bottom she waited and listened to the footsteps made their way to the front door. Then holding the sheet out, she jumped around the corner and threw the sheet in the direction of the sound. Her arms followed and she wrapped them around a small wiggling body.

‘I have you!’ she cried.

‘Quick! run!’ a young boy’s voice cried.

Faith heard the sound of laughter and running footsteps from the kitchen. The back door shut with a bang. Left to struggle with the one she had captured, Faith shoved him into the parlour and fumbled with the second candle by the front door. On lighting it, she re-opened the door and saw standing there the Rector’s youngest son, who she had meet that evening.

‘James? What are you doing here?’ she asked.

The boy looked down and Faith followed his gaze. Huge army boots were strapped to his feet and he looked ridicules in them.

‘That explains all the noise, but why?’ Faith asked.

The boy shrugged and Faith noticed how wet his clothes and hair were.

‘How did you get in?’ she pressed.

The boy shook his head.

‘Well, you’ll have to stay here for the rest of the night. It is too wet and dark to be going back to your father now. What will he say about all of this?’ Faith spoke.

‘Oh! Miss please do not tell him! We only meant to scare you a little! Please, Miss!’ the boy cried, he fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around her legs. He started to cry into her nightdress.

‘Now, please young man, get up. Tell me, why did you want to scare me?’

He turned his tear stained face up to her’s and said, ‘it was just a game.’

Faith sighed, ‘let’s get you out of these wet things. You shall catch a cold.’

‘I know how to lit a fire, Miss,’ the boy piped up.

He went over to the fireplace and though it had not been used in awhile, the coal, kindling and paper were stacked to one side. Faith watch the child building then lighting the fire. A soft, warm glow cast it’s way over the room.

‘I suppose, we should stay up and wait for dawn. Then I shall take you home,’ Faith said.

James nodded, ‘but what will you tell father?’

‘I shall think about it,’ Faith said, ‘in the meantime we shall read the Bible together.’

 

As soon as dawn broke, Faith and James went out. The boy had fallen asleep and Faith had had to wake him. It was a slow walk up through the village to the church and by the time they got there the Rector’s house was awake and searching for the missing child all ready.

Whilst he was whisked away by the nanny, Faith had a quiet word with his father. Upon leaving, she prayed the other children were not to troublesome. She walked back home and headed into the parlour, where she found a pair of man’s boots abandoned by the fire place.

 

(Inspired byhttps://wordpress.com/read/feeds/34771988/posts/1062669023)

Boots (Part 1)

Silhouette, Bokeh, Man, Out Of Focus, Fig, Bent, Black

The grandmother clock chimed two as Faith started to climb the cottage’s stairs. She held the candle holder away from her, so that the small flickering light offered more guidance.   Her other hand rested on the heavily polished banister and she felt the smoothness of the wood against her fingers. With her slippers muffled by the thick carpet she made her way up to the dimly lit first floor.

The chimes faded and silence settled once more. Without knowing why, Faith glanced behind her. The hallway below her was empty, expect for the sound of footsteps. She twisted, aiming the candle downwards and trying to peer through the shadows. Nothing seemed to be moving and yet, the sound of a man’s heavy boots echoed along the hallway carpet.

‘Hello?’ she called out, her voice steady.

She listened for a reply, but no words came back to her. Faith glanced upstairs and the calling of her bed then carefully turning around and hitching up her skirts, she stepped down. As soon as she came to the bottom the walking boots stopped.

‘Who’s there?’ Faith shouted, ‘My husband is upstairs and it will not take much to rise him!’

Dropping her skirts, she waved the candle light about and prayed that whoever was in her new house did not know that she actually lived alone. Some of the light bounced off the stained glass windows in the front door then splashed along the wall. Her eyes followed the glow along the hallway and passed the first doorway.

Faith moved slowly and inspected the small living room, dinning room and kitchen. Nothing was disturbed. In the living room the embers of the fire burnt dark orange, but they do not cast enough light. Faith closed all the doors and went back to the stairs, there was one more room she had to check. As her hand reached for the doorknob of the parlour door, she realised that was the first room she should have looked in.

The door swung open and she stuck the candle inside. Not being able to see very far, she was forced to go into the hardly used room. Two sofas faced each other over a low circle table, the curtains were drawn at the windows and the fireplace was empty. There was nothing else in the room and no place for anyone to hide.

Faith walked out, shutting the door behind her. Frowning, she looked down the hallway again. She could hear her own hard breathing and slight wheeze caused by being in her corset and tight evening dress for too long. Her heart pumped in her ears, seemly too calm and normal for the current situation.

Perhaps though, she had been wrong? Faith puzzled, she had never had a good imagination thanks to her strict up bring and she believed everything had a logical explanation. However, the sound of the boots had been so real. She looked upstairs and wonder if it was possible the invader had sneaked up whilst she had been going through the other rooms.

Slowly climbing the stairs, Faith stopped at the top and looked first to the left then to the right. The layout was the same as below; three doors to the left and one to the right. Faith went to there first and opened the door on to a small room that was meant for the maid. The candle flickered violently and Faith paused to give it time to stop. The circle of light showed her a bed frame against the wall, a wardrobe and desk against the other, whilst a small square curtained window was in the wall opposite.

Stepping out and securing the door behind her. Faith looked into the other rooms. The first was her dressing room and wardrobe, which held a large table and mirror, an old oak wardrobe and a number of trunks and boxes. The second room was her library and study which was still being unpacked, whilst the third was her bedroom. All the rooms were empty.

Faith sighed deeply and closed her bedroom door behind her. She lent against it then moved to light the other candles that were dotted around. The once dark room quickly became bright and she felt safer. Placing the originally candle by her bedside, Faith began the difficult task of undressing herself. Luckily she had had a lot of practice of the years, but it still took awhile.

Finally standing in her under things with her abandoned other clothes on the floor, she blew out all but one candle and climbed into bed, too tried to put the night dress on. Pulling the blankets up, she put her head on the pillow and felt sleep stealing over her.

The sound of a man’s boot steps in the hallway again made her shoot up right. Faith froze, clutching the blanks to her chest and listening hard. The steps were steady and seemed to be making their way to the front door. She counted, trying to remember how many steps the hallway was. The noise went on long past her counting.

‘What should I do?’ Faith muttered, ‘perhaps, I should just lock the door and stay in here. If it’s a thief there’s not much he can take anyway.’

Faith pulled the blankets back and got out of the bed. As quietly and quickly as she could she crossed the rug covered floor and locked the bedroom door. For a few moments she listened there, but all she could hear were the boots which she decided were now pacing the hallway.

‘Oh odd!’ she cried under her breath, ‘maybe, he’s waiting for me to come down again? I shall not fall for any tricks!’

Faith got back into bed and sat there listening to the footsteps until sleep claimed her.

To Be Continued…

 (Inspired by https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/34771988/posts/1062669023)

Remember

Christmas, Advent, Christmas Flower Arrangement, Candle

The smell of the candle reminded him of Christmas. Tears came to his eyes and he let them fall silently.

Trust (Part 42)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern didn’t remember how she got back up all those stairs and into the bed that had been given to her. Dimly, she was aware of Raphael stating how tried she must be and how she should rest. Putting her head on the pillow, her heavy eyes shut and she listened to the blood pumping through her.

The sweet taste of it still clung to her lips. She sucked absent-mindedly, feeling like a contented baby. Red colours spiralled before her and she thought she could fall forever downwards through them. Something at the back of her mind was tugging at her. A small voice telling her to stay awake and through everything, she thought she heard other voices.

The sleep was too heavy to fight off and she let go, disappearing into a maze of red. She was traveling, flying freely it felt like, over brown and green land. She passed dots of places and long snake roads. Then there was nothing but yellow and blue underneath her, the colours washed together like accidently mixed clothes. She thought she recognized the place spreading out below her. She drifted downwards and landed on a pier with the sea roaring around it.

Fern looked around and tried to remember where this memory had come from. The pier was empty, just a stretch of old wooden boards trying to survive the waves. She could see the beach, running like a ribbon on either side and above that a low rocky wall. Beyond that there seemed to be nothing.

She walked back along the pier, noticing how empty everything seemed and that the only sound was the ocean. The water was sloshing against the pier legs and rasping over the beach so loudly, that she convinced herself it was blocking all other sounds out. Fern got to the end and stopped at the wooden steps lending down and away.

She looked over the railing to her left and saw a shape coming out of the sand. She paused and watched the black figure coming towards her. Strangely, she knew there was no reason to be scared. She knew that person. Stepping off the pier, she went to meet him on the beach, feeling pulled like a kite on a string.

Fern came to a stop and took Dacian in. He looked just like the last time she’d seen him; tall, dark haired, worry etched onto his face. She ran to him and threw her arms around him. He held her as she broke down into tears. She felt him touch her cheeks and kiss her head. He smelt like the sea and the beach or maybe that just was the salty air?

I should tell him, Fern thought, but no words would come out of her mouth. She was left looking into his confused face and feeling the lingering touch of his fingers. Then the beach was tumbling away, a sandstorm whipping up around them and blowing them apart. Fern felt herself flung into the air, colours crazily flashing by.

Her eyes snapped open and her new room came sharply into focus. Sitting up slowly, she put a hand to the side of her head and looked around. She was alone, but in the distance where whispering voices and the sounds of the storm outside. Fern pulled the blanket away and slipped out of the bed. She crossed the bare floor and went to the door. Turning the handle, it opened.

She peered out then sidestepped to Ollie’s door and knocked gently on it. She listened to a soft growling sound and a book being set aside, before footsteps sounded. The door opened slightly then wider and Ollie stared at her.

‘I just had this weird dream,’ Fern whispered.

Ollie poked his head out and looked down the hallway to the stairs. He grabbed her hand and tugged her inside. Shutting the door again, he led her to his bed and they both sat down.

‘Keep your voice down,’ Ollie uttered, ‘everyone has good hearing here.’

Fern nodded.

‘I told you not to drink the blood. Having dreams and seeing things is a side effect of it.’

‘I couldn’t help it,’ Fern hissed back.

‘There’s something in it which is addictive. You mustn’t have any more or else…’

‘They’ll take over my mind?’

‘Or worse.’

Fern frowned and looked at him. They were still holding hands.

‘When I first arrived there was another new vampire here. I thought…well, I don’t know, that he was crazy and his lust of blood was just part of that. He was wild, like some kind of caged beast,’ Ollie explained, ‘a few months later, he just vanished. I asked and asked, but no one would tell me anything.’

‘What do you think happened?’ Fern questioned.

‘They killed him. They couldn’t tame the vampire within him and the controlling blood was making him worse.’

‘We won’t end up like that,’ Fern put in.

‘Who knows what we’ll end up like! We have to get out of here. It’s just bad to the core,’ Ollie snapped, ‘on the surface they try to play happy families, but underneath they fight for control and to impress the Princess. They’re all corrupt and this whole idea of being perfect vampires is just implausible.’

‘How do we get out then?’ Fern asked gently.

‘We’ll have to plan it just right, but leave that to me. Hush.’

Ollie squeezed her hand and they both listened to footsteps and voices going past the attic stairs. A door opened and closed, cutting off a rushed giggle.

‘Go back to your room,’ Ollie breathed into her ear, ‘we’ll take again soon enough.’

Trust (Part 41)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Fern stared into the large crystal goblet that Raphael had just handed her. The dark ruby liquid was speckled with tiny flicks of dark green. She sniffed gently and smelt warm blood mingled something herby. She weighted the goblet in her hand, noticing how heavy and thick it was. Feeling Raphael’s sharp eyes resting on her, she raised the drink and wet her lips with it.

‘You should find it very refreshing,’ Raphael purred.

Fern lowered the goblet and pressed her lips together. On the tip of her tongue she could taste the blood and something grew inside of her, beckoning for more. She looked at Raphael, who’s lips were twisted up in the corners in a strange smile as if he was hiding a secret. He was holding a small golden goblet loosely and seemed transfixed on watching her.

Then Fern’s eyes glanced at Ollie. He was standing still, a matching crystal goblet clutched in his hand, staring at her. His face was calm, but underneath, Fern could tell he was pleading with her. Finally, he glanced down and took a sip of the liquid. He swallowed and looked around the library.

‘What do you think?’ Raphael asked.

‘It’s nice,’ Fern replied carefully.

‘Beside we should sit down? Most of the others should be returning shortly and I’d like you to meet them.’

Fern glanced at the arrangement of furniture then walked over to a large deep sofa close by. She peached on the edge and took another pretend sip of her drink. Her lips and tongue tingled at the touch of silky warmth whilst her stomach let out a little growl. She avoided looking down into the swirling liquid and willed herself to be strong.

Perhaps, Ollie is wrong? the vampire voice whispered in the back of her mind.

She peeked at him as he came over and joined her, sitting on the opposite side of the sofa and leaving an empty space between them. He stole a look at her, before turning his head away and allowing his hair to fall over his face. He balanced his goblet on the arm of the sofa and fell silent.

Why would he lie to me though? Fern questioned, we’ve only just met, what’s he got to gain or lose?

Who knows. Drink the blood, the voice hissed back at her.

The sound of Raphael sitting down in an old Victorian broad leather arm chair opposite them drew her attention. Fern looked at him and watched him take a few sips from the golden goblet. She could smell it was different to what she and Ollie had in their glasses.

‘Why are you not drinking the same as us?’ she asked.

Raphael smiled over at her, ‘because every vampire has their favourite blood. You shall see in time.’

‘What’s in this?’

‘Hasn’t she got such an inquisitive mind?’ Raphael cried, looking at Ollie, who gave him a hard stare back. ‘It’s nothing to worry about. Just some dried herbs and honey. It makes the blood richer and helps to relax you.’

‘I thought we couldn’t…we can only have blood…’ Fern trailed off.

‘There are ways to do things and we are lucky to have a scientist in the family. He has perfected throughout the years combinations of ingredients that have been found to benefit us greatly. You shall get to meet him later, no doubt.’

‘Sounds interesting,’ Fern responded and took a sip of the blood.

Raphael nodded then turned to Ollie, ‘what are you brooding about?’

Ollie shook his head and took a drink, remaining silent.

‘You are no longer the baby now. You should be grateful,’ Raphael continued.

Fern looked up at Ollie shyly, biting back the words that were dancing on her tongue. She wrapped her fingers around her goblet and felt the tension rising in the room.

‘I am grateful,’ Ollie snapped as he stood up swiftly, ‘I don’t have time for this.’

He swept in-between them, crossing the library in a few steps and flinging open the door. Fern listened to his footfalls outside in the corridor then as they raced up two flights of stairs. A female voice seemed to call out his name in the distance before being sharply cut off by the slamming of a door.

‘And here’s me thinking you would get on…’ Raphael uttered.

‘Beside, he just needs sometime? It must be difficult having someone new show up,’ Fern spoke into her goblet.

Her eyes had fallen on the ruby blood and she couldn’t seem to focus on anything else. The scent was so over powering and she felt…so hungry.

‘Perhaps,’ Raphael whispered, ‘drink up.’

Fern nodded and brought the goblet to her lips. Opening her mouth she drank deeply.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 40)

Candle, Meditation, Hand, Keep, Heat, Confidence, Rest

Brook wiped blood from his lips and looked out at the rolling storm coming over the countryside. He nursed the green bottle in his hands and pressed the side of his face against his bedroom window. He shut his eyes, focusing on the sound of the rain and somewhere far in the distance the dimming signal of his blood mixed with Fern’s.

He concentrated and followed the red line that bonded them together. In his mind’s eye he flew over patchworks of farmland, stark trees, houses and other buildings. He realised, he was following the road back the way the taxi had first brought them. Then miles away, he spotted a half-hidden turn off and jutting out from the tops of the trees were roof tiles.

His eyes snapped open, his head banging gently against the window. She was there. Wherever that house was, she was there and with other vampires. Brook looked down at the bottle and took another sip from the dusty mouth. He winced, but swallowed anyway because he had no other choice then to drink the old blood.

He put the bottle between his legs and looked out again. He had pulled a chair to the window and only the flicking light of the black liquorice scented candled filled the room. He opened the window, latching it and allowing the wind to drive the rain inside. He smelt the air, but couldn’t catch any more of Fern’s scent. Instead came the smell of farm animals, wet earth and turning autumn trees.

‘I’m not going after her,’ he muttered to the wind, ‘she made her choice.’

Brook trailed his fingers up and down the neck of the bottle. The wind howled in response and splatted some rain on his clean jeans. He shook his head and took a mouthful of cold blood. It was her choice, he repeated.

Swallowing, he shut the window and the curtains. Getting up, he put the CD player on and looked through the stacked CDs. Nothing interested him, so he choice an old Iron Maiden album and stuck that on. As the soft notes cascaded upwards, he grabbed his cigs. Juggling the bottle and his lighter he lit up and sank into his bed.

Blowing the first mouthful of smoke out, he looked up at the ceiling. Once he remembered there’s been posters and photos up there. He shut his eyes and thought about the eighties rock bands he liked. Then the faces of family and friends, joining those bands and staring back at him.

He swirled the bottle and thought about all those nights when as a lonely teenage he’d get drunk. How many times had his parents and the staff caught him stealing or throwing up? He took a drink then other, talking himself into believing it was wine or whisky. He dragged on the cig and shut his eyes. He let himself drifted back and for a few moments he could hear the distant voices of his parents.

What where they saying? Was it about his behaviour again? About his going off with Rose the cleaner’s daughter? The rumour of this ‘lurking’ male friend of his?

He shook his head, toasted the dead and finished the bottle off. Blood gathered at the corners of his mouth and dripped down. He didn’t bother to wipe it away this time. He placed the bottle on the bedside table, feeling the sway of the blood and the music in his veins. He flicked ash and took two long breaths to finish the cig off.

‘Fuck you, Fern,’ he hissed.

He stubbed the cig out and flung himself across his bed.

‘I knew I couldn’t trust you. That Daican probably got you…yeah, he had eyes for you the second he saw you….why did I even bother?’ he muttered.

Rolling over, he looked at the blank wall next to his bed. Something had been scratched into the wall and he reached over and traced it with his finger. Seconds later, he completed the heart shape and moved to touch the two letters that had once been at the centre.

To Be Continued…