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The Storyteller

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"Horror and Fatality have been stalking abroad in all ages." --Edgar Allan Poe


The storyteller finished his mug of ale, then sat down to look at the small audience in front of him. He began to speak softly, ensuring that everyone was listening closely, "Before I begin my tale I must warn you. This story is entirely true, down to the last drop of blood." The audience remained silent, yearning to hear the tale. "It was long, long ago," he looked outside to the rain pattering against the window and the lightning in the distance, thunder shook the framework of the old inn they were seated in, "on a night much like this, in fact. Indeed, this story begins in an old inn, much like this one. A farmer and his family were traveling to his brother's house, to celebrate the brother's marriage. The farmer had a wife and three children. Now, the weary group had been traveling all day and most of the night, so when they found an inn they eagerly went inside to rest and warm up. They went inside and the inn was bustling with merriment and excitement. There was a storyteller talking to a small group of people, some men drinking at the bar, all in all it was your average inn.
"Now, this farmer, his name was Samuel, was rather good at memorizing faces. He glanced over the features of everyone in the inn and went to go rent a room for the night. After doing so he carried his family's possessions to their room. When he returned to the common room he couldn't see a thing. The fire had been doused and all other light sources put out. He went back upstairs to his room and grabbed a torch from the sconce on the wall so he could see, then headed back downstairs.
"Again, he was surprised by what he saw. The inn was once again full of life, the fire was crackling warmly, and his family was listening to the storyteller. He returned the torch and went downstairs again. Just before he reached the stairwell, a stranger walked up behind him and struck him on the head with a club, sending him plummeting into unconsciousness.
"He awoke hours later. He had rolled down the stairwell and was lying on his back in a pool of blood. He got up and felt the back of his head, where he had been hit. It was bleeding, though not badly. He looked to the rest of the common room. The fire was dying, there was no more merry conversation. There was also blood everywhere. On the tables, the walls, the floor. Bodies too. The inn's customers had been slashed, stabbed, and bludgeoned to death, every last one of them. There were, however, five bodies that he could not find. His wife and three children were nowhere to be found. The storyteller was the fifth missing body.
"The farmer examined the corpses more closely and found that they all had one similar wound: two small puncture marks on the side of their necks. He knew of only one creature or weapon that would leave such a mark. These people had been killed by vampires. The vampire must have used some dark magic to darken the inn and then return it to life. Foul beast. Samuel looked for something to use as a weapon. He soon found a broken table leg that had a reasonably sharp point. He supposed it would have to work a a stake, for he had nothing better.
"The farmer ran out the back of the inn, yelling, 'Where are you, you unholy monster?!" in a vain attempt to get the vampire to reveal itself. He ran down the alley looking for the beast, torch in one hand, stake in the other. As he neared the end of the alley he tripped over something, dropping both his stake and torch. He picked himself up and retrieved his torch. When he looked at the obstacle that had tripped him he dropped to his knees and sobbed. There were two bodies on the ground in front of him: his seven year old son and eight year old daughter. 'Why? Why God?' he yelled. He stood up and searched for the vampire with a new vigor.
"He reached the end of the alley and found yet another corpse. His wife was dead, drained of blood, with two punctures on her neck. There was a trickle of blood running down her cheek. He assumed that the brave woman had tried to fight back, and now that he looked closer and saw blood on her hands, she might have even landed a few blows herself. He heard a soft 'thud' behind him and turned around. The body of his youngest child, a boy of a mere four years, had fallen from a nearby rooftop and landed behind him. He had those cursed punctures on his neck.
"Now the vampire, almost done with its torture of the farmer, came out of hiding. His face now wore a demonic visage, snow white with a pinkish web beneath his skin. Even through his horrid countenance, the vampire was recognizable. The storyteller. His eyes were a glassy red color and his fangs already doused with blood. 'Why?' the farmer asked as he readied his stake, 'Why me?' The vampire smiled and answered, 'I was hungry.'
"In a blind rage, Samuel ran at the monster, stake poised to strike. The creature nimbly sidestepped and pushed the farmer to the ground. He got up, only to be picked up by the blood sucker and thrown to the far end of the alley, next to the corpse of his wife. Again he stood, but this time he was ready for the vampire to strike at him. He dodged the monster's clawed hand and drove his stake into creature's chest. The nocturnal horror crumpled, and in his victory the farmer broke into sobs, for his beloved family was dead. Then he felt a powerful, clawed hand grip his shoulder. He ripped his stake out of the storyteller and faced this new attacker. He gasped and nearly dropped his stake when he saw the human recognizable through this twisted demon's face: his dear wife. The storyteller, the stake having missed his heart and merely pierced a lung, not fatal but enough to temporarily immobilize him, got up grinning. 'Earlier, my friend, you asked me why I killed your family. I killed your children because I was hungry. I made your wife one of us because I was lonely.' the monster laid his hand gently on the cheek of the female vampire, who now had disarmed the farmer and pinned his arms. 'A fine choice for your first meal, don't you think, my love?' She nodded hungrily, opening her mouth to an unnatural width and positioning her fangs as to release the most blood.
"A few moments later came the grisly demise of Samuel Hunter." At that moment a group of five walked in through the door. The man went to rent a room for the night. After succeeding in that he took his family's bags up to the room. The story teller looked with interest at the wife and three children. Suddenly, his eyes looked as though they were red glass and there were gasps and screams people saw the pale pink web that was showing through his now snow white skin. For the inhabitants of this inn, it was too late.





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