My eyes flutter open, the blanket of darkness within my crypt no match for the black void of my soulless sight. I find myself lying on my stomach, something completely odd, and resting my head upon a satin covered pillow that could only have been brought in by Christienne. Slowly I gather my thoughts and re-infuse my mental connections, feeling the familiar chatter within my mind of those I link with. Eventually, after talking myself out of another decade of torpor, I roll upon my back and lift my hands up to the lid of the crypt. The cold of the stone is warm compared to the icy grip of my fingers. Gathering my strength I begin to push against the lid when suddenly an eerie chill runs down my spine. Small, but an occurrence that is once again odd enough to grasp my full attention. I am Death. I don't get chills. Something isn't right.

I continue to pause, my hands remaining against the hard stone as I consider the cause of the chill and focus my thoughts onto my surroundings. Closing my eyes I concentrate and take note of the activities around me, both natural and supernatural. The usual smell and taste of the damp stale air of the crypt hits my senses stronger than usual, and with it comes a hint of something more, something sinister. The earthworms beneath me burrow with the power of an earthquake that I can feel and hear just as well as I can hear the timeless cracking of the stone that encases me. Again a chill shivers down my spine, peaking my interest and senses further until I catch a fleeting coldness- . . . I'm not alone!

Slowly I turn my head and gaze toward the direction that I caught the sense of cold. As my eyes focus, I notice there is a large lump beneath the comforter beside me, with a tuft of black hair emerging from the top. My lips curl into a slight smile as I realize that I have spent the day with Morrigan. I finally lower a hand from the lid, reaching over to place it upon Morrigan's shoulder, quite surprised that she still slumbers so late in the evening when another chill rips down my spine. With that chill comes a dawning revelation that I cannot understand, for somehow, I now knew that it was not Morrigan under that blanket. An emotion that I cannot understand now begins to tighten in my stomach, and I suddenly find myself studying my own lack of self control and the mystery of the haired lump under the blanket.

Fighting the growing discomfort in my shriveled stomach, I finally reach forward with my hand and settle it upon the lump beside me, on what I assume is her shoulder. I say her, because of the large amount of stringy and tangled black hair, but one never knows. Nothing happens when my hand rests upon the assumed shoulder, and I can even suppose that I feel bone beneath the quilted fabric. There is no movement, no sound... nothing. A strange taste falls upon my tongue caused by the welling emotion in my stomach and at the same time I notice there is a strange shaking of my outstretched hand. Something really isn't right. I think... I'm frightened.

That is something I cannot allow, and with a still trembling hand I force myself to take hold of the comforter that covers the lump. Slowly I pull it down, revealing at first nothing more than a seemingly endless sea of matted and tangled black hair, then white clothing that appears to be robe- like. I do not recognize this person, or corpse as it may be, but something crawls over my skin, telling me that I do. My mind frantically tries to remember the previous night. I've slept with many a corpse, but never forgotten it the next night. Needing more clues as to the identity of this body, I look upon its position and realize that its face must be toward me, a realization that comes with another spine tingling chill.

Taking an unneeded breath, I begin to separate the hair covering where this girl's face must be. It's difficult work considering the mass of tangles that are knotted throughout her hair, but eventually I start to see a pale color beyond the black pitch. Moving a few more strands I become starkly aware that the paleness is her eyelid, and as I lean slightly closer to get a better look, it snaps open revealing an eye covered in a dingy gray film. And as it snaps, a flood of revelations fill my body and mind, overloading me with sensations and knowledge that brings me to an almost catatonic state. Time seems to slow as I watch her push up to her elbows, her one uncovered eye glaring with menace and malice, and it is then that I begin to piece the flooded information into a complete picture. They are not memories, but something worse... far worse. In my mind I relive an experience I cannot even remember. She was here... last night. In my crypt and ... touching me. On top of me. Fucking me. Goddess, she's so cold. I can feel piercing cold gripping my bones as I see images of her atop of me, riding me. She leans down and I actually... kiss her. I can feel her lips threatening to tear from her skull as I suck upon them.

The images flee from my mind as once more I focus my eyes upon her, now leaning upright on her hands, and while I cannot see her face.... I know she's smiling. The absolute horror of the last several hours holds me frozen where I lay, wide eyed, and shivering uncontrollably in what I now know to be absolute and utter fear. I can only manage a sharp intake of air when she lifts a hand off the bed, and a scream shatters my mind as my eyes watch that pale decayed hand lunge toward me.....

And I wake. I am on my back, surrounded by darkness, and alone except for the tattered bones of Isabelle. Everything is normal, and right. Except that I am covered in a thin sweat-sheen of vitae, but shivering so badly from the cold that my ancient bones rattle.


Lilin Hierophant

Prince of Amsterdam