Helena Swan

The last twinkling star disappeared from the deep blue sky as the sunlight banished the night and stole the cloudless sky once again. Birds chirped and sang in a chorus of twittering as the dawn chased away the creatures of the night and forced them to take refuge from the light of day.

Along the river bank a small black carriage trundled along the dusty track, towed by two muscular, healthy black horses with glossy coats. The driver sat above the carriage door, tugging on the reins and urging the tired horses onwards as the carriage bounced and bumped. The driver didn't take any care to drive safely; he had been given direct orders to get home as quickly as was possible.

Inside the carriage an unshaven man slept silently, regardless of the rattling and banging. He was tall and thin, his hands like large pale spiders and his skin the colour of milk. The light brown hair, which contrasted starkly with the black of the leather seats, was in need of a cut. The expensive suit that had once been spotless was now splattered with mud and droplets of bright red blood while his fine black boots were caked in dry muck. But William Swan wasn't concerned with such trivial things as his presentation. He had much more exciting things to dream about.

Above him was what would change his world…forever. In the roomy luggage rack directly above his head was stowed a heavy black coffin, which wasn't empty. Inside there was something that was sleeping, waiting for the night when it could rise and finally do as it wished, away from all the barriers that were used to keep it contained.

When the night came…