Symphony of Snow


Chapter 1

It is snowing again, it seems to be always snowing here. I can barely remember a time where it doesn't snow like this. The heavy dark clouds hang above my head, not giving anyone a sight of that precious sun. I miss seeing the Sun, I could really use some sunlight now. My skin has turned pale like the rest of people here, pale as the snow that has piled up in this town. The church bell rang for noon and the snow has already covered not only most of the town in thick layers. I doubt anyone is treading in this weather. The wind roared past my window, making them shake violently. There was no way that anyone would be able to cross the mountains now, this was the only town within these colossal mountains. Anyone who wishes to cross the mountains would need to cross this town, those who usually come to this town are the travellers and the merchants heading to the East. They come through the West end of the town and usually set up for a few days before moving on towards the other side of the mountains. However, ever since this storm covered this town so many years ago, they've become rare, to the point that we are lucky to have one single person crossing the gates every few months. Somehow, we are able to just get by from what they sell. They are afraid too, like the inhabitants of this town, of what dwells to the North of this town. Sitting silently in its white kingdom of serenity was a vampire. Its castle looming of death, the path towards it has long since been sealed off by a cemetery. If those who pass through do not know, we usually warn them and mentioning it just once is able to scare most of them off from their curiousities, which is good, there has always been an unspoken rule that we don't try to add more people to the victim list if possible. There is an old map of the castle which showed that within those solemn gothic walls with stone gargoyles and buttresses was a church with stained windows and a statue of Mother Mary. I often wonder if that church has been taken down yet or is it abandoned standing there silently inside those walls echoing with evil whispears. Even now these whispears are surrounding the town as they whispeared and moaned, even inside my room, the fire and candles waved and faltered as if moved by those spirits.

I came across this village a few years ago when I heard that there was a vampire in town, as a self-proclaimed vampire-hunter I decided that it was best to stake out and take out this vampire. What I did not expect, however, was this storm. This storm started like any other storm during one of the worst winters here in this village or so I was told. At first it was days, then it became weeks and then months. It would not let up, there was constant darkness and blizzards. During that time, I was half expecting the vampire to come down here and massacre everyone in typical vampire fashion. However, out of I think everyone's expectations, there was neither an increase nor decrease in the number missing people incidents. I, myself, who tried to stalk the vampire's action could not tell you if there were any increase in its actions either. This was not like any other vampires I have ever encountered. Most of them would leave a bloody trace of death behind them, horrofic scenes and tales of villages, towns and even cities to be cleaned out overnight. Left with only bones and blood everywhere, I have come to witness several of these. There would never be any survivors left to tell the tale, no one would know what happened before the fateful ngiht. But a storm such as this would definitely be on my list of estimations of what could trigger such an event. Only they can move and see in those conditions, after all they have super human sense, strength and everything else. There was no doubt in my mind that any run of mill vampire could finish a village such as this overnight and even I would be powerless to stop it. I might be able to put up a fight with some vampires thanks to the progress in human technology, but on a night like that, all I can do is blindly charge into my death. So there I stayed, holed up in my room, waiting for a better chance to challenge this vampire. But such an occassion never came about. For some reason, he would be able to escape my sights everytime I was able to catch the slightest glimpse of it. I sometimes wonder if it is an illusion or a spirit of this village from a long time ago. Or perhaps a residue of a vampire that have already been defeated. Either case, I have to get to the bottom of this incident even though I have made no promises to the village folks. To them, I am just a mere traveller that have been caught up in the storm and ended up becoming one of them. I am the friendly craftsman that sells toys and crafts to the village children and folks, to them, at least and nothing more. It's a position I enjoy, if my identity had been found out, they would probably accuse me of being worthless or useless against the vampire perhaps even accusing me of bringing this horrific storm upon them by incurring the wrath of the vampire. Either case, I would rather not have them worrying about my true identity, rather worry more about the storm and the vampire. I still have my suspicions that the storm is somehow connected to the vampire, but how exactly and why isn't it using this storm to its advantage is quite curious. Through the years, I have been reading all the materials available in the Church's library, despite my research, there seems to be still a lack of reason for this. I still cannot connect the dots, perhaps I have become too accustomed to this fate that this village has come under that I myself have accepted it as well. Looking at my messy room, filled with papers and research that I have done this far, along with my weapons, I cannot believe that I have come this far without as much as put a single scratch on that vampire much less coming anywhere close to killing it. I must kill it or at least put a scratch on that vampire and for that I think it is time for me to go on a journey again to find the cause of this storm and put an end to this strange storm that which is probably giving vampire unimaginable powers to stay hidden forever.

"Father" I said, sitting in a confession box "I have sinned, but I have come to ask for advice. I have half-decided on my next step, but I want to come for advice once before heading towards it."

"How have you sinned my Son?" the priest asked back, from the other side

"I have a confession, I am not just any craftsman, I am also a vampire hunter. For the many years that I have come here, I have barely been able to do anything to that vampire. I feel like I have sinned for I could have done more. I have thus decided that I must go on a journey to end this storm and take away this power that this vampire has now. It is distracting me from being able to kill it. Maybe it is not even a true storm, but a delusion that have clouded my mind. I must overcome it somehow and come back to have my fight against the vampire that which looms over this town."

"My son, that is no sin. You're not powerless. Our powers comes from our own faith in ourselves. Believing in our ability to do what is right and you have clearly shown that you want to do the right thing. God will forgive you for your inability to defeat the vampire thus far, perhaps it is His challenge to you to overcome your present self. Either way, I support you as well as God. My son, if you are really thinking about going on that journey, then I shall come with too. To be honest, I have not been to the Vatican City like I should have been for the past few years myself. Everytime I think it is time for me to leave this town on the trip towards the Vatican City to report the vampire, the storm scares me and stops me in my tracks. Allow me to come with you."

I looked at the priest whose face was covered by the shadows of the confession box, he looked somewhat aged and seems to be looking down at something perhaps a Bible. "Father" I replied, "We might be our way to our salvation then, in that case, I think it is best that we both get started as soon as possible. I think we just might be able to redeem ourselves after all."

"Meet me back here tonight, we'll be travelling then. I don't want to alert anyone. I am the head priest here, someone will take my place. But I don't want anyone to think that we are abandoning them. We want to make them believe in us too."

"In the name of the Father and the spirit, may God guide us then Father" I said, pushing open the confession box and walking out into the main chapel. It wasn't a very big church, in the middle was a statue of Jesus. Behind him, three stained glass windows depicting his deciples stood, gleaming despite the lack of light. There were two confession boxes and an alter, then a couple rows seating, divded into sections by columns, each with a candle. The middle was a red carpet, running till the alter. It was rather empty and seemed somewhat deserted and desolated, despite it was in the afternoon where it was the only time when people can go out in this storm. As I exited the church, I caught a glimpse of the head priest, heading behind the alter and down what seemed to be a hidden entrance to an underground cellar. I did not think too much of it, several of smaller churches would have an underground place for the head priest to study, there was also a passage the connected the library in the annex of the church to the underground rooms too.

That night, I came back to the church to see the head priest put out the last lights from the church. It was a part of his daily routine, but it would probably his late doing so for a very long time. As for me, it was a final look at the menacing castle overlooking this village, so silent and mysterious even in the darkness. For a moment, a single ray of moonlight broke out from beyond the clouds to bask the castle in its silverly blue light, it seemed almost like an illusion too so ghostly and out of place amongst the village. In fact, in this light, there was almost a certain beauty to this castle of destruction, I could almost hear a soft voice singing from the towers and the spires echoing through the empty corridors carried afar by the winds of this storm past the mountains that we are about to pass, to a place far away. Having said our own farewells to this village in our own fashion, we head off into the mountains under the cover of the darkness.