By Sebastian Newcastle

The pale moonlight shone down on the great city of London on a warm summer evening. The warm and comforting embrace of the gentle wind met me as I exited the old run-down building. The sky was midnight blue and there was not a cloud in sight. A million gold stars shone down London like a beacon from God. I finished buttoning my tweed shirt as walked out the door. She followed me to the door. Her name I remember not, but she was like a work of art, with a body to rival any goddess, dark brown eyes and, her lipstick smeared across her face and her magnificent auburn hair ruffled. She was pressed her hands down on her wrinkled dress, but it was no use. As we walked to the end of the street, I turned to her and presented a bundle of bills. She licked her smeared lips and tossed me a wink as she started down the opposite path, no doubt back to her cash carrier. I started toward my home, down the street of Handbury.

I tried to think of an excuse for my wife as I walked down London's dark barren streets. My footsteps echoed on the stone tile. The lamp-post illuminated patches of shadows; a tabby black cat scampered down the alley, green eyes glinting in the moonlight. The familiar smell of fresh bread from the local bakery was surprisingly absent. Instead the horrid smell of decay met my nostrils. I covered my nose with my handkerchief and quickened my pace. A gregor sat huddled in the corner. As I approached, he shrank back into the darkness, shrieking "Devil! Heathen! Get back! Get back!" When I held out my hands and tried to inquire his meaning, he continued to shriek and flail in terror. "Oh, Dear God, cleanse this filth, before his sins spreads throughout my fair city!" I decided it would be for the best to let him be, and continued on my way. I was slightly miffed that any beggar would have the audacity to call a working man filth, but heaven knows what transpires in the head of a mad man.

As I walked towards my home, I felt an eerie sensation prickle over my skin, as if someone's eyes were on me. The local chapel came into view; the gothic building was that of kings of old. The gargoyles leered down at me, as if they knew the judy I was with. The reverend stood at the iron fence, a bible clenched to his breast. When I passed him, he waved his hand and spoke in the voice of reassurance. "The angel of death will descend upon Great Britain and cleanse her of the sinful and unclean!" I almost halted there in my step. Could he know? Did he somehow know of my sins? No... that was impossible. The eery feel of the night was getting inside my head, yes that had to be it. I simply must return home and clear my thoughts. It was then I realised with a start, that I no longer knew where in London I was. Had I taken a wrong turn somewhere? No, Impossible! I had taken the same route home for the last seven years. Yet how was it that I was somewhere I did not belong? Was there devil's work here?

Then, the warm summer breeze turned frigid. A sense of dread washed over my heart; but why? It was warm just moments ago! Why was the wind suddenly like daggers of cold? Why was I afraid? What was going on? The smell! The same smell of decay had not left me since I had left her home, but now it was as strong as ever. It pressing against me like a snake constricting it's prey That feeling of overwhelming terror came over me again. I couldn't breath; I needed fresh air! I could stand it no more. I turned and ran down the nearest alley.

The cold wind pressed against my neck and the smell of death leaving me at last, so I increased my pace. I rounded the corner, and a scene of nightmares met my eyes. Someone was laying on the ground, in a bloody mess. My heart skipped a beat. It was her. The women I had been with tonight. Odd, she seemed cleaner and more beautiful since she had left the house. Her body lay on the ground like a broken doll her neck had been violently torn open. Several cuts gushed blood onto the stone tile, like a waterfall of red. But even more terrifying, was the creature looming over her. A creature of such darkness that the shadows around it were as pure as snow. A gloved tallon reached down into the hole he had just created. It felt around in the woman's body and pulled. Her uterus left her body in a torrent of crimson. Then the creature turned to me.

Its fangs could rival that of Dracula himself. Its eyes. My god its eyes could make Satan himself quail in fear. It held its bloody dagger like brush of red paint. The murderous devil stood and we regarded each other. Fear coil around me like a serpent, getting tighter and tighter. Then it moved with such grace, like a dancer preparing to spring. The shadows parted like the red sea, and before I knew it the angel of death was bearing down upon me. I could see my reflection in its black eyes. It still held the woman's entrails in its fist. Its paintbrush of death raise high over its head ready to create its next masterpiece. Its lips moved, and a sound like a kitten's purr echoed dully in my ear.

"Sinners of lust, stained dark and red"

"Whose fate hangs from a golden thread."

"Penance to wit must be paid"

"Through the cold steel of my blade."