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A Princess Of Zamarra
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Rise Of The Night Creatures

by Tammy Badowski

Montage including werewolf
Little Finny had one eye dangling by a thread, but he was the most beloved creature to a five year old boy. The toddler would play with his teddy bear in the nursery and talk to it and they had some good conversations. This little boy had no friends, so he spent most of his time indoors. He ran about the manor, played hide, and seek with his older sisters. One night, he heard his father screaming and went to check on the commotion. The boy ran into the hallway, peered over the balcony that overlooked the indoor pool and watched his father attack mother. He brought down an axe and wedged it deep into the top of her cranium, nearly splitting her head into two parts. She had some newfound strength enough to reach up and grab onto the handle of the axe, with great force he flung her hard towards the pool and as her body was sent reeling through the air the axe came free. As she struck the water in the pool there was a loud splash, and she didn't struggle to keep afloat, she sunk like a stone, all around her the water flooded with a scarlet hue.

The little boy watched until he could no longer see her.

Father growled and glanced up. He looked surprised at first, but then he lowered his eyebrows and became stern. "Go away, son. I'll be there in a minute to put you to bed." He ordered in a strict tone, and then walked away out of sight towards frantic screeches. He could hear his father laughing manically; he could hear the tooth of the axe's blade striking bone and eating through flesh. He could hear father's grunts as he struggled to pull the axe back out of its victim then strike again. He could hear blood splattering across the walls and floor. Then the screams stopped.

The little boy could only guess it was one of his sisters now being attacked. The toddler ran back to the nursery and slammed the door. In the shadow of a lit candle he hid by the crib until the noises stopped. Then there were those footsteps, arriving angrily, heavily, and eagerly. They stopped outside the door. The little boy brought his knees close to his chest and held dearly onto Finny, who didn't seem worried at all by all of this. The doorknob jiggled violently then halted. The moment felt like some ghost trying to get in or the ugly creature that hid in children's closets but only struck after bedtime. Then the door flung open and his father stepped in, his hair was dishevelled, he was soaked in sweat and painted in ruby wetness. His weapon was red with the family's blood and decorated in shards of skin.

"Where are you?" He whispered harshly and noticed his son on the floor. The tone that came next was almost welcoming. "Ah, there you are. It is time, so put your toy away and come here."

The little boy kissed his teddy, got to his feet so he could place it in the crib, and his father lifted the axe up high over his head...

Crimson Manor
You recall that night you decided to take a shortcut through the back alley at three in the morning when the street was dead of traffic. Being the bartender, you just left your job at the Stripper's Club and started for home. All night this lad with snowy white hair and teeth like a vampire was staring at you and smirking, he seemed rather suspicious and he constantly kept looking over his shoulder at you, you should've called the bouncers or the police right then and there but you decided against it. When you glanced over at his table again he had vanished, he didn't even drink the highball he ordered and left behind his burning cigarette in the glass ashtray.

In the back alley, a dark entity slammed into you and you thought either a mugger wanted your wallet or you were going to be murdered. Whatever it was it bit deep into your right forearm and drew blood. Your head slammed into the brick wall and you passed out for a couple of minutes. When you came to your wallet was still in your back pocket but now there was a nasty bite mark on your arm. Fearing for the worse you hailed down a cab and went to the nearest hospital. Once in the emergency they stitched you up, asked many questions and even get the police involved. You couldn't give much detail since it was dark and you couldn't remember the face of your assailant. What damage was done to your arm was indeed like a dog bite and the nurses were confused as to why you think a mugger would have attacked you like this. Do you have an enemy?

You know it was a human, you're not stupid. It was probably some deranged lunatic. Either way they sent you home and when you just went to bed only to wake up two hours later in a sweat and slight fever. A rotten odour emanating from your wound, you noticed that it has bled through the bandages. Taking off the dressing to examine the marks you notice that it has stopped bleeding, healed rather quickly, and although delicate to the touch hurts like hell. You get up, wash your face and notice your eyes are severely bloodshot and your fingernails grew an inch or so more since your nap.

You go back to work and that night you make your famous voodoo cocktails and shooters. When it's time to leave, you go back down that dark alley hoping to meet your attacker but there is no one. The bite marks are but a bruise now. That night your fever worsens and in your living room, you feel a pain in your gut that doesn't go away. You think of calling an ambulance but at that second your fingernails starts to grow longer and hair leaks out of your flesh. Hollering in pain for someone, anyone, to come to your rescue, all of your cries are in vain and nobody comes to help you. You fall to the floor, and a snout bursts through your mouth, ripping your face into two parts. Your blood spills all over the carpet and flesh explodes against the wall as the wolf inside you breaks free. That night, you transformed into a vicious creature of the twilight but you're so weak that you just lay on your side whimpering and shivering. You can't understand these new senses of sight, hearing and hunger you now own. In an hour, your body goes back to human form and you're left panting and freaked out by your experience. Taking a hot shower to cleanse all of the blood off, your skin feels like its on fire, and you do contemplate returning that phone call but don't bother. Sitting on the couch observing the bloody mess on the walls of your room helps you decipher the fact that your back alley attacker must have been a werewolf or something. The bite marks on your arm have healed and are now just scars. You feel stronger, your senses are finely tuned, and your urge to have sex is heightened. You're not sure when your next 'turn' will be but it's not something you cannot avoid now.

You're going to have to do something.

You know the local owner of Cauldron, Books & Devils and she brightens your day as you enter her shop. She knows you by name since you have come here to buy sage sticks or black candles for your dungeon. You're not Wiccan but you can be spiritual at times and believe in energies, demons, spirits and dark magick.

"What brings you here so early in the morn?" She says and you explain what happened to you and show her the scars. Her lips press together and her eyes show concern. "Have you 'turned' yet?" You nod strictly. She rummages through her shelves and then through a few boxes holding items which are not for sale. Her shop as you glance around is filled with an old wizard's eye candy: beeswax candles, incense sticks, quartz clusters, idols, handmade soaps, pendulums and Ouija boards.

She comes back to you empty handed, "I'm afraid I'm all out of Belladonna but if you go to the Crimson Manor just north and a few miles out of town the owner may have it."

"I don't want to bother him." You say. "I hear he's a little insane."

"Then I will phone first, hang onů" She rushes to where her cell sits and calls a number. She says Lycanthropy to whoever is on the other line and listens intently then hangs up. "He has one sprig left and says it will be not cheap to purchase but he will deliver it to me tomorrow."

"I can't wait that long."

"Then you will have to go up there yourself and get it."

"Weren't there hideous axe murders there? Isn't that place cursed or something? The previous owner hacked up his entire family!" You don't care too much for the Crimson Manor for you've heard rumours that it is filled with evil creatures and other unworldly things. Visitors are simply not welcome there. Things happen that aren't explained and even the police avoid that area.

"Yes, but the dead can't harm the living. I do hope you feel better after you eat the herb. Just go home and sleep it off."

You fall asleep for only a moment on the couch when you get back home and have nightmares about the Crimson Manor. Something demonic is calling you there. It had just sent its succubus to suckle you, to draw you in, to get you started and wanting more. Later that day, you decide to drive out north to the unspeakable house just as the sun is setting; you must turn right off the main highway and down a long dirt road cutting through a forest. There are potholes and bumps, this road is not maintained at all and soon the vaulted roof comes into view.

The old manor is two to three stories high with one turret, many dusty windows, and a worn sturdy wooden exterior. It looks like a mansion out of a horror flick and most likely very haunted given its horrible history. It has a Victorian theme and very handsomely detailed. All of the plant life is overgrown weeds and thorny bushes; you pull up to the circular driveway and get out of your car. Heavy drapes cover the windows on the main floor so you cannot see inside. The colossal porch looks lopsided like it's ready to collapse come the next heavy hailstorm. It is a massive home but has been left to rot; it must've been a beautiful sight when it was brand new: the gardens, the fountains, the driveway, the sparkling glass, vaulted windows, and grey wood.

The doorbell looks like some old buzzer from the turn of the century, since knocking brought no butler to the door you decide to just push the ringer. Unexpectedly the button explodes and black spiders scuttle out of the hole that now exists in the wall. Hundreds of black widows crawl up and down the wall in your direction. The front door opens by itself and you can see the giant foyer beyond. Quickly, before the spiders get you, you step off the porch and enter the house. The door swings closed behind you with a big bang.
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