The cold nipped at my flesh as the wind threw it at me full force. I walked huddled in a cloak, the branches of the leafless and lifeless trees around me, clawed at the air surrounding them. The moon, a deep blood red colour, turned the sky red and the clouds bloody when they ventured across its surface. The grass pricked the soles of my bare feet as I treaded silently through the night. I AM A NIGHT WALKER, HUNTING AND RELISHING IN THE NIGHT. Before me loomed the destination I dreaded reaching, the most feared structure in the land, the castle of shadows. It housed the most dangerous, dark person that ever walked the earth (day or night). I had been summoned by this very person... the queen of darkness, usually known to mostly as shade...
A wolf howled in the distance as I continued to the door, and a responding call came from much closer, I wasn’t afraid of the beasts, they were our kin of night had i nothing to be afraid of now but the shade. Though many have described her, no one has actually seen her spare a few and even they were very closed off elderly people who only saw her as a child.
It is a very rare occasion that one is summoned to her home and as in many horror novels go, no one who goes in is ever seen again. Well there was one exception that no longer counts, a mad man once claimed to have seen his brother riding a beautiful steed through the forest who Had been summoned many years before hand, he said that his brother looked healthy and like a true warrior. The man disappeared without a trace very soon after and he and his munched loved cat were never seen again.
I had reached the door of the castle and was about to knock when I notice the carvings adorning the ebony wood door. Engraved in vivid detail were all the animals you could bring to mind and more and in all stages of life: hunting prey, guarding cubs, running, jumping, sleeping, anything and on the outer border of the door were the legendary words of the shadowed one... every night walker knew them, no one ever forgot!! THOU WHO ENTER THE REALM OF SHADOWS COME AS THEY PLEASE AND LEAVE AS THEY PLEASE AND SHALL FOREVER HOLD A PIECE OF THIS WORLD.
At the centre of the door was the queens own symbol, the paw of a wolf, a picture of a sword held in its centre, around this were carvings of other symbols I hadn’t ever seen before, one was a fist clenching a ring of keys, another was of a horse, its mane and tail shown as feathers and wings sprouting from is back, the next was of a bow and arrow, a drip pooling on its tip and the last was of a snake wrapped around a branch of fern. Under each was a single word, acceptance, honour, courage, unity... this struck me as strange and compelling, a good sign id imagine, then my thoughts cleared and I remembered where I was, my blood cooled. I reached up a pale hand and took hold of the mighty knocker, the metal cool and smooth to touch. The sound resonated through the night as I released the knocker, once...twice. The door swung open on well oiled hinges and released a waft of warm fragrant air... it was nothing as I had expected. The front hall, though dark in furnishings and lined with eerie tapestries felt surprisingly welcoming, then I told myself, it was because we surround ourselves by the night, of course it would be a comfort, reminding myself, yet again where I was I looked around for the person who had opened the door and found him standing suddenly close just to my right. For some reason the sight of him twanged a memory but I lost it as he pointed to a staircase and directed me to another room in a raspy voice, giving my thanks I followed his finger to the stairs and began to ascend, passing a bedraggled cat as I went, 38 steps later and even more nervous I reached a landing and followed a short hall into what seemed to be a lounge area, complete with black bean bags embroidered with white bats and pod chairs in deep red, pictures of spiders adding a nice touch to the colour. I almost laughed at the sight of the teddy collection and lost it when I spotted the gumball machine beside the plasma screen TV and build in fish tank. A voice brought me up short and I turned to find the queen of darkness herself in front of me, I hastily dropped into the highest respect bow almost touching my nose to the stone floor as I did so... her laugh was laugh but not in an annoying way, it was a nice laugh genuine and smooth and the words that followed it confused me beyond belief “gosh, don’t be so dramatic, get off the floor and make yourself comfortable, I recommend the moca-chinoes, they are truly the nectar of the heart” I was so startled that I sat there wide eyed, mouth agape, unable to utter even the slightest sound. After copping a raised eyebrow and a snort I recovered myself somewhat and asked if I had the right address, of all things (mentally slapped own forehead). She laughed again and nodded then actually fell to the floor laughing and clutching her stomach, wiping away tears when I asked if she knew where I could find the her highness of darkness... when I finally accepted she was indeed that person, I noticed what she was wearing and started laughing so much that about five people had entered the room to help the lady off the floor before I could stop myself... I just could not believe my eyes. Here stood the undoubtedly most feared women of the world and her closest companions all in comical pj’s (fights back hysterical laughter) her highness wore a black shirt with what seemed to be a blue blob of jelly with eyes and a finger pointing outwards reading ‘you’ve been warned’ (and boxers that had little octopi on them that said ‘squeeze me’) the others wore similar with lines like ‘brining trash back’ and ‘death by chocolate, I shall die happy’ oh and also ‘I ate the last person who commented on my weight’ I quite literally fell into a pod chair and still stunned gratefully took the cup that was handed to me. I felt somewhat out of place in my dark cloths and cloak, but couldn’t refrain from saying the first thing that popped into mind... ‘you should have told me it was a pyjama party, I would have come prepared’ the other looked slightly stunned, as though they were unaware that laughing wasn’t the only sound I made, but shade was quick and came back with ‘oh this, no, you are mistaken, this is our sacrificial attire...’ I snorted and almost spat coffee when another girl (with chocolate saying) said ‘don’t worry I have a pair to spare, if you can handle wearing pink’ (yup I spat the coffee, carefully avoiding contact with all but the floor) I started to apologise and bent to wipe it up when a hand stopped me, this time it was the male, I read his shirt twice before I got it and smirked, it read ‘silence is gold, duct tape is silver,’ classic. Well this night turned out to be totally unexpected and a tad weird, all in all a good start to what I believe to be a wonderfull exisatance, it seemed that if you are a friend of the queen your only fear be that you totally die of embarrassment because you peed yourself of simply die of laughter, you could on the off chance die by choking on the totally delicious nectar of the heart but I wasn’t going to pay much mind to that... as the all knowledgeable shirt reads I shall die happy. And so I fell asleep as the sun breached the horizon and began its steady rise. From here on in I will expect the unexpected!!!