The Krysta Cronicles: Benginnings– by Victor Moore
Disclaimer: These characters are all mine.
The old stone orphanage's doors flew open, allowing the cold French air to bully its way in. It nipped violently at the occupants and tried to extinguish the candlelights. After the newcomer closed them, the wind died out. Krysta thought she heard it scream.
She watched as the man sat wearily in an empty chair. His face bathed in shadow by a thick black hood. The young children in the room, the eldest of whom was only twelve, cast curious glances in his direction.
"Is the Priest here, sister?" His voice sent shivers down her spine.
"Oui monsieur." She turned to one of the children. "Xavier kindly tell Father Damien that we have a guest.
"Now, now, back to your dinners little ones." She smiled as they ate their porridge from wooden bowls. "Would you like something to eat as well monsieur?"
"No thank you. I'm afraid my appetite is a little... delicate."
"As you wish." From her chair, she could see everyone in the room. She began to read biblical passages to them. The children became enraptured with her words.
She had been an orphan herself once, until a kind elderly priest took her in and raised her as his own. After he passed away six years ago, she became a nun and was assigned here. She fell in love with the children immediately. This was her calling, her passion. They were her life.
The man shivered slightly as she quoted scripture. "Must still be cold," Krysta thought to herself.
Father Damien entered the room followed sheepishly by Xavier, who returned to his place at the table. She stopped reading and looked questioningly at the priest. He returned her query with an oily smile.
"Ah, my dear Baron. How kind of you to visit us on this winter's night."
The man's smile startled her; his face was in shadow but his white teeth shone brightly. "It's been a while Father. I trust all is in good health."
They whispered to each other in low voices. He handed the Father a small pouch, which was put into the robes. Father Damien then got his heavy cloak from the peg by the door.
"Father?" She asked.
"Ah, Sister Krysta, an urgent matter has arisen in the next village, and I'm afraid they need my services." He tucked the cross hanging from his neck under his clothes then donned the cloak over his bulbous form. "I should be back by midday two days hence."
"I see. May god go with you on your journey."
"And on yours." With that he left.
Minutes later, the Baron spoke. "Sister, seems my appetite wishes to be fed."
She nodded and proceeded to get him a bowl of porridge.
"I need something with a little more sustenance than that, Sister."
As she turned to face him, his glowing red eyes stared back. The bowl spilled it's contents upon the dirt floor. "A demon," she whispered.
"I've been called worse."
Grasping her beads and the cross of her necklace, she began to pray aloud. When he shied away from her, she chanted louder walking slowly towards him. Trying to force him to the door. She heard sniffles around her.
Glancing around, she saw the frightened children's eyes wide in horror. When she turned back to him, he was gone.
"Over here." Snarled a voice from behind her.
Turning around slowly, she saw him dangling the eldest girl by her fragile neck. She began to pray again.
"Stop it, Sister. Or the little one meets her maker." He emphasized his threat by squeezing his hand tighter. The girl gasped for air as tears streamed from her innocent blue eyes.
"Please don't...." Krysta pleaded. "What do you want?"
"A feast, and I haven't fed in days." He brought the girl close to him and sniffed. His reaction to the smell was like one to spoiled meat. "I see the Priest has already taken one. She's useless to me."
"What is it you want to eat?"
"Drink actually. I crave the blood of innocents." He sniffed the air. "Oh good. You're still innocent, not like this one." He shook the girl whose limbs weakly clawed the hand choking her.
"No, not the children. Please."
The youths stared in shock at the man before them, frozen in place.
"You have no idea, do you? You are like cattle to us. We raise and breed you, and in return, you feed us with the nourishment we desire." He lowered his hood with his free hand.
An idea came to her, a way to save all the children. It was risky, with little guarantee that he would accept, but she had no other choice. She had to chance it. "If that is so, that these 'calves' are not yet ready."
"What are you getting at?"
Holding the cross in front of her, he flinched and tightened his grip further. "I offer myself in place of these children."
"I... I give myself willingly."
"I see, but what's to keep me from taking them after I feasted on you?"
"My word? That's ludicrous."
"Is it? You may have the hunger of a demon, but you have the look of a man, a man of honor. I ask for your word that no harm will come to these children, from you and yours." She watched him mull it over, praying silently that he accept
"What is your name?"
"I have none."
"You would sacrifice yourself for these urchins?"
She felt as if he was staring into her soul with those intense eyes.
"Yes, you would. I can see it." He smirked at her. "You may leave."
"I'm letting you go."
She took a step forward and stared intently at him. "I will not."
His smile deepened. "You shall regret your decision, Sister." He let the girl go and she collapsed into a heap as her body gasped for air.
"Children. Go to your rooms and stay there. Xavier please help Cynthia and watch over her." Not once did she leave eye contact with the Baron.
After they were gone, he held out his hand. "Put the cross on my palm and yours on top mine."
She did so. He grasped her hand and she could feel the heat from the cross and began to smell his flesh burn.
"I, Baron Heinriech ArcHammond, vow to leave these children alone, from now till the end of time." He gazed at her with curiosity and a smidgen of respect. "And what of you Krysta?"
"I'll keep my agreement with you."
The cross went cold and fell to the floor. He took off her clothes with such care it surprised her. He folded the black robes and white hood neatly and put them on the table along with another pouch of gold. "Come."
Hesitantly she stepped up to him and shuddered as his hand gently touched her shoulder. "At least I can die satisfied knowing that they are safe."
He chuckled lightly in her ear. "Oh you will die, as per our pact."
Turning her around he kissed the nape of her neck. She felt dizzy when she should be frightened. As his teeth lightly pierced her smooth skin, she knew the cold hand of death was upon her. Yet his touch, his breath, his words were like those of the most intimate of lovers. The warmth of her blood began to run down from her neck. Ecstasy filled her soul, and she voiced it with a cry. Minutes passed by and her heartbeat slowed. With each beat she could feel her life fluid being drained into him. Her final breath came as a strangled sigh as her body shook then the darkness overcame her.
The last words she heard him say were. "Welcome to my world, Krysta AchHammnond, my daughter of the night."