Hello. This is my story, and will be much darker then anything you've ever known in future chapters. I am currently re-editing, so look over some of the older chapters for better quality if you will. If you do not like evil or being creeped out in any way or form, then I warn you now that this story may not be your cup of tea.
You have been warned. Now read on.
DISCLAIMER: Nope. Bye.
Castle of Shadows
Chapter One: Arrival
It was raining the night that they arrived. The night that had changed everything.
An old, decrepit man stared out of the window of the dark and dismal prison that he had once called home, little more then a ghost of what he'd once been. His worn and weathered clothes appeared faded in torn in the candlelight that came from the black hunk of wax that sat on the table next to his right arm, alongside a glass of what appeared to be wine. A roaring rumble of thunder shook the castle, and the light flickered unsteadily, as the wind blew harshly in through the window. And nearby, sheltering beneath many a darkened corner, the shadows twisted in anticipation as the candle threatened to go out; it was the only thing that kept them from leaping upon his frail, forgotten form even now.
He began to stretch out a shaking, withered hand to try to shield the tiny light, but quickly withdrew it when a growl sounded from behind his chair, knowing exactly what it was that bore its eyes into the back of the armchair in which he was seated. Its eager eyes gazed upon its prey, waiting for the moment when her master deemed him useless and disposable at last, and when she could finally sink her teeth into his flesh. She could already feel the human's blood gushing down its throat, the warm, thick liquid pulsing slightly, leaving the sweet, salty tang of iron afterwards. She licked her lips; she could hardly wait. Already his fear pulsed throughout the room, making the shadows around them writhe with delight, for the smell of fear would always drive them mad.
NO, Sangue! A voice rang through the air. The shadows stopped abruptly at the sound of their master's hiss, and the old man's glazed-over eyes cleared again, a muddy shade of black. A dark form appeared at the doorway, and the air around them all suddenly, yet surreptitiously, felt colder then ice. I still need him, even in this state. I need a loyal sevant in order to survive, or, at least, until a strong, healthy human being comes by here again, and that might be a while. If you must, gnaw on his soul for a while, but nothing else.
The creature growled in annoyance, but backed away, her drool splattering the carpet. That's a good girl. You'll get some fresh meat soon. The beast gazed towards the door. Not the child. She's mine, and mine only. Remember that now.
The creature snarled angrily in reply at this new frustration. She was tired of waiting, tired of all of the fruitless tasks he sent her to do. She turned on her paws, and as she was preparing to leap upon and tear apart what was left of her master's body, when the sound of tires screeching and metal scraping against granite tore through the silence of the storm. The old man's head snapped up, and the shadows stopped their intricate dance in the ever-fading candlelight. He rose from his chair as quickly as his trembling knees would allow him to, and rushed over to the window, wondering just what could've made such a terrifying noise. And what he saw shocked him.
A pillar of black smoke floated lazily into the sky as the brightly colored van laid, bruised and battered, in the rocky trench. Its wheels spun uselessly in the air, the underbelly of the once-gentle, rolling creature crushed inward. Any occupants inside would surely be dead; or, at least, dying. Even from here, the man could smell blood; and if he could smell the blood of the victims from this distance, the shadows most certainly could.
As he stood there, watching the rain slowly dissolve the smoke, The Master spoke again.Looks like you'll be able to gorge yourself on fresh blood sooner then you thought, my pet. It smells like…one Great Dane-you've never had thatbefore, I'd bet, now haven't you? - one blond male, age 21, with a bit of an ego, too; a redhead, age 20, rather feisty; a brunette, short, quiet, age 18; and there's someone else. Someone familiar...I've smelt their blood before, but who- He stopped in mid-sentence, seething with disbelief and rage. NO! NO! THIS CANNOT BE! HE SHOULD BE DEAD! DEAD! HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? HOW IS HE STILL ALIVE!?!?
"I don't know," the old man replied, speaking for the first time. "How am I still alive?"
The Master's head whipped around, his icy black-blue eyes blazing with fury. Don't make snide comments around me, Ombra Scorretto. Unless you want your daughter to become like you?
"No. She shouldn't have to go through what I did. Forgive me, Master."
You are forgiven, for the time being. I still need you to move around for me, to strengthen me with more blood, more souls, more shadows. As much as I hate to admit it, I do need you.
The ambiance in the room became awkward. "What will you do about them?" Ombra motioned towards the window, where the crushed van still laid uselessly on its back.
He was silent for a few minutes. Bring me the dying boy. Kill the rest. And bring Sangue with you. She needs to be fed. The creature's head perked up at the sound of her name. So do I, for that matter. Bring whatever remains of the corpses with you.
"What? I-I can't do that! I won't!"
Think of your daughter. Think of what I can do to her.
"I-I'm sorry, but I absolutely refuse to murder someone. I will be a host for you, I will lure people here so your shadows can do what can only be described as devouring, I will cover these murders up, hell, I'll even frame people of 'em, but I will never, EVER, kill an innocent human being for you! I would rather die than murder someone who was once the same age as my daughter. It would be like killing her in my eyes."
The Master stared at him with his frozen steel eyes. Are you sure you mean that?
"Yes," the old man replied, more surely then he'd ever felt in his entire, long, meaningless life. "Yes, I am."
Then start running. You have one hour before I release Sangue upon you. The dark, obscure form glided over to the open window, beckoning to his pet to come to his side, as he stared outside at the tumultuous clouds that were gathering, and the lightning that even now burned his eyes.
Ombra wrenched the candle from the table, ignoring the wax that burned its way down his fingers and hobbled over to the doorway, his cane shaking slightly in his sudden fear and freedom. Before leaving, he turned towards where his now-former master once stood. He spoke only two words -- "Thank you." -- before he disappeared down the imposing, rotting staircase and headed outside, ignoring the ever-growing sound of thunder and the sound of ticking which came from his pocket watch, as it counted down the last seconds of his life, no longer a listless slave, but a man with a mission. He had to help those young kids escape before the shadows consumed them as well. They didn't deserve the fate that he had been forced to live. They were too young for that sort of life. He could only hope that he would reach them in time.
As Ombra gradually made his way towards where the van was wrecked in the deep and rocky trench, the Master stared out the window, watching him like a hawk watches its praise while absentmindedly stroking Sangue's ears. She drooled impatiently; she had wanted to rip the servant's body apart for over a hundred years, and now she would finally get her chance. She tugged against her stiff silver-and-steel collar, knowing that once it was off, she would be free to hunt in the night again.
Patience, Sangue, The Master chided her gently. You'll get your chance soon enough, but we must keep our promises. We always keep our promises, now don't we? He chuckled as his old vessel stumbled towards the wreck, the cold rain beginning to fall like daggers upon his skin. His laughter reverberated throughout the land, sending shivers up the old man's spine. That laughter was enough to wake the dead; or, in this case, those who were lying unconscious in the small, now crushed, Mystery Machine...
Scooby Doo sluggishly opened his eyes to see that he was on the ceiling.
"Rikes! R-I'm rupside rown!" he cried, and he quickly strapped himself in on one of the seats in the front. "Rah, ruch retter."
His shocked cries quickly aroused the rest of the gang, who had already begun to awaken, however drowsily so. Daphne was the first to notice where Scooby now was situated, rather uncomfortably I might add. "Scooby, what are you doing on the ceiling?" He swivelled his head around to look down at her.
"R-I'm rot on the reiling. Rou r'are."
"Scooby, we are not on the--" Velma paused, and, after putting on her glasses and looking around, "Well, what do you know. We are on the ceiling. But, how did we get there?" Everyone looked towards Fred, who looked just as puzzled as everyone else.
"Hey! Don't look at me. The last thing I remember was being yanked backwards back here. Does anyone remember anything else?"
"Well, I remember sitting in the front," Daphne commented. "Then I think you hit something, dear. Or something hit us. Then we were pulled back here and something was thrown over us. What do you think it was?"
"This." Velma lifted the edge of the thick, black tarp that they were all currently sitting on. "It's the tarp Fred covers the Mystery Machine with when it rains really heavily, or whenever it hails, however rare that may be."
"I also use it for traps," he added.
She rolled her eyes at him at that statement. "Anyways," she continued, "it softened the blow."
"Rhat row?" Scooby asked her, his face bright red from all the blood rushing to it.
"Scooby, get out of that!" Fred scolded. Scooby dropped to what was now the floor with a heavy thud, his landing softened by Fred's occasionally dense head. "Ow! That hurt, Scooby! Next time, could you please just watch where you're landing?"
"Rokay. Rorry Reddy."
"Will you two please stop interrupting me?" Velma snapped at the two males, each of whom was rubbing his sore head while giving each other sore glances alongside of them. "What I meant is that it softened the blow of the crash for us, so that we weren't injured farther than the point of a few bumps and bruises. Maybe a sprained ankle or wrist, but that's the worst we could've gotten. We got really lucky, gang."
"Rhere's Rhaggy?" Scooby asked as he looked around the slightly crumpled space. It was then that they realized that Shaggy wasn't in the van; and that one of the back doors had been ripped off of its hinges on its journey downhill.
Side note: Sangue is pronounced (sahn-gwee). What do you think of this chapter (edit)? Two will be edited soon. Enjoy.