Briskly walking down the swaying corridor at the side of the Orient Express, one of the most famous train journeys in the world, and now making its usual run from Paris to Istanbul, a demon with blonde hair was searching for his next meal. On this train, that repast could be anyone: spy, journalist, aristocrat, soldier, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief--


Well, whoever he decided to eat, it was long past dinnertime, and Spike had been eagerly looking forward to sinking his fangs into a nice, juicy human. Long train rides always made him feel rather peckish.

Deciding any one of these places would do as well as any other for his evening's atrocity, Spike picked a door at random. Standing outside the train compartment door with its shade pulled down, the vampire changed into game face, yanked open the door, and stalked inside, ready to commit his next murder.

Inside the large train compartment, a dozen people, of all social classes, ages, employment, gender, and relation, each of which was holding a bloody knife in their hand and standing over an equally gory corpse of a man lying on the floor, and in the middle of the most stressful time of their entire lives, turned their heads, and stared at Spike.

These people watched the monstrous face of an extremely flustered demon change back into that of a young human with his mouth and eyes wide open, until several frozen moments later, a very faint voice came from him.

"Er. Ah. Wrong compartment. Terribly sorry about the interruption. Well, carry on. Ta."

During all that, Spike had been sidling backwards, until he got out of the compartment, to hurriedly slam the door shut into the fixed faces of all there, and the vampire then promptly legged it.

Much later, while witnessing a dazzling display of deduction by a dapper Belgian with curled mustachios who exposed all they'd done, every single person there complicit in the crime shared a silent vow to never, ever mention the monster that had stumbled onto their misdeed, stood uncertainly for an instant, and then swiftly fled.

It was far better to be considered guilty than to be considered insane.