A lot of people often question why I felt the need to try and steal Ielena's darkest, deepest tome; even to this day, I have no absolutely no idea and still pin the blame on spontaneous, incomprehensible lust for knowledge. And even though I'm a fully-fledged member of the Nightmare now, she still won't let me read it. I have to make do with the tamer tomes that the clan have lying around their mansion.

However, I can feel my attention keep drifting from the written word to the surrounding world. A couple of glances at the bookshelf could be a sign that my mind wants to read about something else other than the occult; though one quick glance at the adjacent wall and reading material has soon become the least of my worries.

Russel Kurt, I will have your bones.

I can read English, well, last time I checked I could. Yet I still feel the need to read the newly-found message out loud as if I'm learning the language for the first time.


Now I would immediately suspect the likes of Ghumbo but I doubt swamp beasts are even capable of writing English, and I highly doubt he'd allow another Nightmare to tag along as company. But still, it's there, written in what looks like blood if the deepening, scarlet shade is anything to go by. I approach the writing on the wall, feeling the need to lightly touch the words with my fingertips and shuddering as I do so; it's still wet, yet when I go to inspect my hands, there's no sign of residue.

However, before I have time to properly make sense of the situation, I sense another figure approaching the study; my beast side keen to show itself if the faint, deep growling is anything to go by. A lot of people believe my werewolf side is a permanent fixture...well, Ielena's made it clear that she'll never lift the curse, but this man only fully becomes a monster under the full moon. Some would call it cliché but I call it traditional.

You know who else likes to keep it traditional? Not Estalt, that's for sure.

"You know, most people knock before they enter a study."

"Knock knock," he responds, almost as sarcastically as he knocks on the now half-open door. Doesn't really matter now, he's let himself in anyway. And it seems he's already picked up on the burning question, quickly making himself heard before I have to time to ask.

"Just wondering what you were doing in this stuffy place," he says, with a somewhat unimpressed look on his face. "It's actually a nice day out there, some right hotties out and about if you know what I mean."

"What can I say? You pursue women, I pursue knowledge. And both can be dangerous, as I know we both have first-hand experience."

"And most people learn from their mistakes," he retorts, with a devious looking smirk on his face as he snatches my current book from my hands and sarcastically tries to show some interest in literature for once in his life. "What you reading there, Hound of the Baskervilles? Your life story?"

At that moment, out of nowhere and certainly without invite, Nistarok comes trotting in like the happiest pup in the world (he only becomes the dangerous beast you know when the situation calls for it), bone in mouth and everything. Well, at first glance it's just a plain, old bone, and then the remnants hit me; suddenly feeling my stomach heave as the stench of blood and rotting flesh floods my nostrils, it's striking me to the point that the taste of vomit from my retching would actually be a welcome misfortune. Estalt's looking at me as if I'm making far too big a deal out of nothing, but he doesn't know just how lucky he is to have an ordinary nose that doesn't focus on the slightest scent.

Though sometimes it can actually have it's uses when I feel a bit devious. Sometimes I'll deliberately point smells out and then declare that I can sense one of the guys is on their period. You'd have thought after doing it so many times, they'd relax and take it as the joke I intended it to be, but the tense faces of my victims are enough to bring a devious smirk to my face. You know what doesn't and never will? This smell. It's worse than ever.

"Get your friggin' mutt out of here, Estalt!"

"How dare you!" He retorts, as if I've just insulted him and not Nistarok. Now who's making far too big a deal out of nothing? It's just your dog, mate, nothing special. No need to bend down to his level and start cooing over him like some hideous, canine-like baby. You've got your own kid to do that to, remember?

"Hmmm...maybe it was Orlok who wrote on the wall..."

Oh bollocks, I wasn't meant to say that bit out loud. Great, now Estalt's shooting me an even darker look now I've accidentally somewhat insulted his son, but at least his attention's off that stupid fleabag.

"I can assure you my son knows better than to deface mansion property," he states in a rather serious manner, before actually making some effort to read the actual words. "Russel Kurt, I will have your bones. Wow, they got you too, huh?"

"What do you mean, they got me too?"

"You have to remember that there are some residents in this mansion who aren't Nightmare-inclined, Russel," he explains, chuckling a little in this really weird manner. "Spirits or Poltergeists, if you will. They like to play around and mess with the minds of our clan members. They once threatened that they would have Estalt DeVille's heart. But then again...I've never seen them use blood before."

He can't help but shoot me a quick glance upon finishing his explanation, his chuckling soon turning to hearty laughter when he sees the somewhat irked look on my face; his own face donning the expression he usually wears when he knows what the other person is thinking. He isn't a mind-reader or anything, he's just really tuned into people. I guess that's how he's such a lady killer, though he hasn't been quite as busy during the last couple of years thanks to the obvious, stripping suspect from the Uppers.

"Don't question the dead, Russel. They have eerie powers."

He honestly thinks I don't know that?

Well, to be honest, despite my avid reading there's a lot of things I still don't know; especially when it comes to the Nightmare's deeper, darker secrets, something which the clan is always warning me of all people to steer away from. And just this once, I'll listen, because even in my most stubborn moods I'll admit that there are some things it's best not to know about.

However, do let it be known that if anyone wants Russel Kurt's bones, then he's not about to give them up without a fight...