Part One

Loneliness. I do not know how to get rid of it, but I don't even try too much to do it. In a way I can say I got used with it. It became my wife only that it's more evil than a jealous wife, scared that I cheat on her with a much younger and more beautiful mistress. It follows me everywhere, does not give me any peace, does not let me maintain a normal conversation with anyone, and does not let me get close to anyone. I don't think I would be able right now to have a normal relationship with someone.

It's five years since I've been on the roads, walking from village to village, from city to city, everywhere rumors take me, where facts and signs point me, dealing with the undead problems, very rare going back for the second time. Never the third.

I wonder if I started the story wrong. Maybe I should have started with my name and say a little something about my childhood? I don't think that my ideas have any relevance or any consistency since I am not whole in my head, that I ended up keeping company to myself, talking to myself. But okay, I will start with the beginning trying to make a summary as ample as possible of the most important things.

Hello, I think would be nice to start with a greeting, my name is Trebor and I am a priest with divine powers. I was raised in a monastery since I was a baby. I don`t remember anything about my parents because I never met them, being dropped on the monastery's main steps. If I was a little more stupid I could say or believe that I do not have parents and that I came on earth tumbling down like a rock from the skies. I do not believe something like that, even if I was a faithful person, I was brought on earth by two people of opposite sex. The nuns on the other hand were sure that I was sent from heavens. For a while I believed that also. Everything came crumbling down like a house of cards when I realized I can bleed, that I am only human. The shock was not paralyzing at all, because somewhere inside me I always knew that I am nothing but a normal human.

For the nuns I was a saint because I was doing all of their chores around the monastery. But this lasted just three years. At the age of seven, a cat fell off the monastery hurting itself. I touched her and it instantly healed. I only used my mind, I imagined healing her. Iosif was there, Iosif being the high priest of the monastery, the oldest one there. He saw my powers, and the day after, he took me under his wings, so to speak, training me to amplify my powers and to learn to use them properly.

When I was nineteen, the trainings ended suddenly, when Iosif got really ill. Fever, cold, he stood in bed in pain more than a week. Everyone from the monastery was desperate to save him, I did not know why, because I was not up to the day with the current facts. To me it was normal since he was over ninety years old. I found out why they were so scared of him dying, at short time after it happened, again on the hard and nasty way. He left me the crucifix that was holding in his hand all the time and told me to keep it with me. It will raise my powers and it will let me know when something that should not be alive is around.

With his last words he begged me to forgive him for the life I was about to live. He knew very well what was about to come, because he lived the same way until he got too old to walk the roads. I exempted him of the things that were pushing on his soul.

He was buried behind the monastery, amongst all other priest and people that died here since the monastery was built.

A week past, some of the priests left. The nuns and older monks remained, but they were terrified of something. I remained also, trying to find more things about Iosif that could help me in the life I was cursed to have. Maybe I was avoiding to walk on the path that was set for me, I was afraid of the unknown. You cannot escape the fate that was determined for you. I did not escaped fate either.

It was night, raining hard, everyone was sleeping. I was in Iosif's room reading old documents, reports of his about places he's been to and things he did. I could not believe what I was reading, or that what was written there really existed. Even if he explained during the years what I could find over these walls and what would my life be if I decide to hunt these creatures, I could not believe it. You could say I was documenting myself about the different creatures of night, of fog, of the cemetery.

Now I can explain what happened during that night, because I had years at my side to reflect, to turn the things on all sides. But I remember I was so shocked about the things I was about to live, that it took me four years to remember everything.

It was night and raining hard, as I said earlier, that you could not see at five steps in front of you. As I was sitting bend above the table, deepen in Iosif's writings, with the candlestick almost melted, I started feeling cold air at my feet. When I looked down, I was sunken up to my ankles in thick fog. Something like this was not normal because in all my nineteen years since I was there it never happened, and this kind of weather was almost daily, I mean nightly, around here this time of year. The candlestick on the table fully burned, letting the darkness take control over the room. Then I observed it. A weak light coming from somewhere in the room. I knew from where it came before turning my head to look at it, even if it was for the first time it worked around me. It was the crucifix that was sitting on bed and was pulsating light. I heard a low noise in the crack from opposite wall, looked that way and I saw a form. Could not see of who was it, who was sitting in the crack of the wall because it was too dark. Than a thunder lightened the sky and earth with a bright white light. I felt as the blood drained from my face. Standing in the window was Iosif, his body, full of mud, breathing jerkily, he had an ugly grimace on his face, his eyes were dead and they sparkled a few more seconds after the light from thunder passed. He was full of hate, looking at me with that icy cold sight that was freezing me also. I did not knew what to do. Slowly got up from the bed. I knew that is was futile to call him by his name, I knew that he was not listening to me. That creature had only his body, none of his conscience. I took the crucifix off the bed continuing to look at Iosif and I pointed it at him as long as my arm could go, from the place where I was sitting. Iosif growled shortly and disappeared from my view. I rushed out the door running down the corridor and exiting in the interior courtyard with the intention to close the entrance door. If the door was not closed with the key it could be open with a gently touch.

The courtyard was filled with that thick fog. The fright in me grew when I saw the main door fully opened.

I ran back inside the monastery, shutting the door behind me and leaning my back on it. I did not knew if I should block it also, because if Iosif managed to enter the house, blocking it might give me some trouble at critical moments, but if I was leaving it like this, the former priest could enter. I started running toward the sleeping rooms, leaving the door like that when I heard one of the nuns screaming.

The scream ended abruptly, I knew very well the reason, but I was not mentally prepared for what I was about to see. When I pushed the door from the corridor that lead to the sleeping rooms, I could not open it all the way. The bloody body, with pieces of meat missing from different place, was blocking the door to open all the way. I pushed with my shoulder, turning the body with the door. It's chest was open, with the insides hanging on the floor. I looked at her face, regardless the fact that it was full of blood and that there was a piece of her left face bit off, I recognized her, but I could not feel anything for her. I started stepping on the corridor, slowly, trying to not make any noise in case the zombie was still nearby, I was avoiding the few pools of blood so I don't slip in them. I was starting to feel dizzy, too many feeling were whirling inside me. I reached the first row of rooms that were on both sides of the corridor, with the doors wide open."

Trebor's thoughts stopped when a person sit down at his table, placing in front of him the beer he ordered a while ago. The one that took a seat was not the innkeeper, he knew very well who it was, and that's why he did not even look at him.

- I heard rumors that you were around, looks like this time they were true, the stranger started.

Trebor did not response instead he took a sip from the beer. It was cold, perfect for the heat outside, invigorating.

What mistake I made. When the hell will I ever learn? I have deepened way too much in memories and I lost the touch with reality, which in my job can be fatal. I did not heard when he entered and kicked everyone out. At least is good that he makes mistakes also, because by bringing me this beer he returns a part of my powers that I lost walking on this heat non-stop for three days. He probably tries to read my mind, let him try, the crucifix protects me."

The stranger in front of him asked a few more questions that Trebor did not even listened to and even if he did he would have not answered. The anger was pilling up in the stranger.

That's it, get angry, you were human once so the rule applies to you also, the angry man does not think as clearly as a calm one. It will be more easier for me to take advantage of your recklessness."

- Okay, this is how things are, said the stranger from Trebor's table.

He slowly leaned in front, resting his hands on the table. His face was now lightened by a weak light coming from somewhere behind the priest, from a candlestick, not being hidden anymore by the tall collar from the jacket. Trebor was not affected at all by the view, he did not even looked at him, instead continued to sip from his beer.

Face white as wax, just a little pink color in his cheeks, was not helping him at all to look more human, instead he looked like a lifeless puppet. Eyes burning red, bloody, lips were pink, he has eaten shortly before. As his mouth was a little open his teeth could be seen as white blades filling the inside.

- I want to believe about you that you are a smart human, that knows how to weight a situation, other ways I don`t think you could be so lucky to survive for so long in this job you have. So I just want to remind you, that you are on my territory and I don`t want you to do something foolish. I want you gone before sunrise.

- Tell the innkeeper that the beer is not bubbly enough, was Trebor's answer.

The priest stood up from the table, drinking what was left of his beer, than went up to his room, where he started preparing for the future events.

He probably takes me as the village's idiot, if only for a moment he thought I would believe one of his words. A vrykolakas that permits a hunter to leave his village without a scratch? Ha, this is a good one. He would have attacked me right then and there in the bar if he did not believed I was prepared for that. But he will not let me wait, for sure he will make an unannounced visit tonight."

He hastened his steps when reached the first floor. It was possible that he did not had a lot of time at his disposal to prepare, any second was important. Reaching his room, he closed the door behind him. Got a bag out from under the bed, threw it on the bed and started pulling out different things. On the bed were spread more objects used for his job, from which he started choosing a few.

Took two stakes, kind of used and placed them aside on the table next to the bed, he took some garlic and a bottle of holy water and placed them on the table next to the stakes. He looked around after a bowl or something close to it. The closest thing to it was a basin, used for the personal needs in case you were too lazy to go to the public toilet.

He was satisfied with that, not having other things to choose from, and this was not the moment for caprices. He cleaned fast, as well as possible, the garlic. Threw them in the basin, and started smashing them with the flat end of a stake, added some holy water and continued smashing until it became a paste. Took a brush from the bag and dipped it in the formed paste. He stepped to one of the windows and started brushing all around the frame and finishing it with a cross in the middle of the window. Same thing he did at the other window than moved to the entrance door. Opened it, looked down the corridor, no one was there, he quickly smeared the door case, and on the door he formed a cross, last he smeared the handle.

That's it, your only way in will be through that door, I made sure of that. It will burn you a little, but you will not resist the temptation to pull my insides out the mouth. I smeared the door with less garlic than the windows, enough for you to enter, but not too little to not realize you enter into a trap."

He positioned the pillow in such way that it looks like it was him under the covers, blew out the candles and took position behind the door, with the stakes in his hand, waiting.

Time was passing by, he did not knew for how long he was sitting there or how long until the sun will raise, but he was getting tired, the muscles were starting to hurt because he did not moved at all from that position. Many things were going on in his head, but nothing concrete. Bits of dreams, memories, and faces of people he met in life. There was a special face he insisted keeping in his head for a while, but he could not deepen too much in dreams right now.

Come on already you son of a bitch. I don't have all night at my disposal, after I pierce your heart, I have other plans with you. Would be nice to finish with you before everyone will wake up in this village."

But he stood long and well there. His limbs became numb, he knew this would be a problem, so he tried anyway to move, shifting his weight from one leg to another. Slowly, so the clothes will not make any noise.

A board screaked on the corridor.

The fun begins."

A weak noise could be heard outside his door. An inexperienced ear would not heard it. A few moments of silence followed. In his head, Trebor, was inviting the vrykolakas faster into his room. Finally the door handle was pressed, and the door opened slowly, without a noise. The person that was standing at the door entrance was leaving a long shadow on the floor, up to the middle of the opposite wall. He slowly started stepping towards the bed, so the so-called sleeping person would not wake up.

Trebor started walking towards the person that entered his room, stepping at the same time as him, only making the steps larger. Reaching him, he stabbed him once in the back with a stake. The person yield out a scream, turned to the priest and received the second stake right in his heart. Fell like a stone on the ground, dead.

The low light from the corridor was illuminating his face. It was not the vrykolakas.

- You thought I would fell for your pathetic trap?

Trebor turned and received a fist from the vrykolakas that was standing right next to him, throwing him into the wall.

- How predictable you are. How did you survived the undead creatures for so long? I bet that nothing about you is true, that all the rumors are just words in the wind.

The creature was saying these things while stepping towards a dizzy priest. Grabbed him by the collar, lifted him up from the ground and threw it in the opposite wall.

- You are pathetic! You can't even stand on your own feet, you are just a sad hypocrite, a hypocrite and idiot priest, believing he could do something against me.

Jumped next to Trebor, lifted him again, and holding him by his throat this time, turned his head on the side a little. The vrykolakas widely opened his mouth, showing his mouth full of sharp teeth and bitten the priest.

At the beginning it was painful, but he entered into a trance, his head became heavy, everything around him started moving, the room became more obscure. A heavenly relaxation covered him when the vrykolakas released him from the restrain, he was feeling his body floating. He lifted his sight towards his adversary. He had an ugly grimace on his face and was holding his throat with both hands.

- What have you done to me? It burns on the inside, my entire body burns!

- Looks like the gossip of my blood being holy did not reached this far yet. You should have known that I always have more than just one plan when I hunt.

His right hand lightened and covering his bite marks from the neck, they healed. Trebor passed the vrykolakas, which was struggling in horrible pain on the floor, grabbed the holy water bottle and started drinking thirsty. He set on the bed, looking at the vrykolakas.

- Try to push two fingers down your throat to puke out all the bad blood.

In his desperation to survive, the vrykolakas listened to him. He got two fingers down his throat starting to puke only black blood. Three rounds of puke left a huge pool of blood on the floor, more than it would have been in a normal human.

- Oh, wait a second, I was wrong, my bad, this goes only for alcohol. You doing this, practically drowned you brain in blood, slowly melting it, a horrible pain, I don't have a doubt.

Trebor was calm, lifted his feet off the ground, to not touch the blood puked by the vrykolakas. It was looking at him with contempt.

- I know that Unraed has passed through here, he is the only one that could warn you about my arrival. And I am sure he told you what to do to me, but you should know, he does not give a crap about you and he vexed you against me knowing you will die by my hands. He won some ground like this. He is not stupid, in comparison with you, of course. As well I also know that you saw, which way he went.

- May the devil take you in his care forever, babbled the vrykolakas between his moans of pain.

- You see, there is a problem with that. Been there, done that and I was not wanted. You on the other hand, if I don't forgive your sins, you will spend an eternity in pain. I see you as a smart person that can weight a situation.

The vrykolakas was shaking, turning and twisting in pain on the floor, in his own pool blood. Tired of waiting, Trebor picked up a machete from his bag and got up from bed.

- I don't have time to wait, said Trebor lifting his hand.

- Towards Villeville, responded the vrykolakas.

- I am human, so I can lie. I will never forgive your sins.

The vrykolakas would have had something to say about this, but his powers were too dry to even say another word, only guttural whispers sounds out. With a secure move, Trebor removed the head from the body. He took some gasoline from his bag and poured it over the body and around the room, than picked up a match. He stopped in the hallway, lite it and threw it inside the room. The gasoline started burning covering everything in fire and extending fast, the wood from who the hotel was made was old, even rotten in some places.

He got out on a back door, unhooking his horse. It was a pure breed horse, dark like the night in the forest of Black Wood, a real steed with strong legs, well-tended, the harness was still on the horse. Placed the bag at it's right place.

Sounds of humans were approaching the hotel. He should hurry up, he was sure they were not too happy that he just killed they're protector.

Mounted up and started to gallop when the first people appeared from behind the corner, starting to curse him and throw rocks after him, but he was already too far to get touched by them. He did not stopped galloping until he entered the woods and looked back making sure he was not followed.

I should avoid this village for a while, I have a feeling I am not wanted and that they will not forget me anytime soon. Of course they were controlled by that vrykolakas, making them believe he could help, but in fact he was keeping them just for food. I made them a good. It's up to them to continue their lives. Now I should mind my own road, Villeville, yes, at around one day from here if I ride without stop. Unraed, you cannot dodge me, you cannot run from me and I am sure you cannot hide from me. You escaped my hand because of a mistake that I will not repeat. When I will get my hands on you again, it will be a lot easier to put you on the ground, permanently. You are already very weak, I touched you, and you cannot heal so easily after that. Guard up. I am coming."