Disclaimer: Dark Shadows is a Dan Curtis Production and not mine
CHAPTER 1: THE WITCH'S WARNING
The portrait of Josette Collins perched dominantly above the fireplace mantel in the parlor as her prisoner and beloved slept on his armchair by the fire.
Barnabas Collins stirred hauntingly in his slumber. This was indeed a rather unusual and peculiar sight. Barnabas was a creature of the night. A vampire. He caused much deaths and suffering by merely being what he was. He caused nightmares not received them.
Furthermore, a monster like Barnabas doesn't sleep in a silk robe on his armchair. He sleeps in his coffin in his tailor-made suit. And he especially doesn't sleep in the middle of the night.
A cold winter's night crept up to the seemingly abandoned Old House on the Collinwood estate. It wasn't snowing, but a severe icy wind assaulted the windows and roughly banged the shutters.
Candle light illuminated the parlor, and the burning fireplace left its eerie golden glow as always. But the chill of the winter was awful. The burning fire couldn't keep Barnabas warm. Not that he minded the cold. He lived the cold, even nourished by it. But this particular chill was attacking him. Attacking him out of hatred and spite.
There was nothing that the ghosts of his family could do to prevent this. Not even his dear Josette.
The cruel winter wind blew the front double doors in the foyer wide open, snuffing out all the flames from the candles in its harsh impact.
The entire Old House plunged into cold darkness leaving the glow of the fireplace as the only source of light.
Barnabas struggled on his armchair wrestling in his torment.
A figure emerged from the shadows outside the front doors. An outline of a woman in a earth-colored cloak and matching pagan dress. She had long curly blonde hair, and round sea-blue eyes. But there was nothing innocent about these eyes. They had seen and caused many horrors and agonies.
Angelique had come for her Barnabas. She lurked inside the old manor, a house she once for a brief time shared with Barnabas as man and wife.
She stalked into the parlor and knelt beside the armchair where the man she both loved and despised slept uneasily. She caress his dark hair with icy fingers, causing him to flinch from her touch.
But the witch continued stroking his hair anyway.
"You shall never be rid of me Barnabas," she whispered to him evenly. "My love and my curse shall cling to you for all eternity. And it will cause death and destruction for anyone who loves you. There is nothing that can lift it and no one can help you. Not your family, your friends, or even your precious Josette."
At those last words, Barnabas stirred much more violently. His long fingers clenched the arms of his chair as Angelique continued stroking his sleek hair contentedly.
The vampire couldn't sense the spirit of Josette. She didn't seem to be anywhere. Not even the melody of her music box was present. This was unsettling. Josette's ghost was the proper mistress of the Old House. She conquered Barnabas and held him as her prisoner in order to regained this house.
But she wasn't anywhere. Angelique must've done something to her. Or some massive amount of black magic did something to her.
If he didn't know any better, Barnabas swore he felt Josette's portrait fading away above the fireplace mantel.
A special section was created in the Old House's basement for Dr. Julia Hoffman to set up her laboratory. Her equipment of chemistry tubes, electrical devices, and a personal cauldron brewing various serums had absolutely confounded the ghostly residence when they were brought down here.
Barnabas laid unconscious strapped on a wooden chair where Julia gave him the injection earlier. Julia, along with the ghost of Josette Collins, had found that the cursed vampire was not handling his treatments well.
He violently stirred in his unconsciousness, with the straps from the chair holding him down in restraint. The left sleeve of his dress shirt was pulled up passed where Julia gave him the injection.
The lab was lit with various torches and candles, sinisterly illuminating the space in a menacing glow, with shadows leaping up on the cold cobwebbed stone walls and dark ceilings.
"Josette!" Barnabas called frighteningly in his slumber, turning his head left to right with his eyes shut tight. "Josette!"
The ghostly mistress of the Old House lovingly knelt beside the vampire, and tenderly grasped his strapped cold hand with her freezing transparent ones.
"Barnabas?" she echoed in concerned.
She remembered when he fell ill so long ago and he called out to her like this. That was before he died and turned into a monster.
Julia observed her subject's negative reaction to her treatments critically, stuffing her hands into the pockets of her white lab coat.
"I fail to see what good these bizarre experiments have done for my son."
The ghost of Joshua Collins floated up behind Julia in a spine tingling chill. He was garbed in his tight trousers, boots, and blue frock coat, while Josette was in her flowing white gown and veil as always.
"It's pointless!" Joshua argued to Julia. "These fanciful devices have done nothing to lift the curse!"
Julia slide her steely gaze on the old patriarch. When she was in medical school, she never imagined she would be working in a basement dungeon with ghosts tending to a vampire patient. But she was glad she finally found the discovery she had craved and dreaming for all her life.
"Mr. Collins, I keep telling you it's going to take time."
"She has done nothing wrong," Josette cut in civilly, still trying to console the troubled sleeping Barnabas on his chair. "It's Angelique. I swear it is. She is tormenting him somehow."
In his bed at the Evans cottage across town, Willie Loomis shot up through his covers in a yelp. Alone in his darkened bedroom, Willie wiped the cold sweat from his brow, and felt the prickling sensation under the scars on his wrist and neck where his old master marked him.
It felt as though a bug was crawling under his skin.
Willie wheezed panically. He just had a dream about Barnabas.
Next Chapter: Changes at Collinwood