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A full, lonely moon shone on the angry grey clouds racing below that fought to cover the world in a foul inky darkness. Shadows a well of terror to those who dared to wander the ghostly, wailing woods at night, for who knows what could be lurking there, waiting... Watching...

Movement.

A darkness in the shadows moves closer to the light of the moon breaking through the slowing storm towers above. The wild nature of the watcher’s master continued to elude the lonely creature, often his anger fell on the watcher but on the few times he was able to please the master, he was well rewarded. Perhaps if it found a stray traveller unawares and caught him its master would be happy. Then again, perhaps not.

The rain beat a fast, furious pace and a skitter of light feet joined as a laughter on the edge of insanity signalled that the dance had begun. As if joining with the wild dance, lightening flashed and thunder rolled adding a note of primitive power that had previously been missing. Wind raced around the twirling figure throwing last years leaves in a frenzied flurry, spinning and tumbling to be picked up and tossed aside once more subject to the whim of the dancer.

Silently apart from the madness, the watcher waited. Its dark eyes betrayed it, a deep loniness shining through them, a final reminder of lost humanity. Years of servitude to the fair one, the shinning boy who hid his evil behind the frighteningly beautiful face and stunning electric blue eyes had long ago corroded his body and spirit. The watcher had once been human, a traveller such as those he sought to capture for this mad dancing boy-thing. The mad one, the fair one, the Fool.

The beat quickened.

A drum roll of thunder tumbled the skies in a fevered display of that raw power of which the figure held in his grasp. Lightening struck out at a nearby tree unlucky enough to gain the boy’s attention, the sharp crack of wood torn asunder, a high pitched scream of pain mingled with the mad one’s wild laughter as the trees twisted flesh caught fire.

*****

Sir Adrian stood in front of the fireplace, his dark cape hanging completely motionless from his shoulders. Arms folded placidly across his chest, he showed no outward sign of the uneasy restlessness he felt within. He shuffled one booted foot across the stone floor, the muffled scrape coinciding with the collapse of a burning log which sent showering sparks up the stone chimney and out onto the stone floor. He reached up to stroke his neatly trimmed goatee, and he pondered what it was that brought this unease that so deeply disturbed him. He sighed deeply as he reached across the table for his brazen wineglass, only to find it empty.

"Steward!" he roared, only to realize with mild embarassment that his servant would have already retired for the night. The other log crackled and fell, sending a smaller shower of sparks out in all directions. "I must thing this through," Adrian thought to himself. "I must detach myself from my personal feelings and look at this matter logically." He heard footsteps shuffling outside his door and impatiently called "Who is it?" The door opened and his hastily dressed servant looked at him with frightened eyes.

"It is only me, Sir," he replied in a squeaky voice. A peal of thunder rolled in the distance.





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