Page 12 of Court of Nightmares

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I don’t know if it’s a mutation or something else, but I hate it.

I want the life in their blood, not their actual lives, especially when I see some of the acts some have committed—it leaves me sick, and I scrub my body for hours after.

His life crowds my mind now, showing me flashes I try to ignore, otherwise I will never forget.

Who am I kidding? I never do anyway. They are inside me forever. His lifeless body falls to the ground, but the hunger isn’t satisfied. I turn and gag, throwing up his blood. The blood poisoning is in its final stages now, and I hope for everyone’s sake that I die soon. Stumbling away, I lean against the cool wall, letting the dampness there coat my forehead as I heave and try to push the memories away.

I’m so focused on my task, I don’t hear or see anything.

I am so weak, I don’t even sense anything amiss until something sharp sinks into my throat, and I’m out cold before I even hit the concrete.

Maybe this will be when I die.

I can only hope so.



Unfortunately, I wake up.

My body is weak, and whatever power I had left or stole from the blood is long gone, leaving me cold and barely able to move. I’m used to it, though, so I force my eyes open and lick my mouth, finding it dry and coated in vomit and blood.

Sitting up, I scan the room I am in. A cold wind blows through the space, freezing me to my core and proving just how weak I really am. My hands are chained together, the black iron shackles shaped like snake mouths with their fangs piercing my wrists, causing my blood to drip onto the floor. The sight of it looks wrong against the white and black tile.

There’s a moan, and my head snaps up. I force my eyes to focus to truly see my surroundings for the first time. There are more people next to me—no, not people, vampyrs. Their hands are shackled just like mine, and the scent of their blood lingers in the air, making hunger slam through me. I barely manage to stop myself from going feral, using both my restraint and weakness to aid me.

Some are still passed out, tossed carelessly in a line next to me, while some are sitting. Two have their heads bent together, their eyes sharp as they look for an escape, and one is sobbing, her blood-red tears falling down her face.

I guess I should be more bothered about this, but I truly don’t care. I can feel death in the air, and I want it.

Something in the darkness here calls to me, beckoning me home.

Beyond the group of shackled vampyrs is a huge, open cavern similar to that of the throne rooms in the courts, but it’s equally as different. Unlike ours, which is filled with orbs, ghosts, and prophecies, this one is occupied with shadows and darkness.

Ornate black decorations hang from the ceiling and walls, with snakes slithering about.

It’s like every vampyr’s nightmares have come to life and were captured and placed inside.

In the middle of the room are two triangles drawn in blood, with black candles surrounding them and a circle in the middle. There are symbols and drawings I don’t understand, also drawn in blood, and a black bowl glittering before it, but everything else fades when I see the thrones.

Multiple thrones.

Not one king sits in this court, but seven.

Seven thrones, all set in a semi-circle on a raised dais, face the blood circle in the middle. Each one is slightly different than the last, but with my eyes and hearing starting to fail as I die, it’s hard to make out the details. What I can make out, though, are the seven large forms sitting on the thrones with matching masks on their faces.

They are silver and black, with gaping holes of darkness for their eyes and mouths and inlaid with delicate designs. Some have horns and some don’t, but they all have the same kind of black robes obscuring their bodies.

Even though I can’t see their gazes, I feel their attention on us as they judge us, and for a moment, I swear I hear a whisper in the night.

Welcome home, fellow nightmare.

I say nothing, and instead, I wait.

Slowly, as one, they stand, and when the voice comes, it’s a combination of many, booming with agony and death, and those near me flinch and recoil. Then, the robed figures’ power flows from them and reaches us, stealing my breath.

“You have been brought to the Court of Nightmares for judgement.”

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