Bran Castle, Romania via Google Maps, © Cimpan Sorin
The infamous castle loomed, grim and foreboding. Having walked two weeks to get there, Nikol balked at the last approach.
He imagined her inside. Garsketa, the Red Sorceress. The stories were gruesome. Destroying a besieging army with one gesture, down to the last man. Drinking the blood of her enemies to fuel her powers. Holding them cocooned while she slowly drained them of life essence.
Even Karna Tarok avoided her castle, and he feared nothing.
But Nikol had no choice. Memories of the massacre tortured him. His family, smeared dark with death, lying wherever they’d fallen, bodies overlapping other villagers. His home, where only crows lived now.
Such blood-thirsty brutality. Someone must act to avenge them. Even one man alone.
Nikol climbed the hill, determined. The sin would defile his soul, he knew. But he would beg Garsketa’s training, learn her skills, gain the powers he needed.
Tarok would pay.
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw flash fiction challenge. The site we visit this week is Bran Castle, rumored to be the home (or one of the homes) of DRACULA! ooOOOOOoo! I kept missing chances all month to write a Halloween-themed story, so I wanted to at least get one in before Oct 31. Vampires don’t exist in Eneana, but there’s still blood magic, so I’m able to get close enough, I think. Click on the link to read the other stories written about this SPOOOOOKY castle, and to write your own.
Eneana note: “Karna” is not a name but a title of Layoran nobility, indicating a rank one level below jayanta (roughly equivalent to duke). Unless you were earlier in the timeline (predating castles), in which case Layoran nobility wouldn’t exist yet, but karnas did, and they were more like chieftains.
Happy Halloween, everyone!