Chapter 2

The little bat Sint perched carefully on the broken masonry of his current home, a crumbling tower surrounded on three sides by a large forest and on the fourth by a river that lapped at the shore, once in a great while the water reached all the way up to the bottom of the tower and flooded the dungeons, Sint’s friend Nora happily leapt into the pool it created at these times but their guardian Kakon carefully avoided all water shuddering at even the slightest hint of rain and curling his long gray tail against his body. But this night Sint was by himself as Nora and Kakon had gone to prowl around the nearest town in search of the three’s latest quarry; the notorious Lady Bella, a black cat with emerald-green eyes that while not a vampire herself was trying to raise an army of the undead to help her, with what they weren’t sure but Lady Bella practiced black magic so Kakon was convinced it couldn’t be anything good. A sharp crack suddenly split the chilly night air and Sint quickly ducked under the eaves of the closest gate and cocked his ears but all was silent again and Sint hopped to the ground and picked up his stake that he normally wore thrust through a belt around his waist, he hadn’t been expecting trouble in this peaceful place but he knew Kakon would scold him for dropping his guard (and weapon) instead of thinking about that though he hopped up on a low wall and again cocked his ears, this time he heard a rustling near the rose garden’s south gate “Hello” squeaked a tremulous voice “I’m looking for Kakon” the voice continued, sounding anxious.
“He isn’t here” answered Sint sniffing a bit before recognizing the scent of a mouse “what does a mouse want to see a cat for?” he asked curiously. “I was told he could help, there have been some strange deaths in my tribe and our esteemed leader thinks that the are supernatural forces at work” replied the mouse standing up on his hind paws “my name is Simon” he added politely, evidently getting over any fright he had. “I’m Sint” said the bat dropping down in front of Simon and extending his wing tip to shake the mouse’s paw “Kakon isn’t here now but you’re welcome to wait for him” Simon agreed and they sat down under an arbor that was supporting several vines full of dark purple roses, to late they both smelled a strange odor composed of dust and mint, the scent enveloped their minds and they slipped to the ground unconscious as a large tabby cat stalked up to them, the tabby was a handsome beast and had Sint been conscious, thanks to Kakon’s excellent descriptions he would have had no trouble recognizing the tabby as Lady Bella’s right-paw cat; Hector.

Meanwhile in a small flat in town:

Sarah stared at the battered box in dismay, she had known that the delivery was to be today but she had hoped that the book wouldn’t come, she knew Lady Bella didn’t need anymore spellbooks and this one sounded particularly disturbing but since it had arrived the sleek orange cat had no choice but to place it on her Lady’s desk and hope that Bella would never use it.

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