IN HER DYING EYES-the black embrace

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"A long time ago... farther now than it seems, in a place that perhaps you've seen in your dreams..." _

-the nightmare before christmas-

THere once was a young spaniard noble whose father left the country to be ambassador
. Living in England, He soon called for his son, his daughter, and his loving wife. The years wetn by fashionably well as the boy became a man, and attended the universities for some time. He became distant after a duel with another man that shoud lhave ended his life. Less than a year later... he disappeared... but thats what the father told the world. and that is were our story woudl have ended if not for a strange twist of fate twenty five years ago.
The newspaper made a big fuss over it, an entire team of british archeologists, murdered in cold blood, throats cut and bled out all over the tomb of an old crypt, deep below the surface behind an abandoned mansion east of yorkshire. For five weeks, news streamed as legend of vampires and serial killer maids ran rampant. there was only one truth though. they had opened a coffin.. and whatever was inside.. was NOT there when the bodies were found.

Seventeen years pass, and a new coorporation takes root somewhere in eastern canada by the ocean. A rich young man stays well hidden in the coorporate ladder as the stocks rise, and so do his riches.

Now, The year is 2011, september in a small city. a place nobody ever bothers to remember the name of... a stormy night becomes an illustrious day. another day... just another day. or so it would seem.


The sun danced through teh willows of the park by the old manmade lake full of fish and turtles. It woudln't take long for a well rounded individual to appreciate the amount of preserrvation to naturethat was offered up tot eh public here. Such things are easily overlooked in most cases though. A man in unremarkable clothing found himself awakening to the world after a short nal beneath on the these trees. His head bobbed up slightly, and rested against the greying bark of the aging tree.
Scarce shadows seemed to dance around him impishly, never really revealing his entire face at any one time to passersby. Nobody seemed to notice, however, because he had been thereon and off for more than a week now, staring at the water, always underneath the shade of the same dull willow in the same dull park, between the Main college campus, and the off-site dormitories. His long hair was let loose around him, and his trenchcoat was not off-season in the chilly morning air of the september day. He heaved a sigh and stared at the sunlight glistening off the water.

Anastasia looked outside her grandmothers window, only half listening to her mother and father as she tried to tune them out and listen to what the

news had to say.

They had moved here just a couple of months ago from California. To get away from the big city life.

Mainly, because they wanted to keep an eye on Anastasia who sense college moved out on her own.

They lived only 4 blocks from her and never let her forget it.

"Dont go out into that weather trying to take pictures sweetheart.. winter brings death" Her Mother erged as she carried green tea to her Grandmother who sat on

the couch grumbling in Transylvanian.

They had originated from Transylvania, and that was their downfall, they were all so superstitious.. all but Anastasia who had never believed in supernatural things

which was hard growing up in a family like hers, though she found away to

Maintained that even now.

"Its not so cold the news says there isn't even a freeze warning out.. besides I want to refill my camera.."

She thought out loud as she held her camera tightly in her hands

She was a photography major.

Anything she thought was beautiful she snapped it.

Whether it be scenery, nature, events, men, women.

She loved beautiful things. Savoring moments hidden in her film.

"I just want you to be careful my love... this town is too quiet.." Her Father chipped in.

Anastasia rolled her eyes. She was an adult now. She could do without all of this..

She sighed picking up her bag and heading out the door.

"I love you all, I promise I will call you as soon as I get to my dorm"

She vowed, knowing she wouldn't be to her dorm until nightfall.. She wanted to go

Check out an empty field behind her dorm which was located off campus.

she had spotted that and for some reason it caught her attention.

It was like that sometimes.

She just felt the erge to snap a shot. She looked up to the sky... it seemed confused.

Cloudy yet sunny.. She wouldn't take chances.. she didnt have a problem with being cold, but being Cold and

rained on? She would pass. She tightened her grey sweater around her and began to head towards the field..

"Just one shot.." She whispered to herself as the wind began to pick up. Blowing back wild strands of her dirty blonde hair not pulled

under her hoodie. Maybe it was too quiet here. Maybe something would happen soon, and maybe she would

be lucky enough to be there and snap a picture.
There was nobody in the streets tonight. a few cars made their round of the street and disappeared until onyl the sodn of distant engines echoed throught eh stone and metal corridors of the place. And still, the man beneatht eh willow stared at teh lake. lost in thought... or was he?

The sound of birds chittering the last songs of summer afted down from the trees. And then, landing infront of Anastasia was a large black thing. it seemed to stumble a few paces to each side before moving farther away. It was a raven. no, not JUST a Raven, the largest, most beetle green feathered raven anastasia woudl have ever seen. normally not really a beautiful bird, thsi raven let off a subtle vibe of elegance. it stared at her suddenly and flew off to a low branch, close to the pond.
The bird was too big.

Anastasia followed the birds eyes as they followed hers.

They weren't bird eyes, but looked more like a humans eyes.

It made Anastasia feel uneasy... Where did this bird come?

Why did it land in front of me the way it did?

And whats with its appearance?

Ah, She thought to herself smirking and nodding "This is the one, The Spaniard"

Recently, she had heard a lot of things about ravens, she couldn't put her finger on it, but

This would explain peoples concerns about them.

Why were they so huge? did all birds in Spain look this big?

Out of instinct, she tightened her grip around the camera she held...

and began to descend slowly towards the creature, taking the flash off as she did so.

She slowly held the camera to her face and adjusted, she wanted to snap.

She squeezed the button, when a loud car rushed by and scared her so bad in the midst of the quietness, she dropped her camera.

"Shit.." She mumbled looking around on the ground for it, every so often looking up at the eerie creature

making sure it didnt move

Away or towards her.
There was a cackle of beak and a flutter of wings, forcing anastasia to the ground as the raven flew away. in teh moment of confusion, she woudl lose track of it. A supple, gentle hand helped her to her feet and handed her back her camera.
"Corvus corvidae. the Raven." he smiled at her. his teeth resembled something out of a horror movie... because they were PERFECT... He slipped his hand out of her grasp, his long fingernails pricked her flesh painfully. " oh... I'm sorry. are you alright?" he said. he sighed and shook his head, turning around.

"Have a good evening, miss." he said, with a spanish accent barely peeking out of a well mannered mouth. he began to walk away quietly. the raven was gone.
Anastasia looked at her hand, the way she felt his nails against her bare skin, uncomfortable but.. comforting.

"Wait" She called after him, walk running towards him and slowing her pace to his.

"Did you see that Raven...? How big it was..? thank you for helping me up..."

She couldnt stop talking.. his timing was too perfect...

He mustve seen something..

And that Raven was too powerful.. its wing power nearly swept her away...

This day was getting odder and odder.
The man put his hand to his waist, "Near 4 feet. Eyes that shine like nothing in nature...yes i saw it. Could have sworn it was trying to talk to you." he chuckled a little. a frighteningly deep sound, though it was nothgin but jovial.

"No, thank you." He said pointedly. A black van caught his attention as it rounded the corner> " Oh, bother." he cursed, takign the girls hand gently, and motioning her towards a thick tree and the shadows it cast. he ushered the girl behind a tree. " Quiet..." he said, pointing to the van. it passed the park area and drove off, but it was creeping awefully slowly with the passenger side window down.

"Damn idiots. they're after the bird too... but thats about all i know, so dont ask." he chuckled again after that, then took a step back and Bowed, " Forgive my manners, seems i've intruded upon you a littel far, so, i shall be going." He said gently, turning againt o walk away. was he tryign to avoid her now?
Why was he trying to leave to quickly..

This one was strange..

Unfortuantley Lucky for him, she liked strange things and figuring them out.

She caught up with him once more and began walking at his pace...

"Mind telling me why your trying to stray away from me?" She nearly demanded

Because something was not right. She could feel it.

She wanted to ask him about the bird but he said not to... as if he knew nothing more.

"Okay but if they are after the bird then why are you scared of them?"

She continued asking questions..

Squinting her eyes..

She had to know..
He avoided her first question by answering the second. "Because people in black vans don't drive around town hunting giant crows without alterior motives that usually end in someone who.. i dunno, INTERFERS with them endign up. in. a gutter." He siad pointedly, waltzing dtowards the pond.

"It's simply self preservation. I doubt that those stalkers are from PETA." He finished. The scratch on her finger woudl start to tingle ever so gently.
Anastasia slowed a moment, holding her scratched hand in her other hand..

It didnt hurt.. but she did feel something else..

Why was he in sucha hurry

"Where are you going?"

She continued her rampage,

For some reason she felt drawn to him... she needed to find out more.

"You know those movies where a girl is in trouble and a guy comes out of no where to help? yea I dont believe in that kind of stuff so you are

going to tell me whats going on right now"

She demanded pulling his trench coat back towards her,

At least he was cute.
The man stopped dead in his tracks and whispered somethgin tot eh sky before turning to face her.

"are you even listening?" he said, pointing at his mouth. were his canines a little longer then they were last time she saw them? " Do you HEAR this accent, I'm not froma round here, chika!" He said, blustering. "Oh whatever. just go home adn take your little camera with you." He said, staring at her with hypnotic deep brown eyes.
Anastasia stared at him back "Nice teeth where did you buy them?"

She said nonchalantly

"Also that makes two of us! I am from Transylvania..."

She continued, looking into his eyes.

"Fine!" She gave in, storming off the other way but not before snapping a picture of him.

"And its going right on my website"

She grumbled. His eyes.. something about his eyes made her want to leave.
Made resisting feel futile.

"I hate this stupid damn town" She continued ranting on as she began her journey to her dorm
He smirked a littel bit as she left. " Damn that took alot of energy to glamour her away....whooo." he sighed and ruffled himself a little bit. he turned around and walked down to teh water. a man sat down there, and a Large raven flew out of the park soundlessly.

The walk to her dorm would be uneventful compared tot eh rest of her day. as twilight fell, the streets rolled up as usual, and her roomate was off with her boyfriend and most likely woudln't be coming back.
So she sat in her room alone,

Developing her pictures in the water..

She liked them better that way, they came out nicer

As she continued, she couldnt find the one she had snapped of him..

"What..?" She whispered to herself

she had just stepped out of the shower, in her PJ's and couldnt find the picture..

She heard thunder outside.. and opened her window

She loved rain...

"Lucky bastard" She whispered to herself

The picture must have not snapped when she took it..
That night as she slumbered. The scratch on her hand disappeared without a trace. Her body would be thrown into rancid visions of terrible things. Nightmares, squirming lovecraftian imagery of things that would make the most iron of resolves useless as cotton candy in the rain.
<o:p> </o:p>
Meanwhile, the stuff armand had embedded in the wound through his touch was starting to take seat within her body. She would awaken to a bloated, sluggish feeling, and a dizzy sensation that would make leaving bed a rather arduous task.

That night, as the rain continued to pour harshly, she woke up to the sound of thunder

In aching pain, she sat up slowly.. she felt dizzy, like someone had traquillized her..

She let her feet find the floor, trying to connect back with reality and leave those dreams she had fought just

moments ago where they belong.

As soon as she shifted her weight towards the floor she fell. She leaned her upper body against the bed and began reaching for her phone..

She needed her mother.. she needed

There was a scratching at the window, a huge bird crashed in through her window. A pigeon with a note tag on its leg. One of the dormitories carrier pigeons from teh roof. it was VERY dead, and the hole in her window was sizeable, glass strewn everywhere.a flash of shadows across teh window.. was that a huge black bird?

Seconds later... the power went out to the dormitories. The feeling subsided rather qickly, but the dizziness was enough that when her room mate came back later, she would suggest calling in sick to classes.
"What is going on?" she said mainly to herself.

She decided to go on and stay home tommorow

And her roomate promised to send for the maintenance man to fix the window

In the morning

She lit a candle in the darkness and unfolded the note to read
"though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i shall fear no evil." were words roughly scrawled on the piece of paper.

The feeling of sluggishness gave way at around four o' clack that day. Other than being hungry, nothign had changed, unless she looked at the scratch, now gone. The black van roamed across the campus, disappearing from sight on its way to the park.
Normally, she would disregaurd this.. but something wasn't right.

She decided that tommorow she would g investigate that park

Only because nothing like this had presented itself before meeting that man..

Or that bird

She closed her eyes.. letting the night take her as she began drifting off