A Ghoul in the AtticMature

The ageing man with the crooked nose slipped out of the narrow alley and began his journey. He was tall and slim, wearing long, flowing black robes. The robes acted as camouflage in the darkness, he blended right in.

The villagers of Cattal knew him as Demrin Artuna, the village Warlock. He trained for ten years with the previous Warlock, Marik Ebertan. When Marik had passed on, Demrin gained the title. Previous to his apprenticeship, he had been known as Samuel Callow. He took the name Demrin Artuna upon completion of his training. He chose the name from the book of names stored safely away in his home.

Demrin strolled casually down the moonlit street until he arrived at the Wright residence. They were one of the more powerful families in Cattal. He had received an urgent summons from them four days previous to banish a ghoul from their attic. Demrin made a living from protecting the villagers from demons of the night.

He opened the rusty iron gate and made his way to the large front door. He grasped the brass knocker and rapped loudly three times. He listened intently as hurried footsteps grew closer. The door swung back to reveal a plump woman, her auburn hair tied in a bun and an apron strapped to her waist. Her eyes widened as she realised the identity of the guest and she beckoned him in.

“I shall fetch the master immediately” she uttered and vanished quickly from sight through a door at the end of the hall. Demrin took the opportunity to avail of his surroundings. He was standing in a large greeting hall, a wide, granite staircase faced him and a number of doors led off. He spotted a cobweb in one corner, a mouse hole in the skirting of a wall and a few prominent cracks about the floor.

Presently, the master was ushered into the hall by the maid. He extended a large hand which Demrin took and shook firmly. You could always tell the measure of a man by the handshake he proffered to you.

“Mr. Artuna, so glad you could come”.

“Always a pleasure, Mr. Wright”.

Mr. Wright led Demrin up the wide flight of stairs and down a corridor to a door set alone at its end. He pulled open the door and gestured to Demrin.

“It is up there, Mr. Artuna. I shall settle the payment once you have dealt with the problem”. With that he stepped back and allowed Demrin to pass.

Demrin strode forward into the blackness of the attic. He had no fear of this encounter; Ghouls were no real threat to anyone. Their only problem was the incredible racket they made to irritate the inhabitants, and the god awful smell which emanated from them. Summoning a ball of flame in his left palm to light his way, Demrin began to search for the beast.

He turned at a scratching noise and found the Ghoul at the opposite wall, gouging trails in the wood. It turned as the light fell upon him and looked dumbstruck, a Ghoul’s natural look. Demrin buffeted it with a blast of wind which threw it to the ground. He began to recite a basic binding spell which prevented the Ghoul from moving. They never needed much more.

After another few short moments of reciting, the creature was fully bound. Demrin then began a spell of expulsion. Within moments, the beast was being forced into a vortex of wind and light and then, it had vanished. It would re-appear some distance away, greatly confused as to its location and its lack of intelligence would only hinder it further.

Smiling at a job well done, Demrin left the attic, exchanged coins with the master and left the Wright residence. It was still a clear, moonlit night outside so he decided to delay his return home so he might take a stroll through the village green. 

The End

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