Chapter 3; A Page for JackMature

The early morning light was weak through the window of the western tower. Vlad hadn't been able to get back to sleep that morning after waking at just about 3 o'clock. He dipped the quill back into the ink. There was something vaguely satisfying about using these older methods to write, rather than resorting the the relative easiness of a pen, it was if you had to graft the words to the page.

...it was then that his head fell back, the exposed bloodied flesh seeming to crowd the stark room. The smell of his salty blood filled my nostrils. In the quiet I got my things back on and crept out the back door and was back at the castle without having been seen by any living creature. Vlad.

When signing his name Vlad felt that he were signing his own death warrant, if the pages of these tomes that filled the bookshelves were to fall into the wrong hands, that is what it would be. Although, it could be said that these were invented short stories for every murder in this south-eastern portion of England. It would fall upon deaf ears. He wiped the ink on his sleeve and placed the quill next to his dagger in the left breast pocket of his coat. He walked down the winding steps of the tower and made his way to the tavern and kitchens for an order of breakfast. He felt like having eggs today, with some cold meats from the night before. He was always supernaturally hungry the day after a kill.

He ate in silence and watched the students mill into the room, ordering food that they'd never afford if it were not for the sums of money they earned in their dark practices. Vlad took himself up to the infirmary, it was time to check on the two men who had been wounded the day before yesterday.

The singular matron was fetching a cold towel for the forehead of the student when he arrived in the 'ward'. The other man was sleeping. a few more days and they will be up and we can sort this all out. On the side of the room in the adjacent cots two more students were being helped into beds by a fellow 'teacher'. A fight which had gotten out of hand. Vlad left the room and was met by the policeman in the courtyard.

"So, I see you're much better this morning, hangover bad?" In the bright light of the day Vlad could see the policeman to be a tall rounded man, red in complexion and with the gingering whiskers of a man who spent his days in the sun.

"Nothing I can't cope with. I hope I wasn't too rude or overbearing last night, and if I was let me give my sincerest apologies." Vlad knew that he wasn't, but formalities were in order, and policemen needed the formalities.

"Oh no, one of the most docile drunkards I've met. I expect you're raring to get going to Elmleigh?" He placed his thumbs in his belt and seemed to rock on his heels.

"I'm afraid not, I am to be teaching; but a fellow teacher Mr. Haligan is due to arrive back from a talk at another university this morning." If he'd been spotted by a nosy villager in that vicinity there would be questions he didn't want asking.

"I see, is he good?" The police man stopped rocking and looked puzzled, as if he was trying to comprehend how large the castle and it's occupancy was.

"Very. Now while you wait for him please take advantage of the breakfasts in the kitchen. The staff there are also very good at their job." Ply the man with food and he's sure to agree to wait for Haligan. Vlad considered himself a man who could judge how much another man would be persuaded to do things. He was extremely good at these little useful things.

"Got any bacon?" Ah, the cost!

"Of course." He was sure there would be some left if the student hadn't taken it all.

"Right, I'll be waiting for him in there then. Mr Haligan won't be long I hope."

"He won't be, he's a very punctual man." Assurance, just assure the man and get going.

"Everyone here seems to be very at everything they do, I only wish my constables were just as so." My, this man could talk the hind legs off a donkey!

"We're very lucky yes, but not everyone is, you'd only see it after a week here." Small talk; short, sweet and with a twist of humor.

"No, I'm sure they still would be liquid gold. Oh, speaking of gold, how much would the university accept for their services in this investigation." Vlad felt the watch in his pocket beckoning him to move on.

"Only what can be afforded, we aren't to make money from death now." Ha! respond to that!

"I'll see you later Mr? Sorry I never caught your name."

"Angelus." Vlad muttered this, he'd always thought his name ironic with his line of business. Thinking about it, he was the angel of death or, it was just a name.

"Well I'll see you later Mr. Angelus." And at that the policeman took to the kitchens.

Vlad ran to the lesson he was teaching on poisons and applications of them. It was to be a long day of mispronunciations and horrible mistakes.

The End

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