Mar. 1st, 2013


Mar. 1st, 2013 09:20 pm
Bel ushers me up the narrow, ladder-like staircase ahead of her, though she collides with me midway when I suddenly stop in my tracks. A thought has just popped into my head unbidden, and I cannot shake it loose.

“You do know how stairs work, right?” Bel says.

“Your pardon, my lady. The fog… it doesn’t come up from the well, does it?” I ask.

Aerosolized vampire… it would be a far worse threat than mere vampire in the groundwater. Or perhaps the vampire isn’t trapped as I’d supposed, but merely using the well as a makeshift crypt. I’d always thought that running water was proof against such creatures, but perhaps this one had found the motivation to overcome that weakness.

“Not so far as I’ve noticed,” she ways. “It ends up filling the square pretty densely, but it seems to be moving in rather than originating there.”

“Does it fill the square in particular, or is it everywhere?”

“I couldn’t say,” she says. “I’ve watched it fill up the square, but I only have the one view, and I haven’t gone out looking for others.”

The rooms over Bel’s bakery are cozy but not nearly as tight as the space below. The outer walls are wood up here, where there is thick stone below. There also isn’t the bulk of the oven to contend with. Bel’s furnishings are largely practical—nothing in the way of knickknacks, for instance—but nothing is rough or unadorned.

“I’d bet this place is warm in winter,” I say.

“It’s terrible in the summer,” she says. “I can leave the windows here open all day and it’s still stifling at night. I’d sleep all day and bake at night if I could, but I’d have to convince the rest of the town to flip with me.”

“If we don’t do something, that might well happen,” I say. “I don’t like to think about what might follow.”

“Tell me.”



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