"Count Vlasko's Curse"
On Monday Miss Henderson found herself in a room in the Vlasko house with another girl. A young woman walked in wearing a dark dress.
“Now then girls,” she said breezily, “My name is Miss Shaw, although you may call me Gertie. I’m here to train you girls up. You see, you may be used to domestic service, but you will have to learn the ways of the Vlasko household.”
And as the girls find out, the ways of the Vlasko household are very strange indeed. Something sinister seems to be hiding in the very heart of the house, a house run by a man with a curious fear of sunlight. Will Miss Henderson survive to her first payday? Or should she have heeded the advice of the maid who told her “Go! Leave this place. Go and don’t ever return!”
In the city, where the fog curls just above the cobble stones, there are many lights; the flickering gas lamps breathing milky pools against the evening’s cool, dark breast; the tinder sparks from flaring pipes; the window-stars like cold diamonds or bright catalysts of life.
Move out beyond the streets, out into the woods, follow that lonely ribbon of road away through the marsh, and the lights out there do not cast the same impression on our minds.
Lights, we understand, mean there is someone and who, we ask ourselves, who could be out there in the dark and the mist? Who on a night like this?
The word for the carriers of the marsh lanterns is Mulo and Baba always told me that this word means demon. After Mammy and Daddy and little Dragan were gone, and all that was left was Baba and me, she taught me to light the tallows in their little glass bottles and set them all around the farm each night, to keep the demons away.
She knew a lot of things my Baba, how to keep us safe through the long dark nights in Indigo. But she didn’t know how to make the water safe, and in the end it was only me, and I didn’t know either.
If either of these stories sounded interesting to you, both "Mulo" and "Count Vlasko's Curse" are included in Dreamtime Damsels and Fatal Femmes by the Dreamtime Tale Fantasy Authors, releasing on September 25th. Be sure to reserve your copy today!
-"Muliebral The Bold"
-"Nicole Falling: A Southwestern Horror Story"
-"A Wizard's Quandary"
-"Red, The Wolf"
-"Better The Thorn"