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Another month, another Blog Chain. Since this is one has a Masquerade theme to it. I though it would be best if I hosted here. This short serves as a prequel of sorts to the main SuD storyline. Enjoy.

The rules of the Blog Chain are as follows:

Hello everyone,

A new month is about to start and I am taking on the role of blog chain host for the first time. I’ll be stealing shamelessly from my predecessor hosts so I hope you’ll give me a pass for the blatant plagiarism in this post.

This month’s Halloween inspired prompt is Masquerade.

I call it a prompt because I don’t want to limit the directions you bloggers might choose to take it. You can apply it (masks, costuming, sleights of hand, etc.) to a scene involving a character, write a short story using it, apply it to yourself as a writer, whatever. Just have fun with it!

If you are interested in participating this month, scroll down to the reply box and enter your blog’s address so I can add you to the list!

Each participant posts when his number is up. The first one will go October 1st.

Even if the blog chain has started, you can still be added to the end of the list until the month is over.

When it’s your turn, you have two days to publish the direct link to your blog post in this thread. I will remind you when it is your turn two times (after your predecessor posts and, ideally, 24 hours before your deadline both here and by PM). If you are unable to publish your entry within two days, the chain will move along to the next person. You will be moved to the end of the chain if you request it (here or by a quick PM to me), deleted if you do not.

Your post must include the list of the blog chain’s participants with the link to each blog.

The aim of a blog chain is twofold:

a) Have fun
b) Discover new blogs
This means that a true chain blogger reads and comments on the entry of the other participants.

Finally, two friendly pieces of advice:

a) Visit this thread regularly or use the subscription feature to make sure you don’t miss your turn.
b) Try to keep your post under 1,000 words. Longer post tend to receive less attention.

The three brothers walked down the narrow streets of London’s old city. If any of the passersby cared to take a closer look at them, they would have noticed the striking similarities among the three under their plumed, wide brim hats. The walked among the crowd, dodging vendors, horses and general effluvia that filled the streets.

“Are you sure that are guest are going to show up, Javier?” said the triplet walking on the right.

“Yes, Julian, they will come. The stench of Puritanism will drive the Lords and Ladies to decadence like flies to honey. A perfect introduction to London society. I even convinced Bloodworth to show up,” said Javier, taking the lead.

“But the political risks, Javier. The Mayor is a Republican, while the Lords are in King Charles’ camp,” said Johan on the left.

“Watch yer heads!” screamed a woman from above. The trio dodge a stream of sludge dumped from a second story window.

“The King is losing power Johan. This is an Empire of merchants, not landed aristocrats. From the African slave trade to the sugarcane plantations of the West Indies, new colonies in the Americas and just look  how the Dutch are pushing for more control of the trade routes. Kings are reaching their twilight and burghers are taking over.  Coin equals power and that is nowhere more true than here in London,” said Javier with a triumphant smile.

“Brother, could I have some coin?” asked Johan, looking in the direction of a nearby alley. Johan glanced in that direction and saw a young mother covered in grime, begging for scraps along with her two children. The older, a girl, was not more than five.

“We don’t have time for that. Maybe later,” said Javier.


“But nothing. Control, Johan. Control!” said a stern faced Javier.

“Easy for you to say,” said Julian, covering his mouth witha perfumed handkerchief as they turned the corner near the banks of the Thames.

Carriages made their way deep into the Old City. They stopped in front of a series of shops. Groups darted from the carriages, their faces covered in elaborate feathered carnival masks. Down rickety stairs they went, into a ancient hollowed space that looked like an old roman theater, deep in the bowels of the City once known as Londinium.  There music played and couples, all wearing pearl white mask with dashes of intrepid colors dance the night away in the brightly lid center, while others gossip in the darkened corners away from the candlelight.

Javier wondered about the edges. He stopped to talk to a guest here, laughed at a joke there, winked at a lady that passed by. Unlike his guest, he only wore a dark half-mask around the eyes.  From the corner of his eye he saw his brother Johan smacking his lips. He noticed him earlier dragging one of the servant boys away. He also lost sight of Julian.

He tapped a merchant on the shoulder, “Good sir, have you seen my brother?”

The man swayed under the influence of wine, “He is wearing the fanged mask, right? Julian, yes, I saw him leave with the baker’s daughter. Pretty thing.”

“Thank you.”

He left the party through the kitchens. The streets were empty at this hour. He reached the bakery on Pudding Lane. He saw a flicker of candle light through a upstairs window. The backdoor was ajar. Javier slipped inside. He followed the familiar scent of blood. Inside the baker daughter’s bedroom he found what he expected. Johan, his features feral standing over the torn body of  the woman in question.

“You couldn’t resist, could you brother.”

“When the Hunger calls, one answers. You know that,” said Julian. He pulled a change of clothes from a bag. “I leave the rest up to you, dear brother. Time for you to indulge as well.”

Julian left Javier alone in the room with the mangled remains. The sight of a single burning candle caught his eye. The way the flame flickered and danced. The merging of the colors blue, red, yellow and white.


His heart beat faster.

Yes, fire. To cleanse my brother’s sins. To burn away the stench of this place. To feed my soul.

He found a nearby lamp and poured the contents on the bed. The thick oil mingled with the congealing blood. Then came the long candle. With a flick of his wrist it flew until it landed on the oil soaked bed sheets, setting them alight.  He watched, entranced by the growing flames. Then he walked away, with careful steps, afraid to give in to the thrill that coursed though his veins. The old blood, the blood of the Fallen calling out to him.

The bakery burned behind him. Flames leapt to nearby buildings.

Cries of alarm filled the air.

He smiled while the City of London burned.

In the Year of Our Lord, 1666.

Hope you enyoyed it and  sorry for the delay

Here is the running list of the October Blog Chain participants:

Auburn Assassin and direct link to her post
Hillary Jacques and direct link to her post
Aimee Laine and direct link to her post
Ralph Pines
Amy Doodle
Aheila (early second half)
Dolores Haze
Semmie (near end)



    • Claire Gillian
    • Posted October 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm
    • Permalink

    Wow, loved this dark masquerade tale! The novel that follows is going to be awesome. Those are quite the triplets.

    • freshhell
    • Posted October 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm
    • Permalink

    Triplet vampires? Did one infect the others or were they “born” this way, I wonder? 🙂

  1. They are not exactly vampires (although that was the original concept). The Hunger is a bit more complicated than that. 😉

  2. Now I’m wondering if Johan wanted to give the woman in the alley money, or if it was a pretense to get close enough to eat her. Love the ambiguity!

  3. She was not alone…. 😉

  4. Dark and nicely done. I especially admire the name “Bloodworth,” which sounds evil and British at the same time.

    I think you mean “The King is losing power” rather than “The King is loosing power,” though.

  5. And historically accurate, as is the date.

    On that other part….oops! I’ll have to change that. Thanks for the catch! 😀

  6. I used to think I’d love to go to a masquerade ball. Now I think I’ve changed my mind *grin*

    Loved the old Midnight Oil track. So impassioned!

  7. Chilling. Great job, as usual. I love the ending.

  8. Chilling and dark, and so atmospheric. Well done.

  9. @Amy and Hillary:

    Thank you so much. Strange thing is, I’m not a huge fan of spooking people, and I have no idea how to write chilling. I guess because I’m the one doing the writing and it doesn’t feel that way to me. Which is weird because when it comes to excitement or laughs, I kind of have an inkling of what the reader should feel because I’m feeling it too.

    Go figure!

    Glad you liked it.

  10. I’m caught wondering exactly where Javier stands in regards to his brother’s actions. He chides him for not resisting, starts a fire to cleanse his sins, yet he smiles as the city burns. Nice ambiguity leaves us wanting more.

  11. Ha, that was AWESOME!

    Didn’t see the ending coming at all!

    Good job, great writing!

  12. Thank you!

    “To each according to their Nature, to each according to their Need.”

    • bettedra
    • Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:30 am
    • Permalink

    I’m a bit late, but wanted to add my “well done” to the mix. I’m definitely intrigued.

  13. No worries bettedra. I’ve been a little slow on that score too. Not to mention I haven’t updated this blog since my entry in the Blog Chain. Thanks for the kind words.

10 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By Choppy Waters « Neither Here nor There…. on 05 Oct 2010 at 12:36 am

    […] Well, I got that out of my system. Now go over to my Speculative Fiction blog and read my entry in the AW October Blog Chain: Feeding the Hunger. […]

  2. […] Ralph Pines and direct link to his post […]

  3. […] (direct link to the relevant post) Aimee Laine (direct link to the relevant post) Ralph Pines (direct link to the relevant post) Veinglory (direct link to the relevant post) Laffarsmith (direct link to the relevant post) […]

  4. […] Who Led: Auburn Assassin Hillary Jacques Aimee Laine Ralph Pines Veinglory Laffarsmith PASeaholtz Madelein.Eirwen Amy Doodle CScottMorris […]

  5. […] and direct link to her post Ralph Pines and direct link to his post Veinglory and direct link to her post Laffarsmith […]

  6. By A Living Masquerade | Diane Dooley on 13 Oct 2010 at 2:56 am

    […] and direct link to her post Ralph Pines and direct link to his post Veinglory and direct link to her post […]

  7. […] and direct link to her post Ralph Pines and direct link to his post Veinglory and direct link to her post Laffarsmith […]

  8. By Magic Eye « Betty Abroad on 15 Oct 2010 at 12:47 pm

    […] Ralph Pines and direct link to his post […]

  9. By AW October Blog Chain | The Writeaholic's Blog on 19 Oct 2010 at 10:03 am

    […] and direct link to her post Ralph Pines and direct link to his post Veinglory and direct link to her post Laffarsmith […]

  10. […] mentioned Julian in the past. He is the main antagonist in my second book, […]

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