EPILOGUE



Entry from the Watcher’s Diary of Godewyn Prentiss




FRANCE, day 24 in the month of May, anno Domini 1661




Last evening Madeleine came closer to death than either of us are prepared to admit.


She was stalking what we thought to be a vampire, but it since has become apparent that he is an entirely different sort of creature. I know not what to call him. The books I have list no such demons that fit this strange beast’s description, and my only source of knowledge at this point lies with a cleric Madeleine has brought to me.


Brother Idelfonsus is a spectacularly learned man, of that there is no doubt. Though pious and a firm believer in all things holy, he is nonetheless a scientific man at heart. He has been traveling with this creature of Madeleine’s for many months now, recording his many fascinating observations in a journal. He has graciously allowed me the privilege of reading these interesting notes, and from what little I have gleaned thus far, I can see that the pair have been engaged in many extraordinary adventures together. Brother Idelfonsus has scribed every imaginable detail of this creature’s life on this earthly plain, and in addition has included countless anecdotal references concerning the strange world from which it issued.


I feel I must, however, take a moment aside to make my views on this matter clear. When Madeleine first brought the beast to me and related her tale of its assistance, I was quite taken aback. That a demon would willingly fight its own kind, and all to aide a human in distress is unheard of. Such a thing goes against all I have been taught to accept. Still, Madeleine was quite impressed with the beast’s fighting abilities, and proposed a most unusual alliance. She would like the creature to join our cause and to battle at her side.


Of course, I tried to explain how this was impossible, but it would seem that my obedient slayer has developed a most stubborn streak. After several hours of convincing argument, I finally decided to relent and agreed to write the Watcher’s Council about the matter. She in turn has promised to abide by whatever decision they make. Unfortunately, given the difficulty of getting messages through, it may be some months before I receive a response to my inquiries. In the meanwhile, I shall allow this request of hers, but with close supervision, of course. One cannot be too careful. In spite of its angelic appearance, it seems that this creature is not to be trusted around members of the fairer sex.


Brother Idelfonsus has deigned to stay with us, to instruct us in the creature’s care. I must admit to having a selfish motive in this offer of hospitality. After years spent taking care of Madeleine, I am looking forward to the simple male companionship of someone who is more my own age, and to hearing more of this man’s scholarly observations.


As for the beast, he will be residing in the barn with the rest of the animals. Though I’m sure people will not object to the cleric’s presence, I do not need to give the villager’s additional fodder for their ridiculous gossip by permitting that creature to live in my home.


Once again, I am grateful that my Madeleine is above falling prey to the beast’s prurient intentions. She has kept a level head throughout all this, and shows a surprising ability to reason and debate that I never suspected before. Not only has she prevailed upon me to help train the beast to fight with her, but she has swayed my opinion on another point as well. It is a small thing, though I fear I may have given in much too easily. Still, I can see no harm to her request, and she has promised me that she would keep the matter “under her skirts” as she so boldly put it.


Besides, if it will make her a better slayer, how can I deny her something as trivial as permission to wear pants?










Finis







Turn the Page Back to Chapter Twenty-Eight | Back to the Title Page