>The flickering candles sent the shadows quietly dancing about the room as if they were consumed by a happy madness. Filaments of light moved across the Countess, seemingly animating her motionless form. In the gloom, the vibrant purple of her irises emitted an unwholesome glow.
Adjusting to the sudden increase in darkness, Anon squinted. The Countess lay on the sofa before him. He blinked and she was instantaneously gone from that position and was now standing near the coffee table with a smile.
>Inability to understand the dark magic at work here caused beads of sweat to roll down from Anon’s brow into his eyes.
He blinked again, involuntarily, from the drop of sweat. Again she vanished from her position by the table, instantaneously reappearing, as Anon opened his eyes, at the high-backed chair a pace and half from him. His heart raced, his eyes locked to hers, and he dared not speak out of terror. He observed her grin now grow wider. As she did, glints of light reflected off her now revealed fangs.
>Now a slow pursuit began. Anon stepped back and the Countess forward. Step by step they moved across the room, one hunting the other. One subsumed by fear, the other brimming with dominance and power. This creeping dance continued, until Anon reached the limit of his travel.
Stepping back, his leg pressed against something wooden. Placing his hand back to feel what it was, and casting a quick glance over his shoulder, he could see that it was the bed. Just as quickly, he brought his gaze back to the Countess.
>The Countess smirked, licked a fang, and cocked her head to one side. Softly, in whispery tones she said, “What now, Anon? What will you do? Perhaps, perhaps, acceptance of fate is an appropriate course of action. Is it not?”
Out of the corner of his eye, Anon could see the door. By the strength that shear terror induced in a man, he could surely tear it open. He grabbed the bed post closest the door, in order to propel himself as he bolted.
>There was a standoff. Anon watched the Countess, and the Countess watched Anon. He tightened his grip on the post. He took a slow breath. He readied his muscles to jolt him to the door.
>The Countess maintained her grin while her eyes moved slowly in the direction of the door, as if to dare Anon. “You think so?”
Anon frowned with resolve. He let out a small bit of breath and caught it suddenly. Just as suddenly, and with all the agility he could muster, he turned to spring toward the door.
>But there, suddenly in the path he intended to dash through, was the Countess smiling and menacing as before.
Anon caught himself with the bedpost before he fell over. Standing once more, his eyes fell upon hers. He felt drawn in to those violet pools; captivated completely and lost in their poison.
>”Yes, Anon. Unfortunately, it was inevitable,” said the Countess sweetly, “And now the game is coming to an end.”