Prologue: Figure in the night

An icy wind swept over the small town. Drifting over the many flat roofs and bursting up and upon itself at those with slight inclines. The chill wind crept through the clay tiles and fitted itself in them, nesting the houses in cold. The wind swept down those with chimneys and unders door of those without. The wind crushed the small town garden, killing unharvested crops with icy daggers. The daggers of frost crept into pails of milk and barrels of water, freezing them.

It left only a single figure untouched in the moonlit darkness. Pearched upon a thatched roof a cloaked figure looked about, searching for something and listening intently. Shifting, the figure drew a thin blade and a small vial from the folds of the dark cape. The figure dipped the blade into the vial, careful to retain every drop. Sliding the vial back into the folds of the cape the figure moved towards the next roof.

Jumping from the first roof, the figure landed on another, and took off running. With the cape billowing out behind, the figure found its way to the highest roof in town. Pulling the cape off the figure used it to repel to the closest window. Feeling the window and quickly unlocking it, the figure slipped into the silent as a falling leaf.

The dark figure waited until its eyes had adjusted. Looking around it saw a normal room filled with a bookshelf, a few chairs and little else. Eyes darting around the figure searched for the best shadow of the room, as it heard a noise outside the door. Before the door even opened the figure hid itself within the shadow of a tallbacked, embroidered armcahair.

The door creaked open slowly and a tall, thin old man entered the room. Hands trembling under the small weight of the candle in his hand. The old man instantly made for the bookcase, searching for a book diligently, forhead furrowed as he read the titles. Finally selecting a book, he pulled away from the bookshelf and went towards the door, only to drop the book a mear hands breadth away from the dark figure. With a ruematic hand the man took up the book and this time clutched it fiercely to his chest as he walked out the door, which closed with a resounding click. The man had just escaped death, a thought that would never dawn on him.

As soon as the door clicked shut the figure slid from the shadows and crept out into the hall. In the wooden floored hallway the figure tested each board for noise before placing its weight upon it. For added caution the figure supported its weight with the walls, careful not to touch any of the numerous paintings.

Sure of the destination, the figure faced a door, slowly opening it and slipping in noiselessly. The figure reached it's target in what appeareed to be the master room.

A small bookcase that stood by the door was the first thing the figure noticed, instantly creeping into its shadow. Looking for more shadows the figure found them, hidden among the large bed opposite the bookcase, the extravagant night tables adding to the shadows. Slipping into the new shadows the figure searched for another, sliding into the shadows of the numerous wardrobes and dressors. The center of the room was the obvious object of the figured mind, as it circled around, looking for shadows to bring it closer. Two lounge chairs sitting near each other with a side table was the perfect spot to dip into. Sliding behind the side table with a large crystal on it the figure looked into the roaring fire that the chairs faced, for the first time. Looking up at the mantlepiece riddled with many odd trifles and above a painting of a large jolly man, gave the figure a sense of satisfaction. This was the room.

Circling around the chairs the man from the picture came into view. An older man now, yet still the same man. At his side was an empty wine glass, with an accompaning empty bottle on the ground. It was obvious that the man had drank himself to sleep.

The figure crept as close as possible and slid the blade out into the open, carefully pricking the tip of th emans finger with it. The man reacted instantly with a faint murmer, a breif and quiet struggle, and then died. Careful to cover its tracks, the figure positioned the man so it seemed as if he had kicked his foot rest out from him. Placing the foolstool at the edge of the fire the figure backed out of the room and slid out the way it had come, almost a shadow.

Upon reaching the roof the figure put its cloak on again, and secured the blade carefully. Taking off into a run, the figure lept from house to house, making its way from the town. Leaping from the last roof onto the ground, the figure casually walked out of town and into the plains

In front, chilled hight air. Behind, a blazing inferno. Behind a flickering light. Ahead, darkness.

A/N the beggining to my book..gonna work on it from here..yep..god i love the fact that fiction press copyrights things for you...