The Ebonstone Tower
W. R. Frady
The Greatest Loss of Gabriel Steele
As the somber hues of twilight settled in upon the land bearing a chill not unlike that of a deathly hand which when ran across the skin sent uninvited shudders of revulsion through the unwary victim, the sky burned in shades of deepening crimson. The silhouettes of trees, giant skeletons in the dusky light swayed to and fro, their dry bones scrubbing one another with a vile hiss as various leaves swept through the air swirling and thrashing about like angry ghosts in chasing the memories of a shattered yesterday. In the distant woodlands an old owl called out his nocturnal proclamation as he stirred from his daytime slumber, which was joined by a chorus of whippoorwills and accompanied by an orchestra of insects which began the nighttime serenade. Gabriel looked onward toward the old farmhouse, knowing that his time here was done. He had come with one purpose in mind, the destruction of Madeline Alerroy, a wicked vampiress which had held the locals of the town of Eddonshire in a state of fear for many years. He had expected to come, rid the land of Madeline's curse, and be gone...what he had not expected; however was to become captivated by the town beauty, Eleanor. During his stay, the two became close, even as Gabriel knew that this could never be. She warmed up to him, becoming fast friends and together they shared in love and life. Gabriel Steele felt his heart beating for the first time in two-hundred years, every time he was around her. Then, the unthinkable happened. He was in a duel with one of Madeline's hellish minions, a bat demon which had all the grace of a vampire, but the savagery of a wild beast. He had to fall into his Vampiric heritage in order to combat and slay the beast... an act in which revealed his true nature to the father of his beloved Eleanor.
Old man Vernon was thankful for the saving of his life, and told Gabriel that he would not reveal his secret so long as he would leave them in peace once he had finished the task he was there to undertake. He could not bless the union of a Vampire Half-breed with his human daughter, no matter how much good had been done. The declaration stung Gabriel, but knowing how it would devastate her should he reveal his true identity, but he would lose her utterly to the fear which surrounds his kind. Without any argument, the dhampir nodded his agreement.
...and now here he stood, in the fading embers of daylight, looking at the life he would never have, the love he would never again feel. His battle with Madeline Alerroy was over, and it was time for him to go. He had never did well on goodbyes, and knew in his heart that should he even try, he would fail utterly. Rather, he left her a note...a message bearing the news of his immediate and urgent departure. As bloody tears ran down his cheeks, he gazed into the heart of the eternal loneliness into which his father had cursed him. He was dhampir, half-human half Vampire, a apart of both worlds yet belonging to neither... like the golden-red hues which saturated him here...in the gloaming.