There was blood everywhere.
The pungent odder of the rotting bodies filled the air. It was so heavy that Jason Kaine felt the urge to gag. But he covered his mouth with a rag and stepped into the room. He held his pistol out in front of him as he entered. That's were he found her.
She sat in a pool amongst the torn dead bodies. Naked and covered in a pool of their blood. She was smiling at him as he came in, "Welcome." she said looking up at him. Jason leveled his pistol at her. She looked at it, "That will have little effect upon me." she said.
"I'm game to find out," Jason said, "so don't force the issue. Just don't move."
The woman only sat in the warm pool of blood, her eyes following Jason, "What is this?" he snapped at her.
"My den." she said. "A gift to me from my master."
"Master?" Jason asked.
"Branlaven Wraithstone." she said in almost sexual ecstasy. "Branlaven, Branlaven, Branlaven." She said it over and over again, while running her hands through the blood and then rubbed the dripping appendages through her dark hair. "He can gift you as well."
"Me?" Jason laughed, "I've been hunting him for some years now."
"But he still knows of you Jason Edgar Kaine," she said. "He looks upon you as one of his children. As I am."
"How do you know my name?" Jason asked.
"I know many things of you," she said. "The master has told me much of you."
"Really." Jason said.
"Yes," she said back. "Such as you do not believe as the others do. And for that you are one step closer to following him. You have within you a beast that wants to control you. A rage that wants to destroy those around you."
She was right about that, Jason admitted to himself. For as long as he could remember he had always been angry with something. Yet he kept a very tight control of that rage. He was always its master and in its control. But now Jason had to ask himself. How did Branlaven know these things about him?
"Because the master knows your soul," the woman said, even though Jason had said nothing. "He knows who and what you are. A child of darkness. The one he chose to hunt the believers and destroy them."
"My views may not agree with the believers," Jason said, "but I am no tool of Branlaven's."
The woman began to laugh. "That will change," she said. "You are already damned. You just don't believe it yet." She rose from the pool. Blood dripped off her naked body into the deep red liquid below her. She extended one arm, "Join me. Be one with me and our master."
"No." Jason said pointing the pistol at her.
"Give into it Jason," she said holding her hand out. "You can not resist your destiny. Branlaven can grant you anything you want. Anything you wish."
Jason cocked the firing pin of the pistol, "No!" he said again. This time much louder.
"Would you like your family back?" the woman asked. "Your wife? Your daughter?"
"Stop it!" Jason barked.
"He can give them back to you Jason," the woman said. "It will be as though they never died. You need not be alone. All you have to do is embrace Branlaven and it all can be yours again."
"Stop!" Jason said and he pulled the trigger. Again and again he pulled the trigger. Lead slugs slammed into the woman's body. But she only laughed as they struck her. As the bullets tore the flesh from her body.
"Yes! Give me the pain," she cried out in joy. "Hurt me! Please, hurt me more!" Jason kept pulling the trigger of the gun until there were no bullets left. The woman looked at him with a sly smile on her lips. Jason watched shocked as the bullets wounds closed up and healed.
"Thats not possible." He said.
"Through Branlaven, all things are possible." The woman said, "And he can give you the same gifts as he has given me. Join us, for the time of Bishop is almost over. He will fall before Branlaven's power."
Jason threw the gun at her and ran from the room of carnage. He jumped over the dead bodies. He had to get away from here. Get away from this horror. All the while he heard the woman laughing. Her laughter grew louder and louder as he ran from the room.
Then with a cry Jason awoke and shot up in bed. He was breathing heavy and looked around him. He was alone. The small cottage he was staying in was empty, "A dream." He said softly. He got up from the bed, "Just a bad dream."
But was it? Someplace in Jason's heart he knew there was far more to it than just that. Something that was calling out to him. Something that wanted him. Something truly evil. And, God help, Jason felt himself tempted to join it to get his family back. He also wondered just whom this Bishop fellow was.
A dark time was coming and things were going to be getting worse. Of that Jason was sure. But what side would he choose in the coming battle? For the first time in a long time, Jason did not know the answer.