The clock had rolled past midnight and down the long lonely hours of night. He watched the minute hand creep closer to that silver line when he would have finally stayed up too late for sleep. Once that had passed he could drive forward, burning through the momentum until he collapsed into to dreamless heap.
If he didn’t sleep, he wouldn’t dream. If he didn’t dream, he wouldn’t wake up flailing against that nebulous something that was coming. It had the old familiar tang of blood and pain, but woven in between was a pure cold terror that sent him reaching for another pot of coffee to keep away the dark.
Unless he left the safety of the castle grounds it couldn’t reach him, but it would make sure he knew what was waiting in the woods.
Who cries for wolves on misty moor?
Will they, won’t they, howling heed
Who calls them from the village door?
Will they, won’t they, follow me
Who draws them out from ditch and den?
Will they, won’t they, by my side
Who leads them back to Hell again?
Will they, won’t they, now I ride!
Missika Skyra, Missika fair
Ride through the night on a lily white mare
Missika Skyra, Missika bold
Ride through the ages and never get old
— Missika Skyra skipping song, trans. Witterham, M.
“Ever wonder what stories monsters tell their children? Do they scare them with threats of Skyra and Vassinov the way we use the Ash Knight and the Seven?”
“I never stopped to ask. Next question.”
— Vassinov/Davinci press interview, South River Times, NC.