If you missed my previous post, you might not be aware that the winner of the first every Whitby Story Slam was Danov Valravn, who has kindly agreed to let me post his winning entry so everyone can enjoy it.
The Endeavour – Danov Valravn
The Executive Auditor delivered her orders with a level of fire usually reserved for a visit from Control.
“Many people dream of Endeavour and what it represents. Exploration, adventure, colonialism! Something has been hijacking this psychic traffic to feed and it has fallen to us to clean up.”
“Termination approved. This is serious.”
Thankfully, the intruder wasn’t hard to sniff out….
Perfume. A woman’s scent, on a ship without women. Any woman here should have been among the dreamers, rainbow shadows on our awareness. Somebody didn’t belong…
I advised Cook that the crew be confined to quarters until an all clear was given. Civilian casualties upon the Endeavour would only make a bad situation worse.
I followed the scent into the hold of the ship, rats following in my wake, dark eyes darting back and forth.
The smell began to take on additional tones. There was shame. Regret. Inadequacy…. Fear. I saw the empty shells of dreamers, drained of essence, just gossamer whispers. I saw children amongst them.
I felt cold rage rising….
I found the barrel she used as a gate. Clever girl, she hid elsewhere so we wouldn’t spot her.
Dragging it onto the deck I removed my gloves and altered her ward. What was once a clever escape was now a one way tunnel to me. All I had to do was wait.
She appeared as a sailorman’s dream, all consumption white skin and blushing lips, wrapped in a ragged dress that did little to hide her… physical beauty, playing the victim to draw in her prey. Seeing me she approached, smiling and swaying her hips. Her teeth were razors behind that coy smile. She came within inches of me, the promise and threat of a kiss on those blood red lips. Lips with shreds of gossamer on them….
She was the one….
The ice cold fury returned, dousing the heat of desire as quickly as it came. I pushed her away, my power manifesting as the ship’s lanterns started to gutter and die around us.
She backed away then, awareness dawning in those huge, captivating eyes of hers. She had played on the feelings of men regarding women. She fed upon their fears, their inadequacies and their… hungers.
She had tainted their dreams, going so far as to target curious children and any other poor soul who dreamed of Cook or his ship.
I reached up and removed my human mask, revealing the face of nightmare as old as man, the hunger of darkness and the blood drenched terror of prey. She began screaming then, her eyes very nearly popping from her head. Her large, delicious eyes….
The sound of ravens filled a deck now heaving with darkness as through them a solitary scream rose higher and higher in pitch and volume until…. Silence.
I donned my mask and signalled the all clear to the dreams in hiding. Sparing a glance for the tatters of dress on deck, I made my excuses… and left.
More of Danov’s work can be found at www.esotericon.co.uk