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The Lonely Pariah

      Vincent sighed and stalked through the dark of his bedchamber, causing dust to puff up around his cloak as it dragged on the floor. It was late, and he was doing what he'd done for the past few nights: Brooding. 

      "It's so damned quiet here," he mused, his words spoken aimlessly, bouncing around the cold stone room. His gaze drifted across the walls, over art and tapestries, a long dead fireplace, and furniture that had become more dust than anything else. Slowly he focused on the window then through it at the town nestled down in the valley below his castle. 

      Flecks of orange shimmered like a hundred fireflies on the distance. A normal man wouldn't have even seen the lights, let alone have had an inkling what it could have been. A shadow of a smile played at Vincent's mouth, tugging his lip up enough to let the moonlight to shine off the tip of a pointed incisor. 

      "Am I to have guests?" he pondered in mocked surprise. "This late?" Leaning his pale forehead against the window he let silence retake the room, but only for a moment. "Isn't it funny how all the little problems fix themselves with time," he muttered, beginning to drum his fingers on the glass. A low wail built in the room as the wind found its way down the chimney and into his presence. If it was cold, he did not feel it. 

      Their intent was plain to him, even from high above. He knew what they planned to attempt, what their goal was. An old anger stirred in his chest, which he began to massage absentmindedly, as though a small fire had truly begun to be kindled within him. After a minute in the silence, his eyes watching the fires inch closer and closer, the feeling leaves him. How could he fault them? Had he not made himself the monster? Their monster? Had he not put the fear into them, fear of his visage, his macinations, his castle's dark silhouette on their skyline? This was simply their reaction to his actions. 

      A low chuckle escaped Vincent's throat. It was almost poetic, he thought as their fires twisted and turned up the path. Some dark irony that he felt happy in this moment. Happy... yes, it was that simple. He had what he wanted, despite the conditions. As he watched the townsfolk march their way toward him, he allowed himself to feel a small bit of joy at seeing anyone make their way up to his home to see him, even if their intent was murder. 

The Swell and Drag of Tides

Notes from a Villain