Midnight Mansion

Here’s part 7 of my new Damon the Demon story, Cemetery Blues…Read from the beginning here.

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Damon gulped. He didn’t like the sound of interrupting Mortuatus’s meal time, but what could he do? He needed to follow where the investigation led him.

He crossed the threshold of Midnight Mansion and the door closed behind him on silent hinges. As the latch clicked, he wondered if he’d made a mistake in coming here. Wondered if he would ever make it back outside.

Mortuatus led the way through the house. He didn’t so much walk as glide, Damon thought, though that impression could have been result of the cape he was wearing reaching down to the floor.

When they reached the parlour, Mortuatus sat down at a ridiculously long table, given he lived a lone. A bowl of lightly steaming tomato soup (Damon dearly hoped it was tomato soup) was on the table before him.

‘Do sit down,’ Mortuatus invited, indicating a seat to his left.

‘I don’t intend to stay long,’ Damon answered, just as a noise made him jump. He thought he could hear scratching sounds behind the walls. Then, somewhere further into the house he heard the sound of muffled voices.

‘Guests?’ Damon asked.

Mortuatus smiled and the demon tried his hardest not to visibly shiver. ‘Yes.’

Damon, in an attempt to appear calm and collected, and in command of himself, began to make small talk. ‘Old friends? Distant relatives? Are they staying long?’

‘My preternatural pastimes are my business, Mr Damon. I would be obliged if you don’t pry.’

‘As long as you are not breaking the rules of your tenancy, as set out by the cemetery’s management,’ he replied, without thinking, wincing once the words were out of his mouth. They had been an automatic response.

‘The laws that govern the dead and undead are as important as the ones which govern the living. I take them very seriously, and follow them to the letter…unless you’ve heard otherwise?’

‘No.’ Damon had received no complaints about Mortuatus, and had no cause to question him with regards to anything bar the subject which had brought him there. Yet his host’s last words were nothing short of chilling. What did they mean?

‘Bonestealers. They were what brought you to my door. You don’t mind if I eat while we talk? I prefer my food served at blood temperature, you know. Not too hot and not to cold.’

Damon didn’t want to think about what was in Mortuatus’s dinner dish. He was having a hard time trying to not look visibly repulsed by the current situation. After all, even if Mortuatus was a vampire, he had as much right to exist as the rest of the cemetery’s residents. It was not his place to judge.

‘Go ahead. Yes, bonestealers. I hear you found out they are operating in our boneyard.’

‘Yes. Purely by chance, as it happens. I overheard a group of who I thought were grave-stalkers talking, well…it must be nigh on two weeks ago now.’

‘You thought they were grave-stalkers but they weren’t?’

‘No. They just so happened to have been standing outside my study window.’ Mortuatus glanced up, spoon midway between his mouth and the bowl. ‘I’m trying my hand at novel writing again.’

‘So who were they?’

‘That I don’t know. But they were discussing with some excitement the procurement of bones, from this cemetery. It had something to do with a commercial enterprise, though they didn’t go into any great detail. One thing of note does stick out though. They mentioned a bone house.’

‘Which one?’

‘Jennings. Said the source had run dry.’

To be continued…

Read Part 8 Here

Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol iii: Day 7: Preternatural Pastimes


11 thoughts on “Midnight Mansion

  1. Pingback: Mortuatus | Sammi Cox

  2. Oh splendid! What a great character Mortuatus is turning out to be! I’m hoping Damon will get invited to partake of more, um, tomato soup in the future. In the meantime, the blood, I mean, the plot, thickens! (Love the humor, the gravity, the mystery tied up so neatly in your hands, Sammi.)

    Liked by 1 person

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