Another Dash product, polished for the Den.
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Brother Charles stood at the entrance to the cottage. He composed himself, and whispered the Lord's Prayer. Then he removed the key from his pocket and inserted it in the lock. The tumblers moved with a click. Charles put the key back into his pocket and opened the door slowly.
The old hinges creaked. Charles removed his backpack and opened it. He grabbed a small vial of Holy Water in his left hand and a wooden crucifix in his right. He took a deep breath and stepped slowly inside. The cottage was dimly lit. He could see the simple wooden coffin sitting on the table in the center of the room. A low fire burnt in the fireplace. Two candles burnt brightly on the mantel.
Charles looked around. The snapping of a twig startled Charles and interrupted his concentration. He turned, to see the vampire enter the cottage through the door. The vampire had black hair and ruddy skin, and appeared to be in his mid-twenties. He stood with his hands on his hips and frowned. Charles sprinkled some of the holy water on the vampire and held the crucifix erect. The vampire just laughed and took a step closer.
"Brother Charles," he began, in his deep basso voice. "You don't understand at all, do you?" And he took another step closer. He was now one pace away.
"You should yield," Charles blubbered.
"The talisman only works, Brother Charles," the vampire stated, "when one has a strong faith in the power that it symbolizes. You have not had faith for a while. A very long while."
The vampire got very close to Charles, grabbed the crucifix, and tossed it into the fireplace. Then he knocked the holy water from Charles' hand. In that instant, Charles knew he was damned.