Leaving her grey gallows’ hill far, far behind her, the Shadow Girl was on her way to find out answers to almost answerable questions, searches for the One who was both shrouded in darkness and, quite possibly, an actual shroud.
At the moment though, her mind was on more mundane matters. Like every girl, shadowed in darkness or not, she was more than a little obsessed with two things: the state of her shoes and her beauty sleep. You might be surprised by this, but yes, even the undead worry about their feet, because sore feet take on a whole different dimension when blisters never heal. And when you are already a be-shadowed devil possessed by a soul devouring, bone cruncher, you are never looking your best, so a good night’s sleep is pretty fundamental if you are to look anything like pretty or fun. Not that the Shadow Girl likes looking fun or pretty, but being not those things does tend to put people off and that doesn’t help when you sneak up on them when desperate for a nibble and nip of soul.
It didn’t take the Shadowed One long to realise that she needed somewhere to rest. In fact, it took her about an hour. She hadn’t travelled very far when she was alive and things hadn’t changed now she wasn’t, so this was quite the adventure already. Passing out of the bounds of the hedges and fields of Gallows Hill created something like a heartbeat inside her, walking through the deserted village that she regularly haunted and angrily hunted for souls made that hollow heart nearly thrum, but walking along what seemed a massive pathway with lots of those flashy light screamy carriage boxy things was almost too much for her.
The village was her half-remembered home from dreams and nightmares. She had been there as a living girl, many, many years ago. That time, she had bright shining yellow hair with a smile to match, a new bonnet and a dress her mother had made for her. Johnny had brought her ribbons for her hair and everyone admired her and whispered behind their hands about how beautiful she was, or at least, that is what she thought was going on. There had been a fair and a dance and everyone sang and rejoiced and it was lovely. But then. But then. Well, that’s another story.
At the centre of the village was it’s solitary public house, the Inn of the Slaughtered Knight, that had a swinging, creaking sign outside on a tall, white, wooden pole, not rounded, but sort of square, with it’s corners cut off ornamentally and by young people with their carved initials and marks from their bike chains. At the top of the pole, on the swinging, creaking sign, was a fading and peeling picture of the Slaughtered Knight itself. Even the Shadow Girl shuddered at the sight of him.
Out of habit more than anything else, the Shadow Girl took what would have looked like a deep breath, and pushed open the door.