INTRODUCTIONS

One sign calls out to you in particular. You make your way over to the vampire door, and reach out with tentative fingers to trace the letters.

Vampire. You’ve heard the word before, of course. They’re one of the only monsters with which you are familiar. Everyone grows up hearing the horror stories of vampires sneaking underground at night to kidnap children and eat them. Eventually you’d laughed off the stories as just that—stories—but standing here in front of the door it seems, all of a sudden, achingly real.

Nevermind. This door, first. You take a deep breath, grab the handle, and push the door open a couple centimetres.

You slip into the room, pausing just inside to let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Then you realise that there are three pairs of blue eyes staring at you from the rightmost corner of the room.

You freeze. Whatever is in this room, it isn’t human. Those eyes are glowing in the darkness, pinning you to your spot. No one ever told you that vampires have six eyes.

Then one pair of eyes moves away from the corner and flicks on a lamp. You shield your face and blink rapidly, taking in the scene as fast as you can.

In the far right corner are two women, huddled together on a careworn bed, one blonde, one brunette. Both of them have smooth, pale skin, and hard features, and are dressed all in black.

The one who turned on the light—the leader, you cannot help but call him—is also dressed in black, which, combined with his short, dark hair, makes his complexion look all the whiter.

He cocks his head at you, cat-like. “You’re not who I was expecting.” Then he closes his eyes and inhales deeply.

When he opens his eyes again, he crouches down, as if he’s about to spring forward. The two females straighten up, moving to the edge of the bed, eager.

The leader smiles. “What are you?”

What? Clearly he thinks you’re some kind of monster. You scramble for an answer, trying to think of all the monster types you know. You can think of ewte, and stein. The other door in the corridor had said werekin, is that a type of monster, too?

He’s poised to spring. You need to answer, fast!

What do you say?

* “Ewte!”
* “Werekin!”
* “Stein!”

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