Chapter 0:

The Vampire Skull Prologue

Echoes of the Void

Prologue. A lonely Crow

Once there was a crow.

A very lonely little crow, living in despair at the edge of the void, and that was all he had ever known. The void was a dark, empty place, no light nor life lingered there, yet the little crow had been born from the emptiness itself.

He always longed for something more, not knowing what, he was alone in this void.

Until one day, the universe itself took notice.

“Are you lonely, little one?” Asked the universe.

The crow was surprised to hear a voice, but still answered firmly.

“Of course I am, there’s not a single soul but me out here.”

“Then how would you like to leave this place? Become a part of me. The void is no place for one such as you.” The universe said with such love and warmth. The crow felt his feathers tingle at the thought, the twinkling stars were mesmerising beyond anything he had ever laid his eyes upon, until now all he had seen was darkness.

“There is nothing I would like more than to be a part of you, my dear universe.” He responded with great delight, blinded by the stars.

The crow was sure, he wanted to see what was out there, beyond the void.

The universe wrapped him up and nurtured the crow, filled him with love, awe and wonder. And placed him right at the heart of the universe, slowly the crow became a part of it all.

The void had been such a cold dark place, and here the lights, the colours, the vibrancy of it all amazed the crow, and his amazement never ceased.

Until one day the universe could see that the crow was still longing for something, his eyes were always fixed on the stars out there.

“Go, see other worlds, explore, live, experience life, but one day you must come back and take your place here…” The universe told the crow.

The crow listened and flew off, spreading his wings, soaring across the universe, across worlds so strange, worlds so beautiful. He lived many lives in all these places, he felt it all.

Yet there was always something missing, a longing that grew deeper and deeper every life he lived. It threw him off course, into a new kind of oblivion, tragedy became his ethos, and death always followed, for the void does not let go so easily.

So far into despair, so many deaths, the crow decided to spite death itself, a crow is ever changing so he changed his very nature. He grew new powers, he got new faces, he could reach the dead, grab their hands and pull them back from the afterlife. Yet tragedy still remained. His heart was breaking more and more, weeping tears of darkness. He might have changed, but everything else changed with him as well, he could reach the dead, but they did not all reach out their hands to him. It all became meaningless when he could not bring back the one he wanted, he fell, he crumbled.

“Why is life but sorrow and pain? Why did you give me all this?”

The longing had grown so loud, it echoed across the universe yet again, and the crow had a final chance, one last time to fly, to find love, to find meaning and whatever he was searching for.

From the first day it proved to be his greatest tragedy yet. He found love, and he lost it, he found a life and he lost it, he was lost, utterly lost to time and the world.

All that remained of him was an echo, a promise.

“Under the stars and the moonlit night sky, I am here waiting for you. Under this tree, I will wait for you, forever if I must, will you wait for me?”