Through the foggy mist sat an eroded castle barricaded by dead trees filled with ravens rather than foliage. A small gravel path brought my clean leather boots to stand in front of two six foot cedar doors fixed with large metal rings as handles. I was hesitant to knock because I
was afraid I would crumble what was left of the fortress or that I wouldn’t be able to lift the boulder heavy handles. Although I knew those weren’t the real reasons. I was in fear of what was is inside because an awful feel churned inside my stomach and the ravens now seemed to be staring at my soul. The silence was broken when I slammed the handle to the worn cedar with thunder echoing my action, which made the birds flock. Silence once again engulfed me as I waited for an answer. 
    The door creaked open letting out light equivalent to the dim moon, which had helped me navigate through the dark. From behind the other door stood a man dressed in a Tuxedo, but the shadows upon his face didn’t allow me to see much. Without any questions to who I was or what I wanted the figure gestured for me to step inside. I followed him as he walked down a candle lit corridor, which was lined with a few framed paintings to make it feel less like a dungeon. The hall end in a large room decorated in the most valuable items, which made it clear that the man now sitting in a beautiful purple winged chair by the mason fireplace could probably have anything he wanted. It puzzled me why such a wealthy man lived in a dirty old castle in the midst of a lifeless forest. 
    As I sat down next to the man I became cold even though we sat three feet from the fire. I had still not seen his face or heard him mutter a single word. It was such an odd atmosphere, but it was only presence of anything human like I had encounter in the past ten days. I drank the Scotch he had poured me in hopes it would bring warmth and conversation, but it didn’t. After I had finished my drink the man took out a black substance, burned it to liquid, and gave it to me. I hesitated to drink because this time the main didn’t make himself a serving, but instead changed chairs allowing me to see his face.
    The man wasn’t much different from anybody I had ever seen except that he looked ill. His skin was pale with grey lips to match and dark bags from lack of sleep beneath his eyes. Black colorless eyes, which I could not obstruct my view from, were the most prominent feature about the man. He stared at me with those eyes until I drank the vial. Instantly I was consumed in darkness and pleasure by the black substance I was given. In this euphoria stupor I blacked out, unaware of the man’s actions. 
    I awoke alone with a raven staring at me from the fireplace mantle. The man had disappeared without any signs of where he might have gone or when he would be back, but I figured he was counting sheep in another room. A day or two went by before I actually began to care that stranger was gone, because my pleasurable experience was now wearing off and I wanted another round. I had also forgotten or lacked to care the reason for visiting, which was because needed directions to the near city Varicosa where my sister lives. Taking a closer look around the house I saw that there wasn’t any other rooms, only the corridor I had entered from. The man must have left for supplies in the city or maybe this was not even his home, though he seemed to know it well. 
    Growing ill, I decided I couldn’t wait for the stranger to come back I needed the vile tasting black substance to ease my pain while I waited. I opened the drawer where the man had gotten the black tar, but to my surprise the drawer was filled with vials of the substance pre-made. The raven was still in the room staring at me, probably since the house had no windows, which made me feel guilty as I took a vial to the lips. This time in my state of euphoria I stayed awake skimming through some literature in that beautiful purple winged chair. My attention slowly become focused on the bird that so oddly had appeared as the
man had left. I watched it waddle across the mantle, often looking at me for long period of time. As soon I took three steps closer towards the bird I knew where the stranger had gone. 
    I was cursed by the black substance as once was the man who gave it to me and all the ravens that filled the trees. This castle was mine to keep as long as I was trapped by my addiction, my illness, my curse that breaks by a stranger’s first taste. In my now numb state, I grabbed the raven and let him out the same cedar doors where I entered. Then I returned to the chair I admired and drank two vials of the curse that kept me from feeling ill, but troubled me with darkness and immobility. In my chair I sat and waited in anticipation for the day I could spread my wings.
 


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