CURDLED & CLOAKED
Sloppy footsteps splash through the rain-soaked streets of Curdle Village. The pale glow of lamplight overpowered by the cloud hanging ominous above, clinging to the high roof of the clocktower. Rats scurry ahead of darkly clad feet and a robe swirls as its occupant hastens around the corner. Boarded up windows keep light and sound from within the once quaint homes from reaching the dreary street. Whispers in quiet alleyways and howls from roving packs of rabid dogs echo across dilapidated shops – the only noise to rise above the constant misery of rain pelting the cobblestones.
Huddled next to a cloaked figure is a woman, her arm thrown protectively about the thin shoulders of her young children. She looks terrified yet, when the cloaked figure beckons, she follows. They dart across streets and press themselves into the looming shadows of rotting rooves until finally, the clock tower is a short sprint away. Standing on the edge of the Village Square, they look around them but notice too late the low growl of a rabid dog preparing to strike. One of the children screams as it leaps towards them, jaw unhinged and frothing. Their mother throws herself in front of them and falls heavily as the dog's paws make contact with her chest, pinning her to the ground. The cloaked figure whirls aside.
‘Save my children,’ the mother whispers, throwing her hand about her face as the dog snaps massive fangs towards her throat.
Pulling an Occultist Athame from deep in their cloak, it sparkles darkly as the Occultist charges nimbly into the dog's side, sending it flying off the woman and skidding into muddied water. With a majestic twirl, the Occultist sweeps the children towards their mother, then stands between the family and the dog. But it’s no longer alone…
Several sets of fangs glisten and slaver in the dim light as the dogs advance, snarling and barking their intent. One throws back its head and howls. The night is suddenly alive with the sound of its pack as they advance.