Gather ’round children, gather close for you do not want to miss this here tale.
You too princess, you’ll definitely want to hear this story, one I remember well even after all these years for it lies very close to home, close to heart.
It all started one ordinary day.
The sun had set hours ago as I rode my bike through the dark, empty streets of my home town illuminated by the occasional street lamp and the lights that shone through the many apartment windows beside the road.
I had just finished and sent an important order for a very wealthy customer who had shown a great interest in doing business with me, interest in my work, interest in my music boxes.
Indeed children, I design and build custom music boxes and other such automated musical contraptions and, not to flatter myself or anything, but I was rather good at it as well.
Even so it is still a niche market, a market that had been most unkind to me and my business but this one order had the chance to skyrocket me to places I could once only dream of.
The exact details of the device I had built are not important, how much I was depending on its success was, though if this order were to fail my career would have certainly come to an end as I would be forced out of business.
While pondering over this, worrying as always for I do worry too much at times, I did not see a woman crossing the street in the dark, a woman I only just managed to avoid by throwing myself and my bike to the side and onto the sidewalk.
I saw her face only briefly while falling, a worried look that followed me as I crashed into the hard stone beneath.
She quickly dashed towards me to see if I were alright.
I had only slightly bruised my head and arms but beside that I was in a surprisingly good state considering how fast I was going, quite lucky indeed.
As I attempted to get up to show her I was doing fine and to apologise for startling her I was able take a good look at her, at her beauty.
She was quite the frail, little thing, only five foot tall at most and rather skinny, even for her height.
She wore a long, blue robe that looked more like a nightdress than clothing fit for a person in that cold at that time of day.
Her long white hair, hair as pale as her skin, hung over me, gently waving back and forth in the little wind there was that night, and her eyes, oh, those eyes.
Not a word known nor unknown to man would be able to describe those beautiful, deep blue oceans sparkling with a mixture of both concern and kindness.
I was so awestruck by her appearance that I again fell to the ground, paralyzed by her beauty.
She panicked in that moment, thinking something were wrong, something that had caused me to fall so suddenly.
My face grew red, embarrassed by my actions, and I quickly got back on my feet.
I apologised to her, telling her that I had gotten lost in my own thoughts while riding my bike and I had not seen her cross the street in the dark of night.
She looked at me, slightly confused it seemed, but then smiled, smiled with such kindness that it melted all my worries away.
I asked her name, which she told me, neigh, whispered to me for her voice was so gentle, so soft, as fragile as her physique, Lillith.
We sat there for a while looking at one another, silent, until I asked her a question so bold I even surprised myself.
“Would you like to have a drink with me?”
In and of itself not a very odd question but seeing the circumstances, me having almost injured her in the middle of the night, a complete stranger, that was quite the oddity.
My face again turned bright red as I realised what I had asked but to my surprise she agreed.
She asked if I wanted to come to her apartment which was not too far from where we were, to which I complied.
We wandered for a while through the dark alleyways in between the many skyscrapers, my bike being left behind, chained to a dysfunctional street lamp, until we reached a decrepit, old building.
I initially thought we’d just walk past this seemingly abandoned and rather small structure and was therefore rather shocked to see her approach the decaying door, inserting a key and going inside.
What I was even more surprised by was the fact that the interior looked to be in near pristine condition.
Old, yes, worn, slightly, but compared to the outside it looked as though we had entered another building all together.
The walls were hung with red wallpaper, engraved all over with small figures, and the floor was of a beautiful dark sort which muffled every step as to not disturb any with our presence.
In the lobby, or at least I presumed it to be the lobby, there stood a large counter all the way in the back with two sets of chairs around two round tables all made out of the same wood as the floor.
Each table had a single lit candle on it which fluttered gently in the draft that moved through the house.
Lillith walked past the counter, behind which an old woman stood, or rather slept, and we ventured up the stairs to the second floor where the guest rooms were.
It was a long hallway, far longer than I would’ve expected by looking at its exterior with at least 20 doors that lined the walls on our left and right.
When we had reached the seventh door on the left she stopped, took out another key, a small, golden one, and we went inside.
Once there I was greeted by a pleasant warmth, as though a fire-place had been lit for us before we arrived but I could find no such thing in the humble, little room for inside there stood only a table, a couch and a large trunk filled to the brim with books, so full that it would be utterly impossible to close.
Two doors lead into two other, smaller rooms, one being the bedroom and the other being a small kitchen with a gas stove and a pantry.
I sat down on that big, red couch and took a look inside her book trunk, which was indeed quite rude of me but, in all honesty, manners have never been my strong suit.
She asked if I wanted to have a drink to which I responded with a swift and joking ‘Whiskey’ after which she entered the kitchen and quickly returned with two glasses filled with golden liquid.
I laughed a bit, to her confusion, and explained to her that I meant it as a joke.
She apologised to me, quickly turning around to dispose of the drinks but I told her that it was alright.
She sat down next to me, glasses on the table and an open book on the arm rest beside her.
I asked her about the books and the book trunk and she explained her love for reading.
The conversation quickly took off for I too very much enjoyed reading, still do as a matter of fact, and it just so happened that our tastes were very similar.
Both us very much enjoyed the genre of horror, primarily from the pre great war era with writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and the works of Ambrose Bierce.
We talked and talked for what seemed like hours about stories and tales, about our favourite movies, our favourite food, about music and much more.
After a while I started asking more personal questions for I had grown very curious of her life, of who she really was, where she came from and why she lived there in that old apartment.
She told me that she was the daughter of a wealthy man and heir to his fortune but, as her father passed away at a young age, his company and all its assets were instead transferred to her father’s business partner and she got nothing, never did.
Her mother had died shortly after she was born due to complications caused by her birth so there was no one to look after her, no one to help her as even her own family turned their backs to her for her father, as kind as he had been to her had not been so to his family, often times denying them of his fortune, of his great wealth.
She wound up in an orphanage where she stayed until her 16th birthday after which she was forced to leave.
Luckily for her she had a knack for music and, thanks to a nun who worked at the orphanage, she was able to purchase a violin with which she was able to earn enough money to rent the apartment we sat in and buy enough supplies to keep going.
I felt sorry for her, how life had been rough on her, how she was ill prepared for such a fate due to her being the daughter of a wealthy man.
She saw the look in my eyes and told me not to worry, that she’d be fine, that she’d always been fine.
We talked a bit more after which I heard the church bells outside ring five times, 5:00 am.
A tired feeling struck me as I realised that I had been up all night talking to this girl, talking to Lillith.
I yawned loudly, a bit too loud, after which I excused myself, telling her that I needed to head on home before I would be unable to.
She nodded, thanked me for the conversation and opened the door.
In the moment I left I noticed something darting through the living room, something small that quickly moved from the bedroom to the couch to hide behind it.
I didn’t pay much attention to it, writing it off as a side effect of my tired state and made a rather bad joke about how she might want to fix the critter problem she had to which she replied quite shocked until I explained I was simply joking.
As I walked through the long hallway, or rather stumbled along, passing the many doors on both sides she ran up to me, grabbed my arm, turned me around and embraced me tightly.
She asked if I would return where upon I told her, “I will, tomorrow night.”
I walked down that hallway and outside all while she were looking at me, her dark silhouette standing behind her apartment window to whom I waved.
It was quite strange for she seemed smaller there than she actually was, though at the time I blamed it on the perspective being skewed by me looking up at her from the street below.
After a short search I found my bike still chained to the dysfunctional street lamp and noticed the front wheel was mangled beyond repair, most likely due to the rather rough crash.
Unable to ride home I instead walked, bike in hand, and on reaching my house I fell onto the couch and slept.
I was awoken by the phone ringing loudly into my ears.
The caller was the man for whom I had built the music box, the one I had sent the previous night, and I quickly picked up.
He was ecstatic, complementing me constantly on my achievement, on my craftsmanship and he was very excited to start doing business with me.
For once in my life every single thing just went right.
That night I again went to Lillith’s apartment and again we talked, or well I did most of the talking, hammering on about the success of my latest creation and what it could offer me.
Upon hearing this she pulled out two very expensive looking crystal glasses and called for celebration.
We drank, we laughed and we talked for hours on end until I had to leave at a late hour.
Again we hugged, again I walked outside and again she stood before her apartment window as I waved her goodbye.
This went on for three full weeks where in I had often times surprised her with flowers, chocolates and even a rather expensive dinner.
I was utterly taken aback by her, this woman who had my heart in her tight though loving grasp.
After returning to her apartment from said dinner, the full moon shining its light in through the window, we sat on the couch with drinks in hand.
We again talked, we again laughed but this time more happened.
She embraced me, tightly, lovingly and I grabbed her by the shoulders, looked her in the eyes and kissed her on her cherry, red lips.
Though surprised at my sudden move she relaxed after fully realising what was happening.
She had accepted me into her heart, I felt it as I embraced and kissed her on that red clothed couch.
I very slowly took off her dress, sliding the straps off of her shoulders after which it fell down revealing her chest to me, skin white and pure as snow with small breasts.
Her face turned red, embarrassed, and I asked her if it was her first time.
She told me yes and I kissed her, I told her I’d be gentle after which she asked me if I loved her.
I looked her straight in the eyes, those beautiful, blue pools and nodded, yes.
She stood up, took my hand and led me to her bedroom.
No window there, only the light of a single red candle illuminated her now naked body.
I was ready to spend the night there, spend that night with her in my arms but, as I placed myself on the bed beside her she suddenly stopped, absolutely still.
She threw me off and told me to go in no more than a second, out of the blue.
I asked her why but she did not give a response and thus I took my clothes and left.
There was no embrace as I walked through that hallway, alone, though she stood in front of her window as always looking down on me, or at least so I thought for when I looked closer, the silhouette now illuminated by the moons bright light, I did not recognise her in that shadow.
Someone noticeably taller than her with no discernible features stood in her place but, as soon as I blinked, it was gone.
I must say that I was somewhat suspicious of the whole situation at that point but my anger had long since overtaken rational thought and I therefore ignored it, barging home with haste.
The following day I went to work as usual but while there I could think only of Lillith, how I had left her there, how I had abandoned her without any regard for her feelings.
I felt horrible realising this, I felt so bad that I was utterly incapable of performing any work and I therefore decided to go to her apartment and ask her to forgive me, to tell her I had been a fool driven by lust, how I could only think of her, of Lillith.
As I approached the old building I could see the curtains before her window were shut which worried me seeing as how they had never been closed before and thus I thought she were not there to hear my apology, that I would have to spend an entire day with these feelings of guilt and regret.
Nonetheless, I entered through the front door, barged through the lobby, up the stairs and to her apartment, the seventh door on the left.
I placed my hand on the knob and noticed the door was locked so I knocked.
I knocked again and again but to no avail, she wasn’t there.
Disappointed, I went down stairs to the lobby and approached the old woman behind the counter asking if Lillith had left already and if she knew when she’d be back.
She told me Lillith had not left, that I were the only person to leave since the previous night.
Confused, I again went upstairs and knocked on her door, nothing.
I placed my ear against it to see if I could hear her inside, perhaps she were just sleeping, tired from what had happened.
What I heard though was sobbing, pleading, begging and praying in her soft, gentle voice.
That was when I realized what was going on as the memory of that silhouette shot through my mind and I quickly forced open that dark, wooden door with all my might.
Upon entering I saw it standing there before her, the dark shape, no more than a shadow in the form of a large, cloaked man.
Lillith turned around, surprised by my appearance and with tears running down her face.
I walked up to her and embraced her, asking what was wrong when the shadow leaped at me, violently pushing me away from her as she fell to the floor.
My anger grew, fuelled primarily by worry, worry for Lillith, and I yelled.
“Who are you?!”
The figure did not answer but instead looked upon Lillith who told me everything.
She called out another name, Crystal, and a young girl appeared from behind the shadowy figure.
Very similar in appearance to Lillith though slightly smaller, younger, I recognized her immediately as the silhouette I had been waving farewell to every time I had left.
She looked very ill and was almost incapable of moving on her skinny legs, swaying back and forth with every step.
Lillith told me how this was her younger sister who had been with her all this time, she told me how she had become a mother to her, raising her, feeding her, helping her in any way she could but, on the girls fifth birthday two years ago, she was stricken with a serious disease.
The doctors told her it would be her death unless treated with a new and highly experimental treatment.
This treatment, the doctors told her, would span over three years and cost a total of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars which, as any can imagine, this poor, young woman did not have, even though she tried.
She stole, she cheated and she did things to herself I dare not speak of in order to afford her sister’s treatment but to no avail for it was simply too much, too high a price.
Utterly lost, she sat, weeping in the living room of the apartment we stood in praying to God to help her.
God did not answer her prayers, her cries for help but another entity did, the dark creature that stood behind her had made her a deal.
He would save her sister, keep her alive in return for a single soul brought to him every full moon.
She would trick men into spending the night with her and, when the moon reached its highest point, the figure would come and take them away after which the little girl, Crystal, would be cured of her ailment until the next full moon, and so forth, and so forth.
My fate would’ve been no different were it not for the fact that she had utterly fallen for me, were it not for the fact that she had lost her heart and would not, could not offer me to the dark, to that devil, but by doing this she had broken the deal with the creature and thus had forsaken her sister.
The entity raised its hand towards Crystal, ready to take her away when I cried out.
I asked it, neigh, begged it on my knees to take me instead, to keep the deal intact and to take me away in her stead.
Perhaps it was my guilt that made me say this, perhaps another love induced impulse similar to the one on the day we met but I simply would not let Lillith suffer in order to spare me for she meant more to me than myself.
The creature stopped, seemingly thinking it over when it opened its cloak revealing many mangled bodies reaching out, gasping for air.
Slowly I walked towards it, ready to join the abominations when Lillith jumped up, pushed me away and dashed into the pile of bodies.
The creature closed its cloak but before Lillith had fully disappeared, covered in darkness and shadow, she asked me one thing, one last favour.
“Look after Crystal.”
After she was gone I was left broken, no more than a husk crying on the floor.
Lillith, the love of my life, had given herself to the creature to save her sister.
She had pushed me away, taken my chance to save them both and instead left us, Crystal and I, alone.
The creature slowly moved towards me, Crystal violently shaking in one of the rooms dark corners, and it spoke to me as it passed.
“The deal is done.”
I looked up as it left through the door and vanished.
In one of the corners I could hear Crystal whimpering in fear.
I approached her, picked her up and sat her on that red cloth couch after which we both fell asleep, exhausted by our emotions.
The following day I took her home, I took care of her, I dedicated my life to make sure Crystal would be happy once more, it was the least I could do, the last I could do for Lillith.
Now this young girl has grown into a beautiful woman, a happy woman married to a good man yet I still think back on Lillith, when the full moon hangs high in the sky, as it does this night while I tell you my tale, I look out the window and see her face, her white hair, her perfect skin, her beautiful, blue eyes and I know that she is waiting for me, waiting for me to join her so we can be together once more in each others loving embrace.
Now now princess, no need to cry, it was time you learned about this tale, time you learned the truth, the truth that your mind has denied for so many years.
Come now, Crystal, and embrace me once more before I go, and do not worry, I’ll be sure to tell your mother how much you miss her, how much you love her and how beautiful you have become with your deep, blue eyes and pure, white skin.