One morning, I found him lying beside me. When I turned to embrace him there was blood on my hands. I quickly sat up to see the sheets marred in red stains and mud. I was horrified. His appetite for blood was odd for me. His desire had also increased. Nothing satisfied him and he became contentious, not with me, but with others. He showed me patience, but I could see he struggled with his self-constraint.
The house was always frighteningly silent. Flowers I put in vases died when he came in contact with them. Dogs and cats didn’t dare to come near the house and fled when he was nearby. The sun barely came through the dark clouds and any jubilant feeling vanished in his presence. No light shinned in the house, as if darkness had completely devoured it.
Another night, I found him missing on the bed next to me, I knew to find him in the cellar. That’s where he was every particular night. I shouldn’t have searched for him because when I found him he was standing as a biped, except his hands were claws and his feet were hooves. Before my eyes, he shape shifted back into a man when I stumbled upon his presence. Too scared to say anything, I told him I missed him in bed, and began to ascend stairs when he stopped me.
“I have to leave soon,” he told me in a deep voice I wasn’t accustomed to.
“When will you be leaving?”
“Tomorrow night,” he said.
“When will you be back?”
“I don’t know if I will return,” he said.
“I understand,” was all I could say, and went upstairs. I was relieved, and yet sad. The love of my life, had vanished and the little that was left was soon to be no more.
He left before I woke and left me a black rose that bloomed without the insistence of water or sunlight. Where he went, I couldn’t say, but I was soon to find out.
They say that monsters are created and made. The man I had loved had become a monster and I felt a bad omen come over me. I wanted him back. How foolish was I to be, foolhardy, I dared otherwise. I went to recover the man I had lost at sea and went searching for him. I didn’t know where to turn, so I set my sights on the ship he last sailed on, The Marquite.
I went to the port and asked around for The Marquite. Nobody seems to know where it had gone and when it would return. Disheartened, as I headed back home, a sailor overheard my dilemma.
“You just missed it,” he said. “It head out to sea a few days ago.”
“When will it be back?
“I can’t say,” the sailor rubbed the nape of his neck. “You might want to go to the South port. They have a list of where and when ships sail out.”
I was in a hurry to leave and thanked him when he stopped me.
“You might want to know the Captain’s name,” he shouted. “If you are in that much in a hurry. The people at South port might not be to inclined to tell you where that ship sailed to.”
“Why is that?” I turn to ask him.
“Distrust of strangers and without the Captain,” he smiled. “You won’t find The Marquite. In case you find the ship you won’t find the Captain, especially with what you are after.”
“What is the Captain’s name?”
“Captain William Lewis,” he said. “You might want to go to the lodge first. A few stranded sailors from The Marquite, might know where it sailed to.”
“Where is this lodge?”
“Not far from here in the Red-Light District, where else.”