Short Story Sunday: Night Calls

820 AD

In the dark of the night the Banshee Milen waited for the right moment to put fear into the hearts of the village people, announcing death with an ungodly scream that would stay with their souls forever.

Then she glanced over at her friend Druce the Warlock, who was reading something that looked like a book. Yes, it was a book, otherwise he wouldn’t be reading. There weren’t too many books around and most people couldn’t read, but that wasn’t exactly what was on her mind.

She said to her friend. “Instead of screaming, what if I just knocked on the door and told the friends of the drowned man that he was gone? You could bake some of your seed bread and I could bring that too them. Then I could hold their hands and comfort them.”

“They can’t see you,” said Druce. “They can only hear your screams.”

“What if I leave them a note and tell them that the body is on the beach?”

“They can’t read.”

“They would bring the note to you.”

“I suppose,” said Druce. “Then they would ask me who wrote the note. Someone would cry murder and someone else will be falsely accused.”

“People are stupid,” said Milen.

“I know. I have a feeling they’ll always be stupid.”

2022 AD

Milen was done for the night. She had stopped the horrifying Banshee screams a millennium ago. Not all Banshees agreed with her choice but she never cared much for what they thought.

Now she would touch the living on the shoulder with an unseen hand to let them know someone had left this realm. At times she would leave them with a sad but hopeful feeling. Other times it would be an empty dread like a German Expressionist artwork full of angst and hopelessness. Sometimes it would be a puzzle that could only be solved by a dreaded knock on the door in the morning.

Now in her physical form she headed off to a place where there would be no death today. 

Druce answered the door with a smile and a hug. Once the door was closed there was also a kiss.

“How was work tonight?” Druce asked her.

“Fine. You know, it isn’t as busy as it was during the pandemic.”

“You know why we’ve been around so long? Because we change with the times. That is what I love about you.”

Milen smiled and kissed him again. He always said the sweetest things. 

“Staying long Milen?”

“All day. At dusk I have to get back to work.”

“Then I will make it worth your time,” said Druce. And of course he kissed her again, helping her to forget the labors of the night. 

~ end

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