Authors: Benjamin Hulme-Cross
Mr Daniel Blood is the Dark Hunter.
People call him to fight evil demons,
vampires and ghosts.
Edgar and Mary help Mr Blood with
The three hunters need to be strong and
clever to surviveâ¦
Mr Blood, Edgar and Mary arrived at the small town of Grimstock at noon.
The sun was high in the sky but the town looked dark and gloomy. But the people of the town were happy. They stood along the High Street waving and cheering as Mr Blood walked towards the town hall.
Mary smiled and waved back. Edgar did not.
“People are always happy to see us arrive,” Edgar said. “But it never seems to last.”
Mary didn't listen to him. “Oh, I could get used to this!” she said.
“Keep alert,” snapped Mr Blood. “You never know what is about to happen. We need to find out why they called us here.”
They walked up some steps to the Town Hall and went in.
Inside, the hall was packed with people. They were cheering and waving too.
Around the edges of the hall were tables laden with cakes and drinks. It looked like a huge fair.
Mr Blood led the way towards a large desk at the far end of the hall.
Behind the desk, a large, round man in a red gown stood up to greet them.
“I'm pleased to meet you, Mr Blood. Come and sit down.”
He leaned over the desk to shake Mr Blood's hand and pointed to three chairs.
“Welcome to Grimstock,” he said. “I am the Mayor.”
“Ah,” said Mr Blood. “It was you who sent for me. How may we help?”
“Plenty of time for that,” said the Mayor. “You must be thirsty.”
He nodded to someone in the crowd who placed a tray of drinks and cakes on the desk.
“You are kind,” said Mr Blood. “But please tell us, why are we here?”
And so the Mayor told the storyâ¦
“Five years ago,” the Mayor began, “a terrible storm blew across Grimstock on the darkest day of the year â Midwinter.”
“It's Midwinter today,” Edgar hissed to Mary.
“The storm lasted only a few hours, but in that time the town was damaged very badly,” said the Mayor. “Trees fell across roads. Roofs were blown off buildings. Some houses were struck by lightning and caught fire. Ten people died.”
The Mayor went on, “The worst of the storm hit Wormley Marsh, just outside the town. It was struck by huge bolts of lightning over and over again. That storm is the only thing that could have brought the evil to this town.”
“And what evil is that?” asked Mr Blood.
“Well,” the Mayor said, “at first we knew nothing of it. In the year after the storm, we rebuilt the town.
“The next Midwinter night, many of us came here to the hall. We planned to stay awake through the night. We wanted to think about the people who died in the storm.”
The Mayor went on. “Outside, the night was quiet. But on the stroke of midnight, something in the air changed. A terrible smell blew through the town from the marsh. A few minutes later we heard screaming.”
The Mayor stopped and wiped his brow.
“We all rushed outside to see what had happened. Two children were being carried off byâ¦ something. It wasâ¦ It was a horror from hell.”
“You will need to be more exact than that,” said Mr Blood.