The road was dark as it stretched off through the untamed moor land, in the middle distance the bright lights of a roadside pub showed stark against the blackness of the rough landscape. From outside the pub a figure dressed in black leathers climbed aboard a large motorbike, waving to an unseen presence in the doorway he called out “I know, I know” before pulling off and onto the path, deep into the wild moors.
For long minutes the smooth motion of the bike ate the miles, swallowing the distance without any pause. The sound of the powerful engine cutting through the night like a demented tractor. The man on the machine smiled inside his helmet – the full moon gave plenty of light to see and the local’s foolish superstition meant the roads were empty of any other traffic.
Lost in the motion of the bike, in the road and the night the first unearthly howl which split the night was lost to the rider, the second and third were closer and startled him to full wakefulness, the bike losing a few miles an hour as more headlights were switched on. Mumbling to himself “the post gotta get through” the rider opened up the throttle and powered on, somehow not outpacing the howls which started to sound closer and closer.
Taking a risk the rider decided to kill his lights, pulling the bike from the road, trusting that the wolves which followed were trying to drive him into some sort of ambush. The rough and broken ground slowed even the powerful motorbike to a crawl. Shortly after the sound of frustrated howls from along the roadside brought a smile to the riders face, though hidden behind cloth.
Another howl sounded from behind, much closer, and that unholy noise brought a curse but not even the skill from decades on the road was able to stop deformed wolf-creatures from gaining on the machine. Glancing backwards a large canine figure with glowing golden eyes appeared to glare at the rider from atop a large outcropping of rock.
A second figure – a huge wolf with hungry jaws – took that moment to leap along the path in front of the rider who swung to a stop. The night was silent – no birds nor wind, the only noise the thrum of the bike’s engine and the panting of the two enormous lupines. Abruptly the man raised his middle finger, gunned the engine and charged straight for the wolf in front of him. A curse lost in the noise as the machine met flesh, the wolf knocked to the wild moor and the bike struggling before blasting off into the night.
The chase was on now though, two wild-eyed, enormous wolves chasing one lone biker through moors known to be haunted and plagued by devil dogs. For long minutes the gap of mere feet separated hunter from hunted, prey from predator as the bike struggled to remain upright over the rough ground. All other living things seeming to have vanished in the bright moonlight, the stark light washing out colour and giving the scene an almost starkly beautiful monochrome effect.
Abruptly the noise of the bike’s travel changed – loose gravel and stones muffled by heather replaced by rubber and tarmac. The biker punched a hand into the air, in victory as he sped away from his pursuers and away into the night – towards a bastion of light. Yellow candle and orange neon, white electric and bright, stabbing red LEDs marked out a large house with high wall and cameras. The gates swung open easily as electric motors powered them, closing after the man and frustrating the wolves whose howl echoed mournfully across the open moors.
Dix stood, working stiffness from his back and then patting the tank of his faithful machine fondly as it had again brought him safe through danger. As he casually hung his helmet from the drooping wing mirror a glorious woman swept down the grand stairs in front of the remote manor house. Flanked by a pair of dark suited men, as dangerous as they were ornamental he was sure, and with an attractive (but not enough to overshadow her mistress) assistant carrying a silver tray she regarded him with an imperious eye.
“One trusts you had no issue Pursiuvant Lee” she stated as he presented a large, ornate envelope to her, placing it on the tray at a gesture from her. For a moment Dix thought about saying something about the werewolves on the moor around the estate, the fae folk who’d tried to lead him astray near the old bridge, the devil-dog who’d tried to destroy him with fire, the headless horseman with his unearthly hounds who’d tried to claim another soul for its bag or the barghest which had opened its mouth to howl his death before he scared it off with a rock. Again and again his mind switched to the werewolves – why was it always werewolves?
“No problems” Dix answered with a grin, “the posts got to get through”
Even though he was a vampire postman, he thought, there was still bloody trouble with dogs…