The muffled crying was making it difficult for Count Vasti to focus.

“Will you keep that down!”he growled at the source of the irritating sound. He glared at the girl tied to a makeshift gurney in the centre of the room.

Her face was puce with fear and anguish, eyes bulging as he advanced.

Count Vasti was doubly irritated because there wasn’t any….. what’s the word?…Ah, yes, that’s it! Atmosphere.

The room needed something else to add to his motivation. He sighed, disgruntled.

Walking briskly back to his work station, the Count surveyed his saws. He was looking for that perfect bladed edge. Too jagged, and his work would be ruined.

Her cries were now strangled screams. He didn’t care. No one would hear her so high up in these mountains. Besides, he’d created his lab in the castle basement to ensure total solitude.

A faint rumbling caught his ears. Oh, it couldn’t be, could it?

The thunderclap that followed was perfect music to his ears. Lightening flashed across the candle-lit room, making all the shadows jump to life.

Another scream, followed by rapid shallow breathing.

Galvanised now, Count Vasti found the saw he needed and picked it up gently . He caressed the blade lovingly – basking in the orchestra of thunder, rain and terror.


As though in a trance, he glided back towards the Gurney. The girl was no longer a girl to him-she was a masterpiece waiting to be revealed.

His finest art.

©Vivian Zems

Poets UnitedTelling Tales with Magaly Guerrero: a Pantry of Prose, #7 ~ Gothic Fiction