๐Ÿ”ฅ ๐—˜๐—ซ๐—–๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—ฃ๐—ง ๐—•๐—Ÿ๐—”๐—ฆ๐—ง ๐Ÿ”ฅ ๐—–๐—ฟ๐˜†๐—ฝ๐˜ ๐—ž๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด by TL Reeve & Michele Ryan!

๐—–๐—ฟ๐˜†๐—ฝ๐˜ ๐—ž๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด (๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟโ€™๐˜€ ๐—™๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐Ÿญ) by TL Reeve & Michele Ryan is releasing ๐—”๐˜‚๐—ด๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ!

๐—ฃ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—ข๐—ฅ๐——๐—˜๐—ฅ โ†’ https://amzn.to/3Qruokp

๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—”๐—— ๐—”๐—ก ๐—˜๐—ซ๐—–๐—˜๐—ฅ๐—ฃ๐—ง โ†’
Rain pounded on the wet, weeping soil, turning the cobblestone lane into a muddy mess. The clop of horse hooves and the distant cries of mourning filled the night air. There was no happiness that night.

The long, winding funeral procession marched through the brambled woods. Their destination lay only a few hundred feet from where they were, soaked and grieving. The creek of the old wrought-iron gate opening split the sullen air, causing most to cringe at the unholy sound.

Tonight, those somnolent travelers were laying their loved one to rest, and He waited patiently for them to leave. From the shadows, he watched as those who cried and screamed and bemoaned the untimely death of their loved one spoke in endless verbose soliloquies about a man whoโ€™d meant so much to them.

The tired stanzas of the human refrain gave way to greed and self-loathing. If only he knew. If only theyโ€™d taken the time. Yes, yes, heโ€™d heard it all. Even the souls of the lost talked about their lives as if they were still living.

The procession slogged through the muck and the mud back the way they came, leaving gravediggers to seal the tomb of their loved oneโ€™s ultimate resting place. Their sniffled sobs and whispered exchanges drifted farther and farther away while the storm continued to rage. For such a loved man, his family was gone, into the darkness, quicker than he could lay claim to the man whoโ€™d taken his life. 

No wonder why heโ€™d been so empty. 

Of course, his family, who wept and hollered, screaming toward the heavens in question only moments before, would blame the rain and the muddy rivulets of water seeping into their expensive shoes for why they didnโ€™t stay, but the Crypt King knew better. Time after time, heโ€™d seen these scenes play out. Funerals were a show. A production of sorts. They placated the living. Allowed most to scream, โ€œI loved them the most!โ€ Then slowly slink away. 

Funerals allowed others to assuage their guilt at not being there when their family or friend needed them most. Or not being present in the personโ€™s life, during the last moments, when their suffering came to a glorious end, and those who were careless with their time could walk away, shedding the brittle, itchy skin of guilt.

Thatโ€™s when he, the Crypt King, stepped from his shadowy tomb to claim what rightfully belonged to him. His gnarled, boney fingers clacked against the branches of dead trees, ticky-tack, ticky-tack, growing more impatient by the second. Hunger gnawed at his belly. The desperate yearning to hear the sweetest screams of a finite death pushed him to the brink. 

His hollow face of blackened eyes and two rows of sharp teeth were covered by the hood of his cloak as he drew near the fresh grave. Now was his chance. Now he could have what was rightfully his. A gust of wind-wrapped rain exposed his gnarly face as the hood protecting him from the elements flew backward, baring him to the rain. Scraggly, decomposing silver hair wetted into clumps obscured his features in shadow, giving him a more frightening visage. 

Upon his head sat a crown of bone made from the souls heโ€™d already collected. Those spindly fingers, bent in odd directions fused to ribs and the small bones of children encircled his skull, sitting regally upon him. If a lost person happened upon his cemetery, at that precise moment, they too would fall victim to the Crypt Kingโ€™s curse.

He stopped mere feet from the freshly packed soil and whispered an incantation millennium old, teasing and tempting the soul from their resting place. The words were spoken in a melodic fashion, like a black widow playing a tune upon her web, hypnotic, lulling her next victim into her tangled grasp.

With the first luminous wisps of the shimmering essence, the Crypt King continued his melodious refrain. Bereft and confused, the man appeared from his resting place, levitating before the king, a silken gossamer of life lost in the most tragic way. The inevitable was quite clear. The end had been near. Grasped within the hold of the king, the spirit of what once was lost the last strand of humanity, giving himself over. โ€œMake the pain stop. Free me from this tyranny.โ€

Though unable to smile, the glimmer of one appeared. The time had come for the Crypt King to take the soul and travel back to whence he came. He opened his mouth as wide as he could, inhaling the spirit, sucking him down, down, down. The curdled screams were music to his ears as he glided through the graveyard, finding another victim whose fate had been sealed. 

Their cries of fear were manna for his blackened soul.

So, if you find yourself out in the dead of night, long shadows casting demons-shapes across rocked walls, be careful where you tread, because the Crypt King is out, waiting for the next unsuspecting soul to arrive…

๐—”๐—ฑ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—š๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜€โ†’ https://bit.ly/3p5DPdP

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