A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 14 - Page 17

heart had somewhat gone out of it. Th ere, alone in the woods, I heard a strange and distant growl. I felt that I was not prepared to meet a were-beast alone. As I looked down a small valley cut by a stream, I saw what looked like a wolf leaping across the water some ways out. I had not come to hunt wolves, and so I turned my steed and meandered back to the start. Winchester came back with the carcass of the were-beast: a bloody body, distorted and horrifying. I do not like to recall it. He was so proud, but I felt that he had steamrolled me to get his way. Maybe emotion and sport should not marry, but I felt a little dejected anyway. S UNDAY , A UGUST THE S ECOND Tonight while I was wandering through the corridors of the house, I must have entered Lu Yan's wing and left the guest wing behind. I came to a door that was slightly ajar, and therein I saw a man with the most attractive eyes sitting by the bedside of a beautiful and pale young woman with a ribbon wrapped around her neck. Th e man heard me at the door, and looked up sharply. “Do I know you?” he asked, which struck me as odd; it seemed he recognized me, but he could not have. I meant to leave him in peace. He had a crushing sadness in his eyes. But I was called in by a doctor and stood in the corner like a silent soldier. Th e woman spoke to the man. She said, “It is my time.” And he sobbed, “No.” Which nearly caused me to sob with him. It was one of those moments of emotion that you see, and it is so raw that you become swept up in it. “When we met,” she continued, “I told you that you must never touch the ribbon on my neck. But now it is the end, my love, and it is time for you to undo it.” He did not move. She guided his hand to her ribbon. “Please,” she said. “It is time.” And, crying, he untied the ribbon. Th e woman’s head fell off . I collapsed against the wall, as the man collapsed into sadness, sobbing and destroyed. Th ere was no one in the room to comfort him. My eyes welled up with tears and I couldn't stand it. I swept out of the room, and was caught by a doctor who told me, amid my confusion, to take a note to the head of the household. I assume it gave notice of the poor woman's passing. I learned at dinner that this was indeed Lu Yan. What a terrible way to meet somebody. T HURSDAY , A UGUST THE F IFTH A few days have passed. A person could spend their entire lives in this house without ever running out of things to look at or learn. It hardly seems worthwhile for the tour to make any other stop, truthfully. I think I could have managed without all the crashing and sinking and near-drownings and pirates. Herein are contained devices, memorabilia, relics, etc. It all hurts my heart, though, for each night I hear the famous monster hunter weeping in the halls. Deep in the night I swear I can hear strange roars and howls coming from the monsters. One night I saw the man carrying his dead wife through the corridor. I simply cannot let go of the sight of that man's sadness. F RIDAY , A UGUST THE S IXTH Last night proved to be awful well after my initial experiences with our host. When the view