The Dogs of Darkness

Transylvania, “The Land Beyond the Mountains!”, is a city where folklore, tradition and superstition dominates fact and reality; A city of True Believers. Today, Transylvania is the capital city of Romania, one of Europe’s most scenic countries. Though modern day Romania is nothing like its past, there was a time when the stories of vampires, ghouls, etc. struck fear into the hearts of its citizens. Today these stories are used to keep naughty children at bay. Our story is set during the same period and it revolves around a man who owned, what we call today “Man’s Best Friend”, four dogs, Wild Dogs.

Long long ago in the former province of Walachia lived an old man who owned four wild dogs. The local villagers considered him mad as he always kept his dogs half fed and hungry. Walachia is the same province that was once ruled by the brutal prince, Vlad ‘Dracul’ Tepes! The one we popularly know as Dracula or Son of The Dragon, The Prince of Darkness. –>People still believe that Vlad lives among them as a vampire roaming the cold nights in search for blood.

The old man whose name was Mirislav Lazlo, claimed himself to be a descendant of the Dracul family. For fear of his dogs, the villagers made him stay in the outskirts of the village. At night, he used to leave his dogs out of their cages so that they could hunt small animals for food. By sheer happenstance, on a dark, cold and moonless night these dogs attacked a small child from the village. The child finding himself surrounded by four wild dogs started wailing. This wail only provoked the beasts and they tore up the child’s body limb from limb. The brutality of the incident was such that there was almost nothing left of the child except some shreds of clothing.

The next morning when the villagers started a search for the child, they could only find his blood stained and shredded clothes. Guessing what had happened they went to Lazlo’s house and demanded him to kill the dogs at once. The villagers were horrified to see the child’s half-eaten head in Lazlo’s yard. In a fit of rage, the villagers attacked the dogs and killed them. In the process, they fatally injured Lazlo. Leaving him to face his death, the villagers headed for the door when a cry shattered the silence. The last cry from Lazlo was a terrible curse cast upon the entire village that he would come back and avenge the merciless killing of his dogs.

After two weeks, on a dark and moonless night, a couple of cobblers traveling home find themselves in front of the same old shack that was once the home of Lazlo. It was then they hear the howl of a dog and see the shadow of a huge wild dog that is panting in a manner indicating starvation. An involuntary scream leaves their mouths as a chill runs down their spines. They run towards the village but miss the turn off and fall into the gorge surrounding the village, never to be found again! Similar incidents in the following months turns the village into a deserted piece of cursed land.

Even Today, On a dark and cold night, travelers swear to have seen a shadowy creature that resembles a wild dog roaming around in the darkness, immediately after which they hear a ghostly howl. The Legend of Mirislav Lazlo lives on even today!!

– Prashant (Dracus)

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