New York City, 1953
Vladimir Mikhailov looked around the apartment, empty, save for the three dead men, one on the couch, blood soaking through his black suit, one hunched over at the table, a cigarette still burning in his hand, and one slumped by the wall, a gaping, smoking hole where his head should have been. Vladimir drew a cigar from his suit jacket, touched the tip to the dead mans cigarette, put it in his mouth, and blew out a small puff of smoke. He checked the window, looking out into the streets of Moscow. The streets were dead at night, even for such a large city. Soldiers patrolled the streets, unaware of the vicious crimes that were happening right underneath their noses. Vladimir took another puff of his cigar and drew his revolver. He popped three more bullets in, pulled back the hammer, and put the revolver back in his jacket. He looked over at the black telephone on the dresser. He was expecting a call any minute. A call from the leader of the Solntsevskaya Bratva, so he could inform him that his three goons wouldn't be attending his birthday party tomorrow night. Vladimirs cigar slowly burned out, and he drew another one, just trying to pass the time with the dead. He walked over to the dead man with the cigarette, touched his cigar to it, and put the cigar in his mouth. He turned away, back towards the window, when something in the reflection of the window caught his eye. Someone was standing behind him. He dropped his cigar to the floor, drew his pistol and spun around, but dropped it in shock and horror. The man who had just moments before been sparlwed out across the kitchen table was now standing behind him. Blood still stained his grey suit, and he raised the almost burned cigarette to his lips. As he inhaled, Vladimir could see the smoke pass through the translucent skin on his dead neck, as the mans blue lips slowly regained their colour. Vladimir stumbled backwards and fell onto the couch, where another dead mobster was slowly stirring. The final corpse, the one missing most of its skull, also rose to its feet, and shuffled over to where Vladimir was laying, paralyzed by fear. The three dead men slowly closed in on him, wrapping their cold, blood stained hands around his throat, crushing his windpipe. He reached for his gun, but it was just out of his grasp. The last thing Vladimir saw as his vision faded was his cigar on the ground, barely lit, smoke wafting into the air like dancing ghosts... and then
Vladimir sat up straight in his bed, drenched in sweat. That was the first time he had that dream, and it was more horrifying than the others. Every night he suffered from memories of his past life with the Romanov family, but never before had the men he killed come back from the dead. Yet it still seemed so real, much more vivid than the other dreams. A figure in bed next to him sat up, wrapping one thin, soft arm around him.
"Vlad, what's wrong?" She asked softly.
"Just another dream." he said, rubbing his face with his hands. He put one of his arms around her and held her close.
"You should really see someone about this." She said. "It's been four years and you're still having the same nightmares..."
"No." he said. "This one was different..."
He had told Tatiana (his girlfriend) about what he had done in Russia, how he was a criminal. How his life had been a constant struggle to survive until the Romanov's took him in to work for their family. But he had never explained to her the horrible, violent things he had done. Some things are better left unexplained... he thought. He hugged her close and lay back down in bed. He kissed him on the cheek then rolled over.
"Sleep tight." She said softly.
"I'll try..." he said.
While outside, someone... something, watched their window. The rain smacked off the streets and rolled down awinings, flooding the gutters and soaking anyone unfortunate enough to be talking a midnight stroll. Except for the creature that stood outside Vladimirs apartment, looking out towards the second floor window. The long black trench coat it was was soaked through, yet the one wearing it was dry as a bone. It turned away, satisfied that it had tormented him enough this evening. It would return the next night, and every night after that to feed on his dreams, make him picture and relive horrors that Vladimir would not think possible. As the creature stalked through the rainy streets of New York city, it smiled, revealing two fangs, sharp as knives. It dissapeared, to wait in the shadows for one more day, then it would return.
It would return.