Deep in the Valley

They still crave blood, of course. Community service does not take away biology, but in the dark woods beyond the shrouded village, their huts remain unburnt – save that one accident – their dinners come without garlic, their surf without turf.

They are the vampire bakers, and they are sworn to be the best unpeople they can be.

It is a strange economy, to be sure, but one that works well for the farmers. The nocturnal vampires have long found that the violence inherent in their nature is soothed by the pummelling and folding of a good farmhouse loaf dough, proved over the ashes of a dying fire, and baked in an oven built over a new one. By the time the sun’s rays try to breach the thick branches of the forest, their wares are ready for consumption, and the bakers can retreat to the tunnels for a good night’s sleep.

The farmers awake early, and for the price of a few blobs of cattle-blood every so often, and a reasonable approach to their neighbors, they are welcome to the bread they produce.

It’s getting better by leaps and bounds. When the Wampir first came to this arrangement with the farmer who owned the forest land, the bread was stodgy and poorly cooked, only just fit for soaking up soup. But with a long life comes long patience, and now they can produce beautiful airy loaves that seem like they would float without the crust, to dense bread you could build houses with.

They’ve long since bought the land from the farmer’s descendants, and live in harmony with the village, quietly contributing. The undead bakers of the dark valley.

The Risen.

December 12, 2016

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