Thaw Game 2006 by Breffin.
A blood red moon rolled lazily across the shadowed heavens, thin whiffs of cloud barely concealing the details of its crater-scarred surface. Far below, in a small town nestled deep in the mountains of Romania, a man of considerable stature hastened towards the gentle glow of the local pub. He wore an old top hat that looked as though it were relishing its last moments on this earth, and was peering through a pair of spectacles that spoke of many long hours spent in study.
Having reached his destination, the man paused for a moment and glanced up the hill to the north of town. There, perched vulture-like atop the rise, sat an ancient castle, worn and moss covered. The great, shadowed bulk of its structure, silhouetted against the darkling sky, revealed a single lit window, flickering weakly in the gloom.
As the man paused, a rat scurried along the street, brushing past his leg. Shivering, he ducked into the warmth of the tavern, but the rat rushed on, dashing from one shadow to the next with single-minded purpose. It held something in its mouth, some chunk of unidentified gore that trailed a thin line of blood in the dirt. Moments later the creature found what it had been searching for, a tiny alcove, hidden away in the inky gloom beneath the town. For the first time that night, the beast allowed itself to rest. And then it feasted, its eyes glistening evilly in the darkness.
Elsewhere, far off in the distant blackness of the woods, a muffled scream pierced through the air.
And then there was quiet, and again the night fell still.