A shadow flitted towards the Tollcross area of Edinburgh. Not unusual during the day you might think and you’d be right.
The problem was that it was just after midnight and the shadow was a vicious parasite looking for a new home.
A late February slurry began to fall despite the best efforts of a chill arctic wind to keep it airborne. The shadow paused, raising a head narrower than a child’s grave as though sniffing the air. Apparently satisfied, it stood where the old clock used to be and began, almost imperceptibly to sink down below the ground.
There it would wait until the right conduit came along, preferably human, but in truth anything living would do.
Crossroads were always places of power. If you hanged a man on a gibbet on a crossroad at midnight and hacked his hand off at the point of death, you had just made yourself a Hand of Glory: one of the most potent weapons of death in this world or any other.
But this shadow was not concerned with such trivia, it knew that the magic of the spot would give it the ability to inhabit a living being and reduce it to the status of a mere vessel. Deep down beneath the road’s surface it smiled and curled into a tight ball, content for now to wait….