Authors: Benjamin Hulme-Cross,Nelson Evergreen
Mr Daniel Blood is the Dark Hunter.
People call him to fight evil demons, vampires and ghosts.
Edgar and Mary help Mr Blood with his work.
The three hunters need to be strong and clever to survive...
The village of Skarsby was in the north, near the mountains. It lay at the bottom of a huge hill.
Edgar, Mary and Mr Blood had come to help the village.
“Skarsby is under a curse,” said Mr Blood. “Look. Nothing grows on the land around the village.”
They went down the hill and walked along a stream. Nothing grew in the field beside the stream. The next field was worse. There was a huge pile of dead cows in it.
They came near the village. A smart-looking man with a small white beard hurried to meet them. Other people from the village came with him.
“You are Mr Blood, I hope?” said the man. “I am Dr Hawkins.”
“I came as soon as I got your message,” said Mr Blood. “Please tell me about the curse.”
“For many years this village lived in fear of an old woman,” said Dr Hawkins. “We called her the Stone Witch. She lived in a stone cave up there.”
He pointed at the rocky slope behind them. Some of the villagers looked away. Some even cursed or spat.
“Please show me the cave,” said Mr Blood.
“Very well sir,” said Dr Hawkins. “Come with me.”
He led Mr Blood, Edgar and Mary up the slope. The villagers came with them.
As they walked, Dr Hawkins told them the story.
“The Stone Witch put terrible curses on anyone who did not do as she said. She killed people in very nasty ways. She was very old, much older than anyone else here.”
Dr Hawkins went on, “Then one day, she came down from her cave and into our village. The Stone Witch called us all out into the street and told us that she was dying. We were not sorry.
“She said that we had to turn her cave into a tomb. We must cover the mouth of the cave with a slab of rock and take food to the tomb once a month.”
Dr Hawkins looked grim. “She said that a curse would fall on the whole village if we did not do as she told us. Nothing would grow in our fields. Our cows would die. We would all starve.”
“And has this happened now?” asked Mr Blood.
“Yes, sir,” said Dr Hawkins. “Nothing grows in our fields. The cows are all dead.”
“But did you do as she said?” asked Mr Blood.
“Yes, we did,” said Dr Hawkins. “Her cave is a tomb and every month we all left her food. We don't know what is going on now. We have done what she told us for seven years.”
“Seven years?” said Mr Blood. “Then we may be in real danger.”
Dr Hawkins stopped walking. A thin slab of stone was leaning against some huge rocks.
“Here is the cave, sir,” he said. “It is behind this stone slab.”