“If the day were bright, you observed upon the house-tops, stretching far away, a long dark path; the shadow of the Monument; and turning round, the tall original was close beside you, with every hair erect upon his golden head, as if the doings of the city frightened him.”
– Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit
The Monument to The Great Fire of London stands on the junction of Fish Street Hill and Monument Street and a short walk away from the site where the Great Fire started; Thomas Farynor’s bakery on Pudding Lane; the place where I knew the last Blood War had begun. Now that I knew the real reason behind the fire that had wiped out much of London from the bakery up to Smithfield, the significance of the name Pudding Lane seemed to take on new meaning. I had images of the vampires feasting on the entrails of their victims, draining them dry then harvesting their organs to gorge upon afterwards as they sat, safely ensconced in their hideaway beneath the streets of London.
As the cars pulled up in Monument Street, encased on all sides by great monolithic buildings, I could see the monument with its white-grey stonework rising into the city skyline and the gilded sculpture on top, like some great stone king wearing his golden crown, keeping watch over his city.
Looking at the monument now, I couldn’t help but feel something ominous emanating from the column. Maybe it was because I knew what it signified; not just the location where the Great Fire began, but the start of the Blood War and now the unofficial memorial for all those that had perished because of it.
“Beautiful,” sighed Sebastian, as we got out of the car and stood together looking up at the great stone structure. “And to think people visit this place every day without any clue as to who lives beneath it.”
I gawped at him. “You mean to tell me that the Elders live under the monument?”
“Well, one of the entrances is here, but the council chambers run under much of this area, from here down to St Dunstan Church,” he said.
“They live under the church too?”
“I know,” grinned Sebastian. “Wickedly sacrilegious isn’t it?”