We Beat Stephen King?

 

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It looks like Friday the 13th brought us luck after all!

Hard to believe, I know — but I am proud to say that our horror anthology The Box Under The Bed  outranked Stephen King on the Amazon bestsellers list!  Who’d have expected it?

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I thought I heard someone applaud,

but alas!

In my distracted state of mind I could not be quite sure…

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If you are seeking supernatural thrills, bloodthirsty revenge, mystical ghosts and a plethora of eerie events, please take a look. CLICK HERE to get a copy.   (And if you are so inclined, please write a short review! )

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Free Horror Anthology! Today Only!

 

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Today, October 11th is your chance to get a FREE copy of our horror anthology The Box Under The Bed  on Freebooksy!

For all fans of the macabre and supernatural, this anthology is a must have! Featuring works by me and 20 other award winning and best selling authors.

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To get your free copy of The Box Under The Bed  CLICK HERE!

Otherwise BEWARE! For you, dear reader shall be crushed in the abyss,  sadly left behind forever.

 

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Krampus Nacht

 

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KRAMPUS:  Oh, it was easy enough for Saint Nicholas! His job was to coddle them. He gave them sweets and toys, praised them on how good they were, filled their stockings with candy and marzipan. When a child is docile it is simple enough to reward that child with some shiny, useless thing!  But the rebels, the transgressors, the nay-sayers, what of them? Oh yes they are much harder to deal with!  It was I, Krampus, who was given that difficult job.  You see, I was deemed the disciplinarian, whereas Nicholas was the jovial gift giver.

My position was not enviable in the least. Obedient children are simple. They rise when told, sleep when told. Perform their chores and tasks as expected. But the bad ones.  Ah, the bad ones!  It is they that must be punished, and that punishment is most necessary if ever they are to achieve their true potential.

And so it was upon the eve of the saint’s feast, the 5th of December, 1877 that I took to the humble Kabacki Forest near Warsaw Poland in the Russian Partition. It was there that dwelt a poor family of seven who were much in need of my services.  All of the children were quite obedient, save for one; the youngest. She was called Mania (as in maniac) though her true given name was Marie.

Mania had a fine but scattered mind when she first came under my switch. Yes, yes, I took a birch stick to them!  What of it? Spare the rod, spoil the child. Have you not read your Good Book?

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Seldom do folk take the time to consider the anguish I felt!  For what sane being would take pleasure in the injuring of a child? Still. They needed it.

 

MANIA:   I first encountered Krampus in the forest of Kabacki on the eve of the Feast of Saint Nicholas.  I was but ten years old and my mother had sent me, along with my sister Zosia and my brother Joseph to fetch kindle wood for the fire.

The night was black, the waxing moon only a yellow arch in the sky. A deep snow had just fallen and my boots crunched on the path. When we came upon a small tree suitable for chopping Joseph took his ax while Zosia and I tied its base. It was there in the shadows I first saw him; a man with a goat’s legs, hooves and a long thudding tail that swished back and forth.  From his head sprouted two twisted horns. I was a child of great imagination, and so, in all honesty, such a being seemed entirely credible to me. My brother and sister, however, were not so open minded.  Joseph stopped his ax in mid air, frozen in a mixture of fear and disbelief.

Krampus approached slowly, stealthily. Had the adults been with us, I suppose their first instinct would have been to kill him, for all manner of dangerous beasts are known to lurk in the forest. But he was no ordinary beast.

“Lay down your ax, boy. I mean no harm,” Krampus said in a voice that was husky but not  unkind. “It is your sister that interests me most.”

Zosia shuddered as the goat man approached closer.  She put her hands over her eyes and began to weep.  The sight of him, I’ll admit, was quite gruesome, for his body was hairy and he stood a good eight feet tall. As for myself, I was intrigued. I had always been a curious child, and somehow, in my heart of hearts, I was certain that the world I lived in,  as it had been presented to me, was not whole.  Therefore, I was delighted when Krampus turned to Zosia and spoke again. “Not you, precious girl,” he reassured her. “It is Mania I must address on this night.” He then placed a furry hand upon my shoulder. “Come with me,” he ordered.

I followed him through the woods, all the while keeping my eyes upon his twitching tail. In his hand he carried a birch stick, and I knew what was coming. I had been a bad girl.  A defiant, disobedient child. I spent far too much time with my nose in books and I often neglected my chores. Why, just that very night my mother had to pry me away from my science books in order to get me to chop the wood!  I was lazy and hopeless, never doing my part to help the family. Now I would pay for my despicable behavior!

Krampus lead me to the edge of a babbling brook, one that had not yet frozen over in December’s cold. The water churned, silver blue and fast moving.

 

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The goat man stood at the bank gripping his birch stick. “Bend over, Mania ,” he commanded.

I stood close to him, determined I would not show fear or vulnerability. I would TAKE my punishment. I’d take it like a woman! I closed my eyes, turned my back to him, bent over and braced  for my beating.

I waited.

A full minute passed. Then another.

Impatient as I was, I turned around, squinted at Krampus through my half closed eyes. He stood tall and straight, his body black against the already black night. He grinned and his white teeth gleamed in the darkness. He then began to laugh a hearty chuckle that rang through the forest.

I keeled around and stomped my foot in the snow. “What is the meaning of this?” I demanded. “Are you not to beat me? You, the great and powerful Krampus who punishes all bad children? Am I not a bad child? What delays you?”

It is an odd thing.  Sometimes one can be so ready and accustomed to defeat that when the defeat does NOT come we are angry, taken aback.

Krampus dropped his switch to the ground. “Mania ,” he said, “you have no need for this switch. You have proven yourself curious and dedicated enough to follow me to this brook. I shall not injure you, but I will show you something marvelous, something sacred.”

It was then that the goat man reached his hairy hand to the stream. He retrieved a cupful  of water which he poured into a glass jar. He held it to the sky, tiny ripples reflecting the sparse moonlight.

“In this water,” he stated, “you will see your future.”

I stared in the glass. The water separated into balls and spheres, swirling, vibrating particles of light and color. They spun round and round, droplets jumping, some emitting light as bright as flickering candles.

 

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“What is it?” I asked, but Krampus only smiled.

He then shook the jar again and this time I saw a picture. The jar became  a snow globe and inside was a domed building. Snow swirled over its high spire and arched windows. In a nearby courtyard men in cloaks passed, clutching books, engaged in conversation. It was, to be sure, a place of learning. But why present this to me?

“Sorbonne,” Krampus said. “The University of Paris. You  will study there, if you are disciplined enough.”

The Sorbonne? But it was beyond my wildest dreams!

Krampus shook the jar again. This time inside the glass there appeared a collection of gold letters. They floated, surfaced and formed a strange name which made no sense to me: Polonium.

“What is the meaning of this?” I asked, but Krampus only grinned and poured the water back into the brook.

“Polonium,” he said finally. “Named for your native Poland, which will never be far from your heart.”

Silly words!  Of COURSE Poland would always be close to my heart.  Though our region was now occupied by Mother Russia with her Cossacks and soldiers, we, the Skłodowska family, were Polish nationals and would always be so.

Krampus was a frustrating and nonsensical old goat!

“Go back now Mania,” he ordered. “Your siblings await you. Remember, keep steadfast to your studies. This world will be unkind to you, and your life will not be easy, for you are a female competing in the scientific realm of men. However, you must never let this deter you!”

With that he kissed my forehead, chucked my chin and waved a hand to motion me away.  He then jumped into the brook. He bobbed up and down, grinning the whole time, before he began to sink.  I watched as his twisted horns vanished beneath the water.

I ran back through the forest to where a dumbfounded Zosia and suspicious Joseph awaited me at the standing tree.  I never told them what had transpired.

KRAMPUS:  Mania Skłodowska was perhaps my best prodigy. She did indeed go on to study at the Sorbonne and even became the first ever female professor at the University of Paris.  Her chemical research led to the discovery of – yes, you guessed it — polonium. Her revelations in radioactivity shook the very foundations of physics itself. She was the first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize, though she gave away the money she acquired from it. Even Mr. Einstein himself said of her,  “She was a person who could not be corrupted by fame.”

Needless to say, I was most proud of my Mania.  And to think I never even once used my switch upon her!

She married a man named Curie and was ever known to the world as Marie.

 

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** This story was inspired by my friend Vicky.  Check out her post Scary Xmas for more about Krampus and an EXCELLENT Krampus Night recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

Jack the Ripper

 

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Jack: They called it murder but I called it art.

I lurked in the shadows, waiting  for the perfect moment to pounce.  The bevy of beautiful women I selected as specimens were perhaps unsuspecting of my talents.  The good people of London were unsuspecting as well. Yet as that month of September, 1888 passed, after I had skillfully managed to dissect and disembowel four women, leaving their remains to decorate Whitechapel  like human canvasses, it occurred to me; the locals now had great expectations of my work.  I had become a skilled artist in the medium of human flesh.

Why did I do it? Ah, I am quite sure the gentlemen at Scotland Yard would love to know the answer to that. Why indeed? I did it with purpose!  It was sublime and beautiful, this sight of torn flesh.  The rushing scarlet that trickled from their necks as I first pricked my knife. The red river that flowed across their clavicles.  Once the blood began to pour I was insatiable in my creation.  Like a painter’s brush I wielded my dagger, deeper and deeper until I hit solid bone. I could not stop till I’d sliced their torsos clean open.

 

 

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WANT TO READ MORE OF THIS STORY AND MANY OTHERS? ORDER OUR SCARY ANTHOLOGY  THE BOX UNDER THE BED

This anthology contains eerie ghost stories, supernatural chills and of course — the conclusion of Jack the Ripper’s tale — which becomes more interesting when victim Mary Kelly tells her side of the story.

Order the anthology HERE. 99 cent special!

 

 

When Darkness Falls Part 3

 

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Please read Part Two here.

I stare into the black water, thick with mud and sludge. The night is cold, wind whipping in icy gales. People think Louisiana winters are mild, but here in New Orleans we get the worst of it, boxed in by the drafts of Lake Pontchartrain and the river.

It has been five years since I left Shreveport. I only laugh when I think of myself back then, silly, strong willed, flippant. How stupid I was, to create a fiasco with Eric Northman.  I’d succeeded in nothing, only embarrassing myself by trying to attain the unattainable. I was a laughingstock, known all over Shreveport,  not as a mere fangbanger, but as something worse. An impostor. A pathetic loser. Shunned and ostracized from both the vampires and the humans.

All of this means nothing now.

My stomach clenches in nausea as I think of the doctor’s voice, deep, slow and methodical.  His sympathy was surely feigned. He did this every day, it was part of his regular work week,  a routine.

“Mina I am afraid you have breast cancer.”

I remember the examination room, the distance of the doctor’s face like a tiny oval in the white wall. I remember the terrible shudder that went through my body. Tears welled in my eyes and I fiercely scrubbed them away.

It had happened.  This, the same disease that had taken my mother and my grandmother and who knows how many other females in my blood line, had now come to claim me.   My choices, the doctor informed me, included a complete mastectomy followed by treatments of chemotherapy, countless medications and a rehabilitation process.  “This is not an automatic death sentence,” he assured me.

Choices? He has the audacity to call them choices?  Little did he know. I’d not undergo the knife, nor would I endure those dreaded treatments. I am not some guinea pig, subject to their silly games!  I have witnessed the worst of it; my mother, wasting away on her death bed, head bald, cheeks sunken, nostrils bleeding.  I have never been able to figure out, just what sort of ‘cure’ makes one go bald?

After my mother’s death I left Shreveport. There was no reason to stay. Oh, sure, I could have continued to petition Eric, but what good would it do? Northman would not budge. Besides, I no longer had the strength nor the inclination.

I then found myself with nothing. No family, no job, no money. I was not even speaking to my best friend Lucy. Well, can you blame me?  It was I, not she who was supposed to be  transformed that night. But no! The smug Eric Northman had foiled my plan.  Then, to add insult to injury, Pam decided to take a bite out of Lucy and bring her into the fold. Oh the sick irony of it! It was my pride as much as my sorrow that forced me to leave Shreveport.

My life in New Orleans had been sporadic at best. A barrage of makeshift single rooms, community toilets and lumpy mattresses, none of which I would ever call ‘home’. I took one meaningless job after another.  The visions of blood and death and bald cadavers haunted me. My anger overwhelmed me.  I could not eat or sleep. In my desperation I even saw a psychologist who diagnosed me with ‘depression’. Oh yes, that was genius! It did not take a psychological evaluation to know I was depressed!

My disease was thought to have a chemical cure.  I devoured prescriptions of Lexapro, Zoloft and Xanax.  I then graduated to Depakote and Oxycodone, enough drugs to anesthetize a small horse. But it meant nothing.  A  mere doling out of chemicals which served to make rich pharmaceutical companies richer and turn humans into drug dependent zombies.

All I needed was a good excuse. I have known for a very long time I do not belong in this world.

The river is deep and churning. Many a body has gone missing here.  I wonder if anyone would even come looking for me. I doubt it.

I feel in the pockets of my trench coat for the rocks I have packed in. Large and smooth, heavy as boulders.  I cannot swim but I am told the human body will automatically float to the surface. I have taken precaution against this. The rocks will sink me. Down, down to the depths of the muddy Mississippi. An elegant and much desired exit.  I will sleep with fish.

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I rise to my feet, stand on the bridge where patches of ice have formed.  My mind is calm, blank as the slate sediment. One foot, then another slips off and I land on my back with a  plop in the water.

Like a frigid blanket the waves encompass me. Hypothermia will  soon set in. How fortunate for me that the season is winter!  I sink quickly, boulders weighing and pulling me, down, down to the river’s ebony depths. Cold fades to numbness and then to nothingness.

 

*      *     *     *     *

 

“Blood pressure ninety over seventy. She’s slowly coming around.” I hear the voices but cannot recognize the blur of my surroundings. My body aches. Crisp cotton sheets cover me. I try to move but my legs are lead. Slowly my vision clears and I begin to see the outlines of their heads.  One tube has been inserted down my throat, nearly gagging me. Another pricks at my arm, a needle attached to a plastic bag of  liquid. A nurse moves to further inject me, rubber gloves sliding against my skin.

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“Welcome back to the world of the living Mina.” The nurse smiles. “For a while we thought we might lose you. You are a lucky woman, first spotted by the riverboat captain, revived by paramedics, and now your blood pressure fully on the rise. You had a bit of trouble breathing and you needed  potassium, but I predict you will be fine.”

“I’ll go inform Doctor Bombay!” another nurse calls excitedly. “Oh this is the best news we’ve had all day.”

Best news they’ve had all day? If I were not so weak I’d spit in her eye. Another plan foiled! Was I doomed to walk this earth, stuck in my diseased body, not even a whole human? How dare they? I wanted OUT.  Damn the river boat captain, damn the paramedics. Damn the hospital.

The nurse removes my throat tube. I sink back to a twilight sleep, awakened sporadically by vague thermometers and the squeak of blips on a monitor. I am, I suppose, still alive. I do not know how many hours have passed when I hear the next conversation.

“The patient is resting, doctor. Her body has undergone quite a trauma. Maybe you had better – leave this interrogation for another time?”

“This will only take a minute, I assure you. I’ll do nothing to jeopardize her recovery. The questions, I’m afraid, cannot wait.”

“Very well then.”

I hear the plodding footsteps as the doctor enters the room. Probably here to discuss my treatment options. Why oh why can’t they let me die in peace??

I do not look but listen as he closes the door behind him. He pulls up a chair, sits beside me and shines a beaming light into my closed eyes.  Why do they always shine a beaming light into your eyes? What, exactly do they hope to find?  Dilated pupils? Crazy ocular activity? Signs of my own insanity? I am sure they would find it all.  I wish they would just leave me alone!

“Mina,” he says. I am starting to hate my own name.

“Mina, you must open your eyes.”

Very well. Like peeled lemons I raise my lids. “You should have let me die,” I moan.  Even my words are an effort.

“Oh no. That would be too easy.” There is a mockery in his voice. I widen my eyes. Now fully awake I see him. The outline of his head, the blond hair, the ice blue eyes.  He wears green hospital scrubs, sleeves rolled above his elbows.

“What are YOU doing here?” I try to shout but my voice is weak.

“I am Doctor Northman. I have been assigned to your case for the purpose of a special interrogation. My questions will be brief.”

“What the fuck, Eric! Is this supposed to be some kind of joke?”

“Shhh, calm yourself.” He lays a hand across my forehead. “None of this will work if you become overexcited.”

“What the fuck!” I repeat. “You’re no doctor. How’d you get in here? Where’d you get those scrubs?”

He smiles. “Mina, I am twelve hundred years old.  Do you think it is so very difficult for me to masquerade as one of the medical profession?”

I stare at him. He has succeeded one more time in making of fool of me.

“What do you want?”

He shuts off the light beam and pulls his chair closer.

“You once asked me for the dark gift.”

I nod. It seems a century ago when I asked it. Too much has happened since then. I have become a cynic, the worst kind of cynic, bitter and beaten. I would not even make a good vampire. Eternal life no longer interests me.

“If you still want it, I can offer it to you.”

“Now? Now you come to me? Northman, your timing is terrible.  I am attempting to get OUT of this world, not stay here eternally! I will ask you —  not to turn me but to kill me!”

“I won’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“It would be immoral.”

I scoff. Morality!  Coming from him that is rich. Since when does the great and powerful Eric care a lick about morality?  I study him. There is more to this offer than meets the eye. He is up to something. This is one vampire who never lifts a finger unless it is to his own benefit.

I peer at him, narrowing my eyes. “What’s the real story Eric? Out with it.”

He sighs. “If you must know, I am bored.”

“Bored?”

“Yes, bored. You see, I have released Pam from her bondage to me.  She is quite fond of her protégé Lucy. Your friend I believe?”

“Lucy is no friend of mine!”

“Be that as it may. The two are Siamese twins, joined at the hip, a youngling and maker, no separating them. Pam no longer needs me and I no longer need her. “

“What about your Sheriff-dom? Surely that should keep you busy.”

“I have given my office to Pam. She will do a much better job with it. Shreveport is tedious. I am leaving to travel the world. For the first time in one hundred years I am free, no obligations, no dependents, and it occurs to me I would like a companion.”

“Why me?”

“Because you are strong willed. You have proven yourself. It is only a human who attempts to take their own life that is worthy of the dark realm. I once told you I would never turn a mortal without good reason. I now have good reason.”

 

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I stare at him. Five years ago I would have been elated, but now he only angers me.

“Make your decision quickly.” He stands, towering over me. He glances out the window. The wall clock reads 2AM.   “I’ve not much time. There are only a few hours until sunrise and I am leaving tonight.” He crouches down, presses his cheek close to mine.
“You once told me you’d stop at nothing,” he whispers, breath hot on my face. “Now prove it. Or are you too much of a coward?”

Prove it? Coward?  He has challenged me! Oh the unstoppable arrogance of him!

“Go ahead then!” I hiss. “Do it! Turn me into a monster.  Make me one of  your kind and  I will destroy this miserable world, drain bodies one by one, leave a wasteland of corpses and endless death behind me! I will not give a damn about any of them!”

“That’s the spirit.” He smiles and lifts the tubes from my  arm. He bares his fangs and bends down to bite my neck.

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The feeling at first is not unlike drowning. I could just as well be in the murky Mississippi, sinking under the sheets of cold gray water. I see nothing but vague darkness. But then. I feel his open bloody wrist pressed to my mouth. The blood!  It does not taste like blood but like something marvelous, something delicious. A sweet liquid. Chocolate? Tiramisu and hazelnut. Oh!  Leave it to Northman to hold the sweetest of temptations!  My teeth, now canine fangs gnaw his flesh. I cannot stop myself and I drink, drink, drink, filling my entire body, filling every inch of my bloodstream.

“That is enough!” He pulls his wrist away.  I am satiated, my body warm, blood pulsing through me although I can no longer feel a heartbeat.

The nurses are knocking on the door. “Doctor? Doctor Northman? Is everything alright?”

“We must depart,” he says. He lays a hand on my shoulder. In the blink of an eye we fade from the room, leaving my bed empty, tubes and circuits lying in a tangled mass of sheets.

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Within seconds we are flying through the night sky. The air is crystalline fresh, vast masses of fluffy clouds below us.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“Lapland is nice this time of year,” he says. “Very few hours of daylight with winter set in. We could make it our home. For now.” He glances at me, gives a hint of a smile, wind whipping his hair.

I cling to his back, dig my nails to his flesh. Lapland.  Our home? Had he said “Our home’?  Ours. The idea is enticing, enthralling, almost surreal.

In the distance I see a glittering of stars. They spill in muted colors like a magnificent ribbon, a night rainbow of red, green and purple.  “The Aurora Borealis,” Eric says. “It is — but one small vision of the many you will now behold.”

I stare silently.  Its beauty stuns me, colors richer than any I have seen before.  The  twinkling  Northern Lights beckon as we ride the black sky, delving deeper and deeper into its velvet abyss.

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In this instant I feel no sorrow, no regret, no anger, no link to the past nor to the future.

I am what I am.

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When Darkness Falls Part 2

 

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Please read Part One here.

 

The silver chain inside me is painful, nearly unbearable. With each step I feel it rub, shredding the walls of my vagina. I had envisioned it to be no worse than a tampon or a diaphragm, but this?  It is thick, akin a chain link fence or a bicycle’s lock.  Yet I’ll need its weight, the rough grid of it, to bring him down.

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I plan to wrap it around his neck, tie it in a knot if need be.  Under such duress the great and powerful Eric will certainly do my bidding.  I have not spent a lifetime studying vampirism only to be turned down but the illustrious Mr. Northman!

Finally darkness falls and the moon appears in the sky, a waxing crescent.  I drive my car to Merlot’s. First stop on the adventure. Here I will pick up my friend Lucy. Lucy, although she does not realize it, is going to be my secret weapon.

Getting past the strong-arm bouncers at Fangtasia will be no problem; this I know because they are human. They apparently get a kick out of working for Eric and Pam, hanging out in that atmosphere of death and ripe blood.  Oh, but they are cowards compared to me!  For all their brawn and bravado they would never imagine crossing the line, asking Pam or Eric to actually turn them permanently.  They do not intimidate me in the least. Best of all they will have no inkling of the silver I hide inside myself.

But also there is Pam. Bothersome little bitch. Nothing gets past her.

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She could be a problem. I have, of course thought of a solution.

My friend Lucy is beautiful. More like cat-walk gorgeous. Long legs, silky red hair and cheekbones to die for.  When Lucy enters a room, she turns the heads of men and women alike. And Pam?  Queen of the lesbian vampires?  She’ll never be able to resist Lucy.

Lucy, of course, thinks this whole thing is a game. I have offered to pay her one hundred dollars to seduce Pam. It won’t even be difficult. All Lucy has to do is walk into Fangtasia, toss back her hair, catch Pam’s eye and it will be as good as done. With Pam thus engaged I will smuggle in my silver chain and approach Eric. I will then make my offer.  It is, as I have become most fond of calling it, ‘An offer he can’t refuse.’  A brilliant scheme. My own cleverness surprises me.

With delighted anticipation I drive to Merlot’s.  Lucy waits for me in the parking lot. Ever the fashion icon, she is dressed in black hose, stiletto heels and a filigree blouse, breasts pouting through the lace and gauze.   I nod approval as she tumbles into the car. “Easiest hundred bucks I’ll ever make,” she quips.

 

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If only she knew. When we leave I will not be driving her home as a human being, but as a true creature of the night.  We pull up to Fangtasia. “OK Luce,” I say. “Just remember, Pam must be NOWHERE near the door when I enter.”

“Will do!” Lucy nods and gives me a mock salute. “This will be fun.”

“You have thirty minutes. That should be plenty of time.”

“In thirty minutes I’ll have Pamela whisked away to the Isle of Lesbos.” Lucy winks. She loves every minute of this.  She walks away from the car swinging her purse and strutting her heels.

Impatiently I watch the hands of my dashboard clock. Ten minutes. Twenty Minutes. The silver chain scrapes inside of me. I can’t wait to get it out.  Finally the clock reads 10:30 pm and I open the car door. I wince as I walk to the entrance, chain snagging at the tender skin of my vagina. Damned thing!  I plaster a look of stoicism to my face. Never let them see you sweat. 

Smoothly I flow past the bouncers. One frisks me, big meaty hands against my rib cage and ass. Another peeks inside my purse. “Clean,” he mutters, and I pass through.  Once inside, I glance around the club. Goth kids stand in groups, whispering like secretive birds, mascara streaming across their eyes, faces powdered pale.

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A band called Night Prowl plays on the stage, the lead singer clearly a wanna-be Lestat. He is dressed in French cuffs with a lion’s mane of blond hair that hangs to his waist. Girls jump and gawk at the front of the stage, nearly fainting before him.

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 In the middle of all this chaos, Eric Northman sits upon his throne. (Yes a throne. That ought to give you an idea of his arrogance.)  He looks at me, slightly annoyed but also amused. “What brings you back?” he asks. “I thought I deemed you unfit!  Don’t take that personally, of course. I am just not in the habit of turning mortals into vampires without good reason.”

Oh the stubbornness of him!  But still.  I gaze into his glacier blue eyes and imagine what it will be like to spend eternity with him. I long for his darkness, his  eclipse   of my own humanity.  I must have him! That is final.

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“I have given up on the idea of being turned, Eric,” I answer flippantly.

Folklore claims that one can never lie to a vampire, but I have practiced this routine time and time again in my mirror. I am able to actually slow my own heartbeat, lower my own blood pressure, and convincingly lie through my teeth to anyone.  I return him the same cool serene look he gives me.

“Then what brings you here?” he asks. “The band? You are partial to Lestat Lioncourt?  Or perhaps you require a shot of V.”

“I am no junkie, Eric Northman,” I say, pressing my face close to his. “I come bearing good news. Tidings of great joy.  Something you may be quite interested in.”

“I am seldom interested in the dull affairs of humans.” He smiles, one side of his mouth dimpled in sarcasm. He looks at me as if I were a lost dog.

“This is not news of a human affair!” I peer at him, narrowing my eyes.  “I was just at Merlot’s. The local vampire council had a meeting there. I heard rumors. It seems  you are being considered for a promotion. That is — if you play your cards right — you may be moved from Area 5 Sheriff to President of Louisiana. The position right under the Grand Vampire King himself. What do you think of that?”

Eric arches an eyebrow, now fully interested.  I KNEW this would get him.  Eric Northman may be able to resist my feminine charms, even my blood itself, but one thing he CANNOT resist is a chance at acquiring more power.

“Would you like to hear more?” I tease.

He rises from his throne. He leads me to the same underground chamber where we had been the night before. Ah, but little does he know. This time the result will be much different.

As we walk down the corridor I feel the chain move,  now near to my uterus.  Somehow, Eric has not yet figured this out. I have the silver buried deep, and mixed with the secretions of my body fluids he cannot smell the poisonous metal. Not yet. But Eric is clever, with a thousand years of vampire sensitivity under his belt.  It will only be a matter of minutes before he detects it. I must act fast!

Secluded in the basement chamber I bolt the door. I reach to my crotchless panties and in one millisecond I pull out the chain. It stings, but like a quickly pulled bandage, I ignore the pain.  Then, while he is still gawking at me I wrap it like a lasso around his neck. His eyes bulge in  terror.

“Sneaky fucking bitch,” he hisses.

“Now will you do it? Turn me into one of your kind! I command you.”

He lowers his head. The silver has already begun to make a mark in his skin. It has weakened him and he is now powerless under my grasp. He sinks to the ground, long legs splayed yoga style on the concrete floor.

“Will you do it?” I persist.

“You have no idea what you ask,” he says. His voice is dust.

“Oh but I do! I have done my research Eric. Immortality is my goal, no matter what the price.”

He glares at me, a blood tear falling from his eye. “You ask for a living hell. You ask to be a predator, a killing machine with no choice but to prowl night after night with an endless hunger that will only be satisfied by another’s death. And for us there IS no death, only the disgraced wasteland we leave behind. You think this is some game, some lark, some —  fashion statement?” He spits the words. “Do you realize I have been upon this earth for twelve hundred years? This earth!  And it gets no better. An endless barrage of human stupidity. Wars and fighting and sex and bloodlust. All to no end, all for what?  I am only an observer. An observer of  hell, who night after night is forced to feed on the likes of you.”

 

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I watch the blood tears  trickle down his cheeks. My throat clenches and I fear I too may cry. But no. I will not show him my sorrow, will not show any emotion. I tighten the grip of my chain. Large welts have now begun to form on his back and shoulders. “Remove it!” he groans. “Please remove it.”

“Give me your word!” I shout.  “Say you will turn me! Say it!”

(I also happen to know that once a vampire has given his word to transform a human, he cannot take it back.  This is a little known fact that only those privy to the grand teachings of Vlad Dracul would be aware of. As I said, I have spent a lifetime studying this stuff, and with good reason.)

He looks at me in astonishment. “How do you know that?”

“You think you are the only one who reads Vlad’s Sacred Book of Secrets? Come on now Eric. Just about anything is available on the internet these days.”

He scoffs in anger. I force him to lie on the floor. He stretches beneath me, his six foot four inch frame cowering like a beaten animal. “Say it!” I scream.

He says nothing but only nods with a sigh of resignation. That is fine. I do not need the words, only the action!   I know he is too weak to puncture my jugular, so I reach for a razor blade in my purse.  I slash my own neck and bend into him. Finally!  I will now enter eternal life, bound forever to this  glorious Scandinavian god.

Just then the door bursts open with a flash of white light so powerful it knocks me to the ground. Near blinded, I squint through the blur. This is not sunlight, of course it is not!  But what?  A rich silver glow, such as could only come from the stars or the moon. In the platinum mist I see her. The outline of her hair, Merlot’s waitress uniform, her fingertips radiating the light.

Sookie Stackhouse? Sookie Fucking Stackhouse?  The fairy girl. What is SHE doing here?

“I read your thoughts a mile away,” she says coolly. “Hell, I even read Lucy’s thoughts at Merlot’s two hours ago. But I didn’t think you’d have the guts to go through with it. No one has ever defeated Eric Northman.”

I feel nauseous, still half blinded by the fairy light. I squirm on the floor. Sookie kneels and removes the chain from Eric’s neck. Lamely, I reach to stop her but the silver light holds me back.

Within seconds Eric’s welts disappear. He is restored to his former strength. Standing, he towers over me, extends a hand to help me to my feet. “I think you’d better go now Mina,” he says. Oddly, his voice is patient, not unkind. This is the very first time he has ever called me by my name. Mina.

Oh, he is KILLING me. The wheels of my brain churn. It cannot be finished, it cannot be over!

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Sookie  then nods in agreement. “You’d better go,” she repeats. She waves her fingers and I know if I do not leave I am in for another dose of her fairy light.

 

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Dammit! After all my meticulous research, only to be defeated by that mind reading fairy? Ha. That is what they think.  I will go now, but Mr. Northman has not seen the last of me. Reluctantly, I plod upstairs. I walk toward the exit door. In one dim cobwebbed corner I see Lucy and Pam, shamelessly groping one another, back buttons of Lucy’s shirt undone.

“Hey Luce!” I shout. “If you want a ride home you’d better step to it.”

But no. Lucy looks at me, her eyes half lidded. I see the trickle of blood where Pam has taken a gouge from her neck. Lucy parts her lips in a smile.

Then I see them. Lucy gapes her mouth wider. They glint in the darkness, white as pearl and sharp as my own razor blade. Proudly, Lucy displays her brand new set of fangs.

 

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When Darkness Falls Part 1

 

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To say it sent a  shiver  down my spine would be trite, although it did. This place was amazing, a world unto itself.  It was ‘the underground’, the obscure, but not as you know it. A club with a basement chamber beneath, hidden like a speakeasy, like a best kept secret, although its name should have certainly given it away.  Stupid people. They had no clue.

What I remember most is the loud pulse of music, the sound that seemed to fade like an underwater silence as he approached closer. “Whereabouts are you from?” he asked as if I were some kind of foreigner.  Which I suppose I was, from his point of view. He led me through a black corridor to a small drafty room, dark except for a few flickering candles.

 

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There he stood, looking me over, a strange seriousness in his eyes.  I grew impatient, wished he would just do it! I willed my  veins to bulge upon my neck, to tempt him.  But I only shivered in the cold, my blood probably gone thin.  He was plodding and reluctant. I wanted to scream: Get it over with dammit!  But my words were only a squeak in my throat. No matter. Soon it would be done and I could stop obsessing over it.  His fangs popped like a cobra’s teeth and I lifted my hair from my neck. I closed my eyes, braced myself for the bite.

But no. “Unfit,” he said, backing away. He studied me as if I were some rare but dejected specimen. Unfit?  After all that?  A visit I’d planned for months and now Eric Northman had the audacity to say  “Unfit.”  Smug bastard.

 

Next thing I knew the morning light glared bright in my eyes and the patch of grass beneath me was my pillow. My body was stiff, every limb enveloped with the hunger that clung to me like a disease. The obsession had not left me. I still wanted — longed to be one of them.

Persistence, I have heard, is the key to success in achieving any goal.  Most people do not realize that joining the undead  has been my single greatest ambition.  I am no amateur, no wanna-be. “Turn me, turn me!” a lot of them say, but me? I have studied this stuff. Made it my life’s work.

When darkness falls I will return to Fangtasia. I’ll petition him again and he won’t deny me.  This time I’ll have a secret weapon that will make  even the great Eric Northman cower.

Like a betraying Judas I shall carry in the silver.  How so, you might wonder.  With security cameras and strong armed bouncers frisking at the door, how will I pull this off?  Well. You underestimate me.  Do I seem like a fool?  I will hide it in my  vagina of course.  Slip it in unnoticed and when I get my chance, I’ll make Eric an offer he can’t refuse.

This time, Mr. Northman will be most surprised to see I have brought along a chain of  the most venomous metal, enough to poison any vampire and certainly enough to force him to do my bidding!   Then he will  turn me into one of his own kind.  He will be my maker, bound to me for eternity.  And  he will think twice before he ever calls a human ‘unfit’ again.

 

Please read Part Two here.

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