Category Archives: short story

Aeternum Amor

Lover’s Requiem is finally published at Smaswords for those that are interested in having their own copy.  It has been renamed as “Aeternum Amor”.  Once again, I seem to have a thing for Latin.  It’s free to download and you can read it either on your computer or pretty much any e-reading device.  I’m not completely happy with the cover, but it was what I was able to create with my limited graphical design skills.

Maybe one of these days I will buckle down and learn how to work with Adobe programs besides my Photoshop Elements.  Still, not bad for someone who can really only manipulate photos somewhat.

You can download the ebook here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/149329 and if all goes well, it’ll be avalible on iTunes and Barnes and Noble soon enough.  You can also click up on the Published Works tab at the top if you want to get a hold of it.

It is longer than Vatican Vamps by a lot, so hopefully the people who have complained about my short stories being too short will be happy with this length.

In non-related news, I’m heading back to my family’s home in about, oh…a half an hour. And there will be the Sister. Which means the promised Q&A with her regarding Hunger Games will be happening while we eat our Cadbury Eggs.

Have a happy Easter.  And watch out for Zombies.

Advertisements

Rhiannon of Air

One of my favorite topics to write about is mythology, and how it might affect us if the stories were true.  Especially in terms of Elves.  This is a short story I wrote two years ago on a plot idea from S, and it remains one of my favorites. I’m currently working on editing Lover’s Requiem, so it might be a while until a new serial shows up.

RHIANNON OF AIR

He heard the noise from the basement again.  Thinking that it was one of the cats that had gotten trapped down there again—that had been happening a lot lately—he rose from his bed and made his way to the stairs that lead down.  Others in his family were somewhat afraid of the basement.  It was made when the old farmhouse had been constructed, and was little more than a space under the house that was there to hold up said house with a few wood beams here and there and walls made out of field stone.  There was only one light down there, and it hung from its wire at the end of the wooden stairs that were crooked, deep, and threatening to fall apart every time someone went down them.

Grabbing a flashlight from the counter on his way past it, he carefully went down the stairs and into the basement.  He pulled the chain attached to the light bulb when he reached the dirt floor of the basement and waiting for it to flicker to life before venturing further.  It flickered once, twice, and then flared brightly before going completely dark.  With a sigh, he gripped the flashlight and flipped the switch to turn it on.  A yellowish light crept over the basement as he ventured forward, intent on finding the cat and shooing it back upstairs.

He rounded the stairs and immediately had to blink away the tears that had formed in his eyes away.  Something was causing an awful lot of light down here.  What he wasn’t sure of was the source of said light.  Was it a fire?  A light from outside that somehow managed to get past the dirty windows?  Or perhaps a burglar with a flashlight of his own?

His flashlight was heavy enough for a weapon if it was a burglar, he thought as he hefted it in his hands.  He grabbed hold of it with both hands and ran forward into the light, ready to hit anything that he found there.

And he ran straight into a meadow that he was quite sure hadn’t been there earlier in the day.

He wasn’t sure where he was.  On the bright side, he no longer needed his flashlight, as the sun was very nicely lighting up the meadow the sky and the line of trees he could see that were standing there at the horizon.  He flicked the switch with his thumb again and turned off the light that couldn’t be seen in day anyways.  Adjusting his glasses with his left hand, and then running that same hand through his hair, he set off towards the horizon and the trees.

“Who are you?” a voice called out to him as he was walking.  He stopped and turned around in a circle, trying to see where it was coming from.  It sounded female for sure, but there was nothing around him save air.  “Who are you?” he was asked again?  The voice sounded closer this time, though still soft and almost sparkling.  It reminded him of silver bells.

“Um…my family calls me Kev.”

“Kev,” the voice said softly, enunciating every part of it.  It was almost as if she was trying to learn how to say it.  “No,” she continued on.  “That is not who you are.” She sounded very thoughtful.

“Who are you?”  Kev paused.  “Where are you, I think is the better question.”

“I am all around you.  I am called Rhiannon of Air.”

Kev knew that name well from all of his readings.  Rhiannon was one of the Elven ladies of the Seelie, connected most with air, hence her name.  She might as well have been called one of the princesses.  “My lady Rhiannon,” he said, bowing low.”

There was a dainty laugh. “There is no reason to bow here, mortal.  Only those worthy of the Elven blood in their veins are able to even enter the realm of the Fey in this time of disbelief.  You were found worthy and have been welcomed back to the Seelie court, if you would have this position.”

His eyes grew wide. “My lady, I don’t quite know what to say to such a wonderful gift.”

The air around him swirled until it drew up dirt and began to take the form of a woman in a flowing gown.  Her hair was dark brown and her robes were of a light yellow color and moved around her as they would in wind, only there was no more wind once she appeared before him.  Her face was flawless, as all of the Seelie court were.  “Speak from your heart, young one.  What does it desire?”

“To stay here,” he responded immediately.

“Then drop your mortal items and join me in court.”

The flashlight dropped to the ground and he stepped forward with the lady Rhiannon of Air.

“You shall need a better name than Kev for me to introduce you to King Auberon and Queen Titania.”

“Do you have a suggestion, lady?”

“What about…Kell?”

The newest member of the Seelie court, Kell nodded.  “It suits.”

The rest of their conversation grew dim as they walked into the forest.

~~~

There was grief in the home of Kev the next morning.  It seemed he had gone downstairs during the night to do something.  The flashlight had been turned off somehow, the family decided, and he tripped over something on the ground—likely the cat he had been trying to find—and fell to hit his head on the field stone wall.

Only his younger sister was not completely struck with grief.  She had grabbed the leaf made out of gold and emerald that had lain next to his body before anyone else could see it.  She envied her brother, being taken in by the Seelie court.   Oh, how she hoped that Kev might come for her one day as well.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Seven

Chapter seven is now up for reading.

Also, Monday’s post will likely be delayed until about Tuesday or perhaps later due to family events, a trip to Ohio, a possible lack of internet and Athena (the computer) remaining back at home.

Enjoy what is the longest chapter of this novella!

 

CHAPTER SEVEN- WE ARE ALWAYS SEARCHING

He awoke not long before the sun sunk beneath the horizon.  From his spot in the shadows of the church’s loft, he sat and watched the last rays hit Anahita from the opening that was left in absence of the stained glass.  Her wings weren’t pulled back for once, but rather open and soaking in the warmth before the cold of the dark night.

Koios turned his attention to his other senses.  There was no one else in the sanctuary aside from them.  There were no other heartbeats that he could discern with his ears.  Smelling the air only showed him that some places needed to be dusted more than others, and the corner where he was sitting was one of them.  There was no taste of blood in his mouth.  He left the rest of that thought alone.  There was no time to go hunting tonight.  Perhaps if he ignored hunger long enough, it would go away and he would not need to.  Touch only showed him that he was sitting on stone and it was beginning to become painful.

Darkness became a shroud around him and the angel as the sun finally disappeared, taking warmth with it, but leaving safety behind.  He stood and walked to the edge of the window, looking down at the ground below.  The glass shards had been cleaned up, leaving nothing but this hole as a sign of his passing.  He could see and hear children below, running around.  Their faces were obscured with paint or masks and bodies hidden beneath layers of clothes in order to ward off the chill of the night as they moved from house to house, ringing bells and knocking on doors.  Parents with flashlights stood at the ends of the driveways, lending more light to the already bright night.

Before this year, he had loved All Hallows’ Eve more than anything.  It was a shifting in the natural order of things, when dark became more active than day.  When night was not feared.  And it was so very easy to eat his fill on this night.  Now, staring down on them, with an angel next to him, it felt different.  He couldn’t say how, it was so subtle.  Something about being able to protect them.

Shaking it, Koios tried to clear his head.  Where were these thoughts coming from?  He was still a vampire.  That was prey down there, and easy pickings at that.  He should be down there with the rest of his court, engaging in the fun they had every year.  He should be there with Diu…

Diu.  That name again.  Latin for day.  He was anything but.  It also meant for a long time.  That fit better.

He snorted and stopped thinking altogether.  There was nothing to be worried about now.  One goal and one goal only: stop Diu from killing others.

“Are you ready?” Anahita asked him quietly, still looking out at the world.

“Yes.”

She looked at him.  “Truly?”

“Yes.”

“Is this the last of our hauntings then?”

There was a smirk on his face as he looked over at her.  “I haven’t heard your word for our dates in a long time.”

“I hope that you’ll be able to hear it many more times in the future.”

“That will only happen if we both survive and manage to see each other again.  And, as I am a demon in a man’s body,” the grim face and voice was back, “I doubt that will happen.”

Anahita only nodded, not knowing what to say.  Anything that she said at that point would only sound like a lie to him.  “Where will he be?”

“Diu?”  She nodded again.  “Out in the city.  He and the court will be together on this night.  It’s the one time we can all travel as a group and not be noticed.”  He looked back out of the window and down at the children wandering around once more.  “I never thought I would say this, but for once I’m praying again.”

“Oh?”

“I pray that we find Diu in time so that we don’t have even more carnage to deal with tonight.  There is enough done in his name already.”

“I have said it before.  You are a good man, Koios.”

“Good demon, perhaps.  But no man.”

“Be that as it may.  You are none the less.”  She turned from the window and began to walk towards the stairs that lead down from the choir loft and out into the church.  “Shall we go then?”

“Yes.  I will need to eat tonight though.  If I’m going to have strength to face Diu and the entire court, I will need blood.”  He paused in his words as he saw the look of horror on her face.  “I’m sorry.  But I need to.”

“On who?  There are only children out tonight!” Anahita yelled at him

“You have not seen me feed before, angel,” he growled out at her.  “I do not take from children and I do not kill them.  I never let my demon out to reign over me completely until two nights ago.  I might have killed that, but that was it.”

“You’re telling me that you did no lasting harm to anyone?” Her voice was tinged with astonishment.  She didn’t believe him.

“I fed, but I tried to keep them alive when I was finished.  I took the memory of my time there from their mind and then left them.”  Koios resumed walking and went past her where she was on the stairs.  His black clothes were almost swirling around him as he descended down.  “I understand if you don’t want to come with.  I will meet you back here once I have finished.”  She said something then, but it was too soft for even his ears to pick up.  He turned back, one foot still on the stairs and one on the stone floor of the church.  “What was that?”

“Would my blood work?”

He gave a short and cynical laugh.  “I asked once if you would let me take from you.  You said no.”  Then, he spun back around and shot out of the door of the church at a brisk walk.  He stalked through the night, some children scattering out of his way, others commenting on what an amazing and cool and neat costume he had and were those fangs real, mister, ‘cause they sure looked real and other such inane comments until the parents of the children came and collected their young in order to move them through the night to the next house that was full of blood and sugar.

It didn’t take long for Koios to find a bar that was packed full of drunks and had several more tumbling outside every so often for either a smoke break or to head home for more drinks.  It was easy for him to convince one such drunkard to follow him into the alley.  It also didn’t take much time to subdue her as she was already more than halfway there, though it did take him an hour or so to sober up after feeding from her.  He didn’t need as much as he used to, however.  Perhaps is had something to do with Anahita’s blood.  In that time, he wandered through the city, enjoying not having to care about anything.  It was nice, and not something he had done since before he had been turned.

It was soon after he sobered up that he walked into another subdivision.  Thoughts were on nothing, cares were not even existent any more.  It was then that he noticed  someone who looked very familiar to him.  “Lupus?” he called out, sure that he was right.

The being turned, showing his face and indeed, it was the member of Diu’s Court who he knew.  “Koios?  But I thought you were dead.  Diu said…”

“Diu lied.  He’s the reason that I’m even here to begin with.  It was he who killed both me and…and Brigett.”

“I knew that, you idiot.  I was the one who killed your precious girlfriend eleven years ago.”  Lupus’ voice was cold, yet matter-of-fact.    It held no remorse in it, however.

“You killed her?” he replied softly.  His voice was barely above a whispers, but it carried easily to the elder vampire’s ears.

“On Diu’s orders.  It’s a great honor to be asked to participate in one of his hunts.  And even better if one of the hunts turns into a night of turning.  It’s something that you should have thought of before you declined his offer to turn one of your own and to have your own Court.  It’s an honor to have one.  I’ve wanted one for years, yet some little prick is going to get it instead of me, just because Diu likes him better?  I don’t think so,” Lupus yelled at him.  He launched himself towards Koios, who dropped to the ground immediately. There were advantages to vampire speed.

As Koios raised his head, he saw who Lupus had been feeding on.  It was a child.  One of the ones who was dressed up as some type of goblin or witch or what not.  As soon as that was seen, he felt anger rise completely to the fore until he saw red.  He rose, just as Lupus came at him again.  “You bastard!” Koios screamed at him.  “You go after kids!  You’re just a poor little kid yourself, being the good son, in hopes that daddy Diu would finally like you.”  He let a punch fly as soon as his adversary was in range.  The punch did little to deter the great hulking vampire from coming at him again.  Koios found himself on the receiving end of a like punch that sent him reeling to the ground once again, small pieces of brick falling from the building that he was pushed into.    He fought back the fog that threatened to envelop him when his head hit the wall.  It took him too long to clear it, however, and the much smaller vampire found himself being picked up and tossed once more, this time towards a wooden fence that he hadn’t seen before.  As he went flying towards it, he thought about the fact that he wouldn’t be able to help Anahita take out Diu, or stop Diu from hurting anyone else

He landed and closed his eyes, ready for the flames that came to eat at his body and turn it to ash as the wooden slats of the old fence pierced his chest and heart.  He was certainly flying at a high enough speed that there would be enough power to drive one of the splinters into his heart.  There was no all consuming pain, however.  Koios opened his eyes and found that he was more or less in one piece and that one a few wooden splinters had entered his body, and all were far away from his heart.  He had lived.  What was more, was that he was now sitting in a pile of weapons deadly to his opponent.   Snatching a few up, he moved to a crouch, holding the makeshift stakes like daggers had been held in medieval times.  He didn’t think to throw them.  There was something inherently bad about a strategy of fighting the included throwing away your only weapon.  He waited there, patient, waiting for his enemy to come to him.  His advantage laid in his speed, not in brute force.  It didn’t take long nor much goading before Lupus charged at him again.  Koios felt most of the impact in his shoulder, followed by his upper back when he slammed into the very same wall yet again.  “I’m getting tired of this,” he growled out, right before, bringing up one of the stakes and jerking it towards Lupus.

Batting it away, Lupus laughed. “You’ll need to be a lot faster than that, boy, if you want to win.”

“I already am,” Koios said quietly.

Lupus looked down and saw one of the splinters from the broken fence jammed into his chest.  He hadn’t even seen the attack happen, nor where the stake had come from.  “Where the hell did you get that from?  Pull it out of your a–.”

He never had time to finish his sentence before bursting into flames and then fading to ash.  The body was still burning slightly as Koios left the alley.  “I have been accused of having one there before, yes.”

The streets that had been so full before were now near empty.  It had to be close to ten, if the previous year’s Halloween was anything to go off of.  It was around then that the parents brought their children in from outside, deciding that they had braved the dangers of the night long enough.  There were things that he needed to do, however, and it was best if they were done in the dark of the night.  For one, he needed to find Diu.  In order to complete that task, he also needed to find Anahita.

It didn’t take him long to get back to the church that had served as both meeting place and sanctuary before.  She was no longer present there, which meant that he had to search for her on his own.  He closed his eyes and focused on the energy around him, meaning to draw in power to create his wings as he used to do.  Almost without thought, he felt his black wings burst from his body, only without any of the disappearance of energy that usually occurred when he manipulated it.  Another side effect of the angel blood in him, no doubt.  It made perfect sense that he would gain the ability to fly, after all. As he rose into the air, he found that there was almost a pull telling him which way to go.  He wondered if this was what angels felt, being told what to do and where to go.  He needed to get rid of this blood and soon.  He hated feeling like he was out of control.

He couldn’t help but feel as thougt he was meant to follow the pulling and pushing though.  So follow it he did, searching beneath him for any sign of Anahita or her passing. It was near the middle of the city, in an empty parking lot, that he felt the push again, only this time, it was pulling him downwards.  He landed, wings folded behind him, yet letting them remain in an attempt to show the others who were there that he too had power.

Looking around, he saw that he had landed almost three feet away from Anahita, who had a sword in one of her hands.  Across from the two of them was aligned with Diu’s Court, with Diu himself in the middle.  “I see you found me,” Anahita told him softly.

“Your blood called me to you.”

“No more searching for one another then.”

“Never.”

“As touching as this is,” Diu called out, “I need to ask the two of you to move.  We have done nothing wrong, Angel.  Indeed, it is you who has done wrong, by consorting with one of our own.  That is against the laws of the magical beings.”

She brought her sword up to rest in a guarded stance.  “I reject your laws when necessary to ensure that no more innocent blood is spilt.”

“Koios,” Diu turned to speak to him now.  “Listen to me.  I made you.  I welcomed you and treated you as my son.  Did you ever lack for anything while within my care?  Did I ever force you to do something that you did not wish to do?”  His voice was like silk, but Koios knew all too well the poison fangs that were hidden with that velvet tongue.

“No.  You tried to end me, however.  And for that I can not forgive you.”

“So then we fight,” Diu sighed out.  “So it must be.  This ends here and now.”  He stepped back, and his court surged around him, closing in on the only two that stood against him:  an angel with a sword and a young vampire with no weapons but his fists.

°°°°

Trivia: This chapter was the hardest one to write.  I wasn’t completely sure where I wanted to go during it, all that I knew was that they needed to get to the parking lot where Diu was. The fight between Koios and Lupus was not one that I had planned, but as soon as I placed the two in a street together, I knew that was what needed to happen.  This was the last chapter I wrote in my run of writing in 2006.  The last few chapters I finished this August with Camp NaNo after struggling with how I wanted “The Ship Of Pills” to begin and end.


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter Five

Another Friday, another chapter.  Please feel free to give feedback on what you think of it!

CHAPTER FIVE- OF MASQUES AND MARTYRS

When Koios made it make to his home, he found that the sun was near rising.  If he had been out even ten minutes more, he never would have made it back in time to reach the safety of his room before passing out.  As it was though, he barely managed to tumble into his bed before he lost consciousness when the sun broke over the horizon.  His dreams that morning were unlike those that he had been having for the past ten years.  He did not dream of Bridgett and of that night.  Nor did he dream that he was at the carnival and seeing the freak show again.

In this dream, he was surrounded by light and warmth and clouds.  He had an idea of what he was dreaming of, naturally.  When he saw a pair of golden gates in the distance though, he knew for sure that his dreams had taken him to Heaven.  Almost under their own violation, he felt himself begin to walk towards the gates, where there was a figure waiting for him.  It ended up being Anahita.

“Hello, angel,” he told her.

“Hello vampire,” came her reply.

“Might I come in?”

“Here?  No.  But I can come out to you.”  And she proceeded to do just that.  There was peace in Koios for a moment as he watched her come towards him.  However, as soon as Anahita had walked past the gates, the scene transformed and the two of them were in the alleyway that the killings had occurred in.  Anahita transformed to Diu before his eyes and leered at him.  He seemed to be taller than Koios remembered him being and was defiantly darker looking.  Clouds rolled over the full moon above them as Diu looked down at him.  With a snarl, he turned away, disappearing in the night as he became one with it.

“Where are you going?” Koios called after him.

“To hunt.  To kill.  To turn.”  The reply seemed to come from the dark that was threatening to close in on him.  Just as the darkness reached his body and was beginning to enter into him, the scene shifted again and he was standing in the graveyard that he had talked with Anahita in.  He walked through it, not really thinking of anything.  At one point, he passed by a highly polished tombstone and caught sight of something that troubled him to no end: his reflection.

There was the hint of the creature that the strong man in the carnival had possessed completely.  It was closer to being a true part of him, unlike the demon that he had seen in Emaline.  He bit his lip and turned away; this was not something that he wanted to see.  No matter where he turned though, he found himself looking at his visage in the tombstones again.   As he moved onward though, eyes straight ahead, he found that the images he saw from the corner of his eye were changing.  No longer did they show a man and a demon melded together.  Instead, they showed what looked like a human body that was rotting away before him. Koios stopped before one of them to looked closer at it and felt his body seize up.  It was his body.

He awoke with a start as the sun went down.  He had forgotten that he had no need of breath and was currently breathing heavily like he had done when human after a nightmare.  At least the nightmare had been helpful, he found himself thinking with a wry smile.  He had been banned from entering Heaven and Anahita had disappeared to be replaced with Diu.  It was obvious what was being told to him: there was no way he could be with an angel, even if she did look like Brigett.  Diu was his creator and it was Diu who he would stay with.

It was time to tell Diu what was happening to him.

Koios rose late that night, long after the other members of the court had departed for their hunts.  He felt that Diu was still at home though, which helped him to finally come out of his room.  “Diu?” he called out softly.  He knew that the older vampire would be able to hear his voice with no problem.  It was all down to whether or not he cared to answer Koios that night.

“Yes?” The response came almost instantly as Diu seemed to appear out of the shadows that were behind Koios.  “What’s wrong?”

“I have something to tell you.”

There was silence after Koios had finished his story of what had happened to him in the past few nights.  “An angel, you say?” Diu finally asked him.  There was a nod from the younger vampire.  Diu sighed, looking more human than he ever had in the past.  He rose from his place on the couch and began to pace back and forth as he talked.  “I have not needed to deal with things such as this in the past.  You are a strange one, Koios.  You are sure that you have not imagined this entire thing?”

“Yes.  It’s hard to say how I know, but I just…”

“You know.  I understand perfectly.  It’s how I knew that you were going to be in the alley ten years ago.”  There was a pause.  “No, eleven years ago tonight.  Damn, has it really been that long…”  There was silence once again as Diu stopped to think.  He shook his head after a moment and resumed pacing.  “I think that perhaps the best thing to do is to bring you out on a hunt with me.  Reclaim your title as a creature of the night and forget about this angel.  Heaven is a place of purity, yes?  If you are covered in blood once again, the blood that you need to survive, then this angel should leave you be.”

“A hunt?  With you?”

Diu smiled at him.  “Why not.  The night is still young enough.”

Koios nodded and stood.  “Let’s go hunt then.”  He didn’t bother to voice his next thought, of how perhaps hunting with his sire would finally let him be rid of this love that was holding him to earth, allowing him to decay, after all these years without it.

The two vampires left the building with hardly any noise.  The moon was almost dark, but the sliver that was left was more than enough for them to see by where the street lights had gone out or where there weren’t any.  Their search for the perfect prey that night hardly took any time at all.  Not even five minutes after they left did Diu hold out his hand and point to a couple. “It’s time you learn how to make your own childe, Koios.”

“That’s your job.  This is your Court.”

“You’re strong enough now to form a Court of your own.”  Diu looked around and then smiled.  “I’ll provide the distraction to get them parted from one another.  Who do you want?”

“The girl,” Koios said at once.

The elder vampire nodded and then was gone in a flutter of wings and duster.  Koios stood and watched from his place in the shadow of the building he was next to for the right moment to come and strike.  He glanced up a moment as he waited and saw the stars above once again.  Was Anahita up there watching him now?  No, best not to dwell on such ideas.  With a start, he came back to himself and focused on the hunt once more.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a street person appeared before the couple.  A human would not have been able to hear the words that were being exchanged, and Koios barely could.  There were some words and sentences here and there that stuck him, though he couldn’t place his finger on it.  It was only when he saw the street person pull a gun and the man shout out “Run!” that Koios froze.

This was how his own death would have played out had he been an observer in it.

“Are you planning on going after her at any point in the future?” asked a voice from behind him.  Koios spun around, seeing Diu standing there.  “She’s getting away.”

“What the hell did you do.”

“A thrall on a person that dead inside isn’t that hard to pull off.  I simply suggested to him that he might go and see if those two had any money on them.”

“You bastard. They’re both going to end up dead.”

“I didn’t hear you complaining before,” Diu spat at him.

“That was before I knew that you were the one responsible for killing me and Brigett.”  Koios’ eyes were ice cold as the bore into Diu’s.

“Ah yes.  Your precious Brigett.  You know Koios, most vampires give up on their human lives and forget about them after a year.  Those that don’t are considered weak and are taken to Greet the Mane.  I kept you safe from the Elders of the vampires because you amused me.  It was interesting to see how long a vampire could hold onto his humanity.  Your times of amusement have come to an end, however.”  Diu reached into the pocket of his duster and pulled out a piece of carved wood.  It was ornate, the end whittled to look like a fang and the handle of it carved with different pictures that, on a closer look, showed human bodies twined around the vampires, either dead in their arms or just about dead.  “It’s time for you to meet with death one last time.  And I will not save you this time.”

Diu brought up the stake and started it on its downward descent in lightening fast speed. Koios somehow responded with speed that was near equal to Diu’s and dodged out of the way.  The stake still came into contact with his body, but it was no where near his heart and was more of a graze that anything.  Blood oozed out of the wound a bit, slow as the pressure was nowhere near what it would have been had he fed that night.  “I would not ask you to,” he told his sire.  Before the stake could come up and threaten his life again, he took off down the streets.

With a bit of the energy he had swimming around in him, he formed wings and rapidly took to air, flying until he was back near the cemetery that he had meet Anahita at last night.  Landing, he fell to earth, energy depleted.  He could barely walk, let alone attempt to go feed.

“Bridgett,” he called out.  “Anahita, whoever you are…I need you.   I believe you.”

He passed out soon afterwards, not knowing if his plea for help had been heard nor if he would be Greeting the Mane in a few hours time.

°°°°

TRIVIA: It was this chapter here that I realized I had a rather awesome villain in Diu, and I really began to enjoy writing his scenes.  Diu nearly killing Koios here was not something I had originally planned for, but the more I read it, the more it fits and drives the story in a way the original scene I had planned never would.


Writing Updates

It’s pretty amazing what can happen in a week.  I’ve gone from being an unknown in the authoring world, having self published a short story ages old, to being able to go find myself on the Barnes and Noble website.  It’s a pretty heady experience, if I’m completely honest.

I’m still working on Lover’s Requiem, and am in the search for a new and better title.  Characters have begun acting on their own and revealing things that I never knew about them.  Just last night a villain showed that he used to be religious before he was a vampire, and actually still believed it, even as he was dying.  I did not see that coming at all.  Of course, it did mean I had to rapidly go learn some Latin and Greek phrases.  Thank goodness for choir training!  I at least knew Kyrie Eleison!

I have two chapters and an epilogue left of Lover’s before that’s finished, and one of the chapters might be omitted–or pushed together with the other–so I’m closer than I ever thought I would be to finishing it.

Next I plan to try my hand at a satire piece, simply because I have this great opening for what was originally going to be a novel.  I know now that there is no way I could turn this into drama, because there isn’t really a plot to it, or a good way to make it longer without ruining the character’s voice.  And let me tell you…she has a voice and will not take no for an answer.

The 11th marks the start (and finish) of the writing contest Erika Eby and I have decided to enter into together, so expect some insanity that day, as well as my entries to be posted here when they are finished.

Being a NaNo rebel this month has been really productive so far, and has given me the ability to finish up projects that have been in the works for a while and have the support and the pushing to get through them all.

I think my next big project will be figuring out how to make a cover for Lover’s and editing it.  That promises to be a month in itself, I think


Lover’s Requiem: Chapter One

I’m posting this a few hours early as it’s the Racine County Fair this week.  I’ll be at the fairgrounds all day tomorrow, pretty much through Sunday, so I wouldn’t have time unless I did it now.  Trivia for this chapter at the end.  Here’s where the dark starts, people.

CHAPTER ONE- OUR FRIEND LAZARUS SLEEPS

Every day, he dreamed of that night. The soft touch of Brigett’s lips against his own. The love they had shared before the thief and his gun had shattered the night and their world. Diu, the vampire who had rescued him, helping him to his feet after the transformation had been complete for the time being. Taking off to find Brigett, only to find her and the thief dead a few alleys over, killed by who knew what. His dejected return to Diu who took him under his wing–literally– and brought him back to the oversized basement that served as a home for Diu and the others. For Diu was not the only one of his kind in the city, though he was among the oldest.

Diu had helped him to finish the transformation that night, performing the final transfusion that would change him for all eternity. When he had asked about the black wings, Diu had only smiled and didn’t bother to explain their presence beyond the word, “Magic.”

As he slowly slipped to a deep sleep, Diu told him that he would need a new name. He was no longer James. And he knew the elder vampire spoke true. A name came to him while he though about it. “Koios,” he said softly, not knowing where it had come from. He knew that he liked it though, and that it fit, so the name remained. “I am Koios.”

“Welcome, Koios,” Diu said with a small bow.

Every day, Koios dreamed of that night. And every night, he tried to forget it.

He was one of the undead now. Dead, but brought back to life much the way Lazarus had been returned to life by Jesus in the Bible. There had been no blood involved with that miracle. And no damnation of the soul.

When the sun went down, he awoke with his usual start of fear. The small room, no larger than a walk in closet, was pitch black as usual. Always, for the briefest of moments, he was afraid that he was dead once more. Then the feeling past and he remembered where he was.

Koios rose from his small bed and pulled on his pure black clothes he had taken to wearing. His hunger coursed though him, a reminder that he would need to feed that night for sure. If he did not, he would risk weakness that would render him unable to do anything but just lay there.

He stepped out of his room and found that, as usual, he was the first one awake. Their lair was little more than a forgotten basement of an abandoned building on the bad side of town. It had been divided into two parts: a communal room and the sleeping area, full of the closet-like rooms. No one ever bothered them though, or even seemed to know of their existence.

The communal room had several couches that Koios believed were just as old as Diu, if not older. Some of their number were sprawled across them, the dawn having caught them before they could retreat to the know safety of their rooms. The one called Lupus was wearing nothing more that a pair of jeans and had an old book spread open across his bare chest. Koios approached him and lifted the book to see what it was. “Dracula,” he muttered, a small grin on his face. Stoker’s novel was a source of never ending amusement for the vampires. The idea that they could change into animals or mist was laughable. There were a few things in the novel that were true, however, such as how to kill one of their own and the effects of sunlight.

Koios replaced the book and looked over at the clock on the wall. The days were growing longer now, though snow was still heavy upon the ground. The sun had just gone down and it was already almost six-thirty.

A noise from another part of his home drew his attention away from the clock. The noise was faint; if he had still been human, he could not have heard it. The others were waking.

In what almost amounted to a rush of bodies, the rest of the vampires joined Koios in the communal room. Lupus woke with a start behind him, nearly dropping the book on the ground. With his lightning fast reflexes though, he was able to catch it inches before it touched the hard stone floor.

The vampires gathered about, some slumping into couches and chairs while the rest remained standing, talking with one another. It was a mortal’s equivalent of a family gathering. Only this one happened every night.<

Koios wandered among them, smiling and nodding as needed. Off in the corner, he caught sight of the youngest member of there family: a girl maybe fourteen. Blood stained trails inched down her face as she tried to cry. Koios ran through is mental list of names and determined hers to be Emaline. She had been transformed by Diu a few nights ago after she and her family had been victims of a robbery turned gang fight when others had showed up.

He knelt down next to her and wiped away a tear of blood. "Emaline," he spoke soothingly, using all the charm he had learned during his ten year tenure as a vampire. "It's alright, Emaline. You have nothing to be afraid of."

"I'm not afraid," she hiccupped out.

"Then what is it?"

"I miss my family."

Koios gave her a gentle smile that hid his teeth. It wouldn't do to frighten the girl even more. "I know. But we are your family now. And though it hurts, you must stay strong. We are the few, the lucky," he said, quoting almost word for word what Diu had told him that night after he had seen Brigett's broken body there before him. "We are eternal."

"But my family isn't here!" she said, staring up at his pale face.

He gently reached out to grab her hand. His was near white, having lost all pigmentation long ago since he was no longer in the sun. Hers, on the other hand, was still tan with color. "We will stand by you as if you were our own flesh and blood," he said softly. "I will take care of you."

"You mean it?" she questioned quietly.

"With all my heart and upon the Codex I swear it." He rose, taking her with him. "Come. Let's see if I might go out early with you so that you might get something to eat."

"Like McDonalds?"

Koios cringed inwardly. Emaline still wasn't totally aware of what it meant to be vampire. She didn't know that she wouldn't be able to stomach anything but the blood and its energy for the rest of eternity of that she would remain as a fourteen-year-old forever. But he couldn't bring himself to be the one to tell her that. So instead, he nodded and said, "Perhaps." Then he looked over his shoulder at the room that was nearly full. He held out his hand to her again. "Shall we go, my tiny Lazarus?"

She took it and looked up his tall, thin frame to the face obscured by hair. "Who is Lazarus?"

"A character, or a person if you'd rather, in the Bible. He was one Jesus supposedly brought back to life after he had died," he explained, thereby exhausting his knowledge of the Bible and the majority of the stories within.

Like Diu did with me," Emaline said as she caught on.

"Like he did for most all of us here," Koios said softly. He led her over to an open spot by one of the couches and sat down. She followed suit.

“What's your name?" she asked suddenly.

He was caught off guard by the question. She had to repeat it a second time before he was able to answer. "I'm Koios," he told her.

"No. Your real name."

He gritted his teeth together in an attempt to control his anger. He could not attack her. She was but a fledgling, fresh into her life as a vampire. "I am Koios," he repeated, enunciating every syllable to every word.

"How did Diu save you?"

"What?"

"My parents and I were caught in a robbery gone wrong. Diu came and offered to change me so that I would be able to help my parents," Emaline explained. "I said yes. But my parents were both dead by the time I got to them." She looked up at his face once more. "What about you?"

Koios looked away and sighed quietly. Talking of Brigett and the past was something he tried not to do. It was also something he tried to forget. "I was shot trying to keep safe the one that I loved," he said simply.

"Do you still love her?"

"Yes," he admitted. "But it doesn't matter now. She died the same night I did." Koios sighed again. He was doing that more than he used to lately. "That was in another life though. I try to forget about it. As should you. You are no longer Miley." He ignored her shocked expression and continued on. "You are Emaline, beget of Diu, a member of Diu's Court." He looked up and saw that the vampire in question had finally entered the room. "Let's go get some food."

In the ten years since Koios had first seen him, Diu hadn't changed. His raven hair was still shoulder length and very straight. He green eyes were still bright and full of unshared laughter. Black, as with most everyone, remained the color of choice. The one thing that set him apart from the others was the way he carried himself. He looked older than his body, which was true. He was still in the visage of the 25-year-old he had been when he had been killed. But he was close to 300 now. Even so, he looked far older, worries no other had to face weighing upon his flawless and ageless face. The black wings Koios had come to associate with Diu were folded and behind him, blending with the duster had had on top of his clothes.

Koios nodded respectfully to him as he passed him by. Diu saw that he had Emaline in tow and gave him the briefest of smiles. "Take good care of her," he told him.

"I will," Koios responded, opening the door that lead to the world outside. He paused for a moment, breathing in the smell of the city night. Smoke, fear, sweat, tears; it was all there, each easy to pick out from the other. "Lazarus awakens," he said softly. Then he took off into the night in search of a meal.

°°°°
Trivia: I had to go searching to see who Lazarus was aside from a character in Dr. Who. I honestly had no idea, and had never heard of them before I started writing this. So what Koios says is truth for me as well.


Lover’s Requiem: PrologueI

Today starts a serial story called Lover’s Requiem.  I’m still working on finishing it, and I’m hoping that being forced to finish it so I can post it makes me work on it more.  This is all a rough draft of the novella as well.  I hope to be able to provide little bits of trivia about the writings as well as I continue on with it posting it.

Without further ado, here is Lover’s Requiem.

PROLOGUE- CROSSING THE RIVER STYX

The boy and the girl had been in love for as long as they could remember. Sometimes, it felt like forever in their minds. They knew each other so well that they could know what the other was thinking. Indeed, the two rarely had to say a complete sentence when talking.

He was tall, all lanky arms and legs. His hair was a mop of black strands that were in constant disarray. It was rare he went anywhere without at least one piece of black clothing on him. He was classified as a “freak” by others of society and often avoided because of it. But he didn’t care; he was comfortable with who he was. He had dark green eyes that darted everywhere, taking everything in. And his name, though later rejected, was James.

She was tall as well, but the height suited her. She did not look like a puppy still growing into his paws as James sometimes did. She was thin, wiry. Her long blonde hair matched her body. Her eyes were the blue of a warm ocean, though they were often narrowed in cynicism. She wore Celtic jewelry, silver in color, on her body in at least one place every day. Her skin matched her clothes: pale, almost ivory. At the time, she went by the name of Brigett.

The two stood in sharp contrast to one another. People wondered how they had fallen in love. Some days, they themselves wondered just how it had happened. But a look into each other’s eyes, and it became glaringly obvious once more: they were meant for each other.

But events greater than even their love were occurring, by beings more powerful than the two could imagine. And it was not long after James’s twentieth birthday that the first of these events transpired.

The two had gone out to one of the fancier restaurants in the city. She, dressed in a white dress, appeared to be an angel. He wore a black tux; even the shirt was the color of midnight. Together, they were two halves of the same picture, an idea that was lent credence once one realized they each had a half of the same Celtic knot on a chain about their necks.

The night was perfect when they left the small French restaurant. Uncountable stars filled the sky while the moon was just this side of dark. In the darkness of one alleyway, they waited for their cab, kissing in the dark. Neither paid much attention to what was going on about them.

As such, it was impossible for them to hear the approach of the thief on quiet feet.<

"Your money," he ordered, jamming the barrel of the pistol into the small of James's back. "Or I kill the girl."

James slowly nodded and reached into his back pocket drawing out his wallet. He pulled out the $40.00 that had been in it and passed it to the thief.

"All of it," the thief ordered.

"That's all I have," he replied softly.

"Then I take the girl," came the answer, the gun shifting over to train on Brigett.

"Run, Brigett!" James told her. She took off down the street. James threw himself at the thief in an attempt to give his love more time to escape. Frightened, the thief's finger twitched and the gun spat out a bullet. It ripped through James's body and bounced harmlessly off the brick building behind him.

James fell to the ground and lay on top of the thief. Still in shock, the thief pulled himself out from underneath the dying James and stared at him. Then, he transferred the gaze to the gun in his hand. He hadn't meant to kill anyone, just scare them. Money forgotten, he began to run in the direction Brigett had gone.

James lay on the sidewalk, the dark night growing darker around him as he lost contact with the world. He heard a fluttering noise from above and then a face appeared in his narrowing field of vision. At first, he assumed that it was only something he had created in his mind during his last moments.

Then the person knelt down beside him. "I can save you," he told James in a quiet voice. "But it must be your choice."

"What do you mean?"

The being pulled back his lips from his teeth and let that be his answer. "You know what I am."

"Yes. Vampire."

"I can save you," he repeated. "But it must be your choice. Do you wish to be like me in order to remain in this world a little longer?"

James though of Brigett, a girl whom he would do anything for. If he died, he would never see her again. Never again would he hear her voice or feel her feather light touch as her fingers tied his tie. For her, he would do anything; even become one of the damned. "Let me live," he whispered to the vampire.

"Very well," was the quiet reply. And he lowered his head and began to transform him.

~~~~~~~

Trivia: each chapter name, and the entire idea for this story, actually, comes from the CD called "Lover's Requiem" by the group "I Am Ghost".