I haven’t done myself a favour by not tagging my posts correctly. Now that I search, I can’t find if I’ve posted anything from this story yet.
Some time back, Marie and I challenged each other – let’s say, my daughter challenged the both of us to write a piece of vampire fiction. It went a bit like this:
R: “Mom, don’t criticize Steph Meyer! You can’t even write vampire stories!”
Me: “Are you kidding me? I wrote a vamp story when I was your age! (16)”
R: “And where is it?”
Me: “I got bored with it. I abandoned it.”
R (triumphantly) : “See? You can’t write them.”
Me: “No, kiddeo, it’s more like I don’t want to write them because that genre is used up.”
R: “So’s Pirates.”
Me: “Hrrumpf! ‘Solar Wind’ is not a standard pirate story. It’s Science Fiction.”
R: “So ‘Twilight’ is not a standard vampire story!”
Me: “No. It’s Romance.”
R: “Now you’re just making excuses.”
Me: “You really want me to prove that I can write a vampire story?” *sigh* “Alright!”
R: “You’re on.”
I mentioned this to Marie and she mentioned that she’d enjoy such a challenge, herself. It was my feeble attempt to pass off my challenge to another good author who might just be more up to it.
The result of this was “From My Cold, Undead Hand” which is raking in 5-star reviews; and its entrancing sequel, “Kwireboy Vs Vampire” which is only one cover short of a full release. Both books, of course, by Marie Marshall.
Two sample reviews:
… As for my own efforts regarding that challenge, 😀 it turned out that my daughter had a point. Once again I got stuck in chapter 5 – this time not because I’m a hormonal teenager and the story was turning into an unbearably, sickly sweet romance, but because life got in the way. (It’s distinctly not the same story I wrote at 17.)
But at any rate, maybe this Halloween-plus I’ll be finishing this book. It’s not a “Buffy” and not a “Twilight” either.
It’s called “Vampolf”. So enjoy!
1. Bloody Christmas Eve
Dr Jerry Butterfield finished his ward round and handed over to his junior intern, Mike. The small private hospital was quiet; it was Christmas Eve. The few patients in the ward had their families gathered around them; the nurses had put up a Christmas tree in the in-patient ward. Amazingly, at this point there were no casualties from road accidents. That would come later, as the night wore on. Doc Jerry was hoping to snatch a quiet little break, stop in at his sister’s place, say hi to all his little nephews and nieces and his parents who were sure to be gathered there, and then… he’d return to the clinic, as he couldn’t really abandon it now.
As he walked to his car, he stopped and listened. And he glanced over to where the door to the fridge rooms was… not quite closed. It looked closed, unless you looked closely, and then you saw that the latch was off, and the door was ever so slightly… leaning.
Doc Jerry pushed the door open to investigate. The place was dark. He flicked on a switch, following the passage to where he heard movement in the first cooler room. And he cautiously pushed the door to that open too, gazing into the dark that was only broken by the little red and green diodes on the fridges.
It screeched at him and ran past him, and in a flurry of dark cloth, moved down the passage so fast that he couldn’t determine what it was. He followed it to the door, but it had already disappeared into the night.
Doc Jerry returned to the cooler room and flicked on the light. His mind boggled as he stared at the mess. Blood was splattered all over the place; empty sachets lay on the cold cement floor, and one sachet – clearly one that the intruder had dropped to the floor – had burst open and created a horrific splash.
That thing had been looting the blood bank!
Doc Jerry shook his head and activated his pager.
“Mike, come in!”
“There’s probably a psychiatric case running loose. Looked like a young woman, from what I could make out. She got into the blood bank.”
“The blood bank? What would a woman want there?”
“Maybe she’s a cultist of some sort,” surmised Dr Jerry.
“What must I do, Doc?” asked Mike.
Doc Jerry sighed. “Just keep your eyes open, and maybe keep a syringe with sedative ready. If she comes knocking, just put her under sedation and call me. Can’t really call Doc Manning in on Christmas Eve, so we’ll just have to keep her until she can be treated.” He paused. “If I’m wrong and it’s some sort of large animal, the sedative will do the trick all the same.” Doc Manning was the resident psychiatrist.
“Okay, Doc.” Mike sounded hesitant. Doc Jerry could clearly hear the unspoken reply: ‘I’m no vet, Doc!’
“Oh, and send a cleaner down,” added Doc Jerry. “It’s a bit of a mess down here.”
“They’re all on Christmas break,” said Mike.
Doc Jerry cut the com and quietly cursed his own soft heart. He was going to send Mike home to his family later on, too. Nobody ought to work on Christmas Eve. Mike had a fiancée, and Christmas was a big deal. He went to find a bucket, some water and a mop and started to wipe up the blood.
It was of course biohazard material, which meant that he had to locate acid somewhere and swab the place down with that, then use bleach to neutralize the acid and remove the coagulated blood. By the time he was finally finished and had rinsed the whole place with water, he was exhausted and drenched in sweat.
He couldn’t go to his sister like this. He returned to the clinic and showered, and put on a fresh theater shirt, because the shirt he’d been wearing had already been his good shirt, and it wasn’t fit for wearing now. And then he returned to the parking garage and got behind the wheel of his toy – a baby Range Rover, the smallest of the range, two-seater, but still a sturdy, bush-bashing four-wheel drive. His baby. He’d bought her on a loan he couldn’t really afford, the second his study loan had been paid back by his salary from the clinic plus all the locum work he could get his hands on. His very first reward for all his hard work, and for all the extra hours he put into running a clinic as though he were a shareholder. Which he intended to become.
He turned the key, and the engine purred into beautiful action.
“So where are we going?” asked a voice. He snapped around and stared at the girl that was suddenly in the passenger seat. She smiled at him, with her pale, delicate face and her black, short hair, and her white teeth… and lips that were a little too red.
“Who are you? What are you doing in my car?” he barked at her.
“The name’s Nadia,” said the girl with her sensuous alto voice.
He studied her. She was wearing a flowing black dress that strikingly offset her pale neckline.
“You’re the one who was in the blood bank,” he observed. “What were you doing there? Do you know that it’s illegal?”
“I was being civilized,” she replied.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s not particularly easy to subsist on tinned food,” she pointed out. “Fresh is always better.”
He scowled at her. “You’re speaking in riddles.”
She smiled. Some blood still clung to her left eye tooth. She flicked it off with her tongue.
“So where are we going, Doc?” she asked.
Doc Jerry’s hair stood on end. This girl had actually licked some of the blood from the blood bank?
“I’ll take you somewhere nice,” he said, thinking frantically. He couldn’t go to his sister’s place at all anymore. He needed to get this psychiatric case into safekeeping as fast as he could – but on Christmas Eve, what were his chances?
He was going to take her to his place, offer her a drink, slip something in it and keep her under sedation. That ought to take care of her until tomorrow. He turned the Rover and headed home.
Just a reminder that “Nix Romipen” is going to be released on Smashwords on the first of November.
We are hoping it is civilized enough not to growl or bite at the other books.
- Series: The Solar Wind
Romania. A place of harsh contrasts; dangerous and beautiful wilderness; a silent invisible people. This is where Federi was born; and this is where he takes Paean in their breakaway from the Solar Wind, their bid for freedom. But Federi is hunting big game now, unravelling the curse of Falco. And something is watching from space… More