Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I typically have some sort of post for Mondays; however, with last week being brutal at my day job, and the weekend being a bit odd, I had nothing and had to scramble to figure something out for Tuesday.
I’m quite certain that no one wants me to post the first thing that popped into my head. I thought about posting an update on where I’m at concerning my second novel, but, sadly, I have no new news on that subject; the book is in the hands of my wonderful publisher. When I hear, then you will be the first to know.
I could post something about the Bin Laden news, but I try to keep this blog about books, film and music, and that’s about as diverse as I think I’d like to be, so that was out.
So, since it’s been a while, I decided to simply offer another snippet of my crossover vampire novel, "Dance on Fire". I’m keeping it very short, something to whet the appetite and nothing more. I hope you like it...
Barbara lowered the book onto her lap with a sigh in spite of the heat of the seduction. What the hell am I doing reading this drivel? she thought to herself. She thought of Pat Conroy’s Beach Music. That’s what she really wanted to read, but she’d read it five times, and once this year already. With another sigh, she slammed the romance novel closed and tossed it onto the other side of the couch.
Just then, a sound traveled down the hall.
She turned her head and waited. Looking over her right shoulder, her eyes stared at one spot on the wall which stood between her and the nursery, as if they might penetrate the paint and drywall and insulation and see what might have made the noise. She furrowed her brow. Her ears probed the quiet night for the identity of the disturbance.
Barbara did not want to get up. It was getting late, and she had already logged in a full day. Jerod was away, Michael was still not home and the twins were asleep; why did she need to get up? The only reason to get up now was to turn out lights, double-check locked doors and climb into bed. That was all.
And yet there she was lifting herself off of the couch and heading down the hall for a bed check. She straightened her simple white T-shirt upon standing up. The bottom of her pink pajama bottoms fluttered over the thick beige carpet and her bare feet as she headed for the nursery. When she reached the door which was only half closed, she quietly pushed it back open. The cool breeze hit her with a start, giving her gooseflesh.
The nursery window was standing wide open.
The room was dark except where the street lamp from the next street over shone against the open space and the fluttering curtains. She bolted unthinking for the nearest crib; Robbie's. Barbara clutched the sides of the crib and peered down into it. In the civil twilight she could barely see him, but enough of him to know that he was fine. She touched his tiny pink face. He was warm and still asleep. Good! she thought. She quickly turned and went to check on her daughter. She was equally asleep. The only one concerned in the least about the open window was their mother. She put her hands to her breast, trying to force herself to calm back down.
Barbara turned her attention toward the open window, the curtains still dancing there.
The window must have come open, she thought as she walked over to it, as incredulous a possibility as it was. But how?
The thin curtains began to beat against her face as Barbara reached out to close the window, as if they could somehow know of her intent and were trying to prevent it. Nimble, delicate fingers stretched outward and took hold of each side of the sliding window. As she did so, she thought of how frightened she had been. Barbara had never known a fear like she just felt when she first saw the open window. There were stories in the newspaper all of the time concerning child abductions, and for one very terrible moment she had considered her twins might be the next to grace those headlines.
But now it was over.
She never noticed the missing window screen.
Barbara stopped in mid-maneuver and was struck dumbfounded for a brief second. Everything suddenly moved in slow-motion. She almost asked herself the question: "Why did I stop?” Her right wrist suddenly hurt. She followed the discomfort signal back to the nerve ending which had sent it. There was a hand on her wrist, and now on the other one as well. The realization brought her back to her senses. There was someone coming through her window. She looked up. There was a face now, adorned by long flowing black hair that the wind was playing with. There was a twisted confident grin and piercing, penetrating eyes. It was a terrible face. She did not know the half of it; she hadn’t seen the accompanying teeth as of yet.
The infants awoke with a start and immediately began to cry. Strangely, Barbara could not hear them.
Her hands went numb under the pressure of the vise-grips which held her fast. Interestingly, she somehow noted, they were bitingly cold.
She screamed again.
The owner of the hands laughed heartily and continued to hold her as he pulled himself through the window and straightened up. She marveled momentarily at his height.
Barbara's eyes stretched wide at the sight; the long flowing dark hair, the leather coat, the heavy riding boots.
She immediately recognized that this was the same figure that she had seen the night before when she had visited Tiffany.
“Madam,” he spoke to her suddenly. “Your children seem to be crying!”
That was when she finally heard them.
Barbara shuffled backwards with the thought of someone hurting her babies, all along trying to free herself from his grip. Her feet tangled as she attempted to jerk herself free and she lost her balance. The vampire still did not let go of her.
“Who are you?” she tried to gain some composure by speaking to her attacker as she got back to her feet. She continued to attempt to shake free of his grip, but could not. “What do you want?”
“So many questions!” he laughed.
As he spoke, Barbara took the opportunity to try once more to free herself with one last violent shake of her arm. “Let me go!”
“As you wish.”
Barbara suddenly became free and fell down. She let out a cry as the momentum snapped her head back as she hit the floor, biting her lip.
“There!” he laughed, resting his hands at his sides above her. “You are welcome.”
Barbara did not hear the intruder's sarcasm, nor did she wait to see if the pain in her throbbing head would subside. Not her, not a police-man's wife. Instead, without as much as a thought otherwise, she pushed herself to her feet and toward her crying children.
“Well!” came a voice from a heartbeat behind her. “What precious little throats they have!”
This time she heard everything loud and clear. Alarms went off inside her head, making the pain a hundred times worse than before. There was no time to escape with her children. Instead, she spun to attack.
The vampire had her before she could scream. Those cold, claw-like fingers had her arms at the flesh just above her elbows and were pinning them to her body. She tried to let loose a cry but could not. The pain this time made her bite into her lower lip. The vampire lifted her off of her bare feet with little effort and then brought her close. Suddenly, green eyes which seemed black as pitch to her in the dark, widened and focused immediately upon a trickle of blood upon her full, red lips.
The vampire pulled his face back in another terrible smile, exposing ivory white fangs. The sight made her shiver and she finally was able to let out a cry. “Careful,” he whispered tenderly. “You'll spill it.”
The vampire did not notice the woman's revulsion as he pulled her closer still. Ignoring her, seeing only the crimson red upon her lips, he brought them down to him and licked them clean with a slow sweep of his rough tongue.
We'll talk soon.