Monday, December 9, 2013

Work in Progress

Excerpts from my latest novel, Eternal Wood; Adventures of a Teenage Vampire:

     Ethelbert loved the big, sprawling, hectic, dynamic city at night. Even on a night like tonight, with the full moon obscured by the clouds, and the sky looking like an oyster stew, the vast city seem to shimmer. Yes, thought Ethelbert, there's no other metropolis in the world quite like Stockton.

                                                             *  *  *  *  *
     Practically six hundred years to the day, Ethelbert's life changed forever, literally, after he was bitten by a vampire vole. Made drowsy by the summer sun, Ethelbert decided to rest in the shade of a sprawling elm; when he awoke, he discovered a vampire vole feasting on his delicious royal blood. He batted the accursed creature away, but the evil deed had been done: Ethelbert Mortimer Cloddington de Blessings, beloved heir and only legitimate child to the rakish Count de Blessings, became a vampire himself. He was now destined to walk the earth forever.

                                                             *  *  *  *  *
    Although Ethelbert was over six hundred years old, not including leap years, his graceful body retained the sinewy muscles of a nineteen year old. His shoulders were square and his stomach taut; his hair was full and flowing, and stayed in place with but a judicious daub of rendered hedgehog fat. But henceforth Ethelbert had to be extremely careful; his six hundred year supply of hedgehog pomade was running dangerously low, and he had yet to find an establishment in Stockton that sold hedgehog sundries.
     His lithe body was like a coiled spring, full of repressed energy, stronger than tempered steel, quicker than the mortal eye. Given the proper circumstances, he never failed to pounce on doomed, unsuspecting prey, like his blood relative, the murderous yet sympathetic vole. 

                                                              *  *  *  *  * 

      Etherbert spied his latest conquest - he preferred this to victim - in front of a nightclub called Le Club de Nuit. She was quite attractive even for mortal standards. She paced to and fro, occasionally glancing at her wristwatch, heaving a sigh. Apparently she was waiting for someone. Etherbert's finely-tuned vampiric senses alerted his splendid body; certain parts of his body quivered in anticipation.
     "Hello, pussycat," said Ethelbert. "What's cookin'?" When he turned on the charm thus, no mortal woman could resist him.
     The young woman turned toward the direction of the beautiful, virile voice. She faintly gasped, overwhelmed by his masculine beauty and by the musky scent of his hedgehog mousse. "Hello yourself, you sweet thing," she replied. After a little small talk, she told Ethelbert she had been stood up, and they should  go someplace else. "Some place dark," she suggested.
     "You read my mind," Ethelbert replied, displaying evidence of his rapier wit.

                                                             *  *  *  *  *

     There's something different about this one, thought Etherbert. She was far from Etherbert's usual conquest: her hips were narrower, her eyebrows were fuller, and when the light was cast upon her in a certain way, her eyes were golden. Etherbert never felt like this in over six hundred years. Could this be love?
     "I have to tell you this, Ethelbert. I can no longer conceal it." With great effort she tore herself away from his manly embrace. She took a deep breath, shook her plentiful tresses, and said, "I'm a werewolf."

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Cunning and lethal vampire vole, ready to pounce.

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