Epic of the Vampire; Canto IV- Venenum

The years passed along,

slowly, but surely crawled by,

and the immortals

continued their lives.

The darkness claimed their dear souls

as they sank into it.

Unable to think

of redemption from the curse

they became placant.

Convinced of their fate

they ruled the mortals with fear

and hatred blossomed

like a spring flower,

filling their whole existence.

They questioned themselves,

for what does sin mean,

when its your very nature,

an unchanging fact?

You kill for your food,

you feed on the unholy.

Evil fed on them.

That which made them man

trickled away like lifeblood-

compassion, mercy,

loving-kindness, faith.

Their souls became as their flesh-

cold, dead, frozen.

They yearned for something,

to feel human once again-

to feel anything.

Unable to die,

possessed of a half a life,

they cursed their maker

til anger faded

as despair shrouded their sight

and hatred was dulled.

How the years crawled by,

how quickly does dischord spread

among the undead.

They sought love in flesh;

new life unattainable

through normal methods,

even this lost charm,

in became vain and empty,

a passing pleasure.

How fleeting is lust,

how meaningless is pleasure

with its purpose lost.

An escape was sought

in drink- intoxication.

This- impossible,

when the deadened flesh

can feel none of the poison

imbibed as liquors.

There is no torment,

no torture, no power of dark,

no hell on this earth

quite like that they lived.

As generations passed on

and villages grew,

becoming cities

which then became nation states,

powers united

with other such towns,

the fortress sat unchanging,

claimed by deep despair.

Poisoned by the curse

which grew stronger as time passed,

with no redemption.

And the immortals

continued their lives.

Epic of the Vampire; Canto 2- Serpentum

The fallen angel

once shone brighter than any

like a star at night.

A prince in heaven,

yet he was a mere servant.

Pride stiffened his knees.

He was created,

and yet he lived without end.

Then God created-

created humans.

Created for God’s pleasure,

raised above the gods

made to serve the God.

The morning star grew jealous,

hatred grew its roots,

clinging to his heart.

The gracious Father knew this,

his heart broke from pain.

In mercy he called

his glorious one to him,

wanting repentance,

knowing he would not.

In hatred, the angel cursed

the one who made him.

Cast from the heavens

his rage he turned on humans-

feeble creations,

yet reflecting God,

those who bear his own thumbprints.

He soon determined

the best revenge be

by marring that image borne.

Sly as a serpent,

he befriended man,

drawing him aside in dark,

to strike the death blow.

Death, too merciful,

everlasting life he gave,

one not worth living.

Unable to speak

the name of his creator,

the word burned his lips.

Cast from paradise,

the angel grasped mankind’s heel,

like Jacob he clung,

dragging him to Hell.

He offered the forbidden

as the drink of life.

Sin would sustain life,

eternal isolation

without any rest.

Gleeful in his wrong,

the fallen angel rejoiced

at what his hands made.

He had made man fall,

unable to call on God,

trapped in the darkness.

Victory was his.

The fallen angel rejoiced

in his wrongdoing.

He celebrated

his revenge over the Lord,

or that’s what he thought.

He brought the long night

over the face of mankind,

the shadows were long.

He laughed at God’s face,

the one who created him,

he turned his back on.

Epic of the Vampire; Canto 1- In Principio

In the beginning,

God created the heavens

and man walked the earth.

He gave life, substance,

breath and shape. He imparted

His image on man.

God loved creation,

tended it and sustained it,

giving his own son.

Among the angels

one grew jealous of mankind,

and hated them much.

He plotted revenge

against God’s favored people.

How to make them fall?

This wretched creature

had no creativity,

he could only change

the nature of man.

“Blood is used for atonement,

ambrosia, life blood.

It is blood I use

to humble this creation.

Forbidden to drink

this drink offering.

I decree they will partake,

to sustain in death

a half-life in dark.

They will feel nothing but cold,

for breath will not pass

between their foul lips.”

Thus saying, he took a man,

wrought the curse on him.

Not dead or alive,

he preyed on blood of his kin,

his friends he drank dry.

A monster, alone,

but when he drank, he could feel

the warmth of their flesh,

their closest held dreams.

For a moment he was man,

only as he drank.

Revolted, he stopped,

refused to drink mankind’s blood.

In a hateful rage

the jealous angel

sent him into a frenzy,

taking his free will,

making him a beast.

Villages he would ravage,

man, woman, and child-

none were safe from him.

Yet the monster craved a mate,

as the years were long

and he could not die.

“It is good for him to have

one to hold, like him.”

The jealous angel

took a woman and changed her,

making a partner.

Because they lived not,

a child’s life they could not make,

child of their own flesh,

to them was given

the power to make others,

their children of death.

The fallen angel

did this to make mockery

of his creator.

Epic of the Vampire; Introduction

There once was a time

when we lingered not in dark,

where shadows cloak us.

There was once a time

when we greeted the sunlight

warm on living flesh.

That time has since passed.

This tale is of creation,

of our creation.

Readers will know us,

of the legends and the myths,

they will give us name.

We are the vampires,

monsters, the drinkers of blood,

chastised with sacred.

Cold War Story–Needs Name–Introduction

The door opened and a young woman entered. She was well tailored, and her bag was a luxury brand that I knew from before the war. The guard murmured something to her as he pulled the door closed, and she nodded.

“Miss Constanza, I am Lillian Vernon, and I’d like to ask you a few questions about your wartime activities, for the morning Messenger,” she said, speaking rapidly, pulling several items out of her bag. A notepad was set on the table, followed by a pen, an audio recorder, and  a bottle of water.

“Of course,” I said duly. That was why this meeting had been arranged. I had been told by the warden, who oversaw my communication with the outside world, that this bright young reporter had thought it would be entertaining to take my story to the general public. I don’t know how she’d managed it, when I was labeled a national traitor, and was biding my time until the end, the day when the government finished what it had started. My execution day.

“First, let’s see if this is working,” she chirped, not deterred by my lack of enthusiasm. Her fingers danced over the recorded, fixing the tape and setting it into the on position. “Thirtieth of March, 1954, St. Helena’s Penitentiary for Women, beginning at 8 in the morning.” She set the receiver on the table between us. “Lillian Vernon, interviewing Ms. Victoire Constanza.”

Apparently satisfied with the results, she flipped her notebook open, and removed the cap from her pen. Looking at me fully for the first time, she seemed to grow- reinforced with professionalism, perhaps.

“First, tell me what your role was in the events of September twenty-first, 1950?” she asked, her hand ready to write.

“I was the one who burned the flag,” I said, memories flooding back. “That was our signal, you know.”

“So you were involved from the beginning?”

“No, no, I wasn’t,” I said, meeting her gaze squarely. “The beginning was longer ago than you might imagine.”

“When was the beginning, then?”

“Do you want to know about my role in the movement, or the history of the movement?” I asked abruptly. She studied me for a minute, then answered.

“I want to know your story, though clarification may be necessary.”

“The government won’t like it,” I warned.

“The government can’t stop the public from knowing the truth.”

“Then I’ll tell you my story.”

Nameless Story III Chapter 3

His card stayed where he had left it until several days after Julie’s funeral, when I helped Lizzy clean the library. She picked it up and looked curiously at it, reading the name several time through.

“What’s this doing here?” she asked me, offering the card to me. I took it and glanced down at it.

“Andre Bourbon? I don’t think that Papa associates with journalists,” I said, turning it over.

“You could ask your father, perhaps?” Lizzy suggested.

“No,” I said. Papa had shut himself up in his room, rarely emerging. Lizzy and I had taken turns bringing him trays, but even he hardly at what we brought him. It was then that I remembered. “It’s the motorist’s card.”

“Why’d he leave it?” Lizzy asked, turning away to finish her dusting.

“He offered his assistance, should we need it,” I said, sliding the card into my apron pocket. Later I would put it with my father’s other cards.

~~~

Thomas Letter~~~

“Samantha,” Henry said after we had finished our supper one evening. “Father received a letter concerning you earlier this evening.”

“What about me?” I asked, clearing the table. After the expenses of Julie’s funeral, we had to let go of our evening maid, which meant that Lizzy and I were trying to fill her place.

“Thomas Cook wanted to maintain correspondence with you while he’s working abroad,” Henry said. “Because he intends to pay you court when mourning ends.”

“And what does father think of this?” I asked calmly, pausing.

“Papa hasn’t seen the letter yet. Nor will he,” Henry said. “I’ve been handling his personal correspondence.”

“What?” I asked, surprised. “But, Henry-”

“Samantha, he wasn’t responding to them,” Henry said. “Good lord, have you seen the man, Sammy? He sits catatonic on the edge of his bed. His guilt is eating him alive from the inside out.”

“So you’re reading and answering his mail? It’s not as if he’s dead, Henry!”

“But it’s also not as if he’s in his right mind, Sam,” he retorted. “Now, back to Thomas. Should I give him permission to write you?”

“Do what you like, Henry,” I said, gathering my load and heading out to the kitchen with our empty dishes. I had just set them down on the counter when I heard a Lizzy shriek and a crash from upstairs.

“Lizzy, is everything alright?” Henry called, and I heard him thunder up the stairs. Terrified, I raced to follow him upstairs.

“Mr. Hancock!” Lizzy was blubbering uncontrollably. She stood outside the door to father’s room, sobbing hysterically. “I went in to bring him his supper and I found him like that!” Henry burst into the bedroom and I moved to follow him as Lizzy grabbed onto my arm, holding me in place.

“Miss, you can’t go in there!” she exclaimed. “It’s too horrible. No one should ever see that.”

“Oh God,” Henry said. “Papa! Papa! No, no, no!” He reappeared in the doorway, a sickened look on his face. “Lizzy, take Sam downstairs. Now!”

“What happened, Henry?” I asked, a sick feeling forming in my gut. “What’s happened?”

“Come this way, Miss Samantha,” Lizzy said, pulling on my sleeve. “You don’t want to see.”

“See what?” I asked, trying to jerk away from Lizzy, who only held me tighter. “What happened?” I asked again, desperately.

“Don’t struggle now, Miss,” Lizzy said, wrapping me in a hug, holding me back.

“Just go downstairs, Samantha!” Henry shouted at me as he returned to our father’s room. “Go now!”

I struggled with Lizzy for a few moments before I finally broke free, and I vaulted to the doorway, where I froze. A cord hung from the ceiling, and from it my father was dangling.

“No! Daddy!” I screamed, stumbling back. I tripped on the hemline of my skirts and landed at Lizzy’s feet. “Papa! No! Why? Why?”

The tears came unbidden, and I started to cry. My world felt like it was slipping away, one person at a time.

“Oh, Sammy, I’m sorry. You shouldn’t have seen this,” Henry said gently, kneeling beside me. “I didn’t want you to see that.” He wrapped his arms around me, and I cuddled into him.

“Why’d he have to-?” I asked quietly. “Why couldn’t he have stayed?”

“I’m sorry, Sammy,” he replied. “But I don’t know. Now will you go downstairs with Lizzy, and she can make you a nice cup of tea? I’ll clean this up, and then we can discuss father’s wishes.”

“Come along, Miss Samantha,” Lizzy said gently, lifting me to my feet. “Come on downstairs, miss.”

~~~

Henry’s Journal

Wednesday 18 November, 1893

I’m getting concerned about Sammy. We had Father’s funeral three nights ago, and cremated him out beyond city limits, like we do for all suicides. But Sam- she just sits and stares into space. Rarely does she respond to anyone speaking to her, and Lizzy is doing all she can to make her eat. It’s like a part of Sam died with our father.

On another note, I have finally begun to going through the recent records of the shop. Father didn’t tell us, but his manager has revealed that we are greatly in debt. I believe this is due to poor management of the shop while Father was in mourning- Mr. Williamson is fond of taking risks with the finances entrusted him, which Father would have never approved of.

I don’t know what I can do for Sammy. I need to provide for her, but I’m afraid the monies Papa had set aside for her dowry were lost in the poor investments made. I can only hope that I can earn it back, and it won’t hurt her prospects. Maybe Thomas will take her even with a small dowry because of our friendship. At least I have a year to find a way to fix this.

~~~

Andres Letter 1

 

Review of “Malice”

In recent years, paranormal books have filled the shelves of bookstores and libraries, and the excerpt for Malice by Lisa Jackson led me to question whether it would be another one of those books. Having finished this chilling and gripping book,I am passed to report that it is not just another paranormal book. In fact, it is all the more gripping and chilling due to how utterly earthly it was.

The questions this book raises center largely on the quest for answers Rick Bentz embarks on, and the discretion needed to determine whether or not his mind is fooling him and the reader both. Instead of the paranormal book I thought I was reading, this book classifies fully as a psychological thriller, drawing out the reader’s tension right until the very last pages. Lisa Jackson is a genius in her genre and this novel is decidedly well written.

For those who are easily spooked, our dislike crude language and sexual references, this may not be the book for you. Likewise, if you’re looking for a light read, you might want to reconsider your choice, as this is a murder mystery, and forces the reader to wrestle through the same problems Bentz is dealing with. However, if you enjoy a spooky, sexy, and thrilling novel, I highly recommend this book for you.

Review of “Casual Vacancy”

For those readers who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, switching away from her world of magic and adolescence to the small town world of Pagford is like hearing your favorite band from high school’s new album- the voice is the same, but it’s grown up. The issues Rowling portrayed through her latest novel proved to be a far cry from any Harry and his friends faced, which is why I suspect so many people have negatively commented on this book.

Although initially slow, the plot revolved neatly on the vacancy left by Barry Fairweather, picking up pace as Rowling pushed through the stories of the adults and the adolescents in Pagford. The power struggle is gripping, and the story rapidly pulls the reader in, emotionally and mentally and demands a response.

Layering the plot with class struggle, marital problems, the angst and trouble of teenagers, domestic abuse, and the basest of humanity’s qualities, Rowling somehow manages to tie it all off with a bittersweet ending. This novel was deliciously familiar and a literary piece of genius (as always), but not appropriate for younger teens or children.

Review of “The City of Dark Magic”

One of the occupational hazards of being a history major is the tendancy to read books critically, appraising the content, if there is an argument, how effective the argument was, and whether it was a good book. When my semester ends, the urge to review, and write on them, doesn’t stop. A friend suggested that I should actually write out my reviews, so here is the first of them. If you plan on reading the book, I warn you that this review contains spoilers.

Like it’s title, The City of Dark Magic, centers on one of the European cities that is steeped in superstitions, bloodshed and history- Prague. Sarah, a PhD. student, is invited to come and work in Prague for the summer, in the wake of her mentor and adviser’s death, on preparing a collection of Beethoven’s works for a museum display. She is told on her arrival that her deceased mentor commuted suicide, and that he was a drug addict, but this doesn’t ring true for her, and she goes about her work in an attempt to solve this mystery.

As a history major who will be seeking a Masters in Museum Studies, I find myself a little skeptically of her ability to prepare an exhibit, which seems to be her secondary work, as Sarah gets caught up in the plot. Professionals are trained to do this, and yet she walks in and innately knows the process? It took an entire summer of Internship to learn the process of acquisitioning and storage, and I wasn’t even trained in display set up.

That aside, the plot thickens as she falls in love with the prince, makes friends with some of her coworkers, and more murders are committed. A US Senator turns out to be involved in the intrigues, the prince’s cousin is determined to take over the family holdings, and another academic is murdered, and framed as suicide. It was fascinating and gripping, blending science with myth and history, as each of her questions are answered, and new questions, not to mention murderer attempts, occur.

Despite the mysteries each being solved, justice being brought around, and the museum opening, the ending lacked certain elements of closure. There were certain elements throughout the book, as well, which could have been left out, such as Sarah’s sex life (though it was almost always written with taste), and the language could have been toned down a hint.

Overall, I would rate this book with a four and a half out of five. It was thrilling, and I had trouble putting it down, but there were some things which didn’t necessarily sit well with me. Continue reading

Story Without a Name III Chapter 2

The days turned into weeks, and then months, and my mother’s absence was felt acutely. I left school in order to take better care of my father and my siblings both.

I did my best to oversee the running of the house, and Lizzy tried to help me as best she could. Even so, it was as if the heart had gone out of our home.

Eleven months passed, and although we never did fully forget the hole in our family, we settled into new routines, new patterns. Life continued, even beyond the death that touched us. That’s where we found ourselves when the second tragedy struck our family. Settling into a new life without my mother.

The day started like any other spring day. The snow had melted into an ashy slush that coated our cobblestone streets, the sun was shining, and the birds were busy building their nests in the trees that lined the neighborhood streets.

Henry had gone back to college after mother’s funeral, and Julie returned to her finishing school. Papa began traveling to find new goods for his shop, and wen he was home he’d shut himself in his office for hours at a time.

Papa had just come home from one of his trips, and he and I were waiting for Julie to come home, so we could eat our dinner. When she finally came dancing in, Papa stared at her, disgust on his face. It didn’t take long to see what the problem was.

A bright pink bow held her hair back, the only color in her outfit. Forbidden color.

Julie took her seat, oblivious to our father’s anger. He stood and tersely crossed the room, and pulled the ribbon from her hair.

“Papa!” Julie cried out, partially from pain as several stray hairs came out with the ribbon and partially out of shock and confusion.

“What’s this?” he demanded of her, holding the ribbon up. “Do you have no respect for your mother?”

“Papa, I do, but-” she began helplessly. I froze in my seat, , watching them, terrified of my father’s wrath.

“You are in mourning, Julia Maria Hancock!” he roared.

“I’m sorry!” she whimpered, tears forming in her eyes. “I lost my own ribbon this morning, and Lily lent me one of hers.”

“You are not supposed to be wearing color!” he yelled, causing Julie to shrink back.

“It was an accident! Mine slipped out on the way to school, and Ms. Carter will use the ruler on us if our hair is let down!”

“That is no excuse!”

“I tried to do what is right!” Julie exclaimed, and ran out of the room. A few minutes later we heard the front door open and slam shut again.

“Julie, wait,” I called after her as I moved to follow her, knowing full well that she couldn’t hear me. Papa turned away as I left the room. “Julie, come back!”

She was in the street by the time I had reached the door, the late afternoon sunlight blindingly shining down on our street. She was obviously crying as she ran. It was no surprise that she didn’t see the automobile.

“Julie, look out!” I screamed, darting down the front steps. She was only halfway across the street, still moving, when a motor car sped around the corner and down the block.

Julie paused for a moment, a moment too long. I froze as the car connected with her body and she went flying over the roof of it. A wordless shriek broke from my lips as the brakes screeched.

She hit the ground with a sick sounding crunch, and blood stained her dark colored gown and white underthings, which were peaking out from under the skirt’s hem.

I ran out to her with no regard for my own safety as the driver got out of the cursed contraption and made his way to her side. She was dead. Anyone with eyes could see that much. Nonetheless, I frantically searched for a pulse as people poured out of the houses around, summoned by my horrid shriek.

Father barreled out of our house, appearing by my side suddenly. He quickly scooped Julie up and carried her out of the road like a rag doll, up our stairs, leaving me kneeling beside the small puddle of blood staining our cobblestone street.

“Miss, I’m sorry, I didn’t see her. I’m so sorry,” the driver said helplessly to me. I couldn’t take it anymore, and I rose, hurrying blindly back into the house.

I couldn’t help but remember the day mother had taken ill, and how Julie and I had come back to the empty house. Lizzy jerked me out of my memories as she descended on my like a bird of prey, gripping my upper arm.

“Miss Samantha, what happened? What happened to Miss Julie?”

“She was hit,” I said, the voice not sounding like mine. “She’s gone.”

“Are you alright, Miss?” she asked me, the concern evident in both her face and her voice, as a tap sounded on the door.

“I’ll be fine,” I lied, straightening my skirts. “Answer the door and show them into the parlor.”

“Your father took Miss Julie into the parlor,” Lizzy said gently.

“Why did he do that?” I moaned, frustration tinging the horror and the rage I felt. “There’ll be blood all over the furnishings!” It was the least of my concerns, and I allowed myself to be distracted by it. I didn’t want to face this horror, but I knew I’d have to. I took a deep breath, trying to steady and calm myself. “Show whoever it is into the library. I will be with them shortly.”

“Of course, Miss,” Lizzy said, making her way to the door.

Dread carried me to the door of the parlor, and I let myself in to see my father kneeling beside the horsehair settee, where Julie was laying, motionless. As I approached, I could see that Papa had closed her eyes, and that she looked like she was sleeping.

The curtains hadn’t been drawn that morning in the parlor, and dark shadows fell across the floor. Darkness enveloped the entire room, and death hovered in the shadows.

“Papa,” I said quietly. He gave no response, as he merely sat beside Julie silently. Reluctantly, I crossed the room to his side, and placed a hand on his shoulders, which were trembling slightly. He seemed broken, almost completely leveled by this blow.

“It’s my fault,” he whispered hoarsely. “She’s with your mother, and it’s my fault.” Tears escaped from his eyes, and I rose, not wanting to witness this breaking of my proud, strong father.

I left the parlor, feeling as though I was suffocating. First mother, and now Julie… The blackness seemed to be trying to drown me.

My next stop was the library, where our visitor was waiting. Reluctance clung to me, and with a heavy heart I opened the door.

A young man sat in the armchair in front of the fire, his legs crossed nonchalantly. Apparently he hadn’t heard me open the door, and I shut it carefully behind myself.

“Hello,” I said, coming around the armchair. He leaped to his feet, startled by my entrance. As I saw his face, I gasped, realizing that this was the driver of the car. The man who had killed my sister.

“Miss, I’m so sorry,” he said, speaking rapidly and with the hint of an accent as he extended his hand. “I didn’t mean to hit her. Please tell me she’s alright?” he begged, genuine sorrow and remorse on his face.

“She’s dead,” I said coldly, trying to hold the wave of tears back. He flinched back, anguish shooting across his face. “You killed her.”

“Mon Deiu,” he murmured, recoiling. He dropped his hand. “Please, tell me, is there anything I can do for your family, to ease this crime I have inflicted on you?”

“No,” I snapped, my hurt coming out as wrath. “Do you think my sister’s life is so cheep that money might buy back what you took?”

He flinched away, and I knew that I should feel remorse for hurting him, but I didn’t. Instead, I turned away from him, trying to keep my exterior from betraying the turmoil inside.

“Nothing I can do for your family will ever replace what I have taken from you, or bring back your sister,” he said gently. “I am aware you are hurting, and in mourning over another loss. I, however, would like to make amends for this horror that I have wreaked on your household, if you will allow me.”

I turned to look at him as he drew a small card holder from his pocket. From it he took a calling card and offered it to me.

“So you can find me, if you change your mind,” he said. When I made no move to take it, he set it on the side table and made his way to the door. “What was her name?”

“Julie,” I said. “Julie Hancock.”

“And you?” he asked, lingering in the doorway.

“Samantha,” I said, a steely tone entering my voice.

“I am sorry, Miss Samantha Hancock,” he said before taking his leave.

~~~

Andre's Calling Card