PLEASE NOTE: You should, before reading this, definitely read PART ONE if you already have not. I strongly recommend doing so. It will only take you a few minutes, and will greatly enhance the 'experience,' if you will, of reading this one. Thanks, and enjoy!
It's a sad time to be a fan of vampire lore. They started off so well. From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice, vampires have become entrenched in our consciousness, and for good reason. Terrifying yet alluring, these creatures who roam by night and sleep by day strike both fear and curiosity into those who encounter them.
Now Hollywood has taken vampires and comepletely ruined them. Vampires to not go to school. They do not engage in teen romaces. The certainly do not glitter in the sunlight!
Vampires should be nasty creatures who can put on a veneer of civility if it suits them. They are essentially undead psychopaths. There have been varying iterations of these creatures throughout the years, sarting with Bram Stoker's vision of a refined gentleman living in a gothic castle who harbored a......nasty little secret, and unfortunately culminating in the affront to the horror genre we see today:
Really, what the hell is that?
My personal idea of what vampires should be is a cross between Stoker's original vision and the nasty, viscious creatures seen in the movie 30 Days of Night:
Now THAT'S a Vampire!
And so, with this in mind, I bring you a second excerpt from my entry into last years' 3 Day Novel contest. The entry is a short novel, written in 3 days, as per the rules, so it's definitely a bit rough around the edges, but I believe it turned out rather well for a 3 day marathon effort. So, without further ado, I give you excerpt #2 from Hunter's Bluff, my attempt to return vampires to the state to which they rightfully belong, while at the same time hopefully injecting some new ideas.
(Enjoy, and feel free to offer any criticisms you may have.)
In the house, Amanda rolled over in her sleep. Andrew and Sam were just reaching the top of the stairs. Eyes moving in all directions, breathing rapidly, they stopped, listening. Again, they heard nothing. They reached the top of the stairs. Sam looked left, and Andrew went right. Sam began to think he may have imagined the sound after all, when Andrew gave a yell. Startled, he turned quickly around, instinctively raising the knife over his head, his grip on it so tight that his knuckles were turning white.
Andrew was looking at the door at the right end of the hall, mouth agape. Sam followed his gaze and he too dropped his lower jaw. The door in question was at the very end of the hall, and it led upwards, into the attic. It was also slightly ajar. Both of them thought this very odd, as they had searched the entire house upon entering it, before settling in the kitchen, and the attic door had not been open then. They hadn't bothered to enter it, since they'd thought of no reason to do so. But they knew for sure that the door was not open when they had been upstairs earlier.
There's someone in there, Andrew thought.
Something's in there. But what? Sam.
They looked at each other, unsure of what to do. They stood silent, eyes never leaving the door that led to the attic. They had no idea what to expect. There were no sounds coming from the attic. The door was still, not opening further, nor slamming shut. No hand reached out to beckon them in.
Nothing. Totally silent, motionless. The door hung ever so slightly agape, binding them to the spots in which they currently stood. Immobilizing and perplexing them.
Daring them to enter.
Sam was the first to move. With the knife still held above his head, he stepped around Andrew and dared to take three steps towards the attic, and then froze, waiting for something, anything to happen, some sort of indication as to whether or not the attic was actually occupied. A few dozen seconds passed, and nothing happened. He turned to Andrew and whispered.
“Maybe the door is just loose.”
At this, Andrew felt some of the fear dissipate. He immediately agreed with this proposition. Whether it was because it seemed the likeliest or because it served to alleviate fear and take his mind off of some alternatives, he did not know. Just to prove that this was the explanation, he approached the attic door and reached up to close it. And that was when he smelled it. Something metallic.
Blood. He stepped back from the door and turned to Sam.
“What is it, what, what?” Sam couldn't take it anymore. His fight/flight response had been triggered for and he was ready to just pick one course of action and commit to it.
Andrew looked at him, his eyes wide with fear. “Blood,” he whispered, “I smell blood.” He stammered. “I-I don't under-,” he shook his head, as if to clear his thoughts. “Let's go, NOW!” He rushed down the hall, towards the stairs. As he neared Sam, Sam grabbed his arm and stopped him.
“Just wait a second, there might be someone in there that needs help.” He wasn't sure what was up there, but he know that it was possible there was someone up there that needed assistance, and he was not going to abandon them if he could help it. He also knew Andrew would feel the same, it was just that he was overcome with fear. Sam himself was terrified, but he also knew that the possibility that some crazed killer was hiding in the attic of the house just biding his or her time waiting for someone to walk up there was pretty outlandish.
Ah, but it's possible, his mind interjected.
He pushed away the thought. “Wait here.” Gripping the knife as tightly as possible, he approached the attic door, and slowly, slowly, reached an arm up to grab hold of its bottom. It was an old style one with a ladder attached to it. He hesitated with his hand on it. He counted to five.
So far so good.
He pulled the door all the way down and slid down the ladder, trying to be as quiet as possible. Both he and Andrew winced at the sound it made hitting the floor. Again he counted silently to five.
And again, nothing. No sound, no movement, no crazed killers' face or groping hand with an iron grip.
Sam began to ascend the stairs.
Outside, Gideon froze. He had heard something. A yell, coming from somewhere close by. It was faint, coming from inside somewhere and probably not very loud, but for him, it was perceptible. Faint, and although he wasn't able to zero in on its location, he knew he'd definitely heard something, and it came from somewhere close by.
And it was human.
A feeling of triumphant vindication and excitement rose up within the ancient creature. Even after hundreds of years, the thrill of the hunt still appealed to him, still aroused the senses. And now, in his current state of hunger, how fortuitous that a human, no, more than one human, should suddenly materialize in his little corner of the world? He had been correct, the other human had not been alone.
Such predictable little gnats they were. To think he himself once had been a member of their ranks. The thought was nauseating. Humans were stupid, despicable, scurrying, worthless creatures. But they were tasty.
Oh yes. And he shall have that taste again, and soon. It had been a long time prior to this evening. He had gone hungry for human flesh and blood for some time, and what he'd had this so far this evening was but a taste. He'd survived for nearly two months on the wildlife in the surrounding area. Whatever little creatures he could catch. They provided enough sustenance to sustain life, but it wasn't enough. He'd been hungry, and he hadn't enjoyed a hearty meal in quite some time.
But now, he had stumbled upon a veritable feast of flesh. He wasn't naive enough to believe that there was some being out there, looking out for him, and making provisions, but in this moment, he could understand why the stupid humans fooled themselves with such pitiful and petty indulgences of thought.
He started to head in the general direction from which the sound had originated.
EDIT: Here's PART THREE