Tag Archives: vampire

Random Thoughts

A few months ago, I promised I wasn’t going to disappear from the blogosphere. Well. Technically, I haven’t. In that I’m posting right now. (That counts, right?) Life is way busier this year than expected, and I’ve had a few ups and downs that I won’t go into now. But rest assured that I’m still alive, still writing, still parenting, and still being my generally awesome self.

Oh, and still writing my newsletter. (Did you sign up?)

But for now, I give you some random thoughts that have been going through my head lately.

1. If a vampire transforms into a bat, what happens to all that extra mass? I mean, it’s either going to be a really, really big bat, or it’s going to be a normal-sized bat that weighs as much as an average human, and therefore can’t actually fly. I’m not sure which option is more comical.

I just... can't... get airborne...

I just… can’t… get airborne…

2. I’ve just started advertising to run a 6 month long writing course for beginning writers, designed to take students from “I have an idea” to “The End”. It’s super exciting, and I’m hoping to have at least half a dozen people sign up. Putting the course together meant spending a lot of time thinking back to those early days in my own writing journey, and making a list of everything I wish I’d learned right at the start. It was interesting to note that, of all the writing classes and creative writing workshops and library-run writing events I attended as a beginning writer, few (if any) of them touched on the elements of novel writing that I really needed to know.

3. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day living like a sitcom character? Never saying goodbye or hello; not engaging in small talk unless it somehow moves the story forward; never having to wait in line for anything unless doing so allows for a not-small-talk conversation; skipping effortlessly from scene to scene without having to live through the commutes, inanities, and boring bits in between; and, most importantly, having a soundtrack announce your arrival in every important locale.

4. We recently adopted a new dog to join our family, which has been an adventure all in itself. She’s a 4 1/2-year-old Ridgeback x Boxer, and is absolutely beautiful. Her name is Ninja. And she’s scared of the dark. (I’ll leave you to have your own little giggle at the irony of that.) I’ve never had two dogs before, and I have learned many valuable things. Such as, it’s impossible to get angry at one of them without both of them sulking, and fitting two dogs and two children (and myself) into a 5 seater sedan for a six hour journey is…. interesting.

My four children. A couple of them just have two extra feet.

My four children. A couple of them just have two extra feet.

5. Writing for Writer Unboxed is infinitely more stress-inducing than I expected it to be. Before I write my post each month, I find myself falling into a pit of Imposter Syndrome and struggling to get out. But stress is good for the soul, right? (If not the heart.) My recent post was about using profanity in writing. You can read it here.

6. I’m turning 39 in a few months, and have reached that point where I look in the mirror and realise I’m older than my parents. That is, I’m older than (or the same age as) my parents were when I moved out of home, which is the way I always imagine them in my mind’s eye. It’s sobering and scary. When my parents were my age, they seemed to have everything figured out. They owned a house, they’d settled in a town they wanted to live in for the rest of their lives, they were financially stable, and happy in themselves and their lives. Sure, they’ve changed jobs and moved towns and bought and sold multiple houses since then, but they’ve always seemed to be “together”. So when I look in the mirror and realise I’m their age, and I own next-to-nothing, have no life plan, my finances are a jumbled mess, and I alternate between feeling like an Awesome Harbinger of Awesome and a lowly imposter with no real world skills, it leaves me feeling like I’m failing at life.

7. And then I remember that I’ve got two wonderful, sweet, caring, frustrating, healthy, energetic children, two loving dogs, a roof over my head, creativity running through my veins, and the best friends a girl could ask for, and I remind myself that one person’s “together” is another person’s “trapped”; that one person’s “haphazard jumbled mess” is another person’s “creative connected life”. And then I feel better. (With thanks to my BFF Pauline for reminding me of this when the voices in my head get a little too persistent.)

I hope you’re enjoying your haphazard jumbled mess, or your togetherness, or whatever brand of living you prefer. In parting, I leave you with the words of my four-year-old son last night.

Make my shadow stop copying me!

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Flash Fiction: The Game

This week’s prompt on TerribleMinds was an opening line challenge. There were three opening lines to choose from:

(1) Everyone else remembers it as the day the saucers came, but I remember it as the day a man in a suit shot my father.

(2) Three truths will I tell you and one lie.

(3) Thursday was out to get me.

They were all quite intriguing, but in the end I decided to go with option 2.

The Game

 “Three truths I will tell you and one lie. That is how the game is played, is it not?” I smile and seat myself at your table.

You crush a paper napkin in your left hand and stare at me. “Game?” Your voice shakes in the most delicious way.

“Yes. A drinking game.” I signal the waiter. “I will provide you with four drinks and four statements. When the game is done, you will tell me which three were truths and which one was a lie. Yes?”

“I don’t think—“ you say, starting to stand.

“Sit down,” I say and you do. I bestow upon you my best smile. “I apologise, my dear. I do prefer not to be so forward, but the game has not yet begun.”

The waiter arrives with a drink. I slide it towards you. “We will start with a G&T, shall we? Something simple, innocuous, seemingly harmless.” I smile as you pick up the glass.

“Once we have finished the game, you will be free to leave.”

You nod and sip the drink. Your free hand is still worrying the napkin. You stop drinking after a moment and I draw my attention away from your hand and back to your face. “Drink up, my dear. Your next is on its way.”

You do and the waiter returns. He places another drink on the table. When he is gone and we are once again alone, I slide it to you. “Let us move on to something more interesting, shall we? A Tequila Sunrise they call this. Is it not beautiful and fresh and bright?”

You take the tall glass without hesitation, abandoning the shreds of napkin in your haste.

“This is not an ordinary bar.”

You stop drinking and look at me, meeting my eyes. It is a long time since I’ve looked into eyes as blue as yours.

“What do you mean?”

“Come now,” I say with a smile. “Do not pretend ignorance, my dear. I see you wearing your finest clothes, carrying an over-sized purse, all dressed up for an evening of pleasure in one of the shrines to dance and alcohol that litter the streets of this fine city. And yet here you are,” I wave my hand in a broad arc, “in a bar with no name and not even a placard on the door to mark its existence. You found your way here because this is no ordinary bar and you are no ordinary person.”

“It’s not like that,” you say, your words tripping over themselves in their haste to make my acquaintance.

“No?” I don’t try to hide my amusement.

“No.” You place the Tequila Sunrise to the table. “I was meeting a friend, but–”

“—but here you are,” I interrupt. “Drink up, my dear. The game is afoot.”

I wonder if you will attempt once more to leave. A frisson of anticipation washes over me at the thought. But you do not. You raise the glass to your lips, look into my eyes once more, and finish the drink.

The waiter returns and places a glass in front of you. Your expression slides from annoyed to perplexed and then amused.

“A Bloody Mary?” you ask.

“Oh yes,” I say. “It is a favourite.”

You pluck the celery from the glass and bite the crisp stalk. You chew slowly, the flesh crunching with every bite. My mouth waters. When I can bear it no more, I tell you to drink. My voice is huskier than I would like, but still irresistible. You lay down the stalk and raise the glass to your lips.

“I am a vampire.”

You choke. I wait while you cough and splutter and catch your breath. Then I go on. “Where I am from, they do not call me by that name. They call me drakûl. But vampire is a word more familiar to you, yes?”

You gulp down the Bloody Mary. “You’re insane.”

“Am I?” I smile, fighting my desire to reach over and wipe the thin line of tomato juice from your upper lip. “That is what you will need to decide when this game draws to its inevitable close. Three statements have I given now. One remains before the game is done.”

The waiter is back, clearing the table and depositing your fourth and final drink. This one looks like sunset in a hurricane glass, a sprig of mint on the rim. You look at it with curiosity.

“What is it?” you ask.

“It is called a Zombie, but it is merely a colourful concoction of fruit and rum . It will not literally transform you into one of the shambling undead.”

You nod and lift the glass, placing the straw between your lips.

“You will be transformed into a vampire this night.”

You do not pause. You drink, drawing the sweet liquid through the straw and into your mouth with a rhythmic sucking motion. My fangs extend in response and I look away.

“I’m finished,” you say. “That’s the end of the game, right?”

“Yes.”

“Then I know which three are true.”

I look back at you and smile, revealing my fangs in all their glory. “The first is a lie, of course. You were never free to leave.” I smile and stand. “Are you ready for your transformation, my dear, or shall I chase you first?”

You stand. My skin tingles in anticipation.

“You’re wrong,” you say. “It was your last statement that was a lie. I won’t be a vampire. Not tonight or ever.”

You reach into your purse and draw out a device that may have come from an episode of Buck Rogers. “You were right about one thing,” you say. “I’m no ordinary person. I’m a hunter. And this is my UV gun, you blood-sucking motherfucker.”

You pull the trigger.

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Flash Fiction: Song Shuffle Stories

This week’s terribleminds challenge was to do the following:

  1. Put the music player of your choice on shuffle.
  2. Press play.
  3. Take the title of the first track that comes up, and use that as the title for a 500 word story.

So, off I went, worried that my MP3 player would come up with either one of my son’s songs, or something insanely embarassing. As it is, I ended up with Adrian Alexis singing I Want to be a Vampire.

Hmmm.

I give you:

I Want to be a Vampire

Vlad Dracula II smiled as he surveyed the apartment. The burgundy drapes and black walls were a nice touch.

“Well, this looks lovely, Kevin,” said a friendly female voice behind him.

Vlad spun on his heel, his cape flaring dramatically around him. “I told you to call me Vlad,” he said coldly.

“Sorry Kev— I mean, Vlad,” the woman said with an indulgent laugh.

“What do you want, Mum?”

“I just wanted to see how you were settling in,” she said. “And I brought you a casserole.”

The young man scowled – it was an expression he’d spent hours perfecting in front of the mirror.

“It’s your favourite: macaroni and tuna.”

Vlad hesitated, running his tongue over the sharp edges of his new dental work. “Okay,” he said finally. “Put it in the fridge.”

She smiled and disappeared into the kitchen. “Oh,” she said a moment later. “Even the refrigerator’s black. That’s a…” she hesitated, “… a nice touch.”

“Is there anything else?”

She returned from the kitchen, a slightly hurt look on her face. “No, dear. I’m glad you’re settling in alright. Will you be home for dinner on Sunday? It’s just that your Dad… Well, it would be nice if you could leave some of your…” she trailed off, and waved her hand vaguely around the room. “Well, it would be nice to have a real family dinner. If you know what I mean.”

“It will have to be after dark,” Vlad said. “I sleep during the day.”

“Oh. Of course you do. Well, that would be fine.”

Vlad just nodded, and then looked expectantly at his mother.

“Right then,” she  said. “Well, have a good week. I’ll see you Sunday. I’ll show myself out.”

Once she was gone, Vlad locked the door and started stacking the books he’d purchased on eBay from Occult_Superstarz on to his new black bookcase.

 #

 It was eleven o’clock Saturday night. Vlad was sitting at the bar, pretending to drink a glass of Coke. They wouldn’t sell him the scotch to go with it.

“What’s your name?”

Vlad turned. A cute girl with bright red lips was smiling at him. “Vlad. Vlad Dracula II,” he said.

She laughed. “Really? That’s so…” she paused to look him up and down, taking in the black boots and jeans, skin-tight black shirt, cape, and designer fangs. “…delicious,” she finished.

“Come home with me,” Vlad said. He’d tried the line all week. This was the first time he didn’t get slapped.

“Sure,” she said. “Call me Lillith.”

 #

Pain. Blood. Darkness. Fear.

“It’s not like the movies,” Lillith said, gore dripping from her fangs. She grinned at him, her knees pinning him to the bed and her eyes glowing red. “But you’ll find that out.” She lowered her head.

Vlad gasped as he felt the seductive caress of her tongue on the open wound at his throat.

 #

Vlad Dracula II awoke alone, covered in blood, and hungry.

So hungry.

It was Sunday night.

Time for dinner with the family.

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