Friday, May 22, 2020

World Goth Day

Here's to wishing you all a fabulous World Goth Day!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Short Story: The End of Despair

These days, its hard not to have the Corona Virus not only on our minds, but imprinted upon our consciousness. Saturday afternoon, while feeling particularly morose, I came up with a story idea and managed to get it completed within a couple of hours; a most unusual feat.

Even though this piece will appear in my next book, I thought I would share it; especially, since so many of us are inside and unable to go about our normal activities. So, I hope you'll enjoy this short piece. 

The old man looked toward the western sky. Sure enough, he thought to himself, there's a storm coming in. Might have known with all this wind.
He moved slowly toward his destination; the place where his favorite tree stood. It was an old oak, an ancient one just like himself. The tree made him comfortable. He had long ago begun considering it a companion; his only companion. Now, he wanted to commit to his final act in the presence of his best friend, the oak.
The old one pressed on toward his goal, leaning upon a walking stick he had fashioned many years ago. From time to time he paused to catch his breath, or to push some of the tangled underbrush aside. The sky continued to darken, growing more ominous by the minute. The wind howled an almost ghostly warning through the treetops and across the grassy prairie up ahead. He walked and walked, in spite of the approaching tempest.
Finally, he saw it. His voice was barely audible under the howl of the wind when he spoke. “Hello there, old friend! It's been a few years, hasn't it?”
He knew the tree needed no human ears to hear his greeting. It simply knew, and waved its branches during a wind gust in acknowledgment. He slid down toward the Earth upon reaching the tree, both hands clinging on the walking stick for support. Touching the ground safely, he moved backward until his back rested against the tree trunk.
A contented expression came over him as he gazed westward toward the approaching storm. A bolt of lightning flashed and the sound of thunder reverberated across the landscape. “Yep, it's gonna be a powerful one,” he muttered to himself.
He let his mind drift, and his thoughts went back--back to the source of his pain, his longing, and his despair. He remembered that day as clearly as if it had been yesterday. Yes, even at 104 years of age, it can still seem just like yesterday.
He was only a young man in his early twenties when he first saw her. It had been a horrible time to be isolated, forced to stay indoors; away from others; and yes, those of the opposite gender. The plague had been relentless in its killing, and its ability to put fear in the hearts of most. He'd been doing what he was supposed to do by remaining home. Still, he had needs. On that most memorable day, he'd decided to join an online dating site. It hadn't taken very long before she'd caught his attention.
She was a dark beauty. Her hair was black as the wings of a raven; her eyes a deep, captivating brown, which, even in a photo, seemed to pierce to the very soul. Her sulky lips were painted black. Her name was Mary, Mary Malevolent. At least, that's what she called herself, and he'd never known her by any other name. She claimed to be a vampire. He'd known all along that she wasn't a real one; not in the preternatural sense, but he was intrigued, and she kept him that way.
Once contact had been made, the two couldn't seem to get enough of one another. They texted, Skyped, sent one another emails—anything to stay in contact while waiting for the time that they could safely meet face to face. He'd loved it when she would tell him all of the things she would like to do with him as a vampire. Neither could wait for the plague to abate, and the world return to normal.
A day came, however, that would seal both of their fates, and that of the entire human race. “Medical researchers have discovered,” the news report said, “that the virus continues to exist inside the body of survivors, and becomes active again when similar viruses from the body of one person are introduced or otherwise, transferred to another.”
What does that mean? He'd asked himself. What are they talking about?
Deep down he knew. He'd known from the moment the report had been given what it really meant; to touch, to embrace, to kiss, to make love...all of these things could be lethal. “Continue to stay in,” they said, “to prevent the spread of the virus.” He stayed in. Mary Malevolent stayed in. They continued their online relationship, but both knew, both understood that this was all it ever could be. To do otherwise could mean dying a ghastly death. Both had now been doomed to a life of desire without any hope of fulfillment or intimacy.
During the months and years that followed, the plague never loosened its grip. Human beings remained apart. He and Mary remained apart, and civilization slowly crumbled around them. The day that the internet died, the day that those weaving their electronic magic ceased all operations, had been the worst day of his life. She'd lived in another state. He and the vampire woman had been cut off. They would never communicate again.
Vividly aware of their fate, he had run to the front door, shouting into the neighborhood. “No, no, no!” His cries of despair assaulted the entire neighborhood; yet, they went unheeded. Death, misery and desperation were sweeping the country; worse, the entire world. His verbal pang of distress was just one of many.
Now, as the old man sat under the tree, a tear welled up in his eye. He thought of what could have been—should have been, but could never be. For all he knew, he could be the very last human being on Earth. The human race, unable to love, unable to reproduce, and facing such dire circumstances, had slowly died off. I don't believe that many have made it to my old age. And I don't know how I managed it either. Can't say I've exactly been lucky though.
Another bolt of lightning flashed downward from the heavens, striking the ground just ahead of him. The powerful, resounding clap of thunder startled him back to the present, and that which he must do. The ancient one looked straight ahead and saw a funnel cloud heading in his direction with a clutter of debris swirling around it.
“It's time,” he announced to only himself. It's time for me to rid myself of all this sorrow and despair once and for all. Yep, all eighty years of it. I will not die without trying to reach out one more time. I will rid myself of this dreadful sorrow.”
Setting his walking stick firmly upon the ground, he slowly pulled himself up to a standing position. He walked just beyond the reach of the tree's branches and cried out as a heavy rain began to fall. “No, no no! I do not accept what you've done to us. Damn you, you hideous little monster!Damn you for ruining my life, damn you for taking away my love—our pleasure!”
His voice could no longer be heard over the train-like roar of the approaching tornado. Still, he continued. “Mary...Mary Malevolent! Do you hear me, Mary?”
There was the snapping of tree branches overhead. The wind picked up his frail body, slamming it against the trunk of the tree. “Mary, Mary Malevolent! Why didn't we? Why didn't we love in spite of our fears? Death at the hands of love would certainly have been better than bearing this hellish existence.”
Suddenly, the trunk of the tree snapped, and he was caught up in the maelstrom, somehow clinging to its trunk. “It looks like we'll go out together, old friend.”
He screamed one more time. “Mary! Mary Malevolent! I love...”
And there was only the wind and the rain, swirling around the tornado as it ran along its destructive path as the final curtain fell for the human race. 

Artist unknown

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Vampire's Day Soiree 2020: Liliana

Once again, it's that time of year when many people's thoughts turn to love and romance. Still, there are others whose thoughts turn to the darker side of things; namely vampires. 

Dear readers, welcome to my contribution to Holly Strange' ninth annual Vampires Day Soiree, which is an event held each and every February 14th as an alternative to the mainstream's Valentine's Day. And why not? Those of us into vampire lore and legend understand that these blood-drinking creatures can be...shall we say, quite sensuous when the situation calls for it?  

Today's offering is somewhat different from my usual fare. Instead of posting an excerpt from a story, as I usually do, I am providing a piece of flash fiction for your enjoyment--in full! The piece first appeared on a Facebook page called The Gothic Library, which was maintained and participation solicited by a young lady named Mindy Leah. To the best of my knowledge, the page no longer exists. Still, the piece is mine and will appear in my next published book. For today though, I offer you Liliana, and it appears below. 

Liliana stared at the man lying below her with contempt. Once a high government official and decision maker, he had been reduced to a sobbing, groveling, pleading shadow of what he had once been.
It had been easy for her to cross the border, unlike most of the people from her land. After all, no one would even notice a bat traversing what the people called la frontera under the cover of darkness. It had been equally easy to lure her victim out of his place of safety. She knew that no man could resist her charms, so she had simply enchanted him that night as he returned home. Then, she drove him to the secret place that she kept reserved for creatures such as him.
"Voy a matarte," she said quietly, seductively. "I'm going to kill you. "The only question is how."
The man looked up at her pleadingly. "No, please no! I'll do anything you want. I have plenty of money. You can have it. Just please don't harm me?”
“Ha! You plead for mercy after harming so many children? You want me to spare you after you ripped them from their families and placed them out in the hot desert sun to suffer? You never considered that some of we Hispanas might belong to the order of Dracul, the House of the Dragon. You and your arrogance! I despise you.”
As Liliana continued gazing down at him she considered the possibilities. Oh yes, she thought to herself, I will have the pleasure of drinking his blood. But I want to have a little fun first. Hmm….I could mercilessly tease and frustrate him with my feminine charms. That would be most enjoyable. Then again, I could invoke the powers of the Dragon, and slowly burn the flesh off this pitiful creature. Nada es imposible.
“Vas a sufrir,” she told him as he stared up at her without understanding. “¡Vas a sufrir mucho!”
Liliana lit a cigarette and blew the first puff of smoke into his face. She gazed down at him with a seductive smile while extending her free hand to stroke his face slowly, sensually.
“First I will finish my cigarette,” she informed him without breaking her smile. “Then my fun will begin. Once thing is certain, amigo, voy a matarte.” 

I hope you enjoyed that. And don't forget to head on over to Holly's Horrorland
in order to see what things vampire others have contributed. If you don't see Holly's post for the event, just scroll down a bit. As always, I'd like to thank Ms. Holly for hosting this event.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Short Ramblings

It has been a while since I've posted anything here, but I'd just like to mention that I have a new piece of short fiction available now at the Kindle Store. Here's the way I describe the story: 

"An overly shy college student, who is enamored with the long-deceased actress, Theda Bara, is transported one night across the veil that separates the realm of the living from that of the dead. It is here that, to his astonishment, the beautiful silent-film star appears, and seductively convinces him that, if he can only invoke her presence properly, she could join him on his side of the veil. As the young man returns to the earthly realm and begins working toward that goal, he is completely unaware of what his actions will lead to." 

As I've mentioned before, I don't use this particular blog for commercial purposes, so I'm simply providing a link here
b y which you can find more information if interested.
On another note, Valentine's Day is almost here, and that can mean only one thing; it's almost time for the ninth annual Vampire's Day Soiree,
which is hosted every year by Holly Strange. It's an event that I always look forward to, and enjoy participating in. 
This year will be no different, and instead of providing the reader with a excerpt from one of my vampire stories, this time around I plan on providing my readers with a full piece of vampire flash fiction. So, I hope that you'll join me for that. 

That's about all the news I have for now. For the first time in several years, we might be getting a few inches of snow within a couple of days, so I need to go and prepare for that as I'll likely be snowed in. For those of you who live in more northern climes, it might seem laughable that a person can get snowed in with only a few inches of snow, but trust me, it's very real. 

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll all tune in on the fourteenth for the Vampire's Day Soiree.