The Vampire's Day Soiree is an event that I always look forward to. As Ms. Holly herself puts it,
"... Vampire's Day is my alternative to Valentine's Day. For those who prefer bloody hearts.
I celebrate by hosting a virtual sanguinary soiree. All you have to do is post something vampire related on February 14. Say it's for the Vampire's Day Soiree (use #VampiresDaySoiree on social media) at HollysHorrorland.com.Then come back here to "mingle" with the other guests."
Mingling with the other guests involves not just sharing comments, but also clinking on the links provided on Holly's Horrorland to other sites in order to see what the various participants have posted about vampires. It's just that simple, but it's an event to look forward to.
My offering usually involves an excerpt from one of my pieces of fiction, and this year will be no different. Still, this year's contribution comes with a disclaimer: As of the time of posting, the story has been proof-read by me once, but has not had it's second going over for errors and has not yet gone to my editor. Yep, it's that new. The piece is still somewhat in it's raw form and so might contain grammatical errors, redundancies, misplaced punctuation,--whatever. Now for a bit of background:
Over the past six or nine months I have become interested in a Facebook page called The Gothic Library, Hosted and given loving attention by a young writer named Mindy Leah. One of the features of her pages involves art inspired stories, and many of the pictures she places on her page certainly does inspire. Because of her work, I have delved into the world of flash fiction; very short stories usually containing 500 words or less. Today's contribution, A Day of Reckoning, started out that way and remains somewhere in The Gothic Library as a very short piece of fiction. Still, there was something about the photo provided and my imagination that couldn't let the story lie in it's short state. I picked it back up and brought it to a much longer form with an entirely different conclusion. It is now the second longest piece I have written.
This time around then, I will start at the very beginning of the story and will present it as I had originally intended; as a piece of flash fiction.
Jessica arose with a start, and looked around the dark room. At first glance everything seemed normal, but she couldn't shake the feeling of unease that had overtaken her. Something was wrong; yet, she couldn't determine what it might be. As the young woman turned toward the bed, she gasped in horror. Stretched out across the covers was the lifeless body of a young woman. A closer inspection revealed that it was her own body. A trail of blood trickled down from two puncture wounds on her neck.
"Oh my God," she screamed. "My God! It can't be! No! Please no!"
The horrific memory of all that had just occurred flooded her mind. She remembered turning off the
lamp on the end table, and only moments later, feeling the breath of the cold night air caressing her skin.
"I don't remember opening the window," she had mumbled to herself while arising to shut it.
Jessica recalled the electrifying fear she'd felt when she saw a darkly dressed stranger standing by the gently swaying curtains. She remembered retreating toward the door when he hissed at her threateningly before opening his mouth wide, revealing two obtrusive fangs. She recalled struggling valiantly against the stranger's attack, and vividly recollected the sharp pain in her neck as the man's incisors penetrated her soft skin. She sobbed uncontrollably as she gazed upon the body that was once hers; now lifeless and drained of its essence.
Time stood still as the young woman, filled with grief over her own passing, continued to stare at that
which had once been her earthly vehicle--a body that once experienced pain and pleasure as well as the feel of the cool wind blowing through her hair. She thought about the young man she loved waiting for her back home, and how he had no way no way of yet knowing that she would not be returning to him.
She recoiled with the thought that her best friend, with whom she was staying, would react in the morning upon discovering her dead body. Her thoughts then turned to her friends and family back home, and the good times they'd all had together. Jessica grieved for the fleeting life she once had.
Seemingly frozen in time, she struggled to make peace with that which had happened.
When Jessica could no longer bear the sight before her, she stooped over in an effort to touch her former earthly vehicle. Then, she turned and walked out the door, without even attempting to open it.
Upon her arrival in New Orleans, she'd heard stories about resident blood drinkers, but had dismissedthem as superstitious fantasy and failed to pay them any mind. Now she believed; and, as she strode out into the darkness of the night, she promised herself that she would make the creature pay for what he'd done.
There you have it; A Day of Reckoning in it's original form. The full story will appear in my next book. I'm just not sure when it will be published as more material still needs to be written first. I will say however, that I'm well along the way toward that goal. At least I didn't exactly leave you the reader hanging this time; or, did I?
Again, many thanks to Holly B. Strange for hosting this annual event. If you want to access the Holly's Horrorland website click here!