Tag Archives: Vampire

Tuesday Teaser – Errand Girl of the Undead Chapter 7

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Tis the season for spooky/paranormal kind of stories, so here’s another installment of Errand Girl of the Undead!  Remember, this is unedited as of yet.

In case you need to catch up or forgot what’s happened since August:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
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Chapter Seven

A sleek head broke through the trees, large pointy antlers gracing its majestic brow. Ordinarily an animal as grand as this one would have me stopping to gaze in wonder, but it’s black eyes were rolling with fear, its side heaving with the exertion of the run. It was heading right at me, but it was obvious that something was chasing it. No time to think. I jumped out of the way, diving into the bush, more sticks puncturing my skin. I hoped the rogue wolf wasn’t what was chasing the stag. I didn’t want to become something’s chew toy.

The graceful beast leapt past me and continued on, into the clearing. Dammit. I hoped it didn’t damage the crime scene any. Following in its wake I spotted a familiar figure. I could almost feel the steam pouring from my ears.

“Dammit Samson! You nearly got me trampled! Is that your tactic now? Trying to get other things to do me in so you don’t have to get your hands dirty?”  I yelled as I struggled to my feet, wincing when I realized I really did impale myself on a sharp branch.

The demon stopped and looked me over head to toe, taking in the blood, smudges, and leaves I’m sure were in my hair. What was he doing here? I could go for weeks without seeing him and now it was three times in one day. What’s up with that?

“Ellie. Are you well?”  He stood several feet away from me. Smart demon. Had he been closer I would have punted him to the moon.

“Do I look well?” Ooh if only one could really kill with sarcasm.

He cocked his head to the side. “Not especially. Do you realize you have a branch sticking out of your thigh? It’s bleeding.  Your thigh that is, not the branch.”

“Stater of the obvious,” I mumbled before I grabbed the offending stick. Gritting my teeth I gave it a quick tug.  Oh, that was not pleasant. I tossed the bloody branch at Samson in frustration.  He took a step to the side to avoid it. Stupid demon.

Hot, thick blood was running down my leg and into my sock. Ugh, what a gross feeling. I bent and slapped my hand over the hole.  What was I going to do? I couldn’t hang around gushing blood. If the wolf was still in the area, this amount of iron-filled substance would definitely attract it.

Suddenly Samson was at my side, tugging at my shirt.

“What are you doing?” I tried to slap his hands away. What a time to try and cop a feel. Dumb randy demon.

“No worries, your virtue will stay intact, today anyway,” he told me with a leer before ripping a strip off the bottom of my shirt, turning into a tummy baring half tee. He bent and with swift motions tied the cotton around my leg, tight enough to hurt but also help control the blood loss.

Before I could thank him, he swept me up in his arms, like I was some kind of damsel in distress.  It was odd to be so close to him after all our standoffish years.  His chest was broad and warm, the fuzz of his short blue fur comforting. I had forgotten how soft he was. As a kid I frequently napped with my head on Samson’s chest. His heart, which beat more erraticallythan a human’s, was surprisingly comforting to me and often lulled me to sleep.

“What are doing?” I asked, realizing how exhausted I had become.

He raised a furry brow. “Taking you to get that hole fix?”

I frowned. “I have to go check out the site first. What if that stupid deer wrecked it? Why were you chasing it anyway?” I felt his shoulders move in a shrug.

“For fun?”

He got a half-hearted slap on the arm for that. “You’re so mean.”

“I know,” he admitted. “Come on now. We can come back out here tomorrow, okay?”

I was too tired to fight him so I nodded in agreement. Laying my head against his chest, my heavy lids shut. Before he teleported us back to my house, I thought I felt him kiss my forehead. I had to have been delusion though. There’s no way Samson would have kissed me, right?

 

 

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Teaser Tuesday – Errand Girl of the Undead Chapter 6

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Gah! I’m slacking lately. Sorry folks!  Here’s another teaser for Errand Girl of the Undead , which I finished last week. Woo!

Previous chapters in case you’re new around here:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
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Chapter Six

His exit left me shaken, although I wasn’t sure why. Samson blinked out all the time and other vampires I knew moved quick, but one minute he was there and the next, he just wasn’t. It was creepy. The thick white card slipped from my fingers and landed on the counter, corners of green bills stuck out, beckoning me to open it.

I wasn’t happy with the way he just handed me information. I wanted to be able to question him more. It wasn’t the way I typically did things; then again nothing about this job was typical.

The little bits of green caught my eye again and I flipped open the card to find a significant stack of hundreds. Scratch that, some of them were five hundred dollar bills. How did you know a vamp was old? He paid you in currency that was no longer produced. Are they were still worth five hundred or more now that they were collector’s items? I’d have to check around online or call my bank… There were five thousand dollars there total. I wasn’t sure ten thousand was enough when I knew how potentially dangerous the job was, but I would be the highest paying job I had taken. Regardless, it would look nice in my “buy Ellie a new car” jar.

With the money tucked safely into my pocket, I picked up the card. The inside was crammed full with a neat printed outline of the incidents and the locations where they occurred, the first being around the corner from the shop. No time like the present to check things out, right? Even though the sun had set, me and my trusty flashlight could get an idea of the area and then come back in the daylight to look for more clues.

Flashlight in hand, small spiral notepad stuck in my back pocket, I flipped the lights and turned the lock. Time to earn my money.

~~~

The first murder was actually located in a large park known for its running trails. Tomas gave very specific details, counting off the steps from signs and benches, so I would know exactly where the body was found. When I pulled in the park, there was one other empty car in the lot; probably a runner trying to burn off the stress of their day.

Making sure to lock the car, I turned on the light and looked over Tomas’ directions. Take the path to the left, closest to the park entrance and walk until you reach a fork. Easy enough. I started down the dirt lane, noticing how the canopy of trees let very little light in. Dappled shadows decorated the path, giving it a very creepy vibe. Good thing I was used to creepy.

When I came to the fork, I glanced at the directions again: Veer right and follow the path around a gentle curve. When you come upon a lone broken bench, step off the path and into the woods heading east. Head east, huh? Good thing my phone has a compass app.
The sounds of the early evening surrounded me as the night creatures came out to play. Crickets chirping, owls hooting, who knows what else was out there hunting its nocturnal prey.

I finally came upon the bench, tagged with graffiti and probably broken by punks. Shame some people have no respect for public property. My phone pointed me east and I stepped off the path and behind the damaged seating area.

One hundred feet from the path will be a clearing in the woods. That is where the first attack occurred. Under my breath I counted off the steps trying to ignore the sharp branches that were scratching up my bare legs. Probably would have been smart to have switched out of shorts for the trip. Too late now. While keeping the flashlight trained at the ground so I didn’t trip, I missed a thin branch jutting out in front of me until it caught my face, taking a small strip of skin with it. I hissed and dropped the flashlight to slap a hand to my stinging cheek. That better not leave a scar or I was going to send Tomas a plastic surgery bill, dammit. When I removed my hand, there was a line of bright red blood marring it. I hoped there were no blood sucking creatures traipsing in the woods. While I wasn’t gushing like a stuck pig, any blood was a bad thing when a hungry vamp had an amazing sense of smell.

I swiped at the cut again with the back of my hand before crouching to grab the flashlight. As I was down there, I heard the telltale sound of dry brush crunching underfoot. Considering I wasn’t moving, I knew it couldn’t be me. Holding my breath, I strained to hear where the sound was coming from. Whatever it was it was coming up behind me. Fast, to boot. Do I stay close to the ground? Hope they don’t see me? It could give me an advantage if it’s an unfriendly person or creature. Then again, if I scared them they might lash out in self-defense. Oh decisions, decisions. Answer, you better come to me quick.

A cramp in my leg ended up making the decision for me. I was forced to stand and tried to get myself into a defensive position, just in case. The noise indicated my company was closing in on me but the darkness kept me from seeing who or what it was. Keeping the light low to the ground, I scanned the area in front of me, trying to get an idea of what I was up against. Noticing some of the upper branches bending, I realized whatever it was, it was big. Bigger than me and it did not sound like it was taking a leisurely stroll. Either something was chasing it or it was coming for me. Neither option sounded ideal.

Teaser Thursday – Errand Girl of the Undead – Chapter 5

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Again, I’m too busy to get much writing done (but I’m trying to work it in, I promise!) but because I opted to have a nice day out on my day off yesterday, the blog post didn’t get written (bad, bad me). Therefore, you get a teaser instead! I know this will make my writing buddy happy, if no one else.

In case this is your first glance at my novella in process, here are links to the first four chapters posted earlier:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

As is with most of the teasers I post, these are unedited so please excuse any typos, grammatical errors or repetitiveness.

Enjoy!

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Chapter Five

 

Being that there were several hours before the mysterious Mr. Abbate could show up, I checked messages and grabbed my job tickets.  There was a Selkie pelt to pick up from a fae dry cleaner–shocking as they don’t typically let anyone else touch their pelts. Maybe my client was a trusting progressive Selkie–, iron supplements to be bought and left in the mailbox of one of Josiah’s brood who was on a fasting cleanse, and a pair of hell hounds that needed to go to a down under groomer. Weird was my life and the list of jobs for the day certainly highlighted that.

Most of it was a breeze but wrestling the hounds was a challenge.  Not because they were mean and vicious–quite the opposite actually, unless ordered by their master to attack–but because they just wanted to play, knocking me down and covering me in dog slobber. Ugh. I liked animals, really, but those ones needed better manners.  The incessant crotch sniffing was especially embarrassing. I’d have to talk to their owner about some obedience classes if he wanted me to keep dealing with them.

By the time I was done dragging the sparkling pooches back home, the sun was dangerously low to dipping beneath the horizon.  I’d have to hurry back if I wanted to beat meet my new client to the shop.  While he didn’t give me an exact time he’d show up, something told me he’d be there as soon as it was possible for him to leave his daytime resting place.

Throwing my bag into the passenger seat, pink job slips belching from the top, I put the pedal to the metal, chanting a quick  no-see-um spell which would let me get away with speeding and not having to worry that the local cops would pull me over. Magic was really handy at times.

When I pulled into the lot, I saw a dark shadow creeping around my door. Samson? Or perhaps my newest client was older than I thought.  The older a vamp is, the less sleep they need, allowing them to rise earlier. Not that they can take the full sunlight of a summer afternoon, but twilight and a dusky dawn were do-able. Older also meant more powerful, which worried me.  I could handle my own against most, but some older vamps had powers I could only dream of.  I hoped that wouldn’t be the case with this guy.

“So sorry I’m late,” I called, hurrying from the car.  The shadow turned my way but said nothing. Miracles of miracles, I managed to find the shop key with no trouble and worked it into the lock, smooooth as could be.  The fluorescent lights flashed and flickered to life after the switch was thrown.

The silent shadow followed behind me causing the tiny hairs on the back of my neck to stand at attention. Goosebumps joined the party. I did not have a good feeling about this guy.  Trying to look nonchalant, my hand rummaged in my giant purse for the container of garlic spray I carried.  Garlic wasn’t deadly to vampires, but it acted like tear gas, annoying them enough to allow for a quick exit.

“That won’t be necessary Ms. Weston. I’m not here to harm you.”

The low timber of his voice sent chills down my spine. Regardless of his words, my brain was screaming “Danger! Danger! Danger!”  His words also had me worrying he was a mind reader. Those were the worst.

“Was I that obvious?” I gave a weak chuckle and was quick to move behind the counter wishing Samson would make one of his surprise visits.

“I apologize if my presence concerned you. Before the sun sets I am a mere…shadow of myself. Able to get around but not much else.”

When I saw out the window that the sun had indeed set, his explanation made sense but I was still weary.  Reaching under the counter, I set my phone down, Josiah’s number ready to dial in a heartbeat if needed. I grabbed the pink work pad, slapping it down on the countertop before picking out a purple pen from the cup next to the phone.

“Mr. Abbate, I assume?”  He nodded and pulled a case out of his suit jacket. It was a dull and battered gold rectangle, an art deco kind of design etched into the front, bold and geometric. With a flick of the wrist it flew open, revealing a neat row of cancer sticks.

“Please, call me Tomas. Mind if I smoke?”

I shrugged. I’m not a fan but he seemed like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to say no to.

He removed one of the small cylinders with long deft fingers and place it in it his mouth. As he patted his pockets for a lighter, he spoke around the cigarette in his mouth.

“Dirty habit I know, but it’s not like it will kill me.”  The accompanying smile did a lot to calm me.  Nothing so evil could have such a stunning smile, could it?

He lit up and took a long slow draw. It was weird to see since vampires don’t need to breath.  The smoke undulated around him, adding to his mysterious aura. While he was enjoying his dirty habit, I looked him over, as discretely as I could. Tall, really tall, with a tapered swimmer type of body, broad at the shoulders and skinny at the waist.  His pallor was pale, as is with most vampires unless they’ve just fed. Black slicked back hair and shadows under his eyes gave him that typical Dracula look that people would normally associate with a vampire. I don’t know much about men’s clothes, but his suit fit perfectly and looked expensive. When I looked at his face, he grinned, raising an eyebrow.

“Do I meet your approval?”

Heat came to my cheeks. “I don’t know what you’re referring to.” I tried to play it cool.  He continued to smile, knowing he caught me checking him out.

“So the job…” he started.

I nodded and put pen to pad. “Yes. What can I help you with?”

He took another drag and exhaled a smoke circle which floated in my direction.  “I fear there is a rogue werewolf in my neighborhood.”

My eyebrows rose. That could cause some serious damage. “Why come to me? Not that I don’t appreciate the work but…wouldn’t this be a job better suited for the local pack master?”

The vampire looked me over, his penetrating gaze sending another round of chills up my spine. “You could say…that the pack Alpha and I are not on the best of terms. I assure you, I will make the job worth your while.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt that. It’s just that…” How did I tell him I found it weird he wanted a seventeen year old girl to handle a rabid hybrid when another werewolf, with superhuman strength, would be the more logical choice? Sigh.

“Just what, my dear?”

I shook my head, clearing thoughts. Back to getting details. “What makes you think it’s a rogue wolf?”

“Mostly the decimated bodies, torn and tattered beyond recognition.”

Swallowing hard I tried to put the image out of my head. Had to get as much information out of Tomas as possible.

“Other creatures have been known to uhh…cause that kind of damage. Anything in particular that points towards wolf?”

He pondered my question for a few moments. “Well, it does always seem to happen on a full moon. Also, there was a wet dog smell lingering. After all these years, my sense of smell is very sensitive.”  I nodded, knowing that to be true. Josiah always complained if I wore any kind of perfume or scented lotion. It was kind of annoying actually.

“Normally, I’d say live and let live. Who am I to say one of my down under brethren should be tamed, but I fear their actions will leave people thinking the murders are my doing, and I just can’t have that…tarnish on my reputation.”

“I understand.”    It was true. If Josiah caught wind and thought Tomas was the cause, he’d have to be staked. While it’s not illegal for vampires to drink from humans–willing humans that was–killing them was an absolute no-no.

He had smoked the cigarette down to a small nub. I cringed when he put the lit tip to his skin, twisting it in small semi-circles. Tomas didn’t flinch and after he tossed the remaining filter into the nearby garbage I noticed the small red circle was already healing. Another perk of being a vamp.

“The next full moon is three days away. I know it does not give you much time but I’ve made a list of the killer’s previous…dinner locations. I thought you would want to see them.” He reached into his suit jacket again, opposite side from where his cigarette case was, and removed another white card like the one Samson had given me this morning.  He held it out to me with a smile.

“I’m afraid I have another appointment to get to my dear. Half of the payment is inside. You’ll receive the remainder when the job is completed.” He rose to his full height, causing me to crane my neck to look at him.  I took the offered card from his outstretched arm.

“And if I have any questions, how do I contact you?”

“I shall find you.”  He winked at me and before I could open my mouth to protest, he was gone, the card in my hand and the slowly closing door the only indications that he had been there.