The First Chapter in the Undead Life of Sean Becker
Running and out of breath, Sean Becker barely made it to the Embarcadero Station in time to get on the 6:13 train east. He was just another commuter ending another workday like the hundreds around him. He couldn’t possibly imagine that tonight was the beginning of the end of everything he had ever known and the advent of an eternal nightmare.
He squeezed into the crowded car and found a pole to hang onto as the doors shut and the train started moving. It would take almost an hour to get to the Dublin/Pleasanton Station and another 20 to 30 minutes to drive home. At least he didn’t have to live as far away as Tracy or even further from the City just to afford a home.
The horrible Bay Bridge Toll Booth crash yesterday had made commuting on BART a total mess as people who normally drove were forced to take the rail system. He silently endured, reminding himself to be grateful to Jesus that he had a good job, and that they’d bought their home in Dublin when it was still affordable. God was good. He was good to give him a wonderful wife like Janet and three beautiful children to care for.
But by the time he’d get home, Janet would have probably finished helping seven-year-old Aaron with his homework and have him, five-year-old Jill, and two-and-a-half-year-old Lizzie fed and in their PJs. Sean missed the days when he didn’t have to work so long, when the commute didn’t seem to take forever. He was torn between the happiness he had with his family and the feeling of being trapped in the endless cycle of commute, work, commute, bed, rinse and repeat.
Just for a moment, he also felt trapped by the rest of his life as well.
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
The train slowed down as it reached the other end of the Bay tunnel and his weight shifted, causing him to almost fall onto someone.
“That’s okay. These things happen.”
He looked down. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five and she was so beautiful. Sean blinked. He couldn’t believe that was the first thing he’d thought of when he saw her.
“Well, excuse me anyway.” He smiled at her. She smiled back but only a little. She had sad light blue eyes, like the color of a shallow tidal pool. Her hair was dark, almost black, shoulder length, silky. Her eyelashes were also dark and full. She didn’t look like she got much sun, but this time of year, who did? She used a little too much lipstick, or were her large, pouting lips naturally a vivid crimson? He looked down at her body but a dark blue overcoat concealed her shape.
Sean felt his face blushing hot and abruptly turned away. He knew he wasn’t perfect. He’d been married for ten years and faithful to his wife all that time, but like most men, he looked on occasion. That’s how he justified it. He looked like most men, a hollow rationale for lust.
This felt different though, terribly different. It wasn’t just that he found her attractive like a lot of women were. He found her seductive, alluring, almost narcotic.
“No! stop it,” he said to himself closing his eyes tight.
The train arrived at the West Oakland Station and this time, she pressed into him as people were maneuvering toward the exit. He could feel her through his coat and hers. She was so cold, like he was being held against supple ice, and huddled so close together he started shivering.
“Are you alright, Ms…”
“I’m fine. Just naturally cold blooded I guess. I’m Dol.”
“Sean. Sean Becker. Dol. That’s an unusual name.”
“It’s short for Dolengen. Named after my grandmother. I’ll never forgive my parents.”
They both chuckled. The train started moving forward again. There still weren’t any available seats so they would be companions for a little bit longer.
He couldn’t think of anything else to say to her and he was grateful for that. Sean couldn’t help the compelling attraction he had toward her, but why? At thirty-seven, he figured he was too early for a mid-life crisis so that wasn’t an excuse. Without meaning or wanting to, he looked back down at her. She was staring into space presumably, and then as if sensing him, she looked up and they made eye contact again.
They kept looking at each other a lot longer than would be considered polite under the circumstances. It bothered him but he also enjoyed the encounter. Was he flirting with her or she with him?
He forced himself to turn away, but knew she was still looking at him.
“God forgive me. I don’t want to feel like this. Please, Jesus.” He desperately hoped his silent prayer would be heard in Heaven.
Somewhere between Fruitvale and San Leandro, he lost track of her. She’d probably gotten off. Just as well. He let his mind wander, periodically looked at his watch. The train was behind schedule. His legs felt tired. He found an empty seat. Sean lay his head against the cold glass of the window next to him and felt hunger argue in his stomach. All he wanted to do was get home to his family.
It was after seven when he stepped out of the train and onto the platform. He texted Janet telling her he’d be home in just a little bit now. As he walked across the parking lot toward his car, he got a reply text, a photo of all three kids in various stages of leaping up and grinning. The message read, “Jumping for joy that Daddy’s coming home.”
He smiled. They so made the rat race worth it.
Sean pulled out his keys as he approached the Subaru and pressed the fob. His car made the expected chirping sound as the doors unlocked. He reached for the door handle and in the window, he saw her reflection, he saw Dol.
She was still staring at him with those hypnotic eyes, smiling with red lips, her teeth were so white, her fangs…
He whirled around.
Sean was alone. He looked back at the driver’s door window. Dol’s reflection had vanished.
He laughed nervously, opened the door, and then got in.
She was standing under a street light on the sidewalk just outside the BART station’s entrance looking at Sean Becker’s car as it pulled out of the parking lot.
“He’s the one I need; the one we need. His blood smells so good.”
She knew the Master would approve. The woman who had once been called the Countess Dolengen of Gratz smiled and just for a moment revealed long gleaming fangs. She would hunt incidental prey tonight to hold the hunger at bay. Tomorrow night, the next, a week from tonight would be another matter entirely.
About fourteen months ago, I started a series of stories about a vampire named Sean Becker. The thing that made him unusual was that he was (and is) a Christian, even after “turning.” I began with a simple little tale called Even Coffee Doesn’t Help and kept on going and going and going.
Eventually, like with almost all of my older series, I lost interest and moved on to other things.
However, earlier today I wrote a story called “Stop Me From Falling,” which I can’t actually publish until Thursday because it’s part of the Simply Marquessa friday fiction challenge for December 7th (which is actually a Thursday). The character of Dol appears in that story and I was so impressed with how everything turned out in that tale, I decided Dol and the world she lives in would be the perfect vehicle for me to relaunch Sean Becker’s saga, this time hopefully strengthening the conflict he feels as he realizes he died and is now an undead vampire.
Right now, I’m taking it slow, establishing Sean as a family man but one who is also restless, though he feels guilty about it, both at work and in his home life, which he loves but which has also become predictable and all too ordinary.
Who is Dol, what does she want from Sean (besides his blood) and who is the mysterious “Master?” I’ll reveal all these things as more stories come to light.
To learn more about Dol and her world, read the “prequel” Stop Me From Falling. Warning: Contains “adult” (erotic) content.
Chapter Two in Sean Becker’s saga is Approaching Advent.