“T’was the night before Christmas and all through the church,
Sean the prideful had fallen a far way from his perch.”
The Third Chapter in the Undead Life of Sean Becker
It hadn’t been Marishka. It hadn’t been her. Yes, he’d kissed Dol. He enjoyed kissing Dol. He wanted to have sex with Dol. But there hadn’t been anyone in the backseat of his car. He hadn’t seen or heard from Mariska in almost twenty years. What the hell was the matter with him?
Christmas Eve services. Like many other Christian families, the Beckers attended a very crowded First Baptist Church of Dublin for 10 a.m. worship, but for the sake of the children’s patience and the impending arrival of Santa, they would be staying home that evening.
Sean mouthed through the Advent hymns being sung, not paying any attention to the music or the lyrics but only to the demons in his mind. He wasn’t sure if he was more worried that he had hallucinated twice now or about his kiss of adultery.
He hadn’t seen Dol in over two weeks and he was grateful to God for that. If she’d just disappear, if he never saw her again, maybe all of this would fade away and he could return to being a Daddy and a Husband rather than whatever he had been turning into.
Marishka the Vampire. Whenever he closed his eyes, he saw her, her beautiful, smooth body, her full, inviting breasts, her creamy inner thighs, the soft mat of moist pubic hair…and her gleaming white fangs dripping with his blood.
Had it happened the night they’d made love? Did she really feed off of his blood? Why did he start thinking of Marishka again after seeing Dol, kissing her, feeling her suck the drops of blood from his split lip?
“I must be going out of my mind.”
Sean looked around quickly not sure if he had said those words out loud or just thought them. Everyone was still singing, eyes focused up front at the Music Director and the Choir. Another Holy Advent Eve, another worship service, another opportunity to worship Jesus and to serve God, but Sean’s thoughts and soul were trapped between Heaven and Hell.
Things like vampires were impossible. They were the stuff of old folk tales, literature, and movies. They didn’t exist, couldn’t exist, even in a world where he believed in both absolute Good and abject Evil. Vampires couldn’t exist therefore Marishka, and for that matter Dol, could not be vampires.
Which means his memories and hallucinations were a mental problem, not an expression of Satan’s will.
He had access to an EAP through his job. It was confidential. If he visited a psychologist for a few sessions to straighten himself out, no one would know. Did that mean he lacked faith, that he believed God alone couldn’t help him? Nonsense. He wasn’t one of those extremist believers in faith healing who would refuse to take his ailing child to the doctor because he thought that healing was only accomplished through piety and prayer.
But vampires. If he admitted these things to a shrink, he might end up in a padded cell.
No, they didn’t do that to people anymore, did they?
Christmas Eve. There weren’t any Sunday School classes since the service had been much longer than usual. There was a part of Sean that was bothered by how church had become a production, timed to the minute, so much time for opening remarks, so much time for fellowship, so much time for hymns, then there was the passing of the collection plates, another hymn, the sermon, and then closing hymns and announcements.
In the midst of all that efficiency and economizing of Sunday morning, was there room enough for a person to cry out to God for pity?
“Great sermon, Pastor. I really enjoyed it.”
Just like every other Sunday, on the way out of the sanctuary, everyone shook Pastor Loren Payne’s hand and made a few innocuous remarks.
“You weren’t really listening, were you Sean? You were thinking about Dol and Marishka and about having sex with them instead of your wife, weren’t you?”
Sean blinked rapidly and then realized what Pastor Loren really said was, “It’s good to see you and the family, Sean. You’re a blessing to our community.”
Pastor had been at Sean to replace Leo Bailey who was finally leaving the Board. Leo was a retired Pastor and at eighty, had served on the church’s Board of Elders for over fifteen years. Now his eyesight and hearing were both failing and with the passing of his wife, he decided he needed to slow down and allow younger men to shoulder the burden of service.
Sean’s excuse was usually that he was too busy balancing work and home life, but for the past few weeks, he had greater concerns. Should he accept such a responsibility to the church and God while struggling with his own temptations and sins? What if he really were mentally unbalanced? Yes, he needed help from someone. He was seeing and hearing things that weren’t real. He had to get control of himself. If it got worse, would be still be fit to be a parent and spouse, let alone an Elder of the church?
Blessedly, Christmas came and Christmas went and Sean felt ashamed that he was glad it was all over except for taking down the lights and getting rid of the tree.
As was family tradition, he and Helen let the children open once present on Christmas Eve after they’d gotten into their pajamas and were ready for bed. Then of course, came Christmas morning, all too early for the adults but never soon enough for the kids as they romped downstairs to see what Santa had brought.
Cards before presents, and lists were made of who gave what for the sake of “thank you” cards. They enjoyed seeing the kids open their gifts but the children needed to learn and embrace gratitude for what they received.
By Monday evening, Sean and Helen were exhausted. Fortunately, Sid and Esther stopped by for dessert and stayed to help clean up. Secretly, Sean thought that the Polack’s were more “Christian” than many of the people he worshipped with every Sunday, though the Jewish couple would probably have been offended by the sentiment.
Tomorrow was Tuesday and it was back to work for Sean. The kids still had the rest of the week off from school, well Aaron and Jill did anyway. His heart felt heavy at the thought of getting up before the sun, packing himself into a BART car among a metaphorical herd of cats in a burlap sack being carried to their own drowning. Sean had thought of taking the whole week off between Christmas and New Year’s but the year end accounts weren’t going to wait for January 2nd, so he needed to go in. Maybe after things calmed down a bit, he could get some time off. If Sid and Esther were willing to take the kids for a few days, maybe he and Helen could go back to that charming Bed and Breakfast in Napa where they’d celebrated their five year wedding anniversary.
It would be nice to relax and just be a couple again, to make love and not have to worry about being too noisy and waking the children. He closed his eyes and pictured Helen as she looked on their wedding night, shy but aroused, timidly opening her robe to reveal her waiting body to him. Opening her mouth…
…and ripping his throat with her fangs!
Sean yelled as he bolted upright in bed. A dream. A nightmare. He looked at the clock. 2:37 a.m.
“Honey, what’s the matter?”
She touched his shoulder and he jumped. Sean turned to look at her, saw concern etched upon her face.
“Sean, you’re crying. What’s wrong?” She hugged him and he grasped on to her as if she were the only thing that could save him.
“I love you, Helen.” He couldn’t help but sob into her neck.
“Sweetheart, I love you, too. Why are you crying? Let me help.”
He wished with everything he had and everything he was that she could help.
“Just a nightmare. Something horrible. I can’t remember now.” He pulled away to look at her, trying to smile so that in the dim light she would be reassured.
“Sean, if there’s anything you want to talk about, anything at all, I’m always here for you. I love you. I will always love you, no matter what.”
“I know. I know you love me, Helen. I don’t deserve you.” He was talking like a guilty man, which was exactly the wrong thing to do. He hugged her again and they held each other for a while. Then he realized how tired he was.
“I’d better try to sleep a little more. Got to get up soon.”
“Okay, Sean.” She didn’t sound convinced or reassured, but she knew better than to press the matter in the middle of the night. This was going to turn into one of those conversations they had after the children went to bed. He wasn’t looking forward to it.
Monday’s child is fair of face.
Tuesday’s child is full of grace.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe.
Wednesday evening. His second night of overtime this week. He was late. He should be running to Embarcadero Station to catch the next train but he was too damn tired. The bus was too full so he decided to walk. The thick fog made it feel colder than it really was and although there were plenty of other commuters walking along with him, the mist made him feel isolated and alone.
Then he found himself in front of an alley that ran between two older office buildings converted into several shops and boutiques. He couldn’t see anyone else and for a moment, he felt lost, though he’d walked up and down Front Street a thousand times. Where did everyone go? Why was he all by himself?
It was more like she was singing his name instead of speaking.
The voice was coming from the back of the alley. All he could see was fog and vague shadows.
“Help me, Sean.”
Whoever was calling sounded in trouble. He pulled out his cell intending to call 911. Wait. Why would she call him by name if she needed help?
“I need you. Help me. I need you to come to me.”
Sean realized he was walking into the alley toward the voice. He hadn’t decided to do that. He was walking like all of this was a dream.
Maybe it was. He could still be in bed dreaming or worse, this could be another hallucination. There might not be a voice at all except in his head.
“Come closer, Sean.”
He knew he should turn and run, run all the way to the BART station, join the throngs of other commuters fighting their way onto a train car in the desperate drive to go home. All he wanted to do was go home.
But then all he wanted to do was find her.
“That’s right, Sean. You’re almost here. I’ve been waiting for you.”
It was Dol.Was there really any doubt? He’d known who she was the first time she called his name. Sean just didn’t want to admit to himself that he’d missed her and that he was glad he could be with her again. He felt intensely aroused and ashamed.
“Sean. I’ve been waiting here for a long time. It’s not nice to keep a lady waiting.”
“Are you a lady, Dol?” He couldn’t believe he was flirting with her.
“A Countess actually, but that was a long time ago.”
It was a strange thing to say, but not nearly as strange as everything else that had been happening to him.
She was a vision clothed in white and gray mist. Dol was wearing some sort of caped coat and hood, all black, covered completely except for her face and hands. Her skin was pale and her long pointed fingernails were painted the same faint blue as her eyes.
“Come to me, my darling Sean. I know you want me. You want my body and you want me to take yours.”
She was right. He did want her. He couldn’t think of anything except her. The fog gathered them together and shrouded them as she opened her coat revealing her shapely body barely concealed by a thin, gossamer gown. She might as well have been nude.
Sean slipped his arms inside the cape and around her feeling smooth, frigid flesh. He pressed her swollen maleness against her and then gasped as her hand reached down and grasped it. He heard the sound of a zipper, felt some fumbling with cloth, and then her fingers exposed him and began a rhythmic stroking. With her other hand, she grabbed his hair and yanked his head to one side revealing his naked throat. Then there was a brief moment of pain followed by exquisite ecstasy.
He felt light-headed as he orgasmed for the first time. She guided his tip downward between her legs, across ther lips, and he moistened her through her slim gown. He could feel her hips moving faster until they cried out together in forbidden pleasure. He fell back against a wall. She licked his neck as if savoring the last few remaining drops of his life. Then she stepped back. Her lips were covered in red. He watched through the haze as she cleaned herself with her tongue.
Sean could barely stand as she replaced his member in his pants and then closed them. She kissed him gently and then whispered in his ear. “You need to go home now. I promise we will be together soon, very soon and forever.”
“Say, you’d better sit down before you fall down.”
The older African-American woman stood up from her seat on the BART train and guided Sean into it.
“Look. No. I can stand. You don’t have to…”
“You look like a ghost, Man. You sick or something?”
“What do you mean?”
How had he gotten here? The last thing he remembered was walking through the fog. No. The last thing he remembered was her.
It had happened again. He was hallucinating. But then why did his neck hurt? Sean slipped his fingers under the collar of his jacket which he had pulled up. It stung. He pulled his back fingers out. A drop of blood. Oh God, it was real.
“Can I help you?”
Sean looked up again at the woman who had given up her seat for him. They were just pulling into the East Oakland Station.
“No, I’ll be fine. I’m just a little tired. Thank you, though. You’re very kind.”
“Mister, the Bible says only God is good. Jesus told that to the rich ruler when he asked what he had to do to inherit Heaven.”
“Luke 18:19. I’m a Christian, too.”
“Bless you, brother. This is my stop and I’ve got to go. You better let Jesus help you, Mister. You look like you could use him right now.”
The woman got out of car and walked onto the platform with a dozen others, but it felt like he’d been talking to an angel. “Yes, you’re right. I could use him right now.”
“Wake up. Wake up, sleepy head.”
He was shaking. What was happening? If only they’d leave him alone. He was so tired.
“I said wake up. Wake up!”
“What do you want?”
He opened is eyes screaming as he realized he had grabbed little Jill by the shoulders hard.
“Daddy, stop. You’re hurting me.”
She was crying. He let go and she recoiled back and huddled at the foot of the bed.
“I’m sorry, darling. I was having a bad dream. Come here.” He smiled at his daughter and held out his arms. She was still crying and scared. She shook her head “no.”
Sean looked at the doorway to see an equally terrified Aaron and Lizzie. His baby girl was clinging to her older brother for protection.
“What’s going on in here?” Helen walked in behind her children.
Jilly hopped off the bed and ran to her Mommy.
“I’m sorry. I had a nightmare. I must have grabbed Jill in my sleep.”
“Kids, your breakfast is on the table. I’ll be there in a minute.”
The three children spared not a second in escaping.
His wife walked over and sat on the bed. “You’ve been having a lot of those nightmares lately and this isn’t the first time you’ve scared the children and…” She stopped but he knew she would have said “and me.”
“I’m sorry.” He started to hug her but she pulled away. “Sean, enough of the ‘I’m sorrys’.” Something’s really bothering you and if you won’t talk to me about it, you need to talk with someone. How about Pastor Loren?”
Loren was a good Pastor but while he excelled in Bible studies and word lessons, he wasn’t really the “Pastoral” type. After ten years of marriage, Helen could read Sean’s face pretty well.
“Okay then, if not the Pastor, how about seeing a counselor? Maybe you could get an EAP referral.”
He guessed she’d been going over his company’s health coverage. He’d been meaning to do just that since Christmas, what…three or four weeks ago? Why had he put it off?
He knew why. His problem wasn’t something a shrink could help him with but he had to do something, even if it was just to show Helen that he was trying.
“Okay. Monday morning. I promise.” He smiled. Tried to put on his best “nice boy” face. Instead of smiling back and letting him know he’d successfully smoothed things over, she stood up.
“I’d better go see how the kids are doing.”
She turned and left. It was as if she knew, not specifically about Dol but that there was someone or something between the two of them. Someone between Sean and his family. Dol was so much more than that, though. She was everything and she was so wrong. She was ruining him, his relationship with his family, and she was standing between Sean and his God.
Monday morning, Sean forced himself to call the EAP and after answering a series of awkward questions, was referred to a licensed family therapist just a few miles from his home. He had one evening slot left and would be able to see him, but not for two weeks. At least he had something concrete to show to Helen.
Every few nights, he had to “work late,” maybe an hour or two. Sean would meet her in an alley or in the backseat of a car she somehow had broken into or occasionally in a room that she rented by the hour. He was grateful he never had to pay so he didn’t have to explain to Helen where the money was going. She did make an appointment for him with their doctor and insisted that he keep it.
“It’s just anemia, Helen. He just said I should take iron tablets and vitamin B.”
“You’ve been working too hard, Sean. Why don’t you take a week off. We could go somewhere relaxing.”
“I can’t. Things are a zoo at the office. I promise we’ll do something once everything calms down.”
“You have your first counseling appointment next week. You’re right. We should hold off for a while.”
“Yes. Yes you’re right.”
She hugged him but when he tried to kiss her, she pulled back.
“Let’s just get some rest. You need that more than anything.”
“I just need some rest.” She left him standing alone in the kitchen. Sean waited until she was in bed before crawling under a blanket on the sofa and drifting into a fitful sleep.
“Thursday’s child has far to go.”
“I want you to meet some friends, Sean. It won’t take long.”
“I really need to get home. Helen’s been freaking out over all the overtime I’ve had to work. I don’t think she’s buying it anymore, Dol.”
Talking about the wife to your lover was probably against some sort of rules, but Sean was being torn apart. Seeing Dol was the height of his existence and every night he was without her, he descended into miserable depths. He had become wretched. Where was his love for his wife and children? Where was his love for Jesus.
He hated going to church, thought Pastor Loren’s sermons was childish pap unworthy of intelligent and enlightened people. He only went because Helen and the kids wanted him to. He couldn’t stand looking at the cross mounted at the front of the sanctuary. Sanctuary. It felt like a prison and worship services were torture.
Dol was holding his hand as she guided him down and alley and to a door leading into a cellar. The ancient wooden sign just above said “Delirium. Est. 1907.”
“What is this?”
“It’s an exclusive club, darling. I promise you’re going to love it.” She was smiling broadly, no longer trying to hide her fangs. He knew her for what she was and didn’t care, or he told him he didn’t care. She had been reborn, as she put it, just over a hundred years ago, and the host she wanted him to meet was older, much older.
“Welcome. I am Antonie. Dolingen has told me much about you. Normally my humble establishment is much more active, but I thought for your first introduction, something more intimate was in order.”
He held Sean’s hand as if he meant to kiss it but then let it go. He was like Dol, his skin had the same pallor, the same iciness, but there was an inner strength he possessed that vastly eclipsed any charisma possessed by the Countess.
Antonie had a slight accent, something European but Sean couldn’t place it. His eyes were green, captivating, hypnotic. His thick dark hair was lightly streaked with grey as was his beard. He wore a modern suit, a Giorgio Armani (the CEO of his company wore them), but his overcoat looked to be from another century. Sean knew it was more than an affectation or vanity. More like a memento of another time with which he identified.
“Please make yourself at home. Every facility here is at your disposal. Simply name it and it shall be yours.”
“Thank you.” Sean was terrified of him. It went far beyond intimidation. He had heard that some people were dangerous for one reason or another, but Antonie had the power of life and death over everyone in the room and he guessed far beyond.
“Sean. This is my sister Verona and her latest plaything, Bobby.”
Verona was a stunning blond in a white gown inlaid with what no doubt was actual gold. Whether she was literally Dol’s sister or merely related by appetite, Sean didn’t know and he didn’t care. His every instinct said to bolt and run, to go home and stay there, to quit his job if that’s what it took to get out of Dol’s ever tightening grip and to leap back into the arms of Jesus and his family.
“You are so handsome, darling. If you ever tire of Dolingen, I will be glad to entertain you. Really, she can be quite a bore.” Verona kissed his cheek and then ran her tongue across his throat.
“That will be enough, Verona.” Dol grabbed the other woman by the arm and violently pulled her away from Sean. For an instant, they both wore masks of rage and then Verona transformed herself into frigid civility.
“Why sister dear, I was only joking of course. Besides…” she took Bobby’s arm. “I am otherwise occupied.”
Bobby looked hurt as if he felt betrayed by his lover’s attentions upon Sean.
Realizing this, Verona patted his arm. “Oh darling, I haven’t forgotten. Come. The night is young. Let’s find some tasty treats for the both of us.”
He smiled. Sean could just see the needle sharp tips of twin fangs. He had already fallen and yet was still in Verona’s thrall.
Sean looked around. There were other couples coming and going, and not only couples. He saw three women and two men disappear together through a door in the back while two men and a boy who couldn’t have been older than fifteen came out.
It turned his stomach.
He didn’t see Antonie again, not that night. Without him here, maybe he still had a chance.
Dol was momentarily occupied by The two men and the teenager. The adults were laughing together but the kid looked more confused than anything. Sean recognized that face. He’d seen it in the mirror often enough over the past month.
It was time to end this.
“I like your little plaything, Boris. May I borrow him sometime?” Dol was licking her lips in anticipation of fresh, young blood.
“I suppose you may Dolingen once you learn to keep track of what you already have, or do you have him after all?”
Boris nodded toward the door and not at all appreciating his chiding, she noticed Sean was gone. She should have felt it. Was her brother right? She was sure he had complete control of her prey.
“Excuse me, gentlemen.” She growled rather than speaking in her more typical purr. “I have something to attend to.”
She was going out the door when she overheard Boris addressing Petrov, “Now that’s something I’d enjoy watching. Perhaps she’ll bring him back and consider performing the Coup de gras for an audience.”
Dol was in no mood to be tonight’s entertainment or to serve Sean up as such. If Antonie ever found out she had been so careless… She shuddered at the mere suggestion. He was lavish in his magnanimous gestures and equally giving in his vindictiveness. If they didn’t need his protection…
He was running but he was easy to follow. She knew his scent so well, the smell of his blood. “No, Sean. You can’t get away. You’ll never escape.”
“Well, Boris. Shall we?” Petrov was indicating the boy, a runaway who had been living on the streets for over a year, turning tricks for any man who would pay in money, drugs, or a place to crash.
“I’m afraid he’s played out for the evening, that is unless you want us to turn him.”
“I suggest you have other duties.”
Boris and Petrov stiffened but resisted the urge to jump. Antonie could enter a room so silently that even the children of the night would be unaware of his presence.
“We discussed this earlier. I need the accidents to occur tonight, within the hour in fact. Terrorist incidents are so common these days, so the explanation shall create itself.”
Boris was trembling. “Master…the boy?”
“He is small, Boris. Best to throw him back for now. Be off you two before I become annoyed.”
He was running, out of breath, soaked with sweat. Where was he? Which way should he go. If he could just find a lot of people, a restaurant, a bus stop, she’d never attack him in the open.
“You can’t get away, Sean.”
The fog was getting thicker. He was turned around. How the hell could he get out into the open? Run and keep running.
“He can’t help you, Sean. You abandoned Him. You’re mine now. You’re mine and his.”
He didn’t want to think of who he belonged to. He didn’t want her to be right. Run. Run. Run!
The fog. He almost collided with the wall of a building. Sean thought it was the way out of this maze. No. No. He had to get away. It couldn’t end like this. “God. For Helen’s sake…for Aaron’s Jilly’s, for Lizzie’s…please.”
“Oh, Sean really. You gave them up a long time ago. Admit it.”
She was right behind him. Sean was still facing the wall, He was still in the alley. He turned. The entrance to Delirium was only a few hundred yards to his right.
“No please, Dol. Just let me go. You can find someone else, someone who will be able to appreciate you. Like that boy maybe.”
“What’s the expression, Sean? Grasping at straws? I thought you desired me, that you couldn’t wait to bed me. You’ve tasted and goods Sean and you enjoyed the flavor just as much as I’ve enjoyed yours.”
Dol walked slowly closer, taking her time. After all, where had he left to run.
Sean ran anyway, dashing off to his right. The alley’s exit was just the other side of Delirium’s doorway. He could see cars driving by in the distance. If he could make the street he could call for help. Wait. His cell. If he dialed 911…no! It was gone. He must have dropped it. Run!
He looked back to see a Dol he never suspected existed, even though he knew all too well who and what she was. Her face was twisted evil. Her fangs were bared. She was not like an animal so much as a force of malevolence. Like a snow panther, she snarled and leapt.
They crashed through the doors of Delirium together rolling over and over among the shattered wood upon the floor. It was just her and him. Petrov, Boris, Antonie…they were all gone.
“You bastard! How dare you think you have a life of your own. I am your master now. Forsake your God. Curse Him and die.” She was on top of him holding him down with unholy strength. She was like the lioness hunting on the veld. When she struck, there was no mercy in her.
“No. Never. I will never betray God. Not for you. Not for a thousand like you.”
She wailed and shrieked like the banshee, then she ripped his shirt away, plunged her fangs into warm mortal flesh and violently fed.
She drank deeply as she was not often permitted for the Master did not want their numbers to suddenly surge with the new and uninitiated of their kind. They presented too many dangers. However, this moment was inevitable. It was inevitable ever since Marishka took from him and also gave something back, something that had stayed with him for nearly two decades. It is what drew the Countess Dolingen of Gratz to him, what had gotten Antonie’s attention in the first place.
Sean Becker was a marked man destined for a horrible and awesome fate and tonight he finally fell as did the night and he died.
And yet he would live forever.
At 7:02 p.m. Pacific time, a bomb had detonated 100 meters from the San Francisco entrance to BART’s transbay tunnel. Miraculously, there were no trains in the conduit at the time and no fatalities or injuries occurred.
However, thousands of commuters were stranded in San Francisco unable to return to their homes. BART officials worked with the AC Transit system pressing into service every available bus in the attempt to help those people who were trying to make their way homeward.
Helen Becker received a text message from her husband Sean that he didn’t know when he’d be back home but he was about to get on a bus. He gave her the route number. She sent a text back telling him she loved him and that she would stay up and wait for him.
Twenty-eight minutes later, a second bomb detonated, this time under the bus Helen believed was carrying her husband and with enough force to launch it into and then through the southern railing of the Oakland Bay Bridge and into the icy waters below. As of 11 p.m., the Coast Guard was continuing the search for survivors but it was believed that everyone on board the bus had perished.
Helen Becker has seen the news before the local police knocked on her door. She cried throughout the night and could not imagine what she would tell her children when they woke up in the morning.
“It’s what you wanted, isn’t it Countess?”
“Do not mock me, Antoine. He was a man of spirit and conviction. Do you think it gives me pleasure to have brought him to this state?”
“He wouldn’t be the first man of the Deity who had been brought low by one of our kind. You should be pleased, my lovely.” He caressed her check and although he revolted her, she dared not pull back from his touch.
“Three days in the grave, my precious. Three days in the grave and he shall be yours forever.”
They stood on a dirt floor in an isolated corner of an abandoned warehouse near the waterfront. The floors above were reputed to be a rogue artist colony, one that the authorities tolerated in the spirit of their “progressivism.” All of that was controlled by those beneath. Antonie and Dolingen turned to a freshly dug mound of dirt. Some six feet below lay the corpse of Sean Becker, cause of death, extreme blood loss. However within him forces physical and metaphysical were at work and at the setting of the sun three nights hence, something entirely different would rise, like a dark phoenix from ashes or from its own blood.
This is Chapter Three of the Sean Becker Undead Chronicles. The previous chapters were:
Sean Becker succumbed to nightfall, but was he completely consumed or did his defiance of true evil at the last moments of mortal life grant him some slight reprieve?
You can find out more about Dol, as well as Verona and Bobby in the story Stop Me From Falling.
The next chapter is Emergence.