Aftermath

train

The Sunset Limited eastbound in 2004 – Found at Wikipedia

The Eleventh Chapter in the Undead Life of Sean Becker

Jonathan Harker had boarded the Amtrak train hours ago at the station on Folsom Street. He’d never been on a train in his life besides BART and the Napa Valley Wine Train but these were part of the instructions he’d been given. He’d have rather gotten on a plane. Jonny wanted to leave of the Bay Area behind. Watching the scenery roll by all too slowly reminded him of her and she was the one person in all the world he desperately wanted to forget, though of course he never would.

He had met Dolengen months ago at an after hours place called “Delirium.” His best friend Bobby had conned him into it. Bobby knew he’d just asked Lucy to marry him but his “wingman” thought he deserved one last night on the town. Bobby wanted to introduce him to two young women he’d just met, Verona and Dol.

It wasn’t long before Verona and Bobby disappeared and almost against his will, he found himself following the raven-haired Dol into a back room containing few other items of furniture besides a bed.

Dol wasn’t a prostitute but she did want something from Jonny, his sex and his blood. Dolengen looked like she couldn’t be older than twenty-five but she had died a century ago in Central Europe and been reborn a vampire.

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Cursed

voodoo queen

Wearing a tignon, Angela Bassett channels voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Michele K. Short/FX – From “American Horror Story.”

The Tenth Chapter in the Undead Life of Sean Becker

New Orleans, Louisiana – 1972

“You cannot leave us, Catherine. Family ties are too strong. You must come back to us.”

“No, Mama Sallie, I can’t.

“You love this boy?”

“He’s a man, Mama Sallie. I do love him. He’s asked me to marry him.”

“He’s from the outside, Cathy. I approved you going to their schools so we could have educated men and women in our Family. You have not been fully initiated because we need daywalkers to guard us, but we could initiate him, make him one of us.”

“I know he wouldn’t want that, Mama.”

Sallie rose up on her throne, her ire illuminated by candlelight. “You told him?”

“No, Mama Sallie. I swear. It’s just that no one wants the initiation.”

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Tangency and Darkness

dracula

Promotional image for “Theatre68 presents Dracula”

Jessica had no way of knowing that her relationship with Everett was a moment of tangency and thus was doomed to end as abruptly as it began.

She always met him on the veranda behind her Father’s house. Summer nights in Georgia were sultry and each moment that passed as she waited for the sun to set was as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. Jessica could feel drops of sweat describe tiny rivulets across the tops of her mocha breasts and then down her cleavage. She held her thighs close together and swayed slightly with a warm breeze as the final rays of daylight succumbed to the rule of the kings of darkness.

Then he appeared on the far side of the manicured lawn and yet she could hear his voice as if he were whispering in her ear. “Come.”

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Tell Them Daddy’s Gone To Bed

howlin wolf

Promotional image for the track “Moanin’ At Midnight” by “Howlin’ Wolf” (Chester Arthur Burnett)

“Yes sir, this is the Parks residence. No sir, he can’t come to the phone right now.”

“Betty, who are you talking to on the telephone?” Lillie Parks was home alone with her two little daughters and especially when her husband Arthur was out, he was very protective of the children.

“Says it’s the police, Mama.”

“Let me have the phone, Baby.”

Eight-year-old Betty handed the black, plastic receiver to her Mama.

“This is Mrs. Lillie Parks. May I help you?”

“Yes, Ma’am. This is Officer Bill Tucker. Is Arthur Parks your husband?”

Lillie gripped the phone tighter and she began to tremble. No, if he were dead, the police would have come to the door, not called. “Yes he is, Officer.” She tried to be as polite as she could, not only because that was part of her natural tendency but because of how the police treated “uppity” Negros.

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Love’s Blood

mausoleum

© Sue Vincent

“…I met this girl…she ruined my philosophy…my heart skips a beat when she comes around”

From “I’d Rather Have A Love” performed by Joe
Writer(s): Derek Louis Allen, Gerald Isaac, Alvin Jerome Garrett

Even knowing this is what her father wanted, what she wanted, Zachary wasn’t sure he could do it. He loved Deborah very much and he believed she still adored him. It was only because of their love for each other that he was now walking across the manicured lawn in the back of his estate in the bright morning sunshine contemplating murder.

No, it wouldn’t be murder for the simple reason that she was already dead; dead, interned, and yet not dead.

The small duffel bag felt heavy in his right hand, not due to the weight of its lethal contents but that of his heart. He’d almost accepted Peretz’s offer to help him, but it would have been a terrible burden to place upon a father who had lost his only daughter once and now was about to lose her again. Yes, he was losing her, but he had convinced him that as her husband, he had to be the one to save her.

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That Which Burns

collage

Collage from Sunday Writing Prompt #240 “Collage Prompt 39” at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

“She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.” -Terry Pratchett

Tyler Melody Ross sat masked in her padded cell in the sanatorium in upstate New York. In the common room, the first game of the 1954 World Series pitting the New York Giants against the Cleveland Indians was playing on the radio, but Tyler never was taken to the common room. She was kept continually sedated, not unconscious, but groggy enough so she could be handled. In that way, she could be fed, her toilet needs taken care of (and menstrual needs for five days every month), and walked around her cell for twenty minutes to get a bit of exercise. Other than that, she was alone and isolated, and the staff felt all the safer because of it.

The mask was heavily laced with asbestos as were the walls of her cell. There was no window, but a barred panel in her door where the glass could be slid open provided air. Her hands were encased in mittens, not that she really needed them, but if she were to have a lucid moment or two, she would be unable to remove the mask. At all costs the mask must remain on her face for the rest of her life.

No treatment had worked, not drug treatments, not electroshock, not repeated dunkings in ice water, they all failed to cure or even marginally improve Tyler’s condition. So she remained drugged, provided brief company only out of legal and medical necessity, and otherwise was left to ponder whatever dreams she entertained inside her difficult and diseased mind.

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City of Sin

San Francisco -Inner Richmond District

The Ninth Chapter in the Undead Life of Sean Becker

“Who’s there?” Lucy Weston wasn’t expecting anyone and if Jonny had forgotten his keys, he’d just call her on her cell, not use the apartment intercom.

“I don’t know if you remember me. My name is Dolengen. I met you and your sister Mina a couple of months ago.”

“Of course I remember you. You found my credit card and returned it. Hang on a second.” Lucy buzzed Dol in without thinking about how the attractive dark-haired woman knew where she lived. She should have been suspicious of a stranger she’d only met once suddenly showing up unannounced, but Lucy remembered really liking Dol and being fascinated both by her unusual name and the sense of the mysterious and exciting she carried about her.

Less than two minutes later, her doorbell rang. “Dol?”

“Yes, it’s me. May I come in a minute? It’s important.”

“Sure.” Lucy unlocked the deadbolt and the door knob lock and opened the door. There was a madwoman with claws and fangs on the other side. Lucy didn’t even have time to cry out before she was attacked, her spilled blood lapped up from her neck and the floor as if Dolengen were a ravenous wolf.

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Lucy Died on a Tuesday

train

The Sunset Limited eastbound in 2004 – Found at Wikipedia

Train roll on, on down the line,
Won’t you please take me far away?
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door,
Means I’m, I’m leaving my woman at home.

from “Tuesday’s Gone”
Released by Lynyrd Skynyrd – 1973
Songwriters: Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins

Jonathan Harker had boarded the Amtrak train hours ago at the station on Folsom Street. He’d never been on a train in his life besides BART and the Napa Valley Wine Train but these were part of the instructions he’d been given. He’d have rather gotten on a plane. Jonny wanted to get out of the Bay Area as fast as he could. Watching the scenery roll by all too slowly would remind him of her and she was the one person in all the world he desperately wanted to forget, though of course he never would.

He had met Dolengen months ago at an after hours place called “Delirium.” His best friend Bobby had conned him into it. Bobby knew he’d just asked Lucy to marry him but his “wingman” thought he deserved one last night on the town. Bobby wanted to introduce him to two young women he’d just met, Verona and Dol.

It wasn’t long before Verona and Bobby disappeared and almost against his will, he found himself following the raven-haired Dol into a back room containing few other items of furniture besides a bed.

Dol wasn’t a prostitute but she did want something from Jonny, his sex and his blood. Dolengen looked like she couldn’t be older than twenty-five but she had died a century ago in Central Europe and been reborn a vampire.

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River of Blood

river of blood

Blood in the Nile river in “Exodus: Gods and Kings.” CreditTwentieth Century Fox

Hashem said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn, he refuses to send the people. Go to Pharaoh in the morning — behold! he goes out to the water — and you shall stand opposite him at the River’s bank, and the staff that turned into a snake you shall take in your hand. You shall say to him, ‘Hashem, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you, saying: Send out My people that they may serve Me in the wilderness — but behold, you have not heeded up to now.’ So says Hashem, ‘Through this shall you know that I am Hashem; behold, with the staff that is in my hand I shall strike the waters that are in the River, and they shall change to blood. The fish-life that is in the water shall die and the River shall become foul. Egypt will grow weary of trying to drink water from the River.'”

Hashem said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt: over their rivers, over their canals, over their reservoirs, and over all their gatherings of water, and they shall become blood; there shall be blood throughout the land of Egypt, even in the wooden and stone vessels.'”

Moses and Aaron did so, as Hashem had commanded. He held the staff aloft and struck the water that was in the River in the presence of Pharaoh and in the presence of his servants, and all the water that was in the River changed to blood. The fish-life that was in the River died and the River became foul; Egypt could not drink from the River, and the blood was throughout the land of Egypt. The necromancers of Egypt did the same by means of their incantations; so Pharoah’s heart was strong and he did not heed them, as Hashem had spoken. Pharaoh turned away and came to his palace. He did not take this to heart either. All of the Egyptians dug roundabout the River for water to drink, for they could not drink from the waters of the River. Seven days were completed after Hashem struck the River.

Exodus 7:14-24 (Stone Edition Chumash)

Sekhet preyed on the Hebrew children and was protected by her lover Imhenat, who was among Pharaoh’s necromancers, they who practiced the occult rituals of the dead. She had long been thought to be only one of the many myths of the desert. Her name was used to frighten the Egyptian children into obedience. No little ones dared run away or disobey their parents, terrified she would come for them from the darkness.

One night some years previously, Imhenat found her weak and lying in the sand as he entered the wilderness on a personal pilgrimage. She was starving having not come across a man or animal in many weeks. He mistook her for an escaped slave and intended to rape and then flog her until she attacked.

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Night Prayer

pico duarte

Summit of Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic

Moshe Shmuel Cohen stood on the summit of Pico Duarte in the moonlight in front of the Dominican flag, the bust of Duarte and the “Christian symbol.” He had spent the day in a burrow well off the trail, concealed from light and curious eyes.

“You were not here my prior visit and are not so formidable as the Goyishe hunters believe.” He laughed bitterly.

“I was last here after Kristalnacht lamenting for my people, but how dare I pray to Hashem as I am? Hitler was a greater evil than I but there is an older evil seeking me. They are Van Helsing now but were Venandi when I was young. I’ll feed in La Ciénaga later, but soon I’ll need allies.

He turned to the cross. “No, not the God of the Christians for the Venatores claim him, but why would Hashem hear the prayers of a vampire?”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google maps street image and location and use it as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to the summit of Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic.

I really, really didn’t plan on writing yet another vampire story, but every other approach I could think of fell apart, particularly due to the fact that the name of the summit and the objects located there weren’t present before about 1961.

However, I did discover that a small population of Jews did settle on the island before and during World War Two, so I decided to involve my Jewish vampire as well.

I introduced Moshe Cohen in the story The Shadow Meeting which was part of my original Sean Becker series. That series stalled and so I relaunched it with The Beginning of the Fall. The most recent story is They Will Run You Down In The Dark.

A modern organization of vampire hunters currently calls themselves The Van Helsings, but in Na Gauna Ni Tevoro, I revealed their original name as “The Holy Order of Venandi,” “Venandi” meaning “hunter” in Latin.

I’ve been struggling to find a way to reintroduce Moshe into the current Sean Becker universe and, seeing a bit of Jewish history on the island, decided to have him originally visit their and climb the summit in or around 1938.

Oh, I found out that the most likely place to begin the hike and ascent of Pico Duarte is from La Ciénaga.

By the way, I did find an article about the history of Jewish belief in vampires.

How would a Jewish vampire feel about the Christian symbol and about Hitler relative to his own experiences? If the Van Helsings are actually an ancient and radical Catholic order split off from the main church and the Pope, how would that affect a vampire who had been Jewish or Christian before the “change?”

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.