Sheltering Night


© Google – October 2016

“Anton Vladimirescu Naga. I haven’t seen you since I was a little boy. Why are you here in Talnakh?”

“I am called Antonie now. It was kind of you to invite me into your home, Gennadi. Your generosity is like your father’s.”

“So is my stupidity for staying in this frozen hell, but the pay is good for mining engineers. Come back for old time’s sake, Antonie?”

“The climate.”

“Climate or the fact that the sun won’t rise here until the end of January? Yes, my father told me what you were when I became a man. You feasted on the denizens of the Norilsk Gulag every winter from before I was born until Khrushchev died.”

“Your Father was my friend. I hope you are too. I need a place to hide.”

“The hunter is now the hunted. Fear not. The Kosygin family has long been allies with the undead.”

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

Today the Pegman takes us to Talnakh, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. The Wikipedia entry for Talnakh is fairly sparse but it is only 16 miles (25 kilometers) north of Norilsk which has a broader history, both in terms of mining and as a former Gulag labor camp.

I’m obviously leveraging one of the characters from my Sean Becker Undead series, which I’ve done previously for a different flash fiction challenge. However, it is set in the present day, January 2018 to be exact, but referencing Antonie’s previous visits to the area during the winters between 1946 and 1964.

The sun doesn’t rise at all there from mid-December to the end of January so a perfect place for a vampire to hide, especially one being hunted by vampire slayers.

I wasn’t planning on writing another vampire-related tale, but the characteristics and history of the location lended themselves to such a story very nicely. To find out how Antonie got into this mess, read Incendiary.

To read other missives based on the prompt, go to