#AprilPrompts Day 22 – Night

As this is the last post in the #AprilPrompts series, I decided to base this tale on my favourite paranormal creatures. Sorry, but there’s no prizes for guessing what they are!

Night

Night

Night

The newborn crept from the cellar. As she emerged into the night for the first time since her transformation, she gazed around in awe.

The sky blended hues of deep violet, midnight blue and plum, more exquisite than any artist’s pallet could replicate. Diamonds the size of a man’s fist sparkled overhead, backlit by a huge pearlescent orb.

She became aware of her heightened senses. Sounds which were merely background noise before, now almost deafened her. Crickets sounding like buzz saws, bats flapping their wings, hooting owls competed with car horns, voices laughing and shouting, a cacophony assaulting her ears.

As she wandered down the street, she could smell discarded fast food wrappers, exhaust fumes, beer, sweat, and the sweetest fragrance of all – blood.

Thirst drove her on, further into town where her food supply would be plentiful. Instinctively keeping to the shadows, she scrutinised the area. Secreted down an alley between two shops, the immortal waited. Within minutes, a middle-aged man staggered up the alley from behind and her bloodlust rose. As soon as he drew level, she pounced; sinking her fangs into his neck, she savoured the delicious fluid which slaked her thirst. Rapidly his heart ceased and she dropped him where he stood.

The vampire returned to the street, licking her lips. The night was now her friend.

vamp

 

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#AprilPrompts Day 19 – Guilt

A couple of days ago, I gave you a little insight into Remy, the female protagonist in Heart Search: Lost. It’s only fair I give Joshua, the male protagonist, the same opportunity. His story is very different to Remy’s . . .

Guilt

Day 19 - Guilt

Day 19 – Guilt

After being bitten by a vampire, Joshua’s transformation is very slow, but he begins to change in subtle ways. You see this for the first time when he meets Remy off the plane from America and kisses her too hard.

In the days which follow, he becomes violent during lovemaking. Remy’s body, covered with bruises and scratches, appals him. How could he do this to the woman he loves? What has made him so vicious?

With no explanation forthcoming, and wracked with guilt, he packs his bags, leaves her a note and walks out of her life mere days before their wedding.

Joshua’s guilt doesn’t end there.

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He begins a new relationship with a member of the vampire coven he’s inducted into, and as his feelings grow for Jasna, Joshua suffers pangs of conscience. He still loves Remy, you see, and is conflicted. Despite abandoning Remy, ending their relationship in the letter he left her, he struggles with the notion he’s being unfaithful. At the same time, Joshua knows he’s being unfair to Jasna.

It’s unusual for a vampire to experience human emotions like guilt – they certainly don’t when they feed – but Joshua’s love for Remy and Jasna makes the difference.

Heart Search Test Cover 1 (2)

The Hunger – Flash Fiction by Shaun Allan

I’m so chuffed to welcome by friend and ‘stable mate’ Shaun Allan to the blog today. He’s written a fabulous flash fiction piece and although it’s the last day of the Heart Search Blog Tour, it’s also All Hallow’s Eve. So what better way to celebrate than by having a scary story to sink your teeth into?

The Hunger

I heard the sound, loud in the still of the night.

Well, it wasn’t exactly still…  Cars went by, people huddled down against the cold, lights were on in houses and shops were closing up for the day.  Shutters were pulling down, the windows’ eyelids closing for their night-time slumber.

In winter, when your breath takes form and your hands battle your money for dominion in your pockets, the night takes over from the day at a time just when everyone actually needs it.  To walk from work or school.  To drive home.  To feel safe.

But, though that world was spinning down to rest, the cold made the air crisp and clear.

And sound travelled on it like a surfer on a wave.

It was… odd.

You know when you recognise a voice, but can’t place whose it is?  It was like that, except no-one spoke.  It was more than simply a random noise, slipped from the dark.  It had substance.  Ownership.

But… I couldn’t place it.  It was, in fact, out of place.  Unusual in that you wouldn’t and shouldn’t hear it whilst walking down a street in the evening.

It was… eating.  Crunching with a side order of slurping.

I stopped.  I was the only one.  Other pedestrians went on the way, some alone, some in couples or groups.  One or two looked at me as if I was a mad for stopping so randomly.  As if I’d insulted them by daring to waver in my walking.  They continued on their way, however.  Unheeding and unhearing.

The alleyway sucked the light from the atmosphere, hungrily devouring it, seemingly gaining sustenance from the illumination – a deeper darkness in contrast to the glow of the streetlights.  It felt heavy.  It felt, somehow, material.

The sounds of hunger were not coming from the night, however.  Thankfully.  Well, I suppose ‘thankfully’.  They were coming from further in.  Further back.

They would be, naturally.

I should leave it.  It’s a dog.  A cat.  Maybe a lion, for all I knew, escaped from a travelling circus.

No, it was none of these.  Not even the lion.  It wasn’t so random.  It didn’t feel like an animal.

Perhaps some homeless man huddled in the shadows, hiding from the cold and the world.  If so, I’d offer a few coins and be on my way.  The mist of our combined breaths would mingle, akin to a shake of the hand as I did my good deed and felt a little saintlier.

In for a few coins, in for a pound of flesh…

I pulled my hands from my pockets, where they’d been duelling with a couple of fifty pence pieces, with a two pound coin being the referee.  All the better to defend myself, my dear.  Just in case, you know?

The cold air nibbled at my fingers like tiny Piranhas and I wanted to shove them back into my jeans.  I didn’t, though.  Nor did I carry on walking.  I was being drawn in, my curiosity overpowering my reason with a face-hugging pillow.

I waded through the cloying darkness, the sounds of feasting making my own stomach grumble in sympathy.  My eyes adjusted quickly as I walked, enough that I could avoid the empty beer cans and puddles of what I assumed wasn’t simply water.

There was a big bin.  A general waste container for the businesses around.  Practically the size of a skip, with bulging black bags piled around it, the bin watched me as I approached.  I felt it judging me.

“Idiot,” it was thinking.

I tended to agree, but I couldn’t stop my feet as their steps carried me on.

Then, I saw.

On the floor, a woman.  Or what was left of one.  The darkness deemed the scene worthy of allowing some moonlight in.  I could see her long hair.  I could see the swell of a breast beneath her coat and a heel, snapped from the sole of the shoe she was wearing, hanging loosely.

I could see a pool of blood spreading, reaching towards me, beseeching me to save her.  Too late.  I could tell.  The gaping hole at her waist was proof enough.

That was the sound.  That was what was being eaten.

The figure bent over her, crouching, heard my gasp before I’d realised I’d uttered one.  It stood quickly and turned to me, blood smeared across its face.

I always thought they were just in the movies.  Along with vampires and werewolves and witches.  I always thought they were something to shoot in the games on my phone.

They’re not.

I always thought they’d have dead eyes, too.  Their brain would have rotted away taking all but the need to eat the living along with it.

That’s what I thought.

I was wrong.

They’re not just in the movies.

And their eyes aren’t dead.  They have a fire in them.  An intent.  A hunger.

The zombie lunged.

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m going to steer well clear of alleys today! Thank you so much for sharing that with us today, Shaun.

Stay safe during Samhain and don’t become monster chow or vampire fodder!

* * *

Shaun Allan

A creator of many prize winning short stories and poems, Shaun Allan has written for more years than he would perhaps care to remember. Having once run an online poetry and prose magazine, he has appeared on Sky television to debate, against a major literary agent, the pros and cons of internet publishing as opposed to the more traditional method. Many of his personal experiences and memories are woven into the point of view and sense of humour of Sin, the main character in his best-selling novel of the same name, although he can’t, at this point, teleport.

A writer of multiple genres, including horror, humour and children’s fiction, Shaun goes where the Muse takes him – even if that is kicking and screaming.

Shaun lives with his wife, daughters, cats and fish. Oh and a manic dog. Though his life might, at times, seem crazy, he is not.

Honest.

Sin is now published by Fantasy Island Book Publishing and is available in print and as an ebook!Dark Places is now published under Myrddin Publishing Group and is available as an ebook. Print version coming soon!