Letter from William
I am William Cuyler Thorne, and I have been a vampire for five centuries or so. For most of that time, I've had what you moderns would call a death wish.
You may well ask why I've yearned for death. Why would an immortal creature, forever young and strong, with a vast fortune at his disposal and an endless supply of beautiful women to fulfill his every carnal need, wish to end his existence?
My fascination for my own extinction was born on the night of my making. The night I became a blood drinker I witnessed the slaughter of my wife and child, whom I loved more than life. The pain of that memory has seared me like a firebrand for half a millennium. I longed for a final death to snuff out the pain, even though it meant damnation for all eternity, since my soul had been taken.
I cannot honestly say why I managed to ignore the desire for my own demise for so long. I suppose it was because of the semblance of family I managed to cobble together over the years. A royal line of strong, beautiful women descended from the greatest voodoo priestess ever to grace the shores of the new world have been my daughters. My only immortal offspring is one Jack McShane whom I made into a vampire on a whim when I found him dying on a Civil War battlefield because he reminded me of what was good and decent of humanity. The rest of my household consists of two loyal retainers in the form of twin half-canine, half-human bodyguards.
And then there is Eleanor. My beautiful, raven-haired madam seductress whom I made into a blood drinker as a companion for the rest of my nights on earth. It was my commitment to her in the form of the rare and powerful voodoo blood I made her with that forced me to make peace with my existence. Her devotion, not to mention her ravenous sexual hunger for me, finally eased the pain of my hellish memories and made me want to live to be with her.
And then the impossible happened. My mortal wife Diana, my goddess, returned to me as a vampire. She who I had thought dead and buried these five hundred years came to me with the son she had borne me.
My joy was tempered with rage that she was in the company of another man, a powerful blood drinker whose life and bed she had shared for these centuries. My son, now a vampire created by this same evil monster who'd made and bedded my wife, did not even know of me, and does not know I am his mortal father to this day.
A pox of the undead, an awful, rotting scourge, overtook him in Savannah. The only treatment proved to be the voodoo blood. A drink from my own veins strengthened him, but the cure could only come from the voodoo blood in its purest form. That is, from the bloodline of Maman Lalee. From the daughters of my heart.
The smallest and most vulnerable, my precious little Renee, was taken for her life's blood. And with her fled the sanity of her mother, Melaphia, my treasure, now left with a broken heart and mind.
I gave Melaphia my most solemn vow that I would move hell and earth to get her daughter back. I left her and my beloved citySavannahin the tender care of my trusted offspring, Jack, who for all his erstwhile humanity, is a very fearsome creature indeed.
But not as fearsome as I, a vampire betrayed in the cruelest way imaginable by the two women that he has loved most in his life and in his death.
My rage rises within me as powerful as the tide. As I pursue them I can smell the blood of those who betrayed me as the wolf can smell the hare. When I find them they will wish they had never drawn breath as humans much less drawn blood as vampires.
As my dear Jack would say, payback is a bitch.
Beware the vampire betrayedfor his kiss is death.
Letter from Jack
You know those country songs about some down-and-out bastard whose woman just ran off with his best friend and his double-wide? Somebody who just lost his job and his dog done up and died, he's out of money and liquor, and his TV just flamed out right before the Daytona 500 came on?
I feel just like that guy. Only worse.
Things were perking along just fine for me until just a few weeks back. Yes, I had about everything a vampire could wantmy own auto repair business, a handful of loyal human and not-quite-human pals, a cozy place to park my coffin, and a budding romance with a hot, Latin lady cop. And, last but not least, I had my sire, William Thorne, the baddest vampire on the continent, to watch my back.
Me and William didn't always get along, I admit. He bossed me around for the last couple of hundred years since he made me, and it seemed like we were at each other's throats a lot. But we always needed each other. Mostly we worked together to keep the undead and otherwise unhuman inhabitants in the city in line and under the radar of the police and the public. But the tension between us was always there.
Lately, though, we came to what you might call an understanding, and he started treating me almost like an equal.
That was about the time all hell broke loose.
See, William's own sirea nasty piece of work named Reedreckcame to town to settle some old scores with his offspring. First he murdered one of William's best friends and then he murdered one of mine.
That really pissed me off. Me and William took care of him, locking him away in the cornerstone of a hospital wing under construction. Just when we were starting to relax, even more horse hockey hit the fan. William's long-lost wife and kid showed up with an evil vampire named Hugo.
It was like Peyton Place for bloodsuckers around here what with the catfights between William's wife and girlfriend, William taking on Hugo, and me mixing it up with Junior, a punk with a foul attitude to go with his fangs.
If that wasn't bad enough, a vampire-rotting plague broke out, I accidentally raised my murdered buddy from the dead as a zombie, and my by-the-book cop girlfriend found out I was a bloodsucking fiend.
Talk about a bad week.
And then the most awful thing happened. The new vamps left town in a hurrypulled up stakes if you'll pardon the expressionand took our beloved, nine-year-old Renee with them. I say "our" Renee because William and I had helped raise her as we'd raised her mother and her mother's mother and so on.
When Renee was taken, a piece of my heart went with her. And the rest of my heart broke when I looked into the eyes of her mother, my beautiful Melaphia, and realized that her daughter's disappearance had driven her to madness. She is like a wild thing made of loss and sorrow.
William has gone off alone to bring Renee back or die trying, leaving me to take care of Melaphia and keep Savannah's denizens of the dark from making the city into a demon's feeding ground.
How long do you think it will take for some upstart bloodsucker or opportunistic shape shifter or three to try and take me on once word gets out that William is out of town indefinitely? Pretty much any time now, I figure.
But what the hell? William may be the baddest dude on the continent but good old smilin' Jack ain't too far behind. Besides, maybe a good rumble would take my mind off my troubles.
All I've got to say is. . . bring it on.
© Raven Hart