VAMPIRE, VAMPIRISM, VAMPIRIC, VAMPY!
A collection of short stories which explore and celebrate the vampire genre with talented, world-class writers. There’s something here to delight and horrify even the most seasoned vampire fan.
Abraham R Nox, Adrian Bond, Dennis Kriesel, Emily de Rango, Eric S. Brown, Frank C. Gunderloy, Jr., Greg Beatty, H. Turnip Smith, J.R. Corcorrhan, Jean Burnett, Jennifer Moore, Joshua Alan Doetsch, Laura Cooney, Lester Thees, Liz Williams, Lorna Dickson, Miles Deacon, Mordant Carnival, Raymond T. McNally, Richard Jones, Sheri Morton-Stanley, Stephen Minchin, T. P. Keating, Tom Phillips, Trent Walters.
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A Good Night’s Sleep
A vampire story by Frank C. Gunderloy, Jr. – Featured in Fangers Inc. Volume One
The vampire dragged itself to the foot of the bed, struggling to raise itself on faltering wingtips. A frail figure lay almost hidden beneath the tangled grey bedclothes.
The woman awoke, groping for the chain of her crucifix, clasping it to her wrinkled throat with gnarled fingers.
“Please… don’t touch me… not again.”
“Fool,” whispered the vampire, “That talisman may shield the husk you call a body, but tonight I seek a life-force from your very spirit, and no icon of the flesh can protect you.”
“Holy Mary, Mother of…”
“‘Mother?’ I feel your energy flowing beneath that word – feel it in your mind – strong, yet soft and enduring as fresh-spaded earth. Think, mother, think. Think of your child – think of how much you love him. Give me those thoughts, that love. Let me savour that power.”
“Not my son – not my boy – please, you wouldn’t…”
The question faded unanswered, the memory fading with it, lost to the relentless feasting. I had a son, but his face is only a shadow. What was his name? The sense of emptiness welled up in her throat, choking, bringing tears. Then that, too, faded. She touched the cross to her cheek, stared at the tiny drop clinging to the scrap of gold. Why am I crying?
The vampire strode to the window, turned before stepping onto the darkened patio.
“I shall seek you out again, old woman. You have many more memories to give me.”
He unfurled his wings in the freshness of the cool night air, the new-found vigour coursing through his muscles. Others of his kind, gathered outside other windows, watched, nodded in recognition. So many drawn to this place. This place of strength, of renewal.
WESTINGHAM RESIDENTIAL NURSING HOME.
“Mother? Mother, it’s Robert.”
“I don’t think she knows you today, Mr. Ellis.”
“What’s happened to her? She seemed to be getting better, and now suddenly she’s a lot worse. Isn’t there anything you can do?”
“Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, Mr. Ellis – you know that. We can’t arrest the memory loss – we just do our best to keep her comfortable. Why don’t you come back this afternoon? She might be able to recognize you then.”
“Yes, Mr. Ellis. I know it might seem contradictory, but for some reason, most of our patients suffer their greatest disorientation right after they wake up from a good night’s sleep.”
(c) Frank C. Gunderloy, Jr., All Rights Reserved.Featured Image by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash