You are on page 1of 75

EVIE STRUMP

THE EVIL VAMP
A NOVEL-IN-PROGRESS BY LIZZIE VALE
Last Updated: 8/7/2010

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Page |2

INDEX

BOOK SYNOPSIS ...................................................................................................................................... 3 AUTHOR’S NOTE .................................................................................................................................... 4 DISCLAIMER ........................................................................................................................................... 5 CHAPTER 1 – FOOD SHOPPING FOR MY ZOMBIE BOYFRIEND ............................................................ 7 CHAPTER 2 – DJINN IN A ZIPPO ......................................................................................................... 16 CHAPTER 3 – DRUGGING THE HOG.................................................................................................... 27 CHAPTER 4 – ZOMBIE ARMAGEDDON ................................................................................................ 34 CHAPTER 5 – THRALL SEEKERS ........................................................................................................... 43 CHAPTER 6 – KISSES UNDER THE RAIN .............................................................................................. 47 CHAPTER 7 - WIKIPEDIA ENTRY - RIOKI ............................................................................................. 52 CHAPTER 8 – THE COW JUMPS OVER THE FULL MOON ................................................................... 55 CHAPTER 9 – UNEMPLOYED, UNDERAPPRECIATED, AND UNDEAD ................................................ 62 CHAPTER 10 – IS THAT AN OXYGEN TANK IN YOUR PANTS OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME? ............................................................................................................................. 73

3|Page

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Evie Strump, a trash-talking, small-town vampire, is chased by hunters who believe she's the Dark Overlord Queen who'll control the undead and kill many humans. She is on a quest to prove that Councilor Nick Price and his silly visions of the future are wrong. She’s only a small-town vampire living in Keno, Iowa, minding her own business, and not bothering anyone. She’s so NOT evil. So much so, that she’s willing to go to the ends of the earth, or more aptly, the Otherworld and the Netherworld, to save the incriminating human from the scary Akeldham Brotherhood who kidnapped him for his ability to foretell the future. She swears, she steals, she lies, she deals, she cheats, she kills, she maims, she seduces, and she betrays to prove she’s not the evil, power-mongering Dark Overlord Queen everyone thinks she’ll become. Or will she?

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Page |4

AUTHOR’S NOTE

While cruising through my Thanksgiving tryptophan high last year, I thought, “I need to write about a vampire who is bad instead of vampire hunters off to save the world.” If you’d like to help me out with editing, rephrase sentences, point out inconsistencies, remove boring bits, or just want to opine (e.g., Ryann W. suggests as part of Evie’s character development, she should start liking the environment and cats. Thanks Ryann. You crazy tree-hugger, you.) Feel free to critique of my book no matter how painful and cruel. (For e.g. if you lost interest after the first chapter, let me know.) You don't have to critic the whole thing. I'll take grammar errors and typos if you notice 'em. Leave a note on Scribd.com http://www.scribd.com/doc/23421493/Evie-Strump-the-Evil-Vamp Or DM me in Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lizzievale Or vote for me in Authomony: http://authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=16325

I might just invite you to the party when I get this published officially. :D

5|Page

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

DISCLAIMER

All of Lizzie Vale’s worlds are works of fiction. All names, characters, creatures, animals, places, locations, locales, business establishments, organizations, associations, groups, entities, dominions, planes, dimensions, states, nations, governments, beliefs, circumstances, conditions, and events portrayed in this story, text, writing, symbol, image, or illustration are either fictitious or fictitiously used. Any resemblances to real or actual person, living, dead, or undead, are pure coincidence. Any resemblances to real or actual persons, living, dead, or undead, are pure coincidence. Any resemblance to real or actual character, characters, place, places, location, locations, locale, locales, business establishment, business establishments, organization, organizations, association, associations, group, groups, entity, entities, dominion, dominions, plane, planes, dimension, dimensions, state, states, nation, nations, government, governments, belief, beliefs, circumstance, circumstances, condition, conditions, event, or events that exist, exists, existed, have existed, or will exist are pure coincidence. Any resemblance to reality is pure coincidence.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Page |6

TO DAN WHO HAS NEVER READ ANY OF MY MASTERPIECES.  Many thanks to the folks in authonomy.com and scribd.com: Alexandra Riley, Alexs_H, Alpha Tango, B.J. Winters, C.C. McKinnon, Anthony Lund, Brian W. Porter, CCastle, crharris77, Freeman, Fortuneight, gillyflower, GirlWithAPen, JD Revene, June A, ldspete, pandy, paxie, seasoned_geek, selestiele, T.L Tyson

7|Page

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

CHAPTER 1 – FOOD SHOPPING FOR MY ZOMBIE BOYFRIEND

F

ive pounds of ground beef were on sale for $7.99 at Wal-Mart. I reveled in my good luck because normally it would've cost me $11.99. The ground beef was marked 78% to 84% lean, more fattening than the 85/15 lean, round beef. Since I was only feeding my zombie boyfriend, Chas, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to save a few pennies for the sake of ruining his figure. I loaded up half my shopping cart with the packaged meat, whistling the Wal-Mart falling prices jingle. A middle-aged woman passed me and did a double take at the sheer amount of meat I had in my cart. I gave her a huge, friendly smile without fangs. After she glanced up at my face, she took off with her cart like a bat out of hell, which was hilarious. She couldn’t turn into a bat, but I could. I continued shopping, snatching a few packages of frozen pigs’ blood. The local butcher’s shop would’ve been my first choice for my meat and blood supply but in the last week, a persistent group of vampire hunters ambushed me while I shopped there. After thousands of dollars of property damage and ruined red meat, the butcher called in the big city witches and they drove all the way down to my humble, home town, Keno, Iowa, to set up complex wards in the butcher shop to keep me out. And that was the reason I drove up to the city, twenty minutes away, to Wal-Mart Supercenter, and was shopping among the living. Instinctively, the living knew I was a threat. Ever since I Turned, no matter how much I tried to look human, people steered away from me. For example, last night I visited my favorite dance club in the city. I dressed in a ten-dollar whorish getup typical college girls wore, a slinky red dress and knee-high boots. Yet, I didn’t even get offered a free drink or took pleasure in small talk from men with less than noble intentions. As a top of the food chain predator, I sucked. I couldn’t even corner a guy in the restroom for a little hickey-in-the-neck. I must look very scary and unapproachable. It was either that or my face must be hideously ugly after I turned vampire, which I wouldn’t know. I hadn’t seen my reflection. Once, I asked my boyfriend, Chas, to give me his opinion on how I looked, but

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Page |8

you know zombies, all they ever do is moan and say, “Brains.” I reminded him that brains were for snacks only. I kept him locked up in my basement dungeon. I tried my best to look human and alive. Blue contacts hid my blood-red eyes. My straight hair was dyed Jessica Simpson blonde. I’d rolled up the sleeves of my red-andblack, flannel shirt to show off my fake tan. I even wore a green farmer’s cap. People still kept their distance. This was the reason I wasn’t too surprised when the store looked particularly empty of customers. Cheerfully, I pushed the cart along an empty aisle, gaining speed and putting my weight on the back of the cart like a little kid on a scooter. I skidded to a stop in front of the seasonal aisle. While I was deciding between Banana Boat SPF100 and Coppertone SPF100, the fluorescent lights in the store flickered mysteriously. I froze and listened. The store music playing the greatest hits of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I heard the hum of the fluorescent lights, the store refrigerators, and the freezers. I heard multiple heartbeats, about a dozen mortal beings, moving in from all directions. I heard swooshing noises and slow, ever so soft clicking sounds on the white, tiled floor. I took a breath, which I didn’t normally do, and smelled gun powder, sweat, and wet dog. A man clad in black and decked to the nines with all kinds of weapons emerged from between the aisles twenty yards from me and hissed, “I’m sending you to hell where you belong, vampire.” Not this again. He pointed his automatic weapon at me and fired a series of rounds. I dove out of the way of gunfire and rolled right behind the display of weight-loss products. Hey! My favorite weight loss pills were on sale. Then, I remembered I was a vampire and my body would stay fabulous and slender. The silver bullets from the crazy man–in-black perforated my abdomen and made minced-meat out of my left arm. I checked to make sure my hand wasn’t completely severed. Nothing was worse than a healed-over stump. To my relief, my hand was still connected and already regenerated. “Hey, you missed a spot,” I yelled. Bullets continued to puncture through the shelves, spewing out a mixture of floralsmelling shower gels and the sharper smell of dandruff shampoos. A bullet pierced through my skull. I lost my green farmer’s cap but my head knit itself back and quickly spat the bullets out. A large, blue, semi-transparent blob floated above me. A bolt of blue lightning hurled from it. A djinn! I leapt out of the way and ran towards the Toys aisle. Bottles exploded in the wake of more lightning bolts. Methodically, I pulled bikes off the rack and flung

9|Page

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

them at the djinn and at the man-in-black who had reappeared within bike-flinging distance. I tested out one of my glamour abilities to get the man-in-black to stop being so hateful. I am not your enemy. I am beautiful and loveable like Megan Fox holding a defenseless little Golden Retriever puppy. No effect. I am beautiful and have a heart of gold like Angelina Jolie with half a dozen orphans. Not working. I am Gerard Butler clad in all my Spartan glory rescuing helpless dames from an evil, horny, hunchbacked monstrosity. Still, no cigar. This superpower sucked. “Your mind tricks won’t work on me, vampire.” “Why would you want to send me to hell? I’ve been so good!” I tossed a couple of children’s electric Hummers at the man-in-black who conjured up a large ball of blue flame in one hand to hurl at me. Wonderful. I got myself an angry fire mage with big guns and big balls. Of flame. “I pick up trash from the highway sometimes.” I continued with my justification. “And I help the elderly once in a while.” Effortlessly, I dodged the incoming great balls of fire. They whizzed past me and exploded, making a molten, metal mess of the Bikes, Scooters, and Skates aisle. “I even had my parents donate my old bikes to Goodwill.” I tried changing into mist or shape shift into bats but I couldn’t. Whenever I tried, I felt a psychic block on me that prevented me from shifting. I’d normally imagine my calm place, a small waterfall, and I’d be swimming in the large swimming hole at its base. I’d imagine mist or bats coming out from the cave behind the waterfall. I’d will them to envelope me and I’d shift. Except now, when I called up the mist, it couldn’t get to me. Before it could touch my skin, it dried up and left only sizzling blue sparks. When I tried to call up the bats, a wall of hot air with blue sparks blocked them from me. The psychic block came from Mr. Hot Air Fire Mage. A propane tank from the Outdoor and Sports and Fitness Department flew at me. I evaded and it exploded nearby, too close for comfort. A couple of sprinkler heads above

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 10

the Toys department activated and a spray of cold water drizzled on my assassins, the heap of flaming merchandise, and me. I scrambled clumsily towards the Auto Care department, slipping on the wet floor a few times. There had to be something in the superstore I could use to blow up stuff, like say, a killer fire mage. Mr. Fire Mage growled as he chased after me. “You are a rogue vampire. You kill and destroy indiscriminately.” “That’s not true.” I didn’t kill and destroy indiscriminately. I was extremely discriminating. I cared about human life. I even cared about farm animals. Except for cats, I hated cats. And the environment. I didn’t give a flying fuck about the environment. “I’ve only killed in self-defense!” I protested. “You’re the unreasonable, homicidal jackass.” “You, vampire, are a murderer. You don’t deserve to exist.” To punctuate his last statement, he sent three small fireballs after me. Countless, miscellaneous objects levitated high in the air and flew towards me at high speed. Gas grills, knives, and cast iron cookware chased me. A fishing rod skewered my shoulders and I gasped as I pulled it out. I ducked in time before a spinning golf club decapitated me. The store music played the chorus of an 80’s love song. I pulled down aisle after aisle behind me to slow Mr. Morality down and block his exploding blue balls and the other flying objects. The blue, floating apparition followed me without difficulty, soaring over my attempts to obstruct. I wondered if the djinn came with a lamp, like the genie in Aladdin’s Magic Lamp. Or perhaps in a bottle that needed to be rubbed the right way, like Christina Aguilera. The djinn hit me with a lightning bolt and my damp clothes caught fire. I dropped and rolled, frantically putting out the flames with my hands. My red-and-black flannel shirt was a black, smoldering mess. I made a mental note to buy flame resistant shirts and sports bras next time. A group of eight men in green camouflage gear fanned out to my right to join the party. Some of them aimed their crossbows at me while others pointed their automatic submachine guns. A couple of crossbow bolts hit me in the chest and impaled me against a shelf full of yellow bottles of motor oil. Bullets bit through my skin once more. “Nice aim,” I said, conversationally. I pulled myself out of the shelving and yanked the bolts out with ease. I glamoured the men in green. This time I made them think I was a group of scantily clad sorority girls doing a fundraiser on trampolines. It worked. “Don’t get too excited boys, I use teeth.”

11 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

The fire mage was back with his flaming balls. I grabbed car batteries and aimed them at him. To fry or not to fry. My only option was to take a close combat offensive against the men in green camos and hope they’d go down in the crossfire. I focused on my anger and frustration over the unfairness of the situation. I let a familiar blinding rage overwhelm me and what little goodwill I felt evaporated. I fed my fury until dark shadows filled my vision and consumed me. A few seconds later, I was aware of the taste of blood in my mouth. I’d ripped apart the arms of the first seven men-in-green and I was in the process of making a chew toy of the eight one’s neck. The eighth man-in-green splashed holy water on me and burned my eyes. I smacked the offending bottle away and finished him off. I looked up at the fire mage with my fangs extended and blood dripping from my mouth. My eyes blazed red but unfortunately, he couldn’t see the full effects of my ferocity since I had blue-colored contacts on. “Did you say you work for the betterment of mankind? You seriously think destroying me will help?” I grinned evilly. I threw a couple of bodies his way and advanced towards him. A wall of hot air slammed against me and I tumbled backwards onto the shelves with automobile tires. “Blue sparkles are pretty,” I said, dazed, feeling much like a cartoon character with stars circling my head. Vicious snarls alerted me to three werewolves coming at me from different directions. I could tell they were no ordinary wolves. They were like the wolves equivalent of body builders who lived off protein shakes and a daily gym membership. All three of the powerfully-built werewolves jumped and drove me flat on my back on the ground. While the werewolves shredded my shoulders, three winged creatures glided in the air towards me. They looked like pixies, about six-inches tall, with pointy hats, pointy ears, and butterfly wings. Each of the pixies was a different color. One was dressed in an elaborate lavender gown shaped like a dome at the waist. A pair of pointy lavender shoes peeked out from under her skirt. Another pixie wore a light-blue top that bared one of her shoulders. Her matching blue skirt came halfway down to her knees. The third one was garbed in a pink shirt, a pair of pink breeches, and a pair of pink boots. Lavender, blue, and pink sparks surrounding the three of them. “I’m not a murderer,” I growled as I quickly pulled myself up. I finished off the last werewolf with a swift blow to the neck and a bloody heart-grab into his chest cavity with my talon-like nails, the vampiric bloodrage at its best.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 12

When I took a step away from the mangled mess that were werewolves, the three pixies immediately flew about my head and sprinkled glittering light-blue, pink, and lavender dust on me. “The Easter Bunny wants its colors back.” I half-heartedly swatted at them. The pixies effectively evaded me. “You guys are pretty spry,” I told them. I felt a strange sensation that everything needed to slow down. The fire mage unsheathed a long sword and stalked towards me. If I lost my head, I didn’t think it was possible for vampires to grow it back. I hadn’t had a chance to check out a copy of the ‘Vamp Instruction Manual and Survival Kit’ from the library. “What does your magic spell do?” I asked, yawning. My knees buckled and I crumpled onto the ground not far away from the werewolf carnage. My talon-like nails and my fangs retracted against my will. I fell into a puddle of blood face first and I let my face marinate there for a little bit. I laughed as I pondered how absurd my life had become in the last week. I couldn’t stop laughing even after I inhaled blood through my nose. Everything was too funny. Wait! What happened to my bloodrage and bloodlust? Fighting against the compelling feeling to just slump down, relax, take a hit, say “dude”, pass it to the left, and develop an affinity for munchies, I pulled myself up to a crouch. The fire mage took the exceptionally sharp-looking sword and held it against my neck. The djinn hovered close by. It must be time to destroy what was left of my dignity. Up close, the fire mage was a good-looking fellow, clean-shaven, around thirty-yearsold. His eyes glittered silver-and-blue and they watched me warily. He had light brown, curly locks with a few strands plastered on his forehead in sweat. Conjuring up magic from a distance exerted him. In his defense, he also played dodge ball with my random, solid object throwing. Too bad I’d have to rearrange his pretty face soon. “The spell blocks you from harnessing your dark powers,” he said coldly. I gave him a goofy smile minus the fangs. “But I do believe in fairies! I really do! If I clap my hands will I be saved from this spell?” He ignored my silly quip. “Do you deny murdering Charles Garron Marshall, the third?” He slowly sank the sword into my throat, drawing blood. Chas. They believed I murdered Chas. I went back to the waterfall inside my head. I could no longer tap into the wicked hunger and strength that fueled my bloodrage and bloodlust. I stared at my large

13 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

swimming hole and made the water turn arctic cold. I dove into the icy water and forced myself to shake off the spell that made me languid. “I didn’t kill Chas,” I lied, staring at the fire mage’s unfathomable silver-and-blue eyes. With his free hand, he reached into one of his many pockets and took out a needle packaged in a large, silver tube. I hated needles. Or any sharp, pointy things such as stakes. “Uh, what’s in that?” “Death.” He swung his hand to start the momentum to stab it into my heart. The angry fire mage drove the needle deep into my heart. A shock of pain burst through me and quickly fanned out all over my body. I wanted my mommy. Mr. Jackass injected me with something that had silver in it. The itching and burning pain I felt inside was a hundred times worse than an extremely bad case of yeast infection. My super sharp bite and long, razor-sharp nails may be gone but with help from my mental cold plunge, I still had my good human reflexes and muscles honed from years of detasseling corn before I Turned. With speed to rival the scrambling for clothes after Sheriff Connelly caught us while having a little nookie with Toby Swanson in the backseat of his 1982 Chevy Camaro Z28, I snatched the fire mage’s wrist, slammed it on the floor, and kicked the needle out of the way. Mr. Unfeeling Jerk tackled me and planted my face on the floor. He started hacking at my head with the sword, chopping off some of my hair in the process. I pulled a leg-swipe move and I was on top of him. With my knee, I pinned his injured wrist down. I grappled with his sword hand. I managed not to get my head sliced off completely. Thankfully, my neck regenerated. “My hair! You chopped off my hair! It took me forever to grow it this long, you mean bastard.” I pummeled his sword away. I was exaggerating, of course. It would take less than a day to grow my hair back if I willed it. Although, applying blonde hair-dye evenly without a mirror’s help was a pain in the ass. One of the pixies, the pink one, buzzed around my head once more, stabbing me with a tiny sword. I ignored it, too busy staring down at fire mage who looked up at me defiantly. On instinct, I bit against the fire mage’s jugular and then realized I no longer had my razor-sharp teeth. Confused, I pulled back and looked at his neck. I had drawn a little blood but the marks looked more like love bites. “Damn!” I muttered sourly. I could never do anything right.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 14

The fire mage rolled on top of me. With his sword hand free, he reached inside his black coat and pulled out a pair of silver handcuffs. With one deft, eyebrow-raising motion, he cuffed us together. “Hey!” I yelled in protest. I tried to rip off the handcuffs while pinned on the floor, not caring if I tore his arm off. That earned me a sharp, agonizing pain, which shot from my wrist and arm into my skull. I almost wept. Vampires didn’t feel this much pain, not unless we‘re tanning under the sun or burning to death. The fire mage smiled bitterly and said, “Charmed cuffs. We are bonded. You hurt me and you’ll feel it ten times as worse. You kill me and whatever’s left of your miserable, vile existence will dry up into an empty husk.” I was stunned into silence for a few seconds or it could’ve been the silver concoction in my bloodstream. He had both my hands pinned down over my head with his left hand. With his right, he reached into his coat pocket once more and pulled out an engraved, silver Zippo lighter. With all the silver he carried around with him, maybe I should invest in silver manufacturing stocks. The fire mage glared contemptuously at me and without breaking eye contact, he said, “Zeke, get the team out of here and blow up the place.” The djinn made a slight move towards us. “Are you certain, master? You will die.” “Yes,” the angry, suicidal mage bit out. “I’m the only one who can keep her from shifting. I promised the Council I will fight to the death to give the Dark Overlord Queen her due. I will see this to the end.” Queens and councils. Cripes. My Sire should have given me a “Freaky Shit Handbook” after he turned me into a vampire. It was too bad I killed him first. I needed to shake off the liquid silver brain hold. The fire mage held out the Zippo lighter towards the pixies. “Princess Eolande,” he stiffly said. He must be hurting, too. The brain pain was two-way. One of the pixies, wearing the pretty, lavender dress moved cautiously towards us. I felt the fire mage’s muscles strain. “Make sure Councilor Nicholas Price gets this, your highness. I trust in your honor and the honor of House Clemens,” he gritted the words out. The lavender pixie curtsied in the air, lavender sparkles shimmering around her. She replied solemnly, “Lord Knox, you have my word. Your noble sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

15 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

I rolled my eyes and snorted even though I had an immobilizing liquid silver brainfreeze that was up there in pain intensity as an ice cream brain-freeze. My lord and noble, indeed. Who talked like that anymore? The lavender pixie reached her hand out to take the Zippo. I deliberately banged my head backwards against the hard floor. The impact produced a debilitating pain that magnified exponentially in my head. The shared pain made Knox groan and he collapsed on top of me. Fortunately, I was much better and quicker in pain recovery than he was. I reached out and snatched the silver Zippo lighter from his hand before Princess Eolande of the House Clementine or Clumsy or whatever, got a hold of it. There was a loud whoosh. Knox screamed into my ear, “No!” The djinn hovered right in front of me, close enough to touch. The djinn looked at me, bowed down, and said, “My name is Zeki, of the Ancient Djinn of the Aaydeen. You can call me, Zeke. Tell me your wish, mistress.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 16

CHAPTER 2 – DJINN IN A ZIPPO

I

pulled myself up, yanking Knox’s arm up with me with my left hand. The liquid concoction of silver inside me was losing its hold. As Knox stood up, he barked at the pixies, “Kellan, Rhoswen. Take her highness out of here, now.”

I saw a blur of blue, pink, and lavender shoot off towards the front entrance of the store. “Are you sure you guys don’t want to stay? We can try to be friends?” I called after them but they were already gone. I turned to Zeke and reached out with my right hand, the hand that wasn’t shackled to an enraged mage, to offer the djinn a handshake. “Well, hello there, Zeke. I’m Evie Strump. You can call me Evie. It’s about time someone had the common decency to be polite around here.” Zeke gave me a huge smile as he extended a hand towards me as well. As I reached out to shake his hand, I grasped empty air instead. I almost lost my balance. I scowled at the djinn. “I am, what you say, intangible. Without substance?” he said with his Cheshire cat smile. “Here, we call that, rude. I take back what I said about politeness and decency,” I snapped. “I apologize, Madam Evie.” He bowed his head slightly. “I will remain intangible unless I transform into a mortal form. It takes a large amount of energy to do so. Tell me, what is your wish and it is my command.” “You’re pretty eager.” I observed. “I thought I get a free magic carpet ride first.” Zeke, the djinn wore a black vest and a pair of black balloon pants. He had a matching pair of black arm cuffs around his bare, bulging biceps. A black turban sat on top of his slick, black hair. He had a swirly mustache, a goatee, and one of those wide noses with a bulbous tip that reminded me of political cartoon editorials. His gleaming, blue eyes shone with amusement and he grinned mischievously, showing off a set of exceedingly white teeth. His blue skin shone while he hovered with his legs crossed a few feet from the floor. It was very cliché.

17 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“Nice ‘stache,” I commented. I turned to Knox. “Hey, Knox, you’re not assaulting me or hacking my neck off. Should I be worried?” Knox gave a shoulder movement that could have been a shrug. “To destroy you, all I need to do is take my own life.” “You mean this pair of handcuffs can do all of that?” He breathed out as if it annoyed him that he had to talk to me. “It would be as if our bodies are Siamese twins, whatever hurts me will hurt you. Whatever will kill me will kill you.” I brought the handcuffs up for examination. “It gives a new meaning to ‘til death do us part’, doesn’t it?” The silver handcuffs tarnished quickly as soon as he cuffed us together. It was almost black now. That was all right with me. I didn’t want shiny surfaces to remind me that I wasn’t human and without a reflection. Instead, my attention was diverted to his hand. He had nice hands, calloused, probably from waving his sword around like a maniac. He wore a ring. “Nice ring, is it silver?” I almost giggled at my inside joke. The simple signet ring on his ring finger was duller than sterling silver and had a crest engraved on it. Lord Aristocrat didn’t bother responding. I looked at his ring closer. I saw the typical shield, a couple of lions, and a crown. At the bottom of the crest, the inverted writing said, ’Lux, Aero et Spiritus’. “Light, Air, and Spirit. That’s deep,” I murmured and looked up at him skeptically. “How are you planning to off yourself, Knox? Spontaneously combust?” I snickered. A small, blue ball of fire immediately appeared in the palm of his cuffed hand. I jumped back, startled. “Oh, right. That!” I laughed. “You’ve got issues, man. You should think about counseling with all your suicidal tendencies. Besides, some religions say your soul goes to hell if you commit suicide. You’re no better than those terrorists.” “The difference is I don’t harm innocent civilians. You are hardly innocent, vampire.” I frowned. “If you kill me, no one’s going to take care of Chas. You’ll be hurting innocent civilians.” If no one fed Chas, there was a strong possibility he might escape my basement and feast on the whole town of Keno, Iowa, with its 6,283 inhabitants. With the townspeople wiped out, who else would appreciate the small town, its abundance of

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 18

trailer homes, its pig farms, its black-and-white, checkered water tower, its one stoplight, its single gas station, its rundown bowling alley, its thriving meth labs, and its 12 bars where you can play all the Keno you want until 2 AM? Knox looked at me in disgust, his usual expression around me. “Charles Marshall is a vampire? You turned him into a vampire?” “He’s not a vampire,” I said carefully. “He’s extremely sick and I’m the only one taking care of him. You don’t want to kill me yet.” Knox straightened himself. “All right, vampire. Deliver Charles Marshall to me alive and I will bring you to the Council. You will get a fair trial. Wrong me and you die.” “Agreed,” I gave him a winning smile. Lying through my teeth was hard work. There had to be a way to get out of these stupid cuffs and from the crazy mage. “Zeke, can you take this off me?” I shook the cuffs. “Is that your wish?” the djinn asked pleasantly. Knox interrupted in a low voice, “I suggest you think long and hard before you rattle off your hearts desires, vampire. The djinn doesn’t always tell the complete truth.” “How many wishes do you grant, Zeke?” I asked, fingering the Zippo lighter, watching Knox warily in case he decided to make a grab for it. “I grant wishes three and then I am set free,” the djinn said, smiling. Knox quickly supplied, “You should be aware, vampire, that the djinn offers a total of three wishes regardless of who uses up the wishes. There are, in effect, only two wishes left before he is set free, not three. I’m warning you that if you were to ask him to remove these cuffs and you word your request wrong, the magic of the cuffs will destroy us both immediately. Its magic is greater than what the djinn can wield. You can forget about removing the cuffs right now and show me where I can find Charles Marshall.” I looked at the djinn. “Is what he saying true? I could ultimately die from a wish?” “He tells the truth for the most part.” The djinn nodded slowly. “Well,” I said, irritation showing in my voice. “Will I die or won’t I?” “I will protect your life to the best of my abilities. That is my primary purpose. I am not able to hurt you or kill you. However, you may lose your life as an indirect result of a

19 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

wish. It is like saying automobiles will kill you. The automobiles themselves don’t kill. Likewise, I am merely a transport who can make your wishes come true.” “Can you take the cuffs off now without killing me?” “It will take time but it’s possible,” he said enigmatically. “Do I get only two wishes?” “No. In fact, you get all three. My Lord Knox was incorrect in saying there are only two wishes left. I have not completely fulfilled the first wish before you gained possession of the lighter, which made that particular wish null and void.” I tapped a finger on my lips in thought. I wanted many things. I wanted to be human again. I wanted Chas to be human again. I wanted good health and dental insurance when I turned human again. Hearing how tricky the djinn could be, I may get more than what I bargained for. I once heard of a man who wished that his dick were long enough to touch the ground. The djinn granted his wish and sure enough, the man didn’t have legs any more. “What was the last wish you tried to grant?” I asked. I was curious. “To kill the Dark Overlord Queen,” the djinn replied. “Are you saying I am the Dark Overlord Queen?” I said, amused and mystified. “Yes, you will be.” The djinn twirled his curly, black mustache. Knox snapped, “Word your requests carefully, vampire, if you decide to squander your wishes.” “Why thank you, your lordship,” I retorted. I needed time to think over all the possibilities. “What happens if I asked to have the cuffs removed without killing both of us? What will you do, Zeke?” The djinn answered, “My abilities to grant your wishes are limited to what your powers are. You have strength, bloodrage, bloodlust, glamour, and compulsion magic. I can harness your powers, magnify them, make them remarkably potent, or I can finesse them. With those powers, I will do my best to fulfill your wish.” “If you proceed with this wish, you will have the strongest wielders of magic hunting you. You do not want to start a war,” Knox warned. “The only way the cuffs can come off

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 20

is with help from a large group of archmages. The djinn will most likely kidnap them, glamour them, war will break out, many will die. I will destroy you before that happens.” “Fine,” I muttered. “Not at all like the fairy tales. I’m disappointed.” “I would like to see Charles Marshall now, vampire?” Knox impatiently demanded. He made the word ‘vampire’ sound like a profanity. “I’ve got some unfinished business to take care of. It won’t take long.” I surveyed the mayhem we caused. I was relieved that the rest of the store was untouched. The damage was contained to a relatively small area. “They can still salvage this. A little Febreeze should clear the air,” I mused. I wondered why the police and the fire department hadn’t barged in on us yet. I walked towards the Seasonal Aisle where I’d left my shopping cart, pulling Knox along with me. I cleared my shopping cart of exploded bottles, bits of shelving, and some unidentifiable gore. I threw in a couple of bottles of sunscreen and headed for the SelfCheckout counter. After I scanned the goods under the scanner, I reached for my wallet from my back jean pocket. All my cash was soaked in blood. Hell, I hated using my credit card but this was an emergency. As the receipt printed out, I looked over at Knox smugly. “You see, Knox, I’m a law-abiding citizen. That is, when I’m not being assaulted by assassins who have this ridiculous notion that I’m an overlord queen. “Come on, Zeke,” I urged. With the shopping cart, the three of us stepped out through the store’s automatic sliding doors and walked into the parking lot. At least a dozen people were outside. They included the city’s sheriff, a couple of his deputies, and the city’s fire fighters. Every one of them was motionless, frozen as if time had stopped. I looked in wonder at the frozen tableau in the parking lot. Someone had wielded serious magic. The sheriff stood motionless with one arm lifted and his mouth wide open. His breath hung in a frozen mist in front of him. A couple of fire fighters were immobilized in mid-motion while they uncoiled the hose on the fire truck. Another man was as still as a statue, suspended in mid-air while jumping off the fire truck. I saw the three pixies and they were motionless in the air next to a black, windowless van. On the other side of the parking lot, several unmoving people wearing Wal-Mart uniforms stood next to a large pile of snow. They were clustered around a motionless man in green camos.

21 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

I found unmoving people a little disturbing so I tried to mist. I couldn’t summon the mist. I tried to conjure up my bats. Knox’s sparkly wall of blue air intruded in my waterfall haven. Then I tried to drop fang and sheath my talon-like nails. Yes! My bloodsucking, enemy-tearing vampire powers were back. I felt around for my pointy incisors with my tongue. I drummed my fingers out in the air to admire my elongated nails. Silly pixies and their pixie dust. Tricks were for kids. And Knox smelled delicious. I turned and looked at Zeke and exhaled in relief. He wasn’t frozen. That was good news in case I needed to scream out an impromptu wish to save my life. “Well, that didn’t work.” A strong, male voice rang out. A handsome man with flowing, Kevin Sorbo hair stepped out from between a couple of cars. I touched my own uneven, limp, platinum blonde hair and gave Knox a dirty look for butchering it. But Knox wasn’t looking at me. “Stay where you are, Councilor,” Knox warned. The Councilor didn’t follow Knox’s advice. Instead, he walked towards us. His eyes fell on our shackled wrists. “I was hoping you didn’t have to use the Cuff of Shayam. I’m very sorry, Brandon,” he said calmly in what sounded like an Australian accent. The Councilor looked at the djinn. “Zeke,” he acknowledged. The djinn gave him a nod and his usual mischievous smile. He turned to me. “Brandon, will you introduce me to this lovely lady?” “The vampire is hardly a lady,” Knox said with scorn. “He can hardly introduce me when he and I were never politely introduced ourselves.” I said with comparable scorn. The Councilor was about as tall as Knox was. He wore a dark, long overcoat which hung open and showed an expensive-looking navy blue suit and a buttoned-up, crisp, white shirt. He had to be at least five years older than me. He had an air of smooth confidence and respectability that was the complete opposite of Knox’s unrelenting harshness and crackling anger. “Allow me to introduce myself.” He held a hand out. “My name is Nick Price. I’m a representative of the Council of the Worlds. You may call me Nick. You must be Evie Strump.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 22

“Evie, you can call me Evie,” I said evenly as we shook hands. “As much as I love to stay and chat with all of Mr. Knox’s friends, I’d like to be on my way.” “Thorne,” Knox said in a clipped tone. “I’m sorry?” I glanced at Knox’s direction. “Thorne is my surname. My name is Brandon Thorne. Lord Knox is an English title. You may continue calling me Knox if you prefer.” I blinked at Knox in mock disbelief, “Are we being civil to each other now? Give me a moment while I recover from the shock.” “Evie.” Nick looked all business. “I believe we have come to what we call an impasse. You have control of the djinn, which makes you very dangerous to us right now. At the same time, Lord Knox is offering his life in sacrifice if you become too dangerous.” “Yes, it’s a quandary.” Eight letter word that meant dilemma. Thank you, Sunday night’s crossword puzzle. “I don’t suppose I could convince you to give the djinn to me?” Nick looked at me expectantly. “Nope.” I didn’t even hesitate. “As long as your world council or whatever thinks I’m some dangerous queen overlord, I think I’ll keep him.” “I apologize again, Evie.” Nick nodded his head slightly. “I’d like to be upfront with you. I was the one who went to the Council with a vision of the future. I have Visions. I carry with me the burden of knowing what terrifying events would happen in the future. “I saw in one my visions that in the next full moon, an army of darkness from the Netherworld will come out of every mirror into both your Mortalworld and the Otherworld. There will be many fatalities. We dubbed this event ‘The Breaking’. “Moreover, I saw that in thirty years, a vampire named Evie Strump has taken control of not only all the vampires of the world but she has power over Revenants. The Revenants are the spirits of the dead who have come back from the Netherworld. “I saw visions of wars waged while the Dark Overlord Queen and her forces are in control. Similar to my Vision of ‘The Breaking’, I saw many deaths, not just in the Mortalworld, but in the Otherworld as well.”

23 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“Maybe, it’s my twin sister in power, calling herself Evie.” I didn’t have a twin sister. “Please understand where we’re coming from, Evie. Charles Marshall is missing and there’s a rogue vampire living in the same town who refused to answer to the governing authority. The Council sent their elite team of vampire hunters and you took them down ruthlessly. In addition, you seem to be immune to silver, which is extraordinary in itself. “In all seriousness, we believe you are very powerful and will be responsible for the oncoming slaughter.” “What proof do you have that it’s me that will cause this? It’s hardly fair that I have a bounty on me based on speculation.” “If you prove you have not murdered Charles Marshall, we’ll be more sympathetic. We’d like to take you into custody until the threat of attack through the mirrors has passed. However, if Charles Marshall is dead, we will be more apt to believe you’re capable of future atrocities.” “Why does everyone think I murdered Chas? Did you see visions of that, too?” “No, the police reported Chas Marshall missing last week. The last time he was seen alive was at his place of work. The gas station showed signs of a violent struggle and lots of blood similar to vampire attacks. The county’s Master Vampire highly suspects a rogue vampire attacked Chas. You are the only rogue we know who lives in Keno, Iowa.” “How did they find out so fast? How did they know I even turned vampire? I only turned a week ago and I doubt anyone filed a missing persons report on me.” “I had a vision you would be here today and that you are a vampire. That’s how we knew you’re the vampire we’re looking for.” “Hell, your Council should have hunted the guy who Turned me. Then we wouldn’t be having this conversation about me being a vampire. Where were you last week?” “Unfortunately, my visions were about you and not him. He is not the one who would be amassing an army of the undead. He’s not the one whose powers threaten our worlds.” I sighed. They were convinced I was the evil villain. “All right, I see your point. I’ll take Knox here to see Chas and then I’ll voluntary turn myself in to your Council until this ‘Breaking’ event is over. Then, will you promise to get rid of these forsaken cuffs?”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 24

“We’ll talk to the archmages and see what they can do. There is the question about the djinn. Can we discuss that? He may prove to be helpful against the army of darkness we will face?” I chewed on my bottom lip. “Here’s what I can do. I won’t wish for anything from the djinn until I’ve met with your Council. I can’t promise anymore than that.” “I hope you’d reconsider.” I turned to the store. “What about the bodies? Will I be prosecuted for our little firefight in there?” Price looked agreeable. “We’ll clean up the mess. There will be an investigation, of course. If you fought in self-defense, then you may return home afterwards.” “Awesome.” I suppressed the urge to stick my tongue out at Knox. “Brandon, do you agree with this arrangement? Can you bring her to the Council no later than the day after tomorrow?” “We will both be there,” Knox promised. “Very well, on behalf of the Council, we appreciate your understanding regarding the urgent matters at hand. I’m happy we could reach an agreement.” “Me too,” I smiled. That went smoother than I thought. I imagined more bloodshed, some weeping, and maybe a bite or two. I gave Knox a smug look. “It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we’re not overly confrontational and distrustful. Don’t you agree, Knox?” He nodded, almost imperceptibly. I let Knox grab a heavy duffel bag to bring with us from the large, black van parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I wondered he had a change of clothes in there. Knox helped me load my groceries onto the bed of my pickup. I dutifully pushed the shopping cart into the designated cart return area like a good citizen. “I will be seeing you soon, Evie.” Nick Price waved a hand once. I waved back after slamming the truck bed cover into place.

25 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

As soon my truck was out of sight of the supermarket, I heard the sound of sirens resume. It felt a little crowded in my pickup even though Zeke was intangible. “So, Zeke, how do I get you back into the lighter?” “I prefer not to go back in there.” “Why?” “It’s a torment. It’s similar to being placed in solitary confinement” “Can you transform into a human, then?” “I could.” “How about a dog? Can you transform into a dog?” “I suppose I can.” “Oh goody, I always wanted a puppy.” Driving my red ’89 Chevy S10 pickup was a little uncomfortable. I turned the steering wheel with my right hand while my left hand was handcuffed to Knox’s. The truck had manual transmission. “It’s a twenty-minute drive to Keno.” I told Knox, “I’m stopping by a gas station to fill up the tank. Do you need to use the toilet?” This was going to be more awkward than that time I had my first gynecologist checkup and the doctor turned out to be Jason Worth’s mother. At that time, I was dating Jason. I had to tell her whether I was sexually active or not. “That’s a good idea, thank you,” Knox replied with a nod. I bantered on. “I figure I could touch up my make-up or something,” I chuckled, considering I had dried blood and other miscellaneous non-flattering substances caked on my face. At the gas station at the edge of the city, I hummed a tune while I filled the tank with regular, unleaded gas. Knox sat on the driver’s side with his left hand stretched out to give me room to maneuver. We had a rhythm going while we moved around. We were especially careful not to touch each other’s skin at all. I screwed the gas tank lid shut and told Zeke to wait in the truck. It was half past eleven in the evening according to the clock behind the clerk in Gas N Dash. The gas station

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 26

clerk stared at us in fear. We looked terrifying. Knox looked intimidating in his black trench coat. My whole body were covered in dried blood. I planned to use glamour on the clerk, of course. In addition to his broken wrist and the tiny cuts and bruises all over his body, Knox had large, bloody gashes on his face, his arms, and legs. Unlike him, my wounds healed already. I followed him to the men’s room, tracking in mud from the outside. I preferred the typically cleaner women’s restrooms but I didn’t want to argue with him. The men’s room had a urinal to the right, the sink to the left, and a paper towel dispenser on the wall. While he did his business, I politely faced the sink and stared at the mirror that didn’t have my reflection. I waited patiently as Knox finished up, zipped up, and washed his hands. I handed him a dry paper towel. He said thanks. I watched him wipe his hands and turned away from me for a second to toss the soiled paper towel into the trashcan. A second was all I needed to pull the entire paper towel dispenser off the wall. Using my free hand, I slammed it on the side of Knox’s head as hard as I could.

27 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

CHAPTER 3 – DRUGGING THE HOG

I

woke up from my blackout and found both Knox and myself tangled up on the disgusting, mud-streaked, white-tiled floor of the men’s toilet in Gas N Dash. It was littered with brown paper towels and the broken parts of the paper towel dispenser. I was thankful I didn’t wake up face first in the urinal. He was still unconscious. I must’ve broken his jaw because my own face hurt badly. Knox was a big guy, a couple of inches over six feet, with broad shoulders and muscular arms. With his arm around my neck, I dragged him out of the restroom. If I were human, there was no way I would’ve held him up. I made my way towards the clerk who I’d glamoured into thinking we were just a group of rowdy, college kids. While I held Knox up against me, I reached into his back pants pocket to take out his wallet. He had plenty of cash, some currencies I didn’t recognize, credit cards, bankcard, a military ID, and a United Kingdom driver’s license. He was twenty-nine, eight years older than I was. Even in his identity card photos, he was scowling as if someone was poking him in the back with a dildo. The clerk rang up the gas. I paid for the purchases with Knox’s generous donation. “Sorry about your restroom. It’s slippery in there.” I roughly pushed Knox through the driver’s seat and onto the passenger’s seat. “How’s it going, Zeke?” “He will be very upset with you when he gains consciousness.” Zeke floated in his ethereal form on the passenger side next to Knox. “Gee, I haven’t thought of that,” I said sarcastically. “If he wakes up again, why don’t you hit him on the head? Then he’ll be mad at you.” “Constant head trauma can cause injury to the brain. He is human after all.” “Oh Zeke, I didn’t know you cared. I promise I won’t damage him,” I said wryly. “Too much.” I eased the truck out of the gas station and back onto the road. “I can’t very well hit him on the head. I’m intangible, remember? I would have to transform into a human form first.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 28

“Why don’t you change into a human now?” Zeke transformed from being an electric blue, otherworldly creature to a dark-skinned man with curly, black hair, dark brown eyes, bushy eyebrows, and a thick mustache. His nose stayed the same, bulbous and hideous. “You look like a porn star,” I stared at him, amazed, and almost slammed into a parked car on the side of the street. I over-compensated and the truck fishtailed. “And you’re still ugly,” I said after I gained control of the vehicle. I drove into a neighborhood made up of trailer homes. We arrived at a trailer home that had the same shade as discolored teeth. A couple of feet of snow sat on top of it and the carport next to it. I parked behind a red Toyota Corolla. The lights inside the trailer home were on. I told Zeke to keep it down low and not say anything unless I tell him. The less people knew about the djinn, the better for me. Corporeal Zeke helped me with Knox as we exited the truck and lumbered our way through the icy slush on the ground. A tall, lanky man dressed in a dirty white, wife-beater shirt opened the door before we reached it. He had a pistol tucked into his blue jeans. “Evie, you naughty girl. Picking up drunk men in bars again, are you?” “Hey Kyle, what’s up? This is Zeke. The drunk guy is Knox. Invite me in, will you?” The inside of the trailer was as cramped and cluttered as I remembered it. We settled onto a large, orange, floral sofa that took up most of the living room space. “You look terrible, Evie. Is that dried blood? Are those bullet holes on your jeans?” “I ran into vampire hunters,” I said nonchalantly. Kyle and I had known each other since grade school in Keno. Back then, he was a scrawny kid and got beat up often. I stood up for him against bullies and he was eternally grateful. We dated a few times in high school but decided to stay friends. He became involved into dealing, had a few police encounters, and even served time in juvie. After high school, he moved from Keno to the city where he had a larger customer base. I stopped by his place last week to see if he had some illegal sedatives I could use on large animals. I convinced him I was vampire after I turned into a bat in front of him. He was one of the rare people I couldn’t glamour. It must be because his brain was fried most of the time.

29 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“I need more of the stuff you gave me last week, Kyle.” “Damn, girl. You used up all that shit already?” I raised my left hand and rattled the handcuffs. “My man and I are into some kinky, roleplaying games. Right now, he’s pretending to be an English Lord and I’m an evil queen.” Kyle laughed. “You’re always a riot, Evie.” His expression turned serious and he looked at Zeke. “Are you sure he’s okay?” I gave him a fanged smile. “Believe me, you can trust him.” He nodded and walked towards the entryway to his bedroom. “I got some Liquid X, Temmies, Rope, Versed, Valium, Halcyon, and Xanax. Pick your poison.” “I’ll take all the Temmies you have.” I told him. “Do you have any liquid Versed? The one you inject and not the red syrup?” Kyle came out of the bedroom with his stash. He dropped two Ziploc bags on the coffee table in front of me. One was filled with red and light-blue capsules and another one with tiny, dark bottles with white labels. “That blood you gave me last week was the shit, Evie. I have customers clamoring for more of it. I’ve started calling it ‘Liquid Venom’. ” “There’s more where it came from, Kyle,” I said dryly. “Got syringes for the Versed?” I had plenty of experience with sedatives in the last week. I learned my lesson when I drank pigs’ blood. Frantic, squealing pigs wake up the neighbors. Happy, aroused pigs also wake up the neighbors. Releasing my pleasure hormone into them wasn’t my most brilliant idea. It was something I never cared to witness again. Ever. In my attempt to divert attention away from my nocturnal activities, I started drugging the pigs beforehand. The drawback was, I’d pass out after drinking their blood. But I recovered quickly. My feeding plan didn’t involve killing the animals. I didn’t want to leave a wake of dead bodies after each feed. I liked my hometown and didn’t want the attention. I also used the drugs on Chas to prevent him from escaping and annihilating the town. “So how’s business?” I asked while I pushed the needle of the syringe into one of the bottles labeled ‘Midazolam’.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 30

“It’s going really, really well. In fact, I want to focus on selling Liquid Venom, Evie. You and I can make a lot of money.” Kyle was excited. “Bring out the collection bags. I’ve got a few pints to donate. We’ll make it a party.” I stabbed the syringe through a large tear in Knox’s pants into his right thigh. Knox’s eyes flew open and he shot up straight from the couch. “Oh, shit!” I tackled Knox back onto the couch. “Zeke, grab the bags and get Kyle outside, now!” I was on top of Knox on the orange couch and he stared up at me wildly with his silverand-blue eyes. I felt the temperature rise between us. If it were any other guy, I would’ve thought it romantic. Unfortunately, this was Brandon Leonardo Thorne, the English Lord of Knox, Major General Brandon Thorne of the Western European Division for the Magocratic Kingdom of Europe (according to the military identity card in his wallet), a fire mage with serious anger issues. He had the barrel of a gun on my right temple. The bastard pulled the trigger. I dodged but not before the bullet blasted away half the back of my head. While my poor, abused skull knitted itself back together, Knox’s body burst into blue flames. “Damn!” I screamed as what was left of my clothes caught fire. “How long before the drug kicks in?” Searing pain tore through my body. “Five to fifteen minutes,” Kyle yelled through the open door of the trailer home. The couch was on fire. “Sorry buddy, this might cause some serious cranial discomfort.” I bashed him on the side of his head once more. My world went blank. I slowly regained consciousness with a pounding headache and an all-consuming pain that scorched every surface of my body. Some wet substance clung to my eyelashes. I was drenched in fire extinguisher foam. “Son of a fucking bitch, Evie. That was twisted!” Kyle exclaimed. I wiped the frothy liquid from my face. “Which one? The blazing ball of blue fire or my brain matter on your couch?” Through the smoky haze, I could make out Kyle’s coughing form. He held a red fireextinguisher in his arms. The air in his trailer home was thick with acrid smoke. This was going to cost me gallons of my blood.

31 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“This is some messed up shit, Evie,” Kyle said in wonder. “What have you gotten yourself into? Who is he?” Knox was unconscious but he smelled of burnt skin and burnt hair. “Think Gandalf on crack,” I muttered as I checked Knox’s body with my free hand. His skin was charred, his breathing erratic, and his pulse was frighteningly slow. Damn these handcuffs! I felt as if someone crazy glued waxing strips on every inch of my own skin and viciously pulled them off. “Kyle, get me a funnel, quickly.” I snapped. “And any liquor you got, like vodka or whiskey.” I tore at my wrist and dripped blood through the funnel I shoved down Knox’s throat. I washed the blood that clung to the side of the funnel down with Kyle’s bottle of Smirnoff. Knox’s body slowly healed itself. “Kyle, you said my blood heals and is an aphrodisiac. Does the benzo wear off after humans take Liquid Venom?” “Fuck, Evie. I don’t know. I don’t make my clients fill out satisfaction surveys. You know me, Evie. I don’t sell sedatives just to anyone.” I frowned. “I’ll probably should give him an extra dose of Versed.” By the time we left Kyle’s, I had glamoured a rookie cop who had stopped by the neighborhood to check on the fireworks that neighbors mistakenly reported as gunfire, I had outfitted Knox and myself with unburnt clothing that belonged to Kyle, I had donated pints of blood, I had obtained a Glock model 29 pistol and ammo, which I had no idea how to use, and I had relieved Kyle of his Liquid Venom profits. We were driving on the highway in the outskirts of Keno when Knox woke up dazed, looked at me, then at Zeke and then back at me, and said with intensity, “Let’s hunt the vampire!” “Let’s not,” I rolled my eyes at Zeke. I gave Knox a beguiling smile. “We met earlier this evening, Brandon. It was instant fireworks between us. We had a few drinks and now I’m taking you back to my place.” “That’s odd.” Knox looked at me thoughtfully. “I honestly don’t remember.” I slowed down the truck and followed the speed limit that quickly changed from 55 mph to 35 mph. Sheriff Connelly was a dick and liked to catch travelers in the speed trap. It was almost two o’clock in the morning, bars were closing. I needed to stay extra vigilant.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 32

Knox noticed the handcuffs and frowned. He reached into his clothes with his free hand and was confused even further. He wore a pair of overalls and a green-and-red flannel shirt with safety pins where Kyle and I cut the sleeves to account for the handcuffs. If he was looking for his cell phone, wallet or weapons, he was out of luck. They melted when he decided to play with fire. I saw Sheriff Connelly’s police car with his headlights off, facing the main street, parked at Keno’s only gas station, Casey’s General Store. The gas station was closed for the night. I gave the sheriff a one-motion wave. I sighed in relief when the sheriff didn’t follow us into town. I wasn’t in the mood for a chat with law enforcement. The main street was devoid of any traffic. I stayed on it as I drove to the other end of town. Farmer Bill’s farmhouse was past the cemetery at the other side of town and a left turn onto a gravel road. Chas and I were bunking at Farmer Bill’s farmhouse. Three days after I Turned into a vampire, I left the low-income apartments at the downtrodden part of Keno and moved into Farmer Bill’s farmhouse. The apartments had too many people, neighbors were too nosy, and the windows were too sunlight-friendly. At Farmer Bill’s, I had access to the two rooms in the sunlight-proof basement, rent-free. It helped that I could glamour Farmer Bill into thinking I was his anti-social, crotchety, mail-order bride who doesn’t cook, clean, do laundry, or perform her marital, ahem, duties. Did I mention Farmer Bill was a sixty-five year old hog farmer? That guaranteed an abundant supply of pigs’ blood, albeit tainted with animal tranquilizers. The gazillion stray cats living in the barn were good zombie food. I did say I hated cats. “You’re not a vampire, are you?” Knox peered down at me. “Hell, no!” I denied, smiling. “Maybe you’re a vampire. Maybe you are one of those forsaken and abominable creatures?” He had to think about it. “I don’t believe I am.” He shook his head slowly. “As a matter of fact, I believe I’m an officer of the Magocratic Kingdom of Europe.” Knox took my hand, the one handcuffed to him, and kissed it. “Major General Brandon Thorne at your service.” His fingers were warm. His grip tightened. I choked in a laugh and turned my eyes back to the road. “I know you,” he said in a low voice. Knox pressed my palm against his cheeks and closed his eyes. “You feel so familiar.”

33 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

He moved his lips over my wrist. “You smell so familiar.” He slowly slid the tip of his tongue over my pulse. “You taste so familiar.” “Evie, my name is Evie.” I breathed unevenly. Holy fuck in a can. My vampire fangs dropped on their own accord and inadvertently sliced my tongue. I slammed on the brakes, drove over a curb with a lurch onto the sidewalk beside the cemetery. Knox’s upper body flung forward onto the dashboard as the truck rolled to a violent stop. The truck sputtered out. I forgot to take it out of fourth gear. The dashboard knocked Knox out. Zeke asked me, “Madam Evie, was that really necessary?” “What?” I exclaimed defensively. “I didn’t mean to stop so suddenly. You’re blaming me for not putting the seatbelt on him?” “No, why is it necessary to put Lord Knox in such a tranced state?” “Oh, you mean drug him?” “Yes, it seems quite extreme.” “Well for starters, my glamour doesn’t work on him.” I peeled Knox off the dashboard by his hair. “I have no clue how to do the Vulcan nerve pinch.” I eyed his jugular with a sigh. “And it seems that this Council seems to know everything else about me except for where I sleep or they would’ve staked me already.” I heard Knox’s blood coursing through his body. I forced the hunger down. I let go of his soft, curly, light brown hair and he slumped back on the seat. “Of course I don’t want them to know where my super secret lair is.” “I see.” Zeke scratched his chin. In the darkness, I watched the rise and fall of Knox’s chest as he breathed unhurriedly in his blunt force trauma induced sleep. I felt a twinge of envy as I remembered what it was like to be human and not be consumed with insatiable craving for tasty human blood. Headlights flashed, giving me a glimpse of his strong jaw, his skin still flushed from drinking my blood. I heard cars screeching to a stop. A light blue Dodge Neon stopped in front of my truck. A white Nissan Sentra blocked the truck from behind. The three vampire-hunting necromancers in pink hospital scrubs were back to take care of unfinished vampire business.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 34

CHAPTER 4 – ZOMBIE ARMAGEDDON

T

hree nurses wearing hospital scrubs stepped out of the two cars that surrounded my red Chevy truck. “Don’t run away from us again, shadow spawn,” one of them taunted. She was a redhead. “Come out and play.”

I met them twice before, once at Sam’s Butcher Shop downtown and the other time at Casey’s General Store, the gas station, the night when Chas worked there for the last time. They were self-proclaimed vampire hunters and they were downright scary. I responded, “Sorry, I’m not a fan of violent games that hurt me.” “We just want to help you get to hell quicker,” a heavily accented, female voice sneered. If I ran away now, they could possess me and kill Knox. If I fought them, they could possess me and kill Knox. Either way, I’d be dead. “Ever met any necromancers, Zeke?” “A very, long time ago,” he said looking wistful. “Well, if you have any sage advice on how to defeat them, feel free to chime in anytime.” I opened the truck door. “Come on, Zeke. Help me get Knox out of the truck. I need to finish this tonight.” I could shoot them with the gun Kyle gave me before they steal my body and exile my soul. Knox was starting to come to. “What is happening?” He took in the scene that was in front of him. We stood face to face with our adversaries. The three of them were dressed in pink hospital scrubs. The young redhead who called me ‘shadow spawn’ was the ringleader. The blond young man was her boyfriend. The third scrubs-wearing nurse was a short black-haired woman with the Southeast Asian accent. “They think that you’re a vampire, Knox, and they want to kill all of us.” I embellished. “You think you can put up a psychic shield for both of us?”

35 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“Me? They think I’m a vampire. That’s preposterous!” Knox exclaimed, looking at the nurses suspiciously. The three nurses started chanting, throwing salt, and pouring blood from plastic, gallon milk-jugs onto the ground. I drew the gun and pointed it at the ringleader. A psychic cannon ball blasted through me and my spirit body tumbled out of my vampire body. My spirit body fell onto the ground half a dozen yards from my physical body. Damn it! “What is going on?” I turned towards Knox’s voice. His spirit body was crouched on the ground next to me. A thin, semi-transparent, silver string connected us. Knox was blasted out of his body along with mine. That wasn’t good. I looked back and saw Zeke drag our limp bodies away from the three necromancers. “They’re necromancers, Knox. They’re trying to take control our bodies.” The three necromancers circled Zeke and our bodies, performing their ritual chanting. “They can’t do that not unless my body is dead,” he said indignantly. “Unless…” There was a look of horror in his face. “I’m a vampire. I’m a bloody vampire.” I hauled his ethereal ass towards the djinn. I saw a red blob inside my physical body. It was over my heart. The red blob spread quickly until it flooded my body completely. Knox’s body was blob-free. Unfortunately, his physical body was dying, away from his spirit body. “You’re making this too easy for us, shadow spawn,” the redhead bragged. “Destroying you and your minions is a piece of cake.” She made my vampire body stand up, hold Knox’s body in its arms, move his head to one side exposing his jugular. With all my astral strength, I shoved Knox and myself into his physical body. It was a tight fit, like trying to squeeze into skinny jeans when you knew full well you couldn’t because you’d gained fifteen pounds. Conscious in Knox’s body, I felt my vampire body’s sharp bite and blood drain. Knox and I both felt the pain. Then, Knox and I both felt the heady rush of pleasure. “Zeke!” I croaked using Knox’s voice. Where was Zeke? I summoned the bats from my waterfall cave. A host of bats congregated above our bodies, swooped once in a large circle, and flew right into the three necromancers in pink hospital scrubs. My vampire body let go of my (aka Knox’s) throat. Our physical bodies fell heavily onto the ground. I was finally back in my own body.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 36

I laughed as I stood up. “Piece of cake, you say? Have you tried losing the weight after feasting on cake? It’s not so easy.” Knox looked pale and faint. I could still taste his delectable blood in my mouth. I pulled him up to me by his bloodied, flannel collar and shook him. “Your psychic shields around both of us. Now!” I felt warm air quickly envelope me like a fluffy, down comforter that just came out of the dryer. In my waterfall haven, I could see a wall of air with blue sparks barricade the perimeter. As soon as he put up the barrier, my bats disappeared. I sealed his neck punctures with a hasty lick and then quickly let him go. I gave the redhead my most wicked glare. “Do you think this is over, oh forsaken one?” the redhead laughed. She continued circling us. The blond young man was slumped on the ground. He had blood oozing out of his neck. The black-haired woman disappeared deep into the cemetery. “I am hoping you’d just give up because you’re not very good at what you do,” I responded cooly. “Madam Evie,” Zeke called out. “They’ve encircled me in a blood circle. It’s too powerful for me to get through.” I could hear the redhead’s scorn. “Why do you insist on bringing in more foul creatures into our town, shadow spawn? That one attacks us like a vampire but he feels like a demon.” Zeke in human form was trapped in an invisible circle. ‘Human form’ wasn’t accurate. His eyes blazed red and sharp fangs peeked out of his blood-smeared mouth. I pulled Knox with me and tried to cross the circle to get to Zeke but I couldn’t get past the invisible wall. “You’re Evie Strump, the vampire I’m hunting.” Knox stared at me. He shook his head in disbelief and said under his breath, “And I am now a vampire.” “Now is not a good time for pointing fingers, Knox,” I said under my breath. The redhead chanted again, waving around what looked like a bone in her hand. Knox kept mumbling something. “What’s she doing, Zeke?” I smacked the invisible barrier. “Are you all right?”

37 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“She’s invoking a spell to banish me to the Underworld.” Zeke didn’t seem alarmed. He stood in the middle of the circle, hands in pocket. Apart from his terrifying vampire eyes and deadly looking fangs, he was a poster child of calm and tranquility. “I’m getting discouraged here, Zeke.” Zeke was my one chance of getting out of these blasted cuffs. Zeke just smiled mysteriously and then he disappeared. Grabbing Knox’s hand, I pounced on the redhead. I knocked her ritual bone-thing out of her hand and she fell back onto the ground. “What the hell did you do?” Towering over her, I let go of Knox and seized her hands, flashing my fangs. Knox groaned unhappily as he lay prone on the frozen ground next to me. He most likely ate dirt and snow. “The sooner you let go of the delusion that you’re still alive, the happier you’ll be,” the redhead said unruffled. “You don’t belong in this world, shadow spawn. I’m just helping your soul get to where it truly belongs.” I shivered. It was reminiscent of Knox’s first words to me. Someone jumped me from behind, grabbed me around the neck with one hand, and stabbed me in the back with his other. “Get your evil hands off her!” It was the blond young man whose neck Zeke had bloodied. He was still alive, kicking, screaming, and stabbing. He fell back when I elbowed him in the stomach. I pulled the knife out of my back and tossed it out of the way. When I let go of the redhead, she sprung up and clawed at my eyes. We struggled until I pinned down her hands once more. The blond young man was back on my back again. He yanked my neck backwards with his arm and with one, deft motion, sliced my neck. He had a second knife. I gurgled blood. Thoroughly irked, I wrestled the second knife away from him. He hadn’t sliced my neck all the way. A rookie mistake. I head-butted the young blond but he clung persistently to me with an arm around my neck. A wall of air slammed on him sideways and knocked him half a dozen yards from us, taking along with him a large chunk of my hair and scalp. Knox sat up on the ground with tears running down his eyes, his free hand feeling the back of his head and neck. He felt my pain. Blue sparkles slowly dissipated in the air. It was about time he joined the fight. Sighing, I did what seemed to be the theme of the day. I struck the redhead on the side of her head and rendered her unconscious.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 38

The blond young man cried out in alarm when he saw what I did. He stood up and shouted something in another language. We heard the black-haired woman, hiding in the cemetery somewhere, respond back loudly in the same language. Rumbling sounds echoed from within the cemetery. Knox’s eyes flickered to something behind me. “Bloody hell!” I turned around to see what prompted such vehemence from him. About a dozen zombies ambled towards us animatedly. “In my experience with zombies, they tend to tear you into little pieces, eat you, and then ask questions later,” I remarked. “Let’s move along, then.” Knox hauled me up and had us running towards the truck. We were a couple of yards from the truck when I smacked onto yet another invisible barrier. Knox grunted in pain. I swore. The necromancers had a containment circle around the cemetery to prevent me from leaving. Knox could leave the circle but I sure the hell couldn’t. He was alive, I was undead. There was just the tiny matter with the handcuffs. I needed Knox to stay alive and conscious long enough to keep the shields up. Without Knox’s psychic shields around us, we were both as good as dead. I‘d be deader than dead. My gun was on the ground a few yards away from the group of zombies shuffling slowly towards us. As long as the necromancers were alive, shooting zombies would be pointless. They were just puppets after all. However, if we killed the necromancers first and the zombies were anything like Chas, then the zombies would become out of control. Their physical cravings would lead them to attack and feed on live flesh, mainly Knox. Killing the necromancers meant we were trapped in the blood circle indefinitely. In a few hours, the sun would come up. This didn’t bode well. The boding was going badly. “Knox, this is the worst first date ever.” I declared. The group of about a dozen rotting corpses shuffled towards us. Their states of decomposition ranged in various degrees. Some were merely skeletons while others still had eyes in the sockets, their faces and bodies complete with badly peeling skin. The ones with intact vocal cords made sinister, moaning noises. One thing they all had in common was they smelled bad. “I wondered what that horrible smell was. I guess some people don’t care about hygiene,” I mumbled. A small, blue fireball appeared in Knox’s left palm.

39 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“Whatever you’re thinking of doing, Knox, we cannot kill those nurses,” I warned him. “Not until they open the circle and the zombies are stopped.” Knox looked menacing with his pulsing fireball. Blue light from the fireball illuminated his hard face and played against the shadows there. He stared at me with those intimidating silver-and-blue eyes. I swallowed. There were no fire extinguishers here. I wasn’t sure whether he was still in the benzodiazepine-induced hypnosis or he was back as Knox, the kamikaze fire mage. He asked solemnly, “Since I’m now a vampire, doesn’t that mean that I have regenerative capabilities?” “Um, that’s one of the perks of being a vampire,” I evaded. He smiled. I had whiplash from turning my head so fast to take a second look at him. The drugs were definitely working. He had a perfect set of English teeth. Knox levitated his fireball above us. It split into multiple fireballs and struck out at every zombie that was advancing on us. “What the hell are you doing?” I yanked him back as waves of heat from the burning zombies blasted our faces. “I’m destroying them.” Knox gave me a puzzled look and then looked back at the zombies. The zombies fell backwards on the ground from the impact. However, they didn’t hesitate to pull themselves up. “Great!” I said caustically. “Instead of getting torn apart to death by zombies, we now have the option of getting torn apart while burning to death by zombies.” “Come along,” he pulled me behind him as he advanced towards the zombies. He was insane. I stopped him and tugged the other way. “Zombie touch is very bad.” I told him as if he were a small child. Knox motioned that I follow him. “I have a plan.” “A plan? This has to be good.” I said with a mocking tone. My own plan was to torture and maim the necromancers until they opened their blood circle and freed us. “This plan of yours, I hope it involves flying.” I pointed to the walking, moaning corpses. “We want to move away from them.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 40

We moved quickly along the outer perimeter of the blood circle. The animated group of flaming zombies continued their leisurely saunter towards us. A flaming zombie lunged for us. The zombie’s face and limbs were bloated. “I bet you had bad shellfish allergies,” I told the zombie as we avoided its fiery grasp. All the zombies changed directions at the same time to face us as if wires controlled them from above, like marionettes controlled by puppeteers. Apparently, being a zombie wasn’t creepy enough. We ran towards the only mausoleum in the cemetery, the Goode Mausoleum. Matt Goode and his family were the only ones in Keno who could afford their own private mausoleum. The Goodes were the owners of the ‘Goode Funeral Homes’. When we reached the mausoleum, Knox swiftly thrust his left palm forward and blew open the Goode Mausoleum door. “You could have told me you have telekinesis, Knox.” “I don’t. I can only control the air around objects.” “Strange,” I said dryly. “I seem to recall pots and pans chasing after me. There were even a couple of direct hits.” “Zeke can control my abilities with more precision.” He entered the mausoleum with me tagging behind him. “Why are we stopping here? Did you want us cornered before the zombies decide to roast us?” “You can trust me,” he smiled again, his eyes reflecting the light from the fire of the advancing zombie army. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open. I shut it and without stumbling over my words, I said, “The necromancers, we need to get the necromancers.” “We will,” he assured me. “Are we going to try to trap the zombies in here?” “No,” he said simply. “I don’t think that will work. They don’t follow the laws of physics. If they can climb out a grave covered by six feet of frozen dirt, then chances are-”

41 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“Evie,” he interrupted. I was taken aback. First, there was the smiling. Then, he was calling me by my first name. It was without doubt the drugs. “You do prattle on a little too much.” He went to a slab of granite from a burial vault and tried to lift it. “Shouldn’t I be able to lift this with my vampire abilities?” “Oh,” I scrambled for an answer, “It takes two to three days to get your full powers.” Then I added quickly, “Same thing with your claws and fangs.” I lifted the granite slab for him. “What do you want me to do with this?” “Block the entrance,” he gestured towards the opening where we came through. I hesitated. The moaning zombies were almost at the steps leading into the mausoleum. “Do it, Evie.” I slammed the slab over the entrance. Outside, the whistling of the wind grew louder and louder and I felt the air pressure drop. Knox was using his air powers to attack the zombies. The mausoleum shook and pieces of stone fell from the ceiling. “Don’t kill the necromancers!” I yelled over the sound of the howling wind. The wind pushed against the slab. I threw myself against it to keep it from crashing on us. I felt a stabbing pain in one of my shoulders. “Shouldn’t my body be regenerating?” Knox asked. I turned and saw that a large chunk of the ceiling had fallen and torn a big gash on his left arm. He was bleeding profusely. My wicked vampire self, the one who hadn’t had a full meal since my last nocturnal hog visit, took control. It didn’t help that I had a taste of him already. I pushed Knox hard against the makeshift door. Mesmerized by the sight and scent of his blood, my fangs descended and I lowered my mouth over his wound and hungrily drank his blood. He inhaled sharply. I didn’t bite. Unless I bit him and infused him with my vampire venom laced with happy chemicals, he wasn’t getting the pleasure perks of being dinner for a blood-sucking vampire. Greedily, I sucked up his blood and felt his pain as he bled. I forced myself to stop and brought my head up to look at his face. His eyes were closed. I sliced my tongue with my fangs, pulled his head down to mine to kiss him. My body ground forcefully against him, my right hand gripping his wounded shoulder hard. He gasped in pain and I thrust my tongue into his mouth.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 42

The howling outside turned into a very loud, vicious roar. He responded with equal fervor. One of his hands curved around my nape and he pulled me harder against him. Every nerve ending I had tingled as his sweet blood mingled with mine. I felt his strong heart pounding rapidly against me. I basked in his scent, his hardness, and his heat. The cuffs intensified not just the pain, but also the pleasure and the desire. His tongue stroked inside my mouth and I groaned. I pressed closer against him, letting go of his arm and roughly raking my fingers through his soft, brown hair. His own free hand slid from my neck, down to my hip, and wandered over the curve of my bottom. I whimpered and moaned, and was vaguely reminded by similar moaning sounds I’d heard sometime earlier that day somewhere around here from someone or something. The slab shook behind him. I thought it was because our passion was so earthshaking. Then I realized the earth was really shaking and it was from his tornado outside. My sanity returned. I was only supposed to give him a little bit of my blood. I pulled away roughly and glanced at his shoulder. “Oh, look. It’s healed,” I said dispassionately. I wasn’t even out of breath. He, on the other hand, was breathing hard. If the heavy breathing wasn’t a glaring sign that said, ‘Hey there! I am still a human,’ then I didn’t know what else might convince him. He didn’t glance down to look at his healed shoulder. He had a wild look in his eyes as he stared at me. His mouth smeared with our blood. “I hope the nurses are still alive,” I yelled over the frightening roar outside. Then, there was silence.

43 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

CHAPTER 5 – THRALL SEEKERS

T

he silence lasted five seconds before we heard the sound of heavy things raining down around us.

I removed the slab and peered out in the darkness. With my super vampire night-vision, I surveyed the damage that Knox wreaked. There were pieces of bones, charred limbs, and exploded chunks of something that may previously have been zombie heads, scattered around us among the sections of broken headstones, bare tree branches, dead leaves, dirt, and snow. I whistled. “A little bit over the top, but effective.” I saw a movement beyond one of the headstones. I immediately pulled Knox along with me to investigate. The redhead lay on the ground with the black-haired woman who knelt over her making a tourniquet. A large piece of tree branch had skewered the redhead's thigh. I could see the rise and fall of the redhead woman’s chest. She was talking to the black-haired girl. “I’m bleeding very badly.” “You certainly are,” I interrupted their little tête-à-tête. Her blood didn’t smell as appetizing as Knox’s blood. “Let us out of the circle and I won’t kill you both,” I growled. They both turned to look at me. The black-haired woman looked at me in fear. The redhead looked at me in contempt. “I’m not afraid of you, shadow spawn,” the redhead breathed heavily. “Maybe I should try harder to be scarier,” I responded back. “Don’t worry, you’re scary enough. Who gave you that hideous haircut, a blind man?” I scowled at the redhead. “At least I’m not the one who resorts to using the dead to do my dirty work. I don’t think Tara Van Dyke would appreciate knowing her dead father’s body was prancing around naked in the moonlight.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 44

“Why do you keep trying to convince yourself that you’re human when you’re not human anymore?” “I’m not some crazy vigilante targeting victims just because they fit certain physical characteristics. That’s like the M.O. of serial killers,” I pointed out. “I have more humanity left in me than you.” “That’s where you’re wrong,” she said heatedly. “You are parasites who prey on humans. You have no humanity. You are predators, enjoying killing for the thrill of the kill.” “Humans enjoy hunting, there’s nothing wrong with that,” I countered. “Yes, but vampires use compulsion and glamour to cover up whatever foul activities they’re doing. You have uncontrollable bloodlust that hurt everyone around you. You are like rabid dogs, dangerous and out of control. You all need to be taken down.” Her voice was high and loud. “I disagree. I am neither dangerous nor out of control.” I ignored the fact that I was dangerous and out of control not so long ago with Knox in my arms. In his condition, I was practically date raping him. “Why can’t we just agree to disagree? Open the circle and let us go.” “We just want to help you attain peace like all the spirits of the dead should,” the annoying, black-haired woman piped in. “Lady, I am at peace,” I retorted. The conversation was getting tiring. “Let us out of the circle now or I’ll turn her into vampire.” This time I flashed the fangs trying my best to look like an indescribable horror. The black-haired woman flinched. I loomed over the redhead and stepped on her wounded thigh. The redhead cried out as she scrambled away from me. I felt Knox’s grip on my shoulders. “Stop, Evie.” ‘Let us go,” I grated out. The black-haired woman jumped up to face me, a small knife in her hand. “No!” the redhead said weakly. “Let them go, Delia.” Delia relented. Delia walked with us towards the truck.

45 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

She did her ritual that involved chanting and hand waving. She then made a tiny cut her in her palms with her small knife. She dripped blood onto the circle. “It’s done,” she said. “All right, how about that circle?” I pointed. A familiar-looking mist hung inside the circle where Zeke the djinn had vanished. She performed a similar ritual. As soon as her blood touched the circle, Zeke materialized in his dark-skinned and brown-eyed body. Delia jumped back in shock and fear. “Zeke!” I exclaimed in relief. “I’m so glad to see you.” “Madam Evie, it’s good to see you again also.” He smiled broadly. “Well, let’s get out of here.” I flashed Delia a triumphant smile and started walking towards my truck. There was gunfire. I saw a flash of movement to my left. I shoved Knox behind me as I took the brunt of the bullets. The blond man stepped out from behind a tree trunk holding my pistol. Son of a bitch. Another bullet tore through my shoulders and hit Knox on the chest. I grabbed Knox before he dropped onto the ground. I held on to his sagging body as I fought the onslaught of pain that caused him to pass out. Our psychic shields were down. “Zeke! Here’s my first wish,” I yelled frantically. “I wish to stop these motherfucking necromancers.” Zeke immediately put his hands out, one towards Delia and the other towards the blond-haired man. I felt the swell of magic wash over us. I felt three extra bundles of emotions inside me. “Damn Zeke, what the hell happened?” He turned to me and bowed. “They are now part of your thrall.” “My what?”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 46

“They are now your servants.” The blond man and Delia knelt on the ground with their head bowed towards me. “Okay,” I mouthed. “I wasn’t expecting slavery.” “I used your powers of compulsion to make them do your bidding,” Zeke explained. “They will now protect you with their lives, as I do.” Thrall. That didn’t sound temporary at all. “Is their condition permanent?” I had to ask. “Yes.” I felt the necromancers’ emotions. I felt their reverence and their fear. I felt the redhead’s pain. That reminded me of the pain in Knox’s chest and of my impending death if he died. Shit. I cradled Knox’s head in my arms facing me. “Wake up, Knox.” I shook him. “Here we go again,” I muttered and gave him another bloody kiss.

47 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

CHAPTER 6 – KISSES UNDER THE RAIN

“H

ey, you’re awake,” I said softly. Knox shot up from the bed, his left hand feeling down his shirt for a gun, I assumed. He noticed the handcuffs and glared at me, “You!” Yep. The drug had worn off and I hoped he didn’t remember anything.

We were on my twin bed in my windowless, basement bedroom in Farmer Bill’s farmhouse. It was a small room with ugly, yellow and green, vertical-striped wallpaper. None of my furniture matched. I had an oak side table next to my black, wrought iron bed, and a mahogany dresser with a red television on top of it. I was watching the local news when Knox woke up. There were reports of a bizarre outof-season tornado that annihilated the cemetery in town. I lifted the remote control to mute the television and looked at my enraged bedmate. “Good evening, sunshine!” I smiled warmly at him. “What did you do to me?” he asked angrily. “Where are my weapons?” The angry fire mage was back. He looked dangerous, imposing, and moody. His strong jaw was dark with the shadow of a beard. I flinched slightly at the intensity of his silver-and-blue eyes. I could only imagine what he’d do if he found out what really happened to him. I glanced at the black shirt that he was wearing. It was a nice black shirt. I’d taken it out of his duffel bag. The shirt now had a stripe of duct-tape, shiny like silver, on one side to hold it together where I’d cut it. I’d also taken advantage of his long slumber and had both of us cleaned up and dressed with help from my servants, Delia, Rob, and Chloe. I was ready to tell him my tall tale. “We stopped at the gas station. We were in the restroom and you slipped on the wet floor and conked your head on the urinal. Before you passed out, you burst into flames and melted your clothes and weapons.” He looked at me in disbelief.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 48

“Hey! Don’t blame me,” I protested. “You were probably just crashing from an adrenaline high after your crazy Wal-Mart war games last night.” I pointed to his duffel bag on the floor. “I believe that’s yours.” “What time is it?” he demanded. He was so prickly. I sighed. “It’s just after sunset. We can go see your Council after you see Chas.” I led him to the hallway and we stood in front of a closed door. I knocked on the door and Chloe, the redhead nurse necromancer in uniform opened the door. Inside the room, Delia, the short, black-haired nurse necromancer sat next to the twin bed where Chas lay asleep. A bag of my blood hung from an IV pole next to the bed behind her. “Hey Delia,” I said pleasantly, “How’s our patient?” “He’s doing great,” the black-haired nurse smiled. “I gave him a little more of the medicine and he should sleep better now.” I could sense through our thrall bond that she wanted very much to please me. Of course, by medicine, she meant sedatives. The irony of it all was that the necromancers were majorly responsible for Chas becoming a zombie in the first place. When I was still human, I’d always been infatuated with Chas. In high school, he was the star hockey player who never acknowledged my existence. He was blond-haired, blueeyed, corn-fed hunk of a man and I was the loud, chubby, obnoxious girl who hung out with losers like Kyle Brooks. I wasn’t naturally blonde, skinny or petite like the cheerleaders he dated. Four nights after I Turned, I went to the Casey’s General Store to see Chas. I was in my new vampire body, dyed my hair blonde, and had blue contact lenses. I hoped he’d notice me. I flirted with Chas while he stood behind the counter. It was a slow night and there were no customers around. He flirted back. Unfortunately, the three nurse necromancers recognized my red pickup truck parked outside Casey’s. We had an encounter the night before at Sam’s Butcher Shop. They burst into Casey’s and within seconds, my spirit body was floating ten feet in the air from my physical body.

49 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

The necromancers informed me that vampires were wicked and shouldn’t exist. They assumed Chas was my boyfriend from the intimate way we were macking on each other and they decided to punish him by association. And frame me for it. They made my vampire body attack him. My vampire body was drinking his blood, similar to what happened to Knox. I tried to jump back into my own body but couldn’t. They had full control of it. I jumped into Chas’ body instead. His body was completely drained of blood. I fought my vampire body using Chas’ body and in the process, managed to scare the necromancers enough that they took off in their vehicles. As soon as they left, my vampire body fell onto the floor. In Chas’ body, I crawled towards my vampire body, tore my neck, and drank my blood. Chas’ body began to heal. However, I realized that Chas’ spirit was no longer there. When I was back in my own body, Chas’ body rose up and attacked me. Whatever necromancer magic still pulsed in the air, compounded by whatever abominable thing I did to him, it had animated his body. I fed him my blood after he was drained of his own blood. He was already on his way to becoming a vampire. Without his spirit, he was just an empty vessel contaminated by necromancer magic. A zombie. I covered Chas’ mouth with duct tape to stop his zombie self from tearing into me. On the floor of Casey’s near the front counter, I held him in my arms. In my complete, utter misery, I cried tears of blood. I cried so hard that blood pooled underneath us. It looked like it rained 32 ounces of cherry slushy on the floor. I kissed Chas on the mouth over the duct-tape and I promised him I’d find out a way to get him back to normal. I took him home and chained him to the bed. However, I decided it was easier to restrain him by drugging him with sedatives. Ever since, I routinely drugged him and fed him my blood so he didn’t rot away like a zombie. Whenever he woke up in a trance, I fed him cats from the barn or whatever raw meat I could find. Now he lay in bed in Farmer Bill’s basement in a sedative-induced sleep, nursed by my newly acquired servants who worked the evening shift at Keno Municipal Hospital.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 50

I celebrated that I no longer needed to be so paranoid about sleeping during the day. I could order them to watch over me. I told them that after Knox takes me away, they must go and hide Chas where no one can find him. Some people would argue that having servants bending to my will should prickle my conscience. No prickling here. I was going to take appreciate the hell out of them. I appreciated them when they helped me corner and sedate Curly, the hog. “He’s got swine flu, I think,” I told Knox. Chas slept peacefully. He had a healthy color on his cheeks and he looked handsome with his blond hair falling over his closed eyes. I gently tucked the hair away. He mumbled softly in his sleep. “Brains.” Knox leaned over. “What did he say?” “He said ‘rain’. He likes the rain. He likes kisses under the rain,” I fibbed. “All right, Ms. Strump. Why did you not tell the police he is staying with you?” “Um, He got so sick so fast and I was so worried so I took him home with me. I didn’t know the cops were looking for him.” “A large amount of blood was found in the gas station. How do you account for that?” “Oh, that was my blood not his. I tried eating Casey’s pizza and couldn’t hold it down. I must have thrown up blood. It’s a vamp thing. I meant to clean up the mess but I panicked because Chas got really sick so fast.” He looked at me in disgust. “This doesn’t make sense at all, Ms. Strump.” I gave him a serious look. “Nevertheless, Ms. Strump, we should be on our way to see the Council. I will make sense of whatever happened here eventually. Our priority right now is to get you to a secure place.” Secure place. Translation: imprisonment Chloe, the redhead nurse asked politely, “Any last minute instructions before you leave, Evie?” “Oh, you know the drill. Keep him away from water and bright lights. And never feed him after midnight.”

51 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Knox looked at me questioningly. “I’m joking!” I insisted. “He likes the rain, remember? And don’t worry, he’s not a vampire.” Yet. “Later, Chloe, Delia.” I nodded at them. “Take good care of Chas.” “Let’s go, Knox. Zeke’s waiting in the truck.” Knox and I made our way upstairs from the basement. Knox carried his duffle bag. Along with some clothes, he had guns and a cell phone in his duffel bag. With me, I brought my wallet, my lighter, some sunscreen, and my pistol. I hid a stash of benzodiazepine in my person just in case. We found Farmer Bill sitting in the dining room eating his dinner. He had a feast of prime rib, sweet potatoes, freshly baked corn bread, and apple pie in front of him. Rob, the blond necromancer, was wearing an apron and was giving Farmer Bill another slice of prime rib. I’d glamoured Farmer Bill into thinking that Rob was his mail-order bride who eventually took a job at the hospital and decided to cook and clean for him. I grinned impishly at Farmer Bill and Rob. “My parole officer is here to take me to the police station. Don’t wait up for me. See you later Dad, you too Mom!”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 52

CHAPTER 7 - WIKIPEDIA ENTRY - RIOKI

Rioki___________________________
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia *** This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this article if you can. *** This article needs additional citations for verification. Rioki [ree-oh-kee] was a god[1] in Mage mythology. In monotheistic religions, he was considered a demon. According to medieval history, he instigated conflicts and wars from the late 1st century through the early 6th century among mortals in the Mortalworld as well as among the Others[2] in the Otherworld[3]. Rioki had the ability to change his appearance. This power could only manifest only through blood sacrifice. Therefore, he was known to have caused wars with bloodshed with the intent of improving his good looks. Not only did he feed on human life force through blood to support his power, he was also an incubus[4], feeding on human life force through sex. Origins Rioki was the debauched son of the Greek god Aeolus[5] and the Greek goddess Hestia[6]. Rioki married his own sister. As a result, Aeolus exiled him to the Mortalworld for committing incest. [citation needed] Character of Rioki Rioki was a smart, cunning and manipulative trickster. He was selfish and thought only of self-preservation. There were many recorded occasions throughout history[citation needed] where he was portrayed as evil, a coward, a liar, a cheat, a thief, and a murderer. Rioki’s rebellious nature was attributed to having straight-laced parents.[citation This was also known as the “PK syndrome”[7].
needed]

While he roamed the Mortalworld, Rioki met Vikari[8], the god of blood, and they wagered on their abilities to seduce mortal women. As a result of the wager, Rioki was said to have many children[9].

53 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Rioki was the master of seduction. He had the ability to change form to reflect what his victim wanted to see. To add a new form to his repertoire, he absorbed the life force from the death blood of ten mortals or of one virgin mortal. When Rioki wasn’t seducing humans, he was seducing everyone and everything else. He was also the one who coined the phrase, “Can you have sex with it?” [citation needed] Rioki’s other favorite pastime (third only to his seduction schemes and political machinations) was fighting as a knight in jousting tournaments. He owned a lance that never broke. He also used the unbreakable lance[10] as a marker to indicate the number of women he had slept with[11] and to hit women he thought were too ugly[12]. Rioki and the Incubus Wars A group of mages, including Merlin of King Arthur’s Court[citation needed], was fed up of Rioki and his wake of abominable offspring. They were also troubled by Rioki’s political interferences that resulted from all the bloodshed to feed his power. Using their combined magic, they waged war against Rioki, destroyed him, and hurled him into the 4th sublevel of the Netherworld to be tormented forever. The mages accomplished this by forging a weapon called “the Cuff of Shayam”[13] to lure him to his destruction with help from a prostitute. A book called “The Eight Elementals Manuscript, A Black Grimoire”[15] is rumored to contain instructions on how Rioki was defeated. The location of the grimoire [16] is currently unknown.
13Rioki

and the Cuff of Shayam

The Cuff of Shayam was forged out of silver using the eight medieval elementals[14], auric[17] and pranic[18] magic, and the blood sacrifice of 77 archmages. Rioki and Hendel’s Prophecy Hendel[19], the Guardian giant at the Seelie[20] Courts, foretold the end of the world, calling everyone to arms. His prophetic ramblings have included Rioki as one of the main figures ushering the end of the world[21]. Rioki and the Akeldham Brotherhood’s Book of Prophecy

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 54

The Akeldham Brotherhood[22] has a book of prophecy that warns about freeing Rioki from his sealed tomb that could only be unsealed by the blood sacrifice of 77 archmages as well as the dying blood of an innocent virgin. Rioki and Poetry Rioki considered himself a poet. There are several collections of his poems currently in private collections throughout the Mortalworld and the Otherworld. The most popular is “Aldanna, my lover”[23], which was published as a book and was available in public libraries until it was removed from circulation because they were deemed too titillating and pornographic. Electronic copies of the book became viral[24] as a result of the ban. Rioki was known to overuse words such as “lusty”, “bosom”, and “c***” [25] which triggered outrage[26] from religious sects. References
god – A god is a supernatural spirit with superhuman powers. Others – They are immortals invisible to most humans, such as angels, demons, goblins, gnomes, faeries, elves, and pixies. 3 Otherworld – realm of the Others where old age does not exist. Portals to the Otherworld are “Crossroads”. They are normally places in liminal state. 4 incubus – a demon male who has sexual intercourse with human females. 5 Aeolus – god “Keeper of the Winds”. 6 Hestia – goddess of hearth and home. 7 PK Syndrome (Preacher’s Kid Syndrome) condition that afflicts children born in good homes, who then rebel against their parents. 8 Vikari – god of blood, forbidden from entering the Otherworld because he infected the blood of a prominent, royal family. 9 Rioki’s children – his children were half-god and half-whatever he seduced (which were not always mortal or living). 10 unbreakable lance – could also be used as a metaphor for his other unbreakable lance. 11 bedpost notch – The notches in Rioki’s unbreakable lance were the medieval origin of “notches in your bedpost”. 12 ugly stick – the unbreakable lance was also the medieval origin of “someone beaten with an ugly stick”. 14 eight elementals – Air, Spirit, Earth, Water, Fire, Fuel/Oil/Sulfur, Salt, Pure Metals/Mercury/Silver. 16 grimoire – book of magic. 17 auric magic – magic involving etheric body, energy body. 18 pranic magic – magic involving breath of life, vital energy, spirit. 19 Hendel – Guardian at the Seelie Courts born around 150 A.D. A giant. He is the son of Bran the Blessed. He wears the black vial of Zarepath around his neck. 20 Seelie Courts – The Seelie are light faerie who are mostly friendly to humans. They have their own royalty (court). 21 end of the world – a great war that will usher the destruction of the Mortalworld as well as the Otherworld. 22 Akeldham Brotherhood – A brotherhood who procured relics no matter the cost. 23 Aldanna, my lover – A book of poems written by Rioki, the original copy is currently in the private collection of HRH (His Royal Highness) Archmage Delphin of MKE (Magocratic Kingdom of Europe). 24 viral – an Internet phenomenon where a contribution such as a video, photo, or document is spread through mass sharing. 25 c*** – a bad, bad word. 26 religious outrage – Book and document burning have been included in many religious ceremonies under the guise of “ritual sacrifice” which allowed religious communities to burn offensive copies legally within city limits.
1 2

Bibliography
F. M. Ashanna, Mage Lore: A Handbook (Thorwood, 2008) Christian Brown and Tina Drahman, Famous Incubi, (Cockle Press, New York, 1977) Fernando Diaz Handbook of Mythological Gods (Capshaw, 2005) Rayna Hess, “Mage History” (Durham, 2000; 2009) Thomson, Kelly, Rioki: Genealogy (Euclid, 1996) ISBN 960-77077-0-7-3871
15Author Unknown, The Eight Elementals Manuscript, A Black Grimoire [16] (early 6th

century)

55 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

CHAPTER 8 – THE COW JUMPS OVER THE FULL MOON

T

he meeting place for the Council of the Worlds was very anticlimactic.

I imagined lavish palatial halls worthy enough for the representative kings and queens of each dominion to assemble at. I anticipated sentinels and troops of soldiers at hand, armed and ready to subdue the Dark Overlord Queen in case she behaved badly. Instead, Knox escorted me to the big city’s courthouse. It was a three-level brick building most likely built during the early part of the century, judging from dilapidated look and the dirt and grime on the brick façade. The courthouse security guard didn’t blink at seeing me handcuffed to Knox. We left the weapons in my pickup with Zeke so we didn’t set off the metal detector. Neither the handcuffs nor Zeke’s lighter set it off either. The security guard acted as if a visitor showing up at the courthouse after regular business hours was normal occurrence. While the guard patted me down with professional indifference, a young man and a tall, young woman stood in line next to the metal detector behind us. The tall, young woman looked at Knox in surprise and said, “Brandon? Oh my goodness, is that you?” She had a Brooklyn accent, which I recognized from watching television. Knox turned around to face her. “Brandon Thorne? St. Bart’s College of Magical Arts, class of 2003? It’s Kaylie, Kaylie Silverstein.” The woman had long, curly, strawberry-blonde hair and pale skin. She wore a pair of khaki slacks and a brown, leather jacket over a well-fitting black shirt. I could see the butt of a large gun in her shoulder holster peeking out from under her brown, leather jacket. “Kaylie,” Knox gave her an earnest smile. “It’s been a very long time. How have you been?” The guard finished searching us and let us through. I let Knox stand on one side while he talked with his long-time buddy. I didn’t know anything about Knox. My curiosity was piqued.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 56

Kaylie replied good-naturedly, “I got my Hedge Mage license a couple of years ago. I heard about the troubles down here. They needed help apprehending some rogue. I could use the bounty.” She handed her gun to the guard, muzzle pointing away from him. “I’ve heard about your accomplishments, Brandon. You’ve done well for yourself. How are you doing?” “I work directly under Archmage Delphin, now.” She nodded, “Yes, I know that. I know you’re a Major General now. But how are you really doing? The tabloids said you got engaged to Lady Victoria Winslow.” I turned to look at Knox face. This ought to be interesting. I saw pain flash across Knox’s face and it was gone in an instant. “That didn’t quite work out.” “Uh huh,” Kaylie prodded. “Come on, Brandon. We pledged Kappa Theta Rho together. Remember the lion incident in the Trafalgar Square, what I did for you?” Knox looked uncomfortable. Knox turned to look at the scrawny young man. “Why don’t you introduce me to your friend, Kaylie?” The little sneak was changing the subject. The young man who came with Kaylie was tall and skinny with an acne-ridden face. He looked like he was struggling to reach past puberty. I felt so bad for his disfigured face that I wanted to give him one of my healing kisses. Kaylie introduced him as Scott Taeringale. He was a hedge knight who pledged his loyalty to her during her current stint as a bounty hunter mage. “Who’s your charge?” she asked when she noticed the handcuffs and me. “Kaylie Silverstein, Mr. Taeringale – Ms. Strump,” Knox looked at them and nodded towards me. Kaylie just about fell over her sensible boots. “The Seelie King has a bounty on you for two million ducats if you’re brought in alive before the next full moon.” Seal king? The only king I knew was Martin Luther King Jr. I didn’t know what ducats were either. Showed how much I knew about anything supernatural. “How much to deliver me dead?” I asked casually. “A million.”

57 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

I chuckled. “Can I deliver myself?” Knox tugged at me. “We best be going.” He shuffled me into a conference room. Kylie and Scott followed. Six pairs of eyes watched us as we walked into the conference room. Five men and a young woman sat around a large, rectangular folding table that dominated the small, windowless room. A round conference phone sat in the middle of the table. A projection machine was running. I heard someone squawk a question from the conference phone. One of the men sitting at the head of the conference table leaned forward and said, “I disagree. We have plenty on our hands right now. We can’t possibly afford to offer protection and then fight for the Norms if this Breaking truly happens.” We found empty seats on the other side of the room from the door. “This is a joint effort Governor Valdez. We would truly appreciate it if we get some cooperation from your people,” a voice from the conference phone said. I sat next to a young woman with a riot of short, black curls framing her pretty face. She looked up from her laptop and smiled at me with her Betty Boop lips. I smiled back. I could tell from his looks that she was vampire. She had a certain sheen to her skin that told me she wasn't quite human. She turned back to her laptop and continued her furious typing. “What could possibly be so important that it trumps our worlds’ survival?” a deep, male voice boomed from the conference phone. “Survival?” Governor Valdez, the vampire sitting at the head of the table, scoffed. He had a thin, hawk-like nose and ears that didn’t lie quite so flat on his dark head. “We’re told that the attack will come out of mirrors. We’re vampires. We don’t own mirrors. As far as I can tell, my people’s survival is not the issue here.” “So you’re just going to let the mortals get slaughtered in your city?” A different male voice said in disgust. Governor Valdez had an arrogant expression on his face. “That’s not our problem. We have our own internal problems that are more pressing which does concern my clan’s existence.” Governor Valdez leaned back on his chair at the head of the conference table. He wore a gray shirt over a black, pinstripe suit that bunched up on his chest when he crossed his arms. He raised his chin up in a haughty manner.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 58

Across from me, a large, brawny, blond man with a military haircut snorted. “It will be your problem when the mortals die from this invasion, the human economy collapses, you’ll lose your businesses and your investments, and there would be no one to line your pockets to support your extravagant lifestyle.” The blond man smelled suspiciously like a werewolf, pungent and earthy, though he wore a splash of cologne over his musk. Governor Valdez puffed, “How dare you criticize my lifestyle? If this Breaking is as serious as everyone says it is, I don’t think a thousand vampires pulled out of their regular jobs would make a difference in this city.” There were a thousand vampires in the city? That was a surprise. My gaze wandered to the projection on the wall. Then it struck me, the projector machine wasn't being used for a presentation. It was video feed from nine other locations. “To get back to Mr. Morris’ original question, what is so important, Governor Valdez, that it supersedes the issue at hand?” An older gentleman in the video projection asked. The words on the bottom of the screen of his video feed said, ‘Washington, D.C. – Archmage Potts – Magocratic Kingdom of North America’. “I believe vampires are being hunted in my city. Our people have been disappearing without explanation,” Governor Valdez responded. The white-haired Archmage Potts loomed closer to his video camera. “It’s possible they are connected to Major General’s presence in the area. He is a celebrity after all. There may be some unlicensed few who have heard about the hunt for the Dark Overlord Queen and decided all vampires need to be destroyed either for fame or for the bounty.” “This is exactly what we wanted to avoid! Only a few of us are supposed to know about this bounty King Taranis offered. This prejudice will has to stop. You can’t punish a whole species because of the acts of a few.” Governor Valdez griped. “How many of your vampires are missing?” A man who wasn’t on video asked through the conference phone. “We’re missing six vampires just in the last week,” Governor Valdez responded. “Do you think this has something to do with your drug problem?” said the same, deep, disembodied voice. “What drug problem?” A voice boomed with authority. Governor Valdez hesitated for a couple of seconds and then said, “Someone’s been selling vampire blood to the Norms, Master Mancini.” “Vampire blood? I thought vampire blood only gives a temporary high similar to a caffeine buzz? If they want to get the same high, isn’t it cheaper to just buy an energy drink?” asked the brawny werewolf who sat across from me.

59 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Governor Valdez shifted his weight in his seat and said, “This one’s different. They’re calling it Liquid Venom on the streets.” I perked up. Another male voice rang loudly through the conference phone. “I agree with Fane. Vampire blood is not that impressive. Certainly, you can get a buzz, if you can get past the metallic taste. The pleasure comes from the act of biting itself, when the dopamine is released through the vampire’s fangs to counter the pain while the blood is being drained.” “The ones showing up on the streets are different,” Governor Valdez insisted. “They’re selling high grade vampire blood.” “Um, what exactly happens when people take this high grade stuff?” I asked. I felt everyone’s eyes on me. “Hi there. How are you? Now, what does this Liquid Venom do to humans that make it so dangerous?” I asked again. There was a cough. “It’s more like weed laced with ecstasy. It produces a temporary, sexual high. The difference is this particular vampire blood heals the body,” someone answered through the conference phone. “That doesn’t sound so bad.” I shrugged. Someone choked in a laughter. “It puts the user in a stupor for several hours similar to the marijuana high and gives them a sense of invincibility,” the low voice explained.” It’s become popular among college kids.” “And we all know that marijuana is not a safe drug,” someone commented. “The healing is the one that worries me. Normal vampire blood doesn’t do that. Do the Norms know it’s vampire blood?” Antonio Mancini, the USA Federation Master Vampire asked. He must be the vampire equivalent for a president. “We don’t know if they know.” “If the Norms find out, we’ll have vampire hunters hunting us all over the country so they can harvest our blood,” an authoritative voice warned. “Or hunt you for contributing to their drug problem,” another voice said sardonically.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 60

“The blood with healing properties doesn’t come from just any vampire blood. It has to come from a Master and the first of his line.” Master Antonio Mancini remarked. “Better than a Master Vampire?” a vampire governor from the West Coast spoke out. “That’s unbelievable!” He had his own square in the projection screen but the seat looked empty. That confirmed my suspicions that vampires couldn’t be videotaped. “There are 2,632 registered Masters and only 12 Firsts in the Mortalworld. As of this morning, all the 12 Firsts are accounted for,” the low voice in the conference phone pointed out. “Are you accusing one of our Firsts of pandering their own blood to junkies in a Midwestern city in the middle of nowhere?” the West Coast governor asked in disbelief. “Hey, I resent that!” Governor Valdez objected. “Don’t you dare insult my city!” “Maybe Master Lazaro decided to start a new line?” the low voice suggested. I heard low murmurs in the background. “Did anyone bother to ask him if he did?” Another voice asked. “You don’t just ask the Father of All Vampires if he started a new line,” the low voice pointed out. “This brings us back to the topic of the Universal Registry. We should register each vampire and each were-animal, collect samples of their blood and put them in an international database.” I didn’t like that idea at all. “Can we shelf this topic for some later time? As much as I want to start a long debate about rights to privacy versus homeland security, I do believe the impending war takes precedence.” I silently cheered at whoever spoke up against the registry idea or more specifically, the collection of my blood and the resulting match to a certain street drug. “Hey,” I turned to the girl vampire with the laptop. “What does the Father of All Vampires look like? Have you seen him before?” I asked in a low voice in her ear. “I’ve never met him but I’ve seen his portraits. He’s absolutely gorgeous. He has black hair, brown eyes, a cleft on his chin, and a sexy mouth. I hear he’s quite the ladies’ man.” She whispered back, smiling. “What’s his name again?” “Master Victor Lazaro,” she replied, still whispering.

61 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Victor Lazaro. Vick Laszlo. I met a vampire named Vick Laszlo once. And I killed him.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 62

CHAPTER 9 – UNEMPLOYED, UNDERAPPRECIATED, AND UNDEAD

“W

hat’s a pretty girl like you doing all alone in a place like this?”

I glanced sideways and saw a tall, middle-aged, balding man wearing a faded, denim button-up shirt with a matching pair of too-tight jeans. He interrupted my sorrow drowning. My hand tightened around the empty glass of Rum and Coke in front of me. “Sorry, not interested.” I turned my back from the man who took a seat on the barstool to my right. “I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to her.” I realized my mistake. He was in fact hitting on a middle-aged, blonde woman whose bosom practically fell out of her thin, form-fitting, red blouse. “You look lonely so I thought I’d give you some company,” he cooed at her. He leaned over the counter and asked Mac, the bartender, to bring whatever drink the bosomy woman had previously ordered. I smothered my irritation and continued nursing my foul mood. I was frustrated at how my life had turned out. Earlier that day, I was laid off from my job at the old folks’ home. I worked at Heritage Senior Living Center in Keno as a Resident Associate (aka Janitor) since I graduated from high school. The money I earned helped pay for classes at Metro Community College in the big city. I made beds, cleaned common areas, served meals in the dining hall, assisted with their recreational activities, and sometimes helped the residents with their personal needs. Some of those needs were extremely personal, such as smuggling in Penthouse magazines for lecherous Mr. Chandler and D-size batteries for Mrs. Meyer’s vibrator.

63 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

I’d just finished cleaning up a toileting accident when Phyllis, the director called me to her office and informed me that because of the economy, they had to let me go. For four years, I worked hard for them and they laid me off instead of the no-good imbecile Diana Simmons who was idiotic enough to use cleaning products that produced fumes around the senior residents with respiratory problems. In a seething rage, I left the Heritage Senior Living Center and drove from Keno to the city. I took my frustration out on my liver. Big Jim’s Tavern was the place to do exactly that. It was a small hole-in-the-wall in the southern edge of the city. The patrons there were older and rural, rather than hip, college-aged types. I preferred imbibing in the anonymity of the city than in one of Keno’s twelve bars where everyone recognized me and knew what a loser I was. I scowled at my empty glass once more. “I almost feel awkward for you.” A low, husky voice behind me said. “Excuse me?” I turned towards the voice. The most handsome man I’d ever seen stood behind me, his sensual lips curved into a mocking smile. A small cleft on his chin only served to emphasize his masculine jaw. His long, flowing hair, black as a raven, framed his gorgeous face. His deep, brown eyes were mesmerizing, pulling me inexplicably towards him. I almost fell off the barstool. I internally smacked myself. What was wrong with me? The tall, dark-haired, oliveskinned vision wasn’t even my type. My type was Chas Marshall, the jock athlete from my high school, with his classic good looks, the blond-haired, blue-eyed dream wonder whom I lusted after since fourth grade. “It must feel awkward to be overlooked for another woman.” “Overlooked for big-breasted women, you mean,” I said wryly. “Yeah, I already know I don’t stack up to the competition.” I hastily added, “As I said, I’m not interested.” “The sting of rejection is never pleasant, regardless of who does the rejecting,” he said in his deep, sultry voice. I snorted in an unladylike manner and turned to watch the hockey game on the screen bolted to the wall above the bar. Let him feel the sting of my rejection. I waved to Mac, the bartender, to give me a basket of free popcorn along with another glass of Rum and Coke.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 64

In my peripheral vision, I saw Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome move to my left and give the man on the barstool next to me a look. The man, who was sitting there innocently, wearing his cowboy hat, drinking his beer, and watching the game, stood up and walked away. The tall, dark, and handsome man slid onto the newly unoccupied seat. “A tad aggressive, don’t you think?” I couldn’t help commenting. “I always get what I want,” his eyes glittered and held mine for a few seconds. “Always?” I asked. “Always,” he replied enigmatically. “Are you saying you’ve never been turned down before?” I asked with disbelief. “Not by a woman, no.” “Well, good luck with that,” I said cheerfully. I forced myself to look away from his enthralling eyes to watch the hockey game on TV. I crunched on hard kernels of corn, silently griping at the fact that some people had the ‘it’ factor. Things they wanted came easily to them. I wished I had power to get people to do what I wanted. Then maybe I’d still have a job. Maybe Chas would finally realize I existed and hold me in his arms and kiss me. People like me had to work a little harder to get what we wanted in life while others got it handed to them in a silver platter. “Tell me, where are you from, darling?” Mr. I-Always-Get-What-I-Want asked in his deep, sexy voice leaning towards me casually. “Balls,” I replied caustically without looking at him. “I’m from my daddy’s balls.” He laughed. He persisted. “Is the game going the way you want?” It was the fourth quarter and the Detroit Red Wings was losing. Hell, they had been in a losing slump all season. I was actually going to lose money to Mr. Sullivan, one of the senior residents at the old folks’ home. The good news was I wouldn’t have to cough up the money if I didn’t show up for work over there anymore. My cloud had a silver lining. I was going to say something ornery, like, Is your game going your way? but I decided maybe karma would be less bitchy to me if I reined in the snide remarks. “No, my favorite team’s doing badly. Do you follow hockey?” I asked, turning to look at him, which was a mistake. His dark, brown eyes held mine.

65 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“No, it’s not my kind of sport.” His eyes were deep wells, drawing me in. “I like to hunt. I like the challenge.” He smiled wickedly. I smiled at his double-entendre. “Hockey too violent for you?” I asked, chewing on a handful of popcorn, not able to tear away from his gaze. “Regrettably, I don’t see the attraction. It’s quite primitive. I like sports that require more finesse and thought. I like sports where the prize is a lot more substantial than a mere puck in the net.” I felt his intense gaze move from my face, down to my shirtfront, and then back to my face again. I shivered. You can put your puck in my net, anytime. I shook my head. Where did that thought come from? “I disagree,” I said loudly. “Hockey players have to think literally on their feet to defeat their opponents. They have to come up with game strategies. The game requires leadership and determination. The players have the skills that only come from years of practice.” I liked hockey. I liked watching the man’s man. I appreciated a man who could stand up for himself, a man who could stand up for me, and a man who could stand up to me. Chas was the star hockey player at Keno High. Chas was the Conan to my Valeria. “I have to admit, the game is quite barbaric,” I admitted. We both watched the screen as one player slammed against another player with explosive violence. “It’s not any different than other activities you’re probably familiar with, fighting for territory, releasing pent-up aggression, and showing raw emotions.” I smiled at him. Was I flirting with him? Why was I flirting with him? This man was an arrogant stranger who boasted that he gets what he wanted. I was making it too easy for him. “If you always get what you want, what prompted you come to a shit hole like this place?” I asked dryly. I noticed he wasn’t from around here, judging from his dark, long coat, his dark pants, his fancy, black, silk shirt, and his accent that I couldn’t pinpoint. “I came to enjoy the company of a beautiful and fascinating woman.” I laughed. “Haven’t heard that before.” “People are inherently lonely. They have a deep-seated desire to seek the company of others in places such as this.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 66

“Yes, yes. Like you, I came here to trawl for sex. Satisfied, Mr. Freud?” I said with heavy sarcasm. He gave me another one of those deep stares. “What really brings you here?” “I’m here for the atmosphere,” I said with my mouth half-full of popcorn. “I wasn’t here for the company.” “Tell me, why is a lovely, young woman like you here by yourself. A lovers’ spat, perhaps?” I made an undignified noise. Popcorn may have come out of my nose. “I got laid off today from my job at Heritage Senior Living Center in Keno. I drove up here to forget about my problems by drinking large quantities of alcohol.” “Don’t you have family who can help you through your troubles?” he asked with concern in his deep, sexy voice. “No, no family. I never knew my father. My mother passed away a couple of years ago. I’m an only child.” “No man in your life?” “No man, no.” I quickly turned away from him. “I shouldn’t be telling you any of this. For all I know, you’re some psycho killer.” I could see him flashing his charming smile at me from the corner of my eyes. “You have a fear of intimacy.” “I don’t have a fear of intimacy. I have a fear of strangers who could get me to talk about things I don’t want to talk about.” I got up from my seat. “I don’t know how you’re doing whatever you’re doing, but it won’t work with me.” While I was in the ladies’ room, I splashed cold water on my flushed face. There was something about him I couldn’t quite figure out. I was proud of my abilities to see past pretenses and be immune to players’ charms. When it came to this man, I didn’t like him, yet I liked him. Something strange was going on with me. I needed to get out of there.

67 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

He was no longer sitting at the bar anymore when I left the ladies’ room. “Where did the man who was sitting here earlier go?” I asked Mac, the bartender. Mac shrugged. I mooched a cigarette from him. Outside, I lit the cigarette using a book of matches from Big Jim’s Tavern. I leaned back on door of my truck as I enjoyed the crisp, cool air and the harsh drag from the cigarette. “What would it take for you to spend time with me a little longer?” a voice called out. All of a sudden, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome was standing right beside me. “Shit!” The cigarette fell into a puddle. “You’re not my type,” I said nervously. How did he sneak up on me so fast? “Tell me, what is your type?” “Not you,” I turned to open the driver’s side door of my truck. He put his weight on the door. “I feel that we have a connection,” he said earnestly. “You and I have a connection, all right, when I connect my fist to your pretty face if you don’t move out of my way,” I warned. As much as I loved strong men, I didn’t like it when they used their strength against me. “Please,” he said softly. “My name is Vick. Vick Laszlo. Tell me your name.” He let me open the truck door. I hesitated and then turned to look up at him. He had beautiful, dark brown eyes, like chocolate. “I’m Evie.” He smiled. “Evie. That’s a beautiful name. Will you let me buy you a drink and sit with me for a while? I promise I will play nice.” I gave in. “We can go to Roxanne’s. It’s a dance club downtown. You can follow me in your car.” “I didn’t come here in a car.” That was interesting. Public transportation in the big city wasn’t dependable. I’d be surprised to see a taxicab on this side of town. We drove together to Roxanne’s. It was a Thursday night and the club wasn't very busy. We sat at a quieter section of the club where we could still hear each other talk.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 68

We watched the young people at the club and we talked about how men and women interacted with each other. We talked about the philosophical reasons why men do what they do to women and vice versa. “What do you think about her? Would you seduce someone like her?” I asked, pointing at a woman whose breasts were so perky and artificial, they looked like they were about to explode. “I am not biased,” he responded. He dressed well. His silky-looking, black dress shirt showed a little of his muscular chest. I asked him where he was from and he said something vague like the East Coast. Vick kept buying me Rum and Coke. As I chugged down my drinks, I became chattier. “That man loses points for groping her. There’s nothing more disgusting than a man who cops a feel on the dance floor,” I declared drunkenly. “I agree. If I were he, I would show respect to the woman first. I’ll have plenty of time to disrespect her later.” He looked at me suggestively. I laughed. I took another large swallow from my glass. I went on. “Men need to learn how to read a woman’s body language. I mean, look at that guy. He just doesn’t get the hint. The girl practically wedged herself between her girlfriends to avoid dancing with him.” “What would you do to avoid unwanted attentions?” he asked casually. “I’d excuse myself and go to the ladies’ room,” I grinned widely. “Or I’d just tell them I’m pregnant, or I have children. Telling them you have a boyfriend or that you’re a lesbian won’t work. It just encourages them. If I’m not feeling nice, I just tell them to fuck off.” “And what kind of men would warrant your attentions?” A man who was good inside but a pervert in bed. But I didn’t say that out loud. “I like men who knows who they are and what they stand for, strong, secure men who are confident in their beliefs and don’t shy away from a challenge.” One of the themed rooms at Roxanne’s had pool tables. I challenged Vic to a game of pool. Somehow, during the game, women flocked to him and flirted with him. I rolled my eyes. “How do you do that?” I asked while I racked the ball for another game. He had won the first one and I lost five bucks.

69 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“It’s about perception. Your appearance, your presence, your status, your confidence, your responses, they all play a part.” He smiled. “You spark their curiosity. You communicate that you have something they want that no one else could give.” His words sent an involuntary thrill down my body. After I lost another five dollars, I told him, “Okay, Vick. Twenty says you won’t be able to get a girl’s number if she’s already committed.” I pointed to a girl wearing a large engagement ring who was at the club with a large group of girls, celebrating her bachelorette party. “Get her number.” Five minutes later, he came back with a glass of Rum and Coke for me and a phone number. She had bought him a drink. “You should write a book on how to attract the ladies,” I told him. He was smooth. “It must be last call for drinks. Fido over there is looking for someone to dry hump,” I observed. “I’ll drive you home,” he took my arm and we left Roxanne’s. He ushered me to my truck. I certainly didn’t want him to drive me home. That would mean I’d have to invite him into my apartment until we could get a taxi to drive down to Keno from the big city. However, I was beyond capable of driving home by myself. I had no choice but to let him drive my truck. I scolded myself internally for being an idiot. He stood next to me as I unlocked the passenger side door of my truck. I was about to pull the door open when he pushed it closed. “I really don’t like it when you do that,” I complained. He had both his hands on the truck on either side of my head. I had my back on the truck, my face looking up at him. We stared at each other for a few seconds. Then finally, Vick lowered his face until it was inches from mine. “Don’t you like it when I do this?” He grazed on my lower lip, teasing and seducing. I pulled his face towards me and accepted his kiss. *** As we reached the outskirts, I made Vick stop in front of Keno’s black-and-white, checkered water tower that was surrounded by a chain-link fence. “What are we doing?” he asked curiously when we were exiting the pickup truck. “We are climbing this water tower.” I said with glee. “Ever wondered what we do for fun in small towns? Come on, Vick, bring those gloves.”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 70

“I don’t think this is a good idea,” he said, but he looked amused. “Isn’t this illegal?” He shrugged off his coat and placed it on the driver’s seat of the truck. “Highly,” I said as I pulled myself up on the chain-link fence. “It’s only illegal because it’s trespassing, not to mention we could fall and break our necks.” I was giggling uncontrollably by the time we scaled the chain-link fence around the tower. A metal sheet covered the base of the ladder. I started climbing the back of the ladder and Vick followed. The metal on the ladder was very cold even though I was wearing my black, leather gloves. When we reached the platform with a railing that circled the thickest part of the round tower, my lungs were burning and I was out of breath. Vick didn’t remotely look exhausted. Somehow, his clothes managed to stay impeccable. I shivered when a cold, light breeze blew around us. Vick put both arms around me. “Isn’t the view magnificent?” I let him hold me. I expected him to envelop me in his warmth but his skin was cool. I shivered some more. From a distance, we could see the bright lights from the big city. I saw the fluorescent lights from the Casey’s General Store at one side of the town. It had closed for the night but the lights from the 24-hour gas pumps were still on. On the other side of town, past the cemetery, I could see lights from Farmer Bill’s farmhouse. “Have you ever wondered if there’s more to human existence?” he asked. “All the time,” I sniffled. The wind was a little nippy and parts of my anatomy were nipping out. “What is it you want out of life, Evie?” My thoughts quickly went to Chas Marshall. I didn’t expect much from life. My philosophy had always been, dream little, expect little, and I wouldn’t be disappointed on how life turns out. My dreams were simple: Chas Marshall and me, together. Maybe, tattoo his name on my back. Yet, here I was in the arms of a stranger named Vick on top of Keno’s black-and-white, checkered water tower. “World peace.” I replied. “I want to end world hunger and I want world peace.” “What if you are given the ability to make a difference in the world?”

71 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

“I suppose I can be like another Angelina Jolie, saving the world, one orphan at a time,” I babbled. “I can offer you power and glory beyond your wildest imagination.” Vick expressively swept his right hand out, palm up. “Say, yes.” “Um hmm,” I murmured. I was half-paying attention to him, half-paying attention to the liquor unhappily churning in my stomach. “I can give you whatever you desire, darling.” I felt his deep voice resonate in his strong, broad chest where I lay my head. “Now, that is a pickup line if I’ve ever heard one.” I laughed. He silenced me with another kiss. It was a passionate kiss for him, a drunken kiss for me. My head spun, most likely from the alcohol. He slid his mouth over my cheeks and down the side of my neck. His arms held me tighter. As he bit me, I felt a sharp, intense pain. I was about to protest but I immediately felt a concentrated rush of pleasure, which spread throughout my body. I was feeling guilty receiving too much pleasure. I barely knew the guy. “So what are your hobbies?” I asked faintly. I looked up and saw the twinkling stars begin to fade. Slowly, I blinked out. *** The sounds of blood rushing and pounding filled my head. I heard the loud drumming of a heart beating. The beats were very slow at first and then the beats picked up pace, faster and faster. Slurping. There were sounds of someone slurping. The metallic smell of blood triggered a strong need in the pit of my stomach. I was so thirsty, desperately thirsty, and I was drinking for all my life’s worth. A hard body lay underneath me and it felt good. I moaned and squirmed. A muscular arm around me held me down like a vice. I felt the tight hold of fingers knotted roughly in my hair. My own fingers were entangled in someone’s hair. In my experience, feeling this good meant I was doing something very naughty. Very naughty, indeed. I tried to lift my head up but the hand kept my head down. “Drink,” a gruff voice ordered. I wasn’t about to disobey the voice or the painful hunger pangs in my belly. I drank and drank.

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 72

A warm glow radiated throughout my body. I was giddy with pleasure. However, the pleasure was short-lived. The heat intensified slowly around my heart. The temperature on my chest rose until it was almost unbearable. The heat violently seared through my veins. The burning scorched my body and I began to thrash in pain. I started to yell, but the hand held me down. Every nerve in my body screamed in anguish. I needed the pain to stop. I cleared my mind of the horrible pain and tried to think of something nice. Chas, maybe? No, the ache of unrequited love would just add to the whopping pain. I needed to be somewhere cool, somewhere exotic, somewhere away from the world I knew. Water. The cooling, healing energy of water. I envisioned a small waterfall. Cool, refreshing water flowed down into a large swimming hole at its base. I clearly saw myself floating in the swimming hole, the water cooling my skin, soothing my insides. I floated, feeling the water wash over me, calm me, and heal me. A loud rumbling interrupted the quiet serenity of my secret place. The rumbling sound became increasing loud and my whole waterfall haven shook. There was a cave behind the waterfall, hidden by the sheets of water flowing down. From the cave, thousands and thousands of bats flew out. The bats flew towards me and encircled the air above me. I screamed. I was back on the platform railing that curved around Keno’s water tower, straddling Vick Laszlo. He looked up at me with a smug smile, a pair of long incisors peeking out. Even in the darkness, I could clearly see that his neck and shirt were drenched in blood. Both his wrists were dripping in blood. Hmm. Here, I had an exceptionally seductive guy with fangs, who had essentially Jedi mind-tricked me. In addition, I had an overwhelming hankering for blood, there was the general horniness on my part, and let us not forget the creepy bat vision. An elementary school kid could figure out what was going on. “Phick Laszlo, You’re a Jack Ass wiw a caphital A,” I lisped.

73 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

CHAPTER 10 – IS THAT AN OXYGEN TANK IN YOUR PANTS OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME?

“I

think I know the answer to this question but what the hell did you do, Vick?” I yelled out after I figured out how to retract the sharp fangs without slicing my lower lip.

I rolled off him, pulled myself up, and backed away from him until my back was touching the metal of the water tower. My head was clear, all remnants of alcoholinduced haziness had dissipated. My night vision was remarkably sharp. I watched him as he stood up. He was no longer wearing what I thought he was wearing that evening. The, black, silk shirt and black pants had been replaced by a crimson vest and a white shirt with ruffles. A long, white cloth hung around his neck. The white ruffled sleeves and the white neck cloth were marred with blood. He wore a pair of grey breeches that were probably fashionable two hundred years ago. His boots had ruby buckles and the heels added about three inches to his height. He wasn’t such a tall man after all. I took a deep breath. I could smell everything. I smelled the metal that made up the black-and-white, checkered water tower. I smelled the hogs at Farmer Bill’s farm on the other side of town. I smelled blood. Sweet, delicious blood. I licked my lips. Vick’s blood in my mouth tasted like heaven. He was a vampire. “You’re truly a vampire, aren’t you?” I pressed myself harder against the water tower. “You don’t remember me?” He smiled. “What are you talking about? Of course, I remember you. You’re the nice guy I picked up from the bar who was nice enough to fucking Jedi mind-fuck me. And if I’m not mistaken, you also killed me.” He took a couple of steps towards me. “I know what you are. The question is, do you know what you are? Do you remember who I am?”

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

P a g e | 74

I swallowed. My stomach rumbled and I felt the sharp pang of hunger for more blood. His blood. I wanted to jump him and suck on his neck. I disgust me. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never seen you before tonight” “For three years I have been looking for you.” Three years ago, my greatest problem was getting Chas Marshall to notice me in high school. My greatest problem today was trying to get Chas Marshall to notice me. My dreams were dust. No way was Chas going to love me now. I was truly, irrevocably dead. That reality hit me hard like that time when nasty Jennifer Delaney threw an ice-hard snowball at my head and taunted me, the uncool loser. I may be an uncool loser with no job, no future, and no love life but dammit, I was a living, breathing loser. Vick Laszlo took the choice away from me. I was no longer human. No longer part of the mortal world. I was dead. Or undead. Vampires were evil, weren’t they? Was my soul damned for eternity now? My head spun. I couldn’t breathe. Can vampires have panic attacks? “Stay away from me.” I scrambled down the ladder. I missed a step I braced myself as I slid clumsily the rest of the way down. Instead of the jarring impact that should’ve shattered my knees, I landed at the base effortlessly. I flung myself over the chain-link fence and landed on all fours. When I got up, I came face-to-chest with Vick’s crimson vest. “Whoever you think I am, you got the wrong person. I’ve never seen you before tonight.” He reached over and placed both hands on my shoulders. I twisted free from his grasp and ran to my truck. I slammed the door shut and pushed the manual locks down. I had the engine running when Vick looked in through the driver’s side window, frowning. “Evie, please stay. We’ll talk about this.” I threw the gear in reverse with violence. The tires spun on gravel and I maneuvered the truck backwards onto the main street. The truck roared as I changed gears too quickly, going fifty miles an hour on Keno’s deserted main street. Shit. Shit. Shit. I’m a vampire. He’s a vampire. This had to be a dream. This wasn’t real. This wasn’t happening to me.

75 | P a g e

EVIE STRUMP THE EVIL VAMP

Sure, I’d maliciously slandered some girls in high school. I’d seduced a virgin Sophomore on a bet during my Senior year. I’d smoked some weed. I’d spat on Sheriff Connelly’s pork tenderloin sandwich during my very short stint behind Mick’s Bowling Alley’s concession counter. I zoomed past the bowling alley wondering if Sheriff Connelly would be able to help in a time like this. Maybe not. After all, I was vampire now, too. Why was I being punished? What did I do to deserve this? I approached the turn that led to the low-income apartments where I lived. A lone, dark figure stood in the middle of the street. It was Vick. Shit! He followed me. I swerved to avoid him and missed my turn. I glanced at the rearview mirror and saw bats flying where he had once stood. Evie, stop! His voice echoed clearly in my head. Against my will, my foot eased up on the accelerator. My new vampire heart pounded loudly. Shit! How the hell do you escape a vampire who can control your body? As the truck slowed down at the next corner, I jerked the steering wheel to the right. I let the truck coast towards the only other place I considered home. The Heritage Senior Living Center.

Related Interests