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"Hey, Professor Steiner is paying us good money to find this corpse. That is, if there even is one," John replied, reminding his friend that this was a paid excursion.
"Ah BS! That old guy is senile. First, who in the hell believes in vampires? Second, why would he possibly think the body of one is hidden in these woods? This ain't Transylvania!"
"Well, the story is that a good friend of his actually killed one. It was supposedly a female vampire, and her mate hunted down the Professor's friend and killed him in revenge. He believes that the remains of the female vampire are hidden out here somewhere. All I know is that he said they are likely not buried, and are possibly tucked away somewhere, protected from the sunlight ... we should really start heading back soon ... it's beginning to get dark."
"Come on, we can just camp out here. I'll protect you from the boogeyman. This way we will save a lot of time going back and forth," Don stated sarcastically.
Don was a hunter and tracker, and he felt very much at home sleeping in the wild. He was a big muscular man that looked like he belonged in the woods and could easily be mistaken for a lumberjack. John had taken him on as a guide, and to come along in helping search for the vampire's remains. John was skeptical of the whole purpose, but had a high respect for Professor Steiner, who had hired him. John was a smaller man, and appeared more the academic type—more of a bookworm or nerd. He had been told the story of a Ted Scott, who had accidentally met up with a female vampire and killed her with a crossbow. Supposedly, her mate hunted Ted down in Minneapolis and killed him in a gruesome manner. The Professor swore that he not only saw the vampire, he actually had words with him. John knew the Professor for over twenty years, and believed that there had to be "some" element of truth to the story. So there they were, following the Professor's directions, combing the wilderness in the northwest corner of the state searching caves, sink holes, and rock piles.
"I'm really not sure we should camp out here ..." John was only reluctant because of the Professor's warnings.
"What? Afraid the boogeyman will get us?" Don laughed. "Look, we have to walk miles back to the car, and then search for a motel. Let's just stay out here."
"Maybe you're right. We would definitely save a lot of time and cover a lot more ground. I did promise the Professor that we would cover as much territory as possible in three days. I guess we should look for a small clearing and make camp."
Don led the way. They soon came upon a clearing which had a huge boulder the size of a house in the center. "Here is a great place; we can literally sleep with our back to the wall." He was pointing at the giant boulder. Don was an expert in the north woods and his instincts were finely tuned, so John agreed. Little did they realize that the body they were looking for was very close, and the boulder they chose to sleep next to was the favorite resting place of Christian, the hundred year old vampire, and his new mate, Katherine.
"Tell me about this professor guy," Don asked, getting comfortable.
"Professor Steiner is an expert in the field of anthropology and I studied under him. He has a brilliant mind, so I believe there must be some substance to his story. He has the courage to consider himself a vampire expert. Honestly, I'm not much for the vampire theory, but I'd like to believe he has some sound basis for this search."
"Well, you watch out for the killer vampires, and I'll keep an eye out for Bigfoot!" Don joked.
As they talked, darkness quickly fell. Being as there are no lights in the woods, they swiftly put a campfire together. Slowly, the silent woods became full of sounds, as crickets, frogs, and even owls began their songs of the night. They both carried MRE's in their backpacks—meals ready to eat—popular with hunters and survivalists. Outside of the glow of their campfire was utter darkness. It becomes so dark that people have been known to suffer from claustrophobia, being enveloped in darkness that seems to totally encase them.
"When you're done eating that, throw the tins in the fire. That will destroy the scent of food so a bear won't come sniffing around. I really don't want to have to shoot a bear. I am curious, if we do find some remains, how will you identify it as being those of a vampire?" Don questioned.
"Well, the Professor said firstly, not to move them, for he believes they will deteriorate should they be exposed to sunlight. He said that the jaws and teeth will make it obvious. It will have fangs that may be as long as four or five inches, and all of the teeth will appear as pointed and sharp as canines," John explained. "Should we find it, after we are done staring at it, I'm to leave a tracking device and get to a land line and call him immediately, as there is no cell phone coverage out here. However, he swears that if we find it we will be in dangerous territory, because her mate will definitely be in the area."
"You don't really believe all that vampire crap do you?"
"Let me ask you this; the FBI says over three quarter of a million people disappear every year. Where do you think they all go?" John asked.
"Over seven hundred fifty thousand."
"I have no clue. Given the way our government is going, maybe they all head for Canada. I would also guess that maybe there's a giant homeless camp in Area 51," Don joked.
As they bantered, they never noticed the woods becoming strangely silent, as the night creatures became quiet all at once. Just ten feet above them, on the flat top of the boulder, sat two vampires ... listening.
"So you think that vampires are killing people and nobody is aware of them?"
"It's certainly possible. I mean, even if they find a mutilated body, who would have courage enough to attribute the killing to a vampire? Can you imagine what would happen to anyone in law enforcement that might even imply such a thing? They would be sent to the loony bin. The Professor says a detective he knows is very aware of the problem, but any word to the public would simply create chaos. Imagine how many of these kids wearing that 'Goth' make-up would get staked in the heart by a paranoid John Q. Public?"
Christian whispered to Katherine. "It seems they are hunting for us once again ..."
"So? We'll just eat a little early tonight," she answered with a smile.
"No, you don't understand. They know this is my domain, and they will continue to come. The old man is obsessed with finding us. He is relentless. I'm afraid we must change our territory."
"So we cannot just eat them both?"
"We will only feed off one and leave the other to spread the word that we are here. That will guarantee that those who know of us will focus their energy on finding us here, while we will move elsewhere."
"Where will we go?"
"I'm not sure, but far, far away."
Meanwhile, below them, the conversation continued.
"So, the story is that this Ted guy killed a vampire with a crossbow?"
"If you believe in such things, it is a most effective weapon," John replied.
"Crossbow my ass! It's just a little too medieval for me. You should see what my .223 can do. As far as I'm concerned, you don't take a damned crossbow to a gun fight."
John just shrugged. "Hey, if you don't believe, there is nothing I can say with any authority to convince you. I myself have never seen a vampire, and other than Professor Steiner and his detective friend, I don't know of another soul that has."
"I will do my job, but I seriously think we are wasting our time and that old man's money. Who is afraid of a vampire anyway? Some of them sparkle like fairies, others sit down for an interview and cry like big babies. So they bite you—who cares? You want to see a good bite? I'll bring my Pit Bull out here and we'll see who bites who!" As Don smiled at the thought of his Pit Bull, he suddenly became aware of the sudden silence.
John began to speak. "Don ..."
"SSHHH. Listen! There is no sound? Everything just went dead. Too quiet! It's a sure sign that a large predator is near ..." Don immediately reached for his rifle and quickly chambered a shell. "I don't hear a darned thing moving?"
"What are you listening for?" John questioned.
"Any movement at all. A bear will make a lot of noise, so it's no bear, but even a big cat will step on dry leaves or a twig. I don't hear a thing, but whatever it is, must be near ..."
In a whisper, Katherine stated, "Let's get this party started."
Christian frowned. "Your modern phrasing can be confusing. We want the one with the gun."
That said, Christian and Katherine descended silently, landing directly behind Don and John. Katherine thought she would have some fun. "Looking for us?" she said softly. Both being startled, the men turned in shock. Don immediately pointed and fired his rifle, in a complete reflex of fear.
Katherine smiled. "That was a mistake. Had I been human, you might have killed me!"
Before he could even pull the trigger a second time, Christian had a firm grip on his throat. Seeing Don overtaken and unarmed, John instantly realized they had no defense as they brought no crosses or weapons that might be effective, so he turned and ran blindly into the darkness in a hysterical fright.
As Christian inhaled the pleasant scent of pure fear, Katherine tormented their victim.
"So, we sparkle like fairies?"
"Do I sparkle?"
"We cry like babies?"
"Our bite is no worse than that of a dog?"
"Well, let's just find out," she taunted.
"Please! Let me go. I'll give you anything you want! Please!" Don begged.
Christian's eyes began to glow red and his human appearance instantly transformed to that which one never wants to see—a hungry nightmarish animal. "You have only one thing we want ..."
As Don inhaled to scream, Christian bit a massive chunk of Don's throat. The result was a loud, sickening gurgle. As Don's blood flowed, Christian drank freely and offered his fountain of warm nourishment to Katherine. "Dinner is served!"
John was running blindly as fast as his legs could carry him. He was tripping on dead branches, and even ran smack dab into a tree. In the utter darkness, he did not know that the vampires could see him clearly and could have caught him easily in seconds, had they been so inclined. His mind was in a complete panic, and in the distance, he could see what appeared as a light, so he continued running toward it. John ran, stumbled, rolled, fell, and kept moving mindlessly toward a beacon that possibly held safety. The light he was traveling toward was a porch light on Ray Scott's home. It was Ray's son, Ted, who had been killed by Christian. Ray promised his son that he would never invite a stranger into his house, and he always wore a blessed cross. Even though he had never seen a vampire, he did believe. So when John reached the house and stumbled onto the porch out of breath, he found the front door locked.
"Help! Let me in!" John screamed.
Immediately, Brutus, Ray's Yorkshire terrier, began barking a warning. At this late hour, Ray immediately had flashbacks of all that he was told about vampires. 'No damned way,' he thought. He immediately took his huge crucifix from the wall. Holding the crucifix with his arm extended, he yelled. "I am not inviting you in!"
"Open the door! Please help me!" John pleaded.
Having never seen a vampire, and not knowing what to say or how to act, Ray asked, "Are you a vampire?" He looked to Brutus, who was now wagging and not growling.
"Hell no! Please they are after me! Please open the door!"
Ray decided to open the door just a crack to have a look at this hysterical person. Even at his old age, Ray was a big man, and felt no one could force their way in. When he opened the door just a sliver, John came crashing through, knocking Ray to the floor. Before Ray could get up, John slammed the door, locked it, and leaned against it, as if he expected the vampires to force their way in. Ray just stared in awe. He realized that this was no vampire, as John had freely entered—but it was certainly the most frightened man he had ever seen in his life.
"What the hell is chasing you?" Ray asked as he picked his large frame off the floor.
"Vampires! I saw them. They got Don, but I got away! I ran for my life!"
"From what I have been told, if they wanted you, son, they would have had you already. You say you outran them?"
"All I saw is that they appeared out of nowhere and were right on us. It was a man and a woman. The whitest damn people I have ever seen. Plus, their eyes were glowing! Don shot one and she just stood there, smiling at him! That's when I took off ..." John was babbling hysterically.
"Who beat you up? Was there a fight?"
"What? What do you mean?"
"Look at your face, son. Your cheek is bleeding and your eye is swollen."
John felt his face and could feel his swollen eye. When he looked at his hand, it was bloody. "I guess I ran into some trees, plus I fell down a number of times. I was running in darkness, as the crow flies. I must have bounced off of twenty trees and fell over a dozen more. I was running for my damned life!"
"Well, you're safe now. You say they're out there? How far away?"
"I ... I don't know. I just ran. We were camped in a clearing,"
"The one with the big rock ..." Ray assumed.
"Yeah! We were camped against the boulder."
"That is exactly where my son killed a female vampire and took over a hundred stitches in his torso afterward. In the end, they killed him," Ray stated sadly.
"You're Ted Scott's dad. Professor Steiner told me the whole story. That's why we were out here. We were searching for the vampire's remains. The Professor knew that the male vampire would be close. He warned us; I just really didn't believe, so we made the mistake of camping out there."
"That really was a mistake! Professor Steiner and Detective Evans are likely the only people in world that faced off with this vampire and are still breathing. I guess you now make it three. They educated me fairly well. Being an old man, I no longer have a need to do anything after dark, I wear this blessed crucifix my son gave me, and as you well know, I never invite a stranger into the house at night."
"Hope you know I ain't leaving until the sun comes up."
Ray handed him a large crucifix. "Here, hold on to this. It will make you feel better. Make yourself at home. You're safe here."
John studied Ray and had to ask. "If you know there are vampires out there, why the hell would you stay here?"
Ray smiled. "First, notice the crucifix you are holding is made of wood. Also, notice that the base has been carved to a point. I'm no good with a crossbow, but I would gladly risk my life to plunge that crucifix into that vampire bastard's heart. Son, I'm an old man. How could I sell this house to unsuspecting people, who may even have children, and not warn them? But, if I did warn them, word will be out that I'm an old lunatic, and nobody would believe me anyway. I assume you graduated college and you're a pretty smart fellow, and you obviously didn't believe in vampires. I built this house, my wife passed away in this house, and given I don't go dancing at night anyway, why should I leave?"
"If you saw what I saw tonight, it just might motivate you a bit."
"Where did you leave your car?"
"My car? I don't even know where the hell I am?"
"Well, if you did not see my house when you drove into the woods, then you must have entered on the other road, about five miles from here. We better call the police and report this."
"What the hell am I going to tell them?"
"Well, just give them a version of the truth. You and your buddy were out camping and were put upon by a couple maniacs, and you escaped into the woods. Your buddy fired a shot and likely missed. Having no defense, you ran for your life. There's no shame in that."
Excerpted from DeathWalker II by Edwin F. Becker Copyright © 2012 by Edwin F. Becker. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted May 13, 2012
I enjoyed DeathWalker I a lot and had to get II. I'm a huge fan of Ed's and enjoyed reading DeathWalker II. It's one of my favorites! The story continues with Vampires and now includes a werewolf called the Howler. I'm amazed at the many different ways there are to kill a Vampire and a werewolf. Also, there are ways to disguise yourself against the thermal vision of vampires. The creativeness and ingenuity in Ed's writing is superb! Once I start reading I can't put his books down until I get to the end! There's going to be DeathWalker III in 2013 so we will have to wait until then to find out what happens with the Howler and his new mate, Christian, Katherine, Mike, and all of the other excellent cast members. I highly recommend: True Haunting which is the first book I read of Ed's. This is the best book I've ever read ever! It's a true story. Back in 1970 Ed and Marsha purchase a two story haunted house for $16,500 and one year later sell it for $10. A copy of the deed of sale is in the back of the book. I'm reading it again! Ed's other books are superb, too. Check em out!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 29, 2012
I have to admit I'm only a little over half-way through the book, but I dare to say that it is even better than the first. I've been anxiously awaiting the sequel the DeathWalker: A Vampire's Vengeance for over 6 months now. I am enjoying it so much that I just came back to b&n to order 2 more hardcovers, one for my mother and one for my bestie!
The tale lives on as Christian and Katherine attempt to find a new domain to call their own, and they find a prime location--but come into multiple complications while they attempt to establish it as their home. From other vampires, to other creatures, to humans with revenge on their agenda. I loved how this book has been really focusing on things through their perspective, and I am really enjoying the new vampire character,as well! I can hardly put this book down!
Posted February 27, 2012
I read DeathWalker and hoped for a sequel. This was much better than expected. Very original and well written. Finally happy to find a writer that keeps the vampire within the horror genre. If you enjoy interesting characters and a vampire to be feared, along with a writer that thinks outside the box, this is for you. Now, I can only wait for the next book! Well Done!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.