From the Publisher
“Whoever thinks the short story is dead, or that kids don't like short stories, hasn't talked to any real live kids and hasn't read the latest in this popular series.” School Library Journal on Attack of the Vampire Weenies
“Bullies and others get their due in this hilarious new collection of thirty-five warped and creepy tales by the master of the ‘weenie' story.” Buffalo News on The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies
“This book will talk itself right off the shelves, and reluctant readers will devour it.” School Library Journal on The Curse of the Campfire Weenies
Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
Sebastian loves scary movies but on his way home one night something attacked him and he was thrown smack dab into the middle of a real life horror story. At first he noticed only subtle changes but he eventually realized he was quickly being turned into an actual vampire. When he recruits his friend Norman to help him they unwittingly attract the attention of a crazed vampire hunter named Teridakian who is searching for the very monster who bit Sebastian, Vladivost. Vladivost told Sebastian his condition may be temporary, but with each passing day he seems less and less his old self, and more and more a creature of the night. With Norman's help, along with his sister Angelina and little brother Rory, Sebastian must find a way to stop from becoming a vampire forever. But it will not be easy. Not only does he have to avoid Teridakian, he also needs to avoid the class bully and his thugs. It is only by bravely saving the very man who caused his plight that Sebastian can escape his fate. Fans of monster stories will not be disappointed by this creepy tale that manages to throw in some lessons about friendship, courage, and self sacrifice all the while keeping the reader on the edge of his/her seat. Reviewer: Miranda McClain
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—While walking home from the movies, Sebastian blacks out. The next morning, he feels different. Sounds are louder. Smells are stronger. Sunlight burns him, yet he heals quickly. He has no reflection in the mirror. All the garlic-soaked evidence points to one thing-somehow, he has become a vampire. He enlists his brainy friend, Norman, to help him look for answers. He especially needs a quick solution for his growing hunger that is not satisfied by raw steak, ground-up-liver smoothies, or any of the other concoctions the two boys come up with. When Sebastian tracks down the vampire that turned him, he learns that his condition may not be permanent. He has a small window of time during which he can become completely human again, if he could just figure out how. The pacing and action are right on. Add a couple of school bullies and a vampire hunter and you have a recipe that's just right for light-horror fans. Vanishing Vampire is a revised version of the 1997 Scholastic title of the same name, and it features new art. Libraries owning the earlier edition might want to consider updating.—Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA
Read an Excerpt
A PAIN IN THE NECK
I was on my way home from a movie when the dark thing fell on me. I’d been walking quickly, hurrying to the safety of home. Lewington isn’t a dangerous place to live, but I’d just watched the late showing of Creepers from the Crypt. I couldn’t fight the urge to rush through the empty streets. Images from the film chased me as I went, threatening to leap from my mind and become real.
Just one block back, I’d split up with my friend Norman. He headed left on Maple. I stayed on Spruce, walking past that huge oak whose roots were slowly breaking up the sidewalk by the vacant lot.
I heard nothing. I saw very little. Later, thinking back, I remembered the eyes and the teeth. At the time, I just knew darkness was dropping toward me. And the darkness wasn’t only in the night; it filled my mind and took me away.
The darkness inside me lifted as I woke, leaving me wondering why I wasn’t in bed. I was somewhere hard and cold. There was dirty concrete beneath my fingers. I sat up slowly, feeling the world spin. I held very still, waiting for it to stop.
I stood. The world spun again, but with less force. I put one hand out and touched the rough bark of the tree.
The tree. Something dark? Something falling? I couldn’t quite remember.
I turned toward home, unsure of what had happened. I’d passed out or fainted. No. “Guys don’t faint,” I mumbled to myself.
Behind, I heard the scraping slap of sneakers on the sidewalk. Someone was calling a name. Someone was calling me. I turned, moving cautiously, afraid that the world would follow my motion and start to spin again.
It was Norman. He was running toward me, one finger pushing up the glasses that were always sliding down his nose. “Splat, hey, Splat, you okay?”
They call me Splat. It’s a long, stupid story. My name’s Sebastian. Sebastian Claypool. That name is a short, stupid story. Before I was born, Mom and Dad were listening to a lot of music written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Dad thought Johann would be a strange name for a kid. So, blam, they hang Sebastian on me. Thanks, Dad.
It could have been worse. They also liked the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Norman reached me and stood there, taking deep breaths like a catfish dragged onto shore. Running was not a big part of his life. The night had grown chilly, and the air turned to swirls of fog as it left Norman’s nostrils. “I looked back and you were on the ground,” he said. “Did you trip?”
“I don’t know.” I tried to remember. “Don’t tell anyone, but I think I passed out.”
“Wow, that’s bad. It could mean all kinds of things.” He pushed up his glasses again. “You should probably get a CAT scan. I wouldn’t rule out a brain tumor, though of course blood sugar is generally a factor in these cases, and the glucose level by itself isn’t always enough of an indicator to determine—”
“Norman.” I tried to stop him. Once he got going, he was like a bus rolling down a hill. If I caught him while he was just inching along, there was hope. But after he picked up some speed and really started barreling along the Highway of Fascinating Facts, there was no way to slow him down. “Hold on. I just got a little dizzy, that’s all.”
“What’d you eat?” he asked.
I thought back. That part of my night was clear enough. I’d had my usual popcorn—the Tub-of-Fun size that lasts about a quarter of the way through the movie. I’d washed it down with a cherry cola. Then I’d had a pack or two of caramel chews and as many of Norman’s gummy eyes as he’d let me steal. Nothing there to make a kid lose touch with the world. I told Norman the list of snacks.
He seemed to be in deep thought. I imagined him running some kind of chemical tests in his mind, looking for a reaction between the assorted snacks. This could take all night. I just wanted to get home. “Look, thanks for coming over, but I’m fine.”
“Are you sure?”
I nodded. Except for the dizziness, which had almost totally faded, I felt perfectly normal. Actually, I felt pretty good. Everything was starting to look very sharp and clear. As I nodded, I noticed a slight tingling on the left side of my neck. The skin below my jaw felt numb. I rubbed the spot.
“You probably should see your doctor if it happens again.”
“Yes, Mother,” I kidded him. Having Norman for a friend was almost like having a third parent. I noticed that the tingling in my neck was going away.
“Okay.” He started to leave, then said, “See you tomorrow?”
“Sure. Maybe they got some new comics at the shop. We can check that out.” The tingling was completely gone. Everything felt fine.
“Great,” Norman said. “I’ll see you then.” He turned and walked back toward Maple.
“Thanks,” I called after him. As he walked away, he seemed, for a moment, to stay in sharp focus. It was almost like my eyes were some kind of zoom lens. But as soon as I was aware of it, the illusion snapped away.
I headed home. Whatever had happened was weird, really weird. I took my hand from my neck, squinting as I walked into the glare of a streetlight.
My fingers felt like they were still sticky from the movie snacks. That was strange. I looked down at my hand. For a second, I couldn’t tell what I was seeing. The light was so bright. Then I saw it.
There was blood on my fingers.
Copyright © 1997 by David Lubar