One of the main ideas behind writing Vampyre 2000: Life to the Lifeless was to show that if vampires actually existed, how one might live his life today. Cornelius, the main character, is a two hundred year old vampire who conducts business in the downtown of a major American metropolis. I set out to write a realistic story about his past and how he interacted and survived in the twenty first century. We saw him fall in love with a human female. We also saw how, because of his involvement with her, he was forced to protect her and ultimately save her life.
Now, in Vampyre 2000: Ill of the Dead, Rita has become vampyre. Again, seeking a realistic treatment of the story, the reader will learn that the transition, for her, is not an easy one. The dark lifestyle and harsh reality of being a vampire soon fills Rita with regret and she rejects the way that she is forced to live her new life. In this story we will see Rita question the choices that she has made and decide on how she intends to embrace her future of being undead. Sometimes, the afterlife isn't always happily ever after. In the end, her transformation from a frightened and timid vampire to a powerful and confident creature of the night is sure to excite and intrigue you.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
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Vampyre 2000: ILL OF THE DEAD
By Christopher F. Benson
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Christopher F. Benson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIt was the end of another day. Robert, a Medical Examiner, was nearing the end of his shift at the city morgue and he was ready to go home. This day had been like so many over the last several weeks. Recently, maybe once a week, bodies of those who had apparently died from unnatural causes were arriving at the morgue. Some of them grisly, some grotesquely mutilated, obviously all of them unexplained circumstances. Because of the high volume of work that had been generated over the last couple of months, everyone who worked at the Coroner's office was putting in long hours. Nevertheless, that was just fine with Robert; he enjoyed his work and had already become accustomed to the extra hours. To him, they had become normal days. He paused for a moment over a gurney and removed his glasses, having no shortage of work to keep him busy today, he wiped his forehead with the back of his arm. Being a heavy set man, even in a cool environment such as this one, Robert still churned up quite a sweat. He had been there since the early hours of the morning receiving incoming bodies, completing the appropriate paperwork, identifying those that could be and putting them into cold storage. It was now after 7:30pm and he had decided that he had done enough, his unfinished tasks would have to wait until tomorrow. Undoubtedly, they would be there when he returned in the morning. Robert had been finishing up on an elderly man who appeared to have passed away from heart failure, carefully placing his rigid limbs inside of the body bag, he slowly zipped it up and then pushed the gurney over to the lockers. After sliding out the slab, Robert gripped the bag tightly with both hands and pulled the corpse onto it. He pushed the elderly man inside and closed the door behind him. There was an office next to the cold storage area and in it was a coat rack. After hanging his lab coat upon it he was finally ready to leave. Robert usually became quite involved in his duties and sometimes it was still difficult for him to pull himself away, even as tired as he was and with his aching feet. His work occupied most of his time and he wasn't left with much of a personal life. He turned around, one more time, to survey the office before turning out the light.
"Go home, it'll be here in the morning," he thought to himself with certainty. The lights went out, he closed the door behind him and Robert went home for the evening.
Robert's office and the adjoining cold storage area were now dark and completely silent. There was an unusual peace and serenity that fell over this otherwise busy, yet functional room. It was at a time like this that one would never imagine the specific activities and purpose of this room. At the moment, it felt as quiet and calm as your favourite room at home, after all, it was just a storage room. On the other hand, it wasn't like any storage room that you might find in your home, or anywhere else for that matter. This room's main function was to be a temporary holding place for those who were no longer living, in other words, the dead. Occasionally, it was the temporary holding place for those who were no longer living and still quite alive.
Ademia awoke from her sleep tonight unlike any other. She wasn't able to get a grasp on her thoughts and she was very groggy and disconnected. As she lay there, she struggled to regain her consciousness; it was as if she had been drugged. Each time she approached coherence, she drifted back again into an emptiness that seemed vastly infinite and without boundaries. Drifting aimlessly through the abyss, Ademia's mind felt separated from her body, to her, her limbs seemed like they were bags of sand. She was afraid and becoming increasingly terrified, like a nightmare in which she kept dying again and again from which she could not awake. Experiencing an intense pounding from within, she fought and struggled to grab hold of a stream of consciousness and ride it out of this nightmare. Finally, a spark electrified her body, her muscles spasmed, she clinched her jaw and Ademia's eyes went wide open.
Focusing slowly, Ademia could see nothing, she soon became aware that there was nothing wrong with her eyes, she was surrounded by darkness. Feeling incredibly dehydrated, an overwhelming dryness filled her mouth and throat. Her skin had suddenly become very sensitive and Ademia could feel the pressure and the cling of fabric surrounding her. Attempting to raise her arm, Ademia found that, at first, she was too weak and wasn't able. Her joints were heavy and stiff, her bones were creaking and muscles aching. Letting out a painful groan, she was able to lift her hands and touch the fabric. As confused as she was, Ademia began to understand why it was so dark and why this strange fabric enveloped her, she found herself inside of a body bag. The cloudy veil of disorientation was being pushed aside by her rising fear. She suddenly realized that she couldn't remember how she got there. She couldn't remember anything.
Immediately, Ademia began to panic, suddenly her aching joints and unresponsive limbs were no longer a handicap. The body bag burst at the zipper as she tore it apart with both hands. Trying to escape from the bag, she was prevented from leaning forward as she slammed her head into a metal surface above. If the situation weren't bad enough, it became apparent to her that she had woken up inside of the dark and confining space of a locker. Panic completely overcame her, Ademia pounded her fists and kicked her feet into the sides of the locker. The metal stretched and imprinted with each blow from her fists. Then, Ademia forced both of her hands outward and braced herself against the locker walls and with both feet, she forcefully kicked at the locker door. The door exploded from within, it ricocheted off of a table and slammed into the wall beyond. After frantically pushing her way through the mouth of the locker, her naked feet slapped the tiled floor. Ademia slowly stood erect and found herself alone in a cold dark room. Now, even more puzzled than before, she had absolutely no idea of where she was or how she had gotten there.
The blast was deafening and the clamor could be heard throughout the building. A small group of employees, working on the floor above, were startled by the noise. To them, it sounded like an explosion and it rattled the floor beneath them. Nothing needed to be said, the three men glanced at each other and instantly rose to their feet and quickly they exited the office and ran to the stairwell. Whatever it was that they had heard it needed to be investigated immediately. They had no time to wait for the elevator, after all, it was only one floor. The trio rushed down the stairwell and out into the hallway. When they had arrived at the door to the locker room, the men paused for a moment and looked at one another, then they flung open the door and flooded into the room.
One of the men dragged his hand up the wall, turning on the light. What they found was a very curious scene before them. The locker wall seemed to be intact, except for one missing door. In the center of the room stood a stainless steel table, its top had been dented and by following the trajectory, the men noticed that the missing locker door was embedded into the opposite wall. With no apparent danger in sight, one of the men ventured further into the room.
"My God, what could've done this?" he asked as he ran his hand over the indentation in the table. The others joined him to inspect the damage. While looking into the empty locker, another man said,
"What on earth happened here? This locker door was closed, the clasp ... the hinges ..."
"Apparently blown off from the inside." said the third man. He was near the opposite wall staring at the locker door that was buried halfway into the wall. "It had enough force to come bouncing off of that table and do this."
"Blown off from the inside? Do you hear what you're saying? Are you suggesting that someone planted a bomb in one of the lockers?"
"Well, then you tell me what could've done this."
"Guys, we have no idea what just happened here. Until we figure it out, maybe we shouldn't be in here."
"Hey, cool it you two, be quiet. There's somebody else in here." said the man who was inspecting the lockers. Huddled down in the corner of the room, behind some equipment, he noticed someone on the floor. It was a woman and she was naked with her hands covering her head as if she were trying to hide. Upon hearing that, the three men became quiet and huddled together several feet in front of the equipment.
"Is she ... naked? Guys, I think she's naked. How did a naked lady just end up in here?"
"Don't get excited, would you just knock it off?" one of them said quietly. "Look, we don't want to scare her, we all just need to relax." He looked around the room and spotted just what he was looking for. "Hand me that lab coat over there, will you?" Slowly, one of them backed up and walked over to the desk on the other side of the room. Slipping the coat from the back of the chair, he returned to the group and handed it to the man in front. Because the men were facing the woman, who was crouching on the floor, they were casting their shadows on her and they couldn't get a clear look at her. She continued to peek out from behind the equipment and then duck back again. More light was needed on this situation and one of them quietly reached over to a floor lamp and turned it on. Immediately, she became restless. Letting out a scream, she tried to shuffle behind the equipment and avoid the light.
"Whoa, whoa, it's ok, we're not gonna hurt you." here assured her. Then barking at his partner, "Jesus, get that light off of her!" He did just that and the shadows fell over her once again. "You're not helping, why don't you just let me handle this, okay? Now, I'm gonna see if she'll talk to me, if she can tell us what happened here." The man slowly outstretched his arm to her, in his hand was the lab coat.
"It's ok, we just wanna help you. Here, take this. Can you put this on?" he said to her. There was no reply, the men just stood there watching and waiting. Then slowly, an arm reached up from the floor and the coat was snatched from the man's outstretched hand. One of the men raised his arms and moved the men back in order to give her some space and make her feel a little less frightened. Recognizing that the men had backed off, a moment later, she came out from behind the equipment and rose to her feet.
Ademia was still so very confused. She still had absolutely no idea of where she was or how she had gotten here. How did she end up in a body bag inside of that locker? And now she was standing there naked, in an unfamiliar room, with these strange men.
Ademia was not a woman of large stature. She was an attractive woman with a slightly curvy, yet athletic frame. Her dirty blonde hair was thick and wavy and she parted it to expose her face. Having a face that was reasonably pretty, it was weathered and worn, obviously she'd led a less than ideal life. Although it was cool in the room, she couldn't feel it, she assumed that it was because of the disorientation that she was feeling or the adrenaline. She shook out the lab coat and slipped it on and while never taking her eyes off of the men, she buttoned it up quickly and covered herself. Believing the situation had been diffused, one man thought to test his theory. He put his hand out in front of him and began to approach her slowly.
"Ma'am are you alright? Can you tell us what happened here?" he asked. There was no reply from the woman; she remained motionless as she stared at the man.
"Are you hurt? Ma'am, can you tell us your name, do you know how you got in here?" Still no response. "Ma'am, please, we just want to know what happened here." She was still so bewildered and the men were slowly approaching her. Like a cornered animal, she could feel her anxiety rising. One of the men said to his comrade softly,
"Hey, go call an ambulance, I think she's gonna need some help. We'll stay here and take care of her." He backed up slowly and then went quietly out of the door and into the hallway. The man's partner now chimed in,
"Now lady, we're not gonna hurt you, we just want to get you some help." This time, it was he who held out his open hands to the woman and slowly began to move closer to her.
"Why don't you come over here and you can sit down." said the man as he was now close enough to place his outstretched hand on her forearm.
"Don't touch me." she said with a scratchy voice as she recoiled from his hand. "Leave me alone." The other man had slowly moved around to Ademia's side while she had focused her attention on the man in front of her. Suddenly, with two hands he grabbed her by the arms and startled her.
"Just calm down, I'm just gonna take you to that chair and we're all gonna wait for the ambulance."
"I told you not to fuckin' touch me!" she screamed. At that instant, she lost control and acted impulsively out of fear and paranoia. Ademia jerked one of her arms free of his grasp, she brought it down on top of his forearm and snapped it clean in half. The man let out a horrible groan in pain and clutched his dangling arm with his other hand. She leapt onto him, knocking over some equipment in the process and Ademia clasped her fingers around the stranger's throat. As a consequence, he was in no condition to defend himself.
"Get this crazy bitch off me, get her off me!" he yelled. She wrapped both of her hands even tighter around his neck and her green eyes were wide open as she was panting in his face. The man's colleague rushed to his aid, he grabbed Ademia around her chest from behind. She was in a frenzy and before she knew it, she had dug her fingers into the man's neck. His blood was gushing between her fingers as she completely crushed his windpipe. The other man was wrestling with Ademia, trying to pull her off of his partner. As she released her grip, the man's lifeless body slumped to the floor, his neck was broken and his head bounced off of the tiled floor. She struggled momentarily with her other assailant and then by throwing her arms up in the air was able to free herself from his hold. With lightning speed, Ademia spun around to face the man who was still stumbling slightly from her release. Reacting wildly, she delivered a powerful push to the man's chest with her open palm. Pain rippled through his body as the impact crushed his rib cage. A ghastly sound was heard from him as the air inside his lungs was evacuated instantly. The force from the blow sent him reeling backwards across the room. Violently, his body came to rest against the wall and the impact was so severe it knocked the life out of him completely. He then joined his deceased friend lying lifeless on the floor.
Ademia held her position in the center of the room and with a crazed look on her face, she spun around and took stock of the situation. There was blood on her hands, equipment strewn about the room and two dead men were lying on the floor. Dead because of what had she had done to them. It had all happened in an instant. Ademia had never taken another life before, she wasn't a killer and she stood in shock and disbelief at how easy it was for her to do. It wasn't clear, to Ademia, just how she had been able to do those things. Then the seriousness of the situation sank in. Although these emotions had been present all along, strong anxiety and panic returned and she began to tremble. As she continued to stand there in this strange place, all alone, she remembered that one of the men had gone to call an ambulance. At any moment someone would find her and it was time for her to go. It didn't matter where, especially because she didn't currently know where she was, but she knew that she had to go somewhere and fast. Naturally, her first instinct was to leave this room, she opened the door slowly and peeked down the hallway in both directions. The coast was clear; she saw no one at all and sprinted from the room and down the hall. Just as with the trio of men, there was no time to wait for or use the elevator. Never stopping to think about which floor she was on, she pushed open the door to the stairwell and ran down the stairs. Little did it matter, if she had used the elevator she would have taken the risk of being seen before she could make her escape.
Excerpted from Vampyre 2000: ILL OF THE DEAD by Christopher F. Benson Copyright © 2011 by Christopher F. Benson. 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.
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