Translate

Friday, December 21, 2018

Gifting E-Books

Okay gang, the big day is drawing near and you still want to get a few more gifts but don't know what to buy, or don't want to go out into the stores which have already pulled down half of their displays and are lining up Spring stuff. What to do, what to do... how about giving someone a good book to read on their Kindle? It's fast, easy, and you can have it delivered on Christmas Day and know it will arrive on time...

Didn't know you could do this? Neither did I for the longest time. I only found out a couple of years ago when we released "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". I found myself rewarding some of our beta-readers with a free copy of the finished product in whatever form they wished (trade paperback, Kindle, PDF).  Most requested a signed trade paperback, but a couple asked for the Kindle version.

                

So I headed over to Amazon, got into my account, and pulled up "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".  Once there I quickly found the "Give As A Gift" button and clicked it.  From there I was taken to another screen which asked me to sign into my Amazon account, which I did.  From there I was taken to a final screen

                 

This screen asked only for the e-mail address of the recipient I was sending this book to AND what day I wanted it delivered.  It was the option of a delivery date that really caught my eye.  Now some of you might be thinking, "Duh, you never noticed this before?"  And the answer is "Obviously, I didn't.  I rarely gave e-books as gifts to anyone before, even though I'm one of the authors.  Most of my readers buy the books for themselves and hardly anyone in my family owns a Nook or Kindle."  So yes, this was  new to me and very exciting.

So now I have this huge new avenue for holiday shopping before me.  And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming on the horizon, I thought it important to share these options with all of you. Some of you may have known about all this, but for those (like me) who didn't you now have more options when it comes to shopping for gifts.  I personally love the idea of having a book to place in someone's 'Cyber Stocking'.

                       

So for anyone who didn't know about this option, now you do.  And the best part is you can do that kind of shopping right now.  The e-book will not arrive before the date you set.

Of course, being an author I'm going to shamelessly promote our books by providing links below so you can visit our author pages on Amazon, where all our books are listed and you can choose whichever one(s) you'd like to gift to the readers in your life.

US KINDLE USERS:


UK KINDLE USERS:
CANADA KINDLE USERS:
Thanks for tuning in and don't be afraid to leave suggestions or ideas about gifting books that I overlooked in this post, in the comments section below.  Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

****"The Vampyre Blogs - One Day AT a Time" has just gotten another 5 Star review****

5.0 out of 5 stars NATHAN IS THE MAN!
December 4, 2018

"OH WHAT CAN I SAY, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT READING IT AGAIN"


Come and see for yourself what everyone is talking about and grab a copy for yourself for just $3.99.  And while you're at it, buy one for someone in your life who enjoys a good paranormal/science fiction anthology.

Amazon US Link:


And for our friends up in Canada and over in the United Kingdom here are some more links:

Amazon UK Link:



Amazon Canada Link:

Monday, December 3, 2018

The First Reviews Are In!

****OUR ANTHOLOGY HAS RECEIVED IT'S FIRST REVIEWS AND THEY ARE 4 AND 5 STARS****

4 STARS - "A great read!"

5 STARS - "A well written story collection revealing Nathan's past. Excellent!"



Come see what other readers are saying and take a 'Sneak Peek" for yourself by clicking the link below, and maybe check out the other books in our Para-Earth Series. 

Amazon US Link:

Amazon UK Link:

Amazon Canada Link:



*NOTE: Signed Trade Paperbacks will be available soon, in plenty of time for Christmas*

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Available NOW on Kindle!


Just $3.99, or FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.


26 Tales of Para-Earth Encounters
Spanning 150 years answering many questions about your favorite vampyre and his friends such as:


- How did a Nathan manage to continue to serve the 
Union Army in the Civil War after becoming a vampyre? 

-How did he and The Professor meet?

-Why did Lisa and Marisa drift apart?

-Has Nathan or his friends ever met any of the 
characters from "The Bridge" or "The Ship"?

-Who else has had a Para-Earth encounter?

Plus much more!


So go ahead grab your copy today!


*And remember the holidays area almost upon us and you can order Kindle books for family and friends, you can even have them delivered on a specific date such as Hanukkah, Christmas, and birthdays. 

Just click below to start your shopping:

https://www.amazon.com/Vampyre-Blogs-Anthology-Para-Earths-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B07KMN78B2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543590262&sr=8-1&keywords=the+vampyre+blogs

*And remember to check out the other books in our Paranormal/Sci-Fi series which have been compared to the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, as well the works of Dean Koontz, HP Lovecraft, and other creators of surprise and suspense.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Final Sneak Peek...

Just 3 more days until you can get your own copy of the latest installment of our 
Para-Earth Series... 


The stories contained within these pages will make you laugh, gasp, giggle and possibly shed a tear or two.  But most of all they will leave you anxiously waiting for more stories which we promise are on the way.

Remember you can pre-order your Kindle copy for just $3.99 at the following link:



In the meantime here's one final peek into the first of what we hope will be many paranormal/science fiction anthologies...


"Wolfgang In Sheep's Clothing"

June 2014

By Helen Krummenacker


For someone who travels so much, I always seem to have trouble getting ready for departure. It’s helpful these days, having my granddaughter on hand to look after the farm, my pets, and the complex organizing of my correspondence. She came to Germany to get a medical degree and is happy to stay with me and help out. There is little enough work-- while we do still produce some crops to send to the local markets, apple and walnut trees require little attention most of the year, and there are people we can hire for that. Mostly, she spends several hours in town working on studies and research, and enjoys the property as a chance to get away.
Still, there are always many details for me to take care of. For instance, my pets take extra attention. They are not the kind of thing you can easily take to the vet. No one has seen a living trilobite, except for in my aquarium, and many of the others have no near relatives that have existed on this Earth. Depending on one’s definition of near. Fluffy, for instance, has many birdlike traits. His usual prey is squirrel, but herons and hawks like them, too, and he largely eats nuts, especially acorns, to get his protein. He also keeps snails and caterpillars from messing up the family garden and rats out of the buildings. Birdlike was a good description for him. One difference in events between two parallel Earths could lead to such wonderful paths in evolution.
The indoor animals were all doing well and the controls for their temperature, humidity, and other such comforts were working fine. Fluffy had noticed me packing and was shadowing me now, wanting plenty of attention before I went away. We played a bit of fetch as I worked and he ran in circles around me out to the barn.
“Wolfgang!” I called out. The pygmy woodland camel was not inside, even though it looked to be a wet day. I assumed he’d decided to forage in the orchard, so I went out that way. Ruefully, I discovered a fence post had been knocked over and had on it some of the brown wool Wolfgang grew.
I quickly ordered Fluffy back. I didn’t need him to get out, too, and start harassing the neighbor’s cat. As bright as a peacock, as large as a turkey, and not exactly a bird, he would be difficult to explain to anyone who got a good look at him.
For that matter, Wolfgang was not easy to explain, but might pass for a rare breed. The question was, where would he be? Following his tracks would help, but only in the softest areas. His feet were wide and kept him from sinking easily. While he was naturally a creature of the forest, he had been raised by me from when he was only about two months old, and I did not believe he would wander far on purpose. However, herd animals seek their kind and, failing that, will seek a good facsimile. Fluffy, for instance, usually spent most of his time among the crows, who were happy to hang around the liminal area between forest and farm to keep their distant, brilliant cousin company.
As for Wolfgang, his closest relatives would be camels or llamas, and neither one was likely to be abundant in the area. On the other hand, llamas did sometimes show up for one reason only. They were terrifically fond of sheep, and guarded them against predators better than a dog.
He wouldn’t, would he? Of course he would. One thing you could trust any pet to do, no matter what their species, was to gravitate to exactly the activity that would be sure to cause chaos. At least it was autumn, and no chance of a shearing taking place. With a sigh, I headed out to Snyder’s, the nearest farm with sheep.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A Sneak Preview and the Countdown Begins...

ONLY 6 MORE DAYS UNTIL...



 - 26 tales that span 150 years


- Stories of love, laughter, tears, wonder, hope, growth and wonder

- Kindle $3.99/Trade Paperback $15.99

- Pre-Orders are available now at:

And now a sneak peek...

"The Snowman"

December 2014 by Helen Krummenacker

     A chilly December evening was made cozy not only by the fireplace, but the scents of vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger from baking in the kitchen. Marissa turned the radio to a station playing all Christmas music. Isabella was excited even beyond the average child at Christmas time, for this was her first Christmas tree, her first time seeing fairy lights, and even the radio was a novelty for her. She would sit on the sofa, stare at the tree and get up again every few minutes to better distribute the ornaments for color balance and even presentation. 

     Marissa and Lisa were helping Nathan with paper chains, a decoration he remembered from his childhood. The girls were using a ladder to reach high, but Nathan took care of sites out of their reach. Otto, having recently surrendered the kitchen to Penny, who was making a couple of her own favorite treats, had started to show Richard how to wire pine and holly into swags to place around. “So ‘Boughs of holly’ are just branches done up to decorate the place?”

     “Yes. Deck and decorate have the same word as a root.”

     “Ain’t that something. I always wondered about that song. Especially the gay apparel.”

     “That meant jolly, bright colored, festive.”

     “And that makes ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home’ a lot better,” Richard laughed. The professor was all right by him. Strange and a little weird how he treated the boss like a kid sometimes, but when he was around, you always felt a little bit smarter.

      Just then, a new tune came on the radio. “Frosty the snowman, was a jolly, happy soul--”

    “Turn that off!” Otto snapped. Isabella looked at him in shock a moment before heading to the radio and pushing the big circle button she’d learned made these new electric things go on or off. “I’m sorry… I just do not like that song,” he explained, suddenly aware that everyone was watching him, puzzled by his uncharacteristic change of mood. “I really do not like it. You would not like it, either, if you knew how dangerous that snowman could have actually become.”

     “Wait, Frosty was real?” Marissa asked skeptically. 

    “There are more things on heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” quoted Otto, then sighed. “Yes. Frosty was real, and he was the result of my missing an important detail and behaving carelessly.”

     “Story time!” Lisa called out.

     “Oh, yes, we have to hear about this,” Marissa added.

     “Really?” Otto asked, as if surprised by the attention. 

     “Even I haven’t heard this one,” said Nathan, “and it sounds like a doozy.”

    Otto took a seat on the sofa, next to Isabella, and the others gathered around. Richard kept at it with the greenery, but still cocked an ear and moved so he could see Otto’s face and gestures. Taking a deep breath, the professor began to tell the tale in a rich, melodic voice...

Saturday, November 17, 2018

PRE-ORDERS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR "THE VAMPYRE BLOGS - ONE DAY AT A TIME"

****COMING DECEMBER 1st, THE LATEST INSTALLMENT OF THE PARA-EARTH SERIES****

Twenty-five stories, spanning 150 years...


“The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” introduced a new cast of characters to the Para-Earth Series. This anthology answers and raises questions about their backstories and relationships. 


What otherworldly threats has the Professor dealt with? How did Nathan’s altered self affect his service in the Civil War? What other mysteries linger on Nathan’s estate? What did a German like the Professor do during WWII? Who are some of the other people Nathan has met over his unnaturally long life? Are Nathan and the Professor the only ones who’ve had close encounters with Para-Earth beings?


These and more, including the return of certain characters from “The Bridge” or “The Ship” will be explored within these pages.




KINDLE PRE-ORDERS BEING TAKEN NOW AT THE LINK BELOW: 


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Brian's E-Journal "The Soldier"

*In honor of the ending of World War I, I'm re-posting this story from several years ago. I have never done another because I don't think I could surpass its message of gratitude to those who paid the ultimate price for serving their country. And to all who loved them, God bless and keep you all."* 



The Soldier appeared again this year, just as he has over almost a hundred and fifty years.  The first reports of him showing up here in Pointer date back to 1868 when the first Decoration Day (now called Memorial Day) was held.  At the time most people assumed he was merely a veteran but when he moved there was no sound,  and when he spoke everyone felt compelled to listen.  It was as if an enchantment had been cast over all.  He spoke of each soldier from the town who had fallen during the war between the states, telling tales of bravery and humanity.  Then, once he finished, the figure marched back the way he came only to be swallowed by a mist that seemed to come from nowhere.


This happened again the following year, and every year after that.  At first most people just assumed him to be a magician who had served alongside those who had died.  Yet, none of those who had come home recognized the fellow.  In fact, no one could even really describe his features even if he had been standing next to them.  They could distinctly remember his uniform which had clearly belonged to the West Virginia 7th Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  He had all the bearing of a soldier, but even if they looked up into his face all they could remember was that he was young, with a kind face, which had born witness to the horrors of the battlefield.  But none of them could actually describe his face in detail.

Naturally the idea that the fellow was a ghost began to spread among the children and a handful of adults.  But after thirty years passed and those children who had seen him close up could honestly say he had not aged in that time, that others began to believe the tale.  



Throughout the decades, he has always appeared, never once missing a Decoration Day.  And with each visit, he shared new stories about those who had served and fell in the Civil War.  But it wasn't until the end of the Great War that this began to change.  In 1919, one year after World War I ended, a new monument was erected in the town square with the names of those who had left Pointer to fight overseas.  On that occasion the soldier appeared and shared several stories about those who had been lost on the battlefields of Europe.

From that day on he continued to appear on Remembrance Day (now called Veteran's Day) as well as on Memorial Day.


By this time few, if any, doubted the Soldier's existence.  In fact many began to welcome his strange visits, but not all.  Those who were too traumatized by their loss, could not bear to see him come.  In particular there had been Violet Parker, who had been engaged to James Moore who fell at the Battle of Belleau Wood in France in 1918.  When the Soldier appeared again on Remembrance Day in 1920, she rushed at him brandishing a pistol from her father's collection and shot him point blank.  The Soldier did not flinch, nor did he fall.  Instead, he gently took the weapon from her shaking hands, and  pulled her close.  She resisted at first, but then began to calm down.  Those who dared approach them could hear his voice speaking gently to her in sympathy.  Soon Violet slipped her arms around him and held him tightly.  Then she kissed him on the cheek and walked back to where her father stood.  For the rest of her long life, she was happier than anyone could remember, and strongly rebuked anyone who spoke ill of the Soldier or of anyone who served their country.

The addition of new names and stories of those who served that the Soldier spoke of continued with  each passing year.  Whether they were lost in peacetime or during America's entry into World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq and of course Afghanistan, he made sure no one forgot them or their service.  And today was no exception.  He spoke of the town's most recent losses with such feeling, one was convinced he had personally known, or had watched each one of them grow into fine young men and women.

Of course, I and a number of others know this happens to be the truth.  There are at least a dozen families here in Pointer that know of Uncle Nate.  And they preserve his secret with fierce loyalty, just as mine does.  It is a loyalty based on love and respect.  Whether he's the 'Soldier' or just the family friend or godfather, he has been there for all of us over the decades.  Our dark guardian, the soldier who even when he does not wear the uniform, is always on duty.  Ready to defend and protect all of us and our town, just has he did the day he marched off to war at the age of 16, back in 1862.

God bless him and all the men and women who have served, and will serve.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Nathan Takes Over The Blog Today...


Okay, I’m taking over the blog today since the authors have been down for the last couple of weeks fighting with a nasty case of bronchitis/pneumonia.


Mind you, they’ve also been trying to get the anthology finished and ready for release. We’re all hoping for it to go out before Halloween, but with all that’s been going on it might not be until early November. We’ll see how things work out.
In the meantime, let’s talk about that anthology.



What’s it all about?
Untold tales not just about me but Lisa, Marisa, Otto and even some familiar faces from the first two books in the Para-Earth Series (“The Bridge” and “The Ship”) which we’re a part of. A few of you may be asking, why does the Para-Earth Series seem to have smaller series within it? It’s more a case of different sets of characters being focused on within the series. As you will see in the anthology, the authors are starting to mix us all together in anticipation of a much bigger cross-over that is currently in the works.
Mind you this is not just a one-shot deal kind of cross-over like you get with a lot of comic books.  Oh no, this is the beginning of something bigger and permanent. It all starts with “The Door”...



Or rather towards the end of that upcoming novel (which admittedly has been in the works for several years) which the writers hope to have close to (if not actually finished) before the end of next year.  Part of the problem with that book was the fact that me and my friends’ story got in the way and had to be put out first. Then, life got in the way which further complicated getting “The Door” heading in the right direction. But things are improving on that front and progress is being made as I type this entry.
I will be making not one but two guest appearances in it as well as some ‘friends’ you’ll be meeting in “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At a Time”. So you see, all these delays do serve a purpose as Allan and Helen continue to introduce you all to more Para-Earths and those who inhabit them. Some of those being we meet will be scary, some will be friendly, others well... you’ll have to wait and see. But rest assured, all of us will do our best to keep you glued to your seats while trying to get your hearts racing with each new installment.
As for the anthology’s release... Allan and Helen are waiting to hear back from the last few beta-readers, but so far the response has been very enthusiastic with a lot of big thumbs up.  So stay tuned. In the meantime, please accept everyone’s heart-felt wish for you all to have a very...



Sunday, September 9, 2018

COVER REVEAL

COMING NEXT MONTH:


The latest installment of the 
Para-Earth Series...


OUR FIRST ANTHOLOGY:

-25 Tales (8 of them never-before-seen)

-Spanning 150 years

- Starring all your favorites from this blog and"The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home"

- Including guest appearances by characters from our other titles"The Bridge" and "The Ship"along with a host of all new characters!

*****PRE-ORDERS Coming Soon****


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Things I Learned Writing An Anthology - Part I

Last night Helen and I finished the final story for our upcoming anthology.

50b90-giphy

     Thank you!  Thank you!  You're all being too kind.  But today's post is not to talk about the anthology itself, as much as what went into making it.  How did it differ from writing full-length novels?  Was it easier?  Was it harder? What was the process like?  Where did we get all the stories for it, etc.?

      Well, for starters, coming up with a decent number of stories was and wasn't hard really.  Helen had been writing stories long before e-books and well before I tried my hand at penning a tale.  I can easily say I learned so much from her earlier attempts at getting published, and let me tell you she got damn close to seeing some of her work in print.  But, that's a tale for another entry.

      What I want to say is that I learned a lot about what to expect when I decided to try  going the traditional published route.  Although in my case, I started shortly after the birth of e-publishing and after 2-3 years of trying to get an agent to represent and hearing over and over again "You've got something here, but you crossed several genres and I wouldn't know what publishing house to try and sell it to."  

      You see, at that time (and this still seems to hold true today) publishers don't like to take risks on unknown authors or mixed genres. They want a straight up "Mystery", "Thriller", "Horror", "Science Fiction", etc.  They're not keen on trying to sell a book that crosses multiple genres like the Para-Earth Series which we classify as "Paranormal/Sci-Fi".
  

      Now some of you may be pointing out that they do it more often these days, but most of those authors are well-known like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, J. K. Rowling, etc. who all have proven sales track records.  

       Anyway, getting back to how our upcoming anthology came to be a reality
.  
      During that 2-3 years I tried to get published the traditional way, more stories were taking shape.  New characters and ideas were forming.  One of them was vampire I called Nathan Eoghan (pronounced Ewan) Steward.  I swore I'd never do a vampire character, unless I could introduce new angle or angles to the character.  Yet I still wanted to keep a lot of the traditional trademark strengths and weaknesses people have come and know and recognize.

      By this time, I had already been blogging for several years and had learned from other writers the concept of giving sneak peeks into upcoming works, and even sharing short stories.  This is done to introduce characters and concepts to prospective readers and build a demand for them.  So, after creating a vampire character that would fit nicely into our paranormal/sci-fi concept, I began doing short stories with Nathan over on a new blog called "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition".    Over the course of 3 years we had a number of tales about Nathan and introduced a number of his friends who appeared with him in "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".  And we're still making new stories.  And that presented a problem, how many people want to wade through 4-5 years of blog posts to read all those stories?  Furthermore, most of those tales are rough 1st drafts and it shows.

      During this time, I noticed some of my fellow authors who had created short stories on their blogs were bundling them into anthologies and that got us thinking.  With all the stories we'd already created, why couldn't we create an anthology centered around all those stories on the blog?  While it sounded nice and easy, it also didn't feel completely right to me.  While having all those earlier stories put into a more convenient format, shouldn't we give the readers more?  Shouldn't there be new never before seen stories in the collection?  Furthermore, should the stories not be just about Nathan but his friends, and even characters from our first two novels "The Bridge" and "The Ship"? 


    This led to Helen coming up with the idea of recycling some of her earlier works which were firmly established in the realm of the macabre.  With a little reworking and adding scenes, she felt a number of those pieces could easily fit in with our Para-Earth Series, while also giving those unread tales a chance to finally see the light of day.  

      *Now I want to pause and say one thing.  Remember how I told you all, many posts ago, never to toss out your unfinished works, or fragments because you never knew when they might fit into some new idea/concept?  This is a perfect example of why you do that.  You just never know when that day might come.*

      So right there, we had some brand new stories to slip into the anthology.  But we didn't stop there, we went ahead and created several more brand new stories just for the collection itself.  The result?  One third of the tales appearing in this anthology are completely brand new.
  
     Plus, we also added an afterthought following each story, sharing some of the who, what, where, and how each tale came into existence.  We thought it only right to share some of what the writing process can be like and hopefully inspire others to take that next step in whatever creative endeavors they are involved in.  

     Now, seeing how long this entry is getting and knowing there's still a lot more to share, I'm going to end this one here.  I know I covered a lot of background areas today and haven't really gotten to more of the technical and details of actually what went into the building of the anthology.  But rest assured that will be covered in the next installment. 

      Until then take care and keep writing everyone.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Announcement Time...


          *After almost a year, we are finally getting to the last leg of releasing our anthology "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time".  Provided all goes well, it will be available at the beginning/early October, just in time for spooky and weird tales.  Helen and I are working on the last story for the anthology even as I write this post.  We will be looking for Beta-Readers with hopes for feedback by the middle of September so we can make any final adjustments.
              In the meantime, here is a little peek at one of the 24 tales that await you within the pages of this newest installment of our Para-Earth Series.


THE SNOWMAN 

By Helen Krummenacker

          A chilly December evening was made cozy not only by the fireplace, but the scents of vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger from baking in the kitchen. Marissa turned the radio to a station playing all Christmas music. Isabella was excited even beyond the average child at Christmas time, for this was her first Christmas tree, her first time seeing fairy lights, and even the radio was a novelty for her. She would sit on the sofa, stare at the tree and get up again every few minutes to better distribute the ornaments for color balance and even presentation.
Marissa and Lisa were helping Nathan with paper chains, a decoration he remembered from his childhood. The girls were using a ladder to reach high, but Nathan took care of sites out of their reach. Otto, having recently surrendered the kitchen to Penny, who was making a couple of her own favorite treats, had started to show Richard how to wire pine and holly into swags to place around. “So ‘Boughs of holly’ are just branches done up to decorate the place?”
Yes. Deck and decorate have the same word as a root.”
Ain’t that something. I always wondered about that song. Especially the gay apparel.”
That meant jolly, bright colored, festive.”
And that makes ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home’ a lot better,” Richard laughed. The professor was  all right by him. Strange and a little weird how he treated the boss like a kid sometimes, but when he was around, you always felt a little bit smarter.
Just then, a new tune came on the radio. “Frosty the snowman, was a jolly, happy soul--”
Turn that off!” Otto snapped. Isabella looked at him in shock a moment before heading to the radio and pushing the big circle button she’d learned made these new electric things go on or off. “I’m sorry… I just do not like that song,” he explained, suddenly aware that everyone was watching him, puzzled by his uncharacteristic change of mood. “I really do not like it. You would not like it, either, if you knew how dangerous that snowman could have actually become.”
Wait, Frosty was *real*?” Marissa asked skeptically.
There are more things on heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” quoted Otto, then sighed. “Yes. Frosty was real, and he was the result of my missing an important detail and behaving carelessly.”
Story time!” Lisa called out.
Oh, yes, we have to hear about this,” Marissa added.
Really?” Otto asked, as if surprised by the attention.
Even I haven’t heard this one,” said Nathan, “and it sounds like a doozy.”
Otto took a seat on the sofa, next to Isabella, and the others gathered around. Richard kept at it with the greenery, but still cocked an ear and moved so he could see Otto’s face and gestures. Taking a deep breath, the professor began to tell the tale in a rich, melodic voice...

Sunday, July 22, 2018

“The Cannibal Killer” Part – VIII The Conclusion: Private Papers of Michael Rhodes June 18th, 2016


    


    As soon as I finished re-loading, Nadine headed for the classroom door only to find it locked. “Seriously?” she hissed, “They lock classrooms doors an abandoned school? What did they think kids were going to break in and start rummaging through textbooks so they can catch up on homework or something?”
      Suppressing a smile I joined her and explained, “Teachers always lock the doors to the classrooms when they leave, and when they left this school they had no idea it wasn't going to reopen. Besides, even if they knew they'd still have locked things up because the school district would still be responsible for anyone, even trespassers, hurting themselves in here.”
      “I know one I won't mind hurting,” she murmured under her breath and reached for the handle.
I stopped her, “Too much noise. If the Cannibal's nearby he'll hear it. The hinges are on this side of the door. Do you think you can pull the pins out?”
      Smiling she elongated her fingers and with a little super-human strength, the pins were out.         
      Together we managed to silently pull the door out of the frame, then stepped into the hallway.


    Seeing no sign of our quarry, I quickly determined our location and led the way towards the stairwell leading downstairs. I have to admit, even if we weren't hunting a psychopath, the old hallways I'd wandered down so many times seemed kind of eerie. The district had been right to close the place down. Some of the ceiling tiles had collapsed, littering the floor with debris and dust. Not to mention the occasional opened locker which revealed cobwebs and abandoned notebooks. I found myself starting to wonder what might be hidden among the closed ones and shuddered.
      Upon reaching the old stairwell, I could see more fallen ceiling tiles and exposed wiring.
    “This place is starting to feel more and more like a horror movie set,” Nadine whispered as we carefully made our way down the steps.
     “And we're headed for the boiler room where creeps like Freddy Krueger hang out,” I replied in a hushed voice, then a thought hit me. “Hey, Nadine, how about you changing back to your normal form?”
      My companion paused on the steps and gave me a curious look. “Why?”
      “Because I watched enough of those old slasher movies to know the only girl left always makes it out alive. But any guys with her, especially if they're black like me, they're toast,” I told her.
      Rolling her eyes, she glared at me. Then a wicked smirk crossed her face and she whispered, “See you downstairs,” and took off down the steps in a blur.
     Cursing myself for having said anything I quickly followed. And for the record I wasn't the least bit annoyed with her for abandoning me like that. I knew damn well if she had sensed the Cannibal anywhere nearby she would never have left my side, even for a joke.


     Just before I reached the last step a light came on and I saw my partner standing near the switch staring into the most unnerving area we'd encountered yet. Old white brick walls surrounded us on all sides, with the occasional dark hallway staring at us almost begging us to come and take a look. There was an old chair and abandoned pallet in one corner, along with some big old rusted bins that had seen better days.
    Then I noticed Nadine's breathing sounded louder and faster. “He's getting near... and so is someone else.” Closing her eyes she trembled slightly as she concentrated.
    'Going back inside his head,' I told myself and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She seemed to appreciate it as the shaking stopped and her eyes flew open. “That way,” she snapped, pointing at one of the dark corridors.


    Gun drawn I led the way. As we moved I could here noises up ahead including moaning. Quickening our pace we soon found ourselves in a huge room filled with machinery, boilers and God help me... a fucking cage with a young woman inside it. She was curled up in a ball in one corner of her prison, rocking back and forth in a rhythmic fashion that told the entire story. From what little remained of her torn clothing it was obvious she had suffered much at the Cannibal's hands.
      This time Nadine didn't hold back. She rushed right up to the door to the prison and ripped the thing right off its hinges and flung it aside. The sound of tearing metal seemed to cut through the girl's almost catatonic state as she looked up and stared at the two of us, not certain if she could believe what she was seeing.
        I placed a hand on Nadine's shoulder and whispered, “Gently, she's been through a lot.”
    She gave me an annoyed look and then nodded. “Got it,” she replied and was about to say something else when the young woman stood up and rushed into her arms crying uncontrollably. In the distance I could hear the sirens of my fellow deputies' cars drawing closer. No doubt the killer was nearer too.
    That's when I heard the first hint of footsteps coming down the stairs. He was close than I'd thought.
      “Nadine!” I murmured, cocking my revolver.
      “I know,” came her muffled reply.
    Puzzled I turned and saw my companion's face buried in the girl's neck. “What are you...?” I began, when she turned and faced me.
      To my relief, there was no blood on her lips. “What did you do?” I asked.
      “Gave her peace,” Nadine replied and gently placed the now strangely calm victim into my arms.
      “You wiped her memories?” I hissed, in disbelief.
    “No, just gave her some strength to cope and recover with time,” my partner answered as she stepped past me.
      So she'd given the girl a bit of herself, that was a relief.  I was about to say more when our rescuee blurted, “Don't! He'll get you too.”
      Nadine paused and gave us both a reassuring smile. Then without saying a word, she headed out of the room.
      “What's she going to do?” the girl asked me.
     Before I could answer a voice bellowed from the other room saying, “JOANIE! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME? I'M GOING TO...” the rest the words were lost on a cry of despair.
      The girl in my arms stiffened for a second and then became calm. “That cry, it was his voice, not hers. What's happening?”
     “Let's find out,” I told her and led the way out of the boiler room and down the hallway. As we moved I could hear Nadine speaking softly as we drew closer.
      “It's all right, I'm here,” she was saying.


     As we stepped into the white bricked room I could see my friend approaching the Cannibal who was slowly backing away until his back was pressed against the far wall.
     “DON'T TOUCH ME! I'M FINALLY THE STRONG ONE, NOT YOU!” the killer wailed, his face contorted in a mask of fury as his hands clenched into fists. Yet in spite of all that rage, his arms remained seemingly pinned to the wall. But why? Then it hit me, the Sangui-Sapio was holding him back. It wasn't about to let him harm the one who had shared her life with it.
      Nadine took another step closer then stopped and said softly, “It's okay, you can let you go. I'll catch you.”
      It was hard to make out in the dim light of the room but then I noticed the bullet holes in the Cannibal's shirt began to move as if of their own accord. Peering closer I finally made out particles of deep red were slowly exiting the tears in the fabric and floating across towards Nadine's extended hand. Once there, they seemed to disappear into the flesh of her palm, and I could see a sense of relief take over my friend.
       As the last of the stream of particles disappeared back into her, the Cannibal slumped against the wall and sat there staring at nothing.
     Then Nadine turned to us, and I could see her shoulder finally began to heal properly. Within seconds there was no trace of the injury she'd suffered earlier. Smiling she said to the girl in my arms, “It's over, he's done for. Let's get you out of here.”
       I caught the faintest glimpse of green mist waft from her hand into the girl's nostrils as she spoke. No doubt the sight of red particles coming out of the Cannibal and going into Nadine's hand would be forgotten.
      'Good job,' I mouthed to my partner as we led the girl upstairs.
     We'd just reached the top of the steps when Sheriff Parkes and several deputies appeared down the hallway. Upon seeing us they called out and quickly joined us.
     “What are you doing here...” my boss began, when he and the others unknowingly inhaled some faint green mist. After a moment, he continued, “You found her! Good job you two. What about our suspect?”
      “He's just down those stairs in the basement...” I began when.
     “JOANIE! JOANIE YOU BITCH!” came the Cannibal's voice from the stairwell. “I won't let you get away this time. I'll prove I'm stronger than you... you bitch.”
      “Get this girl out of here!” Parkes barked at our back-up.
      Two of my fellow deputies took care of our charge and moved her down the hallway to safety, the rest of us turned to face the nightmare figure coming up the stairs.
As the Cannibal came into view I noticed fresh blood stains had appeared exactly where he'd been hit by our bullets earlier.
      “Joanie...” he said spying Nadine, his voice was husky and his breathing more labored. “You keep coming back to prove I was never enough of a man for you... I joined the army to become stronger... and proved it overseas. I practiced on the whores I found there and found it wasn't me it that was the problem... it was you. You never knew how to satisfy me... but they did. I taught them how, with they're screams, their blood, their flesh.. And then I came back to show you but you'd left... and I had to find you. I had to find you over and over... and prove and prove it all over again, and again and...”
      Suddenly the man's eyes rolled up into his head and he toppled back down the steps, ending with a sickening thud at the bottom. Even before we reached him I knew our quarry was dead.
      “It's finally over,” one of my fellow deputies breathed.
      Parkes nodded, then turned to me saying, “You and Collins two did great tonight. Finding the girl while we had him on the run was a great move. Speaking of having him on the run, we heard from the hospital while we were chasing the bastard. Terri's awake and identified her assailant as our friend here.”
      A wave of relief swept over me. Knowing she was out of danger really brought the entire chapter to a close for me. I made a mental note to head to the hospital as soon as we were done here. Unfortunately, there was one last piece of business to attend to here, and I wasn't looking forward to it.
    I glanced over at Nadine who gave me a sad little smile. We had agreed back at the bar that it would probably be best for no one to remember her or her part in all of this, but I was having second thoughts about it.
     As Nadine approached I said to my boss, “You know to honest I couldn't have done any of this without Detective Collins help. I think it would be good for us to keep her in mind if we need her expertise again down the road. She's something of an expert in handling unusual cases.”
     “Is she?” Parkes remarked turning to her. “I know asking you to become part of our team would be a step or two down for you, but I would appreciate it if we could call upon you again in the future.”
     For a pregnant moment I half expected to see more greenish vapors, but instead Nadine smiled and extended her hand saying, “Of course. Michael... I mean Deputy Rhodes knows how to get a hold of me.”
     “Glad to hear you say that,” my boss replied taking her hand. And he wasn't the only one. I had grown rather fond of this 'other' side of my Uncle Nathan, and I was happy to know may get to see/work with 'her' again one day.