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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Artist - August 2009 Part IV

I really hadn't meant for it to happen, but I couldn't help myself. 

I'd seen Nathan many times since the day he rescued me and Brian, but it always took all of my self control not to shrink away from him. I knew Brian looked up to him as a hero, so I'd always tried to hide it. To be honest, part of me thought of him as a hero too, but... the memory of his feeding off the guy was carved just too deep into my memory. And this time, all three of them had seen my reaction.

Brian and Jack looked puzzled, but Nathan clearly knew. But the expression on his face wasn't one of anger or annoyance, it was one of pity. Without a word, he pulled the curtains shut around us and looked down at me with sad eyes. 

"You saw," he said in a quiet voice, "I'm so sorry."

Brian stared from him to me with a look of confusion on his face. "Saw what?" he asked finally.

Naturally I couldn't answer, but Nathan could. Although his voice was heavy with regret as he did so.


"The same thing you did," he told Brian. "The time the two of you were abducted by that sex trafficking bunch, and..." 

"You came for us," my childhood friend finished nodding his head. I could see the memory was still fresh in his memory. A faraway haunted look crept into his eyes. Then he turned to me and said, "But, I thought I kept you from seeing anything. I was holding you to my chest."

He had, but even with his arms covering my head I'd been able to see through the crack between them, and wished I hadn't ever since. 

"I wasn't exactly quiet," Nathan said, breaking the moment, "And of course you saw what happened, Brian. I suspect your guard might have dropped enough for her to get an eyeful. Am I right?" 

That question was directed at me and I nodded.


At that point, Jack came forward and pulled out his stethoscope. "I'd like you to listen to something," he told me and held out the ear pieces at me.

I wasn't sure what he had in mind, but I nodded and allowed him to gently place them in my ears. Then he turned to Nathan who he instructed to open his shirt. 

"Hey... when did this place become Chippendale's?" Nathan protested, but opened his shirt anyway. Then he leaned forward asJack placed the other end of the stethoscope on his chest. "Woo... that is cold. Do you keep that thing in a freezer or something?" 

"Shhh... let her listen," Jack replied while I did as he instructed.

The sound of a healthy beating heart came loud and clear through the instrument. 

"An undead creature, wouldn't have a heartbeat like that would it?" Jack asked me.

I wasn't really sure. After all, a stake through the heart killed vampires didn't it? So I merely shrugged.

Undaunted, Jack moved the diaphragm of the stethoscope to the other side of Nathan's chest. "Hear anything?"

I listened, but I just heard breathing this time.


"Nathan, would you move your heart to where I'm positioned?"

I don't know who looked more puzzled, me or the man I was still trying to figure out. But after a moment, he nodded.

After a few seconds later, I heard the pulsing heart just as loud as before. But even more importantly, I actually heard its approach just before it... got into position. Torn between horror and amazement I just stared at the two men. 

Still I was afraid and Jack knew it. He asked Nathan to leave and wait in the hallway, which he did.

After he left Jack turned back to me and smiled. "I know you think he's a vampire. That's why I asked him to leave. That way you can be sure that he hasn't hypnotized you into believing what Brian and i are about to tell you. In a way, your suspicion is partly correct. But I want to ask you, could such an undead creature physically move the location of its heart?"

I thought about all the movies and stories I'd read. If vampires could do such a thing, killing them would be much harder, nearly impossible. Finally, I shook my head.

Jack smiled reassuringly. "But what about a man who never died, but wound up sharing his body with a life-form which requires him to take in blood as part of his nutritional requirements?"

That made me raise my eyebrows as I found my thinking in terms of science fiction instead of horror stories.

As I did so, Brian chimed in saying, "The life-form also allows him to alter his shape and even move and change his organs around."

What followed was the most amazing story I'd ever heard in my life. I won't go into details here, because I know others in Nathan's 'Extended Family' have already shared it more than once. And they, and their descendants will be the only ones to read this, so I don't need to go into things further. Besides, I'm here to share my experience.

After Brian and Jack finished telling me all about Nathan and some of the things he could do, I simply lay there for a few moments taking it all in. If just half of what they had told me was true, then he might be able to help me once more.

"Should I ask Nathan to come back in?" asked Jack after a few moment. 

I nodded ever so carefully. My heart beating with anticipation.

TO BE CONTINUED...






Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Artist - August 2009 Part III

Of course the accident happened shortly after that and I wound up in the hospital. And as you know I received dozens of visitors who constantly reassured me that everything would be all right. Such words and sentiments were always welcome and helped make the day pass more easily. 


But night-time was another matter. Everything would be quiet, aside from the staff making their rounds. Occasionally one would wake me up to draw blood or give me my medications, but for the most part I was on my own with only my thoughts for company. That's when dealing with my situation became much harder.  

That's when all those little fears we keep hidden away come out to plague us. And believe me I had a lot of them which kept me company for hour after hour. Most of them involved not being able to use my hands to sculpt. I won't tell you how many times I wound up crying myself to sleep, but it happened a lot. I tried to keep quiet about it (which should have been easy with my mouth wired shut), but one person found out.

I woke one morning to someone gently dabbing the sides of my eyes with handkerchief. It was Brian. Dr. Jack Tyler, my physician and our mutual friend, had allowed him in before visiting hours had officially begun. Jack had noticed the tear soaked tissues before and had tried to draw me. I would've have loved to have told him what was wrong, but first and foremost he was my doctor. A doctor in frequent demand so we kept getting interrupted. After a while I just stopped trying.

Luckily, Jack is someone who doesn't give up easily, especially when you're his patient as well as his friend. So he'd gone out of his way to get Brian here to make sure they found out what was troubling me. By this time I was able to make some sounds, but understanding me was not easy. Yet somehow we managed. 
 
As it turned out, both of them suspected I was worried about my works in progress back at the studio. With this in mind, Brian had gone to check on things for me. He even took photos on his phone and shared them with me.  


While I was relieved to see everything was still untouched, a part of me felt guilty at the same time. Seeing my kiln just sitting there waiting to be filled, or my tools just hanging on their hooks, they it all looked so lonely. Then I saw the piece of my grandfather, still wrapped in the plastic just as I'd left it. That's when the tears began to flow. 

It took Jack and Brian some time, but they managed to understand to get the full story out of me.

The date of the exhibition, which was still going to happen, was also my mother's birthday that she shared with her father. It would have been his 108th. I had secretly been planning to have his sculpture to be the centerpiece of the show, as well as a gift to both my mom and his memory.

Once they understood, Brian exchanged a look with Jack who nodded. Then he turned back to me and said, "Don't worry, it's going to be all right. Just trust me."

In spite of the fact that I had absolutely no idea what they had planned, something about Brian's tone was extremely reassuring.  After that, they talked about their families and kept me amused for another half an hour. By then I was feeling tired again and managed to drift off without the help of medication for a change.

The rest of the day passed as all the others had, medications, smoothie meals, and television. There were a couple of more visitors, but it's what the night brought that I really want to talk about. Or rather, who it brought.

I'd been listening to an audiobook with my eyes closed, so I never heard my visitors arrive. It wasn't until Brian gently tapped my shoulder that I realized anyone had come. Looking up I saw him and Jack smiling down at me. Then from behind them Nathan popped his head out and waved at me. 

Unable to help myself, I shuddered. 

TO BE CONTINUED...

Friday, March 20, 2020

FREE DOWNLOAD OF "THE VAMPYRE BLOGS - COMING HOME" NOVEL...

*Due to the current situation I'm making "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", the first #YA #book in our Para-Earths series #FREE to anyone who wants a copy over at Smashwords. It costs nothing to sign up with them and you will have the following formats to choose from to download the book onto your device(s) of choice:

EPUB (#Nook), MOBI (#Kindle), PDF, LRF (Older Sony readers), PDB (Palm OS devices), and finally Plain Text (no formatting)

Just click on this link to access the book and begin downloading and reading. More books are coming, so please bear with me.



*NOTE: I'm only using the Smashwords site, because unless I'm part of Kindle Unlimited, I cannot make the book FREE over on Amazon*

LINK:

The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home



I will be loading the anthology "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time" onto Smashwords shortly and will be making that book also available for FREE, where you'll be able to read more of Nathan and his friends' adventures in the days and years past.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The Artist - August 2009 Part II

The piece in question was a full-bodied statue of my mom's father who had passed away the year before at the age of 107. And believe me the man had led an impressive life having served not only in WWI but also WWII. Now some of you who know me might be thinking 'Wait, I know you're like only 29. So just how old was he when your mom was born?' Well my mom was from his second marriage in 1948. My grandmother was younger than him and gave birth to my mom seven years later. 

Now, getting back to the sculpture, when I say full-bodied I don't mean it was man-sized. It was only  between 18" and 24" inches in height. I had thought about doing a bust, but she had always been proud of the fact that he had served in both world wars. But it was his service in World War I that she had always impressed her the most. Seeing photos of him in his uniform back then, so young and full of hope and purpose, had really made her see him in a different light. 


I know he saw a lot back in the Great War, as they originally called it, but what always impressed me the most about him was the fact that he enlisted again when the Second World War began. He once told us that part of the reason he did was because he knew a lot of young men who weren't prepared for what they might face. He himself had barely been sixteen when he'd enlisted, lying about his age to be accepted at the recruiting office. And as I said, he saw a lot. He was wounded more than once too and was involved in some of the more famous and fiercest battles including the Hundred Day Offensive. 

Looking back, I think that may have actually been the real reason why I chose to put him in his first uniform. Seeing photos of that fresh-faced innocent who would face horrors time and again, and still be willing to help others face new ones, really helped me understand the man I knew and loved.

Anyway, having a specific image in mind I got work in my studio and began the project. 


I was well into the sculpt, having already gotten the shape and pose just right, when a prominent gallery wanted to showcase my work. The timing could not have been better. The date set for the opening would be just perfect to unveil my grandfather's likeness before my mother, our friends, and so many others. Needless to say I went back to the piece with even more enthusiasm. I was calling upon every technique I could think of get everything just right and it was paying off.

Hour by hour, I could see my grandfather's spirit taking shape in the piece. I was so pleased that I didn't care if I never made anything as close to perfect as it. But there was still a lot to do when I left my studio that afternoon. As much as I wanted to keep working, I had to get downtown and meet with a gallery owner (not the one who was going to hold the exhibition). I remember putting the plastic over my work in progress to keep it moist, silently promising I'd be back soon. Only I wasn't.


In fact it would be weeks, and merely days before the exhibit, before I'd step foot inside that studio again... at least physically.

TO BE CONTINUED...


Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Artist - August 2009

When I was a child I thought of angels as beings with huge white wings and cherubic faces. But now I know they come in many different shapes and sizes. I met a great many of them back in the hospital, for which I am forever grateful. But there is one in particular, who I wish to talk about right now. He is someone I've known almost all my life, who left me deeply frightened because I saw him drinking the blood of another like a fiend from an old Hammer Horror movie.


Admittedly, the one he took the blood from had kidnapped me along with my friend Brian, we were both children at the time, but seeing your rescuer seemingly turn from angel to an avenging demon left me rattled for many years after.

I hadn't understood back then that Nathan had simply come to save us and had seen things inside that warehouse that neither Brian nor I had. I still don't know all that he saw, but I do remember his clothing looking torn as if he'd been through hell before reaching us and our captor. There was no blood on him at the time, but I didn't know his body could absorb blood from his clothing. But even that wasn't enough. I know now that he had lost a fair amount of blood just trying to reach us.

However, that's not something I want to talk about right now. Yes, I can talk properly again. My jaw is finally healed. I can even use my own hands again, even if they don't quite feel the same.


I keep fearing that they may have lost some of their dexterity from before the accident. But that doesn't seem be the case. I'm still able to do my art and everyone tells me I'm as good as before, possibly even better. Yet, it doesn't quite feel the same. Maybe because the clay feels different to me these days, although I think that's partly thanks to Nathan. Perhaps he's helped me in more ways than even he realizes. However, I'm getting ahead of myself.

I don't remember much from the accident, it all happened so fast. Hell, there wasn't any warning like the sound of tire trying to screech to a halt, just an impact and my world flipped... and pain. That's all I can remember. When I fully regained consciousness I was in a hospital, my hands in bandages and unable to move my jaw even though I wanted to scream. The sight of my hands all wrapped up like that, even before anyone said anything I just knew it was bad... REALLY BAD! They were my livelihood, my 'special voice', the things that created things I couldn't always find the words to say to express how I felt. To have them silenced along with my actual voice, was more of an agony than the pain I was already in.

I remember trying to ask what happened, over and over again, but with my jaws wired shut I didn't know how to make myself understood. Everyone kept telling me to blink once for 'yes' and twice for 'no' then began asking me simple questions, but they took so long to get to what I wanted to know. I almost wished they'd never got to that point.

I'd been hit by a drunk driver, T-boned to be exact. His SUV had got me just behind the driver's door, otherwise I might not be here. But the impact had been strong enough to send my little bug rolling and into a pole. Needless to say, he'd walked away without a scratch in more ways than one. The bastard was rich and got off with house-probation, although he was made to pay for my medical expenses. Not so much by the court but by 'someone' else as I later found out. But more about that later. The jury had also hit him with pain and suffering pretty heavily, but his lawyers were pretty slick and seemed to be swaying the judge to their way of thinking. Then all of a sudden the judge  called for an adjournment for lunch, even though it was only 10:30 in the morning. When the court resumed he slammed the guy with the full amount the jury had recommended, and even tacked on a few more expenses for my attorneys and loss of income.


Naturally, the guy tried to appeal it. But he lost again... twice. After that he suddenly stopped trying and just paid up. How did this happen? The same way I got saved all those years ago from the creeps who kidnapped me and Brian. And for that I will always be grateful, but not nearly as much as for what he did when it came to the piece I'd been working on at the time of the accident. The piece that meant more to me than any other...

TO BE CONTINUED...

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Message from the Authors...

I know it's been a little while since we've posted something new here, but between the holidays and prepping our first audiobook, things have been very busy for us. 

Luckily, the audiobook should be ready for beta-listeners by the end of tomorrow. The book in question is one of Helen's solo books which stars Rafael Jones, a private investigator in 1947 who is about to discover that the supernatural does exist. Before the tale is finished, his own life will be changed forever as he faces a nest of vampires from Russia and learns that indeed "Forever's Too Long". This debut novel has already earned 5 star reviews from both the US and Canada, and has been followed up with a second tale "Forever Haunted".  





So what does this have to do with Nathan and company? Quite a lot, as "The Vampyre Blogs -Coming Home" AND "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time" are both being turned into audiobooks as we speak. Their release dates will be announced in the coming months.

In the meantime, I wished to let you all know that brand new tales are on the way for this blog. "The Artist" is currently under way and will be appearing here in a week or two. This story will take both you and Nathan into uncharted waters in regards to the 'bonds' he creates with those who he has bitten and given some of himself to. I'd say more, but I don't wish to spoil the surprise and direction this story will take.


I can also tell you that more tales of Nathan's years in service during the Civil War after his return from the Para-Earth are in the works, as well as a second anthology which we hope to release before the end of this year.

Also, rest assured that the sequel to Nathan's first novel, is also under way. "The Vampyre Blogs - Family Ties" will be exploring not only Nathan's return but that of a familiar enemy, as well as a new threat to that spells danger not only for Nathan's homestead but the town as well. Thrills, new insights, and much more await you all in the pages of this new novel. 

So please stay tuned and keep reading as the tales of encounters with other Para-Earths unfold before your eyes.