Daily Writing Prompt

Belfast, 1703, the O’Muiredaigh household.

“Aye, she’s a cheeky one, me babby. ‘Tis why I named her Lilith. Her eyes of green stare deep into me soul. She’ll be so much more than I, the peasant. She has the soul of greatness, but I so worry about me poor little snapper. Could turn a scrubber if she wanted to. What can I do but teach ‘er the faith the best I can? With our Heavenly Father Clement XI to guide her, me fair Lilith will be blessed by the angels.”

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Daily Writing Prompt

Writers Write Daily Prompt 2-21-14

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Meet the vampires of “Vampire Syndrome”

Jack Wendell

down-syndrome1-300x252
Physical and Calendar Age: 19

Former Special Olympics champion sprinter and 400-meter sprint national record holder. Now the world’s fastest running Vampire, able to run at over 100mph for long distances. Retains his sincerity and good will towards others while living and interacting with a Vampire population generally not known for these qualities. Jack gets his first girlfriend in my trilogy’s second novel, “Vampire Conspiracy”. Jack’s heroism and unique abilities gradually become known to the world’s human Vampire population… and others. 😈
Bricks

Damien Tepesh

CBAP
Physical age: 39
Calendar age: 267

Chief Venator (law enforcer) of the United States region. Targets Jack for termination, as Venators traditionally do when they discover a new special-needs Vampire. Jack escapes two of Damien’s assassination attempts, eventually causing Damien to reconsider his position about Jack.  Damien enjoys fast cars and fast women. Damien has been married for over 250 years, and has had several mistresses as well.
Bricks

Lilith Morrigan

Jessica Chastain
Physical Age: 44
Calendar Age: 308

President of the world’s human Vampire Community. Breaks with her own Venator past by protecting Jack from her husband Damien. Feels some maternal instinct for Jack, but Lilith realizes she would not make the best adoptive mother for him. The conflicts over Jack push her relationship with Damien to a breaking point.
Bricks

Zetania Vinescu

fortune_teller

Physical Age: 25
Calendar Age: 135

Chief Venator of Romania. Summoned to Colorado by Damien, to help him hunt Jack. Lilith over-rides her husband and orders Zetania to protect Jack from Damien and the other Venators. Zetania gradually realizes Jack’s incredible potential, and discovers that Jack may be the key to help Zetania and the Romanian Vampires end their dispute with their most feared enemy… one way or another.
Bricks

Ronald and Diane Pepper

Ron Diane
Physical and Calender Ages: 40

Ron Pepper, Jack’s former Special Olympics coach, and his wife Diane are the closest that Jack has ever had to a real family. Damien and Lilith come to a rare agreement and choose the Peppers to be Jack’s new adoptive parents. Damien and Lilith turn the Peppers into Vampires and hire them as private investigators. The Peppers’ longtime hobby of investigating cattle mutilations becomes their full-time occupation, as they finally uncover the mystery of who is behind all of those mutilations.

Bricks

Stella Reynolds

StellaKP
Physical Age: 27
Calendar Age: 71

Lilith’s presidential secretary and Damien’s current mistress. Over the last 250 years, Lilith has killed Damien’s previous four mistresses (and several other women who had short-term flings with Damien). The fact that Lilith hired Stella to be her secretary suggests a major change of strategy on her part, in which she plans to heighten her control and influence over Damien.

Bricks

Gl’Ag

Gl'AgPhysical Age: Mature Adult Male
Calendar Age: Over 25,000 years

The human vampires’ worst nightmare. And he realizes Jack’s true potential far more than any human Vampires can.

Bricks

Fred Henderson

Fred HPhysical Age: 41
Calendar Age: 266

Chief Mechanic, the MacGyver of Vampires. Owner of Roman Auto Salvage. His kindred’s predilection towards fast cars ensures Fred’s job security. Enjoys customizing pickup trucks and hunting deer. Owns a large collection of vintage film prints, including an original print of “Nosferatu” acquired during his vacation to Germany in 1922.

Bricks

Tivor Sebestyén

Tivor
Physical Age: 25
Calendar Age: 43

Mute autistic Vampire, native to the city of Debrecen, Hungary. Pursued by Hungarian Venators upon his change to human vampire in 1991, reported “missing, presumed dead” that same year. Confirmed sighted by several U.S. Venators in Colorado twenty years later. Possesses a unique superpower that could be dangerous to the human Vampire community.

May Meme

Your Vampire meme

Disclaimer: The 325-hp Volvo S60R that Edward Cullen drives in the Twilight novels is actually the perfect car to represent his character. The S60R is a “sleeper” high-performance car that does not draw attention to itself, with more power and capability than is apparent to casual observers.

The Cadillac CTS-V’s (as shown above) that my character Lilith Morrigan (President of the Vampires) drives are also perfect representations of her character. Louder and a bit flashier than the aforementioned Volvo, driven by those not really concerned with what the average bystander thinks. After all, during the Great Depression, Lilith was driving a 1930 Cadillac V-16 convertible coupe, a car priced on par with a small house ($6,900, or $95,000 in today’s money). Cars change over the decades. Human (vampire) nature, not so much. 😈

Deleted scene: “What’s Going On”

Here’s a deleted scene from Vampire Syndrome, taking place at the same time as the first scene in Chapter Thirteen, “Black And Blue Mustangs”…

Damien:

Unmarked silver Charger in the Jacksons’ driveway. Yep, Curtis finally got a night off. Between us and the Normal police, I’m amazed poor Curtis gets any time at home.

Always liked this little Victorian of theirs in Park Hill. Been re-painted 32 times, in every shade of the red rainbow.

I still remember when those young gang-bangers tried to rob me on this very sidewalk a few decades ago. Now, fixie bicycles are parked on the neighbors’ front porches, unlocked.

Gentrification marches on. Too bad. Ripping heads and limbs off those little gangsters was much more fun than walking past roving packs of hemp-and-jeans-clad hipsters in Civil War beards talking about indie bands.

I march up the Jacksons’ front porch steps and tap my knuckles on the door screen thirteen times.

Curtis whips open the door. “Oh, come on, brother…”

“Chill, C.J., I just want a beer.” I pat his shoulder and smile.

Curtis’s wife Tamika saunters up behind him. “Don’t be givin’ him that ‘I just want a beer’ shit, peckerwood.”

I add fangs to my smile. “A beer and a chat, Tammy. Off-duty, of course.”

Her eyes blacken as her fangs extend. “What’re you up to now?”

“I have a new plan. Gotta keep Curtis in the loop.” I smirk at Curtis.

“Who you gon’ fuck up now, white boy?” Tamika demands.

“More like who else will fuck who up.” I reply. “May I?” I wave my hand toward the living room.

Curtis and Tamika lead me into the room. Their old posters always catch my eye. Scream, Blacula, Scream! Super Fly. Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold. Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off. Shaft in Africa. Dolemite. And my favorite.

Coffy. She’s the godmother of them all. “I’m not worthy,” I whisper.

Tamika touches my cheek with a handkerchief. “Here, lemme help you with some of that drool, Damien.”

“Pam Grier.” I smile.

Tamika playfully nudges my shoulder.

Curtis, carrying three brown bottles, strides to the couch. He places the brews on the coffe table and motions us over.

Tamika and I sit down at Curtis’ sides.

I state, “This Jack thing is getting out of hand.”

“You’re mad cause he got away,” Curtis says.

“No,” I reply, “I’m mad that he’s still at large. And I intend to correct this state of affairs.”

I fetch my phone from my coat pocket.

“Who you calling?” curtis asks.

I answer Curtis and Tamika with a smirk as I dial Lilly.

She picks up and says “I’m almost there, honeybun.”

“Thanks for picking up Zetania, sweetheart.” Curtis and Tamika’s expressions change to quizzical, yet mean, stares. I knew they’d like this. Tamika taps my shoulder, wanting to speak, and I wave her silent.

“Mamuwalde’s showing off the new gold caps between his fangs,” Lilly says. “They’d look pretty good on you, honeybun.”

“Practical, too,” I reply. “If he ever ran out of Normal money, he can just go to a We Buy Gold shop and pull those caps out with pliers.”

I shake my head and whisper “No, not Jack” to Curtis and Tamika.

“I think he’d sell his gold necklace or rings first, don’t you?” Lilly asks. “Anyway, I gotta go, honeybun. I’m almost at the entrance.”

“Bye,” I say before I hang up.

Tamika fangs out. “Why the hell is Zetania Vinescu coming here?”

“I decided I need some outside help.”

“To kill innocent Normal bystanders and cause massive car wrecks?” Curtis asks. I can see my face reflecting in Tamika’s raging black eyeballs.

“Zetania doesn’t fuck around,” I state.

“She hunts Pures,” Tamika snaps. “That shit’s okay when you’re chasing Pures, but she can’t come here and pull that crap just to get some handicapped kid. Zetania might give us all away by accident.”

I fang out. “And Jack will give us all away by accident.”

Tamika and I leap off the couch. Curtis slips between us, fanged out and ready.

“As you heard, Tammy, I have Lilly’s okay.”

Curtis glances in our directions, then sits down. Tamika and I reluctantly seat ourselves.

“That bitch has lost her mind,” Tamika whispers to Curtis.

“I don’t think so,” I reply. “Even she couldn’t catch Jack last night.”

Vampire Syndrome now available in paperback versions

Vampire Syndrome Young Adult Cover
Vampire Syndrome (Young Adult version)

Vampire Syndrome Adult Cover
Vampire Syndrome (Erotica version)

The $64,000 question

Vampires.com asked us the timeless question:
Why do you think people love vampires so much?

My answer:

Q: Why did I name one of my chapters “The $64,000 Answer”?
A: The 1955-58 TV game show “The $64,000 Question” inspired Philip K. Dick’s novel Time Out Of Joint.