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Sunday, December 10, 2017

LISA'S "PRIVATE THOUGHTS" - OCTOBER 22ND, 2014 "Something Bad Is Coming" Part - II


While I continue to watch the land slowly being bathed by the morning’s rays, the leading edge of the light begins to touch the edge of the dairy farm and halts.  Well, not exactly.  The light continues to stretch across the land, but it does so by going AROUND a portion of the farm, in particular the barn.  It’s almost as if that area has a barrier around it, which is repelling the dawn’s rays.  
At first I shake my head, wondering if my eyes are playing tricks on me.  Perhaps some trees are casting a shadow over that spot, but no.  What I’m seeing is not a shadow, it’s something else, something sinister. 


As I continue to watch, the edge of sunlight slowly closes around the dark area around the barn and continues to spread across the land.  That is of course when my mind starts thinking about Timothy Spratt and what my father had told me.  At this point I’ve usually woken up.  But last night the dream kept going.
Tearing my gaze away from the ‘shadowed’ barn I begin to study the rest of the town, to see if the effect is repeated anywhere else.  To my horror, it does.  Here and there, I notice a few other ‘blemishes’ appear in other parts of the town.  But the pattern is so sporadic, there does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to their locations.  It’s as if all that lay before me was a painting and someone had flicked a brush covered in some dark translucent stain across a canvas, marring the beauty of the scene.
None of it seems to make any sense… that is until the light reaches the grounds of the church.  It’s there that I see a much more heavy concentration of dark spots, mostly around a number of headstones in the newer sections of the graveyard.  Immediately I remember the Professor, I mean Otto, telling me and Marisa that the Ghoul-Slime... or Funus Sobrere (which is latin Corpse Absorber… see I’m already learning from him) preferred bodies of the recently deceased.  
       This of course reinforces my first impression that Tim Spratt may have been one of the creature’s earliest victims, having seen the darkness around the barn.  But at the same time it doesn’t explain why I’m being shown this ‘overview’ of the town.  Are all these blemishes places where the Funus Sobrere had been?  And if so, why was there no other reports of people/animals dying or disappearing?
Then, as if in answer to my unspoken question my eyes drift, seemingly of their own volition, away from the church grounds to one of the other larger buildings in shadows.  It’s one of the medical buildings over on Clearwater Street.  Specifically, it’s the one that contains the local diagnostic lab.  I’ve had bloodwork done there and so has pretty much everyone in town.  There have been no deaths there that I can recall… then I remember the place had a break in and samples stolen…
Including ones that belonged to Marisa’s dad, which would explain how “Ghoul-Boy”… I mean the Funus Sorbrere knew about her father’s condition when it confronted us.  A chill runs through my body at the realization that the creature had actively been seeking out who would make a nice fresh corpse in the near future for it to absorb.
‘But the thing is dead,’ I tell myself in the dream.  ‘Tony… Pastor Gregory’s brother, who it had taken over, had destroyed himself and it in fire.  It’s gone, we’re all safe… right?’
By then a feeling of doom has taken hold and I look back to the rest of the town which has now been completely revealed, blemishes and all, by the morning sun.  All is quiet… almost too quiet.
Then I see the edges of each dark patch begin to move.  It’s a slow but steady movement.  Those closest to each other meet and become a larger patch and continue to spread, seemingly more rapidly because of their greater size.  In the churchyard this happens more quickly, since so many of the graves had been violated and tainted by the Funus Sorbrere. 
I’m rooted to the spot, helpless to stop the progression as the blight spreads darkening more and more of my hometown.  Then I notice the farthest edge of the encroaching shadow begins begins to reach the outer edge of Nathan’s family estate and stops.
"Of course, Nathan was able to beat it to a standstill back in the cemetery when he came to save me and Marisa," I breathe with the first rays of hope.  Then I remember he's gone to ground... "Which means he's not here to protect us," I murmur sadly.


     And that's when the nightmare really begins. 
     It's almost as if the blight heard my words, because suddenly the darkness spreads like a wildfire.  It crashes past whatever was holding it back from my godfather's estate, sweeping over it cause plants to die and trees to wither.  The manor itself begins to darken and age just before collapsing in on itself, while my hometown is swept in shadow and I hear the first screams of terror arise...
     That's when I finally woke up to find the screams were coming from my own mouth.   Naturally my parents came rushing into my room to find out what had happened, and then spent the next hour comforting me.  Both kept reassuring me that there had been no new reports of graves being violated or disappearances of people or animals.  Still, I can't help shaking the feeling that something is coming and I'm certain Nathan will be our only chance of stopping it.
      I can't tell Marisa about the dream because I know she's been anxious about her dad.  She and her Mom are waiting for the latest lab results to come back and I don't want to burden her with my worries.  I'd talk to Otto but he's out of town.  I could e-mail him, but first I want to go to Nathan's place and check on Isabella's grave, where he went to ground with her ghost, to see if there's any change.  If I don't see anything, then I'll contact Otto for sure and ask what I should do next.  
       Damn, almost time for school.  I'll wrap things up here and report back once I've been to Nathan's place this evening.  I pray this is all just my imagination but if it isn't and there's no sign of him coming back, I don't know what we'll do.

Friday, November 24, 2017

LISA’S “PRIVATE” THOUGHTS - OCTOBER 22nd, 2014 "Something Bad Is Coming" Part-I

*With the start of the holiday season, Helen and I thought it would be nice to give you all a little glimpse into some of what has been happening between the end of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", and the upcoming sequel "The Vampyre Blogs - Family Ties".  Those who  have read the first book were given a sneak peek into the next installment where there are is a solid two week block of anxiety where Nathan is not to be found.  Nor is there any indication of when or if he will return.
Today's story takes place during that three week period where Lisa, one of those who witnessed Nathan's departure, shares the growing sense of foreboding that has been building inside her.  Enjoy*  


It’s been two weeks since Nathan went to ground and there’s still no sign of when he may return… and I’m worried.  Not about whether or not he’s coming back, the Professor has assured both me and Marisa repeatedly that Nathan will come back to us, it’s just a question of when?  Ever since that night at the cemetery when everything went down, I’ve had a growing feeling of unease.  
I only really noticed it a couple of days after the battle, but looking back I’m certain it was already starting to gnaw at me the moment we all headed inside Nathan’s manor to tend to Marisa’s ankle.  But I didn’t dwell on it at the time because my dad arrived with Penny, who had had a bad shock earlier having seen her former pimp Tony in town.  She still doesn’t know the guy was already dead and acting as host to the ghoul slime that nearly killed me and Marisa, not that any of us plan to tell her anytime soon because that would mean possibly revealing Nathan’s secret.  
Luckily the Professor, sorry I mean Otto (he prefers Marisa and me to call him that), was on hand to smooth things over.  I always thought Nathan was a fast-talker, but he pales in comparison to Otto.  He explained to Penny that Nathan had been called away on business, leaving him in charge of overseeing further restoration of the manor in his absence. Naturally, Marisa, Richard and I all backed him up, not that we really needed to.  Otto has a disarming way about him and can be so charming that Penny seemed quite happy to have him around.


Of course, there was still the question of what happened to Marisa’s ankle. I wound up taking the lead on that one.  Nathan taught me long ago that half-truths are far more convincing and easier to remember than flat out lies.  So I told her that Marisa slipped and fell while running up the driveway to the manor when she and I were racing each other to see Nathan.  When we found out he wasn’t here, nor were Richard or Otto at that point, we called Dr. Jack who does house calls.  Which is also true, he does make house calls quite a bit even in this day and age.  Then again, we’re not a huge town so that makes things easy for him to give that personal touch.  And he did a great job on Marisa’s ankle, she’s doing much better.  At school today I could barely detect any sign of a limp as we walked to and from our classes.  Some movements still give her a twinge, but nothing serious.
And right now as I type these words, I’m feeling another twinge of anxiety.  Probably because of the recurring dream I’ve been having for the past week.  It always starts out with me was standing on one of the many hillsides that overlooks our little town of Pointer.  The sun is just rising and I can see the light spreading across the valley slowing approaching the town I’ve called home all my life.  Soon the morning rays begin touching the trees, turning the yellow leaves that still cling to their branches, a brilliant gold, while at the same time making the grass seem more vibrant and welcoming.


The rooftops seem to spring to life and glisten with morning dew and everything just seems so beautiful and alive… then that uneasy feeling that’s been haunting me  seems to awaken and grow with a terrifying vengeance.
I find my eyes are drawn to one of the dairy farms in the distance, where not too long ago a Tim Spratt was trampled to death when something spooked the family herd causing them to break out of the barn where they’d been kept.  Officially, the word is that a mountain lion or bear broke in and killed two of the animals, but I heard my father telling Otto just last night that he believes there is more to the story.  One of the deputies, who is part of Nathan’s “Extended Family” here in town was away at the time of the incident, but upon returning to work he learned the case was still quietly being investigated.
It turns out Kevin, that’s the deputy’s name, learned from his co-workers that tracks were found leading in and out of the barn.  It looked more like several animals had been on the scene, including a deer, a bear and one or two others, that would not normally be found entering a barn.  Furthermore, there had been a sickly smell that still seemed to linger in the area.  Last I heard, the family is tearing down the barn and have moved the animals to another enclosure.
Upon hearing this, my mind raced back to the cemetery where Marisa and I came under attack from creatures the Ghoul Slime had made from the bodies of dead buried there.  Each one had been a fusion of human and animal remains, which gave off a sickly unearthly smell.  I began to wonder then if Tim Spratt had been one of the Ghoul Slime’s earliest victims, which might account for what happened next in my dream…

TO BE CONTINUED...

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Brian's E-Journal - "The Soldier"

*Author's Note: For those who are new to this site, this particular entry is a repost.  I first wrote this particular story a little over 2 years ago and have never done another because I don't think I could surpass its message.  For it shares the gratitude many of us have for those who've served, along with their families who must wait with bated breath for their return which may not always be a happy one.  It reminds all of us at home that serving one's country can come at a price which should never be forgotten or taken for granted.  So to all who've worn a uniform and risked everything for all of us, to you and yours we say "Thank you, and 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.







Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Time to talk anthology...


Big news, my wife and collaborator Helen just got hired on by the county so she will be working in the same building as me and sharing the long commute.  With her being hired, we are now looking towards possibly moving again and are already doing some packing here and there. Plus she is still taking a couple of intense college courses. This leaves both of us less time to write, especially in her case.

However, the anthology was 95% finished with only 2 stories incomplete. We've decided to drop those from the release and go ahead and publish the anthology with 23 stories, six of which are brand new. We're sticking to the 12th Night of Christmas release date.

In the meantime we're looking for Beta-Readers for feedback and to spot any problems with the collection. Unlike our previous novels which weighed in at 100K words, this volume is about 60,000 words in length. If you are interested in being a Beta-Reader please let us know in the comments section below.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Halloween Tale From Our Upcoming Anthology

*Helen and I agreed that this particular snippet from "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At A Time" was just perfect for this time of year.  While it does not cover the entire story, this particular section seemed just right for the holiday season.  And as with many of the tales you'll find in this collection, we start laying down the foundation for other stories down the road.  We do things like this because we want the Para-Earth Series to be open-ended.  There is no specific ending in mind, however there will eventually be closure for some of the characters, but not for a long time to come.  We're generating new ideas all the time for existing characters as well as ones you've yet to meet.  So rest assured no one is going anyplace just yet.  However, there are also untold stories form earlier years like this one.  So sit back and enjoy an adventure from Lisa and Marisa's childhood...  



HALLOWEEN FRIGHT (2007)

by Helen Krummenacker

Two giggling girls, nine years old, were getting to trick or treat on their own for the first time after solemnly swearing to their parents that they would stick together with the buddy system, not go into any houses, and stick to familiar streets. And Marissa and Lisa really meant  it, too, when they gave their word.
But once they’d gotten their sacks more than a quarter full, they were starting to feel like the main part of town was a little bit boring, even with decorations. Marissa’s mummy bandages were meeting with confused remarks by neighbors who were more familiar with hospital dramas than ancient Egypt, nor did Lisa’s top hat and cape read as Mr. Hyde as much as “Abe Lincoln, maybe?”, killing some of the fun of dressing up. Toddlers and their parents,  surrounding them on the streets,not only slowed them down with small talk, but stifled any real delightful shiver of uncertainty.
“I know a place,” said Lisa, “where there’s probably no one home, but it would be fun to explore.”
“What do you mean?” asked her best friend.
“Well, I know the owner, but he doesn’t live there. The place has been empty for years,” she told Marissa, savoring the word ‘years’, drawing it out for emphasis. “I don’t mean go in, but there’s woods and a little cemetery--”
 “I am NOT going to a cemetery on Halloween night! The place sounds creepy.”
“That’s what makes it fun!”
Marissa grinned quickly, thinking of all the spooky old films she loved. “Yeah.” She thought about it. “How about we get our bikes and go there, but we stay in sight of the road when we’re there and don’t stay too long.”
Lisa nodded. “Sounds smart. But it’s really not going to be too scary. I mean, sometimes things that seem scary at first turn out not to be.” She couldn’t really explain her Uncle Nathan, but it didn’t seem like anything associated with him could turn out bad. After all, he was a vampire… and the sweetest grown-up she knew.


Marissa was enjoying the chill of the air on her face. “It’s beautiful out here.” The moon was overhead, the trees rustled mysteriously, and the scent of pine, cedar, and birch tinged the breeze. “I thought there were a bunch of old mines on this side of town, though. It’s pretty hilly out here.”
“Yeah, I think there were some old ones.” Lisa tried to remember what Nathan had told her. “They used to have a small one on the estate we’re going to, that just took out coal to sell in town in the old days. People used it in their stoves. It closed for a while, but then it was opened during World War II by government order, for industry.”
“How do you know this stuff?”
“I told you, I know the owner. He’s a family friend, basically. And he’s the last of his family, so sometimes he gets, what’s the word… nostalgic.”
They saved their breath to pedal their way up a long uphill stretch. At the top, Lisa stopped to let Marissa catch up. She pointed, “See, you can see the house past the field. I guess they kept this area cleared.”
“Someone’s got sheep grazing there,” noted Marissa. “Sheep aren’t very scary.”
“Does that mean you want to see the cemetery?”
“No! … Maybe.” They nudged each other, shoulder to shoulder, before taking off down the hill towards the big old house that stood under the moonlight, darker patches where the pale paint had flaked off, vines growing onto the expansive porch, trees beyond with branches scant of leaves, many already lost to the aging fall.  


It began to feel quite spooky again as they drew closer to see more detail. Faded velvet curtains could be seen through dirty windows. The wind in the trees made suggestive rustling sounds. The creak of their own pedaling could be footsteps on an old, loose floorboard from the rooms above. The girls got off their bikes as they reached a grass-overgrown gravel path leading around the house and began to walk the path, pushing the bicycles by the handlebars, trying not to let the gravel crunch too much under their feet.
It’s not that I’m scared, Lisa told herself. It’s just that it doesn’t seem right to be noisy here. Like being in a library or a museum. It was a matter of respect.
Something cold and clammy touched the back of her neck and she squealed before she could think.
“What is it?!” Marissa whispered, worried.
“A drop of cold water. It fell off of the eaves.”
Indeed, the cool night air was producing condensation and the trees and overhangs slowly, almost silently, loosed accumulated moisture without sparing any thought for the nerves of passers by. “We’re being ridiculous,” Marissa said a little louder. “Thinking drops are a clammy finger or that the gravel is tiny bones crunching under our feet. It’s just an old farm no one lives in anymore.  We drive past places like this all the time.
“Not just like this,” Lisa said defensively. “There was a terrible tragedy here.” She wondered briefly about Marissa’s mention of the gravel sounding like crunching bones.  Someone was getting carried away by their imagination, and that someone was not her. “During the Civil War, you know West Virginia and Virginia were on different sides. And the Virginians were very angry about it. There was this point during the war when a mob crossed the border and they killed a lot of people here.”
“I did not want to know that.”
Lisa realized the fun was starting to go out of this for Marissa. “It’s okay. It happened so long ago. And… it’s not like ghosts are real.” There, she’d said it. It might not be a very Halloween thing to say, but she didn’t want her friend to be seriously frightened.
They stood there beside the empty old house in silence for a moment, looking at each other, wondering what they really believed about any of these things. They were not that far from home, really. There wouldn’t be anything wrong with being here for a picnic on a bright, sunny day. Maybe they were only really afraid because they were breaking the rules. Maybe they only got goosebumps because the night was a little damp and the breeze was making them cold.
Or maybe they weren’t quite sure that things didn’t go bump in the night. The breeze, which had joined them in stillness, rose up again, and a small, thin voice was carried with it. “Where is everyone?” It was a girl’s voice, sounding a little younger than they were, or perhaps she just sounded even younger because it was high with a plaintive note.
“Where is everyone?” The voice said again, with a slightly different inflection. Lisa and Marissa opened their mouths and screamed in unison. They climbed back onto their bicycles and got back onto the road. They had pedaled at least a tenth of a mile before they realized they had headed the wrong direction, still travelling away from the town. Now, beyond the house, the trees were the scraggly remains of old orchards, interspersed with volunteer trees grown wild from seeds left by birds or squirrels. Lisa signaled for Marissa to stop. 
“Are you okay?” they asked each other at the same time, then laughed a little, still nervous but feeling reassured by friendship. 

*And while the girls are catching their breath, we will leave them.  To find out what happened next I'm afraid we'll have to keep you waiting a couple of more months.  We know the holidays are coming and everyone will be busy with family, parties, etc. and so will we.  But rest assured we have more complete stories to share with you here, so please keep checking in and from both of us may you all have a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN.*   




Saturday, October 14, 2017

Nathan's Private E-Journal October 6th, 2014 "I May Have Made A Mistake..." Part - II

     Ah, how I love the crisp night air on nights like this.  I think Fall and Winter have always been my two of my favorite seasons.  Long before my change I used to love these times of year.  Something about the cooler weather just made things easier on my achy body.  Of course back then no one had heard of Fibromyalgia, you were just considered "too delicate" or "a malingerer".   But in those seasons, I just always felt more alert, more alive and still do.  Although now it may be partly the fact that since my body prefers evenings, the shorter hours of daylight probably plays a big part in things.
     In any case the cool air and the signs of autumn are helping lift my spirits tremendously. 


     The barren branches of the trees seem to reach out as if to touch the starlit night sky.  There are a few clouds but not enough to mar the view of the moon or the stars.  Halloween is not far away, I hope the evening is like this so everyone can enjoy themselves trick or treating, or going to parties.  Perhaps I should open the manor to visitors?  Nah, too soon.  Although Richard's done wonders with the place, but it's not ready for visitors.  Or maybe it's just me which is probably the case, since I'm using all this mental wandering to avoid the problem of Marisa hanging around the old locomotive, which happens to be exactly where I'm headed right now.
     How long has the old thing been there?  Even I'm not really sure.  We were a rail town long before the war started back in 1861 and trains were coming and going on such a regular basis, who'd have noticed if one engine never seemed to be moved?  I'll have to ask Louisa the next time I see them.


     I can see her outline in the darkness up ahead.  One side of her is lit up from the distant glow of a streetlamp.  She's always been impressive looking, in spite of all the rust and weathering from all the years of exposure to the elements.  She's a fixture from another time and will in all likelihood continue to stand there for many decades to come.  Especially since there is no way to move her.  She's anchored to that spot, just as I hinted to Marisa last night.  
     That probably wasn't one of my better moves, but she was so upset at the idea of the thing being haunted I had to come up with something more pleasant and intriguing.  Alas, that is part of my curse for having become a writer.  My mouth works faster than  my common sense some days.  Of course there are those who question whether I have any common sense at all, like Louisa.
     Oh the haranguing she'll give me if the carnival shows up and finds Marisa hanging around one of their 'anchors' to this world.  That woman can have the sharpest tongue on her at times.  Hell, she could put a ginsu knife to shame when she wants to.  Not that I can blame her.  Like me she's very protective of those in her carnival, and with good reason.  If anyone ever knew the true nature of any of the members of Karneval Schatten, or where they came from...  
   Wow, I'm actually shuddering at the thought.   But who could blame me?  Our first adventure together was a terrifying one.  If it hadn't been for Brandon Elliott and his great-grandson Peter, I don't know if even I could've survived the fire that night.  Thanks to them, we all got out in one piece... well almost all of us.  Brandon stayed behind to keep that white-haired creep at bay, while Peter and I got the trapped employees, along with Louisa and her troupe, to safety.   


     I tried to go back for Brandon but it was already too late.  The building had begun caving in on itself and the heat had become too intense even for me to mist through.  I felt like a failure that day, until I noticed young Peter, who was standing no more than a dozen feet away, talking to a man that everyone else seemed blissfully unaware of.  It took me a moment to recognize the figure as that of the man who had saved us all, only he was looking much younger.  I thought about going over to them, but just then the figure faded and Peter came over to me saying, "We have to get the others out of here.  There's a train about a half a mile from here we can get them them on.  But it has to be soon, otherwise the opening will close and they'll be caught again."
     I started to ask why, only Louisa's mother (also her namesake) joined us.  Having seen my abilities in action earlier, she begged me to help get those in her care back to their train.  Most were still exhausted from their imprisonment inside the depths of the factory, while others had been injured in our escape.  Having learned that many of them were, like my Sangui-Sapio half, were not from this Earth, I agreed.  Getting them to the safety of their conveyance had not been easy, but between my mist form and mind control we managed and saw them off.  That was the second time I'd seen a portal to a Para-Earth open, but the first time I saw one close.  However, it wasn't the last.
    They'd asked me to come with them before they left, but I'd declined.  I'd only recently lost Madeleine my first wife, and our son Brian (who Lisa's father is named after) was still in mourning and needed me.  So I remained behind, that time anyway.  But our paths crossed again and again, and always they'd bring me back here to this spot because it's one of their an "anchor points".  At least that's what Otto and Louisa told me once, long ago.  In spite of all my travels with both Otto and my carnival friends, there's still so much to learn about Para-Earths.  Lisa seems fascinated and would like to go with us on one of our jaunts, and one day I might take her.  But first I'll introduce her to Louisa and company the next time they come calling.  
     Whenever that will be.  I never know.  Sometimes they'll come to town and stay a few days, while other times they'll just show up in the middle of the night looking for me because my talents are needed.  They always seem to know where to find me, not that I mind.  I have many friends aboard that train.  I'm just not sure about Marisa encountering them unexpectedly.  
     The Crypt will be open tomorrow night and I know the girls will be showing up, so I'll talk to them then.  If worse comes to worse and Marisa insists on visiting the engine, I'll make sure I'm on hand just in case the carnival suddenly decides to come to town at the wrong moment.  

*And so ends this untold tale.  We hope you enjoyed this latest installment and that it piques your interest to learn more about the strange traveling carnival who will make their first full appearance in our upcoming anthology "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At A Time".  

And For those who have read the "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" this entry takes place the night before Marisa and Lisa are taken up to Nathan's art studio, after Marisa's little fight with another girl.  It in the studio that Marisa's first suspicions about Nathan's true nature form because of a dropped compact. 

Until next time, happy reading dear friends.*

    
    
  



     
    
     

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Nathan's Private E-Journal October 6th, 2014 "I May Have Made a Mistake..."

*Today's tale takes place during "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".  You may consider it an untold tale that happened shortly before the big showdown between Nathan and the Funus-Sorbere  (referred to as the Ghoul Slime in the story).  Yes we intend to start giving these life forms real names in "The Vampyre Blogs - Family Ties" novel.  For the record, the life form that transformed Nathan is referred to as Sangui-Sapio.  This story also serves as a little prelude to one of the tales in our upcoming anthology "TVB - One Day At A Time".  So please sit back and enjoy.*



      As I sit here in my study, staring into a nice blaze in the fireplace, I think I may have made a huge mistake.  
     All that encouragement I gave Marisa last night with the writing... what was I thinking?  But it's probably too late now.  She seemed really fired up about the idea, especially with Lisa cheering her on.  Any sudden change in attitude on my part would only raise a bunch of questions and self doubts, which is the last thing she needs right now.  I gave her the idea about taking up writing to help keep her mind busy while we wait to hear back on her dad's test results.  But now I can't help thinking that there may be unforeseen consequences.
     Not that I don't think she should try her hand at writing, I think she could probably become a very successful writer.  She has a very keen mind and I've looked over some of her papers when she and Lisa have done their homework at my place.  Her command of grammar and sentence structure would make any college professor weep for joy.  Believe me I would know, Otto used to give me no end of grief about my writing.  Mind you, I learned to write back in the 1850's and 60's and what was considered acceptable back then was quite another matter.  Furthermore, I went to war instead of college back then.  It wasn't until 194- that I actually stepped into my first classroom and that was at a university.  And that was only after Otto spent a number several years bringing my skills and knowledge up to an acceptable level, while Para-Earth hopping.
    Otto... I wish he were here, he'd know how to advise me and not just because he's at least a couple centuries older than me. Oh wait, that's precisely why he'd know what to say right now.  Sigh.  My mind is all over the place tonight.  Between coming back home, finding out Isabella has been around all this time apparently waiting for me, helping Richard with his drug addiction, and having to keep my secret from Penny and Marisa... it's a miracle I've still got my head on straight at all.
     I so want to see Isabella and talk to her, but as near as I can tell I shook her up pretty badly the night I attacked Richard.   I don't want to make the same mistake with the others, especially Marisa.  She seems to have a deep dislike for anything vampire-like, which is strange because John told me in confidence they used to watch vampire films together all the time.  I wonder what changed?  Maybe Lisa can tell me, I'll check with her.
      "Not that any of this helps me with my main problem," I tell myself and get up.  Pacing around the room I find myself stopping to stare out the window. 


     Evening has fully settled in, perhaps a walk might help me work through my little dilemma.  Yes, that sounds like a nice idea.  I always think better when I'm out and about on my own.  And then maybe I'll come up with a good excuse to keep her away from the old locomotive on the edge of town...

TO BE CONTINUED...





Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another Glimpse Into Our Upcoming Anthology...

*Update from Allan: Last week, while awaiting the arrival of a replacement laptop for me, our desktop computer gave up the ghost. This left us with just Helen's laptop which she needs for college accounting courses. So our release date for "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At A Time" has been pushed back until "Twelfth Night" or January 5th, 2018. We chose this because with the holidays coming we will have a harder time getting things done like beta-reader testing, edits, artwork finished, cover art, and formatting the book. Furthermore, December is notoriously a bad time for independent authors to get much visibility due to the big publishing companies dominating advertising for the Christmas rush.
In the meantime, here is another sneak peek into the anthology. This installment is one that I feel really shows off Helen's skills in setting, mood, and storytelling. We hope you enjoy what you see and we'll keep you posted on when pre-orders will be available. Happy reading everyone...


THE EYES UNDER THE SOFA

BY

HELEN KRUMMENACKER

Tim was bored. It was another long summer day in a summer that was made ever longer by their move to a house in the country. He didn’t know any kids in the area, and even if he did, it wouldn’t make any difference because it was too far to walk anywhere if he didn’t tell his folks where he was going first. That was unfair. It was unfair, too, that they had moved in the first place. He couldn’t believe his folks actually thought he’d like it out here, where there was nothing for miles but rocks and trees, and stupid hick people, and dirt and snakes.
Nothing happened out here. At least, nothing exciting. Back home (home was still the city, this was just the new house) there were games in the street, and rollerblading on the sidewalks. If you bladed fast and were quiet, you could go right past the old folks carrying home their groceries, and scream at the last minute so they’d get scared and drop them. And sometimes one of the older kids would get in a fight and get cool bandages. And you could hear fire engines and police sirens and ambulances.
Out here all you ever heard was the wind in the trees. It didn’t even sound the same as wind did back home, gusty and thudding. It was like being at the ocean, all the noise dying into a murmur. He could hear himself breathe. He could probably hear Killer breathe.
Killer was Tim’s cat. Killer was all black, so when he was in a dark place, all you ever saw were two shining eyes. He usually did hide in dark places, too, under furniture, so that he could reach out from underneath to attack passing ankles. There was a dangerous sort of energy in that cat, the strength, the obsession, the ruthlessness of an army compacted down into a twelve pound package-- at least when he wasn’t curled up in a lap or taking a nap.
If Tim could find Killer, they could play. Killer got bored out here, too. No more cockroaches to kill and carry around in his mouth. Not that he shouldn’t be able to find enough other disgusting little things to play with out here. But he hadn’t been himself since they moved a month ago. He was shying at corners, sniffing and bristling as he looked at empty spaces.
Tim laughed. “Killer, are you afraid of the bogeyman? Didn’t you know mom and dad moved us out here ‘cause it’s safer?” Sure it was safer. Mom hadn’t liked it when he’d told her about the neat pistol Bobby had brought to school last May. But here the guys probably all had hunting rifles. “Killer, where are you?”
Scuffling came from the family room. That was where all the comfortable furniture was, the stuff that had come with them from the city. The stuff in the living room was all ‘country’, which his mom liked and he would like to make kindling of. That was an idea, Tim told himself. We got a fireplace now.
Tim went in search of the scuffling noise. Maybe Killer had found a rat. He could take it and put it where his mom would find it and maybe she’d be so grossed out they could move back home. Not likely.
He could hear the noise more clearly. It was coming from under the big, fluffy sofa, and it was kind of a growl, repeated once in awhile, and a lot of scuffling and scratching. Yeah, Tim thought, Killer’s found a rat.
Dropping to his knees, he bent down and twisted his head so he could look under the sofa. It was tricky, because the furniture was so low. He had to almost lie against the hardwood floor to do it. But under the couch were two big yellow eyes.
“Killer,” Tim called, hesitating a moment. The eyes didn’t look real friendly. Of course, they wouldn’t-- not if Killer was really going after something...

Monday, September 4, 2017

1st Sneak Peek Into Our Upcoming Anthology..

    The long wait to replace my now deceased laptop has unfortunately been extended due to circumstances beyond my control like, car registration, car repairs, books for my wife's college classes, etc.  Luckily I am on vacation this week, or rather a 'stay-cation' and am working hard to get our upcoming anthology edited and ready for beta-reading.  We hope to have this process completed by the end of this month.

     In the meantime, with our time and resources being a little limited, we decided to offer the first sneak peek into the anthology itself.  We hope this peek will intrigue and delight you all, since it will be the first of several leading up to the day of the book's release.

So without further ado, here is a snippet from the first of the twenty plus tales that will appear in the collection we call:  "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time":

FROM THE DESK OF CAPTAIN BRIAN WESTON OF THE UNION ARMY – June 30th, 1863 

“A Letter To My Wife”




     My Beloved Madeleine,

     I know you have been troubled by how distracted I seemed last we were together. I know I told you it was simply the weight of being responsible for not one but two companies of men. But with our division on the eve of what may possibly be the biggest battle we’ve faced to date, I feel it only right to explain myself in case I fail to return, especially with the approach of our firstborn mere months away. I want our baby to know that my thoughts were never far from home, nor was there a mistress or dalliance that had captured my heart. There has only been you and no other. 

     Actually, it is an old friend, whose unexpected return one cold night in January, who has occupied so much of my mind. Of course, you will correctly surmise that I am referring to young Nathaniel Stewart. After believing him lost at Mary’s Heights, his sudden reappearance weeks later raised more than a few eyebrows and murmurings among the men. But then it became clear he had come back to us not as a deserter, but as a hero. 

     Why did I not mention that last fact to you earlier? I have been under orders from the President himself to be remain silent on the matter, but with the war so unpredictable, and having recently just escaped death thanks to young Nathan, I feel it only right that you know everything. 

      As I already indicated, it began early this year, January 2nd. Night had fallen and my men had already turned in for the night when a carriage arrived. It had been stopped at the gate and then sent right through, which is highly irregular. Even Colonel ----, had not been notified of the late arrival, nor was he summoned to the meeting that followed. Instead our late night visitors came straight to my quarters.

     Being a soldier, I am accustomed to being awoken at odd times, but upon seeing who my visitors were, I was so taken aback, I almost forgot to snap to attention. Discovering the President himself in your office wishing to speak to you, is not a position a mere captain is used to finding himself in. Even more shocking was finding a member of my company, and long time friend whom I believed had perished at Marye’s Heights, standing next to such our Commander in Chief.

     “Nathan?” I breathed, before finally remembering my place and greeted the President smartly. 
    
    “At ease, Captain,” my superior instructed. “This meeting is of course not a social call, but a matter of great delicacy. It will help decide the fate of this young man.” 

     My legs nearly failed me. Seeing Nathan alive after nearly a month’s unexplained absence, I had feared that I would have to brand him a coward and order a firing squad come morning. 

     You know of course from long habit that in spite of the almost decade difference in our ages, I look upon Nathan as a younger brother. Perhaps, it was losing my own sibling, that I sought to fill the gap in my life created by his passing and Nathan was a good fit. Plus it was because of me he was able to join our company, in spite of his young age and sometimes questionable health.  So you can understand how the very thought of having to order his execution for desertion clutched my heart with an icy vengeance...




Thursday, August 17, 2017

Notice From One of the Authors...



For anyone wondering why I haven't posted much lately, three weeks ago my portable laptop became too unreliable to trust with writing. First the tabs I had open kept crashing on me so I couldn't even keep one open. 

Around the same time it insisted my flash drive stick had errors only to scan it and find it clean. Then another area of the hard drive crashed which led to me to believe I could not risk my stories with it. As a result of all this, the laptop has been declared deceased and I am without any computer to use at work where I've done most of my weekly writing.

Now, I still have my desktop at home, but my daily commute (round trip) is between 2-3 hours which means I'm not in much of a writing mood when I finally get back after a long day at work. Once I get home, I wish to spend time with my honey more than anything, plus I'm pretty tired.

In good news, I will have a new laptop in another 2-3 weeks . So until then my writing and online availability will be more limited. I'll see you all when I can until then. In the meantime be well and I'll pop in when I can. 


While you're waiting to see more here, please take comfort in knowing that what little computer time I've had has not been wasted. Helen and I have been very busy on getting " The Vampyre Blogs - One Day at a Time" ready for release on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. This anthology has grown to 25 stories (a third of which are "All-New" never before seen tales that were created just for this collection). While Nathan appears in over half of the tales, not all of them focus on our favorite vampyre. Helen and I see The Vampyre Blogs as an ensemble piece so you'll be getting stories involving Otto, Lisa, Marisa and others who've appeared not only in the vampyre books, but also other books in the Para-Earth Series.

So please stay tuned and know that more new stories will be appearing here again soon. And thank you all for your patience and support.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT - COMING THIS NOVEMBER THE FIRST "VAMPYRE BLOGS ANTHOLOGY" AND OTHER NEWS...

With the completion of Nathan and Otto’s rather lengthy adventure with the Unicorns and Terror Raptors, I thought now might be a good time to let you all know that Helen and I have been hard at work on a brand new Vampyre Blogs book. This volume is set to be released just after this coming Thanksgiving, so you only have to wait another four months to get your hands on this latest installment of the Para-Earth Series.


However… unlike the first book, this one will be an anthology instead of a novel. We will be taking select entries from this nearly four year old blog site to be included in the anthology. Now you may be asking yourself, why put a bunch of stories that are available online into a collection? Well, I’d been getting some e-mails and messages on Facebook, that newcomers to the site telling us that they loved Nathan and company, but found scrolling through so many pages to get to the earlier stories was a bit tedious to say the least.

Upon repeatedly hearing this, Helen and I went over the site and found that had created almost fifty different stories. And while some of them were short, others were so long that they could have anywhere from two to six separate entries to tell entire tale.

While going over some of the earlier and more recent entries, I also began to notice some glaring problems that had been overlooked when they were originally published. This was the direct result of the fact that all of the stories in this blog were basically 1st drafts. Meaning of course they were not fully edited so the ‘occasional’ (massive understatement) misspelling or less-then-perfect punctuations appear in a number of them. 
 
However I can tell you now that all the stories going into the anthology will be getting edited and have a few tweeks made to them for better clarity of reading. Also, the stories will be put in a chronological order. This means they will appear in the anthology by according to when the character telling the tale originally wrote/experienced the adventure. Furthermore, some adjustments being made to some of the stories to create a more smooth timeline for who met who when.

The purpose of doing these ‘adjustments’ is so that the readers can have a better idea of how each of these life events shaped the characters’ personalities before they appear in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

And as they say on television…



Both Helen and I agreed right off the bat that any anthology we created needed to have new never-before seen tales in it. In this case, out of the 23-24 stories we currently have lined up for the anthology, six to seven (about a third) of the stories are completely NEW and will not be appearing on this site. Several of these new tales involve Nathan's ‘long-time’ Otto, aka "The Professor", who made his debut in "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". Both his introduction in the novel and his comment, "Apparently, I am am made of NOPE..." have caught the imagination of our readers who have been clamoring for more details on this strange man who Nathan looks up to as a mentor, as well as friend.

Also, since Helen and I are both artists, we are going to try and add some original pen and ink artwork to a number of the stories. We will also be placing either an Intro or an Afterthought to each tale explaining either how the story came to be.

We are also planning more anthologies for the future, not only for the Vampyre Blogs, but also the rest of the characters appearing in Para-Earth Series such as: Alex Hill, Veronica Ross (who along with her boss Roy Petersen – appear in two of the tales in this anthology) and their friends...

Our goal is to release “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day at a Time” on Black Friday or Cyber Monday at the latest, so add it to your holiday wish list, or think about someone you know who’d love a good read on those cold winter nights.

Finally, we are also exploring another avenue with the Para-Earths namely... AUDIOBOOKS!  We've had a number of people asking us if and when we'd make the books available in that form.  So currently we are looking into that area and will be providing updates soon.  With we might even have a couple of short stories in audio form for free, to be released just in time for the holidays so we can get some feedback from all of you. 

With all that said you can see we have a lot of plans for both The Vampyre Blogs and the rest of the Para-Earth Series in the works.  But have no fears, new stories will still be appearing here as well.  So stay with us and please help spread the word about Nathan, his friends, and the rest of the Para-Earth Series.  The fun has just begun...

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