Friday, February 01, 2019

Why Vampires Suck at Haunting – by S. H. Marpel

Fiction Writing: Why Vampires Suck At Haunting by S. H. MarpelVampires aren’t good at everything.

For instance, they suck at haunting.

John Earl Stark continues his adventures in ghost hunting.

Encountering a female ghost who attacks him in a gothic Victorian mansion left him bitten, but alive. Sal and Jude, his employers and guides, came in from a nearby room, shocked.

Obviously, John was going to need more training to survive these attacks.

But this particular ghost was still haunting and still attacking people with neck bites…

Why Vampires Suck at Haunting – by S. H. Marpel

Excerpt:

I

I didn’t see it coming, but that wasn’t unusual. But I didn’t expect the ghost to try for my neck. I felt more than I saw, which was only a smoky shimmering.

A quick shrug and a yell got it off, and it disappeared. I rubbed my neck thoughtfully. No scratches or punctures, just a gnawed feeling. Lucky this time.

My yell brought Sal and Jude running into the former living room of the empty old Victorian house they had brought me to. Worry crossed both of their faces.

“What happened? You OK?” Sal sputtered out.

“Sure, just something trying to clamp onto my neck. But it went away as soon as I yelled.” I answered.

Jude cocked her head to the side. “Was it trying to take a bite out of you or just give you a hickey?”

Sal frowned. “I think we better get some research on this one. Time to get some data from the Librarians.”

She nodded to Jude, then the room shimmered and disappeared.

II

They reappeared in a house that was floor to ceiling books, the living room had tall ceilings and the shelves covered everything right up to the top, with only enough space at the bottom to keep the books off the floor. Or at least away from the stacks of books which need to be re-filed, or didn’t have a space. And the shelves were crammed solid from side to side, with occasional smallish books wedged sideways above the vertical ones. The hallways that ran off away from this mass of book shelves also had shelves in them. And what I could see of the rooms beyond them were also book-lined.

I saw no overstuffed chairs or lounges here, like modern libraries, only solid ladder-back chairs around sturdy tables, whose legs themselves were crammed with books stacked in between. Between wasn’t much, here. The aisles between the shelves were barely enough for a smallish person to navigate, and only one at a time.

With all these books and paper, of course the place smelled of old book store mustiness. And so quiet that even dropping pins would make no noise. There was a hardwood floor, but covered with strip rugs of an oriental pattern in between the tables, only leaving the barest spaces under the tables themselves.

Jude, Sal, and I arrived in its largest open space. And that made me only wonder again how they did that and never appeared inside something. As it was, I bumped into a table and nearly upset a pile of books on it while catching my balance.

A red tabby cat meowed and pushed against his leg for petting, which I obliged. Taking Sal and Jude in with one look, it quickly sprinted off between the under-table stacks to lose itself again in the forest of book holders.

“So Hermione is the first to welcome you.” A wrinkled, and weathered old man appeared at my elbow, holding out a gnarled hand as greeting. “You can call me Ben. My full name is too long and convoluted for pronunciation in English. You must be John, the new guy. Heard a bit about you.”

I shook his hand and found the grip to be a vise, but brief. That surprised me, but Ben seemed not to notice my reaction.

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