A vampire origin story.
Accidentally being turned into a Vampire without a Master is usually a bad thing.
In 1650 Simone Gireaux is a widower living with her late husband’s family. Then the Marauders descend on the town. She wakes the next day, her village destroyed, her family dead. And the sun burns her skin. She has no one to teach her how to be a vampire. Yet she perseveres and survives to live in California and meet Justine Kroft in my novel Blood Justice.
The short story, An Accidental Vampire, is the first chapter in her odyssey.
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Following are some first pages of An Accidental Vampire – about 7500words
Like most children, Simone Gireaux had been warned of the mythical Marauder all her life. “Be good or the Marauder will snatch you away.” “Do as I say or the Marauder will eat you.” “Don’t go outside in the dark or that monster, beast, vampire, demon, werewolf, creature, The Marauder, will take you to his cave and leave only bones.”
In 1642 the warnings became real. A small band of vampires came out of the northern Jura mountains as full night fell. A woodcutter’s camp became blood and ravaged flesh, axes no match for the sudden onslaught of fang and blade. The blood drenched bodies of an itinerant trader and his wife were left glistening in the hard glare of their burning wagon.
The vampires burst out of the forest and rampaged through the outlying areas first, then converged on the French village of Suben, raping, torturing, feeding, fighting amongst themselves for blood. None were spared.
Simone and her eight-year-old son, Henri, lived with her sister and her husband, their three children and his parents on a small farm at the edge of the village. By the time the alarm reached them it was too late to run or hide.
The Marauder, who’s real name was Stephan Sinakov, and six of his band, caught Simone and her family in the barn where they had an underground storage pit that could be used as a hiding hole.
The father, husband, and oldest boy fought valiantly, but were quickly cut down. Blood Lust drove the attackers and they did not even bother to feed on them. The sister tried to protect the youngest girl. A futile gesture. One attacker ripped the girl from her arms, another impaled the sister with a pitchfork through the throat, pinning her against a post. She drowned in her own blood, hearing the girl cry out for her. Mercifully the girl’s death came quick, the six fighting amongst themselves for her delicate young blood.
Sinakov held Simone and Henri by an iron grip on the back of their necks. He made them watch the butchery. When it was done he called to his cohorts, the Russian that he spoke for the forty-two years of his life barely discernable among the other Slavic and Germanic languages he had been exposed to in his two hundred and forty year journey from his death on a remote Black Sea beach to Suben at the Eastern edge of the Kingdom of France
“There is more.” He held up Henri as if he was a squealing piglet.
“Please, let him live,” Simone pleaded.
Sinakov nodded toward the storage pit. One of the blood spattered vampires jumped in and came out with Camille, the oldest daughter. At fourteen, a sweet innocent girl, the favorite of the family, the whole village. Huddled on the floor, surrounded by fanged monsters whose mouths gaped inhumanly wide, the girl whimpered with fear. “Aunt Simone, don’t let them hurt me.”
Sinakov said, “Choose.”
“Choose. One lives, one dies. Choose, or they both die.”
“Who…who are you to force such a choice on one?”
“Ha. Do you truly not know me, woman? I am the Marauder, the one you tell tales about to scare your children. Can you not see I am that creature of myth? Slinking quietly through the night hoping to find a foolish child to eat. Hiding in my filthy cave in fear of an enraged populace.”
“I do not know if you are the one they tell tales of. I only know you are an unholy fiend.”
“Madame, you possess courage to go with your mouth.”
Still gripping the back of her neck, he held her at arm’s length, facing him. He bowed to her.
“So, allow me to introduce myself. I am Stephan Sinakov, unholy fiend. Now, woman, choose or watch them both die.”
“No. No. I cannot choose.” Her heart pounded with new fear. She gagged at the stench of fresh blood. How could she choose Henri over Camille? Tears burned her cheeks. She fell to her knees. “Please, don’t make me do this.”
“Decide, woman. Is this one not your son? Surely you will choose him.”
She reached for Henri.
Sinakov held him away. “You choose to save your son?”
Simone covered her ears so not to hear Camille pleading for her aunt to save her. She could not look at the girl.
“Say it, ‘My son, save my son.’ Say it!” Sinakov jerked her to her feet. “Say it!”
Heart breaking, barely able to speak through her sobs, Simone said, “My son. Save my son.” She clutched Henri to her breast and collapsed.
The vampires cheered. In a few seconds the clothes were ripped from Camille’s young body.
“Aunt Simone,” Camille cried. “Save me!”
“Stop! Stop! Do not harm her,” Simone cried. “Take me.”
Sinakov ripped Henri from his mother’s arms.
“You want to choose your son to die?”
“Take me instead.”
“No. The boy or the girl. Choose.”
“You will kill us all.”
“One will die for good and all. One will survive. You have Stephan Sinakov’s word.”
Simone had no hope of saving her own life. She would rather die than become one of those beasts. The children would too.
“One will live and one will die. That is the choice?”
“Then I will pick.” Blood racing, not thinking lest she not act, she reached out to her cowering niece. “Camille, dear one, come to me.”
The girl, grasping at a glimmer of hope through her terror, crawled to her. Henri still dangled from Sinakov’s hand an arm’s length away.
“Forgive me, dear ones.”
Simone yanked a knife from Sinakov’s boot then lunged at Henri. The blade sliced the boy’s throat. Blood flowed from his neck before she swung the blade at Camille.
The master vampire was too quick. He snatched the knife from her hand and smashed her to the ground.
The rest was a swirl of blood and pain and horror. Sinakov ripped off her clothes, leaving stinging gashes the length of her back. She then suffered the humiliation of being held up naked and forced to endure the screams of Camille’s ravishment.
“Bring me the girl’s sweet blood,” Sinakov called to his fiends. “I must regain my strength.”
They tied the ravaged girl to the barn wall, arms stretched out. They slit her open and gathered the blood in an old cup, which they brought to their Master.
He wrapped his hand in Simone’s hair and pulled it back. “You could have saved her, stupid woman.” Laughing, he poured some of the blood into her open mouth. She choked as it’s foul warmth overflowed her face and neck.
Sinakov drained the cup. “More!” he called to his minions.
Simone wanted to die. All whom she loved were dead. Henri by her own hand. The guilt would drive her mad, death was preferable.
Sinakov’s teeth sank into her neck.
Then the soldiers attacked.
Abandoned, she slipped to the dirt floor. As in a dream she heard cries and curses, gunshots and swords. Then silence, but for the crackle of flames. Then all was blackness.
She awoke, covered in ash stuck to dried blood, in a tiny space formed by the barrel she had been raped over and an unburnt section of roof. Sure she was in Hell, she climbed out into devastation.
All the village had been laid waste, bodies lay everywhere. Crows and rats scavenged for dead flesh. Some houses in the town had survived, most damaged or half burnt. The odor of smoke from still smoldering ashes mixed with the suffocating stench of rotting flesh and hung over the wreckage. It overpowered Simone’s suddenly acute sense of smell and she gagged as she scavenged for clothing: Coarse trousers from the baker’s son, a tunic from an old man, a jacket from the mayor’s wife. A search for Henri found only some small burnt and scattered bones.
She wondered that her wounds had healed, though she had slept only a day. She had been taught to expect Hell to be different, with flames and fearsome demons. Not so…quiet.
Through the last dim light of day she spied two rough men, scavengers like the dogs and foxes, searching the rubble and bodies for money and useful items. They saw her, chased after her. But she sought safety under the remains of her family’s barn. Curled in a tight ball, in the storage pit, she trembled with fear and growing nausea as the men crashed about searching for her. She had no doubt what they would do to her should they find her. Her sickness so distracted her she did not notice how easily she lifted and closed the storage pit’s heavy wood lid that a grown man normally had trouble moving.
Her outer wounds had healed, yet there was something wrong with her. As the hours of shivering on the dirt floor of the black pit passed, Simone first become aware of the quiet. Not of the outside world, but within her own body.
The rustle of her shaking body against the dirt, each creak of settling debris, each scuttle of rodent came to her as crisp as a clear winter’s day. Without thinking, she could pinpoint every sound. Still, the silence in her head was unnatural. She held her breath to listen to the strange quiet.
She did not need to breathe! Lungs full of air, she felt no burning in her chest, no compulsion to exhale. When she forced herself to exhale, no impulse to breath in overcame her. Hands on her chest, she felt for the natural rise and fall of breathing. Nothing. Accidents were common in rural communities. Many times Simone had watched Madame Thessereyne, the town healer, touch fingers to a victim’s neck to confirm their death. Simone herself had done the same; a man beaten unconscious, but alive, her own mother, lying still in her bed after weeks of illness, dead.
With desperate fingers to her own neck, she searched for the pulse of life, and found nothing. Another spot. Here. Here. The other side. Nothing.
Simone was dead.
Was this then her Hell? What had she done to deserve this? A dark pit as her bedroom. A desolate landscape once populated by those she loved and who loved her to wander in forever.
“Henri! Camille! Oh God, forgive me for what I’ve done.
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