Monday, June 17, 2013

A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur’s Court



Welcome to a new series of Blog posts; Excerpts from my new work in progress- A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur’s Court.

Although these will not tell the story exhaustively, they will hopefully let you know how the story is progressing and how our hero, Richard DeVere, is coping.  Bear in mind that because this is a work-in-progress, it is the ‘rough draft’, straight off the pen version, unedited, no re-writes here.

I’ll start at page one…

Chapter 1
Unknown date, Bedchamber
Never being known for any outward bursts of emotion, I pressed my back against the cold stone wall. Sweating, I panted quietly, allowing my breathing to return to as close to normal as my current circumstances would allow. The room before me lay dimly lit, only by a duet of candles either side of the rather grand bed. Apart from two antique drawer units, the room lay bare. I did the usual anti-panic measures; I pinched myself, I slapped my cheek lightly, then I spoke.

 “Hello?”

Everything seemed perfectly normal. Except, of course, that seconds before I had been spiraling in mortal combat with my enemy, Keith Cornwall; two vampires in a fight to the death. I’d crossed his path too many times to underestimate his hatred for me, and I had decided to fight this time, get it all over with. Either he’d win or I, he’d pissed me off far too many times in the last four years not to get a definite outcome.

But it seemed Keith and I were fairly evenly matched. In the end, with neither gaining the advantage in a kind of bear hug, we’d begun to spin. And vampires can move pretty fast. In fact, we’d been spinning so rapidly, my head still felt light and disorientated. Now here I was, alone in a cold, dark bedroom.

I took a step towards the light, and was alarmed by the loud crunching of my cowboy boots on the straw strewn on the smooth stone floor. Stone, not tile. Sensing movement outside the room, I stopped to listen and heard footfalls outside the door. I flattened myself against the wall again, sidling towards the darker corner, my boot soles again scraping against the stone.

The door burst open, and a gangly teenage boy raced in aiming himself at the bed, his long nightshirt trailing after him like a milky Superman cape.

“I shan’t write another letter, I shan’t!” he screamed, landing with a considerable thump on the bedding.

Considering the advances in mattress manufacture, I could have made some recommendations. I mean, this bed just didn’t give anything under his aerial assault.

An arm stretched inside the room, and pulled the door closed. “Goodnight your highness.”

Oh boy, not only a cold dark bedroom, but a brat to contend with.

“Me solum relinquatis!” he yelled over his shoulder at the closed door.

Wow, that surprised me for a comeback. I know Latin when I hear it. When I was eighteen, I’d done a year’s work placement at a lawyers firm in my home town of Hartford, Connecticut, and although I didn’t know what he’d said, it had sounded good.

Then he began muttering under his breath, his hands tightly clasped. I assumed he was praying, then he confirmed it by rolling over onto his back and crossing himself. With a petulant aimed breath at each candle, he threw the room into total darkness.  In minutes, the sounds of light snoring drifted across the void....

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