Excerpt from “Bethany”

For some readers, a story about vampires may seem sort of passé.  However, I still love a good vampire story.  I have been working on one since 2010, called “Bethany”.    Her story has been dropped and picked it up a few times over the years.  One minute I can hear her whispering to me of an adventure in her dark world and then the next I’m pulled to write another story altogether.  Unfortunately, there are too many characters and not enough time or maybe I don’t have enough discipline, to keep me focused on one story for too long.  Whatever the reason, Bethany’s story is still one of my favorite ideas. Like the victim in any vampire story, I must succumb to her and simply devote myself to her and her only.

Vampires were my first introduction into the dark world of horror and the supernatural. One summer while spending some vacation time at my aunt’s house in New Jersey, my cousin was reading “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King.  He loved the book so much that he passed it on to me to read.  As you can imagine for a young naive girl, who really only read the bible and text books, I was scared out of my wits.  Many a night I found myself resorting to reading bible passages to wipe my mind clear of the horrific scenes it built based on the excellent writing of Mr. King.  Yes, I slept with the light on too.  I was hooked.

The allure of being scared to the point of having nightmares by reading horror became a weird passion for me and I read as much of it as I could.  There have been many a creature that has crept from within pages of books to scare me but vampires have always been my favorite.  I read about them depicted as twisted, diabolical creatures more animal than human or as an offshoot of the human evolutionary line.

They’ve been painted as being sheer evil, rivaling the devil himself and as reluctant blood drinkers who do all in their power to maintain a hold on their compassion and humanity. Their lust for blood and sex, companionship, to control and to ravage is a plot that can be played over and over again and I will never tire of it.  Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman are my favorite on screen versions of this much revered and feared creature.  It was only natural that once I started to write horror stories that one of them would be about vampires. Bethany stepped forward and has claimed that title for me in my writer’s realm.  So, I will be striving to make her as worthy of the company of blood suckers that I hold dear.  That means writing her story carefully and taking my time even though I wish I could bang the whole thing out in a few days.

I won’t reveal much about Bethany until it’s time for her story to be told.  But for now, and every now and then, I will give you a small glimpse into her world.  Below is the very first scene that came to me when Bethany stepped forth out of the dark.  I invited her in. That may have been a mistake or fortune.  We shall see.


“…I watched my daughter from a few hundred yards away.  The deepening wrinkles were permanently etched on her face no matter how much of the expensive anti-wrinkle creams she used.  Some of her wispy gray hair had escaped the scarf she had tied around her head to protect it from the misty rain that never seemed to stop coming down here in the hills.  Goosebumps danced on her skin despite the wool coat she wore against the cold.  The same mountain breeze tugged a tendril of hair from behind my ear and it danced in the wind as if it were a snake being charmed.  I deftly grabbed it and tucked the long curly midnight black strands back into place.  A tear ran down her cheek as put flowers, white gardenias, on the hump of grass and dirt, leaning them up against the black marble headstone.  My red tears mimicked hers.

I closed my eyes and yearned for the days long gone by when she was young, vibrantly full of life and not standing as she was before me now.  Her life was waning like the moon just before sunrise.  Miranda.  Her name filled my mind, slipped past my cold lips and flittered into the air like a moth.  I know that she could not hear me unless I willed it.  However, the bonds between mother and daughter and deep.  She must have sensed something.  Her melancholy filled reverie was cast aside as she turned her gaze to the woods that lay beyond the cemetery. Whether by chance or choice, her feeble eyes looked in vain for whatever it was she thought that had disturbed her.  I stood in plain sight knowing she would only see wood trunk and shadow and not the pale ghostly specter that I had become.  So be it.  All for the greater good I thought.  But my heart wanted better…”

After searching a few moments and not seeing anything, she turned around slowly and began walking cautiously.  Using her cane to brace her steps on the uneven ground, she finally made it to the paved pathway that led back to the limousine that waited for her.  Every Sunday after church my Miranda repeated this sad ritual; every Sunday since the day I died nearly thirty years ago and was buried underneath that hump of grass and dirt. And each Sunday, I have stood in these woods beyond the cemetery to watch her and mourn our loss together in secret…” – 01042015 CAG

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