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The Spot Writers – “The Vampire” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. March’s prompt: How (or why) a young person decides what career (or path) to follow.

This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s one-woman publishing company, MacKenzie Publishing, has published two anthologies: OUT OF THE CAVE and TWO EYES OPEN, two collections of short stories by authors around the world, to read during the day…or at night, as long as two eyes are open. Not “horrific horror”…more like intrigue, mystery, thriller. Simply good reads.

TWO EYES OPEN: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1927529301/

OUT OF THE CAVE (milder stories for 13+):  https://www.amazon.com/Out-Cave-stories-Cassandra-Williams/dp/1927529298/

***

The Vampire by Cathy MacKenzie

Nancy jumped. What was that?

The book she’d been reading, A Nightmare of Vampires, lay beside her. Had she fallen asleep? “Darn, now I’ve lost my place,” she mumbled.

She tiptoed to her bedroom door. Carefully she opened it and peeked into the hall.

Dark. Quiet. No—what was that?

A shadow. At the end of the hall.

Was that Nathan, her seventeen-year-old brother?

Once Nancy’s eyes grew accustomed to the dark, the shadow morphed into a vampire—a real life vampire. A female vampire! Heading to Nathan’s room!

She wanted to keep watching, but she was a fearful. Vampires were bad creatures. They sucked the blood out of you and where would you be then? But that’s why she wanted to be a vampire. She wanted control: control of her destiny, control of others.

She liked the look of blood, the thick red, coppery scent. She’d tasted blood previously, when she cut herself, sometimes on purpose, so she could lick her skin until she had lapped up all the red. The taste wasn’t bad, actually, but not as sweet as she had expected. She worried—if her dream to be a vampire came true—whether she’d be able to stomach strange blood. That was perverse and unnatural, wasn’t it?

But it would be fun to haunt the night, to soar through the sky—vampires did fly, didn’t they? She considered herself a people person, at least that’s what her teacher had recently said. At the time, Nancy thought “people person” was a label for yapping fools who didn’t shut up, but she later learned the connotation was desirable. People were supposed to be sociable, talkative, and interested in others. Nancy was all of those: all the requisites for a female vampire.

She hesitated. She’d love to confront the vampire in the hall and converse with it, but she snuck back to her bed.

Katherine Krimmins was an excellent writer, and Nancy immersed herself in the story again, picturing herself as Vanessa the Vampire. She was aware most vampires were male, but this was the twenty-first century. Couldn’t she be whatever she wanted?

The next morning, she met her grandmother, who was visiting for a couple of weeks, on the stairs, and told her that she wanted to be a vampire when she grew up.

Granny’s eyes grew wide. “What! A vampire? How do you know what a vampire is?”

“I know what they are. I’ve seen them.”

“You’ve seen vampires?”

“Well…just one. Last night.”

“Oh, you must have had a bad dream. A nightmare.”

“No, Granny, I saw one for sure.”

“Where?”

“It was going into Nathan’s room.” She pointed behind her. “I saw it.”

“Oh, Nancy, you silly girl.”

“No, Granny, I saw it.”

“It’s not nice to tell fibs.”

Nancy pouted. “I’m not. And that’s what I want to be when I grow up.”

Her grandmother hugged her. “Oh, sweetie, if you want to be a vampire, you can be a vampire. You can be anything you set your mind to, but you’re only twelve, so I’m sure you’ll change your mind dozens of times before then.”

Nancy relaxed. Even if her grandmother didn’t believe her tale, she had, at least, agreed she could be a vampire. Her mother, though, would have a different opinion.

“Let’s go eat breakfast,” Granny said.

They entered the kitchen. Her mother, busy at the counter, greeted them. Nathan appeared seconds later.

Nancy couldn’t help but notice his flipped-up collar. “Nathan, your collar is skewered.”

His face flushed. Up to no good, she thought.

He glared at her. “Shut up, Nancy.”

Their mother wagged her wet fingers. “Kids, behave.”

When Nathan sat at the table, his collar flipped down.

Nancy gasped and whispered to her grandmother. “Granny, see? Vampires do exist. They suck the blood outta you, just like one did to Nathan last night.”

“Sweetie, what are you talking about?” Granny asked.

She motioned toward Nathan. “Look at Nathan’s neck. See the red blotch? That’s dried blood. That’s where the vampire got him. Sometimes they don’t kill you, you know. It all depends how sharp their teeth are.” Nancy figured she’d be a good vampire. Suck up enough blood to satisfy her urge but not enough to kill.

Nathan, his face even redder, yanked up his collar. “What you guys looking at?”

Their mother growled again. “Kids, hush. Sit down, Nancy and Granny. I have eggs and bacon.”

Nancy ignored her mother and whispered to her grandmother again. “See, I told you I saw a vampire.”

Granny leaned in to her. “I believe you, sweetie. I saw the red mark. But let’s keep that our secret.” Her eyes glistened.

Was she crying?  She looked sad.

“You missing Grampie?” Nancy asked.

“I am, sweetie.”

“Sorry, Granny.”

“Life goes on. Companionship is a good thing. I think being a vampire would be a good occupation when you grow up,” she said.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Millicent Hughes: https://www.danburyonfire.com/

 

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The Spot Writers – “Filling” – in Honour of Halloween!!!

Today’s Halloween-inspired tale comes from Val Muller, author of the Corgi Capers mystery series. If you like spooky tales, check out her horror novel (for grown-ups), Faulkner’s Apprentice, also available as an ebook for just $2.99. She also has a story, “Dorsal Fin,” in the debut anthology put out by Silly Tree Anthologies, called Scared Spitless. The e-book , Scared Spitless, is available on Amazon and Smashwords $1.99.

Filling

Elenora Trantridge sat on the vinyl bench in Dr. Ferrier’s waiting room. She jiggled her knee and bit her lip, trying not to remember her last trip to the dentist. She’d needed three cavities filled, and the Novocain coupled with the grinding pressure of the drill had left her pale. She’d wavered as she tried to stand from the dentist’s chair that last time.

“Don’t rush it,” Dr. Ferrier had told her. “It’s a strange experience, having a tooth drilled. Just lie back and wait until the blood returns. You’ll be feeling better in no time.”

She wasn’t feeling better in no time, but she did manage to pull herself out of the seat and hobble down to the reception area, wiping drool from her the numbed right side of her mouth. That’s when the receptionist reminded her that Dr. Ferrier needed to see again to fill the three cavities on the left side of her mouth.

“Aw-right,” she said, mumbling over numbed lips. “I’ll come by nexth week. Give me the lathest appointment you’ve goth.”

The latest appointment was today, October Thirty-First, at 6 p.m. Dr. Ferrier always stayed late on Wednesdays. Elenora glanced outside. The large picture window of the waiting room revealed the coming storm, which brought twilight earlier than usual. People were already crowding into the outdoor shopping center for the Halloween festivities. In fact, her group of friends had reserved several tables at the Italian eatery just down the block. Elenora grabbed a three-month old copy of US Weekly and pulled it up over her face, hoping that if her friends did arrive, they wouldn’t look in and see her.

“Elenora?” called the young, blonde receptionist.

Elenora peeked over the magazine and swallowed hard. It was a major embarrassment, for someone of her stature to have to see a dentist so frequently like this. What would her friends say? She hurried down the hallway into the exam room, glancing behind her to make sure no one she knew was looking through the window. But what could they expect? It wasn’t like her diet was calcium-rich, and she was too embarrassed to admit to them that she used the calcium paste the dentist prescribed—every night.

Still, the paste wasn’t enough to prevent these three cavities.

“Teeth just get worn out as they get old,” Dr. Ferrier reminded her, as he waited for her to lean back in the dentist chair. “Now you remember the injections from last week. It will only hurt a pinch…”

He brushed some topical anesthetic onto her gums, and she shuddered, knowing it wouldn’t be enough to hide all the pain. She waited for it to take effect and listened to the people in the next room over. A mother and her two sons—one speaking through a series of dental instruments—discussed plans for Halloween. The younger boy would go as a ghost. The older one, a vampire.

As the doctor jabbed Elenora’s gums with the Novocain needle, she wondered if the tiny, cool prick felt the same way as a vampire’s tooth piercing the neck. As the numbing medication pumped through her veins, she watched Dr. Ferrier’s neck and wondered what he would look like being pierced by a vampire’s fang.

The image made the rest of the afternoon more bearable.

For the next hour, Elenora tolerated the shrieking drill, the grinding pressure, the violent chipping away of the compound pressed into the large chunk taken out of her teeth. She tolerated the way the drill pressed just close enough to the root to create the slight cool sensation of pain, just for long enough to create a panic.

No matter how old she got, Elenora would never get used to such things.

“This last cavity is between two teeth,” Dr. Ferrier stated. “I’m going to stick this wedge in between your teeth to protect the gums.”

His assistant handed him a small implement, which he wedged into Elenora’s mouth with a force that resonated through her skull.

“Dang!” he said, pulling back his gloved hand. “I snagged it.”

He covered the bleeding finger in gauze, and the assistant left the room to secure first aid supplies, but it was already too late.

A drop of blood from his cut had dripped onto Elenora’s tooth. It fell onto her gums and mingled with her saliva before it could be whisked away by the vacuum with the rest of her spit. She tasted it almost immediately. The saltiness was distinct—much different from any other tastes of the dentist’s office.

Her eyes opened in rage, and she sat up, ripping the vacuum and gauze from her mouth. “This last cavity can wait,” she said.

The doctor, still in shock from his injury, watched her as she rose. Soon she was standing above him, pushing away the hanging light and the tray of implements. And then she was grabbing him by the shoulders with inhuman strength.

“I’m sorry, Miss—”

But she would hear no excuses. His bleeding hand was pulsing, the blood-scent permeating the room, making her salivate even through the Novocain. She lifted him from his chair, and he dropped the bloody gauze. She wanted to lick his bleeding finger with every cell of her tongue, but she forced herself to hold back. That would have been undignified, after all. What would the others say, if they heard?

And they would hear.

Instead, she lifted him from his chair and placed him supinely in the patient’s chair on which she had just been prone. “If you’ll just relax,” she said. “It’ll go much easier.”

She ripped off his face mask and tore back his white lab coat. His neck was pulsing now, the fear and adrenaline caused by her actions making the blood course quickly. Then she smiled, and popped her pointed incisor. The left side was too numb, and the tooth would not budge. No matter. She could accomplish it with just the right side.

She brought her finger to her lips, dabbing a sticky bit of saliva, which she rubbed onto the doctor’s neck.

“It’s a sort of natural topical anesthetic,” she explained. “It works much more quickly than yours. Still, you’re going to feel a little pinch.”

Her fang sparkled in the light before plunging into the dentist’s flesh. The ordeal of the afternoon had left her quite famished, and she drank greedily, ultimately having to stop herself before she was completely satiated. But she couldn’t kill the guy, after all.

She was feeling much less woozy than she felt the last time she was here, and she glanced at the clock, noting that her friends would probably be at the eatery by now. “I’ve got to go,” she said. “Maybe we can schedule a follow-up, though. I rather enjoyed this. And, Dr. Ferrier, I think my teeth are in pretty good shape, considering they’re over three hundred years old.”

She looked down at the man lying limply on the chair. He looked up at her with glazed, horrified eyes, his mouth hanging open, and his chest rising and falling as if taking breath required all his concentration.

“Don’t rush it,” she told Dr. Ferrier. His skin had drained to a pale blue, making his eyes look bleachy white. She took a paper bib from the counter and wiped a puddle of drool from his right cheek. “It’s a strange experience, being drank. Just lie back and wait until the blood returns.” She licked the last of it off her lips and her pointed incisor before retracting it back into her jaw. “You’ll be feeling better in no time,” she said. Then she flashed him a smile and smoothed her hair in preparation for joining the Halloween festivities with the rest of her coven at the restaurant down the street.

The Spot Writers- our members:

RC Bonitz
http://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller
http://www.valmuller.com/blog

Catherine A. MacKenzie
https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Deborah Dera
http://www.deborahdera.com

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My First Author Interview!

Jennifer Malone Wright, a fellow author who truly inspires me, interviewed me last Thursday.

She is the author of “The Birth of Jaiden” and “The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter” series of books.

Here’s the link to the interview should you be interested in reading it:

http://www.jenniferwrightauthor.com/1/post/2012/05/author-interview-with-catherine-a-mackenzie.html

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