I'm back and ready to celebrate my favorite holiday of all time!
My website is all dressed up for the occasion, as is my fledgling Patreon which has now become the permanent home of my Wicked Red Serials Project. This month I'm reinvigorating my efforts with the Patreon format and my serialized fiction projects by putting out the first episode of a story I've had curdling in my veins for many, many years.
About The Current Episode: October 2019
The Vicious Kisses Serial is part of a once a year celebration I will be hosting on my Patreon in connection with the Halloween Event here on my website. I will be posting the first installment of my vampire serial for my Patrons (starting with Episode 1,) chapter by chapter throughout the month of October. The Episode is also available for pre-order at most online retailers for those who don't want to join, but still want to read.
It is currently slated to release on October 30th 2019.
Vicious Kisses - Chapter One
The ground shifted beneath his feet - soil and grass lifting over the tops of his shoes - and the man gasped in terror as a bloodied hand reached up towards him from below…
I heaved a heavy sigh, scratching my temple with the other end of my pen as I re-read the words, over and over.
He gasped in terror, his whole body shaking, as a bloodied hand reached up towards him from the grave…
I rolled my eyes, tearing the sheet of paper from my notebook and crumbling it into my fist in disgust.
“Rough day, Jonathan?” Esther asked as she appeared over my booth with a freshly brewed pot of coffee in her hand. I nodded, sliding my half-empty cup across the table towards her.
“Rough year.” I grumbled, smiling through the feeling of hopelessness that had settled into my soul. I could hardly find something worth smiling about, ever since...
“Writing not going well?” She leaned forward, tilting the pot until a steady stream of hot, dark liquid cascaded like a waterfall, splashing up over the shallow sides. It quickly filled the saucer, overflowing onto the crumpled papers spread across the table in front of me. I immediately rose to my feet, pushing the papers away from the erupting mess before my work was ruined entirely. “Sorry! I’m so clumsy!” Esther exclaimed in a panic, rushing to set the pot over on the counter-top and returning seconds later with a wad of napkins in her fist.
I sat back down and leaned into the wooden seat, running both hands through my tousled hair as I heaved a frustrated grunt. Esther’s fingers shook nervously as she wiped up the mess, carefully laying out the dampened pages when the table was clean and dry.
“It’s all right, Esther. You didn’t spoil anything that wasn’t already crap. It was all rubbish. Everything is.”
“Nonsense! You’re a talented and well respected author.” She said, smiling kindly as she tossed the soaked brown napkins away.
I blinked up at her with a lazy sigh. Hearing her laud me with praise just made the hopeless feelings more apparent. Maybe once, I had been well respected - but after losing my dear sister, I hadn’t been able to write a single word that wasn’t morose and depressing in subject or tone. My publisher was patient, confident I’d get through my grief after a brief holiday in the country and produce something spectacular. They were so sure, so convinced - time was all I needed to clear my head again - yet after they’d rejected my fifth manuscript in the past year, I had decided perhaps a change of scenery was indeed required.
My heart was too heavy, and my inspiration had run dry.
I came to Muse based purely on the name.
To be honest, there was nothing particularly inspiring about this quaint little town, tucked up in the mountains of upstate New York, but the quiet had calmed my mind, and the change of pace had made it easier for me to sleep at night. My frequent insomnia often made matters worse. Days without rest caused my mind to wander into dark places. I’d begun seeing things in the shadows and feeling a desperate desire to wrap myself in that cold nothingness and just cease to feel.
While Esther finished with the table, I absently turned my gaze out the large cafe window nearby. The street outside was quiet and dark, all the other shops shut up tight for the evening. I hadn’t realized how late it was - lost in my own thoughts for hours. Esther would have closed up a while ago if I hadn’t still been sitting there, scribbling away in her corner booth.
“What time is it?” I asked her over my shoulder. My eyes narrowed curiously on something moving in the darkness. A flash of bright blue streaked across my vision, and my attention focused sharply on a figure gliding gracefully up the dimly lit sidewalk towards the old town square.
“About a quarter past ten.” Esther said, cautiously sliding the overflowing cup over the edge of the table and onto her tray before hurrying off with it into the kitchen.
I barely noticed when she left. My gaze was fixed, as if I were in a trance, to the woman slowly drifting, like an angel in blue, up the sidewalk on the opposite street. As she drew near, passing for a brief moment under the flickering light of the old street-lamp, I felt my heart shudder and cry out.
I had never seen a woman so stunningly beautiful. Long dark hair, porcelain skin, legs that stretched for miles…
She suddenly paused, turning to peer over her shoulder towards Esther’s Cafe, where I sat quietly watching. Piercing, light blue eyes found mine across the distance, and all the air in my lungs seemed to evaporate at once.
I sputtered, choking in surprise.
Had she seen me?
The woman turned back down the street towards the old town square. Her movements were now quick, yet strangely fluid, beneath the brilliantly azure dress that clung to her shapely form. It swirled around her supple calves with each and every nimble step, playing peek-a-boo in the dark as she advanced up the long stretch of sidewalk.
No, I must have been imagining things again.
The woman passed out of sight, disappearing into a darkened alley, and I leaned back into my chair as if suddenly released.
The corner booth. The smell of burnt coffee and toast. The sound of Esther in the kitchen. Everything came back to me at once.
It’s getting late. I’m just tired.
My arms stretched high above me and I groaned, tilting my head to the left and right in a vain attempt to relieve the stiffness growing in my shoulders and neck from so many hours of sitting. By the time Esther had returned from the kitchen I’d packed up my papers and notebooks and dropped a couple dollar bills onto the empty table in their place.
“Have a good night!” Esther called out as the door chimed open and then closed quickly behind me.
I was staying at a boarding house way out on the edge of town, but for some reason as I stepped out into the cool night air, I found my feet carrying me in the opposite direction - towards the alley where I’d last seen the woman in blue.
Those hauntingly vibrant eyes still lingered in my mind, serene and endless, like icy ponds in an arctic blizzard. I desperately wanted to dive deep and lose myself within them.
Or at least to see her again, to know that she was real.
My steps echoed in the stillness as I approached. Everything was silence, except the sound of my own heart beating loudly in my ears.
What was I doing? Following a woman in the dark?
I just needed to see her once more…
My hands shook violently with each step closer to the old town square. By the time I reached the end, my chest was pounding so hard I could barely stand. It was a strange sense of anticipation that pulled me onward, one foot after another, until I felt as if my heart would burst.
There it was, just in front of me - the last place that I seen her from the cafe window, silhouetted against the pitch black darkness of the night.
I stepped into the alleyway.
Episode One is available for Pre-order from the following online retailers:
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Thanks for Reading!
Much love and appreciation,