“They may slay my mortal body, but I am not so easily defeated. Time is on my side, and I will spend it well.”
Alyssa is the last vampire, changed by Igor Regorash himself before his permanent death. With this transformation comes power, but also a terrible loneliness that makes Alyssa long to be human again.
Victoria Haldred is a Council of Peace investigator, charged with maintaining order in a post-war world. Her days are spent combatting murder, assassination, bombings, and blackmail, not to mention dirty politics and double-dealing.
When a local drunk comes down with a bad case of dead, Alyssa and Victoria are set on a collision course that will change their lives (undead as Alyssa’s may be) forever. A dark entity becomes dangerously fixated on the two women. With no one to trust, and an inescapable power looming, Alyssa and Victoria must combine their strengths if they hope to survive a world turned sinister.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-65
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was actually inspired by a friends wife, who was taking part in Nanowrimo back in November 2011. write a 50,000 word both in 1 month. I thought, why not? taking inspiration from a recent roleplay game I wrote it up. in November 2012, I self published it and now, nearly 10 years later, I've rewritten and republished it!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character Alyssa came about as a 'what if' scenario. What if a vampire didn't really know what they were doing? what if they were young in both body and mind and just wanted to survive? Victoria, the other main character, came about as a combination of a lot of female friends I knew. All equipped with the best kind of creative sarcasm!
“Here he is, Clark, one dead fat guy.”
The two militia men hauled the body-cart into the laboratory. Clark, the Militia-Sanctioned Mage on duty that morning, grimaced, setting down his mug of Sleep Deprivation Serum and wiping his mouth on his sleeve.
“Just what I wanted for my birthday,” Clark remarked without humour, rubbing his temple before pulling his long, greying hair out of his eyes. He stood, straightening his belt and pulling the sleeves of his robe up past his elbows.
“This is Davin; he’s new.” Shane, the older constable, motioned to his colleague. “He called it in.”
There was a certain mocking tone in Shane’s voice, a twinkle of mischief in the militia man’s emerald eyes and the briefest smirk at the edge of his mouth.
Clark pulled on a set of goggles, securing them to his forehead by a leather strap, before regarding the young man. “You don’t think it was an accident?” he asked as he wiped his hands on a towel he grabbed from the bench beside him.
Davin stopped examining the pile of empty ingredient bottles that had been built into a haphazard tower in the corner of the room and shrugged, youthful hazel eyes switching first to his colleague, then to the mage and back again.
“I did at first,” he admitted, in a soft voice, unhurried. “But, the wound…” He drew near to the body and pointed to an ugly, deep wound, just under the dead man’s chin. “He was impaled on the railings. We should have seen a lot more blood.”
Clark had donned his leather butcher’s apron. “All right, mate. Is that why the initial report says…” Clark crossed back over to his workbench and picked up a paper. He adjusted his glasses as he surveyed the courier-fey delivered report and read it out.
“Body discovered halfway between watch houses eleven and twelve, along Mounds Pathway, approximately four foot off the ground. Initial discovery by Constable Walis and Constable Barnsby. Suspected drunk. Concern raised that not enough blood coming from the corpse. Death marked as suspicious.” Clark let the report drop and peered at Davin.
“Yes,” Davin confirmed. “Sorry if it sounds too formal.”
Clark hummed to himself. “Are you’s getting overtime for this?” he asked pointedly, eyeing the militia men.
“Yes,” the constables replied in unison.
Clark smirked. “All right.” Removing his glasses and setting them carefully on a table, he pulled his goggles down over his eyes, adjusting the magnification with a dial set into the side of them. He then retrieved some clean metal tools from a nearby drawer: a sharp knife and a short metal rod with a spike at its end. “Just to clarify, you don’t think he just fell?” he asked as he bent to examine the body.
“No,” answered Davin.
“Even though the Mounds Pathway is a pigging dangerous place to walk, especially if you’re inebriated.”
Clark stopped, blinking at the younger constable. “Wrote off, son. Banjaxed. Pole-axed.”
Davin’s frown furrowed, and his eyelids flickered a few times.
“Drunk,” Shane finally explained.
“I had a whole list to try, mate,” said Clark with a smile.
“I know, but I want to go home,” replied Shane, now leaning on the wall, watching. “I prefer my overtime optimized.”
“Spoilsport,” said Clark.
He used the sharp knife to inspect the most obvious wound first, the one Davin had already pointed out. Beside him, he placed a registration parchment. Occasionally he would stop his inspection and write down his findings with a quill and inkpot.
Check for kill wound and describe: Present, metal spike to the throat, through lower jaw, immediately fatal.
“Wish they’d move the damn things,” Clark remarked as he finished making his first note. “The spikes, I mean.”
“We submitted a request,” Davin confirmed.
“Told ye he was keen.” Shane chuckled. “Good idea, though. I mean, the war’s over, right? Don’t need ’em anymore.”
“Be interesting to see how quickly they do that,” Clark said, making another note.
Check for other injuries: Bruising suggests blunt impact to front of skull. Non-fatal. No additional wounds from external forces visible.
“Did yeah’s get a Death Warden?” Clark asked next, casting a wary eye over the rest of the body.
“The death has been officially recorded by the Death Warden’s Guild associate,” Davin answered.
“Translation, yes,” Shane said. “Don’t worry, I educated him. Death Wardens for the death, Corpse Wardens for the body afterwards. I mean, they do the same thing but sure!” Shane throw up his hands in exasperation.
“What did he say, the Death Warden?” Clark asked next, seeming to ignore Shane’s theatrics.
“He said to ask you,” Shane said.
“Lazy sod,” Clark said, smirking. He wiped his hands on his towel again. “I don’t mind, though. Beats investigating life mages casting spells on people’s beards.”
“Do they actually do that?” asked Davin, crossing his arms.
“Oh aye.” Clark smiled. “Not a great sense of humour, those boys.” Clark made another note on his parchment.
Check for signs of disease: none found.
“Right, let’s see if your blood theory is right.” He replaced his previous knife with an even sharper one, then adjusted his goggles again before bending down to hold a small cup near the man’s left hand. He slit the corpse’s wrist.
Clark flinched, but he need not have. Only a small dribble of crimson red bled from the wound. “That’s not right,” he muttered to himself in a low voice.
After some time with his sharp blade, making minute incisions to various parts of the body, Clark wiped his hands again and crossed his arms, frowning. “Bad news, Shane,” he said to the older constable.
Clark motioned toward Davin. “He’s right. That’s not normal.”
Shane stopped leaning on the wall.
“I’ve been checking the body over from top to toe,” Clark continued, pulling his goggles off his forehead. “And yeah, there’s not the kind of blood flow I would expect from an individual of this size, and this fresh.”
Shane shrugged. “All right, Davin, I owe you a pint.”
“Why is that?” asked Davin, speaking to Clark again. “The blood, I mean.”
Clark moved to a cabinet across from them and opened it. Within, various tools glinted. There was a crackle and hum in the air as Clark removed a device. He held it up for the two constables to see. “The Scope,” he declared. “Part magic, lads, so if you’re not into that kind of thing, I suggest you stand back.”
Shane duly did so, though Davin remained near, watching as Clark set to work again.
The Scope resembled an oversized magnifying glass, the glass itself an oddly blue hue. It was ringed in copper and silver, with an odd gemstone set into the handle. Clark waved the device slowly over the body. Davin watched as Clark paused occasionally, peering through the Scope. The hum in the air increased and decreased, always in the background. After some time, Clark stopped. “There we are.” He motioned to Davin, who leaned closer.
Through the glass of the device, two wounds appeared upon the body’s throat. Tiny, almost ghostly under the device’s influence.
Davin did not at first see what Clark noted on his parchment.
Use Scope to check for possible healing potion use: two pinprick wounds revealed via Scope, on victim’s throat just above main artery.
“I’ll pass it to the Head of Magical Investigations,” Clark said, setting the Scope down. “He’ll likely request that the investigation ‘be concluded with all haste,’ as they say in the trade. Then he’ll pass it to the Council of Peace. The body will be taken into care by the other guild, the Corpse Wardens, and they’ll do the exact same investigation as me.”
“Oh?” Davin asked.
“Well, would you like a big fat mess stinking up your lab?” asked Clark.
“No, but…” Davin’s face showed worry. “Council of Peace?”
“Oh yes. Vampire, son.” Clark pointed to the body’s throat. “That’s what those two little wounds would suggest, unless you know of a couple of particularly vicious hummingbirds.”
“Vampire,” the young constable breathed.
“Aye, vampire.” Clark exhaled. “That, and the boss is wanting to transfer out of here to the Magic Training and Safety Division.”
Shane smirked. “Had enough, has he?”
“Oh yes.” Clark nodded. “This’ll be his chance. High-profile case, fire it off to the right people and they’ll get him shipped off.”
Davin was gazing over at the body. “A vampire,” he said again.
“Yes, lad, a vampire,” Clark agreed.
All three clustered round, regarding the corpse.
“A confirmed threat to peace,” the mage concluded.
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