Sunday, April 1, 2018

Creepy Samples Offering: A Fall From Grace: Metamorphoses

Welcome back, dear readers, to the April 1 installment of my Creepy Samples Offering. Since today is Easter Sunday, this is the one day of the year that above all others, reminds us that spring has arrived. Here in the Arkansas Ozarks however, the day dawned cool and gloomy. A light drizzle fills the air as a thick cloud cover blocks out the sunshine. So, while some might be holding Easter egg hunts and thinking of cute little bunnies, my thoughts have turned to vampires. 

Last month, in an offering from the story, "A Fall From Grace," I introduced you to Jessie Tucker, a divinity student whose obsession with a darkly dressed woman got him into a bit of trouble. As it turns out, the object of his desires was a vampire woman named Lady Andrea. We left off last month with her drinking his blood after she finds him snooping around an abandoned farmhouse. 

In today's offering, which comes from "A Fall From Grace: Metamorphoses," we learn that Jessie has been kidnapped by members of his former school's youth league, at the behest of the Reverend Fred Roy, the college's leading figure. His captors have taken him to a nearby river in which Roy intends to wash Jessie of his sinful nature and bring him back into the spiritual fold, so to speak. Let's pick up the story at the river then, after Jessie's failed attempt at an escape from the over-zealous group: 

Eddie Canton pulled Jessie’s damaged body to the river’s edge, leaving a trail of blood along the grass and soil. Meanwhile, his companions scurried about in the dark, searching for the appropriate stones and bindings necessary to hold their victim’s body to the river bottom. One by one they brought their findings to Eddie as he stood watch over the body. Once all the necessary materials had been gathered, he turned to them.

“Alright, let’s get this done. Everybody grab a limb and tie the rock securely. The sooner we get ‘im on the river bottom the sooner we can get out of here.”

The four worked feverishly until the sound of a howling pack of wolves interrupted them.

“What’s that?” Cotton asked nervously. 

The wolves howled once again from somewhere in the darkness, stirring within them a deep sense of fearfulness. The snapping of a fallen branch next caught their attention. One of the others shined a flashlight in the direction of the sound only to rest its beam upon a beautiful, cloaked woman walking in their direction.

“Oh Jeez,” Cotton exclaimed in a voice he believed only audible to his nearby companions.

“Y’all just keep your mouths shut and let me do the talkin’,” Canton countered. 

The woman approached; and bending on one knee, began examining the body lying before her. She put her head to his chest, detecting a faint heartbeat. When she began unraveling the bindings they’d placed around his limbs, Eddie grabbed her by the arm, attempting to pull her away from his victim.
“Get away from ‘im,” he shouted.

She arose with what seemed like lightning speed and effortlessly threw her assailant into the trunk of a tree about twenty feet away, rendering him unconscious.

“Oh Lord!” One of the others cried out. “Did you see that? God have mercy!”

Cotton took hold of a nearby tree limb, attempting to attack her from behind. Swirling around before he was within striking distance, the powerful woman first wrestled the weapon out of his hands and then placed a firm grip on his shoulder before bending and twisting his right arm. He screamed in pain.

“Why have you done this?” She asked without releasing her grip. “Tell me or I’ll tear this arm right off his body.”

Cotton screamed uncontrollably as she continued to increase the pressure.

Eddie Canton, having regained consciousness, rose to his feet and addressed her while one of the others kept the flashlight’s beam focused on her eyes.

“You might be strong,” he told her, “but you can’t take all four of us. Come on,” he instructed his other companions, “let’s rush her.”

At that moment the strange woman hissed menacingly, revealing razor-sharp fangs that extended in length far beyond her other teeth. Her would-be attackers froze in abject fear. Her eyes beamed and held them fast as she spoke with determination.

“One more step in my direction and I’ll sever his head from the rest of his body. Then I’ll turn on you and will drain every ounce of blood from each of your pathetic bodies.” Smiling she continued. “I love the scent of your fear. Draining you would be quite a pleasant experience. Don’t try to escape either, because I will find you.”

One from the group began reciting the Lord’s Prayer as she turned her attention back to David Cotton, again increasing pressure upon his already damaged arm. His screams echoed across the dark landscape.

“Who put you up to this? Tell me now,” she demanded.

“It was Reverend Roy,” Cotton answered obediently. “He didn’t mean to hurt him. He only wanted to bring him back to the Lord.”

“But you did hurt him,” she continued. “Tell me, where can I find this Reverend Roy right now?”

For just a moment Cotton hesitated and she again increased the pressure on his arm. He could hear the snapping of bones. 

“In his office. He’s in his office at the Baptist University on the south side of town,” he cried out hysterically.

She released him, throwing him into the river shallows.

She turned to the others.“The car keys, give them to me,” she demanded. 

Canton approached nervously, tossing her the keys.

“Now get out of here—all of you, before I change my mind and decide to drain you dry anyway.”

She gestured toward Eddie Cotton, who still remained in the icy shallows delirious with pain, before continuing. “And take that piece of shit with you.”

While the others collected their fallen comrade and began departing the scene, Lady Andrea returned to Jessie, once again listening for the traces of a heartbeat, hoping almost against all hope that he might still be alive. His pulse was still there but had grown even fainter. 

That's where we'll leave off for today. If you want to know what happens next, the answer can be found in my book, "Tales of Dark Romance and Horror."

Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet up with you all once again around mid-April. Until then, keep it creepy!

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