Authors: S.J. Wright
The Vampire’s Curse
By S.J. Wright
There are a great many people who helped contribute towards the creation of this book. My family has been so supportive and wonderful throughout this process. Although my husband and I don’t always agree about everything, he is the real reason that I was able to stay at home and write. Yes, I’m a stay-at-home mom. It’s one of the hardest jobs in the world, but being able to stay home to take care of our son with special needs is a privilege. It also allowed me the time I needed to start working on the career I’d dreamed of since I was a little girl. So thank you, Duane. You helped make all this happen, and I will never fully be able to repay you for all the love, support and trust that you’ve given me.
Big hugs and thanks to my Mom and Dad, Brenda and Skeeter, Erin, and my always-dysfunctional sister Debbie (still miss you). Thanks also to my amazing in-laws, Judy and Stan, who are the best grandparents EVER!
Thank you also to Cameron and Devan for putting up with a mom who spends too many hours in front of her laptop at the kitchen table, jumping up every three minutes to pick up dropped food, let the dog out and move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.
I have had many women. In the beginning, it was always about the blood and satisfying that thirst that drives all vampires. But we are capable of much more. I learned how to use my words, my eyes, my hands, my mouth and other unmentionable parts of my physique to bring the kind of pleasure to a woman that she had never before experienced. There were times when all I really wanted was the coppery warmth of blood in my mouth, flowing down my throat. However, I preferred to be discrete with my feeding. If a woman was rendered nearly unconscious due to the effects of an incredible orgasm, she was less likely to feel alarmed when my teeth sank into her flesh. Compulsion is one of my abilities, but I use it sparingly. Perhaps it is one of my few moral qualms. – Michael Graviano
October 5, 2010
This is my first entry in the journal that has changed my life. I am not the first to write in it, but I very well may be the last. My name is Sarah Wood. I am 23 years old, and I have spent my whole life in a little town in Brown County, Indiana. My family (what is left of it) owns 22 acres outside of town. Most of the land is forest-covered hills, gorgeous and thick with white oak, beech, and dogwood trees. We have a large farmhouse that has been converted into a 5-bedroom Inn. We have a large family cabin and two smaller cabins on the property as well.
We also have nine vampires. Yeah, I know. It sounds crazy. But it’s true and still blows my mind when I think about it. So many things have happened since I discovered the vampire curse that has been holding my family captive for generations. Bad things.
I grew up believing that my mother had died in a car accident when I was just a little girl. I found out a few weeks ago that was a lie. Sort of. She really was dead, but not from a car accident. If it had only been that, then I would not be feeling like such a complete reject. Worse than that, I feel like everything I had always believed about myself was a fabrication. It may sound horrible, but I wish she had died that way. I would rather know that she was truly dead, rather than have to think about what she is now.
My Mom is a vampire. It was her choice. She hadn’t loved her family enough to stay with us. She wanted out so badly that she chose to be a vampire. When I found out the truth, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with her. Unfortunately, she decided to come back into our lives.
Using a pair of crutches borrowed from our doctor, I hopped to the front door, checked that it was locked, and did the same to the back door before heading very slowly up the stairs. My right ankle had been sprained earlier that night. I guess I was lucky that I had gotten away with just a sprain, considering that there had been one hell of a battle and one of my friends, Alex, had nearly died. Technically, he
dead. Actually, more like undead.
It had fallen on my shoulders to decide whether Alex should be turned into a vampire. He had sustained a horrific injury when a rogue vampire had attacked him. With his blood pooling beneath him in a crimson circle, I sent my friend back into a world that he had hated. And I hated myself for sending him there.
I paused in the hallway by my sister’s room. Katie’s door was closed and the light was out. I hesitated beside it, wanting to see how she was doing. Raising my hand in preparation to knock gently on her door, I hesitated. She had been through a lot over the last few days. First, she had to hear me tell the truth about our mother leaving us. Then she was kidnapped by a group of vampires who wanted to use her as bait to try to get me to release one of their kind that was in the containment field.
That was another revelation that had shocked me to no end. As it turned out, my father and his father before him and five more generations of our family had been responsible for the vampires that were on our property. According to the journal that my grandfather had passed down to me, back in the early 1800’s, a Pawnee ancestor of my father’s conducted a tribal ceremony on our land that effectively sealed out supernatural creatures and could hold vampires within. Only the eldest sons of our direct family line had the power necessary to invite a vampire in or release one. It was intended to be a peaceful resting place where vampires could go and not be worried about being attacked while they enjoyed what they called “the long sleep.” However, when my father and mother failed to produce a son, the role fell to me. Hooray.
I sighed and turned from Katie’s door. Disturbing her sleep would not be helpful. We could talk in the morning. My ankle was throbbing and I was completely exhausted after everything that had happened. All I wanted to do was climb into bed, throw the covers over myself, and sleep without interruption.
I hobbled into my bedroom and closed the door as quietly as I could. Then I turned towards my bed.
My breath caught painfully in my chest, and I swallowed a cry of alarm when I saw the familiar face of the person sitting so calmly on my bed. I had thought the night could not possibly get any worse. Shows how wrong I was.
My heart fluttered like a trapped butterfly. Sitting before me on my own bed was a person I thought had died many years ago, looking like she had not aged a single minute in the sixteen years since we had last seen her. She was dressed in a pair of stylish silk gauchos, three-inch glossy high heels, and a gorgeous silk top the color of ripe peaches. Her matching earrings, flashing in the meager light coming in from hall, dangled nearly to her shoulders.
There was a real difference in the set of her features that made her seem like something that did not belong here on earth. The perfection of her skin and the vibrant shine in her blue eyes gave firm evidence that this was not the same person who had given birth to me. There was a spark in her gaze that was entirely inhuman.
What?” I stammered.
She smiled, “It’s been a long time, sweetie.”
Her voice was only subtly different, and the memory of it squeezed my heart and made me feel like I could not draw a real breath of air. Only shallow little gulps of oxygen sustained me as I stared at her. That was when the edges of my vision began to turn black. Heavy warmth assailed my stomach and flowed upward into my chest. My pulse began racing madly. The last thing I saw before I blacked out was my mother’s face. I had one clear, concrete wish that I tried desperately to cling to as I fell into the darkness.
I really, really hoped that she would not be there when I woke back up.
Sarah?” My sister Katie was hovering over me. I thought it was so pretty how the rays of sunlight played across the dark curls falling over her shoulders. Why did I have to end up inheriting my Dad’s mild wavy mouse-brown hair and she ended up with that? It was not fair. Katie had also ended up with the intelligence to take her to the top of her high school graduating class and get into Purdue University’s Veterinary Medicine program. However, given the ridiculously dramatic things happening in our home life, I doubted she would get a chance to finish school.
I groaned and rolled my eyes, “Oh, Christ. Please tell me she wasn’t here. It was just a bad dream, right?”
I found that I was lying on the hard, polished wood of my bedroom floor. The sunlight from one window had fallen over me like a warm blanket, but my whole body was still stiff from lying on the floor all night. I gingerly propped myself up on my elbows and blinked.
What happened to you?” Katie asked, regarding me with a doubtful stare.
I think I fainted.” I sat up and gripped her hands violently, “You didn’t see anybody in the house last night, did you?”
No. Let me go.” She yanked her hands away, stood up and glared down at me. That look was like turning a page from the past. How many times had she flashed those dark eyes at me in irritated resentment? A hundred? A thousand?
I slowly got to my feet and rubbed the back of my neck. It hurt like a bitch. I debated telling my sister about who I had seen the night before. I was supposed to be the strong one, and after all I had witnessed that night, seeing my mother had evidently pushed me past my emotional threshold. There was no way I was putting that on Katie.
Who did you see?” She asked, cocking her head to one side.
Nobody. I think I just had a bad dream after I passed out or something.” I shoved my hair out of my face and ground my teeth together. I just knew all this lying was going to end up biting me in the ass. She watched me for a few seconds, and I could see the questions flashing in her eyes.
You make any coffee?” I asked, trying to deflect her.
She nodded, “I came in here to tell you it was ready.”
She hesitated in the doorway, her beautiful brown eyes somber, “We need to talk.”
Using only one crutch, I managed to grab a clean pair of white cotton panties from my nightstand and my thick yellow robe from the hook inside my closet, “After my shower.” Stopping for a second beside her, I reached out with my free hand and squeezed her arm gently, “Try not to worry too much. We’ll get it worked out, Katie-bug.”
She tore her gaze from me and turned her head indignantly, “Don’t call me that. I’m not a little kid, Sarah.”
That hurt. I drew a little painful breath and watched as she walked away. What happened to the little sister who used to be my best friend? Was it only that she was growing up? Maybe the good memories of home had begun to be tainted by all the crazy vampire stuff. It certainly made me want to run away sometimes. However, I did not want that to sever our bond and I needed to do something to make things better between us before it was too late.
After my shower, I examined my ankle. It was bruised, but felt a little better than it had the previous night. I decided to try to get around with just the single crutch. I got dressed and made my way slowly downstairs to the kitchen. Katie was pouring coffee for me, and I noticed immediately the iron set of her shoulders and the flare of annoyance in her eyes. She handed the cup to me.
I can’t stay here.” She said. That was not surprising. She would become pretty good at running away lately.
What about your Jeep?”