Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Darkness Within Ezine 1st edition-July

Hi all!

I want to introduce you to our newest project, Darkness Within, the Ezine. Below you will find all the hard work put together by various Authors and talents! Please enjoy and comment to let us know what you think of the ezine!

President: Jodie Pierce 

 Vice President & Cover Artist: Lindsey Jayne 

 Editor-in-Chief: Jessica Sawa 

An Unhealthy Obsession by L.T. Kelly 
A Haunting in Michigan by Thom Futrell 
Brice by Ronald Edward Griffin 
Lore’s Corner by LM David 
Vampire Poems by Jodie Pierce 
Rand’s Story by Brien O’Raighne

2015 All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

An Unhealthy Obsession

For as long as I can remember I've always had an odd fascination with vampires. It started with Count Duckula, he was the only cartoon character I liked, with the exception of Banana Man, that's perhaps a different story.
I guess there was a slight lull in my infatuation when I figured that I was getting too old for cartoons, not that anyone ever can be, but hey, that's a stage I got to. That was until we all sat down to watch Interview with a Vampire. I don't think I was old enough at the time, but I watched with a tightly held breath and one eye on the screen. Perhaps it was the notion that vampires aren't meant to be sexy men, they were traditionally beastly creatures that drink your blood. They kill, they maim, they didn't appear in ones mind as a sensual and beautiful being with which to desire.
Predictable you think? Brad Pitt was the start of my adolescent desire for vampires that never went away? Well, that's where you're wrong. Due to my renewed fascination with the blood-guzzling creatures of the night my good old stepfather recommended The Lost Boys.
My eyes scanned the screen and met with the ultimate bad boy vampire called David, played by Keifer Sutherland. At that moment my heart was captured forever.
The Lost Boys doesn't show an idealistic vision of how vampires are depicted today, it showed bat like creatures hanging upside down during the daytime. They were deadly, motorbike riding, cruel, but in the same breath pure bleach blonde hotness. Now that was a vampire.
Of course time has evolved and vampires have been introduced to popular culture as mostly slightly bad boy images with a softer side, usually living in mansions, extremely witty, and irritatingly good looking.
I'm not adverse to this evolvement of what the vampire legend now represents. How could I be? I write romantically erotic vampire books.
The only thing that keeps me motivated to want more paranormal is the vampires themselves. Yeah, they pretty much all have pointy teeth and drink blood. It's the type of vampire that amazes me.
Whenever I pick up a new vampire book, or switch on the TV, I'm focussed on one thing...what will this authors or screenwriters vampires be able to do, and equally, what will they not be able to do? Will they be gorgeous? Will they be ghastly? Can they walk into the light? What will happen when they do?
Maybe it's all about the blood lust? I can't figure it out. I'd love to know what your vampire would be, how would they look? What can they do? What gets your vampire off other than blood?
Until then I guess I'll be playing Cry Little Sister on repeat with my head tipped back just waiting for David to claim my throat.

L.T. Kelly <darknesswithin.ltkelly@gmail.com

  Voices of the Reaper

By Thom Futrell

Nestled in between the power company and the local library once stood a beautiful Hotel. It held parties on the rooftops, Big bands in its music room and award winning meals in its restaurant. Celebrities, world leaders and sports stars of the time stayed within those walls. Of course, like many places, the Hotel had to take the bad with the good. Gangsters ran booze through there, and death walked the halls on more than one occasion.
     At one point, the power company next door decided it needed the hotel for more office space. The Hotel was renovated and made into an office building. It didn’t take long for the residents of the past to make themselves known.  
     Keys and paperwork would move, lights would turn on and off, conversations were heard in empty hallways. Now before I continue, I was asked to leave names and exact places out of this article What follows are testimonies by people, including myself, of things that happened inside that building.  The names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Mike was a janitor for the power company for a couple of years before he was transferred to the Hotel. He remembered one evening cleaning the stairwell and hearing what sounded like children on the level below playing hopscotch and jump rope. Since it was after hours and the workers had all gone home, this struck Mike as being very odd. He looked over the banister and saw three little girls in dresses staring back up at him. He said he stepped back for an instant, and when he looked over the banister again he was alone.
I spent some time in that building as a custodial supervisor. I remember one night working and hearing one of the janitors screaming for help over the radio. I ran to her location, which was in the Hotel auditorium. As soon as I entered the room I could feel the temperature drop. She was standing behind the middle row of chairs staring at the stage. I stood next to her and asked what was going on. She pointed to the stage just as a circular table came rolling out from backstage. Thinking someone was messing with her I ran to the stage and charged through the curtain. There was no one there.
 Eventually, a new building was constructed down the street, one big enough to house all the workers, making the Hotel obsolete. I was put in charge of cleaning out the building so the construction crews could get inside and do what they had to do. On the first day of the cleanup I had three of the crew join me on the third floor. We climbed into the lobby elevator, a young lady joining us at the last minute. There were a few workers straggling around the building so no one was surprised to see her. We told her we were going to three and she asked me to push the button for the fourth. We remained quiet on the ride up, not wanting to discuss things in front of an employee there. She stared at me, in a really creepy way. I was very happy to see the door open on three. As we stepped out one of my crew turned to tell her to have a nice day. The elevator was empty.
The next day I was entering the building with one of my crew, who was talking on her cellphone. This was back in the day, so the phone had no camera or computer, but it did come with it’s own holster.
When we got to the elevator she turned off her phone and put it in the holster. We entered the elevator and took it to the fourth floor. We had to walk to the far end of the hall, turn left and follow it all the way to a room that we would be working in. As we rounded the corner we both saw something on the floor in front of the room we had to go to. When we got there we discovered it was a cell phone battery. My crew member took out her phone and realized it belonged to her phone. The battery got there before we did. During that same day we were asked to repeat ourselves a number of times by a friendly sounding female voice. We were the only people in the building.
The last day of the cleanup my crew and I had to meet the construction crew in the rear parking lot to give them the key to the Hotel. As the crew chief unlocked and opened the door. A large shadowy thing, on four legs, ran out past him and into the center of our group where it dissipated. 
The building was leveled recently and is now a parking lot. Was the form leaving the spirit of the building escaping the destruction? I would like to think that it left our world to become a part of whatever destiny it believed in. I have not been in the area since it was destroyed. I wonder if anyone still hears the music, or sees the little girls playing innocently where the hotel once stood…

Thom Futrell is a horror writer living in Jackson Michigan. He has been in more than sixty publications and has four films under his belt.

A Paranormal Story
by Ronald Edward Griffin

            On a cold winter night in the Tennessee wilderness, a man pulls the hood back on his thick jacket while sniffing the air. The scent of pine filling his nostrils as he walks in the woods. He closes his eyes, focusing his senses as he searches for clues to the whereabouts of his prey. A brown bear has killed several hikers and campers in the area. It has also been seen coming into town and frightening the population. The sound of the wind echoes through the forest along with leaves crunching under the weight of the brown bear. This is the beast he has been looking for and now he prepares by taking off his clothes. The sound of bones popping out of place and the shifting around gain the bear’s attention; it approaches the man’s direction. The bear sniffs the air and is caught off guard at the change of scent; instead of smelling a man, he now smells a beast. A massive black wolf steps from around a tree approaching the bear. The bear stands on its rear haunches roaring at the wolf. The wolf snarls in return, and leaps forward to engage the bear in beastly combat. Within moments the forest echoes with the sound of a whimper followed by the sound of bones cracking while being broken.
            Minutes later the man exits the woods right before a van pulls close to the woods with its bright lights on. The side of the van reads “Animal Control”. Two men get out of the van and then approach.
            “I um, found the bear. It’s about half a mile southeast. Something broke its neck though, so it won’t be killing anyone else.”
            The two men stare at each dumbfounded – not sure what to think of the idea that something could break a bear’s neck. The look of fear starts to grow in their eyes as they look back at the man.
            “What could have broken the bear’s neck?”
            “A stronger beast,” the man said with a smirk.
            He pushes his way through, walking towards the town. He is ready for a few drinks after his fight with the rogue animal.
            “What’s your name?”


            Brice enters the bar taking in all the scents and sounds from around him. The smell of stale peanut shells litter the floor, and several men in the bar have had way too much to drink. It doesn’t take a heightened sense of smell for him to tell that though. The sound of darts hitting the board, along with swearing from the irritated man who are unable to hit their target, is evident. Brice could even hear the words of the man in the corner who was propositioning the young waitress. The sound from the waitress slapping the man’s face causes Brice’s face to also sting a little bit.
            “Tammy what have I told you about assaulting the customers?” the lady behind the bar yells out to the young waitress.
            Brice sits on the stool at the bar while watching the fiery red head yell at her subordinate. The way she speaks, along with the way she shows her authority, keys him in that this woman must be the owner.
            “But he’s trying to get me to give him a blowjob out back for twenty bucks! I am not a whore, but even if I was – twenty dollars is an insult!” Tammy replies defensively.
            “Well, how about forty?” the intoxicated man speaks louder this time.
            Tammy turns around and slaps him again; this time much harder.
            “Tammy! You know you’re supposed to just ignore him and get him another drink. Attack him one more time and – you’re fired!”
            The owner closes her eyes, sighs to compose herself, and then turns to Brice.
            “I’m sorry about that sir. These girls, these days, are so headstrong – you can’t tell them anything.”
            “I understand that. I blame the music,” Brice responds without cracking a smile.
            She laughs at the remark despite his serious demeanor.
            “What can I get you?”
            “A pitcher of beer would be nice.”
            “No problem. Coming right up,” she says with a wink.
            He grabs a handful of peanuts from the bowl on the bar, and then one by one removes the shells, so that he can eat them. The woman returns with a full pitcher of beer and a tall glass. He looks at the glass, then slides it back to her before grabbing the pitcher by the handle. Brice starts chugging it right from the pitcher.
            “Why don’t I just tap the keg for you next time? So, I don’t recognize you from around here. What are you in town for?”
            He chugs what little is left from the pitcher and sets it down on the bar.
            “Hunting. I heard there was a rogue bear in the area killing people, so I helped locate it. Can I have another pitcher of beer, please?”
            Once he looks up at her into her deep green eyes, he loses himself in them. Never before has he ever felt anything close to love – or even lust at first sight – until today. She grabs the pitcher and then walks away to go refill it. Thoughts run through his head about this woman, not sure why he is feeling this way.
Brice never knew his mother since she died during childbirth, and his father ran out on him when he was three. Love was a foreign concept in his life. He grew up in a children’s home. No one would adopt him because he was “different”, and everyone could sense it. Then the night of his first transformation, he ran away. The others at the home had started picking on him because they were afraid. Since that event, Brice had been on the road traveling, accepting challenge after challenge to prove his strength. All the while, trying to find answers as to the being he truly is.
            The owner with the captivating green eyes returns with another pitcher – and without a glass this time – and sets it down in front of him.
            “Would you like anything to eat?”
            “Actually yeah, I am pretty hungry. Worked up quite the appetite tonight, so what would you suggest?”
            “Well, if your hunger is anything like your thirst, I would suggest our colossal burger. Half a pound burger topped with anything you like; it also comes with steak fries.”
            “Sounds good. I’ll have that all the way. Do you have any chili as well?”
            “On a cold night like this, of course! Best in town,” she says with a proud smile.
            “Okay well how about smothering those fries with it, and lots of cheese.”
            “You’ve got it.”
            She walks over to the kitchen window and calls out the order. When she walks back over, she has a smile on her face.
            “By the way, my name is Sheila…and you are?”
            “My name is Brice.”
            She extends her hand out, and he shakes it.
            “Nice to meet you Brice,” she says flirtatiously with a smile.


            Hours of talking between customers ends; the bar closes, and Sheila escorts Brice outside. She pulls the hood over her jacket to block the blistering winds. After locking the door, Sheila turns to face him, realizing that she isn’t ready to part with him just yet.
            “So, are you doing anything tonight Brice?”
            “No, I guess I will be hitting the road again. I hear there is a Gator problem down south. I thought I would check into the situation.”
            “Would you mind keeping me company for a while before you go? I always like to wind down a little bit before I retire for the night.”
            “Sure, sounds good to me. What is there to do this time of night though? Everything is closed, right?”
            “Yeah, well, you could come over to my place for a drink, and maybe talk a little more.”
            Brice then catches a scent he hasn’t smelled in a long time; the hair on his arms starts to tingle as his senses go on high alert.
            “Sheila, you better get outta here. It isn’t safe.”
            “What are you talking about? Nothing ever happens in this town.”
            Just as soon as she finishes her statement, a large werewolf is standing before them. The beast punches Brice as hard as he can knock the breath from him. Its fur is a mixture of browns; muscles are rippling over its shoulders and biceps. The horrendous mouth curled back over its maw, exposing rows of sharp teeth as it snarls in Sheila’s direction.
She could barely blink before it snatches her up and disappears with her into the night. Brice gets back on his feet coughing. He realizes that the werewolf took his newly acquainted treasure; this woman he has found himself drawn to without any effort. He also is aware that her scent is fading fast. He follows the scent trail, shedding his clothes off as his body slowly goes through that painful transformation. Bones crack and shift position, forming a new skeletal structure while his muscles stretch over. Several agonizing moments later, Brice’s form has changed from that of a man into that of a two hundred-thirty pound wolf. He sniffs the air to verify the direction of his adversary.


            Sheila slowly regains consciousness, and as she becomes more aware, she realizes that her arms are tied to a chair in a strange, dilapidated house. The walls around her seem aged with damages beyond repair. She wriggles around to try and free herself, but the restraints are too tight. Then she notices the bad smell in the room; it smells like a wild animal lives there. Then she sees a familiar face. It is one of her regulars at the bar. Although she noticed he started acting a little odd lately, she had no idea he would be capable of kidnapping.
            “What do you want from me, Chuck?”
            The tall, hairy man only wore a pair of shorts, and as cold as it is, he should be freezing to death. But Chuck seems unfazed by the temperature. He is hunching over slightly with a little bit of drool hanging from his mouth.
            “The same thing I have been wanting for a long time, Sheila. You.”
            “What are you?” she questions with a look of disgust.
            “I have been through a few changes – and for the better in my opinion, but there is no need for you to worry about that right now. You will have plenty of time to find out everything about me. You’re never leaving me because you’re mine now.”
            Chuck approaches her while unfastening his pants; tears form in Sheila’s eyes fully aware of what he intends to do. Just then, a deep growling sound can now be heard over the sound of her sobs. A large wolf lunges at Chuck, knocking him down to the floor, its teeth bared. Chuck grabs the intruding wolf by its neck and bares his own teeth at it. He throws the wolf back against the wall, and when he returns to his feet, hair sprouts out all over his body; his muscles grow larger while his face stretches to an elongated snout.
The large wolf roars in defiance towards Chuck who is now a werewolf again and starts to approach. The intruding wolf quickly gets back on its four legs and lunges at the enemy, biting at its ankles. Howls of pain come from the evil werewolf’s maw as the heroic wolf starts ripping away, tearing the flesh from the other. The evil beast tries to kick the wolf, but it dodges just in time, leaps on a nearby table, and then lunges at the throat of the monster – clamping its jaws around the werewolf’s neck. It bites down one more time extremely hard as it rips through the throat, and then they both drop to the ground.
            The wolf turns to face Sheila and approaches slowly, careful not to make her feel threatened. The tears in her eyes show that it’s already too late for that as she stares at Chuck while he changes back to human form, blood pouring from the gaping hole that used to be his throat. The wolf moves behind her and gnaws on her ropes until she is able to break free. She stands up and quickly turns to face the wolf. Her hands are trembling with the fear of not knowing what is going to happen next. The wolf lowers his head submissively, then just backs away, leaving the house the same way he came.
            Minutes later, Sheila leaves the house as well, running as fast as she could back to the bar. Brice watched her from the tree line while still in his wolf form, making sure that she was able to make it back safely. He then turns to the woods and starts to run – and fast. He has always been an outcast and unable to get close to anyone, maybe it is better this way.


            Many months later, Sheila stands with her hands resting on the rails of a cruise ship. She has not fully recovered mentally from that night that she hasn’t told anyone about. How could she tell anyone, especially when it sounded crazy to her?
Her thoughts drift as she stares into the reflections of people boarding the ship; her co-workers convinced her that she should get away for a while and that maybe, just maybe, a stress free environment would help her out. She had always wanted to go to Alaska, so she booked the first available Alaskan cruise. Her thoughts then wander from travel arrangements to Chuck and then to the wolf that had saved her. When thinking of Brice, she wished that she had the chance to get to know him better. It was like he just vanished off the face of the Earth.
            Something catches her eye among the reflections; a very tall muscular man wearing a Hawaiian shirt. When she looks up to see the man boarding the ship, she instantly recognizes Brice. As he walks past her direction, she approaches him, grabbing him by the wrist and pulling him aside.
            “Hey Brice! Do you recognize me?”
He was very surprised to see her again after all these months. The connection they had, he could still feel the pull of it. That night though, after he killed the werewolf, he left thinking that Sheila did not deserve the kind of life that he could give. He has always been a drifter, traveling from location to location, seeking the ultimate thrill – and hopefully – his destiny along the way.
“Of course, I do, Sheila.”
“So what happened to you that night?”
“Well, after that thing knocked me out, I went looking for you. I couldn’t find you, so I went to the police. And…well…when they found you, I had to leave town.”
“I am grateful to you regardless of what happened. I have thought of that night every single day – and in my nightmares. Getting to meet you was the best part of that night.”
He smiles at her kind words as they warm his heart. He takes a look at her and notices she is dressed rather warmly, and then his attention turns to everyone on the ship as it leaves the dock. Everyone has large coats among their luggage, and he can see vendors loading carts of hot cocoa. It doesn’t take long for him to connect the dots before he looks at Sheila.
“This isn’t the boat to Hawaii, is it?”
She chuckles at him as she looks at his bright, vividly colored shirt before she pats him on the chest.
“I’m afraid not. We are currently on our way to Alaska. Hope you have something warm to wear.”
At that moment, Brice face palms his forehead as the boat drifts away towards the setting sun.
“I hope this ship has a gift shop with clothing,” he says.
“Well, if not, I think I can manage keeping you warm – at least at night – if you’re interested.”
“Oh I am most definitely interested,” Brice says with a smile.
They both watch the sunset together with their hands on the railing. It doesn’t take long before Sheila slides her hand over and places it on his. For the first time ever, Brice feels like he does not have to go with the lone wolf life anymore. With this woman, he can see a future and a life with her. So, he smiles happily and places his arm around her, pulling her close to him.
“So, do you think this will be a happy vacation together?” she asks.
“Only if the vacation lasts…for the rest of my life.”


Ronald Edward Griffin.... wolfmangriffith@gmail.com is the Author of Blood Stained Lives and lives in Macon, GA. He has two children and hopes to pass along his writing bug on to them.

The Zombie.

Have you ever been curious about Zombies? Well, let’s find some facts about them.

Zombies are considered undead, mindless, reanimated creatures who devour human flesh. In iZombie, on CW, they behave like normal except when ravenous. When that happens, they go into a feeding frenzy, leaving no human safe. The more civilized thinking Zombies, on the same show, prefer living flesh but settle for the recently deceased brains with a side of noodles — yum.

Do not trifle with Zombies. Depending on the writer/Hollywood, Zombies can be pale and creepy, or just disgusting in appearance. Some are flexible. Others move like a stiff board and sport potholes in rotting flesh along with facial expressions that could stop clocks.

Some are slow, resembling the poisonous Gila monster tracking prey after biting them. Once the venom renders them helpless, the lizard can catch up and eat it. Same principle, only the slow moving Zombie gets to treat. As a result of Hollywood’s need for speed, Zombies now chase prey like an Olympic sprinter, can climb and bolt up a fence/building/wall with little to no effort.

There seems no way to fathom what a Zombie can do beyond what the writer’s imagination creates. A website called Zombiepedia (yes, it exists) lists eight types of Zombies. Here’s the link if you wish to educate yourself. http://zombie.wikia.com/wiki/Types_of_Zombies

The subject of Zombies were first recorded, in a history of Brazil, in 1819 by poet Robert Southey. The modern dictionary’s origin of the word lists West Africa, the Kongo words nzambi (god) and zambi (fetish). Haitian Folklore is where the ideology of zombies evolved into the dead brought back by magic, or voodoo, or a bokor sorcerer — bokor is a witch-like figure. Also mentioned is the word “Nzombe” by Africans who resettled in Haiti. Modern Zombie creation points, more often than not, to mutated virus strains. Whatever reanimates a corpse does not matter because let’s face it — Zombies are gross.

The first mention of zombies was in 1929 by W.B. Seabrook in “The Magic Island”. It dealt with Haitian voodoo. In the 1968 version of “Night of the Living Dead”, Zombies were created by a virus. In “Shaun of the Dead”, Zombies were made fun of to take the “yeck” out of the creatures while in “World War Z”, they were frenzied killing machines. Guess you could say the Zombie lore has become “flexible” in its older years.

How the reanimated dead earned the lore behind the title “Zombie” was unclear. In “The Night of the Living Dead” (1968) zombies were referenced “ghouls”. The phenomenon of zombies started when the U.S. occupied Haiti (1915-1934) and cases of purported “zombie-like” people emerged. In the 1920s and early 1930s, American horror author H. P. Lovecraft wrote novelettes exploring undead themes from different angles. "Cool Air", "In the Vault", and "The Outsider" all dealt with the undead. The most definitive "zombie-type" story in Lovecraft's oeuvre was 1921's Herbert West – “Reanimator”, which "helped define zombies in popular culture". Richard Matheson's 1954 novel “I Am Legend”, although classified as a vampire story, nonetheless had a definitive impact on the zombie genre via George A. Romero.

Did you know a zombie could be saved by feeding them salt? If an epidemic arises, it is something to consider when trying to save a friend.

And, believe it or not, there are themes that give rise to a zombie apocalypse:

(1) Initial contacts with zombies are extremely dangerous and traumatic, causing shock, panic, disbelief and possibly denial.

(2) The response of authorities to the threat being slower than its rate of growth, giving the zombie plague enough time to take hold and collapse our society. So be prepared. Vote for politicians well informed of possible threats from Zombies.

How can you survive a zombie attack should it become real and in your face? These five scientists have it figured out. http://metro.co.uk/2015/02/25/5-tips-from-scientists-on-how-to-survive-a-zombie-apocalypse-5078672/

Reference material for article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie

Author LM David was initially drawn to the genre of science fiction, a fascination with paranormal/urban fantasy/romance drew her into the dark erotic world of vampires. L.M. David, when not writing, has varied interest — building computers, making quilts, pillows and scrapbooking. She has worked as a legal assistant and, prior to that, as a nurse. Although born in New Jersey, her family relocated to So. California and now considers themselves Californians. Her family includes Patches, a stray cat who nosed her way into the L.M.’s life and Paws, who stubbornly sat on the front porch and waited, patiently, an hour to get invited to come inside. She made it.

L.M. David has also contributed an article to the ezine Vision: A Resource for Writers (http://visionforwriters.com)

L.M. David has a blog: http://www.wordpress.com/lmdavid54 and an author’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorLMDavid. She can also be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LMDavid54

Vampire Poems
Jodie Pierce

You are alone in the world for all of eternity 
For you could never make another like yourself 
A monster in all sense of the word 
A vile, putrid, blood sucking creature 
Who steals the hearts of the innocent 
And rips apart the souls of the tortured. 

Take me to your lair 
And do with me what you will 
For I am ready for you 
Ready for death or ready to be your Vampire Queen 
Take me to my death with your pearly white elongated teeth 
Or give me your most beautiful gift of your blood 
Either way I am ready for you-take me!

Rand's Story:
Detective Goodson
Part 1


Brien O'Raighne

Randall Goodson is my name. I have been alive for over three hundred thirty years. My name has changed slightly over the years, but not who I am as a person. I am a homicide detective for SCPD (Storm City Police Department).

June 3, 2016 Storm City, Texas...

I currently am sitting in my seat at the Lightning Pad, the nickname for Remendez Field, home of the Storm City Bolts. My seat is in the Mezzanine Deck over the left field wall, which is the third deck. I sip my beer. It's quite bitter. But I have learned to get used to it over time. The modern beer is much better tasting than beer from medieval England. That's a tale for another time.
I watch as the Storm City Bolts' first baseman, Hugh Marsters, comes up to the plate. He is a hulk of a man. Marsters is batting against Lance McCullers of the Houston Astros. McCullers throws an inside fastball as my phone vibrates in my pocket.
I take the phone out of my pocket. I see the called ID: SCPD HILL. Elerby Hill is the Captain of Precinct 3 of the SCPD. My precinct, my captain. "Great."
"Captain? What can I do for you?"
"Sorry to interrupt you on your day off, detective." He tells me.
I hear the crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd. I turn to see the baseball coming right for me. I drop my iPhone 6 as the ball smacks me in the face. The ball falls into my lap. My phone hits the floor near my seat.
People converge on me. They see me slump in my chair. I feel some pain around my right eye. I know that it will swell and heal rather quickly. I reach for my phone and pick it up.
The usher looks at me. He is signaling for me to follow him. Fear of my secret being discovered overcomes me. However, I try to make my way out of the row. I stumble. The usher helps me up the stairs towards the concourse.
"Goodson? Goodson?" I hear coming from my phone. Irritated with Captain Hill, I end the call. I will deal with the repercussions later.
The usher leads me, with the home run ball, out onto the concourse of the Mezzanine Deck. I take a few steps and stumble hitting the concrete floor. My knees sting. I am dizzier than I thought.
I put my phone in my pocket. Then, I grab the ball as two ushers help me to my feet. Each one is holding an elbow. It takes a minute to get me to my feet. The ushers slowly lead me down the concourse. We are heading to the first aid station.
I am moaning. My vision in my right eye blurs as we enter the first aid station. The first aid station is rather cramped. There are two exam rooms and one waiting room with a desk in it.
The nurse leads me into the room on the right. I notice that she is a middle aged woman with graying red hair. She is wearing blue scrubs with a white accent on the sides of the shirt. I take in her scent. It is rather intoxicating. Strange. No human has ever infected me so. She smells of lavender, aloe, and lilac. I smile.
"Good to see you smile," the delightful nurse says to me. She takes out a light and begins looking into my eyes. I start to salivate. My eyes shift colors and back. The nurse shakes her head. She does not believe what she just saw.
The nurse examines my eyes again. She has me follow her finger. She determines that my eyes are fine and I will have a nice shiner for some time. Just not as long as she thinks.
I feel the thirst starting to increase as she continues to check me out. The nurse has a small pen light and a tongue depressor in her hand. She has a smile on her face. "Say, ah."
I refuse to open my mouth. I feel the fangs beginning to extend. They are starting to cut into my lower lip. This is not good. The nurse crosses her arms. I know she is going to be persistent.
"Oh, someone is shy." She says with a wry smile on her face. I shake my head and pout like a child, intentionally. "Don't be shy. This won't hurt."
You don't know that. I think to myself. I begin to look around. The room is small and confining. There is no place for me to move. Great.
I close my eyes. I begin to take a deep breath and exhale. Not that I really need to. It is just a habit I picked up to calm myself.
I look at the nurse intently. She looks back at me in a trance-like state.
"Close the door." I say melodically. The nurse nods. She walks over to the door and closes it. I snap my fingers.
The nurse shakes her head. She crosses her arms. "Being stubborn, aren't we?"
"No." I tell her in a husky voice. "I am afraid that I may terrify you if you continue your examination of me."
"Oh?" The nurse says.
"Your stethoscope."
"What about it?"
"Use it here." I tell her patting the area over my heart.
She is curious. The nurse does as I ask her to do. She raises a brow. Then, she removes the stethoscope and blows on it. "Can't be."
"So what did you hear?" I ask the nurse. I know what she heard. Nothing. I just want to hear her say it.
"N-n-nothing. I would normally hear a person's heart beat. But with you. Nothing. H-h-how?" The nurse is stunned. She searches for a plausible explanation. I'm not sure she'd except the explanation, though.
"Simple." I pause to consider how to phrase my statement. I gulp. Just tell her. "I am a vampire."
I expect the nurse to back away in fear. The nurse does something totally different. She chuckles.
"That's not possible. Vampires do not exist."
I raise a finger up into the air. "You would be mistaken on that. Most are not like popular media. Those are really few and far between. The other 'vampires' are cultists who dress like gothic vampires and drink blood."
That's when she notices my fangs. She begins to back away. I smile. "You're a real vampire. The cultists have heart beats. REAL vampires do not.”
“That’s right. We are the undead, but I am not here to hurt you. I really just wanted to enjoy the game."
"V-v-vampire." She stammers while pointing at me.
I sigh. I wave my hand in front of her, like a Jedi from Star Wars. Then, I melodically speak. The nurse becomes entranced. "You will forget what you know about me. You will tell I'm good to go and have me on my way."
I snap my fingers again. I shake my head. This went well.
The nurse shakes her head. She looks down at her chart, which I filled out. She smiles at me. "Well, you check out okay. So just take care of that shiner. Put some ice on it. You're good to go."
"Thank you, ma'am." I tell her.
I walk out of the first aid station with a smile on my face. The concourse seems to have thinned out with people since I went in there. I head back towards my section and look out on the field. The Astros are celebrating another win. Great. I missed the last four innings of the game.
An usher comes up to me, he pats me on the bag. "You okay, sir?"
"Yeah, I'll be okay." I tell the usher. "Good to hear. The game's over, though. So, you'll need to leave the stadium."
"Okay." I tell the usher as he goes white as a sheet. I sense some one behind me. Some one big. The usher is freaking out.
I turn as the usher continues to say Oh, my GOD multiple times. I come face to face with Hugh Marsters. My eyes begin to bug out. Never met a ball player before.
"I was told that the guy I hit with a ball was up here." he says.
"That would be me." I say.
"Good to meet you." Hugh tells me. He is bigger than I thought. His brown hair is shaggy. There is something about him that I can’t quite put my finger on. Something familiar about Hugh Marsters. I swear I have met this gentleman before. “You seem awfully familiar to me. Have we met before?”
“Not that I know of.” I tell him. The way he stands. His voice. The scent on him. I know him from somewhere. But where? When? “I have a pretty good memory. I’m sure I would remember.”
“Well, I just wanted to check up on you.” He says. We shake hands. That’s when it hits me. Now I know where I remember him from. “It looks as though the injury is not anywhere near as serious as I was led to believe.”
I lean into Hugh Marters and whisper to prevent the usher from hearing what I was saying. “I do remember you, Hugh. You did not have the last name of Marsters, though.”
He chuckles softly. “Thought so, Randall. You have not changed much either except that name of yours. Meet me in the players’ lot in 20. We have some catching up to do.”
“Yes we do.”

Who exactly is this Hugh Marsters?
What is his relationship to Rand?
Find out in the next issue for Rand’s Story: Detective Goodson Part 2…

About the Author, Brien O’Raighne

He is a connoisseur of sci-fi and paranormal films and books. He, also, lives in Houston with his son.
You can contact him at darknesswithin.boraighne@gmail.com

Both Lindsey Jayne and Ronald Edward Griffin have books that just came out this past June. For Lindsey, pick up her new book Allegra's Song and also get Ronald's Origins.

Stay tuned next month for contests and giveaways!

That's all for now folks! Post a comment if you'd like to contribute to our ezine next month or in the future! Remember to comment and let us know how we did and which stories you liked!

Keep Writing!
Jodie Pierce

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