- member since February 20, 2012
DRACULA: H E A R T S O F S T O N E
After eons of darkness Dracula has come into the light. He must emerge from his suicidal hole to help mankind fight the bad vampires that prey on humans. The author Piers Anthony (now a vampire) tries to help him claw his way out, at the risk of his own existence. Meanwhile, a timid vampire named Michael falls for Lauren, a courageous vampire sheriff named Lauren. Even though Michael is frightened of her, he can’t help but pursue the red sheriff.
A 12-year-old girl named Jenny has turned out to be a vampire killer, protecting the innocent wherever she can. But as the evil ones take notice of her, she realizes that she might survive to her teen years.
It’s a tale of romance, fangs and valour.
LAUREN SAT ON A BENCH in Brighton near the street. She was taking a bit of a rest from patrolling the area. It was a nice middle class neighbourhood. She had carried the heavy bench around, placing it here and there as she saw fit. House after house and duplex after duplex made up the community. The sun had set and she enjoyed the atmosphere of the descending darkness. Night was refreshing to all vampires. A few passers-by seemed impervious to her presence, but others became immediately aware of her and the possible danger. The swords gave her away as either a red sheriff, or a vampire monster ready to pounce; they avoided eye contact with their hearts pounding as they walked by her bench. Most figured her for a sheriff because of the trench coat, but they couldn’t be sure. How hard would it have been to purchase a trench coat and pretend to be a sheriff? Some even figured that the red badge could also be a fake. The worst scenarios were often realized.
It wasn’t her usual area to patrol but the sheriff that had been assigned to it had been killed. His skeletal remains had only been removed two days ago after an investigation. The vampire felon had worn an old Halloween mask so the cameras in the area had been rendered useless for identification purposes. Instead of a sucker punch it had been a sucker slice. Lauren had talked to the deceased sheriff several times in the past. Harney liked to watch old episodes of the Walton’s, which she teased him about. He also liked to watch over the kids as they made their way home from school. Now Harney was gone, the space that he had occupied now empty, one less good guy to protect the mortals. He was a decent vampire that had been a hero, and children in the area cried for him.
Sometimes when a red sheriff was dispatched, the cruel vampires would take over his or her area in celebration. At times it could take a dozen or more sheriffs to chase them out or dispatch them. The celebration always involved feeding on humans. On occasion the military in special fortified suits were rushed to the area. With the suits they couldn’t be bitten, however the strength and speed of the vampires permitted them to toss the soldiers around like bowling pins. Their machine guns did take some vampires out but the odds were always against the soldiers. Any story that involved the massacre of soldiers was terrible thing to hear and read. The nation’s confidence was low enough without hearing such terrible news. The awareness that even the military couldn’t handle the biters was an awful thing to get stuck in one’s mind.
It was several hours before midnight and Lauren sensed something malevolent in the region, but it must have sensed her as well as it had apparently decided to move on. The vampire had been on the very edge of the area that she could detect. Her blue-black hair looked mostly black after dark. She had to adjust her swords to be able to sit comfortably and contemplate. Lauren was ambidextrous and fought like a whirlwind. Some sheriffs were actually a little frightened of her, although they would never admit it. Lauren was from a broken home and had learned to fend for herself early in life. The way her father beat her before he left the family still haunted her like a ghost that wouldn’t depart. She had felt abandoned and yet somehow managed to blame herself.
Michael approached from across the street and sat on the bench beside her. He wore jeans and a light green khaki shirt that now appeared gray, which was made in Italy. He did all his shopping online. They said nothing for a minute or two as Lauren glanced at him numerous times. She was attempting to make him uncomfortable and it was working. He crossed his arms and cleared his throat. She commenced to whistle an unfamiliar song. Michael let go with an exaggerated sigh which made Lauren laugh.
She finally spoke. “Earlier I sensed something nasty in the area. Was it you?”
Michael also laughed. His hazel eyes sparked from the lights. “I hope not. I picked up something as well, but whoever it was left the area quite fast. I get the feeling that he also sensed you.”
She slowly turned her head toward Michael. “I have that effect on men. Most men.”
“You, ah, do make me a little nervous.”
“I believe we’ve established that.”
“Although I love the way you handle yourself. It sort of feels like any moment you might jump up and cut my freaking head off. You put out weird vibes. Are you subconsciously trying to push me away?”
“Subconsciously? Do I need to pull my swords?”
“I like my head on my shoulders. I think it looks good there.”
Lauren sighed. “I would never hurt you. I’m one of the good ones, remember? Unless you deserve it.”
Michael nodded and nodded. “You always add that little extra at the end. That’s a little like saying I’m not going to run over you with my car UNLESS I see you crossing the road.”
There was another minute of silence as they watched a young couple walk by hand-in-hand. The guy had a ring through his nose and the girl had enough tattoos to keep any tattoo parlour in business. When they noticed Lauren and Michael they walked quickly through the area. The sheriff and Michael both thought that they should be smart enough to stay in after dark, and that they probably had some sort of weapon that would most likely be useless in an attack. But a fair amount of people refused to be cowed, even with the possibility that a vicious killer could be lurking nearby.
Lauren swung her legs from the bench. “There’s something about you but I don’t know that we’re ever going to mesh. Michael, I am not going to stop you from wasting your time. If you want to follow me around like a spy so be it. You should realize though that you place yourself in danger being around me. Red sheriffs tend to attract the nasty vampires. You do manage to brighten up my night at times. I’ll give you that. I’m actually starting to enjoy your stalking, although lord knows why.”
Michael wanted to say it but was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to get the words out. The closer he came to getting the words out, the more anxious. “Lauren, I just want to say that you are, you are just so, ah. What I mean to say is that you are, ah.”
Lauren turned, stared into his eyes even though she knew that it would make him even more nervous. “Don’t hurt yourself.”
He took a deep breath. “I just wanted to say that you are so! There, I said it.”
Lauren’s eyebrows tightened. She then laughed which seemed to light up the night. She shook her head at him. “Actually, you didn’t. You didn’t say anything.”
“I didn’t what?”
“You didn’t say it. Whatever IT is.”
“I didn’t tell you that I think you are the most gorgeous thing?”
“Hey, are you calling me a thing?”
“No, no, no. Did I say that? What did I say?”
“Relax. Never been called gorgeous before. Looks are superficial. Don’t you think? It’s what’s inside that counts. You know that right?”
“I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might be sliced and diced. Anyway, I majored in superficial. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. I think it’s the entire package that counts.”
Lauren crossed her legs. “Good answer. So Michael, how did you get turned into a vamp?”
Michael looked up at the stars before he answered. “That was a little strange. I took a shortcut through an alley, after midnight, there was a vampire lurking there. I was heading home from a party, feeling sick. She beat the shit out of me, but for some strange reason she turned me instead of killing me. I don’t know why. Her breath smelled like cinnamon and cherry. Isn’t that a weird thing to remember? ”
Lauren thought on it. “I guess. I think in general the female vampires are a little less mean than the males.”
“And then my parents threw me out.”
There was an awkward time of silence; at least it was awkward for Michael. He ran his right hand through his short brown hair and searched for the courage to ask her out, but he couldn’t find it. He was afraid of her verbal reaction. If she pushed him away it would hurt.
Lauren nodded knowingly. “I find apprehensiveness unattractive in a male.”
Michael decided to just let it out. “Well, I find your mind intrusion unattractive in a female, but everything else very attractive. I know I shouldn’t say it but you’re the first thing that pops into my head when I awake.”
“You actually spoke your mind.”
“Have lunch with me around noon?”
“I’m asleep at noon.”
“Have dinner with me at five?”
“I’m washing my hair at five.”
“How about seven o’clock?”
“Let me think. At seven o’clock I’m walking across my bedroom and heading for my book.”
“Oh, not funny.”
Lauren shifted closer to him on the bench and his eyes widened. “Seven it is. I believe I can help you get me out of your system.”
Michael grimaced as he contorted his face a little. “I don’t like the sound of that but seven it is.”
“I see that you’re wearing a samurai sword. Now that I like.”
“Yes, it’s a WWII style Japanese style Katana Gunto sword. I bought it from a friend in New York, an acquaintance really; all right he’s a stranger. But I did have a fellow look at it that knows swords and he said it was excellent weapon, a pretty good sword. He said I might be able to cut a watermelon in two with it. He said it might be a hunk of junk.”
“Funny. And you know how to use it?”
“Well, I know that you don’t grab it by the sharp part because I tried that and I cut myself. I’m working on it. Taking lessons. But I’d be no match for you.”
“Would you be a match for a little girl with a knife?”
Michael scratched the back of his head. “If the girl was under a foot tall I’m pretty sure I could take her. If she was wielding a rubber knife it would help. Not positive, pretty sure I could take her.”
Lauren laughed but her laughter was cut short and immediately turned to apprehension. Her mind had been on Michael and she had let her guard down. She stood up pulling both her swords. Michael also stood, pulled his sword and dropped it, then quickly picked it up. She pressed her illuminating badge three times which would bring help from any other sheriffs in the area; the problem was that there could be none available. “Michael, you have to get out of here! Now!”
“I sense him too. His energy is bouncing off the houses. Who is it?”
Lauren took several steps away from Michael as her swords cut through the air. “I have no idea but he’s approaching fast. He’s been spelled with a temporary burst enchantment that could make him more than a match for me. He’ll kill you just for the fun of it.”
“I am not going anywhere.”
“Michael, you really want to die here tonight?”