Title: Nightly Bites Vol II
Author: A.L. Butcher, Barbara G. Tarn, Rebecca M Senese, Joleene Naylor, Russ Crossley, David Miller, Ezekiel James Boston, Felicia Fredlund, Dean Wesley Smith, Kate Pavelle
Genre: Vampires/Paranormal/Dark Fantasy/Horror
More short stories about vampires mingling in the pages of this anthology. Vampire Apocalypse vs. Last Vampire Survivor. Vampires with hemophobia or Asperger Syndrome. Vampires in the past and in the future, walking through the centuries because they can. Undead but immortal unless you manage to kill them. Merciless killers or merciful death givers – and even a little, shapeshifting vampire who doesn't feed on blood.
The Blood is on the Wall by Felicia Fredlund
Bloody Aversion by Rebecca M. Senese
Chuck the Cross by Ezekiel James Boston
Jesslyn by Joleene Naylor
In the Shade of the Slowboat Man by Dean Wesley Smith
Legacy of the Hunted by Russ Crossley
The Raven by Barbara G.Tarn
She-devil of the Spanish Main by David Miller
So Many Nights, So Many Sins by A.L. Butcher
The Aswang Who Ate Stardust by Kate Pavelle
Wolfgang could recall the lives he’d taken, both mortal and immortal, but he’d stopped counting long ago. Even elder vampires felt guilt, although not a one would admit it. Perhaps it was part of the make-up of humans, or the society they lived in. Vampires had been human, once, and vestiges of that life tried to cling on in some confused and corrupted way. Vampires were a travesty, an abomination before God, damned and condemned. Wolfgang knew that well enough. Oh god yes. After his family had been taken by sickness raging through the lands he’d prayed. God had not answered him then. Nor the time he’d sent the old woman to the flames for her heresy, he’d been unsure then of her guilt, and he was now. But ambition, fear and an urge to please his superior had left an old woman cursing his name and a family bereft.
Later he’d asked God to forgive him, to reassure him of his doubts. There had been no answer then either. He searched his memory for that part of him who’d existed before the Change and then thrust that man down. Seeing only the sin all around Wolfgang knew he had condemned the wicked, the profane and cast to the fire the heretics, the damned and the unworthy. And the innocent. Then he’d become all of what he’d once loathed and tried to destroy, and more. The old woman had stared at him, as the flames consumed her, and she’d cried her innocence to the last.
“Priest! I am innocent! But upon my word, I’ll see thee damned to the ends of time. Damn thy blood and twist thy soul for nothing is there but darkness. By darkness, thy lives and in darkness shall thy remain!” Her shrill words rang in his head. Again and again. A thousand years – a long time to be haunted by a ghost of one’s past – but the first voice he heard on waking was the old woman whose name he couldn’t even remember.
After that fateful day, Wolfgang had found himself deeply disturbed, guilty. Wrong. That woman had looked into his soul and found it wanting. There was no solace to be found in the Bible, nor in prayers and as his faith trickled away, he’d met the love of his life, a forbidden love. He’d knelt before the altar, prayed to God to absolve him of the all-consuming love he felt but could not confess to anyone but God. He’d looked down at his priestly vestments and wept. God had not answered him then either. Perhaps it was a punishment for his sins. Everyone sinned – even the clergy. Man - was born in sin and died in sin - that is what the Book told him. So alone and confused, he’d yielded his vows, his virtue and ultimately his soul to the dark-eyed, pale-skinned traveller who had ensnared the young priest. The deed was done and for a brief time, Wolfgang had been happy. The traveller had vanished, gone one starry night and Wolfgang was left with nothing but an empty heart and an empty soul. It was far too late for regrets he’d said then. Now regrets were all he had left, except the catalogue of sins and the ocean of blood.
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If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
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British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.
Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.
She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit - for the most part the Here Be Series
Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she was editor and cover designer as well as writer; and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/
Awards: Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.
NN Light Book Heaven awards:
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales won best fantasy for 2018
Echoes of a Song - one of her Phantom tales - won best fantasy in 2019
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