Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Best Part of Waking Up...

Excerpt from "A Grave Mistake" for the Blogfest of Death (mwahahahahahahaha).

   The body, the creature, began to make a soft keening sound. Its movements became more pronounced and deliberate. Jennifer Graves hurried to load film into her camera again. She snapped the film door shut and the head turned as though looking in their direction. Dr. Harker pushed her to start moving around the examining table and towards the door, grabbing a scalpel from a nearby tray. The creature sat up with jerking, tortured movements, slowly turning its ugly charred head from side to side, tracking them.
   Footsteps came from the hallway. "Hey, Graves, I brought you some coffee." The creature’s head turned towards the sound of the voice as Emerson came through the door. The guard stopped cold.
   "What in the hell is that?"
   The creature slid to the floor in a low, feral crouch. Its head was still moving, scenting, listening. Emerson dropped the paper coffee cups and reached for his gun.
   To Jennifer that moment seemed to last forever. Everything slowed down, like the time she had slid her Jeep off the road. Long after Emerson let them go, the cups fell and hit the tiles. Coffee splashed out onto the white and black squares, onto Emerson’s pant leg and shiny shoe. One cup of black and one cup with sugar and cream, just the way she liked it. The sound of the gun holster unsnapping popped like a shot in the silence. Emerson’s arm came up and aimed as the creature leaped towards him. Jennifer heard two shots. Then the creature had clasped Emerson close and buried its head at his neck. Jennifer heard the guard’s gurgled cry as his gun slipped from his fingers. Harker sprinted forward with his scalpel and slashed at the creature. One burned arm grabbed his lab coat and tossed him away like a rag toy, slamming him into the far wall. Jennifer started snapping pictures again. The creature's body healed from charred to bright pink splotches before her eyes.
   Jennifer heard the soft squeak of tennis shoes in the hallway. Eric. Why hadn’t she ever noticed the different sounds that shoes make before? Jennifer tried to say something, to yell, to scream, but nothing came out. She looked down at her camera. She needed to load film again. Eric turned the corner of the door, nearly running into Mike Emerson’s back.
   "Christ," he yelled, and launched back against the opposite side of the hallway. The creature released Emerson and the guard's body slumped to the ground. Eric cringed. The creature was breathing heavily and staring out at the assistant with it’s back to Jennifer. She tried to shake off the numbness that she felt and looked around. A metal tray was near her, filled with medical instruments. She grabbed it and flung it as hard as she could at the creature, the tray rebounding with a clang and the instruments streaming down on the floor like metallic rain. The healing head turned to look at her over a shoulder. Dark eyes, black as the midnight outside, stared at her. The face was covered in thick red blood, running in gorey rivulets down to drip from its chin. The creature turned more fully toward Jennifer and she could see the blood running down its naked torso. Its movements had become more fluid, graceful. One hand reached out towards her as though asking for a dance and the eyes….the eyes.
   Jennifer felt a hand pushing her backwards as Harker lunged in front of her again. "No," he said loudly. He held an old wooden cross by a leather thong. The creature hissed at him and looked back at the assistant.
   Jennifer started forward, "Eric!" Harker grabbed her arm and kept the cross aloft in front of them. The creature hissed again and spread its arms out. The body dissolved into a white mist and dissipated as though nothing had been there at all. Jennifer looked down at the floor. Emerson’s blood ran together with coffee across the patterned tiles. Eric stepped gingerly around Emerson and looked nervously around the room. Harker put the cross around his neck and dropped to his knees to check the security guard. The doctor’s expression confirmed what they all knew had to be true. Emerson was dead. And the creature was gone.


  1. There is some nice use of details here, and I liked the central character.

  2. Very nice, there's a lot of action and character coming through here and I think it was very well written!

  3. oohhh...what IS that creature??? Loved it !!

  4. Excellent use of detailed description. I liked how everything slowed down for her too. That was a neat touch. And the healing as the creature fed; that kept pace going smoothly.

    Very exciting.


  5. @stu Thanks! Although that leaves me wondering who you think the central character is... Hopefully it was obvious it was Jennifer.

    @Sangu Thanks! Since I tend to focus on dialog a lot it was interesting to me that the one death scene I had in stock was a little less talk and a lot more action. :)

    @clutterbug Thanks! It's a very old-school vampire because I wrote it a long time ago. Now I'm wondering if I should change it to a different creature!

    @Dhole Thanks! We had to make sure Jennifer was good and freaked out so that her next actions make sense.

  6. OMG I must say my first thought was ZOMBIE!!! But then I read your comment. There just aren't enough old-school vampires around anymore - I didn't recognise it! How bad is that? (Bad for me, not for you!) Everyone expects them to be smooth and pretty and maybe even sparkly...

    Loved it! And I like Jennifer, too.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, and for joining in my Blogfest!


  7. Thanks Tessa! It was a great idea for a blogfest. Apparently we've all killed someone sometime. :)

  8. Nice nod to the old school!