Blood and Oil

Here’s a short story I started writing for one of my creative writing classes called remake/remodel – it’s unfinished but will update it when I am. The task was to write our own interpretation of a Vampire story . I tried my best to be original and in the end came up with a Vampire detective story set in London during the Industrial revolution. The name ‘Victor Vaughn’ was inspired by MF Doom:)

London. 1800.

“Are you ready?” said the pale woman. The blonde woman nodded while brushing her hair to one side, revealing her long neck. With one hand the pale woman grasped the back of the blonde’s head. With the other she gripped her upper arm as she leaned in to the exposed skin. She hesitated. “What is it?” cried the blonde. “Y-you’re sure about this Cynthia?” The breath on Cynthia’s neck sent shivers of anticipation down her spine.

“Of course.” That was all the confirmation the pale woman needed as she went on to pierce the untouched skin with her teeth. Cynthia’s face scrunched in pain as blood was drawn by the contact. Neither woman noticed the eyes watching them from the crack in the door. The pale woman let go of the blonde and wiped her mouth with her hand.“How long?” enquired Cynthia whilst clutching at her neck. The pale woman picked up a cloth from the bedside table and dabbed at the wound.“I can’t be sure. A few hours? I’m sorry for the blood. I tried to keep it as clean as I could.” She winced as the iron scent reached her nostrils. “I must go now, my love. Get some rest and dream of the life that awaits you.” “Of course. Meet me at St Paul’s.” The pale woman agreed and with a kiss goodbye, she snuck out of the blonde’s bedroom window and onto the foggy streets of London. She had barely walked a few meters when a blood curdling scream had erupted from the window she had exited.

1pm. The next day.

Viktor Vaughn delicately wiped the pig’s blood from around his mouth. He was sat in one of two odd armchairs in his cluttered study. The shelf behind his desk was filled with a combination of books, empty phials and other knick knacks he had collected through the years. Along with the dead pig, there was a pile of paper work and books sitting atop his oak desk.  He examined the remaining carcass. Pig wasn’t his favourite. He had much preferred the sweeter taste of lamb’s blood. As he was preparing to be rid of it, he heard the door of his Georgian home open. He didn’t flinch for he knew exactly who it was. The familiar voice of his assistant echoed through to him.

“Viktor?”

“In here!” he replied sternly, eyes still on the carcass.

The door of his study opened to reveal Mallory Malloy. Mallory was an unconventional woman of her time to say the least. She paid little attention to her appearance and more to her work as an aspiring detective. Malloy had a particular kind of beauty, Victor often thought. She was far from striking but the longer you examined her features the prettier she became. She scrunched her nose at the smell of the dead pig upon entering the room. “Bloody hell. As much as I’m all for our species coexisting I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing that!” Victor chuckled at her reaction. “Not to mention the smell! Ugh – You do know they’ve started selling blood bags down at the market for your kind, right?”

“Yes but it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good hunt once in a full moon,” he replied.

Mallory pulled a face “Well it’s vile.”

“And what, pray tell, is the reason for your visit today Malloy?” said Victor, changing the subject.

“Haven’t you heard?” she sat down. “The mayor’s daughter’s been found dead. Body was only discovered this morning – poor thing. People are suspecting the Vampaneez” Victor furrowed his brow.

“And what makes them think that?”

“She was found with a bite mark and drained of blood.”

“I see.”

Over fifty years earlier a group of Vampires had revealed themselves to human society after centuries of living underground. Victor being one such being. With his charming persona and eloquent way with words, he helped shape the future they now lived in. He’d made it his life’s work to educate humans on vampire characteristics and eradicate any fears. It was revealed that vampires were capable of surviving on animal blood just as well as human, with some even claiming the taste to be better. Whilst Vampires naturally lived over one hundred years longer than humans, surviving on animal blood alone still meant that death was imminent. Feasting on human blood, however, secured a vampires immortality. Naturally there were still those who saw humans as purely a source of eternal life. Such vampires were deemed the ‘Vampaneez’. Victor had attempted to rehabilitate them in the past but failed. “Of course nothing is set in stone yet,” continued Malloy “I ran into the Mayor’s assistant on the way here. Told him I’d come by later.” She pulled a face and added “Course, you’ll have to come along with me seeing as these idiots still don’t think a woman is capable of solving a crime.”

“Patience is key Malloy. You’ll get your recognition.” Mallory’s features softened and she smiled, revealing dimples. “I’ll only be a moment” he added. Victor went on to open a drawer in his desk from which he retrieved a pump like device. He then stood up and took a large phial from the clattered shelf behind him and attached the device to it. He inserted the gadget into the remaining carcass and extracted the blood. A midnight snack. “I’ll just get rid of this and we’ll be on our way” he said referring to the decomposing pig still sat on his desk.

Twenty minutes later, Victor and Mallory found themselves knocking on the door of the Mayor’s home – a rectangular structure made up of marble and glass. The mayor’s assistant, a small freckle faced man, answered. “Detective Vaughn. Right this way.” They were led through to the Mayor’s study. Unlike Victor, the mayor kept his study minimalist with only a desk, two chairs and a neat book case filling the space. The walls were painted white which made the room seem larger. Mayor Pennyworth was sitting at the desk with a miserable face, his circular glasses perched at the tip of his long nose as he examined some paperwork. He looked up at the new arrivals. “Mr Vaughn.” He stood up with the help of his cane to shake Victor’s hand. “And who is this?” he enquired, taking in Mallory’s presence. “This is M-”

“Mallory Malloy, Sir. I’m Victor’s apprentice.”

“My assistant.” corrected Victor.

The mayor eyed Mallory up and down. “Surely a woman shouldn’t be -”

“With all due respect, Sir, our society is at the height of change with the Industrial revolution and the integration of our species. I assure you, Miss Malloy’s intelligence could rival any man’s.” The mayor’s white beard stood out against the crimson colour his face had become. “And I believe we are here to solve a murder.” interrupted Victor.

“Very well.” replied the Mayor. Mallory spoke “I’m very sorry for your loss Mr Mayor.”

“Yes, I pray you never bare the pain of losing a child” he answered.

“I know this is difficult, Mr Mayor, but we need you to tell us exactly what had happened that night. Every detail you can remember.” said Victor.  Mayor Pennyworth pushed his glasses up and pinched the bridge of his nose at the mention of his daughter. “On the night of her murder, Cynthia and I had dined together here in my home. She seemed afraid and spoke of being followed by a dark shadow.”

“A dark shadow?” said Victor.

“I mean no offence to you personally Mr Vaughn when I say this for you are not like the rest of those ungodly creatures – but I know it was one of them. Drained of blood, she was!” he let out a cry and clutched at his side turning to sit back down. “I fear my heart can not take this any longer, Detective. Please. Find the creature who did this.”

“We will do our best, Mr Mayor,” Victor answered.

4:00pm.

Cynthia Pennyworth was just as beautiful in death as she was in life. Her naked body currently lay atop the autopsy table and was currently being examined by Victor and Mallory. Riley O’Malley , the Pathologist, stood to one side.

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American Sweetheart

This is a short story I began writing for my Creative Writing class at University. It’s also my first attempt at writing a murder mystery, which I am hoping to continue writing in further depth allowing myself to develop the plot and characters. 

‘In the summer of my 13th year I fell out the tree dad told me not to climb. I didn’t climb it because I was the type of kid who enjoyed climbing trees. I climbed it because I saw what looked like an American Goldfinch amongst the branches. Seeing as I was only three birds short of having a full collection of all those native to New Jersey, I took the risk. Dad would later roll his eyes at my explanation for disobeying him and mutter what sounded like ‘why can’t you just be normal’ under his breath. We never truly saw eye to eye, me and dad. He was always a man’s man who’s hobbies included fishing, football and sharing a beer with the guys. I was the opposite.  He loves me, sure. I’m his son after all. But he never got me. Pam used to say it’s because my IQ was a lot higher than his.

Arriving at the hospital, the first thing I noticed was the smell. A mixture of old people and antiseptic with an undertone of bleach. I don’t remember much about what the doctors said about my head injury. All I remember thinking about was the goldfinch I missed. Three stitches and an ice cream cone from a friendly nurse later, I was excused. Before we left dad insisted on discussing my injury further, leaving me alone with my thoughts in the waiting room. Everything in the hospital appeared to be different shades of grey, including the people. Dull pieces of art were lazily hung up on the walls for, what I assume, was an attempt to brighten things up. This place served depression cold. That’s when I heard the voice that would change everything. ‘What happened to your head?’ I turned to see a girl around my age sat two seats down. A mess of blonde curls sat on her head which appeared to be streaked with reddish hues complimenting her otherwise pale face. I wondered why she was here as she appeared to look healthy. ‘Well? Do you talk?’ she spoke again. ‘Oh um, I fell out of a tree. I was – um- looking for a bird and I fell – so um yeah‘  Her brown eyes scanned my face and she burst into an infectious laugh. I couldn’t help but notice how her eyes weren’t the boring kind of brown. They were the kind that melted into rays of gold when the light hit them. ‘Bird watching!? That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard! You’re funny’ I was mentally prepared to ignore this girl and drown out her mean words, like I usually do with people. She continued ‘It sounds pretty neat though! I’m in here cos my mama is a nurse and I’m waiting for her to finish her shift and take me home. Say, you look awful familiar’ For some reason, despite the fact I was silent throughout most of this conversation, she kept talking. ‘Oh where are my manners!? I’m Pam by the way. Pamela Judith Scott but only my ma calls me that when she’s angry,’ She stretched out her pale hand which held a homemade friendship bracelet. I mirrored her actions. ‘M-Michael.’ ‘Michael what?’

‘Clark! Mr Clark could you please answer the question?’ My attention was drawn back to the present by the overweight lawyer in front of me. His pug like face looked irritated at my lack of response. I muttered an apology and the case proceeded. ‘Mr Clark, once again I ask you where were you on the night of July 16th 1969?’  ‘Jenna Dunn’s party, sir. We were celebrating the moon landing.’ The fat lawyer interrogating me had beads of sweat visible on his bald patch every time he turned to face the jury. If Pam was here she would laugh at him and probably call him a fat phony. She’d say he didn’t really care about the murder, only about the pay check he’d get if he won the case. Thinking of Pam made me smile; something I hadn’t done in a few months. When something big hits the timeline of your life, it squeezes into the middle and splits it in two. From that point onwards you think of your life in terms of the before and after it happened. For me there were two big wedges in my timeline. The day I met Pam and the day Pam died… (To be continued) ‘