The New Vampire

Gianna Logan had it all, a new family, a baby on the way, and a future as bright as a shooting star. She lost that life one spring night to the ruthless greed of a half-mad vampire. After months spent in a cage trying to regain her humanity, she awakens to the searing light, her memory threadbare, the shadows roiling through her mind, and the bond with her husbands broken.

As she slowly rediscovers herself, she must navigate the often treacherous world of the Vampyr, where nothing is ever as it seems. Under the glittering surface, war brews and the past Gianna thought long gone slithers into her life, claiming a part of her she thought never to have again. The biggest surprise awaiting her, though, isn't finding what was stolen from her, it's discovering just how far she'll go to get it back.

Copyright 2015. Published by Bone Diggers Press.

The New Vampire by V.R. Cumming

Excerpt from The New Vampire

Shadow and light, dark and bright
Consuming mind, and flesh and bone
Newly born to blood, I rise
Cold hollow I, undead,

--From “Ergasta Halloweye,” author unknown

Light pierced the shadows, stabbing viciously at me. I shrank from it, forced by an instinct I neither recognized nor craved. There was something wrong with the light, the angle of it as it sought out my hiding place in the dark, the very fact that it existed at all. I was a creature of darkness. So Grandmother had said, and so it must be.

A man stepped out of the shadows into the light. He was slender, graceful in the eerie way of Grandmother, his dark hair shaggy and somehow radiant. Gold and platinum flashed on his fingers as he knelt in front of me, separated by the cold bars of the cage that had become my home. I snarled at him, snapping my teeth when he extended his hand. Grandmother said I must be kind to the man, him and the big one trailing silently behind.

I had no intentions of doing so.

The little man was an enemy. The weight of his otherness pressed heavily against mine, a presence as cold and solid as the thin bars that kept me from destroying him, and with him, the threat I sensed.

“Gianna, baby, please. Try to remember.”

I didn’t want to. Why didn’t anyone understand? It hurt to go back to the Before. There was something there, something confusing, a tenderness that was as wrong as the light, coated with a wrenching agony, a terrible thirst, and the fetid stench of fate’s twisted hand.

The Now was the only thing that mattered, that and the blood I could sense flowing through the men’s veins. A rabid hunger urged me forward, closer to the light. “Feed me.”

The slender man flinched from the rough gravel of my voice. “We’re not food, Gianna.”

I laughed, harsh, scratchy. All men were food. Did the little man not know?

Grandmother must instruct them better, though I would not tell her so. I dared not. Though smaller, Grandmother was older, powerful, and firm. I must not cross her, she said, else she would not allow me to feed. It was the only time I was allowed out of the cage, and even then, she chained me to the bed so that a large brute of a man could fuck me while I fed. I didn’t mind. He never…did something inside me, never…

I searched for the word, the memory, and came across something else, someone else doing that to me, making me feel things, wrong things, like the light. Tender, sweet, concern, soft, a useless tangle of wrong, wrong, wrong. A strange pressure in my chest bubbled over and I screamed, arching toward the men, and scrambled to find purchase along the smooth bottom of the cage so that I could reach them, punish them for making me feel the bad things, things from the Before. I screamed and screamed, until my voice left me and an odd wetness coated my cheeks.

“Come on, Eric,” the big man said. “She’s not ready yet.”

“I know. God. I can’t stand seeing her like this.”

“Me, neither. It’ll be over soon, though.”

“Pray to God it is.” The slender man stood and looked down at me with the wrong things, the tender things. “I love you, Gianna. So much. I wish you could feel it.”

I screamed at him again, an empty, breathy rush of air, and slumped back into the corner of the cage as they turned and walked away.

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The New Vampire by V.R. Cumming