Today’s excerpt is from the Paranormal novel Maureen: A Vampire Tale by Mark Mackey
All eighteen year old Maureen Rogers wanted in her young life, to lead a happy, carefree existence with faithful boyfriend Peter Garrison, college. And then one night, she has it all taken away, delivered by an act of violence, one leaving Peter dead, and Maureen heading down this road. Little does she know, a predator on two legs, dead since before she was born has been watching this whole thing go down, gifting Maureen with the ability to obtain a measure of revenge for Peter and herself. Thus begins a fantastic adventure stretching from Maureen and Peter’s hometown or Black River, to the streets of New York, and back.
Biking. That’s how Sylvia Downford opted to spend mornings before hustling herself over to local public state Northstone College. With her morning’s plan already laid out before her, Sylvia wasted no time throwing on a light blue biking jacket and black biking pants conforming nicely against the thin, slenderness of her body frame. In addition, she connected a red and silver hard plastic helmet onto her head, a sandy brown ponytail snaking out from behind it, granting allowance for Sylvia to make an escape from the small studio apartment she called home.
Prompt arrival down in the basement with hurried steps, the pleasant smell of dried laundry strongly filling her nostrils, allowed Sylvia to unchain her blue ten-speed bike from the green rusting bike rack down in the basement with incredible haste. It, considered her blue pride and joy, inserted between a large row of the other tenants bikes.
Sylvia’s emergence into the outside world minutes later brought her out onto a still starry, comfortable night, not a hint of sun or blue morning sky peeking out anywhere. Of course this was how she liked it each and every morning with doing it.
Except for today of course, not with just last Saturday, Joyce Zelders, age 20, brutally murdered as she stumbled towards home from a college party in a drunken stupor. Not good old, could do no wrong Northstone of course, but the other college Black River Illinois offered, Dyerson women’s college.
Initially Sylvia felt uncomfortable travelling out at this hour, what with Joyce getting her life cut short not even a week ago, and possibly end up suffering the same fate. But then she realized, Joyce had been killed in the late evening, not in the morning. Of course there was still a strong chance she could get killed by whoever did in Joyce, but, perhaps due to bravery setting in, Sylvia decided to go forth biking any old way.
What was so strange about Joyce’s murder, the attacker had not left a single drop of blood in her body. Like whoever, whatever decided to commit this horrendous act, was after it and nothing more. All her personal belongings intact, the only mark on her body, or rather her right shoulder, the Black River Times reporting her murderer had left a pair of teeth bites as his or her calling card. This gave Sylvia the idea that, well, a vampire might have been the one to do Joyce in. But then she realized, just like the majority of the whole world, vampires preferred big city life filled with bustling life as opposed to dinky small towns such as Black River. Climbing on her bike, she began her early morning routine.
Tiredness grew within Sylvia after a long while of her racing at an alarming fast rate of speed down a long stretch of road. This caused her to bring herself screeching to a stop just outside old abandoned Forest Cemetery.
Leaning her bike up against a section of stone wall rising up five feet from the ground, Sylvia hurriedly opened her red and white thermos and started pouring water, still holding some degree of coldness down her throat.
And that was when her ears became filled with footsteps in the cemetery.
“Is someone there?” Sylvia called out in a concerned voice, bringing herself to stare out onto the ancient cemetery, first signs of blue finally starting to creep into the sky, but yet, all she got was a heavy dose of big, empty nothingness. It was as if whoever was there had come down with a sudden case of incredible disinterest answering her.
Curiosity gripping her, Sylvia moved forward a few feet, now feeling desire to discover the source of the noise. But arrival at the entrance, wheeling her bike right along with her, setting it off to the side, given it was shaped into a perfect semi-circle, the fate of Joyce once again infiltrated her mind. What if the person behind the footsteps was in fact the same sick, twisted individual who did her in? No that just couldn’t be possible, whoever killed her had drained Joyce of blood. Only someone utterly demented and deranged would take delight in committing that sort of hideousness. And there hadn’t been any news reports of any inmates locked up tight in the Fordman nut house located downstate managing an escape. With that in mind, Sylvia ventured forth, heading further into the cemetery.
“Hey, hello?” Sylvia called out in a nervous voice, hazel eyes darting about furiously, trying frantically to spot the perpetrator behind the footsteps she had just heard not even five minutes ago, but nothing. And then like a shot in the arm, once again they commenced. From the sound of them, coming from far off. Sylvia’s curiosity snagged so much so, possibly receiving the same treatment as Joyce had, was pushed to the back of her mind for the time being.
“Anyone, here?” Sylvia stammered out, moving at a steady pace past antiquarian tombstones, not hearing anymore of the footsteps. Moving even further into the cemetery, a couple possums scurrying around, taking the liberty of stopping and revealing their displeasure at her being there and hissing, a new idea projected itself into her mind. What if the culprit behind the footsteps was some infantile juvenile prankster, or idiot brained retard? Or worse, a gang of sex starved high school guys out of their minds with desperate eagerness to force a pretty twenty year old woman such as herself down onto the ground, where they would proceed to rape the living daylights out of her.
With Black River being a hairs breath away from hell town USA, AKA Burveton, the thought was once again pushed to the forefront of her mind, Joyce’s untimely demise. The decision hitting Sylvia the heck with it, discovering the source behind the footsteps wasn’t so important after all.
As she began closing back in on the entrance to the cemetery, the rampant sound of the footsteps once again started up. This time they sounded much closer, causing Sylvia to put fire in her steps. This didn’t put a cease to the footsteps, filling her full blast with the idea she needed to get the heck out of there and fast, less she wanted to become the second Joyce that week.
Just as Sylvia was filled with tremendous relief she was going to be cut a break and escape whatever force was behind them, jump on her bike and speed off to safety, the source behind the footsteps was finally revealed to her. Whatever the heck it was grabbed her powerfully from behind, forcing her to the ground, smashing her face into the grass, still a bit wet with early morning dew. A sharp sensation like a pair of needles were forced into her right shoulder blade, and then unconsciousness overtook Sylvia.
A lifelong resident of Chicago, Mark currently attends Columbia College Chicago as a senior, and has thus far, taken third place in the Indie Gathering short screenplay contest 2009, and fourth place in the Indie Gathering Feature screenplay contest. Maureen is his seventh book written, and first to be published.
You can buy Maureen: A Vampire Tale on Amazon: