A genre the invites the imagination, fantasy has always held a special meaning for L J Stewart, allowing for the creation of entire universes and a world full of cultures, each as diverse as the people that inhabit those cultures. While each story is based in the fantastical, don’t let that discourage you from allowing this author to give you a one way ticket into the realms of the magical.
I can still remember my first time. Its still vivid and cruel, lingering in my mind even though its been more than eleven years since it happened.
Seeing my first real vampire up close, I had been terrified and unable to move. Uncle Jasper had it subdued before it could do any damage or cause any real harm, but I remember the vampire’s cold eyes and I remember the way he stared at me.
Like he could already taste me.
A stir in the shadows. I had no time to dwell on the past.
“So, you actually appear before me,” the dark voice seemed to chill the very air I breathed, “A brave human, if not foolish.”
“Of course I came,” my voice was quiet, but I knew he could hear me, “Why would I rob you of the opportunity to take revenge for what I did to your lover, Thomas Hendry.”
The man–no, he couldn’t be considered a man anymore–the thing int he shadows released a shallow growl.
“So the rumors of Thomas’s death,” he paused, his voice cold; I could hear the malicious intent in them, “Its true…”
This one was easier than most to taunt. Perhaps it was the fact that we were speaking of his ‘lover’.
“You vile woman!” The chilled voice was now burning, showing emotions that should have died with his body.
“Right,” I murmured, “You’re the dead body in the room, but I’m the vile one; I get it. Tell me your name, vampire.”
“Darnin,” The voice now sounded exhausted.
My eyes scanned the shadows and a movement caught my eye. In the corner sat the vampire, Darnin, his shoulders hunched. I could tell he had not fed recently because his body was showing signs that he had started to decay.
I felt the snide remark leave me before I could stop it, “Holding a fast in honor of your lover’s second death? How touching,” I could sense his power, and sense it’s decline even as we spoke, “I’m always surprised by you rotting ticks and the kinds of loyalty you’re still capable of.”
“Save your insults,” Darnin’s fangs were the only teeth not yellowed by age, “You’ll need them in hell, when you become Lucifer’s mistress.”
“One as young as you could not kill me,” I couldn’t hide my sneer.
“I will try nonetheless,” his form melted into the wall, the shadows consuming him. The illusion would have tricked a more naive hunter, but I was not one to be taken off guard.
Inexperienced corpses such as Darnin always did the same thing: try and attack me at my weakest point. It wasn’t such a foolish plan on normal foes. We hunters are not normal foes.
Turning around, I could see his surprised eyes as I pulled a metal charm from my pocket. The charm had on it a spell, carved into the metal and it was special in that it only worked on vampires. On it was a spell of sealing, meant to immobilize, meant to make a victim out of the culprit.
He was in my grasp.