Concept art by Marisa Livingston
Together they spent some time selecting and tracking suitable characters for Ramses to turn. He drove the pickup slowly down the street, looking for individuals he judged worthy. This consisted of those who looked like they had no one to miss them in the mortal world and who could hold their own when the supernatural shit hit the metaphorical fan. Kenempti, who wanted to get the whole thing over with if they had to do it at all, kept pointing at everyone they came across.
“This man over here?”
“Too fat!” Ramses shouted directly at the man as they passed by. In response, the man thrust up a V sign.
“Urrgh, this is absurd. What gives you the divine right to favour a human with unlife? Most cultures have a council of priests to draw the mandate. You may think that highly of yourself Ramses, but you sit far lower on the scale, by Ra… How about him?”
Kenempti pointed to a meek-looking man, who could have been running home from the library.
“Too skinny!” he said to the man, and then he turned back to his companion. “Why so serious? It doesn’t matter who we pick really. They’ll probably die a grisly death soon anyway. Even if they don’t, being a supernatural is fun! You must have seen the TV shows and the comic books. The humans are begging for it.”
“I still do not see how you can force this upon someone. The transformation is the most painful experience any person can receive.”
Kenempti pointed again.
“No babe, Country and Western music is the most painful experience anyone can receive.” Then added: “Too dirty!” in response to her last suggestion.
“You cannot stay serious for one moment!”
That was when Ramses saw him.
“Hold your horses… or whatever you Egyptians rode. I think we might just have found our man.”
Ramses parked the pickup, and they watched a police officer across the street, hard at work.
“Okay canaille, you’re takin’ a ride in a nice black and white wagon.” Sergeant Bob slammed the thug against the hood of his car and handcuffed him. “Always wanted to do that.”
Bob dumped the man in the car and was about to get in himself when he heard something behind him. Thinking that his new friend might have an accomplice, he pulled out his gun and strode down the alleyway. He took out his torch to throw some light around the narrow space between the stone buildings. Bob’s torchlight fell on the crumpled body of a cat.
He knelt down to look at it, when, suddenly, a foot stomped on the cat’s tail.
“Leave it,” a voice said. “Mine!”
Bob looked up and saw a figured covered in black. One second the man looked angry, but then in the next instance, he had a sly grin on his face.
“You’re mine too.”
He grabbed Bob by the neck. The next thing the Sergeant knew, he was saying ‘hello’ to the big black beyond.
“Dell – Ir – Ick!” Ramses repeated.
The curse had already clenched onto Bob’s mind; he grasped his head and screamed.
“Aaaarghh! It hurts! God, it hurts! Aaargh! My head! … Splitting! Stop it, you have to stop it!” He reached out for Ramses.
Ramses batted the hand away, as if it were a child’s reaching for a toy it could not have.
“Now, now. Repeat after me and you will get more blood. ‘I, newly made of the clan Deliric, am from this moment forth responsible for no one and no thing. I wish to see the world as it truly is. Enlighten me, Master Ramses!’”
The curse was part of the transformation, the name given to the scar imprinted on the new vampire’s psyche. Sometimes it bubbled to the surface as a firmly believed fantasy, other times it would be an exaggerated emotional problem, but whatever form it took, the curse was known to be especially strong in the Deliric bloodline.
Bob did not acknowledge his master’s words. “Ha ha ha! I’m a tree!” he declared and blew his leaves in the wind.
“Come on.” Ramses sighed. “Time to go home then.”
He picked Bob up as easily as if he were a sack of potatoes and he put him in the back of the truck. Then, he made his way round to the cab where Kenempti waited.
“How is he?” she inquired, both intrigued and disgusted.
She had watched the whole episode from the safety of the pickup.
“He’ll be fine soon enough. Right, back to my place. I probably have some friends a-waiting.”
When they returned to Ramses’ place, they were just in time for him to greet the arrival of his mail-order gang-members. His contact led the crowd; a shame, considering that he was now doomed to slaughter.
“Ah, here’s the cannon fodder I ordered.”
“What do you mean by that?” asked one of the more coherent men.
Ramses jumped down from his pickup truck. “Just having a joke. We must get going now. My other friends are waiting.”
“What? The party’s not here?”
“And we just walked all this way ‘cos the tube’s shut,” said the man standing next to the last. He held a hefty looking bat with nails sticking out of it, and showed his annoyance by dropping it on the ground – though that could have been his mental capability lacking the sophistication to both talk and grip objects at the same time.
“No, it’s not here. D’ya think I’d let my house get trashed? It’s open night at the British Museum!” Ramses yelled.
Kenempti, standing behind him, gave a pained whine at the sound of the crowd’s uproar.
It was too late now, and she’d be surprised if even the entire tribe of werewolves could stop them. For all their sakes, she hoped they could not. The idea of facing more werewolves, even those not from the tribe Mordecai, made her stomach flip and her arms feel like twig in a strong wind. She folded her arms at the thought of it.
With morale high, except in the mind of the millennia-old mummy, the mob made their way to the party house.
Bob awoke from his torpor in the back of the truck. Chuckling and screaming, he threw odd items at the men forced to march behind him. However, after a while of playing ‘Sitting Ducks’, some of the mob lost patience with the new vampire and chased after the vehicle, with the purpose of boarding it and beating the still-chuckling inhabitant. They succeeded.
When they reached their destination, they could see P-Head, the Gimp and a few other figures, sitting, waiting for them, outside the same building they had left him in.
“Very nice,” P-Head said, approaching Ramses’ street army.
“So, what did you bring?”
If you enjoyed this sample of my upcoming novel, why not tell people about it with my preprepared tweet? Just click the link to share with zero hassle!