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Jul 22, 2011

Teaser for "Scary Dead Things"

A (rough unedited :) excerpt from Scary Dead Things
The Tome of Bill Book 2
Coming Fall 2011

Traffic was surprisingly light for a Sunday night. I was sitting in the passenger seat of Ed's two seater, piece-of-shit and my roommate was behind the wheel driving. We were heading south on route 287, towards the Outerbridge Crossing. Ed had been good enough to come down and give me a ride back home. I was glad. It had been long weekend and I was in no mood to deal with either NJ or NY transit to get back home.

It was early fall, so no jersey shore traffic to content with. Even so, considering it was only about 6 pm, traffic was pretty light heading towards Staten Island. Oh well, it was that lull that tends to happen around late September / early October. People were still burnt out from the summer and the holiday rush was still a good month or so off. This was one of those rare times when people just kinda stayed put. In short the asshole ratio in the roads was low. I liked times like this.

Ed and I had been listening to some rock music on the radio, or at least what the DJ was calling rock music. There were very few real rock stations in New Jersey. Most played either classic rock, which was mostly tolerable, or a combination of lousy ballads and pop rock (which had just enough guitar riffs to be outside of the Justin Beiber demographic....barely). We had been discussing how real, kick ass rock music was such a rare commodity when my cell rang.

I picked it up and answered with a "Hello."

"William, is there something you would like to tell me?" said the voice of my dad. Uh oh. That wasn't a good sign. If he was calling me William, it meant he had noticed the little mistake I had left behind from my weekend of housesitting.

I decided to do what I did best, play dumb. "Nope. It was a quiet weekend, dad."

"I'm sure it was." said my dad's voice in a tone that said he didn't even remotely believe me, "and your mother and I appreciate you coming down and keeping and eye on the place while we were down at the beach." The 'beach' in this case being one, or more, of the many casinos down in Atlantic City.

"No problem dad! Anyway. Well I gotta..." I tried to end the call on a chipper note.

"Hold it!" said the voice on the other end, "I guess I won't beat around the bush. What the hell did you do to Angel?" at the mention of the name of her favorite cat, I could hear my mother in the background. She was wailing and carrying on, and in general sounded like she was in the middle of a major freakout.

"Mom sounds kind of upset." I said.

"I noticed." said my father, sarcasm oozing out of his voice, "And do you want to know why?" he asked, despite the fact that I had a pretty good idea why and he most likely knew it.

"Why?" I asked innocently.

"Because right now she's vacuuming up a pile of Angel dust!" he growled.

"Angel dust? You know, she should hold onto that. I hear the street value's off the charts if it's the good stuff." I joked.

"I'm not laughing, William."

"Sorry, sir." I automatically said, despite being an adult, having a job, living on my own, and...oh yeah...being a freaking vampire. "What happened?" I asked, genuinely curious. After all, I wasn't entirely sure how things had played out....especially since I had made it a point to bug out of dodge before my parents got home, even going so far as donning a hoodie, sunglasses, and a ski mask so as to be able to brave the daylight without bursting into flames. Probably not the manliest way I could have handled the situation, but then again I like to think there's a fine line between bravery and idiocy and sticking around would probably have crossed that line.

"When we got home your mother noticed the cat was acting a little strange." my father explained, "She was hissing and carrying on."

"They're cats." I said innocently, "They go loopy every now and then."

"Don't be stupid. You know Angel." chided my dad, "You could step on the stupid cat's.....sorry dear.....head and she wouldn't bat an eyelash. But not today. When we got home she was going absolutely nuts. And there was something wrong with her eyes. They had gone black like a shark's. That definitely was not normal."

"Distemper?" I unhelpfully queried.

"Not unless it was the most extreme case of distemper there's ever been." Dad continued, "Your mom was a mess. Made me go get the cat carrier so we could rush her to the vet." Oh boy, I think I knew where this was going. "I had the damnedest time getting her in it too. Little bitch kept going after me."

"She didn't bite you did she?" I asked worriedly. I hadn't considered that. I wasn't even sure she could pass it back on to humans, but it was a risk I wasn't really willing to take.....at least not with my parents.

"No, but she came damn close. I had to put on some work gloves to finally get her in. Then it got weird." (Yeah I bet it did)

"I'm listening."

"Your mom got in the car, but I left my wallet in the house. I sat the cat carrier out on the walk and went back inside to grab it and then..."

"In the sun?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

"What?"

"Did you leave the carrier in the sun?" I repeated.

"I don't know. I guess so. What does it matter?" dad said irritably, "All I know is that one minute it's quiet and the next I hear your mom carrying on and on like a mad woman. I ran back outside and do you know what I found? The cat carrier was on fire, and I'm not just talking a few sparks. It was like someone doused it with lighter fluid."

I was definitely starting to get a sinking feeling in my stomach.

"By the time I got the hose, though, the fire was already out." Dad went on with his gruesome tale, "The damnedest thing was the cat. I was expecting her to be all burnt up, but there was nothing left. She was completely vaporized. All that was left was a pile of ashes with her collar sticking out of it."

"Wow. That's....bizarre." I said, understating the whole thing.

"Yes, bizarre is one word for it. So that's why I want to know whether or not anything odd happened this weekend while you were around."

"No idea." I lied, "Like I said, dad, it was a slow weekend. Barely saw the cat. She kept to herself. Other than that, not much going on....hello dad? Dad? I'm losing you. We're heading into a tunnel. I'll call...." and then I disconnected the call as I had no idea what further to tell him.

Ed and I drove on for a mile or so, and then he said, "I know I only caught part of that conversation...."

"I don't want to talk about it." I said

He ignored me anyway, "But was that about what I think it was?"

"My mom's cat, Angel." I started to confess.

"Yes?"

"I kinda, might have...."

"Yes?"

"Turned her into a vampire." I finished.

"YOU WHAT!?" he yelled as he just barely managed to keep the car from swerving off the road.

"Turned it into a vampire." I repeated.

"Why?"

"It was an accident." I replied.

"How was it an accident?"

"Well I got pretty wrecked this weekend." I said with a guilty grin.

"And how does that lead to an undead demon cat?"

I just shrugged, "Well like I said, I was pretty messed up. I guess when vampires get the munchies they don't automatically go for the nachos like everyone else."

"That's fucked up, man."

"I know."

*******************

Like what you see? Be sure to check out the Tome of Bill Book 1, Bill The Vampire

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