Bought in Blood – Extract

Shudder still

Within the dark

Blood reigns over

The cagéd lark

Caught in a web

Silk and stark

Blood-woven lace

The shrouding dark.

–                      Devika Templeton, 1999, Blood

 

The hallway is dark and dingy. More so than I remember.

There’s a light fitting, but no bulb or cover, above me and further down the hall it’s more of the same. The paintings I can make out along the diminishing walls with the slight orange glow from behind me bear little resemblance to those in the rest of the house. Their regal setting and refined postings are missing. Instead they sag lopsidedly as haughty faces seem twisted into grimacing haunts.

It’s like some sort of night-vision tunnel and it reeks of neglect.

There must be other showers. Or even a bath-tub. One easily located and lit with actual lights.

I suspect he would rather watch me stumble over my own feet. Undoubtedly, this serves as some form of punishment in his mind.

I had asked Seth if I could get cleaned up and he had directed me down this hallway. I’d been traumatised to see unblemished skin upon my chest as I undressed in the room I am assigned to. Not a single mark, not even any blood to prove my story sane. I can’t explain it. I want to, but I can’t. Seth’s refusal to agree with me that there is an unnaturally unsettling red-haired man tormenting me within and without of this building only stresses me further. What if he isn’t toying with me this time? What if I really am unravelling? Seeing ghosts in a house filled with vampires.

Visions of my mother prance through my skull as I prepare myself to get cleaned up.

Focus on the task at hand, Devika.

Mild trepidation ensues as I pull the towel – fluffy to the brink of opulence – tighter around my chest and leave the comfort of distant music, warmth and voices floating up from downstairs, wading with bare-footed stealth in the direction Seth steered me.

As my filthy fingers (sliding along the wall for stability) brush the edge of an unseen portrait I pull it straight without question before the cellar swims to mind at the graze of wooden framework. A Technicolor memory in swathes of red and brown inspires me to rip my hand away. My fingers itch where they touched the darkened canvas.

The air here is not musty as one would expect from such a claustrophobic cube. A cold breeze ripples along the flesh of my shoulders and I can smell roses and jasmine from the garden. But still I can’t locate a window with my shadow-drenched eyes though there must be one. My pupils strain, aching against the sides of my skull to find a way out. Any escape at all. But all I can see is night as it gnaws at the courage that would have allowed me the liberty of searching further, reminding me of how such a traitorous act could end in a display of brutal authority. My cheek still stings from his slap. It could have been so much worse.

The paintings flood my thoughts again and I balk at the memory as a familiar giggle riddles my thoughts with fear.

My fingers finally slip into air as I reach the bathroom door which stands open and I fumble until I find a light switch. White spots buzz across my vision as the fluorescence flares to life.

Correction.

There is no door to stand open. Just two uneven empty brackets speckled with rust, and one lonely nail poking out of the door’s frame like the snapped arm of a rambunctious child.

I would sigh. But to be honest, this is to be expected.

The dilapidation within challenges me with its obnoxious insistence on being less than extraordinary.

The shower door is covered in some kind of dusty, dry substance, making its transparence an opaque white decorated with unintentional art, and the floor’s tiles bear dirt-smeared cracks. Near the sink, an entire tile is missing, exposing the concrete beneath. The basin seems clean enough, but the mirror above it has been sliced in two and the surface is in desperate need of a polish. Some kind of moss has begun to make itself at home along the edges of the glass – creeping in from the tiles – clearly considering the musty condensation to be an invitation. The toilet seems clean from this angle, but I would rather not find out and I tiptoe over the cracks towards the shower, trying to avoid uncomfortable travel lacerations (one of those lesser-known ailments).

I peer over the edge of the shower to find that the drain has no covering.

Fantastic.

With warranted cynicism at whether or not the shower will even work, I remove the towel and gingerly drape it over the sink; a splash of violet against the stark off-white. If it touches the floor I think I may have to walk back to the room sopping wet and naked.

Out of the corner of my eye I can see that my reflection has faded away to a degree sharp enough to make me seem gaunt and I turn back to the shower without stopping to inspect my new anorexia-chique. It’s bad enough knowing that my distaste for food has turned to incessant waves of nausea and a chronic loss of balance without having to stare the outcome thereof in the hollowed-out face. Even the small meal provided to me over the last few days made me sick to the point of pain. My stomach responded near violently at the smell.

The water shudders in the pipes as I turn the handle and step back, expecting to be drenched, but no semi-arctic stream erupts to drown me, despite my suspicions.

I lean in to poke at the nozzle and fling myself out of the way as hairy, black sticks creep out to clutch at the sides. They are followed by the rest of the spider’s undulating body as a steaming spray is released from the pipes in its wake.

The little monster, now perched on top of the pipe attaching the shower-head to the wall – none too perturbed as it glances at me with its myriad of glassy eyes – seems to hunker down for a second and then scurries up the tiles and through a crack in the ceiling.

A Bounce Book

I have posed this idea to friends and fellow writers before, but lately it seems to be an insidious bother. Much to my dismay, my intrepid chipping away at The Key has been failing me. Sadly, as I am truly fond of this concept and wish to do it justice. I just find that if I punt away at a piece, instead of allowing the creativity to strike me at the appropriate times, my writing suffers. So, although I would love to simply force myself to create the perfect novel, it seems wholly impossible.

Consequently, I have started looking into why I feel lackadaisical toward my baby, the apple of my eye, insofar as novel-writing is concerned. Having encountered this same dilemma with Bought in Blood, from time to time, I have reached the conclusion that it must be due to close proximity to the material. The longer I spend working on a novel, the less time I want to spend near to it because I start to discredit my decent writing by convincing myself that it is terrible and should be deleted. Unfortunately, I am somewhat impulsive, and these moments of self-depreciation do, in fact, lead to me deleting my work, an action which results in me tearing my hair out in frustration once I have regained my sanity.

My solution to this problem is to create a bounce-book, a remedy for a certain strain of writer’s block. I have always wanted to write a romance (but sadly I tend to add in non-romantic themes, such as BDSM and emotional abuse) and so, I think I shall take this opportunity to do so. I will attempt (not promise, as this is a rather large undertaking I am considering, based on everything else I need to do) to write the standard thousand words a day on The Key, but if I should find myself wanting to eradicate my work, I can switch to the bounce-book to alleviate my distress.

Anyhoo, here is my proposal for a YA romance:

Twyla Landry is beautiful, fifteen, popular, and standing on the precipice of a canyon of possibilities. She is planning her future as a marine biologist, impatiently awaiting her sweet sixteen birthday party, and weighing the virtues and dangers of losing her virginity.

But she is also dying.

Diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, Twyla is working at correcting the wrongs she has committed in her young life before her time runs out. But coming to terms with her fate is not the worst challenge facing Twyla. With the fortuitous meeting of the debonair and peculiar Griffin Templeton, she must contemplate an entirely new possibility – being allowed to live.

Oh… Kay… So maybe it isn’t quite as easy-going as I had intended for a simple piece of literature, but I look forward to it, nonetheless.

 

Lafaeyette

The Versatile Blogger Award

A nice surprise for the day – Thank you, Lily Wight for this. It is really motivating to see that others enjoy the silliness that traipses through our heads as much as we do 🙂 You are a darling!

Another fifteen truly spectacular blogs:

Walking in Shadow

Darkwriter Writings

Tornadoday

Simple Pleasures

Robin Coyle

M.S. Fowle

Ramblings of Everything

Thoughtsinblogform

Theanonyblogger

Bornoutofbourbon

Push Me Farther

Five Reflections

The Harem’s Master

Dean J. Baker

A Faded Romantic’s Notebook

Seven things about myself?

Well, I shall tell you about myself and add in Herrflic’s info when he wakes up 🙂

1. I love vampires (okay, maybe that wasn’t a stretch of the imagination),

2. I owned an Aqua CD when I was young (very, very young),

3. My parents bred Rottweiler pups when I was young and I grew up around these big, loveable mutts,

4. I am, in fact, a catholic schoolgirl,

5. My favourite band is H.I.M,

6. I teach English to high school children, and

7. I am a Grammar Nazi (only a little).

 

Lafaeyette

Sanguinem Emere: Bought in Blood

QUERY:

She lost everything when she was taken, while he lost everything to find her, and that’s before things turned supernatural.

A wealthy heir to a flagging, multinational super-corporation is abducted from a seedy bar in the worst part of town, her feet covered in blood without a memory of what brought her there. A down-on-his-luck alcoholic detective sees it happen while in hiding from his estranged wife, the events all too similar to the case that has haunted his career. In captivity, everything she has ever known will fall apart. In finding her, his life will tumble into disarray, as he uncovers the Templeton Family Empire’s darkest secret. A secret Bought in Blood.

BOUGHT IN BLOOD is a 92, 000 word Adult Fantasy.

 

BIOGRAPHY:

Richard Wheeler is a final year Creative Writing student, Freelance Copywriter, and Online Entrepreneur, while Carmen Taxer is a professional editor and freelance copywriter with an Honours Degree in Translation and Professional Writing. Both have a strong online presence, having been at the mercy of the blogger virus, and together they form a team of vampire fanatics, bent on returning the image of the vampire to its former romantic and terrifying glory.

 

FIRST 250 WORDS:

“Come on!”

“Wait, stop. We really need to talk-” Her words are cut-off by a sizzling crack as the flaming roof-strut gives in with a groan. The house is, by now, well on its way to an unstoppable inferno, the blaze from the cellar hungrily licking at the roof and support structure.

“What? Now?! Come on!” His vision swims in the encroaching smoke, his breath strains through clenched teeth, and his hand grips firmly on her upper arm. He starts off, but she will not budge. She seems rooted to the spot.

“Would you like to die here?!” He hisses.

Memories of the evening’s events uncurl in her mind as she absently rubs her blood-covered hands over the front of the torn and ruined towel draped around her, the only defence between her remaining modesty and the outside world. Suddenly she sets off toward the door, slipping like water from his grasp, her feet light. With a curse, he sets out after her.

 Resounding with skittering and wheezing, the house is consumed. Along with all that occurred there.

 

Prologue

Blood. There will always be blood.

The sky opens up gingerly enough for the pale moon to lance through, but not to completely abate the incessant autumn rain.

Blood. It runs though him and over him. The sting of the precipitation in his eyes caressing the red haze over his vision as he stirs spasmodically, his crimson streaked hand reaching painfully slowly to his face, his jaw carefully unclenching.


Bought in Blood

She lost everything when she was taken, while he lost everything to find her, and that’s before things turned supernatural.

A wealthy heir to a flagging, multinational super-corporation is abducted from a seedy bar in the worst part of town, her feet covered in blood without a memory of what brought her there. A down-on-his-luck alcoholic detective sees it happen while in hiding from his estranged wife, the events all too similar to the case that has haunted his career. In captivity, everything she has ever known will fall apart. In finding her, his life will tumble into disarray, as he uncovers the Templeton Family Empire’s darkest secret. A secret Bought in Blood.

BOUGHT IN BLOOD is a 92, 000 word Dark, Adult Fantasy.