WELCOME TO THE REALM OF STRANGE FICTION I began writing fiction when I was still in elementary school -- but I never saved a thing. During lunch and recess all my friends would gather around to listen to the most recent offerings from my twisted mind. Now I share my twisted mind with you. I hope that you all enjoy, and come back for more. I welcome your comments at the end of each story. These comments could serve to help me to improve my writing. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS. THANKS.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.
- Henry David Thoreau -

Saturday, March 1, 2014

FREE Kindle Children's Book

Please accept this FREE children's book from me to you. Share on your FaceBook wall and on Twitter cause it will only be FREE for five days. Help me give away 100 FREE Kindle books. There are five sweet little children's stories that I wrote for my own great grand-children. It's only 25 pages but I really think your kids will love them.

Thought for the Day

"It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write."
                                     ~ Sinclair Lewis

Friday, February 28, 2014

Here's a sample from my Collected Short Stories


A Rose by Any Other Name


              Jill Parks and her husband Ray were moving into their first home together. It was one of those sweet little houses with a white picket fence that every stereotyped girl dreams of. They parked on the street so that the moving van could back into the drive to unload. As they got out of their car, they noticed an elderly woman watching from her screened porch across the street.

              “She probably cut her husband up in little pieces years ago and buried him in her garden,” Ray teased.

              “I think she looks sweet.” Jill snapped at him. She loved old people and Ray knew it. All her life she had always sought out the old people in the neighborhood to befriend. “I can’t wait to go meet her.”

              “You’ll have to wait.” Ray said as he guided her up the walk to their home, where boxes were being unloaded. “You’re not leaving me stuck with the unpacking.”

              Oh geez, Ray.” Jill rolled her eyes at him. She had no intentions of allowing Ray to decide where things were to go. “Men don’t know a thing about organizing a home. I wouldn’t dream of leaving it to you.”

              “Thanks. I wouldn’t dream of doing it.”

              “You’re welcome.” She groaned as she waited at the front door to be carried across the threshold of their first real home together.

              “What’s up?” Ray asked and nudged her forward. “Why don’t you go in?”

              “This is our first home together.” Jill tried to explain as she emphasized the word “is”.

              “So?” Ray curtly remarked and he walked around her to go into the house.

              “How gallant,” Jill fumed as she followed him in.

              A few days later Jill decided she needed to take a break from organizing and decorating her new home. Ray was off to his new job in the city, so Jill set out across the street to meet her neighbor.

              The house was a large two and a half story with a full basement. It had probably been built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. There were two large yards, front and back, as well as ample space on the sides. It took up a half block. The back yard was surrounded by a tall masonry wall that was carved with floral designs in a two foot strip along the top. There were flowers everywhere and Jill couldn’t help but admire their beauty and fragrance. The roses were especially breathtaking.

              Jill opened the screen door to the porch and went up to the large entrance. She rang the old fashioned bell and waited for a reply, watching through the windows on the door.

              Soon her neighbor came into the entry from a curved door to the right of a beautiful staircase. As the older woman glided towards the front entrance, Jill noticed how tall and stately she stood. She was slender with perfect posture. Her skin was smooth and unblemished and her hair was a beautiful silvery white, with natural waves pulled up into a gentle bun in the back. Her smile presented the face of an angel and Jill was instantly entranced by this beautiful lady.

              “Hello dear,” the lady greeted her. “I thought you might drop by today. Please, come in.” She stepped back to allow Jill to enter.             

              “Oh your house is beautiful,” Jill said as she admired the carved detail of the beautiful staircase and a large crystal chandelier that was centered above the entry. “I’m Jill Parks. My husband, Ray, and I just moved in across the street.”

              “Yes, I know dear. I’ve been watching you since that first day, just waiting for this visit. I have tea and cakes ready.” She led Jill into her sitting room. “My name is Agatha Wallace. I’ve lived in this house all my life and I’m ninety years old.” She smiled widely. “Isn’t that an awfully long time to live in the same house?” Without giving Jill a chance to respond she continued. “It used to be me and my sister, Clara, but she’s been gone for more than fifty years now. Do you use lemon or honey? I have both you know. And fresh cream if you like.”

              “Ah, excuse me?” Jill said, confused.

              “For your tea, dear. Do you use lemon or honey or fresh cream?”

              “Oh, gee, I don’t know. I’ve never drank hot tea before.”

              “Well, this should be a real treat then. Please sit.” She motioned for Jill to be seated at an antique settee that faced a delicately carved mantle surrounding the large fireplace.

              “How beautiful,” Jill exclaimed.

“Thank you dear.” Agatha sat down next to Jill. “You can call me Aggie. That’s what my sister called me. You remind me so much of her. Would you like Tea Cakes? I’ve just taken them from the oven.”

“Tea Cakes?” Jill had never heard of them and was rather confused by Aggies’s ability to switch subjects so quickly. She took a Tea Cake from the plate held in front of her and giggled. “It looks like a fat cookie.”

“Basically, yes,” Aggie agreed with a twinkle in her eye.

Jill surveyed the beautiful, old fashioned sitting room as she sipped her tea and sampled the cakes. On the mantle there were a number of antique ‘nick-knacks’ that caught her eye. Most of all, she admired a collection of life-sized porcelain hands. Her favorite was cupped to hold a delicate ruby rose. “Oh, do you mind?” Jill pointed to the hand as she stood and walked to the fireplace.

“Go ahead dear.” Aggie beamed with pride over her treasures.

“It looks so real.” Jill turned the hand over and over to view its fine detail.

“Well, of course it does,” Aggie said as she came to stand beside Jill. “It is real. That was Clara’s hand.”


              “Yes, you remember, dear. Clara was my sister.”

              Jill carefully replaced it onto the mantle. “I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. And that rose is so – oh, I don’t know; it’s just that you would never see a real rose that perfect.”

              “Of course you would.” Aggie just smiled. “Would you like to see my perfect Clara roses?”

              “Oh yes.” Jill said, as she followed Aggie to the greenhouse just past the back porch. The greenhouse was reserved for only the most perfect, the most exquisite roses Jill had ever seen. “They’re beautiful,” she whispered, as if speaking in a normal tone might disturb the roses in some way.

              “Oh, these aren’t the Clara’s.”

              They continued through the greenhouse until they were almost at the very back. There, protected in its own small glass room, as if to shield it from all the other roses, grew the most perfect ruby roses imaginable. These were the Clara roses.

              Aggie opened the door for Jill to enter. She stood behind Jill as she allowed her to bask in the beauty of the roses. Jill stooped down to get really close and to enjoy their fragrance. “Aggie,” she asked, “why did you name these roses Clara?”

              “I told you dear.” Aggie leaned over with a pair of garden shears to clip a rose for Jill. “Clara was my sister. She was so pretty and delicate, just like these roses. In fact, this was her rose. She developed this one, not me. I’ve only tended it all these years.”

              Aggie stared down at Jill, who still knelt beside the beautiful bush. “You know dear, you look very much like Clara. You have those same delicate features. She was always the pretty one. Then she thought she would leave me. Can you imagine?”

              “What?” With eyes wide open, Jill caught her breath.

              “Well, I simply couldn’t allow her to leave me. I did it right here. She was kneeling down by the bush, just as you are now. Then I simply cut her up and burned the pieces. Her ashes made such a wonderful fertilizer for her roses. All except for her hand, of course. I just had to keep that. I am so proud of the porcelain job I did with that, although I must say that I’ve done well with all the hands in my collection over the years. It’s actually one of these roses Clara is holding.”

              Jill felt chills as she listened.

              “It’s been such a long time since I’ve had any of that wonderful fertilizer. Clara will be so happy.”

New Book

I have put together a Collection of Children's Stories. It's just a small volume of five stories. I have set it up to offer it FREE for Kindle for a while. This is the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IOVU4CQ. Hope you get it ok and enjoy reading the stories to your children. Just say it's from one great-grand mother to your children.

Something To Think About: Why Do You Write?

When I was a kid, growing up in a small Texas town, I found that when I wrote my “stories” I would have a large audience on the playground any day after lunch. All I had to do was to bring my most recent chapter to read. I guess I really liked the feeling of importance. More than that, I really liked the feeling I got while I was putting my thoughts on paper. This phenomenon continued through junior high school and high school. I would write and share; but I never saved anything.


            How I wish I still had those early stories to read now. What a difference I would see; what growth I would identify. Those early stories, I remember, were along the lines of the Nancy Drew mysteries. I think I saw myself as a great mystery writer. By the time I was in high school, I think I had graduated into some of the stranger stories similar to what I write now.

            After I became an adult I only remember writing a few more things. I wrote one story based on a recurring nightmare I had as a child. This, I wrote at the suggestion of a counselor. Through the writing of this story and a charcoal drawing I did that illustrated it, I was able to write my way through the pains of my childhood. Later, after the earliest Star Wars movie and the first Star Trek movie came out I wrote a sci-fi for my kids. Again I had an audience to listen as each chapter emerged. I found it to be a way to draw my kids and me closer together.

Life Got In The Way

            After that I put my writing aside for a very long time. Life got in the way as it always seems to do. I told myself that I didn’t have time to write. That, however, would have been the perfect time to write. When your kids are growing up there are always so many funny things and so many sweet things that they do. Now I have to rely on a faulty memory to get them down on paper; and there are a few things that I feel are worth doing just that. I only hope that I can remember the details well enough to turn them into stories before I can no longer remember at all.

            Now, here I am, retired and needing something to fill my time. I went the FaceBook virtual farming route for a while. There is just so much virtual farming a person can do. It’s not like you’re going to take your virtual veggies and make a virtual salad, so you can invite your virtual friends to a virtual feast after virtual church. After a while it gets virtually boring.

Looking Back

            So why do I write now? Because I’m a virtual nut case? Okay; maybe I’m just a little obsessive and somewhat creative. Writing is something that I have been storing up inside of me for a number of years. I stored it so long that the silos of my heart and my mind were about to burst open and spill all the grain it had stored up onto a virtual field; I like to think of it as field of Texas bluebonnets. These silos are splitting at the seams now and the stories are steadily seeping out. It’s all that I can do to scoop them up and pour them out onto my laptop.

Why Do You Write?

            Go on, ask yourself this question. What makes you put things on paper? It might be a hard question to answer but it is an important one. We should all, at some point, take a look at ourselves to find out what really motivates us to write in order to better understand our writing. Is it something that you have always done? Why? If you were told that you could never write another thing what would you do? I think that I would have to go on writing anyway, no matter what the consequences.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

End of February Updates

Hey y'all, M J here. Just wanted to let you know what I'm up to lately.

AGELESS: Enemy Mine is almost finished. I will probably release it in March or April wit a special. I will offer Volume 1, The Vampire's Journals free for probably about a week and Enemy Mine for a discounted price. Be sure to look for it. I will post a notice here when it is released and on Face Book.

I have two author pages. On Face Book just type M J Henry in at the top of the page where the search box is. My Amazon author page is at http://www.amazon.com/M-J-Henry/e/B00HI3KZ5M. The Amazon author page has a listing of all my books.

Currently Amazon has the following books listed for me: my first novel, The Vampire's Journals, my novella, The Trees Have Eyes, my Collected Short Stories, and 3 children's books. This will change by next week as I have combined all the short stories into one volume and added two other stories. I did this so that I could publish in paper back for all my sweet little great-grand daughters. I hope that y'all will enjoy these with your children and grand children as well.

If you will scroll down in my blogs, you will be able to read the Forward and Book 1 of Enemy Mine. I hope you enjoy it and buy the book when it is released.

It isn't written in stone yet, but I hope to begin a Restaurant Review in the Gatesville Messenger, our small town newspaper. Even though this is a small town, I think folks would enjoy having a restaurant review. Anyway, we'll see.

 In the meantime, HAPPY READING.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hi y'all. I currently have three titles up on Amazon.

    * The first is my vampire novel, number 1 of the AGELESS series, "The Vampire's Journals. Here is the cover summary for that novel:

In the year 1876, seventeen year old, Jason O’Dell, finds himself hiding in a hollowed out tree, waiting for the angel of death to take him. Instead, a monster of indescribable horrors reaches in to steal him away. For the next one hundred and thirty-five years, Jason remains seventeen, as the Baron feeds on him. It isn’t until the Baron’s death that Jason comes into his own, realizing that he, himself, is a vampire.

Finding himself aged to fifty years in only two months, Jason leaves his home in Colorado, picking up a hitch hiker, named Josh Nelson. Together the two of them begin their travels, where they will learn to be a family in the Baron’s castle in Germany.

Throughout the story Jason and Josh are met with love and excitement and sometimes other vampires.

M J Henry is a retired social worker in Central Texas, where she cares for her two teenage grandsons. She has written numerous short stories and articles with publications both on-line and in print. Ageless is only the first in a series of novels about Jason and Josh and the family they love.

You can purchase this first novel at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H5CDQ8O

     *The second of my titles is my novella, "The Trees Have Eyes".  This is the story of the remnants of two Indian tribes that joined together as children to form a new tribe that built their homes in the protection of the trees. You can read this novella at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9YIJ1M.

     *The third is a collection of my short stories. These stories lie mostly along the lines of tales you would expect to see on Twilight Zone or Outer Limits. Read my short stories at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HB7YJIY.

Happy reading everyone.


Green River by Elizabeth Loraine

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Rean Elizabeth Lorraine's book (first of a new series) Katrina.


Read My Novella - The Trees Have Eyes

Read my first novel. AGELESS: The Vampire's Journals on Amazon for Kindle.


AGELESS: Enemy Mine (Forward & Sample chapter)


I would say that it has been five long years since first coming to Germany but the years haven’t seemed long at all. It appears that the old adage ‘time flies’ is more than true. Since we arrived here our family has grown and we have made lasting friends and allies.
I stand here in one of my castle’s towers, looking out at the Inn River. On the other side of this is Austria. The Inn River Valley is lush and green in the spring and summer and in the winter it is iced with drifts of snow perfect for taking the children on an afternoon of sledding and snowball fights. Not far from here (about seventy-five miles or one hundred and twenty kilometers) is the lovely city of Passau where the Inn and the Ilz rivers both flow into the Danube. Passau, known as The City of Three Rivers, is one that I have come to love visiting. Sitting in both Germany and Austria, it is to me the most beautiful of all cities. The ivory walls of its buildings and the delicate foliage of all colors, all bowing to the most beautiful of rivers, the Danube, steals my breath away.
Josh doesn’t agree with me about this lovely city. Although he enjoys Passau’s beer garden, he finds it to be a bit boring there and will always prefer Munich. I suppose this is because it was his first love here in Germany. I think Josh, as well as the other adult members of our family, are enamored with the excitement of the much larger city and all the many activities available there. I will, of course, continue to conduct my business in Munich and visit there often, but I am a man of more hushed desires and taste, so I savor my visits to Passau to engage in some quieter past-times, such as listening to the noon time organ concerts at Saint Stephan’s Cathedral or simply watching and painting the river ships along the Danube.
As I stand here, contemplating my life in Germany, I think of my family and how it has grown, both through new births and discoveries of brothers in the Veldaksarten vampire bloodline. When word got out that there was a new baron of the Veldaksarten line … and word did get out  … we began to see the Baron’s seed, and theirs, returning to his castle by at least two to three a week. Those who came, pledging their allegiance to me, had been living aimless lives without leadership or purpose. Before long I found that I had no room to house them all and asked my brother, Kord, to begin taking these orphans into his castle. Very soon after that I found it necessary to erect barracks at both castles to house them all. I have found it to be well worth our efforts, as we have both built ourselves fine military style militias to protect not only our castles but the villages that surround us as well.
Now the population of vampires at my castle outnumbers that of humans by five to one. This is partly because many of the human staff already here requested to either be allowed to help feed or to turn completely. Those who choose not to become vampires know that they remain completely safe and protected under my rule. At my brother’s castle the population is entirely vampire. This even includes the tutors for Kord’s five children and the children of his staff.
I began by saying that I have made many lasting friends and allies but it must be told that many of these had to be won and some will remain enemies forever. Among my friends and enemies there are those who prefer to save their allegiance to be offered according to the situation at hand. Sometimes when one sees that there is an enemy more lethal than another, it becomes necessary to form provisional alliances. Thus, the old war adage holds true; “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.
I feel that a note about the differences in the vampires in this novel may be warranted.  The Veldaksarten vampire bloodline is quite different from all others. Our father was an alien from another planet; therefore we are not bound by any vampire rules made by those here on Earth. We do share some characteristics with the other vampires, but not all. We are super fast and super strong and we can fly. I don’t think other vampires all fly, but then I’ve not met vampires from every bloodline yet; and it seems that the Veldaksarten vampires are much faster and stronger than all others. It may be that we are not really stronger but are just better trained. I, like the Baron, insist that all under my rule train a minimum of two hours every day.
Although most people believe that vampires cannot withstand sunlight, just as the Baron could not, for us daylight is not a problem. I don’t know why that is so unless it is our human genes at work. So far all the vampires we have encountered are day walkers, just as we are but I’ve heard of some lines that must remain inside until after the sun has set. They will blister, burn, and even ignite and burst into flames if caught in the sunlight.
Most of the other vampires we have encountered are sustained fully by blood. Although blood is important to our survival, we do not live by blood alone. We also require well balanced meals to maintain proper health just as any other human. The need for blood is important enough for us to require a working plan to obtain enough blood for all of those in our castles. Fortunately the people in the villages around us value our presence enough that they have taken it on themselves to collect blood for our use.
As most humans believe, other vampires are made by being killed by a vampire. That vampire feeds on the person and then feeds that person from his own veins in order for the turn to be completed. With the Veldaksarten vampires, the master feeds off his blood hoar for as long as he chooses. That person, although becoming a partial vampire as soon as his master first feeds from him, does not become a full vampire unless he feeds from another human. Once he has done so he is unable to continue feeding his master. This is why Chloe never chose to become a full vampire. She feels that it is her right to be the one to feed me and I would never deny her that.
For most Earth bloodlines once the person becomes a vampire he never again ages. They are unable to bear children and most feel it is wrong to turn a child. The Veldaksarten line is quite different here. As long as the master feeds on a person, that person does not age. As soon as the feedings stop, that person will begin to age, just as I did. They will continue aging rapidly until they reach the age they should be or they are able to feed. Anja was ancient when we came to Germany. Although she had aged for lack of feeding, she continued to live; but her body was so frail and brittle that she was unable to withstand even the slightest touch. To stop the aging process the person must either have a vampire feed from him on a regular basis or he must begin feeding from humans, in which case he becomes a full vampire and requires human blood to completely sustain himself. Our line is also able to regress in age by our feeding habits. Amazing, don’t you think? And, we do bear children. Our children are born vampires and age naturally until their later teens; therefore we must be diligent and responsible in the rearing of them and teach them to control their natural desires.
All other vampires I have encountered (not in the Veldaksarten bloodline) are killed in the process of becoming vampires. Veldaksarten vampires are not dead. At no time has anyone killed to create a vampire in my bloodline. When we kill, that person stays dead. Because we are alive we are also limited in some things; just as a human would be. We cannot submerge under water without proper breathing apparatus, as Josh learned when we were preparing to dive for the Baron’s ship, and I have the strangest feeling that if we were buried alive and dug up a hundred years from now, you would find a very decayed corpse in the coffin.
It is said that there are only a few ways to kill a vampire. One way is to stab the vampire in the heart with a wooden stake. Ouch. Of course that would kill those of my lineage; wouldn’t it yours? Chopping a vampire’s head off is another method of killing them. Ouch again. And yes, that would do it for us.
Please understand that all vampires, here on Earth, including the Veldaksarten lineage, were human first. If as a human the vampire was kind and good and ethical, then as a vampire he should still be kind and good and ethical. If he were religious he should still be religious. Becoming a vampire does not change who one is inside. Such changes may come about due to circumstances, but I hardly see how one would change from good to evil so easily. If that happens there is likely more to it than meets the eye.

Book 1

Over the past five years, our family has grown considerably. Chloe gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Katherine in March of 2014. Two months later Josh and Ilsa brought forth the dashing, blond haired, blue eyed, Jordan Nelson.
Josh very quickly informed me, “Just don’t be getting any ideas old man. My son is as off limits as I am … more so. Got it?”
“Now Josh,” I told him. “I would never touch your child in that way. Not as long as you remain so tempting.”
Oh, I must remember to tell you that Katharine’s last name isn’t Baron, nor is mine. It seems that my sweet brother, Kord, could not accept my last name being Baron.
“Baron,” Kord insisted, “was not our father’s name. It was his title. His name was Veldaksarten. You name should be the same; just as mine is.”
“Veldaksarten it is then,” I said to him and I had the name on all my papers changed to reflect that.
Two years after the birth of Josh’s child, Kord and Gretchen gave birth to two children. Twin sons, Joshua Ryan and Jason O’Dell, now three years old, terrorize the halls of both castles. Of course they are constantly aided by not only their own brothers, Oskar and Garon, but five year old Jordan, as well. We have chosen to call the twins Ryan and Dell.
Because Kord and Gretchen now have plenty of staff to assist them and they have both proven themselves to be well in control of their affairs, Ilsa has come home so that she and her son can be with Josh all the time. They have taken an apartment in the west wing of the castle. Anja’s apartment in the east wing was remodeled for when Kord and his family come to spend time with us. Kord often says that he thinks his mother still lives there with them, watching over them and keeping them safe from intruders.
There is one other family addition that I am compelled to tell you about. This happened about a year ago. Kord, Josh and I decided to take our ladies out to dinner in Munich one Saturday evening and to stay at our private suite, plus one, in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munchen so that they could spend the weekend shopping.
We have found an excellent restaurant in Munich where we are able to relax in total and private comfort. The staff here accepts the explanation that Kord has a birth defect that has caused his talons and fangs. They have provided us with a privately concealed booth where we may escape prying eyes and they make the time spent with them well worthwhile.
This particular evening we had made reservations at our special restaurant for a quiet dinner. We had taken one of the largest limos in our garage and Ulrich and Timothy came along to drive and share the weekend with us. After parking in the hotel garage, we had decided to walk to the restaurant. It was a beautiful evening and the air was fresh and crisp. We were having a wonderful time when Josh noticed an American Indian boy on the other side of the street. He appeared to be about fourteen or fifteen years old and seemed quite agitated or frightened. When Josh pointed him out to me, we stopped to watch him.
“Hey Jason,” Josh said to me. “You know who that kid looks like?”
“Yes, Josh,” I responded. “I know exactly who he looks like.”
The boy saw us watching him about the same time a group of young men came around the corner. They pointed at him and yelled, “There he is!” This sort of young men and women had become common in Munich over the past several years. It seemed to start when Chloe and I came to the hotel to interview a group of ‘vampires’ I had flown from the states to help guard my castle. We quickly recognized that these were not vampires at all; only faux vampires … wannabes. It became necessary to dispatch these, but we failed to warn them to say nothing about our existence. Now it seemed that the city was full of them and they were constantly making problems for both locals and tourists.
Now the boy ran toward the only protection he saw available. I held out my arms and he ran he ran to me. I quickly spun him around for my group to close in around him. The imitation vampires who were pursuing him stopped in front of me.
“Give him up, old man,” the supposed leader of the group said to me. “If you don’t give him up you’re going to get hurt.” He hissed and growled, assuming that his aggression and long fangs would frighten me as they had the boy.
Of course, Chloe reached out and grabbed the young man’s face, yanking his fangs from his mouth and slinging them to the ground. His friends who had been standing close behind him stepped back in startled amazement.
“Now, young man,” I growled, facing him and bearing my fangs. “What makes you think that I would ever be frightened of you in the least?”
He jumped back in fear as he was met, not only with my vampire snarl, but with those of the other men in my group. Gretchen and Ilsa continued shielding the boy, who clung to my back, as they attempted to keep him from seeing all that was transpiring.
“It’s you!” The young man said with his friends standing in awe behind him. “You’re the reason we’re all here!” He held out his arms in an expression of triumph. “Wait till I spread the news that I’ve found you!”
It was my turn to grab him by the face now; only my hand was much fiercer that Chloe’s. “If you plan to tell anyone a thing, let it be this,” I growled. By now a police officer had come on the scene and was simply standing by watching our exchange. “My people and I are about to start cleaning this city up. Warn your fellow faux vampires that by the end of this coming week, if we find even one of your kind left in Munich, we will dispatch you ourselves. The good people of this city should not be harassed with the likes of you.” I shoved him back into his friends. “Now be off and let me never see you again. Warn the others. Their lives depend on it.”
The faux vampires ran as we stood watching. The officer stepped up and offered his hand. “It will be nice to be through with all of them,” he said.
“I do apologize, sir,” I said, taking his hand. “I should have done something to dispatch them sooner.”
We turned to continue on our way, taking the boy along with us. I took his pack from his back and handed it to Josh. “Would you be so good and run this back to the hotel, Josh?” I asked him. “We’ll wait up here at the sweet shop. The girls can go ahead and get their purchases done while we’re there.”
Josh ran the pack to the hotel while we went into the shop. The boy seemed nervous and he kept staring at me. I placed my hands on either side of this face and examined him. His eyes were the darkest of black, his jet black hair hung to the middle of his back. There was a feather braided into a section of hair on one side. I recognized its markings from my studies of American Indian history. It was Chickasaw. The boy only stood about five foot four or five; I know that at that age I had been at least five seven or eight. Perhaps my height came from my Irish ancestry. Still, if I didn’t know better, I would say that this boy was the very same as the boy in the portrait hanging above the fireplace in my study; the one that I painted so very long ago; the one of the Baron and myself.
“What’s your name, boy,” I asked, smiling at him.
“Minko,” he said.
“Were you by any chance named for KatoMinko of the Chickasaw nation? He lived around 1860 or so.”
“Yes,” Minko smiled. “He was my great … not sure how many greats, grandfather,” he said with a laugh.
I laughed as well and smiled wider at him. “I suppose, then,” I said to him. “I am your uncle. Truthfully it would be your great grand uncle; and I’m not sure how many greats that is either; four or five, I guess.”
“Really,” he said. “How?”
“I’ll explain it all to you later,” I promised him. I think he just couldn’t argue the fact that I was indeed his uncle. Even he could see that he looked just like me.
About this time, Josh returned and the girls were almost finished with their shopping. In only a few minutes more we were on our way to the restaurant where we had a delicious dinner.
The restaurant staff was waiting for us and had our booth ready. I had Chloe slide in with Minko between her and I. Josh slid in next with Ilsa next to him. The rest of our party slid in on the other side of the table with Kord directly across from Minko. When Kord removed the hood of his cloak I thought Minko might climb over me to get away, but I held him firmly in place until I could calm him down a bit.
“Take it easy, boy,” I said. “He won’t bite. We got him trained now.”
“Well,” Kord teased. “I do still bite sometimes. But, only dumb Indian boys who try to climb over people to get away from me.”
Minko, recognizing Kord’s attempt to joke with him, settled down and took a deep breath. “I wasn’t trying to get away,” he said. “I just forgot I didn’t have my bow with me. I was going to get it ‘cause I thought you were one of them wild Texas boars that I hunt sometimes.”
“You think I look like a wild boar?” Kord asked.
“Those fangs do resemble the tusks of a wild boar,” I said and winked at my brother.
“Yeah,” Minko agreed. “I got a lot of them tusks at home. We make necklaces out of them and sell them to tourists that come through the reservation.”
“You live on a reservation in Texas?” Kord asked.
“No,” Minko answered. “I live on the Chickasaw reservation in southern Oklahoma. I got family all over Texas though. One of my uncles has a place down in Coryell County and we go there to shoot hogs every year. I’d offer to take you sometime, but I don’t think that would be such a good idea. They take one look at them hog tusks of yours and you’d be sure to get shot.”
“Ah,” Kord said. “Perhaps I can take you hunting around my castle sometime. I’m sure my people would love to hunt a little Chickasaw boy. You would probably be quite tasty.”
Minko sank deep into his seat and almost melted into my arms. “I’m good right here,” Minko said. “I might just hang with my uncle for a bit.”
“Yes,” Kord said. “Hopefully he will be able to restrain himself around you. Actually, when he has a hunger his fangs are longer than mine.”
Minko looked up into my face and I smiled enough for him to see my fangs. He again tried to get free from the booth where he was literally pinned in but I held him firmly and laughed.
“That will be quite enough, gentlemen,” Chloe said. “You are scaring him to death.” She then looked at Minko and stroked his face. “Dear child, you do know that they are just joking with you, don’t you?”
“Yes ma’am,” he said. “But you got to admit that it’s a little scary sitting with a couple of vampires.”
“A couple?” I said. “Did you really say that?”
“Yeah,” Minko answered. “How many of you are vampires?”
“We are all vampires, at one stage or another,” Chloe informed him. “But you don’t need to worry. No one is interested in hurting you. We just don’t do that.”
“Thank you ma’am,” he said; his hand was shaking as he took a drink from his soda. “It’s good to know.”
When our food arrived we all enjoyed a wonderful meal. The girls had their favorite veal dish and the men enjoyed plates full of mettbrotchen, with lots of sauerkraut on the side and good German beer. Because I didn’t believe Minko would enjoy the mettbrotchen I ordered him a dish that the management had added to their menu especially for Josh and me. I ordered him a Texas burger with seasoned fries.
Although Minko was quite pleased with his burger, he was curious about my sandwich. “What is that?” He asked.
“Mettbrotchen,” I replied. “It’s a raw meat sandwich. Very popular in Germany.”
“Seriously?” He asked. “How can you eat raw meat?”
“I thought you understood,” I said and I leaned in very close to his face. “We’re all vampires. For us raw meat is delicious.” I allowed my fangs to show fully and my eyes to blacken completely.
Minko leaned away from me and as close to Chloe as he felt acceptable. “Aunt Chloe,” he said. “He’s scaring me.”
Chloe slapped me on the arm and I exaggerated pain. “Behave yourself!” She snapped at me.
Minko laughed. “Behave yourself,” he said. “It’s easy to see who the boss is around here.”
“It’s true,” I said. “She lets me pretend to be in charge until she gets really pissed at me.” I leaned close to his ear and whispered. “Then all hell breaks loose.”
Minko stayed the night with us at the hotel and we talked for most of the evening. He told us about his tribe and that his parents had both died in a car crash several years ago. He had lived with his grandfather after their death until he graduated. After graduation he decided he wanted to see the world. He had already seen most of the U.S. on vacations with his parents, so he went to the Gulf coast and got on a ship from Galveston to Europe. When he got off the ship in Spain he began working his way across each country and backpacking as he traveled. Things had gone smoothly until he arrived in Munich and became a target for the faux vampires.
“Wait,” Ilsa stopped his dialog to question him. “Did you say graduated high school? You must be so smart to have graduated at such a young age.”
Minko smiled at her and said, “No ma’am. I’ll be twenty this Christmas.”
Even though he appeared nervous about his decision, Minko decided to return to the castle with us at the close of the weekend, saying that he would stay only a few days. A few days turned into a few weeks, then months and eventually a year. We still have no reason to believe that he will be leaving any time soon.
Minko and Oscar really hit it off well. Even though Oskar is only thirteen he looks older than Minko, so I believe they claim Oscar is a bit older. I really don’t want to know exactly where they go that they need him to be older, but I have no intentions of discussing this with my brother. When it comes to those kids, I have learned to be afraid of him.
Since Minko has a drivers license the two of them often go out together to have fun. I think they always tell Kord that they are going hunting, but I’ve personally dragged them out of some places that made me wonder what it was they were hunting. They often laugh about using Minko’s license as ID for both of them. People around our castles see that Minko is of legal age and don’t even ask to see Oskar’s. I know; it’s scary and I’m a terrible uncle to keep it to myself.
Minko also gets along well with Garon. He often let’s Garon go along with he and Oskar when they are really doing what they say they are doing. I do believe Minko when he says he won’t take Garon places he shouldn’t be. I think I believe him because Garon is still at an age where he will snitch … especially on his brother. As far as the younger children go … well, Minko doesn’t like them much.
“They bite,” he told me one day.
“Bite?” I asked with a nervous laugh. “I hope you mean that in a figurative way.”
“No uncle. They really bite. They are vampires and hell, little kids bite anyway. I just don’t want them to bite me.”
He assured me that he has been able to avoid their attempts at biting him so far and I have scolded them and forbidden them to bite anyone. Now every time the kids are around humans I always watch closely for fear someone will be bitten.