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.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

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.

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