For the second year in a row, Input/Output Enterprises is pleased to present a short fiction anthology featuring our favorite horror monster.
Debuting on Halloween, And the Dead Shall Sleep No More: Volume II includes over 20 works of original short stories from a slate of contributing authors, all of which feature vampires.
From the Gothic to the modern, we're celebrating the vampire in all its forms. Dracula appears in this volume, as do vampire hunters, monstrous vampires on the prowl, and more benign vampires, who fall in love and whose goals are something other than sucking the life force from unsuspecting victims.
We're proud to be able to feature the works of over 20 incredibly talented independent authors.
Included in this volume:
One Happy Camper by David Gwyn
"Mom told me summer camp would be fun. Do you believe that? She’s probably telling you the same things now that she told me. It’s why I wanted to write this letter. Basically, don’t believe anything she says. Well, except for one thing: the training works."
Renfield's Reward by Petina Strohmer
"Death was definitely creeping up on him.
Renfield peered into the bathroom mirror, examining every wrinkle and grey hair. “That which I feared most has come upon me,” he sighed."
Hunter and Prey by Martin French
"In the dead cold of space, you are a hunter. Day and night are interchangeable: time is
meaningless, but every day is cavernous dark night in your chest. You don’t do it because you want to, you do it to survive. Because you need to."
The Silver Maker by Ginger Strivelli
“No, of course, I can't turn lead into gold. I’m not an alchemist wizard. I can, however, turn blood into silver. Which is nearly as useful, even though it is rather macabre. I mean, alas it makes me into sort of a vampire doesn’t it? A rich one, but still...no one likes a vampire, right?"
Un-Die with Me: A Vampire Love Story by Lynette S. Hoag
"Lee Taye looked out the window in the high tower and stared at the night sky full of stars. His room overlooked the Singing River in Jeowan, South Korea. The moonlight shone brilliant, mocking as it played on the water. It illuminated the tiny, antiseptic space containing only a pristinely made bed with white covers and red plastic chair. It glinted off the links of the silver chain that ran from the headboard to the manacles on Taye’s wrists."
Loss of Charity by Elizabeth Tompkins
"I know I shouldn’t say it, but I felt relieved when my brother died. I made sure to cry though, I cried because Mother and Father cried. My brother, Pleasant Peter, was fifteen and he passed away from consumption. They didn’t let me see him in the end, but I remember sneaking into his room to watch him struggle to breath."
Daddy's Girls by J.L. Smith
"Val stares drowsily out the windshield of his brand new Chevelle, hands gripping the wheel loosely. The only sights to see in any direction are the horizon, the cacti, and two-lane blacktop. The sun has set, leaving the desert sky streaked with twilight shades of orange, magenta and purple. Feeling the fatigue of hours of driving upon him, Val blinks for a long moment, then glances down at the fuel gauge and sees that there is about a quarter-tank remaining."
A Trail of Blood Like Stars by Helena O'Connor
"Twilight turned the sky to blood as I stood before yet another bar. My hopes were fading as fast as the last sunlight glinting from the broken taillight on the old yellow mustang in the parking lot. My will was long exhausted. I had trudged and traipsed through every drinking establishment in this historic city, been felt up by every drunken gaze its dismal corners had to offer. To no avail."
Blood and Ashes by J.S. Johnston
"They have to wear full-body suits to be out in the sun. UV rays are terrible for a vampire’s health. Even moderate exposure can result in being very dead. So just to be outside, they have to be covered from head to foot. Sunscreen isn’t enough. There are bits that you can’t cover."
Blood Born by Joe Nazare
"Impaled by a palisade of roof peaks and steeples, the reddening sun sags towards its earthen grave. As he observes these final moments of the day’s passing, Vova shivers instinctively. The dying of the light means a horde of bloodletters will soon arise to commence its nightly hunt."
Picture of Nobody by Max Rissman
"Most photographers turn up their nose at vampire weddings. They phone it in, or turn the job down entirely if they don’t need the money, which is a rarity in our field let’s be honest. I, however, accept the artistic challenge of photographing the unphotographable."
The Teacher by Terry Riccardi
"The night was ebon dark, and no one inside the “Ale and Hearty” pub saw the actual arrival of the man. He simply appeared out of the inkiness and stood just outside the threshold. He moved aside slightly as two inebriated patrons swung the door open and staggered out, but made no move to enter. He repeated this behavior each time someone left the bar, and did the same when new customers entered."
When the Sun Rises by Christian Riley
"I found Andara’s letter under a rock near the white simeon tree east of my village. I didn’t read it, but I knew what it said. I knew exactly what I had won, and without a doubt, what I had lost. The tree was where Andara and I left our notes for each other, our secret place where no one would care to look."
A Ballet of Blood and Flames by Liam Hogan
"Blood invades my restless slumber.
The warm, metallic perfume intoxicates and I am drawn towards it, as a moth to a flame. But like a moth, this naked flame would be my eternal doom. I come to a quivering halt, on the sharp edge of incandescence. In the spotlight of the morning sun stands a woman, tall, thin, bleeding."
La Belle by Phillip T. Stephens
"I don’t believe in vampires. Vampires lurk in the unconscious; occupy fevered imaginations still obsessed with gothic archetypes. We dream of vampires because we fear the ordinary. At daybreak, however, we wake and rediscover our ordinary lives."
Our Legacy by Daniel Goncharov
"She was beautiful.
Even lying atop the mountain of pristine white pillows, withering away from consumption, she was beautiful. Sarah ran her slender fingers down Ruth’s cheek, infinitely pale in the moonlight streaming from the window."
Partake in the Pleasure, Delight in the Pain by Haven Bale
"From the shadows of the old forgotten house, I watch the passersby on the street below. Their dead-eyed faces bleed together like a child’s painting left out in the rain. Once, I might have pitied their lives of frantic despair. Now I just shrug and turn away. Their lives are their own, and I have far more important matters to attend to. My wait is coming to an end, and I ache with anticipation."
Count on Me by Michael Noonan
"Danny Boye didn't seem his usual, ebullient self at all that night, despite the fact that he'd put on his best suit and tie and was about to attend a dinner, along with some of the most prominent people in the village. Amanda, his wife–her exquisite figure sheathed in an expensive evening dress, glistening with sequins–was just about to fix two pearl earrings to her earlobes, when she noticed, through a wall mirror, with an almost palpable shock, the gloomy, despondent demeanor of her husband."
Danag Spirits by Victory Witherkeigh
"The fog should have been the first sign something was wrong. Fog rarely comes out on tropical islands, but then the world was different. Our islands lay closer together, a bridge between the more significant landmasses and those navigators seeking answers beyond the oceans. The gods lived with us then, openly displaying their powers across the newly formed terrain."
Uncuffing Season by Robin Walmsley
"Cam’s stomach growled. She froze on the tree branch, worried the fox might have heard it in the otherwise silent night. She readied herself to chase it down if she had too. She hadn’t had a proper meal in months, she couldn’t afford to lose even this pittance."
Saving Mia by Jesse Krenzel
"It’s my first morning back in Homicide after my psychiatrist-prescribed stress-related psychological furlough. In cop vernacular, it’s a Nut-Break. I know it and so does everyone else on the force. It’s what happens when your behavior becomes so weird that no one will partner with you anymore; when you hurt so much that blackouts are a relief, and when you want to flip a coin in the morning about going to work or eating a bullet."
Calmet and the Second Coming of Don Lazaro by Scott Harper
"Father Calmet reeled from the skinwalker’s blow, blood erupting from the clawed furrows left on his face by the creature’s razor-sharp finger talons. He steadied himself, fighting the human instinct to panic in front of such a terrifying foe, and dug for the silver crucifix secreted under his robes. Calmet pulled the crucifix from its specially-constructed sheath as the creature snarled and struck again. The base was sharpened to a point and flattened into a blade inscribed with Aramaic characters, which Calmet used to impale the creature’s descending claw."
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