Passage to Queen Mesentia – chapter excerpt – Ben’s Story

Passage to Queen Mesentia 2013 cover

The memories of what had happened in the park faded a little more with each passing minute. Now that they sat in a normal setting—no darkness, no guns being pointed at them, and their lives no longer in danger—thinking Ben an actual vampire seemed absurd. Wade had no doubt that Ben believed it; he had the fake accent, the long dark coat, he only went places at night, and he went around biting people… Wade couldn’t believe he’d bought into what this lunatic had said. Worse, since the beginning of the crazy conversation, Wade had watched Lilly’s reactions. Obviously, she thought Ben was the best thing since King Tut.
Ben appeared larger than normal in the tiny booth. He leaned forward, his bent arms the length of the table, holding eye contact with Lilly. “I realize what this must sound like,” Ben said.
“He’s delusional,” Wade said. “He’s probably some mental patient who—” he stopped because Ben had his knife. He hadn’t seen him take it. “Hey, watch it there!” Wade instinctively put his arm in front of Lilly.
Ben paid no mind, but proceeded to open the knife and then slice his own wrist. Both Wade and Lilly gasped and sat back in the seat. Wade waited for the blood to pour out of the large open wound but none came, and it completely healed in less than five seconds.
“Whoa,” Wade said. “Let’s go… now!” He grabbed Lilly’s arm and started moving out of the booth, but she sat firm.
Ben said, “I apologize for having to use such crude measures to demonstrate my truth. It is important to me that you believe what I have said. I assure you, Lillian, you are not in any danger from me.” He closed the knife and slid it across the table to Wade.
Wade hesitated for a second but then grabbed the knife and put it in his pants pocket before Ben got any more bright ideas. “Why should we think that, you blood-sucker?”
“I am not a vampire. I do not need blood to survive.”
“So that guy in woods?” Wade asked. “Just for fun?”
“I am cursed. I do not feed on human blood. I do grow sharp teeth like a serpent, and I can deliver a deadly poison straight to the blood stream. I did not drink that man’s blood. I only poisoned it. I need nothing to exist. I am not so simple that I can stop feeding and die. If so, I would have ended this torture centuries ago. My curse is immortality, and therefore I can not die.”
“Well what about the sunlight and going everywhere at night?” Wade asked. “If you want to die so bad, how come you don’t just step out into the sun and get it over with.”
“I am extremely nocturnal. During the day, I lose all energy and then consciousness. However, I won’t burst into flames.”
“What if I chopped you up into little pieces? Would that do it?”
“Wade!” Lilly looked at him with her mouth wide open.
“I’m sorry! He’s really freaking me out! I’ll tell you what, Ben, give me your address, and I’ll write down what was on that letter and mail it to you.” Wade grabbed Lilly by the arm. “Come on, I’ve heard and seen enough for a lifetime… a normal person’s lifetime.”
Lilly pulled her arm out of Wade’s grip. “I want to know the rest,” she whispered to Wade. “If you want to go on, I’ll understand.
Wade shook his head at her casualness. Why didn’t she feel the danger, too?
“What happened next?” Lilly asked Ben. “Did you go back to Egypt?”
“I did. By that time, the Hikau Khausut had invaded and war spread from Memphis to the sea. For years, I did my best to search for Mesentia’s tomb. However, in my younger years, I proved careless and rumors had begun to spread about me. I refused to be chained again. Reluctantly, I had to leave without finding her, but vowed I would return.”
Wade said, “All right, fine. Tell me what all this grandeur has to do with us? Why should we give a shit if you get this thing back or not? Lilly’s parents already found that queen you had an affair with.”
“The fate of the world depends on it.”
“The fate of the world…” Wade mocked. “Really? Are you serious? I’m willing to bet that this thing is worth a pretty penny and you conned her parents into believing this ridiculous story.”
“You’re right,” Lilly said. “My parents did believe him. I want to know why. Wade, can we please let him finish?”
Wade said, “For the record, this is against my better judgment. All right, Mr. Sneaky Snake, what happened next? You and Cleopatra get it on, too?” Wade caught anger in Ben’s eyes as he slowly turned from Lilly and glanced his way. He also could have sworn he glimpsed the corner of one of his canines. Right… harmless.
“I lived in West Germany in the 1950’s,” Ben said, his expression mellowing as he talked only to Lilly. “I met a man named Roland Schelsteder. We worked together for many years, and over the hours we began to talk. I trusted him and thought of him as my friend. I would go to his house for dinners with his family; he had two sons.
“One day I shared my story with him. He sympathized with me and kept my secret. So I thought. He was killed some months later. His wife blamed me and called me a monster.”
“At least she got it right,” Wade said.
“I had to flee,” Ben said. “She had threatened to turn me in as a spy. I left Germany and came here to the States. All remained quiet until years later; one of Roland’s sons arrived at my doorstep. Roland had told his wife about me, and then she had told their sons. He wanted answers. I felt a little hesitant, but for his father’s memory, I told him completely about myself and about what happened to his father. He believed me. ”
“We kept in touch; I knew he had made his fortune there in New York with some good investments, until one day—nothing. Years later, he came to call again. He told me he had a proposition and thought perhaps we could retrieve the statuette. I immediately noticed something different. Something in his eyes had changed. When you’ve existed as long as I have, you learn to read people. I knew what he wanted, he wanted to become an immortal like me. When I called him on it, acting interested, I learned his intentions were worse than I had thought. Not only did he want to become like me, he wanted to make others. He wanted to produce an army of immortals.”
“That Pyramidion Statuette can do that?” Lilly asked.
“It is the source of my immortality,” Ben said.
Wade hated that he began to consider all of what Ben had said as possible. He found himself wondering if he actually held the information in his head that could ultimately save the world from doom. He smacked his lips and exhaled before saying, “So… So how did the Stewards end up with it and not Schelsteder?”
Both Lilly and Ben snapped their attention toward Wade. He didn’t want to acknowledge the satisfaction in Ben’s eyes nor the gleam on Lilly’s face, so he looked out into the dining room, like he hadn’t asked.
“I told Schelsteder I wanted no part in his plans. My curse is personal, not a weapon. In the year 2000 I read of Schelsteder’s investments in Egypt. I knew then he searched for Mesentia. I followed him there and learned he had found someone to dig for him in Saqqara, your parents’ university. I met with your parents and told them my story, as I have told you. They assured me that they would return the statuette to me.
“I was so pleased when they found Mesentia, nevertheless, apprehensive at the same time. When your parents found the Pyramidion Statuette in the canopic jar, exactly like I had told them it would be, it erased any doubt they may have had about me.”
Lilly said, “So they didn’t put the statuette with the rest of the find. They put it back for you?” Her eyes grew with excitement. “Schelsteder knew it was supposed to be there, so when it wasn’t…”
“He will stop at nothing to build this army of invincible men. Time is of the utmost importance. I must find it, before he does.”
Lilly turned to Wade. “Will you tell us now? Will you tell us what was in that letter? Did it say where it was?”
“Yeah,” Wade growled. He knew Lilly wouldn’t say goodbye to Ben and let him be on his way to find the little pyramid statue all by his lonesome. She would go off alone with this freak with no one to protect her. “Yeah, it said.” He sighed. “Looks like we’re all going to Egypt.”

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The Supernatural Fairy Tale Writing Challenge

Supernatural fairy tales blog banner1

One of the search terms used to find this site is fairy tale story ideas. I’ve been using fairy tales as inspiration for many years. I like using the formula: fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale. Sometimes I even give myself an extra challenge to help inspire me; a certain genre, a picture, fairy tale moral, etc.

Some years ago (about 7) I started a blog called Supernatural Fairy Tales. One of the things I used it for was to challenge myself. At the beginning of the month I would announce my supernatural fairy tale challenge, and by the end of the month, I had my short story posted. As a result I have two fairy tale novels (which were based on my short stories) and over 20 short stories – 9 of which I loved and published as a collection, and lots of poems.

I thought it might be fun to share these story starters with others who are interested in a writing challenge. And where better than where my fairy tale journey began – on my blog, Supernatural Fairy Tales -  which has sat patiently awaiting my return.

There are three number generators: one to pick your fairy tale, one to pick your paranormal element, and one to pick an extra little challenge – just follow the links to your picks and then let your imagination take it from there.

I used it myself and this is my story starter: Fairy Tale: The Fisherman and His Wife – Paranormal Element: Witch/Warlock – Extra Challenge: Genre Steampunk. This ought to be interesting…

Love and Laughter,
Dorlana

My Favorite Fairy Tale Quotes

“I use to be Snow White, but I drifted.” Mae West

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Albert Einstein

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” C.S. Lewis

“Every man’s life is a fairy tale, written by God’s fingers.” Hans Christian Andersen

“you see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future” Danielle Steel

“Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.” Alfred Hitchcock

“The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.” W.H. Auden

“In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected.” Charles Dickens

Fairy Tale inspired Flash Fiction by Dorlana

Beauty and the Beast + Zombies =

To Hell With, Until Death Do We Part

A fun little supernatural fairy tale

By Dorlana Vann

She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, loosening her jaw, before she spoke. “You can’t be serious. Marriage is no longer something we can consider.”

He stood far away, at the other end of the long, formal dining room table. She couldn’t believe how handsome he looked now: tall, regal.

“I love you,” he said. “I want you to be my wife.”

She wasn’t sure if the rancid taste was from the meal she’d just ate or her own tongue. “I know you love me. I love you, too. But we have to face facts. You have to accept this. You shouldn’t even be feeding me. Look at me. What kind of bride would I be?”

“A beautiful one. When I was beastly, you saw something inside me and loved me for me. I love you for you. I know who you are on the inside.”

“But I’m not like you. You were cursed by a witch. I was bit by a––”

“Doesn’t matter.” He slammed his fist down on the table, making everything on it jolt. “If I have to, I’ll use every last cent I have to find a cure.”

“You’re not listening to me.” She tried to stand up but the chains around waist stopped her. It took a second to remember why she was chained to a chair. Oh yeah, that’s right; dinner had taken a little too long last night. When she was hungry, nothing else fit in her head. If it hadn’t been for the butler with the taser, they wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. “Sweetheart,” she said sweetly, trying to calm him, “There’s no cure for dead.”

“Maybe one of my tears, or a potion of some sort … or maybe a kiss.”

“Right,” she said with a roll of her eyes. They stuck like that for a second until she shook her head. “You’re going to kiss me? Do I even have lips, anymore?” Just as she pushed out her tongue to feel for lips, a twinge in her head stopped her. What was she doing?

“There’s got to be something. But first, we will get married.” He walked beside the table toward her, stopping halfway, a hint of fear in his eyes.

The fact that he was obviously scared of her didn’t upset her, didn’t really faze her. Something else came to mind. Hunger. The hunger didn’t feel the way it had when she’d been alive. This hunger was in her head. It rumbled, it stirred, it wanted, it hurt …

But she’d just ate an entire plate of… Who? Where was the maid? Had he …? The sudden spasm in her head caused her to let out a moan.

He was saying, “Sure we can’t really have a honeymoon right now. We’ll postpone it until later, when you’re better. But please let me prove my love and devotion to you. To hell with til death do we part.”

It had been a delicate, light meal tonight. She tried to remember how many more maids were in the house. A series of intense, sharp pain ricocheted inside her head. She held onto it with both hands for a second and closed her eyes. And then her brain pulsed and rumbled. Wait? What was this house? Who lived here anyway? When she looked again, the strange man was closer, so close and so fresh. She sniffed the air. All she wanted was one little taste, one little nibble.

“Right after the ceremony, I will hire the best researchers on the planet …”

She tried to get up, but for some reason she couldn’t move. She tried again, and again, and again. The hunger pains moved down to behind her eyes making her have to squint to see the beautiful meal. It had such a nice sized head.

“So? What do you say? Will you marry me?”

The food was right there in front of her now. Maybe if she stretched out her arms as far as she could, she’d be able to reach it. All she needed was a one bite to make this unbearable torture end.

“Oh, Beauty. I don’t know. But you did just eat, so I guess one hug, to seal the deal, would be okay …”

The End

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