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Short Story: The Vampire’s New Suit + Free EBook

supernatural fairy tales bannerThe following short story inspired by The Emperor’s New Clothes,  is one of the short stories from my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. The Kindle eBook will be Free August 5, 2014. 

Fairy tale inspired paranormal short stories.

fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale.

These 9 Supernatural Fairy Tales are not retellings of the original fairy tales but were inspired by them. They are paranormal themed stories about vampires, ghosts, mermaids, witches, and more, in genres ranging from romance to thriller. And fair warning: they don’t always have a happy ending.

 

The Vampire’s New Suit

by Dorlana Vann

His apartment was on the top floor of a tall apartment building. Everyone knew he was a vampire, so no one would have bothered him even if he had been on the very bottom. That was why he found it strange when he heard the knock. After opening the door, he asked, “May I help you?” but thought: magnificent—take-out delivered to my door.

“Excuse us, Mr. Smith,” said the first young man of two, “for dropping by unannounced, but you’re not listed.”

“There is a reason for this,” the vampire said.

The second young man said, “I’m Mark, and this is my partner, Trey.” He held out his hand graciously and, without a mere tremble, he shook the resident’s hand.

Intrigued, Smith sought to connect with the gentleman’s eyes. When he avoided this with skill, the vampire couldn’t help but grin, something he hadn’t done for centuries. “Perhaps you have happened upon the wrong doorstep,” he said, only because he liked them.

Trey cleared his throat and also avoided Smith’s stare, except with less sincerity. “We’re new to town; however, we do know… who you are.”

Mark said, “We believe we offer a service that may very well interest you and benefit your particular situation.”

“Hmm,” Mr. Smith said. “Is that right? Well, in that case, do come in.” It had been a long time since the vampire had guests—that were alive at any rate—and he found that he was quite enjoying the change of pace. Suddenly the mundane lifestyle that he had become accustomed to became clear: sleep, eat, and watch TV. He had been doing the latter before the interruption and used the remote to click off the early evening news. “Please, have a seat,” he told the boys. “I’m afraid I do not have any refreshments… that you would enjoy.” He couldn’t ignore the sudden sound of Trey’s heart as it pumped a refreshment of its own. He licked his lips, knowing the evening could only get better.

“Mr. Smith,” Mark said, clearly noticing the look of desire in the vampire’s eyes. “Perhaps we should come back another time?”

“Don’t be silly,” the vampire said. “There is no better time. Perhaps you should state your business.”

“Of course,” Mark said, pulling Trey down beside him as he sat on the couch. “Our company, of which Trey here is a new recruit, provides a unique service to, shall I say, our nocturnal clients. We understand and sympathize with the fact that you are a prisoner in your home from sun-up to sundown. We have developed a fabric that is solar and flame resistant but extremely lightweight. We design and produce clothing made of these exclusive materials.” Mark reached inside his bag and pulled out a black swatch. Handing it to the vampire he said, “This is the most popular with our clients, but we do offer many different colors. All we need to get started are your measurements. As you can imagine, this discreet service is not cheap. It’s company policy to receive half…” he stopped when it seemed he had lost his audience.

The vampire had walked into his modest kitchen and turned on the stove. After all, he wasn’t born yesterday. He put the little piece of fabric over the flame. Nothing happened. He was impressed, already imagining the possibilities. The thought of walking outside during the day after so many, many years was very enticing.

The young men took out their tailor tools, a small catalog, and more fabric samples. In no time, Mr. Smith had chosen a dark gray, pinstriped suit with a high collar, black gloves, and a hat complete with ear and neck coverings.

As the weeks passed, the vampire actually became fidgety. He thought about all of the wonderful things he would be able to do during the day. He could even do lunch—if he were to be so bold.

He began to amuse himself as he pondered curious things that didn’t have to do with feeding. He wouldn’t have to hide in shadows. Maybe he would see a matinée. He could walk among the mortals, saying, “Good afternoon.” He picked up the catalog the young men had left behind. He thought that next time, he might even buy khaki. He would almost be… human.

Finally, the knock came at the door.

Mark held up a black garment bag. “I have your new suit,” he said with a smile.

The vampire moved out of the way and let him enter the apartment. “Where is your friend?”

“Trey told me he had a previous engagement,” he said and then winked. “Between us, I think he’s a little afraid that you no longer need us.” After giving the vampire ample time to answer, Mark said, “You know, I am your personal tailor, and the only way to get more of these, is through me.” He put the bag on the couch and unzipped it. He pulled out a handsome, well-tailored suit.

It was just like the one in the catalog. Mr. Smith couldn’t hold back his excitement and snatched it out of Mark’s hands.

Mark winced from the sudden pain the vampire’s nails had caused. The amicable mood immediately transformed into intense as they both looked at his hand, the red blood slowly escaping its safe haven.

For the first time, the vampire caught and held Mark’s stare. It was so unexpected and so challenging that it seduced the vampire into wanting to win. It had been a long time since he had fought such a tough challenger. But of course, the mortal was no match in the end.

The vampire dropped the suit, catching Mark before he hit the carpet and carefully placed him on the couch. He grinned, his fangs hungering for the taste of such a satisfying victory. Nevertheless, he looked down at his new clothes. The young man would be out for a while, plenty of time for him to try out his new suit.

Although the vampire had acquired quite a wardrobe over the centuries, he had never felt the likes of the material that was against his body. It was soft, like silk, yet form-fitting. He wished he could see himself in a mirror. He settled with knowing he would be able to analyze the expressions on people’s faces. Even though the glare of terror so pleased him, he was anxious to see a new look in their eyes; one of awe and admiration. Complete with gloves and hat, he walked out his door.

***

“Wake up sleepy head.”

It took Mark a moment to stop his dream and to realize he was asleep. He opened his eyes, took in a panicked breath, and sat straight up. When he clearly remembered his predicament, he hastily felt his neck.

Trey stood over him with his arms crossed. “You’re clear. Even if I am a rookie, I know the rules. If he had bitten you, you wouldn’t have woken up.”

Mark nodded, feeling truly foolish. In all his years of being a slayer, he had never allowed himself to be hypnotized by one of them. “Mission complete?”

“Poof,” Trey said, his eyes wide with excitement. “You should have seen him. Oh, that’s right; you decided to take a nap. Anyway, it only took him a second to trust the suit before strolling down the sidewalk like a man about town. When I realized you weren’t right behind him, I knew what I had to do. But don’t worry; I waited, like you taught me, until he hit the mark. I was shaking so bad, but I managed to grab the pull tag before he even noticed me. But when he did see me, he knew something was rotten and went for my throat. I ducked and ran like hell. What a rush! When I was far enough away and got the nerve to turn around, I saw him still standing in the same spot with nothing on but a frown. But then a second later…” Trey had his fist up by his face. He popped his hands open wide and whispered, “pooffff.”

“Did you gather the catalog and the rest of the money?”

“Yeah, all right here.” Trey held up a white envelope. “You know, I still don’t understand why we just don’t clean them out.”

“I’m not in this for the money. I only charge what is needed to fund our operation. Otherwise, we could turn into the bloodsuckers.” Mark stood up, still feeling a little woozy. “Speaking of bloodsuckers, who’s next on our list?”

“Female,” Trey said. “What I hear is that she’s really young-looking, smart, and smokin’ hot. Hmm… I don’t know. We may have a problem, seeing as you let this repulsive ancient dude—”

“Funny,” Mark said, snatching the envelope from Trey. “Just give me the details.”

The End

Supernatural Fairy Tales

The Vampire’s New Suit is one of the short stories from my collection: Supernatural Fairy Tales. The Kindle eBook will be Free August 5, 2014. 

Fairy tale inspired paranormal short stories.

fairy tale + paranormal element = supernatural fairy tale.

These 9 Supernatural Fairy Tales are not retellings of the original fairy tales but were inspired by them. They are paranormal themed stories about vampires, ghosts, mermaids, witches, and more, in genres ranging from romance to thriller. And fair warning: they don’t always have a happy ending.

Free eBook: Ghosts, Mystery, & Fashion

 Jaclyn’s Ghost will be free

April 11, 2014 – April 15, 2014

Jaclyn's Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Ghosts, Mystery, and Fashion. Can this diva solve her own murder, or will she be stuck in limbo forever?

After recovering from the shock of seeing her own dead body, (still dressed to kill from last night’s party) fashion model, Jaclyn Jade, discovers she’s a ghost with a choice. She can either immediately go back to Hell, do nothing and stay in limbo, or find the reason she fell short of grace and advance to Heaven.

Because she was murdered, Jaclyn hopes that finding her killer will unravel this mystery. With the help of a timid closet-psychic who can speak to the dead, and a handsome, yet arrogant, ghost of a man from the roaring 20s, her search for answers initiates a quirky journey of self-discovery. Personalities, eras, and worlds collide as this mismatched trio race against time to solve the mystery of Jaclyn’s Ghost.

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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

Free Supernatural Romantic Comedy

Hi Friends,

I wanted to let you know that Jaclyn’s Ghost eBook will be free Dec 23-25. Merry Christmas!

skyscraper banner jg copyGhosts, Mystery, and Fashion.

Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann

Supernatural Mystery, Romantic Comedy

Amazon U.S. (Kindle)

Amazon.co.uk (Kindle)

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You can check out reviews on GoodReads

Can this diva solve her own murder, or will she be stuck in limbo forever?

After recovering from the shock of seeing her own dead body, (still dressed to kill from last night’s party) fashion model, Jaclyn Jade, discovers she’s a ghost with a choice. She can either immediately go back to Hell, do nothing and stay in limbo, or find the reason she fell short of grace and advance to Heaven.

Because she was murdered, Jaclyn hopes that finding her killer will unravel this mystery. With the help of a timid closet-psychic who can speak to the dead, and a handsome, yet arrogant, ghost of a man from the roaring 20s, her search for answers initiates a quirky journey of self-discovery. Personalities, eras, and worlds collide as this mismatched trio race against time to solve the mystery of Jaclyn’s Ghost.

Chapter 1

Another One Bites the Dust

Jaclyn Jade felt the sensation of a trillion tiny needles prickling just beneath the surface of her skin. She opened her eyes to darkness. “Why am I standing on my bed?” Gradually, the tingling faded, but the overwhelming contentment made it difficult for her to shake the suspicion that something was terribly different. She squinted and blinked her eyes as she searched her bedroom for answers.

The room seemed normal. Even the earliest of the morning brought an orange glow through her sheer curtains; so obviously, she had woken up in the middle of night. Jaclyn’s scan stopped abruptly when she spotted an unfamiliar six-foot silhouette in the shape of a man. It moved, causing an involuntary shriek to burst out of her mouth. As she attempted to run, she stumbled over a huge lump in her bed and fell, face first, onto the floor. She recovered to her feet in a flash, turned to see what she had tripped over, and then dashed out the door.

She stopped in the hallway, right outside the bedroom door, already doubting what she had seen. No one followed her out. “Stupid.” After a moment, she put her hand on her chest trying to regain her composure. Oh man, I slept in my party dress. “Keten’s going to kill me.”

“I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Jaclyn looked up to see a man standing right across from her. She sucked in a deep breath and responded appropriately with another piercing scream and ran back into her room.

“I know you’re confused,” the man said from behind her. “If you will give me a moment, I can explain everything.”

She looked for something to use as a weapon. “If you don’t get the hell out of my house this instant,” she cried and turned around, “you’ll be explaining everything to the police.”

The intruder stood in the doorway, his face covered by the shadow of his hat.

If I can just get over to the table by the bed, I can get my phone.  However, as soon as her focus drifted toward the bed, the heap that had caused her to trip earlier grabbed her attention. Is someone under there?

“What’s the last thing you remember?” the man asked from the doorway. “Give yourself a moment. It’ll come back to you.”

She had to force herself to concentrate. Frustration and fear made it difficult for her to rummage through her memory. I feel so strange. “Why can’t I remember anything?”

All of a sudden, as if someone had smacked them into the back of her head, her memories of the night before emerged. “The party,” she blurted. “That’s it, the champagne.” She nodded her head in satisfied realization. “I just partied a little more than I should have. Keten must have brought me home and just stayed over. He does that all the time. I must have been sleepwalking and caught you in the middle of, who knows what. I suggest you disappear before I wake up my boyfriend and he—”

“Pretty shoes,” the man said and nodded toward the bed.

“Excuse me?”

“I say, your boyfriend sure has pretty shoes.”

Jaclyn stared at the foot that stuck out from under the blankets. When she recognized the shoe, she looked down at her own feet. She wore the same exact pair of pink, pointy-toed sling-backs. Not Keten. Did a friend, who was wearing the same exact shoes, come home with me? She would have noticed that before. She would have remembered shoe duplicity.

“OK,” she said. “That’s it. I’ve got to get this over with.” She took a small step toward the bed.

“Poor bunny, are you sure you want to go over there?”

Jaclyn stared at the stranger. Nothing made sense. He wore a black jacket over a double-breasted vest and dress pants. Clearly it had been bought off the rack, but still, it was a bit much for a burglar. She also wondered why he hadn’t left when he had the chance. If he wanted to hurt her, why hadn’t he even tried? The way he leaned against the door frame, his arms crossed, he almost seemed to be amused by her chaos. “Did someone hire you to pull a prank on me? Is that it? Are you an actor? Just tell me what’s going on and who’s in that bed, and maybe I’ll tell the cops to go easy on you.”

“If that’s truly what you want.” He held up his hands and took a couple of steps inside the room.

“Now you’re starting to piss me off. Just tell me who is in my bed!”

He grinned. “It’s you. Well, the former you. You see, now you’re you, and that’s just a body.”

The man stood a handshake away. Jaclyn tried to ignore the hazy luster around him—too much to think about at that moment—but she couldn’t disregard his attractive face, his square jaw, and his deep black eyes, which at that moment seemed insanely sincere. “Oh… my… goodness.”

“I know… it’s really crazy.”

“No. You’re psychotic.” Without giving herself another chance to chicken out, Jaclyn marched over to her bed and tossed back the bedspread.

Her mouth fell open as she took a step back. It’s just a trick. It’s just someone who looks a lot like me and went to a lot of trouble to play a joke. She had the same long dark hair, the same skin tone, the same nose and the same… everything.

Jaclyn decided to wake the imposter and tell her to take her boyfriend and get the hell out of her apartment. But when she reached down to shake the woman, her hand went smooth through the shoulder like it was made of smoke. She jerked her hand back immediately and took an apprehensive breath.

“It’s screwy seeing yourself like that.” She heard the man say.

She stood there, examining her body in the bed as a calm embraced her. “Why am I not freaking out? Shouldn’t I be upset, screaming, and freaking out?”

“When you die, the psychological need for your physical body ends. You instinctively know that you don’t need that body anymore.”

“I look really pitiful,” she said. “What happened? I’m not sick or anything.”

She looked around to see if she noticed any hints as to what took place. She eyed the phone, close enough now that she could grab it and call someone if she wanted, and laughed to herself. Who? What could she say? She noticed a container of pills and a bottle of champagne beside the phone on the nightstand. She tried to pick up the pills. Yet again, her hand had no substance and went through the bottle. “Ahh, this is driving me crazy. Can you pick those up?”

The man stared at her blankly, and then a small, concerned expression seemed to grow across his face. “What?”

“Something’s wrong with me. Would you mind?” She moved out of the man’s way so he could get to the table. He inched his hand really close to the bottle and then snatched it back again.

“Oh, just forget it,” she said.

“No, it’s no problem.” He grabbed the bottle and studied it, turning it one way and then the other.

“Well? Does it say what they are?”

“There’s no marking of any kind. The torpedo must have left them. I apologize. By the time I arrived—”

“Torpedo?”

“Hit man, assassin, hired gun… torpedo.”

“Hit man? That’s ridiculous. I’ve accepted every ludicrous thing you’ve said so far, but now you’re actually trying to tell me… what? That I was murdered?”

“You must have your share of enemies.” The man nodded as he looked down at the body in the bed.

Jaclyn stared at the man, not believing his gall. “Wait… who are you, and why are you in my house?”

“The name is Logan Smith.”

“OK… and why are you here?”

“I live here.” Logan crossed his arms as he leaned back against the wall. An arrogant smile appeared on his lips as well as in his eyes. “Just your friendly resident ghost.”

“As in boo?”

“I suppose.”

She ran her hands through her hair and exhaled in defeat. “Well, that would explain your glow.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“Does that mean I’m a ghost, too?” Jaclyn looked down at her hands. “I look the same.”

“But you’re not.”

Jaclyn thought about it for a moment. OK… I’m a ghost. This warranted sitting down, but when she went to sit on the edge of the bed, she fell through to the floor. She just stayed there with her head poking up through the mattress. She crossed her legs under the poof of her cream-colored gown and sighed as she considered her demise. “You’re wrong,” Jaclyn finally said. “I don’t have any enemies. At least not ones who would want to kill me.”

Logan sat on the bed. “Then, it’s a mystery.”

Jaclyn glared at him. “How did you do that? How come you can sit on the bed?”

“There are things you’ll have to—”

“And where the hell is my light… and tunnel and stairway to Heaven?”

“It’s complicated,” Logan said. “Well… not really. Some people go straight to Heaven and others, for some reason or another, are rejected.”

She stood up and faced him. “Rejected? You’re telling me I didn’t make it into Heaven. What then? You can’t seriously be saying I’m going to—”

“Hello,” a man’s voice spoke from behind her.

Jaclyn shook her head and turned around. What now? She had her hands on her hips, ready for combat, but was ambushed by the new man’s appearance. His beauty rivaled Logan’s masculinity. What is this? An audition for a Calvin Klein ad? She opened her mouth to protest his intrusion, but her voice turned out to be just as flabbergasted.

“Give her a break,” Logan said. “She just bit the dust.”  He stepped beside Jaclyn and then gestured to the new arrival. “May I introduce Charles Charles.”

“Charles Charles?” Jaclyn said, coming out of her trance.

“I’m taking her now,” the man said.

“Taking me? Taking me where?” Panic caught in her throat. She had just found out about this rejection thing and needed more time to process what had happened.

“Exactly where you should be, Butterfly… Hell.”

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