No Such Things as Vampires, Part 2: The Baptism

(For the first part of this story, “The Dirty Pot,” click here.)

Stana stayed in bed as her belly grew through Lent and Easter and Pentecost and the hot summer months.

Nada told no one and made her father swear secrecy, but he was going out drinking more often, so he must have let the shameful secret slip. At first Nada thought she was imagining it, but she eventually had to accept that most villagers wouldn’t greet her on the road or in the market. Even neighbors hurried away. They would not answer her queries about their children and grandparents. They would not purchase her embroidered goods, sheep’s milk, or brown eggs. She had become invisible, like a ghost among the living.

Continue reading “No Such Things as Vampires, Part 2: The Baptism”

No Such Things as Vampires, Part 1: The Dirty Pot

“For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulcher.” –Psalms 5:9.

Humming snatches of old songs to keep her spirits up, Nada was furiously scrubbing a kettle in a basin of cold water. She hefted the pot into the light from the small window. The same. She didn’t know why she bothered. No matter how much she scoured the old bronzin, it never came clean. She set it on the floor and glared at it.

narodno-posuđe-naših-starih-bronzin2

(Image from Narodni.net)

Why was she the only one working? Why didn’t her father and sister do their share, especially on this day, Clean Monday, the beginning of Great Lent? It was time to cleanse the cottage, to purify their home.

It is also necessary to clear the conscience, she reminded herself, bowing her head. A time of forgiveness. I will forgive them.

Continue reading “No Such Things as Vampires, Part 1: The Dirty Pot”

Upcoming Fiction Projects

Here’s a list of fiction projects I am planning to write, more or less in the order I will work on them. Some of these stories, for example “No Such Thing as Vampires,” have been in my head for many years.

After the After of Now (Three Post-Post-Modern Pieces)

“Mind the Gap” (Mad Lit)
“Freedom of Choice” (Choose Your Own Literature)
“The Art Committee” (A Wiki Story written by me and you!)

Cataracts (Ghastly Tales)

“No Such Thing as Vampires”
“The Furies”
“Cataracts”
“The Incubus”
“The Sutro Bath Ruins”
“Under the Bridge: Billy Goat and the Troll”
“Every School is Haunted”
“Ghosts of the Living”

“The Corporation”

Broken Sequins (A tranny mystery set in San Francisco in the 90s, featuring Suzie Blackout)

The Third World (A science fiction novel about a conquered earth.)

The Captain Cook Syndrome (A science fiction novel about human colonization of another planet with intelligent life.)

A Distant Voice (A science fiction  novel of first contact, but only via one-way radio signals.)

Joie de Vivre (An oppressed species on a nightmare planet discovers somehow the joy of living.)

The Story of Stories