Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Meaning of Christmas

“Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
Major Henry Livingston Junior

Silas Breenes was sleeping the sleep of the just and small, comfortable breaths escaped his slightly parted lips as his head lay gently on the soft pillow. The peace of his sleep was ironic indeed, for Silas Breenes was anything but just. Many might suggest that branding an eleven year old boy as unjust was to be distinctly unfair, perhaps too presumptuous of a life that would be lived without remorse, and yet Silas Breenes truly deserved such a label.

Looking down upon him, one might be forgiven for believing such a statement to be incorrect. He seemed cherubic as soft downy curls of hair floated across his brow and offered him the aspect of an angel and yet the contents of the dreams, which twisted those slightly parted lips into a delightful half smile, were violent of nature. The violence I speak of saw him as perpetrator, and the violence was committed against fellow children, so that dreams mirrored perfectly life. Silas Breenes was no rogue, he was no loveable scamp. No, indeed, Silas Breenes was a bully, a tormentor and a thief.

This very Christmas Eve, having left Billy Bennett tearful in a field as blood flooded from his nose whilst a purple bruise bloomed around his eye, Silas slept peacefully, tiredness overcoming anticipation. For Silas the anticipation was two-fold. He was filled with expectation in regards of the presents that his parents had bought him, uncaring of the credit card debt his mother had accumulated as she indulged her precious one’s every whim. But anticipation also filled his black little heart when he thought of the presents that other children would receive and he would acquire. Presents he would steal from his peers, poor victims who might only get a day or two, a week at the most, of joy from their gifts before Silas would tear their happiness asunder with his greedy hands.

For now, however, Silas slept and his sleep was undisturbed by the activity on the roof, activity hidden from his mortal perceptions by the nature of the magic.

The sleigh had landed upon the rooftop and seemed to stand perfectly flat upon the slanted tiles, which any student of physics would have explained was impossible. The sleigh plus its train of reindeers were far too long for the roof’s length and yet they fit upon it with ease. The weight of the contraption, plus the reindeers and the passengers and, of course, the sacks crammed with toys, was too much for the timbers of the roof to bear and yet somehow the roof did not collapse. It was all to do with the magic, and such spells are powerful indeed.

The first to disembark and stand upon the roof, sure footed on the frost that had settled upon the slate, was the driver. Black boots, with a polished gleam, and red suit, with a dazzling white trim, covered his portly frame. A thick, white beard of exceptionally downy hair had become the foremost most distinguishing feature of his face, followed closely by his ruddy, bulbous nose. An aura of joyousness surrounded the man, if man he still was for St Nicholas had lived far beyond the span of his years, granted longevity that he night spread the cheer for which he was famed. His voice boomed with his deep, chesty, trademark laugh – though the magic that surrounded him ensured that none bar his companion, and the patiently waiting reindeer, heard him.

Yet, enough of him, for it is true to say that even those of you who do not believe, just like the sleeping Silas Breenes, are well aware of the aspects and mannerisms of jolly old St Nicholas. Of his companion, however, you may not be aware. He stepped down from the sleigh, a slight and withered creature whose head just rose to the belly of St Nicholas. He too wore red but his was of a vivid scarlet and no pure white was used as a trim. From the sleeves were gnarled hands with long, slender fingers tipped with cruel sharp nails.

His true nature was reflected in the facets as his face. Grey wrinkled skin with nose like a hook and wide mouth with cruel thin lips. His eyes like tiny pieces of black coal surveyed the roof. As they passed over St Nicholas he gave an inward chuckle, as he did whenever he spotted the red, red suit, the colour of his clothes, the colour of the Tomtin. Once the Saint had deigned to wear green but then a soft drink manufacturer, of no small fame, had dressed his image in red in order that they might advertise their wares. Slowly, around the world, mankind began to believe that the Saint wore red and, because it was expected, the Saint began to wear such colours. The holy man did not like to, it was the colour of the Tomtin, but he felt it was expected. Tomtin might have wondered why, given that no-one saw the Saint as he travelled the Christmas Eve, yet he knew that it was intimately connected with the magic that was weaved around the Saint.

The discomfort that the change in apparel had caused the Saint gave the Tomtin no small pleasure as he genuinely enjoyed it when the far too jolly man suffered. Things had been different, once upon a time, the Tomtin had once enjoyed travelling with the man. That had much to do with the Tomtin’s spell, with which he had ensnared the Saint. The time when Tomtin had called the shots, although there had been rules, there always were. The relationship born of the magical snare had been symbiotic, the Tomtin could only take of those who were naughty, not those who were nice, but each Christmas they found enough children of sin to feed his belly for the following year.

Then the old man had tricked him back, had somehow reversed the spell and sealed it with the slight bracelet upon the Tomtin’s wrist and the dull glass bead that sat upon the bracelet. The Saint had wrested back control and the Tomtin was forced to serve him, forced to do good in penance for his sins – a situation that the Tomtin felt was most unfair, after all he only did what it was in his nature to do. Worse than that was the gnawing, endless hunger, for the Saint, whilst he fed the Tomtin of human food, never allowed the creature to feed upon that which truly satisfied. So it was, centuries on, that Saint Nicholas would visit upon each child upon the Earth, which as any school teacher could tell you was impossible except, of course, they knew naught about the magic. Despite the fact that most no longer believed he would enter each child’s home, he would place his hand upon their brow to ascertain if they were naughty or nice and leave the nice a gift. In the morning the parents would puzzle at the gift, the tag must have fallen off at some point and they never could remember who had given it. The gift, the forgotten giver’s gift, was always the one that, whilst its value might have been slight compared to the computers and robots and expensive toys, was always most valued by the child as if, even unknown to themselves, it was what they truly wanted.

The Tomtin craved for the old days, but the Tomtin was trapped and his nasty coal eyes spied upon the dull glass bead and, as always, a shudder coursed his wiry frame. He hurried to reach the Saint, who had strode purposefully to the chimney, and was by his side as the venerable man placed his hand upon the brickwork. It was magic, of course, and not a surprise to the Tomtin, who had travelled this way before, when they appeared silently in the living room of Silas Breenes. More of a surprise came, as the little creature stepped forward and something caught his foot, causing him to trip. His arm shot forward, to brace his fall, the bracelet struck the ground and the glass bead shattered, invisible grains of glass embedding in his sickly grey flesh. The prickling pain, however, was nothing, he was free.

Who was the first to be aware that the spell had been broken, the Saint or the Tomtin, I cannot say. What is clear is the fact that the Tomtin reacted with greater speed. He leapt from the ground; his feet planted into the old Saint’s chest, his clawed hands gripping the shoulder and his eyes reaching into the Holy man’s eyes as he recast his spell. The Tomtin took control. What joy it was to be free, to know that he would be fed and to know that he and the Saint stood in the home of a sinner, he could smell the corruption in the air. Yet rules there were, the magic demanded it, and they made their way to the bedroom of Silas Breenes and, as they approached, the magic of the Tomtin broke the spell of silence, for Silas Breenes but not his parents, causing the child to hear the approach and awake from his deceitfully cherubic sleep.

Silas Breenes opened his eyes on hearing the footfalls approach. Confusion played through his mind, for there sounded like two sets of footfalls out in the darkened house and that should have been the movement of his mother and father. Yet one, his primal brain could tell, was too heavy for father and the other too light for mother and, for the first time really in his life, he felt nervous. Not afraid, not exactly, but definitely nervous. That nervousness grew as the door to his room opened and, against the blackness was a giant shape but, as the Tomtin’s spell cast light upon the situation, his nervousness became confusion as he spied Santa Claus - for Santa was only a story told to gullible children, that much Silas knew. Presents, he was aware, came from mother’s credit card and it had been many a year, lost to his recollection, since he had received a gift, the label missing and his parents unable to remember who had given it.

“Silas Breenes,” Saint Nicholas’ sonorous voice intoned, “I must test you…”

For his part Silas Breenes huddled into the corner of his bed, pressing his body twixt headboard and wall and clutching his knees to his chest lest they shake. He knew for certain that this was not a dream, as he knew that in his dreams he was always surrounded by other children, their noses bloodied from his violent fists.

“If you are ready…” Saint Nicholas continued and the boy found a voice though it was timid indeed. “You want to know if I am naughty or nice?”

“Not quite...” cackled the Tomtin, who emerged from behind the bulky shape of the venerable Saint. When the Saint had taken control of their relationship the test had been one of naughty or nice and a gentle test it was as well. The child’s actions meant much, oh that much was true, but it was the shape of the soul that provided the real test. St Nicholas would lay a gentle, meaty hand upon the sleeping brow and feel the shape of the soul. Minor misdemeanours were forgotten if the soul proved good and kind, for all children are want to mischief from time to time, and a present, unlabeled, would be placed with the rest. If the soul proved bitter and twisted, as surely Silas Breenes’ would have done (for it had in the past), then the Saint would simply depart and continue his journey around the globe.

When the Tomtin had been in charge the rules became distorted, no simple hand on brow when he ruled the roost. Questions would be asked, questions regarding the catechisms of the Christ child’s faith, a present would be had if the child were pious and learned enough to answer them aright but should he get them wrong, pain, only pain. Followed, of course, by the feed.

On seeing the Tomtin, Silas Breenes had started and behind his knees he began to quake. Bully he was and so was also, by rote, a coward. Twisted as his young soul might be it was as nothing next to the evil little creature whose malevolence was reflected in his grey and sharp countenance. The creature cackled again and smacked his thin lips in anticipation.

“Complete the phrase,” said old Saint Nicholas, “Mathew, Mark, Luke and…”

“Too easy,” Shrieked the Tomtin, his black eyes smouldering with rage. Yet his rage was misplaced.

“It’s a boy band, isn’t it?” Silas Breenes asked hopefully, “Isn’t it Donny?”

The Tomtin’s rage melted into wicked mirth, “Do it, do it!” He cried.

A piece of hard coal appeared, as if by magic for magic it was, in the Saint’s hand and he threw it with some force. It struck the hand of the boy, rapping his knuckles hard and causing him to yelp in pain as he let go of his knees and shook the damaged hand vigorously.

“Real questions now,” warned the Tomtin.

“Jesus,” intoned the Saint, “Means ‘God saves’ but who was it that gave him that name?”

“How am I meant to know that?” Asked Silas Breenes but he saw the imploring look in the eyes of the Saint and knew that he wanted him to give an answer and wanted, desperately, for the answer to be correct.

“His father?” guessed the boy and knew that he had guessed wrongly as the next piece of coal struck his arm. He cried aloud, feeling very real pain. At this point you might be forgiven for believing that we are to reach the moral of our tale. That perhaps Silas Breenes thought on his pain and the pain he had caused others and vowed then and there that he would never again cause such hurt. Alas, that is not the case. In fact, if we peeked in the boy’s dark soul we would see that his entire thoughts were centred on how others would suffer, more than usual, for the pain he currently endured.

“Final question,” the booming voice proclaimed, “Christ is Hebrew for Messiah but what does Messiah mean?”

Silas Breenes certainly did not know but his cowardice had been overcome with anger and he unquestionably did not want to face another hard coal. Bully boys are, unfortunately, invariably stupid boys and he cried his defiance, “Your mama!”

The final coal flew towards the boy glancing hard against his head, sending his senses spinning and opening a gash in his forehead that leaked thick, fresh blood. The aroma, at once, caught the nostrils of the Tomtin for it was the very food of which he had been starved and, as the boy slid down the wall, the little creature leapt upon his chest. His tongue flicked out and tasted the salty liquid and it was as though a fire exploded in his mind. In the past there had been so many boys and girls, who knew not the most simple of the catechisms, that he had paced himself, lapping at the blood of each and filling his belly over the night. Tomtin, however, had been starved for so long that Silas Breenes could only be a veritable feast.

His teeth became sharpened little daggers within his mouth and he quickly buried them into the young boy’s neck, sucking hard at the blood and nary spilling a drop. The lungs of the Tomtin were deceptively large for such a small frame and he sucked and sucked with such might that the boy was, with impressive speed, drained; pale and dead upon the bed.

The Tomtin stood but he had been without his food in such a long time, and the greater the sinner the headier the draft, that he staggered as though he were a drunk who had found a whole bottle of rum and devoured it in one gulp. This was the only chance that the Saint needed and he quickly reversed the spell once more and, once again, he controlled the Tomtin and not the other way around. Upon the bracelet, upon the Tomtin’s wrist, was once again a dull glass bead but this one was new, and not fragile with age, and no accidental fall would cause it to break… Not for some time, at least.

As for Silas Breenes’, there was nothing the Saint could do. He could feel the shape of a soul, to be true, and leave presents for children in the dark of the night. Resurrection, however, was not his skill and as he and the Tomtin left, the boy remained dead, with a raged hole bitten into his neck and not a drop of blood in his body.

He would be found the next day, by his parents, and the police would be duly called. All would agree a great mystery had occurred but, although none would ever be found, rats would be blamed by and by. His mother would wail and gnash her teeth, whilst secretly, hidden even from himself, his father would be pleased – for his father knew what manner of man his son would have become. Yet his mother would gain, though she never would see, as the presents so carefully wrapped would be returned to the stores and her credit card refunded and her debt would reduce and reduce.

As for the other children, who lived close to the home of Silas’ Breenes, perhaps they received the greatest gift of all. Their presents were safe and, whilst new bullies would come and new bullies would go, none were as despicable as the boy with the hole in his throat.

© Andrew M Boylan 2007

Author’s Note: Acknowledgment must go to Dr. Bob Curran, and his book “Vampires: A field guide to the creatures that stalk the night”, where I first read of the Tomtin and was inspired to write this tale.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Behind the Masque - the e-book

Some of you may have taken time to read my novelette “Behind the Masque”, if so thank you.

The Novelette is now also available for free download as an e-book, in pdf format, from

Click here to get your copy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Concilium Sanguinarius - sample chapter

Chapter one

New York City, 1999

She sat before the mirror.

The ornate silver brush pulled through her long dark hair, light from a nearby lamp catching the arabesque swirls inlayed in the antique metal, the light and shadow causing the delicate pattern to become more pronounced.

The mirror was part of an early Victorian dressing table, candles sat, unlit, on its richly varnished surface. She ceased her brushing for a moment and gazed at her reflection. How lucky, she mused, as she had done countless times, that the reflection myth was just that. How awful it would be if I could cast no reflection, if the cold mirror surface refused to hold my image. Just how would a girl’s vanity survive such a curse?

She smiled, but the expression was no more than a spectre that brushed gently over her lips. She was too preoccupied to truly smile; her heart ached too much. In the mirror her rich hazel eyes, almost imperceptibly streaked with veins of scarlet, held a pain that reflected the ache in her heart.

She turned her head and looked at the ornate carriage clock, the hands making their slow march towards the midnight hour. She gently placed the brush on the dresser and allowed her slender fingers to glide across the mirror’s smooth surface, gently brushing the reflection of the clock face.

Almost midnight. Almost a new millennium. In just fifty years she would be a millennium old herself, or in sixty-seven years if you counted from when she had received the Velvet Kiss.

She could barley remember her life before the Velvet Kiss, a life as a young maiden brought by her Norman father to a newly conquered England. She was unable to remember the name her parents had given her; indeed she had even forgotten their faces. Her memories were crystal clear from the moment that the vampire, who at that time had called herself Bronwen, had carried her over and, as was the custom for Fledglings, given her a new name, from that night she had been Danaan. To her life, albeit one of undeath, began in the autumn of 1067.

Nearly a millennium. Too much time for a human to contemplate and so much of that time spent in solitude. Oh she knew the cause of the ache in her heart; it was the dull pain of loneliness. Loneliness punctuated by a myriad of brief encounters. Encounters which, for some time, had failed more and more to lift her melancholy spirits.

Danaan looked over to the bed. Across the richly embroidered bedspread lay a girl, naked and quite dead. Death had claimed her because she had trusted someone called Juliana, the identity Danaan had adopted for the moment. If it had not been for a moment of carelessness, a lapse of reason, the girl might have distracted the vampire from her solitude, if only for a brief time.

It was unnecessary to kill. Other vampires did, but the undead varied in their appetites as much as the humans. Some vampires glutted themselves on each of their victims, but it was a choice not a necessity. The creatures only required a couple of pints to sustain their flesh, unless they were fighting injury or needing every ounce of their supernatural strength. Some of her kind took the attitude that to be immortal bestowed godhood upon them, giving them divine right to decide whether a donor lived or died, others simply did not care. Some took pleasure, even sustenance it was said, from causing the donor’s last moments to be filled with terror, whilst others filled the donor with terrible pain. Some rationed themselves with a stable of donors to save the need for repeated hunts. A few, like Danaan, felt a desire stronger than the need to feed, they desired company.

In the last days of the twentieth century many vampires haunted the S&M clubs, willing donors could always be found amongst the submissives. Danaan preferred the neo-gothic scene. She had some fond memories of the Renaissance; she had adored the gothic movement and had taken delight in the works of the pre-raphelites. Yet the melting pot of culture that was the late twentieth century, moving – as the clock had reminded her – at breakneck speed towards the twenty-first century, had created a rich vista of sub-cultures. The neo-gothics fascinated her with their heady mix of the macabre and the romantic. The glorification of the monotony of an industrial society underpinned with the bitter sweet agony of unrequited love both excited her and provided an easily accessed food supply.

Vampires were vogue within the movement. Some of the participants in the scene actually believed they were vampires. Okay, some of them were lunatics, but others were simply deluded, denying the fact that their twisted libidos had grown to associate blood with sex. Not that they were wrong, orgasm most definitely improved the crimson draft, but in a way that only a Child of the Velvet could detect.

Hell, vampires were so vogue that Danaan had once paraded herself around a neo-gothic club with her fangs fully extended. No one seemed the least bit shocked; one girl had even approached her and asked her for the address of her prosthetics company.

That evening, however, she had decided to be a little more reserved. She had worn a pseudo Victorian velvet dress of rich imperial purple and kept her fangs retracted. As the city fell into its millennial celebrations she had taken herself to one of the numerous neo-gothic clubs that littered New York, a place called The Raven.

She had arrived at the club long before the crowds and had almost left as a result. The few patrons consisted of the hardcore Goths. For these being neo-gothic was not a fashion statement or a phase, but a way of life. When the scene was no longer chic they would continue to dress in black and circle their eyes with kohl, they would continue to hold true to the vision.

The club was filled with an air of pretension. The patrons either sat in insurmountable cliques or stood alone and aloof. The pretension seeped from their very pores like a sweat born of a perceived superiority.

It was often the way, she had observed, when a person found something that made them feel different from the planet’s thronging masses. It didn’t matter whether it was a fashion or style, or the ability to appreciate literature rather than being perpetually glued to mindless soap operas on TV, or even being an immortal who imbued blood to survive. Yes, there were many vampires who carried the same air of pretension, forgetting or even denying that they had once been human. It was most common amongst the Fledglings; a phase that often caused the older vampires to despair, sometimes managing to cut the bond between Fledgling and Sponsor. It was a phase that more often than not they grew out of given time, Danaan certainly had, often but not always.

Music from the eighties Goth scene pounded from speakers, spilling over the empty dance floor. The early patrons demanded that “original” gothic music was played, yet were too aloof to dance.

Yes, she had almost left; their pretension chilled her flesh more than her empty veins. Then, around ten o’clock, the place began to fill up with the crowds and the atmosphere began to change. The melancholy, often under-produced, music faded out and modern harsh chords pounded across a quickly filling dance floor.

Danaan had spotted Eternity on the dance floor. She was a pretty young thing beneath the hair, dyed raven black, and the thick kohl eyeliner. Perhaps seventeen or eighteen, certainly too young to have legally entered The Raven, too young for the scent of alcohol that lingered on her breath. It hadn’t taken long to seduce her. Another advantage of the neo-gothic scene was the willingness many of them had to flirt with bisexuality.

Danaan had crossed the floor towards the mortal girl, her movements gracefully flowing with the pounding beat. She had circled the girl, her curved hips swaying sensuously, her hands moving to the music, occasionally one of her fingers would delicately trace down the warm flesh of Eternity’s arm. Soon the movements of the two girls mirrored each other, the rest of the club shrinking away until there was just the two of them.

Eternity was enthralled by the stranger’s beauty. She drank in her long dark hair, held away from her face by ornate silver hairpins. She studied her face, the smooth pale skin and luscious lips that seemed to naturally form a slight pout.

The young mortal traced a hand lightly down her face, following the slight prominence of her cheekbone. She was so beautiful.

Her eyes lingered on her slender neck and then flowed down to her chest. Eternity drank in the round mound of her breasts, the purple dress allowing a hint of cleavage. As the flickering lights burst white for a moment she caught the subtle hint of veins, a pale blue just below the surface of the snow-white skin.

Before long they had slipped from the club unseen, Eternity’s plans to celebrate the millennium with her friends forgotten as her sexual appetite overcame her loyalties. Later, when Eternity had not arrived home and the cops had questioned her friends, none of them could remember her leaving. None of them could clearly describe the girl she had talked to and danced with. None of them believed they would recognise her again, but all agreed she was beautiful.

All vampires found that the Velvet Kiss bestowed gifts upon them. Danaan was of the line of Shang-Di, the Child of Golden Skin. He was the oldest of her lineage, a council member, and the Dark Children of his blood could bewitch the human mind, while their bite brought ecstasy. It was not telepathy as such, but they could hide themselves within a person’s memory so long as contact was limited, a simple act of smoke and mirrors, projecting images and sometimes a little more like making a voice sound different to a mortal’s perception. By touching their surface thoughts they could discern what that person was thinking, but true communication was beyond younger vampires, such as Danaan. More powerfully Shang-Di’s Bloodline could enter a mortal’s dreams, and in doing so shape their nocturnal fantasies.

It had been an easy task to distort the memories of Eternity’s friends and the doorman at the club, to make her features indistinct.

Danaan could not force her will on another however, not blatantly, although she could guide at times. Eternity had left the club willingly.

Danaan pulled up in front of a pair of wrought iron gates some six feet high. Eternity could see the mansion beyond, set deep within the grounds. “Where are we?”

“Home sweet home,” Danaan smiled, proud of the building that she had called home for the last two years. A guard opened the gate and Danaan drove in. The guards were all human, but generous pay ensured both their loyalty and discretion. Danaan would not be without them, she enjoyed the feeling of security.

Eternity had been suitably impressed when Danaan had walked her to her car, an executive model with heavily tinted windows, but this new revelation was simply awe inspiring. She stared out of the window as Danaan drove slowly up the gravel driveway. The grounds were well kept and spoke of money. Eternity guessed, correctly, that there would be a pool at the rear of the house.

In the club she had been attracted to Danaan’s beauty and entranced by her accent, European she guessed, but impossible to pin down. Sure the car had been impressive, but she did not ever stop to consider that the girl was this rich. She kept thinking girl, but was that correct? At first she had assumed her to be around her own age, but those eyes, those deep hazel eyes, seemed ageless. It didn’t matter how old Danaan appeared to be, she was certainly a woman.
In her mind what had begun as a one-night stand, an experiment in sexual boundaries with a beautiful gi… woman, started to develop the possibilities of something more. Perhaps it would blossom into a relationship that could last a while and she could share in the apparent affluence. She was shocked by her mercenary thoughts, but the embarrassment was soon forgotten, her senses bewitched by her lush surroundings, by Danaan’s pale beauty, by the delicate perfume of vanilla that permeated the air.

A large sweeping staircase dominated the entrance hall. Either side of the stairs, adorning each banister, was the statue of an eagle finished in gold gilt. Danaan leisurely ran her hand along the outstretched wing of one of the birds, feeling the cold metal under her sensitive fingertips and remembering, for a second, finding those beautiful pieces over a century earlier. She felt a pang of loneliness, as her thoughts turned to her long life. She reached out and took Eternity’s hand, allowing the warmth of mortal flesh to push her melancholy lonesomeness away, and led the girl up the marble stairs. Eternity was shocked by how cold Danaan’s flesh felt, but after all it was winter in New York, she rationalised.

As they climbed the sweeping staircase Eternity became more and more nervous. What if she failed to pleasure Juliana? The question haunted the girl’s thoughts. She was no virgin, Carl had seen to that and several times more to make sure, but she had never slept with another woman before and Juliana seemed so confident, so experienced.

It was as though Danaan could sense the girl’s unease. She paused and offered Eternity a reassuring smile before kissing her deeply, exploring the young girl’s mouth with her tongue. As the vampire allowed a barely extended fang to graze lightly over the mortal’s lip it was as though a jolt of electricity passed through Eternity’s body, her nipples stiffened against the black PVC of her bustier even as her crotch became moist. Her nervousness was drowned within an ocean of lust. Danaan broke the kiss and continued to lead Eternity upwards.

The bedroom was absolutely beautiful, but Eternity had little time to take in the beauty. Danaan fell onto the bed, pulling Eternity onto her. The young girl had time enough to realise it was a four-poster bed with an ornate, jewel encrusted cross above the head of the bed and then their mouths met, and the room no longer mattered.

Danaan pushed Eternity’s jacket off her shoulders as they kissed, allowing it to fall from her body. Expert hands ran along the young girl’s spine, her fingers releasing catch after catch, causing the bustier to come away from her body, freeing her small pert breasts.

Fingers ran through shoulder length raven hair and nails scratched playfully down a swan neck, causing Eternity to gasp. Danaan’s hands moved further down, cupping the girl’s breasts, relishing their softness.

Eternity reciprocated, touching her lover’s breasts through the sensual velvet of her dress. But her hands moved tentatively, unsure of themselves.

In response, Danaan grasped the girl’s shoulder and, with a twist, Eternity found herself on her back looking up at the deep wells of Danaan’s eyes.
Danaan’s hand slipped behind her back and with a deft movement her dress was unfastened. She stood over the girl and allowed the dress to pool around her ankles. For a moment Eternity could do nothing but marvel at her lover’s flawless body. Her eyes caressed her beautiful face, brushing down her slender neck, pausing at the small mole just below her shoulder, an imperfection on the otherwise faultless skin that served to make the woman even more perfect. Her eyes continued to her generous, firm breasts. Her vision devoured her brown nipples, the large areolas offering a contrast to the snow-white complexion. Her eyes continued their visual feast sliding down Danaan’s taut stomach, lingering on the trim black hair that covered her pubis and then running down her long, toned legs.

This is heaven, she thought to herself, but how can a woman so perfect be interested in me?

With a slow, sensual movement, practically feline in nature, Danaan lowered herself and kissed the girl again. Her lips drifted over her chin and along her neck, only stopping their descent when they reached her breasts. She teased the girl’s small pink nipples with her tongue, first one and then the other, as her hand slipped up Eternity’s short skirt and into her soaked, flimsy underwear.

My God, Eternity sighed to herself, this woman has done this before. Danaan’s slender finger had found the girl’s clitoris and had started to gently flick the delicate bud.

Before long Eternity’s skirt was removed as were the gossamer briefs. The young girl’s pubic mound was a downy blonde, which caused Danaan a brief moment of amusement as the realisation struck her that Eternity was a natural blonde. How many blondes dye their hair dark, she laughed to herself? Then amusement turned into lust and Danaan nestled her face into the girl’s crotch, her tongue lashing the clitoris as her fingers thrust in and out of the girl’s sex.

Eternity bucked wildly as she felt the orgasm build through her body, her ecstatic screams rising to the heavens. This was when Danaan made her fatal mistake.

She had a rule, never feed and fuck. Orgasm always made the blood sweeter; she could taste an orgasm in the blood an hour or two after the event. But the taste of blood during orgasm was something else again, how easy it was to loose herself within the feed.

Yet at the moment the young girl screamed her joy, Danaan could smell the sweet nectar below the skin, stronger than the erotic scent of sex, she could hear it engorging the girl’s vagina, drowning Eternity’s screams.

Danaan felt her fangs extend, she tried to stop herself but need and instinct enveloped her caution. Her fangs sank into the girl’s pudenda and the blood flowed into her hungry mouth as anti-coagulants ran along the sharp ivory.

The feel of the fangs buried deep in her caused the girl to orgasm again and again, fire burning through her exhausted body. Each orgasm enriched the blood further; causing the feed to become a frenzy that Danaan was unable to stop.

Eternity’s voice had become hoarse with her joyous cries; her eyes stared up at the silk baldachin of the deepest royal blue that formed a canopy above the bed like the richest night, though in her bliss she focused on nothing, whilst tears of ecstasy tainted her cheeks with black smudged mascara and her knuckles stained white as her hands gripped the bedspread. Then silence as blood loss caused the girl to slip from consciousness. But the blood was as rich as ever and Danaan drank until there was no more.


Danaan stood and walked from the dresser back to the bed, sitting on the edge next to the corpse. Eternity’s purse lay on the floor. In it were a couple of twenty-dollar bills that the vampire removed and placed on the bedside cabinet.

As she rummaged through the purse she found the girl’s library card. In the picture she looked like an ordinary college girl, the stylistic, neo-gothic makeup was not in evidence. She looked like a regular girl with an ordinary name, Mildred Stenbock. Danaan stroked the girl’s hair gently and said, “You know Mildred, Eternity suited you so much more.”

The vampire let out a sigh and then continued, “The saddest thing is I really think you and I might have been happy, for a little time at least. I am sorry that I took too much… at least you died in the arms of ecstasy.”

She started to pick up Eternity’s clothes, ready to dispose of her corpse. But melancholy still gripped her heart and she sat for a moment, her eyes moving for a moment to the ornate cross that she had hung above her bed for centuries. In the polished metal, distorted by the embedded gem stones, was the reflected image of Eternity.

It was true, they could have been happy. Yet time stretched infinitely before Danaan and mortals were so frail, their lives so fleeting.

She needed… The realisation crashed down in a terrifying wave… She needed a companion of her own kind. She needed to create a companion. She knew that was a dangerous path, a path she had once been convinced she would never tread. Yet the loneliness was overwhelming. Perhaps, she wondered, perhaps that is what sparked Radu to do what he did and, as she thought this, she felt that for once she understood him, only in the smallest possible way, but a little at least.

Concilium Sanguinarius is available to buy direct from also available:

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Behind the Masque Fully Uploaded

Behind the Masque is now fully uploaded. Because of the blog process it runs backwards, but there is a nice handy menu to the right to neatly jump from chapter to chapter.

I hope you enjoy.




The rehearsal is over; Rob walks towards the river, beneath the twinkling lights of the city facing the long, cold walk home.

He sees a figure ahead, memories, dreams and reality converging onto a single point – fixed upon the person standing before him.

He stands, arms outstretched, his hands drip with blood.



“I have come to take you home, my son.”

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Sixteen

A form in the formless void of night’s black mystery steps forward, deliberately into the last vestiges of the Temple’s light.


Sadness presses like a weight on Paul’s shoulders. A memory returns of a long time gone, of a different life, of a crime committed that he believed was just. Sorrow; have mercy, please, for I was a different man.

“Wait, it wasn’t me, not this body, not this person…”

Jonathon steps closer still and stands before the man who was, “The soul is the same.”

Like lightening the dead man’s hand strikes, red weal of bloody scratches adorn Paul’s cheek.

Paul holds his hands up before him, uselessly, begging mercy.

Once more the hand strikes out, the vice fingers grip tight to his throat, the talons piercing his skin. Paul weeps tears of remorse, his life collapsed, his brother dead, his very existence doomed.

A marble smile of victory draws arabesque upon the face of the corpse.

The hand jerks back, ripping open the throat – the body collapses pumping a fountain of blood across the pentagram inscribed into the floor.

The vampire spits into the spilling blood, for once he ignores the pounding hunger.

You are avenged, my son.


In the light of eternity, a disembodied, heretical soul sees once more the circular truth; understands the necessities, freed at last from the chains which held him down.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fifteen

The cell door crashes open in a splintered fury. John stands within the doorway, his eyes blazing with mad fire, his mind snapped and broken. The lunatic with a gun in his hand. His wild, senseless eyes searching through insanity’s fog for elusive answers, for sweet revenge.

“Get up! On your fucking feet! Now!” The order barked, though his voice is shaking.

Paul stands and tries to carry an air of defiance in his posture before the impostor who was once his brother, the betrayer of his own blood.

“Julia… is dead… I want to know what you have done, you bastard?”


“Tell me you cunt! It called you Aleister, why? Fucking tell me”

Paul feels the panic spreading through his body, he is faced with death carried on the aroma of Frankincense that fills the air. “I don’t know.”


Paul suddenly leaps, his instincts burning and John’s finger pulls against the trigger. An explosion as the gun fires but the shot is wild, wide, the bullet scores the cell wall. Under the duress of disaster Paul’s reactions peak. He knocks John off balance and flies into the illumination of the Temple.

John pulls himself up and runs into the Temple. His arm is rigid before him. He sees the form of his brother diving behind the altar. Wild gunfire, irrational, bullets fly ineffectually towards deadened walls. The gun clicks, and clicks empty.

He runs forward and is faced with his own ritual dagger, held in Paul’s hand. It slashes at him again and again. Suddenly he feels the bite as it slashes his chest and then the plunge. He falls clutching the hilt where it emerges from his own chest, blood fills his mouth and foams at the wound.

He looks up and, for a moment, it is John, Paul’s John. Paul stares into the melancholy eyes and then John falls forward, his spirit flown.

The light has died.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

The key fumbles, scratching around the lock, before it slides into the hole and turns with a deft movement and the door opens to a blaze of lights. John walks casually into the room. She must have made contact and, in bedroom love scene, is tying the fiend to the will of the Lodge.

Just leave her to it; her marriage in the black light of passion. The whore entraps the blood drinker, the weapon of Diablos.

To the kitchen, a juice and a fix.

He pushes the kitchen door open and there, on the floor…

His senses reel…

For a moment he cannot comprehend what he sees before him, the shock is just too great.

It cannot be!

His love in crucifixion satire.

She lies so white, so still, a delicate rose displayed upon the cold linoleum floor. Brutal knives hold her wrists and ankles in place. Her arms outstretched, a welcome home of macabre love. Her legs spread-eagled, a statue of Mary wedged into her ripped vagina. Her breast pierced where the beast had fed.

John sinks to the floor, his hands gripping his spinning head, random memories rise unbidden to his mind. He sees her…

College years, her dark moods setting his world alight in the throes of violent sex.

Standing before the Altar with her blade dripping with a babe’s blood.

Telling him that he is a fool with regards his weak, spineless brother.

His brother…


He weeps Judas tears, sobbing at the desecration of his love.

He is to blame. Somehow, in some way.

Fucking bastard, got in the way and fucked it all up.

His mind snaps as he screams the hated name, “Paul!”

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Thirteen

A song about addiction, the need for a fix. The burning pain in every junkie’s mind. A social comment hidden amongst the nightmare entourage of songs and love sick ballads.

The rehearsal is going well but we have to play each song again and again, we quest for perfection.

We’ve got to get it right.

The scent of perfume, heady air,
Eau De Blood, without a care;
Needle pain, jabs at your vein,
As endless junk drives you insane.

Led to the dealer,
Like a lamb to the slaughter.
I’m left to drown
In the drug’s storm water.

And on it goes, the instruments mirroring the junkie’s pain. The guitar screams in a feedback frenzy, the rhythm rises and falls in a, seemingly, uncontrolled manner.

The middle eight, the pace slows; the tone falls to melancholy as we find the reflection of an addict’s doubt.

You shroud my head in black
Watch my brain decay
Shaking with addictive force
To rise from dead today.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve

Julia pauses, the door is slightly ajar. Someone is inside, she can sense his presence. She becomes the cautious predator, her hand curls around the handle of a knife, an extension of her blood red talons. She creeps forward, without fear, only vigilance.

She sees his form, sat in a chair with his back to her, a silhouette in the soft glow of a flickering candle. As she enters he turns slowly, so that the iridescent light illuminates the marble of his dead skin. His cold fingers are gripping a crystal goblet, fragile vessel filled with deep red wine.

No, not wine… it is not the fruit of the sun-blessed vine, but a more sinister fruit squeezed from the dying pain of a human heart.

The razor-edged blade falls uselessly to the floor. Her hand trembles, not with fear but anticipation, her dreams sit before her. The steel clatters uselessly as it strikes the floor, the stark sound of metal…

Her throat is dry, her voice a whisper, “Jonathon…”

“Come to me,” not a request, an order. His spell is weaved, the fly entangled in the spider’s web. She could never refuse him, her new dark lord.

She stands before him, expectant, her senses thrilling before the evil which commands her.

“Tell me, my dear, what do you know of Sheraton?”

She knows nothing, entranced, she longs to answer but cannot. She would never lie to him nor deny him.

He draws himself up before her, her skin burns as his icy breath brushes her soft cheek. His hands softly trace her black blouse, then he tears and it falls from her body in tatters. His long, ivory nails hook beneath the strap of her bra and slowly, delicately he removes it, revealing her full, firm breasts. Her excitement, her expectation is drawn up into bold nipples, her breathing is fast and shallow.

His eyes are ablaze with white fire, his irises burning; yet cold, unmelting.

He lowers his head and begins to kiss her breast, his tongue traces around her nipple, so softly.

The bite.

His fangs sink slowly into her and she starts for a moment at the searing pain at her breast; and then he begins to feed, an image of an infernal Madonna and child.

She is held upright in his strong arms and can feel orgasm after orgasm coursing through her blood, a small trickle of scarlet running down the white curve of her body.

Slowly he drains her, a connoisseur relishing each drop of her life – feeling her passion and her heartbeat as it pulses slower and slower.

She is left a husk, a broken eggshell without life.

Strangely her beauty is enhanced in the paleness of her corpse.

“Now let us leave these fools a gift so that they might understand.”

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven

Another rehearsal, we’ve got to get it right. The Record Company Men will be at the next gig. It could be a gift from the gods, but we have to get it right. Doubt encroaches as the rollercoaster flies away at breakneck speed, the dawning of insecurities, are we good enough? We’ve got to prove ourselves; the band is a single organism, the individuals lost within a wall of sound.

Who could have guessed that things would happen so quickly? The winged sandals of myth take the unwary away to undiscovered territories.

It’s just a rehearsal, not the real thing, but already the nerves burn with fire and the adrenaline flows. Where is the vanity of certainty now?

We have got to get it right.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten

“Okay, I’ll fucking kill him now then…”

Julia’s face coiled into a sneer, breaking her beauty into a visage of violence, “He is still your weakness John. You know that you can’t kill him until the dark moon and then, only at the height of the Great Rite… Oh… don’t worry… I’ll kill him, I’ll enjoy offering the little bastard’s heart to the Dark One.”

“I bet you will… But for fuck’s sake, he’s my brother!”

“Enough, this is not for discussion! Besides the shit is somehow caught up in this thing with Jonathon.

“”…I wonder, why he called Paul “Aleister”?”

The puzzle was set, somehow the Nosferatu had known Paul, or believed he did. How could that be?

“Look, I’m going back to the flat in case he returns tonight. Don’t do anything stupid.”

She grabs his hair and pulls his lips to hers, kissing him deeply, their tongues entwined. Then she throws his head backwards and, briskly, coldly, turns away. She walks from the sanctity of the Temple, and merges into the encroaching twilight, the herald of a new night.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Nine

Chapter Nine

With a new manager we can go right to the top. So he believes, at least. Revelling in the success and fame of the burning limelight. Pulling a few strings, friends of friends, and the record companies will be there. The whole band can feel their nerves on fire and new material floods in inspiration, through dreams… dreams of blood.

Bless me father, your name I will remember.

…Who is the shadow who haunts my dreams, the figure lost in the darkness, calling out to me, who claims parentage?

New songs weave a tapestry through the depths of my dreams.

A rough version, the lyrics need some work, the melody finally solidified, a working title is needed; I call it “Red”.

Black night of the Hunter’s glory
The ethereal dancers tell the story
Of revenge upon a satin bed;
Innocent white is stained to red.

The dove is diseased, poor neck broken,
The coil’s severed, a nightmare’s token,
Under the cross of hypocrisies I scream
Awash in the blood of a nightly dream.

All dreams are plagued,
At night they play,
In red, always red.
A deadly vision,
Of my cerebral fission,
In red, always red.

Not bad, but it definitely needs working on; two more verses and perhaps a middle eight.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight

It was the year 1780, and the Right Reverend Aleister Sheraton hunted me in the night. I was just a fledgling then, new born to the darkness. Night after night I would hunt the sweet darkness until the dawning realisation came – the hunter had become the hunted.

But, what did I care. He came at me again and again, charging from the shadows with the cross and the stake, cursing me with book, bell and candle – to no avail. Yet, after a while, he became a nuisance, like a fly that constantly buzzed around the wake of the carnage I left. A fly which, for some reason, I had been unable to crush.

Somehow, I still know not how, he discovered my name, the position that I had held when still in the world of the mortal.

All I knew was that one night his attacks ceased. I thanked the stars, who were my constant companions.

Then I received a message, he had taken my sweet Robert, held against his will. He was still a mortal, my ambition to make him one with me in the night had not yet been realised. The price of his freedom, my head atop a silver platter – the melodramatic bastard…

But, as I have said, I was young, the violence of blood running fresh and strong in my veins. Impetuously I flew to Robert’s rescue, unplanned and violent, I massacred all of Sheraton’s men that I could find. But Sheraton himself was not to be found, neither was my sweet Robert.

I walked from the carnage, my head held proud and vain, my hunger drowned in an ocean of blood that lay behind me, when I found Sheraton’s gift.

My son had been returned to me, butchered like a swine. I could feel the agony he had endured, each hack wrenched at my dark soul, each scream rang phantom like in my acute hearing. He had been ripped apart, packaged into a parody of the canopic jars and left where I would find them by the whore spawned devil who called himself a priest.

Long I wept blood tears, crying for the loss of an innocent, when all I knew was darkness and corruption.

Fearing my anger, unparalleled in my life, Sheraton had fled. I searched the corners of the globe, yet never found him…

Until now…

Sheraton, cursed bastard of my darkest dreams, I will have my revenge.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

Lost in the shadows, dust swirls l’dance macabre in the cold, grey chink light. The cell door is locked. Strange how, within the calm of silence, the impossible can be accepted. John’s death at University, mind-destroyed by Julia. And now a stranger wears his mask, impostor, and the pretence has crumbled.

Rest In Peace, my brother…

No benediction…

No Last Rites…

No God in Heaven.

The cross has melted into a stagnant pool of lies, festering within his mind. Who are the Old Ones? I’ll probably never find out; lost within the reaper’s shadow, devoid of a focus for any faith.

The golden chain breaks as it is violently tugged. The crucifix clenched in the white knuckled fist bites into the soft flesh of the palm. Paul throws it into the far shadows. It tumbles upwards and glows as it passes through the chink of light at the peak of its ascension; falls rapidly away. Splintering sound, how brittle the gold has become with all faith drained away.

Shards of gold explode like glass, fall useless onto the floor.

Only the figure of Christ remains intact.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Six

Chapter Six

Pain. Reason is aflame.


Reaches fever pitch, the need unlimited and blinded by anger. All semblance of humanity has been lost within the pounding Hell.

Racing the shadows, ancient predator, the streets have no meaning within the slicing, tearing pain.

Footsteps, heartbeat…

The hunger explodes!


He leaps from death alley, with an animal grace – land shark – carnivore ultima.

Sharpened talon nails rip into the neck of the cheap Magdalene. The five-buck-fuck whore.

Weight of pain collapses down, sending victim and hunter sprawling.

Flight of momentum through the air, smashing into the wall.

Ivory fangs tear deeper at the love-bitten, no broken, neck even as they fall.

His rage engulfs him, he smashes her head into the red-brick wall, smearing brains and blood.

Amongst the carnage the hunter drinks.

The hunger, for a moment, subdued.

The anger numbed.

Only a cold hatred remains…


Sheraton, I will hunt you down…

You fucking bastard.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Five

Chapter Five

The eyes of the owner of the Raven now spin pound signs, like some cheap cartoon show, with the venom of digital overload. Cigar smoke halos the brow of the capitalist saint. Inside his balding skull, with limp rag-tag ponytail, figures are calculated; cover the costs, sow the seeds and reap the profits. The light is green, project go.

“Rob,” he calls across to the band’s vocalist. Rob looks up from the other end of the room where he busies himself with gig dismantling.

“Bring the boys over here for a second.”

Forward, out of the shadows, the rock battlelords; modern heroes prepared for aural war. The uniform of satin and leather, bandanas flutter beneath the air-conditioned wind.

“Have you boys,” the drip of the Blarney Stone begins, “Considered hiring a manager… now it just so happens… think I could arrange… reasonable fee…”

Let the negotiations begin.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Four

Chapter Four

The flower grows quickly, unseen; alien within the dull grey of the sprawling metropolis.

Rising up to distant sky, tunnel vision following the skyscraper path to the glow of the sun.

Delicate petals unfurl in the sunshine, when it finally breaks a path through the smog.

Then – the flower crumbles, its purple bud bursts into dust; the green is now corpse grey, decay.

Beyond the confines of perfection, the advancing onslaught of cynicism rots the flesh.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Three

Chapter Three

The story unfolded and fires of disbelief ravage the cords of reason. Holocaust! The truth is so bitter, so twisted, that it ravages the synapse land; threatening to destroy the mind of the brother betrayed.

John, a mage of the Dark Path. Worshipper of the Fallen One – the dark angel who rebelled against Heaven. Like the brother turned prodigal, the fold feels betrayed.

Master of the Temple, proud drug addict, rapist, murderer (though he claims it to be sacrifice to the ‘True Lord’ – the usurper). He who lived behind the mask of brotherhood and love.

Who only loved Babylon, high priestess, Temple prostitute – Julia.

Deadly rites of vicious intent used to summon the vampire, their weapon of destruction and gift to a world gone mad.

So often the traitor had tried to convert Paul to his ways, invaded deep his mind. Unknown battle of wills, misplaced love versus the golden cross adorned with a man of peace; an idol Paul unconsciously clung to like a leech.

And now… what coincidence had led Paul to stumble upon the sordid truth. The ancient trust of brothers’ lies shattered upon the floor – the shards rip bitter pain.

Now he was to be taken, gagged and bound, to the Temple, held locked in a cell to await the time of sacrifice. Aztec lost blood graffiti – the heart beats still, when removed with speed; held high in the gory hand of triumph.

“You know, Paul, I never wanted it to be like this.”

Paul spits defiance into the hideous visage revealed behind a once beautiful mask.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

In the dark, the dead man’s anger explodes. With ears grown sensitive through the miracle of undeath, he hears the plot, now unfolding, though his grief has driven him miles from the scene. Blood tears stream, leaving their red tracks scored down his white flesh, escaping through anger and pouring for Robert.

My only son.

Aleister Sheraton – I will tear you limb from limb. You bastard.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter One

PART THREE: Revelations

Chapter One

In a flash of metal, ballistic grey and black, the threat unforeseen and bringing the look of incredulous shock. Where had John got a gun? Why is it aimed at me?

The questions melt into a dazzling confusion, with the drifting winds of disbelief and the forked lightening of betrayal. Paranoia explodes into an emotional overload as insecurities rage.


“Paul.” John’s voice grown hard and cold, a voice alien in origin, “I wanted to spare you this, perhaps bring you to us… But, no, you’ve stumbled into the truth…”

“But John…” Paul’s arms held out, imploring, trying to catch the last shreds of fleeting reality, tears score silently along his face as the seek a reason lost within the maelstrom of nightmares.

“Don’t move! He, the Nosferatu, is ours… a gift from the Dark Lord himself. Julia is to be his bride, tying him to us…

“And you… you will not stand in our way, little brother!”

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Friday, October 13, 2006

Chapter Thirty Six

Chapter Thirty Six

John races through the doorway, to the sound of breaking glass. He looks at Paul who stands, a distant, troubled expression playing upon his face. Julia upon the bed, an anger flashing in her eyes.

Paul breaks the silence, “He was here John, he came for her…”

John looks once more at Paul, at Julia, at the jagged shards of broken window – the curtains billowing, and his gaze coming to rest again upon Paul.

He spits out the words, his voice filled with venom, “I know.”

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Thirty Five

Chapter Thirty Five

Paul bolts upright from his troubled sleep, his mouth still calling the name, “Jonathon.”

He races, driven by instinct, into the bedroom and there stands the Beast, poised for the strike above Julia.

“You,” His voice carries a new found power, “In the name of the Gods, both old and new,” (his voice stumbles for a moment, shocked by his own heresy),”I order you to leave this woman.”

Jonathon spins around fluidly. “You!” He cries out in recognition, identifying at last the one who has tried to intervene so much and is now revealed, is know unmasked – he is the one who killed his only son.

Blue eyes flash blood red and an ancient anger rises in the vampire’s twisted, decayed heart.

A distant crash and an expletive cursed. The sound of running feet – he has reinforcement, the dead man thinks, I’ll bide my time, I have, after all, eternity.

“Next time, Aleister.”

Paul shudders, cold grave waltzing, that name meant something… once, a memory so distant, yet perhaps it could be remembered… the thoughts shattered by the glass which splinters outwards as the walking corpse leaps through the window, tumbling down towards the deserted alley below – to vanish.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Thirty Four

Chapter Thirty Four

Julia sits upon her bed, John is in the kitchen and John’s weakness sleeps.

She sits in the luxury of satin lingerie, the cool black material brushes her skin with a seductive softness, like the ocean breeze. She runs her hand over her full breasts and lets it drift down to her crotch, revelling in the moist warmth. How long will he take?

The answer comes in a whispered name, “Julia…”

Out of the melting shadows he stands before her, his white skin glows in the soft lamplight.

“I am yours, Lord.” She cries softly, “My husband, take me with you in the eternity of your kiss.”

She waits, hungering for the inevitable.

Confusion plays for a moment across the dead man’s mind. She knows him, wants him. Perhaps she seeks to escape this mortal existence, live everlastingly in the shadows; a creature of two worlds and yet of none.

He looks deeply into her pleading eyes, beyond and into her soul. From all eyes the soul shines and he, who has lived so long, could read them, know them, recognise them as they raced from incarnation to incarnation.

Hers so new, so corrupt, so mislead.

Yet the hunger has become a deafening roar in his head.

He walks casually to her expectant form.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Thirty Three

Chapter Thirty Three

Dream of night… the carnival begins.

The book explodes into flame, he knew nothing.

The lessons are to be revisited.

I am crucified, in memory of Christ. Could you begin to forgive, oh my Lord, my heresies?

The cross is rammed deep into the flesh of the hill, my rain soaked hair is whipped by the vicious wind; and yet still flames flicker up the wooden phallicy.

A thousand, no, a million dark creatures of yesteryear watch, with gross intent, my suffering. I scream at them, “Why do you not cower before this crucifixion, this icon of sacrifice, this idol of good?”

“Pisces is dead,” they retort, as if one, “The Old Gods rise once more. They do not judge on the repressed morality of frigid, impotent priests.”

Julia cuts a wake through the crowd.

She stands before the cross and bows her head in mockery. She then takes my erect penis into her red-lipped mouth. She sucks hard as her mouth moves up and down and her teeth scrape the flesh. Unknown pleasure sears my body, a thousand taboos are rejected within my ecstasy. I ejaculate, and within my orgasm all my repression explode and the creatures all crumble into dust with an ecstatic sigh.

A figure in a robe of brilliance carries me down from the cross and I snuggle against her firm breasts.

I watch as dawn splits the infinite skies.

By the mountainside I paint a white dove of peace and the living brushwork flies to the high peak. An eagle swoops and snatches the dove from the sky, its talons draw blood sluggishly from the, now broken, neck.

And I am hit by a cacophony.

A web of words.

I strain to hear what they say.

A name… John… no, not John.

Jonathon, Jonathon.

Black angel, night warrior…

For me there can be no peace.


© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chapter Thirty Two

Chapter Thirty Two

The keyboard sparkles in the bejewelled night.

Never knew why you found another man.
Only realised that my love was betrayed,
Stood like a fool in the pouring rain
Believing the lies, your love portrayed.

And now you’re gone.

Jonathon leaves the Raven.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Thirty One

Chapter Thirty One

His eyes stray from hers for just a moment and his vision locks stubbornly to the figure of the singer. He holds a watery pint of beer in his hand as he weaves his way back to the stage, his head held aloft with arrogance, his long hair streaming in the air-conditioned wind.

“Jonathon, I must go; this is my address – look me up.”

Her voice brings him back and suddenly he is alone, a scrap of paper floats on the breeze of her wake. He reproaches himself mentally for letting the spell break so easily, then his attention is drawn back to the stage, upon which the vocalist is climbing, his hand reaching for the microphone. His voice thunders out as he introduces the next song.

Jonathon picks up the paper and his eyes run across the address.

No need to worry… the reason is beginning to dawn, the purpose of his awakening is suddenly very clear and the timing nothing short of a gift.

He turns the paper in his fingers, it is an invitation and this time the spider must leave the web.

He smiles once more, his upper lip turning slightly and revealing the tips of cruel daggers and his blue eyes blaze bright with cold fire.

Oh yes… the reason is now very clear.


© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty

She sits before him, her black silk dress fallen open seductively at the leg, revealing the sleek nylon clad leg, the suspender just visible.

He looks; his cold blue eyes drink her in as an unfamiliar need stirs through his body, the passion of sexual desire. Yet it is only an afterimage and is quickly subdued. What do the dead care for the sweating and groaning of such activities? Perhaps once, before his creation, but now he will leave love for the living. Such as he find their passions only within the dying pulse of gushing blood.

She tosses her long brown hair and offer him a flirtatious smile that would have left a mortal man weak at the knees, if strong in the groin. “Hi… I’m Julia,” her voice is filled with soft laughter and drips sexuality. She runs her scarlet talons lightly along his statuesque profile, a seductive gesture.

He smiles, it is so easy, “Jonathon.”

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Twenty Nine

Chapter Twenty Nine

The weeping has now ceased, yet the red raw eyes bear testimony to the explosion of emotions which has wracked his body.

“You must sleep,” John implores as he reaches for a mug of steaming liquid, “Please, drink this… Oh… Don’t worry, its only herbs… It’ll just help you sleep…”

Paul nods a reluctant acceptance, takes the cup and, trustingly, gulps down the bitter draught.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan

Chapter Twenty Eight

Chapter Twenty Eight

“That was a song that we call ‘Lament of the Love Bird’, for all you incurable romantics! Now Electric Masquerade are proud to d├ębut a new instrumental, this is ‘Alpha 99’!”

The singer rushes from the stage to the distant bar, just enough time to get there, get a pint and get back. On stage musicians who worked in beautiful harmony just moments earlier now explode into frenzied musical warfare.


Julia summons every last ounce of sex appeal, she pouts her lips, slightly parted, as she floats towards the man in black and prepares to flirt.


The spider sharpens his knives.

© 1990 & 2006 Andrew M Boylan