Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Guest: Peter Dawes


… An Excerpt from Eyes of the Seer, Ch. 3


A pensive silence settled between us, with me already set to the thrill of stalking and Timothy following suit. We paused by a small grouping of humans and watched as a single female departed from the rest of her friends, walking for a narrower side street.

Timothy leaned close and whispered in my ear, “I think that’s your cue.”

That same need which had afflicted me when I beheld my first victim overwhelmed me again. A slow nod preceded my first cautious steps forward, a small gust of wind blowing through the short locks of brown atop my head. The winter wind failed to produce a shiver, and while the short, slender woman I trailed pulled her coat closed against her body, I allowed mine to sail open, wearing my apathy like an accessory of the hunt. She failed to hear me approach, which only pleased me further. My would-be victim wouldn’t know I was there until she felt my breath tickle at her neck.

We passed by the entrance to an alley.

“Now!” a harsh whisper commanded, from somewhere close behind.

I leaped forward, grabbing the human girl and pushing her into the alley until her back hit the unforgiving force of concrete. She yelped out the beginnings of a scream, but I cupped her mouth with my hand, my fangs descending and piercing her skin while she wriggled and clawed at me. I could smell her fear and tasted it in quantity while mouthful after mouthful of her blood cascaded down my throat.

Within minutes, her lifeless corpse fell to the ground at my feet.

“Brilliant!” Timothy said with a clap, walking forward and crouching down to regard my victim. Lost in the afterglow of such ecstasy, I beheld him in a dreamlike state, the decline back to my senses a slow, but steady one. He glanced up at me and smirked, macabre delight dancing in his eyes. “Why don’t we dispose of this and be on our way?”

A final shudder of pleasure rattled my psyche as I nodded and bent to help. Soon little more than remains inside a dumpster, the woman had been completely forgotten by the time we made it out toward the street. Mental clarity returned just in time for Timothy to open his mouth to speak.

“The Mistress tells me you’ve still been having trouble remembering things,” he said, reaching into his coat pocket to light another cigarette.

I nodded, glancing away. “I probably wouldn’t even know my name was Peter if you all hadn’t told me.”

“You had a wallet on you. It was hard not to know.” Timothy held the cigarette to his lips, drawing deep enough to cause the orange embers at the end to flair. He paused to exhale first before speaking again. “Memories are superfluous anyway. You know the important things. How to button a shirt. How to speak English. That you write with your right hand.”

The cavalier way he stated that startled me. “You pay close attention to details.”

“I always have. You could say I’ve been the Mistress’s eyes ever since my turning.” He offered me a wink, settling comfortably into the silence that followed until we made it to the coven. The downstairs was still bustling when we entered and I felt the urge to slink away from the activity. Michael was mercifully absent, but I felt it best not to tempt fate. “I should settle in a little. You guys gave me so much stuff. I have yet to sort through it all.”

“Just helping you get comfortable.” He nodded and allowed me to ascend the stairs. Midway up, he spoke my name, prompting me to pause and glance back at him. “Don’t be too troubled about it,” he said. “The memory loss, that is. It’ll come back. You just need time.”

“That’s what I was hoping.” I flashed an amiable grin, reflecting on the events of that evening. My smile broadened. “I’m having too much fun to be worried about it anyway.”

“That’s the spirit.”

My gaze evaluated the trappings of my new life again. Rebirth surrounded me, making me an empty canvas waiting to be covered with bloody brushstrokes. Still, when my gaze returned to Timothy, I could not help but to notice the wolfish grin return to his face. I perked an eyebrow. “Are you always like this with new vampires? You’ve been so helpful.”

“You’re special,” he said, “And the Mistress favors you.” He nodded once before turning his back on me. “Have a good night, Peter.”

“You, too.” Watching him until he disappeared into the common area, I remained standing there for moments afterward, weighing those words while not sure what his comment meant. The riddle continued to haunt me while I undressed in my room and even when I settled into sleep for the day. It took shutting my eyes in surrender to fatigue for the question to stop rattling around in my mind.

Deep inside the lull of sleep, however, the cadence of a persistent whisper encroached upon me from some distant corner of my subconscious. I heard a voice speak, bearing the tone of an unwelcome visitor from the grave, summoning me toward lucidity after only a few hours’ rest.
Lydia.

Something other than the memory of her dropping dead at my feet rushed through my newborn vampire haze, bringing me face to face with a creature that looked strangely familiar. I saw the person she beckoned staring at me from across an expanse, a tall man who once bore sympathetic blue eyes and a kind demeanor. Shooting to a seated position, I blinked against the darkness while attempting to settle my shaky nerves.

And still her words echoed.

I love you, Dr. Dawes.’

Dr. Peter Dawes. That had been me.



Interested in reading more? Eyes of the Seer is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes store.

***

Peter Dawes is the author of The Vampire Flynn Series, published by the micro-press Crimson Melodies. His serial story“A Maker and His Child” appears on the BloodTideZine website and short “Lost Highway” has been featured in the Nocturnal Embers anthology, also by Crimson Melodies. While primarily a novelist, he has also written stories for the anthology Red Phone Box, featuring the work of fellow authors Warren Ellis, Dan Wickline, and more. Always working on something new, Peter leaves it up to the reader to decide if it’s by sunlight or candlelight.

The third book of The Vampire Flynn Series – Fate of the Seer – will be released late this August, through Crimson Melodies Publishing. Peter is also currently working on a medieval fantasy novel, The Unquiet Dead, which will be released sometime in early 2014.

You can find Peter on Twitter, Facebook, or at his blog, The Man Behind the Curtain.

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