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Book Update and A Story

February 13, 2016

The editors at Page Publishing have finished editing my manuscript, and I’ve approved the edits. They are now working on the interior layout. That should take another 30-60 days, then it’s time for the cover. I sent them a sketch of a design I did myself. I’m hoping they can touch it up and make it better. That process is at least another month. Once that’s done, they will print the first hardcopies. After that, they create the digital version. It’s a slow process. The book will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, iTunes, and other places.

Exciting. Can’t wait. I’ll keep you updated.

On another subject, the first short story I ever wrote was called the “Diary of Cassiopeia” and was about a vampire. I wrote it while I was in the secure housing unit at Tehachapi. It needs some reworking, but don’t think I’ll ever get around to it again. The other day I found this awesome drawing on the yard, being sold for a case of soups ($6.00, so cheap), and thought it’d be cool to post with the story. The artist is Jason L. Smith.

Jason Smith
The Diary of Cassiopeia
(a cautionary tale)
By Sean Michael, January 2012

I have studied extensively the so-called myth of vampires and have spent my entire life trying to disprove the notion that they are purely fictive. I have finally done it–at least to mine own mind. Believe me if you will, disbelieve me if you dare.

I have left detailed hand-written notes, a tape recorder and still photos in a safe to be given to a trusted individual, who I will not name here, upon my death.
I have not included any personal details because, I assure you, vampires are real, and if they discovered who authored this manuscript, they would destroy it, then kill me and my family. Killing me would be of little consequence for death and I shall have our final dance soon. But I care for the well being of my loved ones and do not wish to put them in harm’s way. I have left instructions that this manuscript be published under a pseudonym after my imminent death. If you are reading this, it has. Read on.

While on a journey pertaining to my life’s work, I discovered a diary written by the Queen of the Bloodstones, the first existential race of vampire. What I convey to you now is all that I have been able to discern from the barely surviving pages written by Cassiopeia. To be perfectly candid, I have filled in minor spaces of this story where sections of the diary were unreadable or missing and reconstructed dialogue based on notes in the diary. Cassiopeia kept a very detailed account of her nights and her people. I have done my best to stay true to her story. The following is an excerpt from her diary.

They no longer worship us, the mortal humans. To them, we have become myth and folklore, mere entertainment, when once we were gods on earth. Now they depict us in plays and tell stories to their children about vampires that, at first, leave them frightened but always end with laughter, kisses, and wishes of well rest. “Sleep tight, don’t let the vamps bite.” They mock us!

Cassiopeia clapped her diary shut with outrage churning her immortal blood. Hands trembling she laid the quill across the top of her book.

She summoned her high priest, who was also her lover and willing slave. Immediately, he appeared in her cavernous chambers. She went to him and forcefully tore the cloth from his body. She observed his bare flesh, scarred, toned, and willing to serve her unquestioningly. Amorous desires ignited, matching the flames of her ire. He did nothing until instructed. Pleased with what she saw, she allowed her robe to fall to the floor and beckoned him.

“Come, Cassiasenna, my high priest, my lover.”

He went to her and their bodies clashed with ravenous lust. He pinned her to the bed and thrust into her, harder and faster as she commanded, with passionate strokes while she fought, underneath him, for control of his powerful body and finally won. Eventually, their love making ebbed but not before explosions of pleasure, like firecrackers, went off through their bodies.

Laying side by side, Cassiopeia turned to her high priest and kissed him deeply, passionately, then commanded “Up and before me.” Without delay, he rose from the bed and lowered himself gently to one knee before his queen.

“Cassiasenna, do you serve me willingly, even if your immortality is threatened, and at the risk that others of our kind may perish, possibly even I?”

“My queen, I would let no harm…”

“My question, high priest?”

“You need not ask,” he professed.

She reminded him of something that had been dormant in the minds of the Bloodstones, even his own, but not hers: the first war with the mortal humans.

When the original world, Vampira, of the Bloodstones collapsed in on itself and the bounds of their dimension disintegrated, they found themselves in a place called Earth. It was a perfect land that could sustain the Bloodstones for their long, eternal lives. At that time, there was no smog, no pollution or ozone deterioration, robberies, murders or any kind of crime. Mankind lived solely off the bounty of the land which was of a far greater expanse than Vampira and, unlike their dead world, kept on giving.

They soon realized there were two phases of time on earth, which the humans called night and day. The brilliant light called day shone on the earth for 15 hours and was caustic to the Bloodstones. It caused their pale flesh to rise into bubbles and pop, their eyes to boil and ooze from their sockets, their hearts to explode and their brains to flow like gray liquid out through their nostrils. In a very short time, nothing would remain but a dry skeleton.

Thus, the Bloodstones retreated into the cavernous hills of Mout Sofisticus where they waited in the cool darkness. They decided that the mortal humans could have the worthless day but, when the darkness of night fell upon the streets, it would be their time. The humans refused to relinquish the night to them, and so the war began.

The humans were crafty and intelligent creatures, discovering the only way to kill a Bloodstone was to remove their heart completely from the center of their torso or cut off their heads. (Bloodstones only have two vital organs; a heart and a brain.) Despite learning this, the humans lost the war.

The mortals then decided the Bloodstones were gods and the night would be their gift to these deities. Those that roamed the land after the day had vanished were offered as sacrifices. The Boodstones only fed on humans twice a year. The rest of the year they survived on birds and other small animals.

“Rise, Cassiasenna, and come to me.”

When he was standing before her, she placed her hands affectionately on his face and stared into his emerald eyes. She spoke sullenly. “They have forgotten who we are. We have become the fancy of their minds. We must instill the truth back into the hearts of the mortal humans.”

“Yes, my queen.”

“They walk the streets without fear. We will lose the night forever, and this world will become as useless to us as Vampira, lying in ruin and gone to us.” She lamented, “ They no longer offer us sacrifices of mortal blood at the end of our year’s cycle. We are forced to feed in secret and flee like cowards lest the others decide to turn on us and fight back. It is time for us take back the night, once more as our own.”

“We must wage war again with the mortal humans,” Cassiasenna offered.

“Yes, but we must do more than that.” Cassiopeia draped her arms over the shoulders of her high priest and whispered into his ear, sucking the lobe after she explained. “They must become one of us.”

A moment passed before the high priest spoke. “Forgive me, my queen, I’m not sure I understand what you say or how this could be accomplished. A human becoming a Bloodstone? We are of a pure lineage.”

“Forgiven. We are the only lineage, but soon there will be others.” She turned her neck to him. “Now drink and see all that I know.”

Cassiasenna brushed his lips along her jawline, reveling in the privilege, then down the side of her throat and sank his fangs into her neck. Their bodies spasmed as if experiencing sexual release.

The queens spirit eye opened and came to life, and as the sage voices of spirits whispered and pictures flashed through the high priest’s mind like a slide show, he understood. He released her gasping for breath. Hands on his knees, he muttered something unintelligible, then rose back to his full height and gazed upon his queen with stern adulation.

“Now go. and give this message to all Bloodstones: Bring the mortal humans through the threshold of light to darkness. Ravage the weak and turn the strong. When night falls, reclaim it.”

The high priest turned to leave and she called him back. She took his hands in hers and placed them upon her breasts.

“Not all are as loyal to me as you.” She kissed him passionately then repeated, “Ravage the weak and turn the strong. When the night falls, reclaim it.”

In this way, the second war with the mortal humans began. They were taken by surprise and many perished, suffering gruesome deaths when they resisted the change. Others morphed and new breeds of vampire emerged. The night grew longer to twelve hours instead of six.

However, a great number of humans had escaped. They built armies and trained warriors called slayers, practicing the cunning strategies of battle, learning the most deft of ways to rip the heart of a Bloodstone from their torso. They attacked the underground empire of Mount Sofisticus during the day, but they were unable to fully eradicate either the Bloodstones or the new species of vampire that had been created.

The war raged and ebbed for hundreds of years; the balance of light and darkness shifting until it seemed to be at a standstill with twelve hours of night and twelve hours of day and both sides drifting away from the fight.

Some of those on the side of the humans gave in to the enticement of becoming an immortal vampire, betraying their own kind and mating with Bloodstones. More species evolved. Presently, there are even those vampires who can walk in the day.

Since the 1900s, many authors of book and film have written tales about vampires under the guise of fiction. In days long ago, the Bloodstones of Vampira loathed being thought of as myth but today vampires embrace it. The notion has provided them a veil as they walk among us. They are at the grocery store purchasing pounds of red meat. They are at the theatre, possibly in the seat next to you, watching the latest Vampire movie, perhaps your new favorite. They are on public transportation reading a paper or a good book. They are there.

Haven’t you ever had the unexplainable feeling that somebody was watching you and turned to find no one? Seen the shadow that fleets past your eye and melds into the darkness?

Yes, they are there.

Although the second war has ended, I surmise it is only the start of the third, maybe the last.

Believe me if you will. Disbelieve me if you dare.

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