This is an early scene from The Black Swan Inheritance:
I found the body where the werewolf had left it. Black blood stained the ground, as well as my clothes. I worried if I had stopped to shower and change I would lose my nerve. Nerves were about all I had now. Nerves and necromancy.
Kneeling down next to the dead creature, my bare legs soaked up the heat of the day from the bitumen. I swallowed audibly and picked up the head to reposition it. That done, I took the small pocketknife I had been given when I joined scouts (I left after about a month) and opened the blade.
“Blood of the Black S-swan.” I was trying to command the dead to rise, and I couldn’t manage that through chattering teeth. I cleared my throat and started again. “Blood of the Black Swan binds you to me. I call you from the grave and into the night. If you shall accept, rise.”
I sliced the inside of my left palm and blood pooled. I coated my red blood against his black, running my hand around his severed neck. Then, finally, I placed my wounded palm over his mouth.
I looked away when I heard movement of flesh against stone, but forced my eyes back upon the scene. I watched as his blood coagulated with mine and brought the head back to the body. I watched as the fatal wound healed itself. I watched as the skin and muscle knitted before my eyes. I watched as the vampire’s eyes snapped open, and he grabbed my hand with both of his and pressed it hard against his mouth.
The feeding was disgusting. The vampire rose a little but only to force more of my blood into his mouth. It reminded me of a man bucking during sex. He drank with greedy desperation, as if frightened the blood be taken from him at any moment. I let him feed, but when I felt my strength wane, I had to put a stop to it.
The vampire stilled with the command.
He relinquished my wrist, and I checked my palm. The clean cut was marred with hickeys – bruising from the vampire sucking so desperately he brought the blood up through the skin. My vision became spotty, so I let my hand drop to my side, hoping that if I hid the sight of it I could manage to remain conscious.
“I have claimed you, do you understand?”
He nodded, but his eyes were glassy.
“Are you still hungry?”
“Yes,” he whispered in a weak voice.
“You can no longer feed on me. Is there anything else that can be done to heal you?”
He didn’t answer for a moment. Then he said, “Bury me. I need rest.”
I blinked. “Bury you? Bury you where?”
I didn’t even own a shovel. I lived in an apartment, after all. Where would be safe?
There was a park right next to where we were, but that could hardly be safe. There was sort of a common, a grassy back garden at the apartment block where the clothesline was. How was I to dig up the ground?
Wait, the management hired a gardener. He came every week and kept his tools in a little shed, next to the hot water systems. There should be a shovel in there.
I just hoped I wasn’t caught.
“C’mon.” I helped the vampire to his feet. “You’re coming home with me.”
The Black Swan Inheritance is available for US$2.99 at the following retailers:
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a free reviewer’s copy!
Copyright © 2014 Sarah Thomas writing as Marigold Deidre Dicer