Deadly Ever After

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Just Another Hunt by Mari Wells

TODAY’S BREW: Sunberry punch, malibu red, triple sec and frozen berries. Sheenberry punch.

For all our romantics out there, I give you Just Another Hunt by our lovely friend, Mari Wells. Mari is far more of a lady than either of us, so we are classing it up for you to start with. Enjoy!



By Mari Wells

I sat in the corner watching everyone in the club. A few eyes were on me; this red and black leather dress always got their attention. I heard the whispers, the words like daggers. It doesn’t matter; women are cruel when threatened by another of their kind.


I intimidated them all when on the hunt.


Only one man would do tonight. I didn’t mind if he’d arrived with someone else, he’d be leaving with me. I raised the drink in my hand to my lips. I still hadn’t seen the one I desired tonight but I wouldn’t leave this club and go to another one.


Movement on the dance floor caught my attention. A black dress swayed back and forth. Come on. There had to be something more than that dress. A man’s hand slipped around her waist and rested on the small of her back. Turn around. Turn around.


A couple next to me shifted at their table and I heard her whisper, “What’s wrong with her?”

They got up and left.


I kept my vision focused on the hand upon the black dress. Finally, they twisted, and I saw him.


His broad shoulders obscured the woman in the black dress. I so like broad shoulders, they’re better for gripping. I inhaled deeply; all the people in the closed building masked his scent. The club owners had thought that the air systems would keep fresh air circulating through the building. It might have worked for humans but not for me.


I picked up a familiar scent and scanned the far wall. Gabe’s eyes met mine, and he tipped his head slightly to acknowledge me. My lips curled slightly. We might have spoken before but we both hunted something else tonight.


I turned back to the floor; black dress was gone and broad shoulders with her. I scanned the bar and tables, I couldn’t lose him. I wanted him. No one else would do.


I scanned the floor once more, ready to get up and search him out. I met Gabe’s eyes again; his grin told me he knew whom I hunted. I raised my glass to him.  He made his way to me and pulled a chair out to sit down.

“A black dress?” he asked.

I nodded.

“Northern corner,” he replied.

I glanced into the corner. There they sat, locked at the lips.


“It’s been a long time,” he sighed.

Please don’t do this.

“I’ve thought of you often.”

“Gabe our time is done. Se acabó.”

He nodded and placed his hands on the table.

A feeling I haven’t felt for a long time grew in me. Slowly I reached to touch the tips of his fingers, a sensation like fire burning though his fingertips into mine.


Memories flooded me: holding him in my arms, rocking him, licking the wounds on his neck. Once he awoke, we spent many hours in each other’s arms from moonrise to sunrise. Passion washed over us during those hours, the need to feed banished by the need for love and fervor. Desire was the game we played. We even hunted together, but that was over now.


“You were always. . .“

He leaned in closer.

“My favorite.”

No te creoHe was always your favorite. That’s what ended us,” he replied leaning back into his chair.

“I didn’t create him. You I created. You are my favorite.”

“I wasn’t enough for you. Ale, forget him. You’ll never be happy until you do.”

Was he right, would I never be happy until I forgot him? I was happy with Gabe, wasn’t I, while it lasted.


“How have you been?” I asked.

He grinned. “I’ve been. Y tu?” his grin got bigger.

He knew. Everyone knew. I shrugged.

“You have been busy,” he finally said.

“You know my only weakness is strong men.”

He smiled, “And I was your favorite?”

I brought my drink to my lips as I focused on him. The memory of his fingers softly touching my lips sent a shiver through me.

“I was your favorite?” he asked again, leaning towards me.

I nodded once.


What was your favorite?” His grin turned mischievous.

I shook my head.

He placed his right hand on his heart, drawing my eyes to his chest.

“You wound me, Reina. Not even one small word for my injured ego.”

“All of you. Everything.”

It’s said we can’t feel warmth, but passion burns within us. More heat radiates through our bodies, than that of a human’s.


His gaze pierced mine. His chest rose and fell as he inhaled deeply. “I remember your most important lesson.”

I wouldn’t be able to keep control much longer. “Cual?”

He shook his head, “Not yet. . .“

He knew me well, knew the correct moves, and after all -of these years- he remembered. My body began to burn. I scanned the dance floor again, and glanced to the northern corner.

“Why bother?” he asked.


I looked at him. His left index finger followed the pattern on the table. “You know you’re not taking him tonight.”

“Oh no, and who am I taking tonight?”

Our eyes met and the fire burst through me.

“Your first lesson, the more passion, or desire that burns. . . “

My breath hitched.

“The sweeter the blood.” He inhaled deeply and smiled.

“You remember well. Tell me was I not correct in teaching you this?”

“You were correct.”

It became my turn to inhale; his scent confirmed what my eyes were already telling me.

“The dress or her date no longer matter, Ale. You’re coming with me tonight.”

Desire sang within my body. He was right, I would leave with him tonight, but my Gabe was wrong too.

Tonight wouldn’t change anything. It was just another hunt.


Vampire Genetics

Today’s Brew:  Julie’s shunned favorite, French Toast coffee.  But the real news is the waffles with the real maple syrup.  Pancake goo is for people who hate life.

by Kristen

I’ve always found it fascinating that ancient vampire myths from all cultures share certain characteristics: nocturnal beasts that drink blood.  It’s not like they could Google these things hundreds or thousands of years ago.  The printing press wasn’t even invented until 1450, so books weren’t readily available.  No libraries for research.  Information could only be passed by handwritten letters, if you could read, write, or even afford paper, or by spoken word.

So what caused the link in the myths?  It had to be routed in some sort of truth.   Could it have been a genetic disorder that medicine had yet to explain?

One explanation of these myths could be porphyria.  Now known as a group of disorders, people affected with this disorder are unable to make heme, a part of hemoglobin, properly.  The disorder is hard to diagnose but symptoms include extreme sensitivity to sunlight, neuropathy, severe iron deficiency,  hallucination, paranoia, and necrosis of the gums, causing the tissue to recede and giving teeth a fang like appearance. Many people affected by this disorder crave iron rich foods. Treatments now include heme infusion therapies.  In the 1950’s porphyria was treated by shock therapy, as the condition was not yet fully understood.

In a 1985 scientific paper, David Dolphin, PhD, suggested that before the disease was understood, people with porphyria may have drank blood to instinctually treat themselves.   At first Dolphin’s theories were celebrated, but then dismissed as many inconsistencies were discovered. People with the disorder considered Dolphin’s findings embarrassing and humiliating. But Dolphin felt that the vampire myth had to originally be routed in fact.  Porphyria affects all races:  Africans, Asians, Australian Aborigines, Caucasians, Mexicans, Native Americans, and the list goes on.  It also may be the root of werewolf legends, as cutaneous porphyria can cause increased hair growth on areas of the body such as the forehead. All of these cultures have vampire legends rooted in blood drinking and sensitivity to the sun.  Sixty years ago, “modern” medicine treated these disorders by shock therapy.  Medicine and understanding had a lot of catching up to do!

Some believed famous historical sufferers of porphyria include King George III, Mary, Queen of Scots, and, ahem, Vlad III the Impaler.  From Vlad, people believed that vampires were allergic to sunlight.

Whether it’s the true root of vampire legend or just a coincidence, I found this discovery fascinating.  People affected by this disorder shouldn’t find this connection embarrassing at all.  I think it’s pretty bad ass. After all, who’s going to mess with a vampire?

Thirsty for more vampire mythology?  Julie has done quite a bit of regional research:
Bonjour!  French Vampire Mythology and Sightings
Vampires, Eh? What’s That All Aboot?
The Reason NYC is the City That Never Sleeps
The Japanese Do It Right: Gashodokuro & Hagoromo Gitsune
The Rhode Island Vampire Girls

Mari Wells also does an excellent series on vampire mythology weekly on her blog.

Sources for this post include Bloodlust by Carol Page, Harper Collins 1991, and


Today’s Brew:  Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.  It was calling to me from the cupboard.  What was I to do?
Thief–Mari Wells
“She’ll hurt herself.” They both looked up at the ceiling, “Stop her. Whatever she’s doing.”  He stood up and went up the stairs to his bedroom. Cara was pushing the crib across the room until it pushed against the bed. The baby inside wailed.     “What are you doing?” He pulled the crib slowly a small ways from the side of the bed.

“I need him close to me.” He wrapped his arm around her and led her to the bed.

“You’re going to get hurt. You aren’t ready to exert yourself like that.” He sat her down and tucked the blankets around her legs. “The baby was fine where he was.”

He bent and picked the crying bundle up out of the bed. She opened her arms to him.

“She’s coming for him. I have to keep him close or she’ll take him.”

He reached his hand out to caress her cheek. “Cara, no one is coming for him.”

She looked up at him with tears welling in her eyes. “I’ve seen her Rick, she tries to take him.”

“You’re tired, Cara, you’ve been through a lot in a few days. No one wants him.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she held the baby tighter to her chest. She rubbed her chin on his soft head. “I won’t let her have him. If you won’t keep her away, I will,” her eyes focused on him, before her vision focused on the large mirror in the dresser. He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. He rubbed the baby’s cheek with his index finger.

“I’ll bring you some water and something to eat,” he stood up, “and your medicines,” he said under his breath.

“I will protect you little one,” she cooed rubbing her cheek softly against his. “She won’t take you.”

She laid the baby in front of her and began to undress him. “I see her and you see her,” she reached for a new diaper, “it doesn’t matter if he can’t see her.” She redressed him and held him close to her body.  “I don’t need him to protect you. I can.” She looked up into the mirror. A smiled played at the corner of her lips. She looked tired. She held the small bundle in one arm as she patted the right side of her golden hair. “I need a shower, little one.”

The reflection in the mirror blurred. A woman with wild black hair, and dark circles under her eyes appeared. She held her arms out, her long white sleeves swayed. She moved closer. “Come.”

The baby began to wail.

“No!” Cara screamed. She picked up the empty baby bottle on the nightstand and threw it at the woman. She continued to scream, “No, he’s mine. You can’t have him. No!” It landed on the dresser top with a thud.

“What is it? Cara?” Rick sat down beside her. He tried to pry the baby out of her arms. “Cara!”

Her eyes filled with tears. “I won’t let you have him.” She squeezed the baby closer. Rick placed his hand on her cheek. “Rick, please! She’s going to take him.”

Her shoulders heaved as she sobbed. He took the baby from her arms and handed him to his mother who had been standing in the doorway. She tenderly rocked the newborn and offered it a bottle.

“Cara, I don’t understand what’s happening.”

Cara wrapped her arms around him as she sobbed into his chest. “She’s coming for him. Rick, she wants my baby.”

He patted her on the back. “There isn’t anyone here who wants your baby, Cara.” He looked at his mother.

“It’s the hormones, or Post partum depression,” she whispered to him.

“She will take our child, and you can’t even see her.” Cara cried into his shoulder.

“Cara, you need to rest. Here take your medication.” He pried her arms from his shoulders and picked up the bottle of medicine the doctor had given her, he held the cup for her. She swallowed the pills and lay down. “Please sleep. I will keep him with me. I won’t let her get him.”

Cara closed her eyes, “She comes from the mirror,” she picked her trembling hand up and pointed towards the mirror.

“I won’t let her get close to him,” he whispered. This is crazy. Is she going insane, he thought. When he was sure she was asleep, he got up and looked into the mirror. His hand ran across it. He shook his head at his reflection and chuckled. He spent the rest of the evening downstairs with his mother and the baby.

He laid the baby in the crib and walked around to his side of the bed. He kissed Cara on the forehead. She would be better tomorrow, she had needed rest, and today she finally got it. He heard the baby whimper, the floorboard creaked. He opened his eyes. The room was much colder than it should be.  A woman in a long white nightgown walked toward the crib. He watched for a moment as she bent and picked up the baby. Her black hair whipped around her face even though there wasn’t a breeze inside. He sat up.

“Put him down.”

Her face twisted into a horrific smile as she sat on the dresser top. “Come get him,” she cackled. She slid into the mirror. She beckoned him with her finger on the other side of the glass.

He jumped from the bed. He paused for a split second before pushing his arms through the glass. She cackled again. The glass shattered. He fell backwards as the shards of glass landed on the floor beside him. The world spun as he tried to get up. He couldn’t stand, when he looked down at his body his arms, his hands were missing.

“Cara!” he screamed.

His mother ran into the room. She screamed when she saw him. She shook Cara, but she wouldn’t wake up.

She felt her pulse, “Cara’s dead!”

Bio: Mari Wells a homeschooling mom four children and homemaker steals hours or forces moments from her hectic day to write. She has been known to wake at dawn to write and continues into the late hours of night. She keeps a notebook and flashlight on her nightstand for the words that come to her in the wee hours.
She can be found at where she blogs about vampires, witches, and writing.
She spends unreal amounts of time on Twitter. @Mari_Wells4 or

The Nightmares Before Christmas Continue! The Schedule More or Less

TODAY’S BREW:  Crispin  Brown’s Lane Cider. It’s nighttime, so booze.

Have I told you yet how much I love this series, and how pumped I am at the response the Undead Duo have received for these horror stories?  And have I told you how proud like a baby mama I am of all of these incredible writers, and of how supportive they are of each other?  Can’t say it enough.

So, here is the working schedule of the writers we will feature for the remainder of the series, though we are still accepting submissions (till the 10th, Kristen says….you know me, though.  Accepting FOREVER.)  Cannot wait to see what you all think of each other’s work, and hope this leads to great friendships for many of you.

12/1  Dylan J. Morgan

12/3 JC Michael

12/4 Bobby Salomons, Death 2 Death Books

12/5 Steve Bridger

12/6 Our very own Kristen Strassel

12/7 Mari Wells

12/8 Rusty Fischer

12/9 Philip Monroe

12/10 Josh Hewitt

12/11 Chris Shawbell, Copious Corpses

12/12 The Next Big Thing Bloghop

12/13 Sione Aeschliman

12/14 Armand Rosamilia

12/15 Steve Bridger

12/16 John D. Taff

12/17 Mike Matula

12/18 Lil’ ol’ me, Julie Hutchings

12/19 Randy Dutton

12/20 Bobby Salomons

This is subject to change, mostly added to. Love it, love you, keep reading. Again, there will be no prizes.  I have no prizes for you. Not a thing.

The Nightmares Before Christmas Holiday Horror Stories! It Begins!

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’ Donuts intensely mediocre Mocha Mint.  Dual post by the Undead Duo

The time has come!  Lock up your daughters and hide the valuable gifts you bought.  And I know you did, not because we’re stalking you or anything.  Don’t ask.

Tomorrow begins the unveiling of The Nightmares Before Christmas Holiday Horror Story Collection.  Thank you so much to all of the talented rock star writers who took time out of their busy lives to make our blog more beautiful.  Again, I, Julie, have said a little too often just how impressed I am with the submissions we received, most making me feel like I should never have quit my day job.  This doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to keep our readers up at night.  We are accepting stories through December 10th, or if Julie has it her way, FOREVER.   Because submissions are still open, here is the schedule for the first week only:

12/1   Dylan J. Morgan, The Wind and the Damned

12/3   JC Michael, Untitled

12/5   Steve Bridger, Happy Horrordays

12/7   Mari Wells, Thief

These stories are in no particular order, though I agonized over it for no reason at all.  Did I mention there are no prizes?

We are looking forward like nobody’s business, getting all of our friends’ amazing works on our blog, and showing you all how awesome they are.  We keep good company.  Support each other, make nice, and prepare to be creeped out.

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