Weekend Writing Warriors, Sunday 21 April 2013 (A stroll past midnight)

Terence and his inamorata stroll among the foliage, in a fantastical sort of garden. The university grounds are peculiar; there are places here that try to imitate Oxford or Paris, and sometimes a flash of moonlight on a carven doorway, black shadow in gothic lace, makes me think I am there—though those places are blackened with time now, or with industrial soot. Then there are other places, as here near the greenhouses, that do not mistake themselves; we are in practical America, glass and steel, broken up a bit by lawns and foliage, oak and maple, that are scarcely a century old. 

She doesn’t talk much, but I hear her breathing, and smell the rush of blood under the skin. Not intolerably difficult to concentrate, though I must have a snack soon…

… And there are two or three rowdies, bravos we would have called them in my day, all setting out from a noisy party—drunk.

I do not like having that stuff in my blood, but I have promised Terence.

Luckily one of them peeled off from the others, and went his own way, and I got a sip or two. I judged him not as drunk as the other two, and that was good, because I truly hate the taste of that stuff.


Excerpt from my work-in-progress in response to the Vampire Variations challenge. Weekend Writing Warriors offers eight-sentence excerpts from a variety of writers; see the other excerpts here.

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10 Responses to Weekend Writing Warriors, Sunday 21 April 2013 (A stroll past midnight)

  1. Sue says:

    How did he slip away from her to get his snack? I wonder if the first word should be “we” and not “they”…And I wonder his connection to Terrence? Interesting – some writers allow their characters to drink any old blood, and some are more discriminating. Just a matter of taste I suppose. 😀

    • epbeaumont says:

      Ah yes, the perils of excerpts. Thanks for noting the ambiguity; I’ve edited to clear that up. The speaker is Claudia, the older of this pair of vampires.

  2. So vampires don’t like the taste of alcohol? Interesting.

  3. Sue says:

    so if Terrence is in the garden what is the reference to himself later on ?
    Sorry maybe I’m confused. Usually your excerpts just flow along

  4. Interesting 8, makes me want to read more.

  5. I did find this an intriguing excerpt (I was confused too, re the slipping away reference)..will be interesting to see where the story goes next!

  6. I guess vampires don’t like alcohol.

  7. Melonie says:

    I like the “places that do not mistake themselves” line. As for vampires finding the taste of alcohol distasteful…well, I guess this lush (as in me) is safe! 😉

    • epbeaumont says:

      Years ago when I lived near the University of Chicago, I met an English woman who had studied at Oxford. She told me that the Chicago and Yale campuses both gave her a turn–sometimes she’d be unsure of where she was, except that it was so eerily clean and new. Among other things, apparently the neo-Gothic architecture in both locations reproduce entire the empty niches originally created by late-medieval vandals.

  8. First off, let me say I don’t know vampire literature. But I was drawn into this account. Confused somewhat because of the narrator seems to be a traveler into this scene and is observing (the limitations of eight sentences), BUT I very much felt the atmosphere of the setting. You put me into a medieval place within seconds. Words like “inamorata” and “carven” (the second of which I had to look up) contribute wonderfully to that. So good work. You took me out of my office and into your world.

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