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.
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. 😀
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.
So vampires don’t like the taste of alcohol? Interesting.
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
Interesting 8, makes me want to read more.
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!
I guess vampires don’t like alcohol.
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! 😉
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.
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.