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"Ticker," he said. "Been bad for five years or more. Get me around in the shotgun seat, Booth, and then get us the h.e.l.l out of here."
I hooked an arm under his coat and dragged him around and somehow boosted him up and in. He leaned his head back and shut his eyes. His skin was waxy-looking and yellow.
I went back around the hood of the truck at a trot, and I d.a.m.ned near ran into the little girl. She was just standing there beside the driver's-side door, her hair in pigtails, wearing nothing but a little bit of a yellow dress.
"Mister," she said in a high, clear voice, as sweet as morning mist, "won't you help me find my mother? She's gone and I'm so cold-"
"Honey," I said, "honey, you better get in the truck. Your mother's-"
I broke off, and if there was ever a time in my life I was close to swooning, that was the moment. She was standing there, you see, but she was standing on top of the snow and there were no tracks, not in any direction.
She looked up at me then, Lumley's daughter Francie. She was no more than seven years old, and she was going to be seven for an eternity of nights. Her little face was a ghastly corpse white, her eyes a red and silver that you could fall into. And below her jaw I could see two small punctures like pinp.r.i.c.ks, their edges horribly mangled.
She held out her arms at me and smiled. "Pick me up, mister," she said softly. "I want to give you a kiss. Then you can take me to my mommy."
I didn't want to, but there was nothing I could do. I was leaning forward, my arms outstretched. I could see her mouth opening, I could see the little fangs inside the pink ring of her lips. Something slipped down her chin, bright and silvery, and with a dim, distant, faraway horror, I realized she was drooling.
Her small hands clasped themselves around my neck and I was thinking: Well, maybe it won't be so bad, not so bad, maybe it won't be so awful after a while-when something black flew out of the Scout and struck her on the chest. There was a puff of strange-smelling smoke, a flashing glow that was gone an instant later, and then she was backing away, hissing. Her face was twisted into a vulpine mask of rage, hate, and pain. She turned sideways and then... and then she was gone. One moment she was there, and the next there was a twisting knot of snow that looked a little bit like a human shape. Then the wind tattered it away across the fields.
"Booth!" Tookey whispered. "Be quick, now!" And I was. But not so quick that I didn't have time to pick up what he had thrown at that little girl from h.e.l.l. His mother's Douay Bible.
That was some time ago. I'm a sight older now, and I was no chicken then. Herb Tooklander pa.s.sed on two years ago. He went peaceful, in the night. The bar is still there, some man and his wife from Waterville bought it, nice people, and they've kept it pretty much the same. But I don't go by much. It's different somehow with Tookey gone.
Things in the Lot go on pretty much as they always have. The sheriff found that fellow Lumley's car the next day, out of gas, the battery dead. Neither Tookey nor I said anything about it. What would have been the point? And every now and then a hitchhiker or a camper will disappear around there someplace, up on Schoolyard Hill or out near the Harmony Hill cemetery. They'll turn up the fellow's packsack or a paperback book all swollen and bleached out by the rain or snow, or some such. But never the people.
I still have bad dreams about that stormy night we went out there. Not about the woman so much as the little girl, and the way she smiled when she held her arms up so I could pick her up. So she could give me a kiss. But I'm an old man and the time comes soon when dreams are done.
You may have an occasion to be traveling in southern Maine yourself one of these days. Pretty part of the countryside. You may even stop by Tookey's Bar for a drink. Nice place. They kept the name just the same. So have your drink, and then my advice to you is to keep right on moving north. Whatever you do, don't go up that road to Jerusalem's Lot.
Especially not after dark.
There's a little girl somewhere out there. And I think she's still waiting for her good-night kiss.
For Further Reading compiled.
by Ross E. Lockhart.
What follows is a selected bibliography of vampire fiction. This list focuses primarily on vampires in fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels published within the last thirty years or so, and largely ignores young adult, tie-in (Buffy, Angel, etc.), romance, and erotica t.i.tles, although some crossover is inevitable. This list also looks beyond the obvious origins of the vampire genre; if you're not already intimately familiar with John William Polidori's Lord Ruthven (The Vampyre, 1819), Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (Carmilla, 1872), or Bram Stoker's Dracula (Dracula, 1897), then start there. t.i.tles noteworthy for their high literary value are marked with an asterisk.
To learn more about the stories in By Blood We Live, visit the anthology's website at johnjosephadams.com/by-blood-we-live.
The Nymphos of Rocky Flats (et seq.) Aldiss, Brian W.
Altman, Steven Elliot Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires Andersson, C. Dean I Am Dracula.
Armstrong, F. W.
Devouring Armstrong, Kelley Bitten (Women of the Otherworld) (et seq.) Arthur, Keri.
Full Moon Rising (et seq.) Aycliffe, Jonathan The Lost Baker, Scott.
Ancestral Hungers Dhampire.
Banks, L. A.
Minion (The Vampire Huntress Legend) (et seq.) Barbeau, Adrienne and Michael Scott Vampyres of Hollywood Bellamy, Dodie The Letters of Mina Harker Bennett, Nigel and P. N. Elrod His Father's Son Bergstrom, Elaine Shattered Gla.s.s (et seq.) Mina (as Marie Kiraly) Blood to Blood: The Dracula Story (as Marie Kiraly) Bishop, David Operation Vampyr (et seq.) Bledsoe, Alex Blood Groove Bodner, Hal Bite Club Bradbury, Ray From the Dust Returned *
Brand, Rebecca (see also Charnas, Suzy McKee) The Ruby Tear Briggs, Patricia Blood Bound (et seq.) Brite, Poppy Z.
Lost Souls Butcher, Jim Storm Front (The Dresden Files) (et seq.) Butler, Octavia Fledgling *
Cacek, P. D.
Night Players Night Prayers Cecilione, Michael Thirst Charnas, Suzy McKee (see also Brand, Rebecca) Stagestruck Vampires and Other Phantasms The Vampire Tapestry Clark, Simon Vampyrrhic Clegg, Douglas The Priest of Blood (The Vampyricon) Conner, Michael Arkangel Curtin, Joseph Daughters of the Moon Davidson, MaryJanice Undead and Unwed (et seq.) Dedman, Stephen Shadows Bite Del Toro, Guillermo and Chuck Hogan The Strain (et seq.) Dietz, Ulysses G.
Desmond Doherty, Robert Area 51: Nosferatu Due, Tananarive My Soul to Keep (et seq.) Elrod, P. N.
Quincy Morris, Vampire Bloodlist (et seq.) Red Death (et seq.) Farmer, Philip Jose Image of the Beast *
Farren, Mick Darklost (et seq.) Ford, John M.
Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History Fox, Andrew Fat White Vampire Blues (et seq.) Friedman, C. S.
The Madness Season Black Sun Rising (et seq.) Garton, Ray Live Girls Golden Christopher Of Saints and Shadows (et seq.) Gunn, Derek Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder (et seq.) Hambly, Barbara Those Who Hunt the Night Traveling With the Dead Renfield Hamilton, Laurell K.
Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter) (et seq.) Harris, Charlaine Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire) (et seq.) Harris, Narrelle M.
The Opposite of Life Harrison, Kim Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows) (et seq.) Hawkins, Kerri Blood Legacy: The Novel Hendee, Barb and J. C. Hendee Dhampir (et seq.) In Shade and Shadow (et seq.) Hudson, Charlie Already Dead (et seq.) Huff, Tanya Blood Price (et seq.) Jefferson, Jemiah Voice of the Blood Wounds Fiend Jewell, Elizabeth Dark Callings: Bloodlines Jones, Matt R.
Hollywood Vampires: UnholyWar (et seq.) Kenyon, Sherrilyn Fantasy Lover (Dark Hunter) (et seq.) Kiernan, Caitlin R.
The Five of Cups Killough, Lee Blood Hunt (et seq.) Kilpatrick, Nancy Child of the Night (Power of the Blood) (et seq.) King, Stephen 'Salem's Lot *
Knight, E. E.
Way of the Wolf (Vampire Earth) (et seq.) Kohler, Karen Slayer (et seq.) Kostova, Elizabeth The Historian *
Kupfer, Allen C.
The Journal of Professor Abraham Van Helsing Lash, Batton The Vampire Brat Laws, Stephen Fear Me Laymon, Richard Bite The Traveling Vampire Show Lee, Tanith Dark Dance (Blood Opera) (et seq.) Vivia Sabella The Blood of Roses Lindqvist, John Ajvide Lt Den Ratte Komma In (Let the Right One In) *
Lumley, Brian Necroscope (et seq.) Vampire World I: Blood Brothers (et seq.) Lukyanenko, Sergei Night Watch (et seq.) Marks, John Fangland Martin, George R. R.
Fevre Dream *
Martinez, A. Lee Gil's All Fright Diner Matheson, Richard I Am Legend *
McCammon, Robert They Thirst McKinley, Robin Sunshine McMullen, Sean Voyage of the Shadowmoon Gla.s.s Dragons Mellick, Carlton, III The f.a.ggiest Vampire Merz, Jon F.
The Fixer (et seq.) Meyer, Stephenie Twilight (et seq.) Mitch.e.l.l, Mary Ann Sips of Blood (et seq.) Moore, Christopher Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (et seq.) Mosiman, Billie Sue Red Moon Rising Malachi's Moon Craven Moon Navarro, Yvonne AfterAge Newman, Kim Anno Dracula (et seq.) Powers, Tim The Stress of Her Regard (et seq.)*
Pratchett, Terry Carpe Jugulum Resnick, Mike Stalking the Vampire Rice, Anne Interview with the Vampire (et seq.) *
Romkey, Michael I, Vampire (et seq.) The Vampire's Violin American Gothic Rusch, Kristine Kathryn Sins of the Blood Saberhagen, Fred The Dracula Tape (et seq.) Schiefelbein, Michael Vampire Vow (et seq.) Shepard, Lucius The Golden Simmons, Wm. Mark One Foot in the Grave Dead on My Feet Habeas Corpses Smith-Ready, Jeri Wicked Game Stableford, Brian Sherlock Holmes and the Vampires of Eternity The Hunger and Ecstasy of Vampires The Empire of Fear Young Blood Steakley, John Vampire$ Strieber, Whitley The Hunger (et seq.) *
Taylor, Karen E.
Blood Secrets (et seq.) Thompson, James M.
Night Blood (et seq.) Thurlo, David and Aimee Thurlo Second Sunrise (et seq.) Thurman, Rob Nightlife Moonshine Waggoner, Tim Necropolis Watts, Peter.
Blindsight Wellington, David.
13 Bullets 99 Coffins Vampire Zero.
23 Hours Wilson, Colin The s.p.a.ce Vampires.
Wilson, F. Paul The Keep Midnight Ma.s.s.
Wright, T. M.
The Last Vampire Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn.
Hotel Transylvania (et seq.) A Flame in Byzantium (et seq.).
Out of the House of Life (et seq.) The Angry Angel (et seq.).
Many thanks to the following:.
Jeremy La.s.sen and Jason Williams at Night Shade Books, for letting me edit all these anthologies and for doing such a kick-a.s.s job publishing them. Also, to Ross Lockhart at Night Shade for all that he does behind-the-scenes, and to Marty Halpern for catching all my tyops.
David Palumbo, for another amazing cover. I fear I'm being spoiled.
Gordon Van Gelder: he gave me my start in the business, so if we were vampires, I guess that would make him my sire or master. Or something. Too bad this editing gig doesn't come with eternal life. On the plus side, it hasn't turned me into a living corpse.
My agent Jenny Rappaport, who exsanguinates me of 15% of my earnings but helps grant me (literary) immortality.
Rebecca McNulty, for helping me sort through tome after tome of vampire fiction and for providing me a highly valuable second opinion when needed.
David Barr Kirtley for helping me kill those header note demons. Visit his website at www.davidbarrkirtley.com and read some of his fabulous stories, why don't you.
Kris Dikeman, Jordan Hamessley, and Jeremiah Tolbert for various kinds of behind-the-scenes a.s.sistance.
My mom, for keeping me away from bloodsuckers when I was young.
All of the other kindly folks who a.s.sisted me in some way during the editorial process: Manie Barron, Deborah Beale, Blake Charlton, Mickey Choate, Douglas E. Cohen, Ellen Datlow, Gary A. Emenitove, Jennifer Escott, Amelia Greene, Elizabeth Harding, Merrilee Heifetz, Del Howison, Jay Lake, Paul Lucas, Gail Martin, Henry Morrison, James Morrow, Allison Rich, Irina Roberts, Betty Russo, Bill Schafer, Darrell Schweitzer, Steven Silver, Kevin Standlee, Jonathan Strahan, Charles A. Tan, everyone who dropped suggestions into my vampire fiction database, and to everyone else who helped out in some way that I neglected to mention (and to you folks, I apologize!).
The NYC Geek Posse-consisting of Robert Bland, Christopher M. Cevasco, (Doug Cohen and Jordan Hamessley belong here too, but I thanked them above, and once is enough, isn't it?), Andrea Kail, David Barr Kirtley, and Matt London, among others (i.e., the NYCGP Auxiliary)-for giving me an excuse to come out of my editorial cave once in a while.
The readers and reviewers who loved my other anthologies, making it possible for me to do more.
And last, but certainly not least: a big thanks to all of the authors who appear in this anthology.
About the Author.
John Joseph Adams is the editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Living Dead, Seeds of Change, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. Forthcoming work includes the anthologies Brave New Worlds, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead 2, The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination, and The Way of the Wizard. He is also the a.s.sistant editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
He is a columnist for Tor.com and has written reviews for Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. His non-fiction has also appeared in: Amazing Stories, The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Locus Magazine, Novel & Short Story Writers Market, Science Fiction Weekly, SCI FI Wire, Shimmer, Strange Horizons, Subterranean Magazine, and Writer's Digest.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The University of Central Florida in December 2000. He currently lives in New Jersey. For more information, visit his website at www.johnjosephadams.com.