The motif to the Yippee Bar and Grillwas cowboy. The exterior was made
to look like a bunkhouse. Above the long bar was a picture of a hefty nude in
the style of the eighteen hundreds. On the wall that contained a fireplace was
skull of a longhorn steer. Near the entrance were two pool tables. Since it was
Friday night, the bar was mobbed. When Sally and
Not one guy that she saw interested her very much until she noticed a young man with longish dark hair and an extremely pale complexion. His face was so white that it seemed to glow. Along one cheek was a deep scar. What really struck her were his eyes. They were pale blue and reminded her of the eyes of that wolf that had been hanging around the farm. There was that same kind of challenging, yet hungry look to them. She also took in his physique. All though he was thin, he had muscular arms which were bare since he wore a T-shirt with the arms cut out of them. On one arm he had a tattoo of a heart with blood dripping from it, one the other, a wolf's head. Through the thin cloth of this T, his chest was obviously muscular. Below the waist he wore tight jeans and cowboy boots.
When her eyes came back to his face, he was staring back at her. He had what seemed to her to be a cruel smile that showed through his scruffy beard and mustache. On the back of the chair hung a leather jacket. She figured him for a biker, a type she usually avoided. Nonetheless, she was strangely attracted this man, although she could not pinpoint what exactly there was about him that she went for.
His smile widened, and he waved as though he knew her. She grinned, and her heart beat faster.
"Don't think so. He's quite good looking though, isn't he?"
Sally shrugged. "A gal's got a right to change her mind."
At that point, the stranger downed the rest of his drink and walked over to them. He left his jacket on the chair.
"Hi," he said when he got to the bar. "I was wondering whether you ladies would like to join me. The place is crowded tonight. It would be a shame for me to sit alone at that big table." He had a trace of some European accent.
"Sure," Sally said quickly before
"What are you drinking? I'll order, while you get seated."
When he returned from the bar, he laid down the tray and put out his hand. "My name is Karl." The girls each shook it and told him their first names.
He sat down and placed a shot glass and a beer in front of each of them. He filled the shot glasses from the bourbon bottle.
"You're taking a lot for granted," said
He laughed. "I figured you two were out for a good time." He picked up his shot glass and held it in front of him. "Here's to new friendships." He winked.
Sally winked back and lifted her own glass which she clinked against his. "I'll drink to that."
Not to be left out,
Karl turned to Sally. "How do you like farm life? I'm pretty much of a city person myself."
"How do you know I live on a farm?"
He grinned. "I have psychic powers."
"I just moved into town. I'm a wanderer. I never stay too long in one place."
Sally said, "I noticed that you have an accent. Where are you from originally?"
"The accent is Hungarian, although I was born and raised in
what is now a part of
Tom Franklin, a guy who went to high
school with Sally and
"Hi Sally. Hi
They introduced Karl. After a couple of remarks about the weather, Tom said, "One of you gals want to join me in line dancing."
"I will," said
Sally said, "Do you line dance, Karl?"
"Sorry, no. But I'd like to learn."
"I'll teach you. C'mon." She took his arm and led him to the dance floor. "Just do what everyone else does."
At first he was clumsy and always out of step, but soon he had caught on. He said into her ear, "This is fun. I like it."
The next number was a waltz. "Now this is a dance I know how to do," Karl said and took her into his arms. He was a marvelous dancer. His right hand was firm against her back, and his grip on her right hand was gentle. He waltzed in the old fashioned way or like the people on Dancing With the Stars, whirling her around in a way that almost made her dizzy. It surprised her that a biker guy would dance like that.
After that the returned to table and drank more whiskey chased by
beer. Tom and
They returned to the dance floor often. During one slow dance, Karl held her close and she rested her head on chest. Strangely, she could not hear any heartbeat.
Too soon the evening was almost over.
Karl said in Sally's ear, "May I take you home."
Sally nodded. She said to
"Okey, dokey. See you at work, Monday."
As Sally had surmised, Karl drove a large Harley. He handed her a helmet. Apparently he kept an extra one for just such occasions. She got on behind him and put her arms around his waist. He gunned the motor, and they roared off. She leaned forward, pressing her breasts against his back. She had enough of a buzz on to be ready for anything.
She said in his ear, "Don't you want me to tell you how to get where I live?"
"I already know."
She thought, how could he know where I live? Either he really is
psychic or he found out from someone. She was puzzled about who could have told
him. She did not think
Nonetheless, he took all the right farm roads and fifteen minutes later pulled up in front of the farmhouse. He walked her to the front door. When she turned to say goodnight, he took her into his arms and kissed her passionately. She was already aroused and responded with wanton desire. His lips moved from her mouth to her throat. She felt his teeth against her skin.
Friday morning Sally and her two companions rented a van and drove to the western pavilion of a former city gate where they could enter the catacombs. Nagy carried a large black bag that rattled. They descended a narrow spiral stone stairwell almost sixty feet deep into darkness and silence broken only by the gurgling of a hidden aqueduct. One of the items Nagy had in the black bag was a powerful flashlight to light the way. Once he turned this on, they continued through a long and twisting hallway of mortared stone. At the end of the passageway was a model of a fortress carved out of rock. Lucille explained, "Originally these passages were part of stone quarry. This sculpture is the work of one of the quarry inspectors. What we will see next was created after the mine closed during the late eighteenth century."
The tunnel was damp and had a peculiar odor. After a few steps more, they came upon an archway. Above it were the words, "Arrête, c'est ici l'empire de la Mort."
"What does that mean?" Sally asked, shivering from the damp cold and trepidation of what may lay beyond.
Nagy replied, "Stop, this is the empire of Death." He chuckled as Sally's eyes went wide, and she took a step backwards.
Nagy, who had the only light source, stepped through, followed by Lucille. Sally had no choice but go with them or be left in total darkness. After she entered, she gazed around in horror. The walls were covered with human bones and skulls. The musty odor of the ancient dead struck her nostrils. But the worst was the quiet whispering of hundreds of voices almost so low that they were just on the edge of hearing. Sally covered her ears with her hands and screamed, "Stop it. I can't stand it."
Lucille put a comforting arm around her. "Dear, dear, Sally. They're only the bones of people long dead."
Sally felt the blood drain out of her head. "It-it's not the bones, but the whispering."
Lucille looked at her with a quizzical expression. "What whispering? I hear nothing except the gurgling of water running somewhere."
"Then I must be going mad. Hundreds of voices are speaking, trying to get my attention."
Nagy said, "It's because you're a sensitive. There must be many spirits here that have not passed on to wherever spirits finally go. What are they saying?"
Sally listened more carefully. "Some are welcoming us to the land of the dead. Others are begging to be freed." She began to shiver uncontrollably.
Lucille hugged her. "Do not be afraid. They can't harm you. They're incorporate."
Sally realized that she was right. Nonetheless, the whispers were disconcerting. Being a sensitive is a curse, she thought. I must be brave. We're here to rescue Karl. "I think I'll be all right."
"Let us continue then," said Nagy. "The sooner we find what we're looking for the sooner we can leave this place."
There were several exits to the chamber they were in. "How do we which way to go?"
Nagy pointed to his nose. "You're lover is a vampire. I can smell the presence of the undead."
"Wh-what if you're sensing other vampires?"
"Makes no difference. This is daytime. They'll all be asleep in their coffins."
In the next chamber Sally peered around and noticed the bones were carefully arranged, sometimes in an artistic manner. One wall had a heart-shaped outline formed with skulls embedded in surrounding tibias. They past into a round room that had a central pillar created by a bone arrangement similar to a wooden keg. As they passed through several rooms there were other constructs such as a fountain of bones that gathered water dripping from the ceiling.
After a while their way was blocked by a rusty gate. "We are nearing the place of the undead," said Nagy, his nose twitching like a rabbit's.
The gate was so rusty that it was easily removed by all three tugging on it.
Sally asked, "Why do you think this gate was placed here?"
Lucille said, "The passage beyond may not be safe. There are places where the ceiling has collapsed."
"Nice!" Sally thought, Lucille's prophesy about us going into danger was certainly correct. After they went down another short passageway, they came to a large room in which many coffins were scattered about.
"They're full of vampires," Nagy said. "This must
be headquarters of the
Sally said, "But which one contains Karl?"
Lucille said, "It will be of some material that he cannot break out of and tightly sealed."
They wandered around examining all the coffins. Finally, Lucille cried, "This must be it." She pointed to an oblong metal box bound by silver straps.
"What do we do now?" Sally asked. She could not imagine how they could maneuver the heavy thing out of the catacombs. Before she received a reply, she happened to glance back at the rest of the coffins and screamed.
The Traveling Vampire and the Countess at Dawn's Break
The members of the Seattle Occult Society that showed up that evening were Doctor Albert Laszlo, a distinguished physicist interested in investigating the occult; Father Patrick O'Mahoney, a Catholic priest and exorcist of Irish decent with a snub nose, bright red hair and a mischievous grin; Colonel Raphael Johnson, a retired marine officer and hypnotist; Lucille Jefferson, psychic and Wiccan, although in her fifties, she had kept her figure and looks; Morgan Thomas, billionaire and empath; and Desiree Williams, a young woman with telekinetic abilities who dressed Goth style with pierced body parts, tattoos and black clothing.
After everyone arrived, chairs were placed about a round table covered with white linen. Everyone except Lucille stood behind a seat. Lucile placed three unlit candles to the right of each seat, lit a tangle wood scented candle in the center of the table and placed a CD with soft classical music in her Bose CD-player. She switched off the electric lights and went around the table lighting candles. As each candle was lighted the person to the left of it took his or her seat. She lit her own set of candles last before sliding into her chair.
"Now we must all join hands to form a magical circle. Once the séance has started, the circle must not be broken." After the participants had taken the hand of the person on each side, Lucille chanted, "We are gathered here tonight to contact one of the departed. Oh spirits, come together with us and commune." In a more normal tone, she said, "Everyone, breathe deeply, close your eyes and relax. You may open them again when you feel completely at ease, but continue to inhale and exhale slowly and deeply."
After a few moments, she said, "Now Sally. Since you're the person who is most familiar with the spirit we wish to contact, you call to her. The rest of us will join you."
Sally cleared her throat. To stop her heart from thumping, she took several deep breaths again. "Oh spirit of the person who in life was called Rose Milton, please join us and be our friend." The others repeated this. Sally said it again louder, followed by the chorus of participants. A third repetition followed.
A low moan came from somewhere in the gloom of the room, and a faint round glow floated over the table six feet above their heads.
Sally asked, "Is that you, Rose Milton?"
"Yes. It is I? Who calls me?" came a hollow woman's voice.
"I am Sally Johnson. We have met on occasion."
"I remember you. You were with one who is dead, yet not dead. Why do you call me?"
"I wanted to know why you're still in this house and have not gone to your final destination."
The spirit sighed, a long low whoosh. "To protect you from danger."
"This house contains terrible evil entities that would harm you. I try to keep them at bay."
"We have not encountered these evil ones. You have been doing a good job. Why are they here?"
"It is such a long story, I cannot tell it unless you accept me wholly and completely."
Sally glanced over to Lucille and raised her eyebrows asking for advice. Lucille shook her head and silently mouthed, "Too dangerous."
Sally thought it over. She was too curious to let it go. She had faced danger several times since meeting Karl. Why not once more? What could happen?
"Very well, Rose. I accept you wholly and completely."
The glowing orb approached her slowly, closer and closer. Soon it was directly in front of Sally's eyes.
The coffins spread around were opening up, and the corpses were climbing out of their resting places. Hundreds of vampires had risen.
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