I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!
I’m snipping from The Recruit, a 21k-word novella due out at JMS Books on June 16. For context, Phillip has been selected for recruit by the local vampire faction. He was approached by Albert while walking in the park, and an offer to join the vampires’ ranks has been extended.
Albert Manlii has walked this earth for more than two thousand years, but survival on his own was never easy. Now he leads a faction of highly organized vampires who carefully guard the secret of their existence. Unlike the old days, potential recruits are carefully selected and presented with an offer.
Phillip Brewer has weeks to live—if he lets his disease run its course. He doesn’t want to die, but given a choice, will his desire to live outweigh his concerns about the vampires’ ethics?
When the new recruit’s missteps are cause for concern, can Albert control the fallout, or will Phillip’s life once again be torn apart?
If you want a refresher of earlier snippets in this thread, click the spoiler tags, below:
The Recruit – 5-May-2018
[Phillip] “How long do I have to make a decision?”
[Albert] “I’m afraid I’ll need an answer before we part company today.”
Phillip bit his lip and gazed around the park. Albert had looked around before the arm demonstration. Presumably to make sure nobody was watching. But, the same people Phillip had noticed before had remained in their same positions, and Albert hadn’t been concerned about them.
Phillip wasn’t sure how they’d do it, but clearly he wasn’t walking away from here if he declined the offer. They had too much on the line. He’d planned on killing himself within a few hours anyway, so that didn’t actually frighten him.
The Recruit – 12-May-2018
But did it turn him off from wanting to become one of them? Knowing that, despite Albert’s words, they weren’t entirely above killing people to protect their secret?
Killing someone who was dying anyway wasn’t a valid excuse in a court of law. But could it pass his own ethical bar?
If he’d wanted to let his disease run its course, he’d have had maybe another two weeks to live. Personally, he felt they would be doing him a favor, but there were people who would have wanted to hang on to every last minute.
The Recruit – 19-May-2018
Did those few weeks of a single human’s life weigh more than the potential lives of what was likely hundreds…maybe thousands of vampires? Worldwide it could be tens of thousands. Or even hundreds of thousands. And if a legitimate claim to the vampires’ existence was made, it could truly cost them all.
He didn’t like it, but he understood it. Maybe he was being selfish, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker.
“Okay.” Phillip lifted his chin and stared into Albert’s eyes. “Where do we do this?”
The Recruit – 26-May-2018
Albert grinned widely, and his eyes positively shone as he took Phillip’s hands and gave them a squeeze. The gesture felt oddly comforting. “We find it safest to handle the conversion immediately, before leaving.”
Wait. What? Images of people in movies being all but drained, then buried overnight to complete the transition ran through Phillip’s mind. Apparently, that kind of thing fell firmly in the myth category Albert had mentioned. Or maybe the man was just pulling his chain after all. It was one hell of a hoax if that was what was going on, and he had no idea how he’d done the arm thing, but surely not any more difficult to believe than Albert being a vampire.
The Recruit – 2-June-2018
“Seriously? Here in the park? What…what does it involve?”
“It’s a simple blood exchange. Only about a milliliter each is required.”
Phillip took another deep breath and shrugged. “Okay, let’s do it.” Why the hell not play this through? Either he was about to be turned into a vampire, or Albert and his team of pranksters would get a good laugh at his expense, then he’d go home and kill himself like he’d planned to do anyway.
Told from Phillip’s 3rd-person POV.
This Week’s Snippet:
The Recruit – 9-June-2018
“I suggest we kiss,” Albert said. “That wouldn’t appear out of place on a park bench. I’ll extend my teeth and nick your lip. We’ll give it a few moments for your blood to permeate through me to the cellular level, then I’ll puncture my own lip. You’ll need to be quick, sucking it out before the wound heals itself. Your own wound will be minor and will heal fairly quickly after you’ve absorbed my blood.”
A delicious shiver rippled through Phillip. Sad timing to discover he had a kinky streak if this really was a hoax. Too bad the cancer had stolen his libido, so he wouldn’t be able to better appreciate the moment. Would he get that back? Did vampires have sex, or was that another myth for racy books and movies?