Story

Vignette of You Situated within a certain mansion, buttressed by stone walls covered in mould, therein lies a portrait. This portrait, caked in dust, had lost the vibrant splendour of which it attained years ago. It depicts a grandiose mansion, windows smiling brightly as candle …

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One day in early September the chief of a Native American tribe was asked by his tribal elders if the winter of 2009/10 was going to be cold or mild. The chief asked his medicine man, but he too had lost touch with the reading …

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The Story of an Hour and A Sorrowful Woman: the plight of women From time to time, marriage is not always bring happiness to a couple, also makes a couple to be imprisoners with the commitment. The marital bonds of intimacy, respect, and trust must …

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Once upon a time in a faraway forest called West Egg, there lived a friendly group of happy chipmunks. Their names were Daisy, Myrtle, Tom and Jay. PAGE 2 At this time, winter was coming and the friends were busy gathering acorns. PAGE 3 One …

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Once upon a time there was an elf named Kirby. He was one of Santas elfs. But, he was there only to help with the reindeer, when what he really wanted to do was to work on a toy line. It wasn’t like he didn’t …

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Chapter Thirty-oneBeing the Chronicles of Abby Normal: Not Unlike the Toaster, I Control the Darkness So I slept a little that day, and talked to my sweet love-ninja, Foo, a couple of times on the phone, then he came over and we left Jared with …

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Chapter Twenty-nineDon’t You Hate Running into Your Ex? As soon as she unlocked the new loft’s security door from the street, Jody smelled blood, burned flesh, and shampoo. A case of the willies that felt like an electric serpent slithered up her spine. She went …

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Chapter Twenty-sevenWell, That Was Fucked Up “Then, Lucifer Two attains the blood sword and takes Jared the White as his consort, and they hold dominion over all of the Kindred for ever and ever,” said Jared White Wolf, concluding the hour-long plot synopsis of his …

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Chapter Twenty-fiveThey Know Not What They Do When Rivera and Cavuto arrived at the Safeway, they found that the remaining Animals had crucified Clint on a stainless-steel chip rack and were shooting him with paint-ball guns. Lash unlocked the door to let them in. The …

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Chapter Twenty-threeBeing the Chronicles of Abby Normal: The Hunted Apparently I am the Hunted, which, I want to note here, I am totally not qualified for. Here I sit, perched in the rafters (I think these things are rafters) of the Oakland Bay Bridge like …

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Chapter Twenty-oneLadies and Gentlemen, Presenting the Disappointments He was the best one-handed free-throw shooter in the Bay Area, and that Christmas night he had sunk sixty-four in a row in his driveway hoop, shooting the new leather Spauldingball his dad had left under the tree …

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Chapter NineteenOur Dead Homeys The vampires sat side by side on the bare futon frame, watching as a five-legged bug limped up the big front window of the loft. Tommy thought that the rhythm of the bug’s steps made a for a danceable backbeat – …

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Chapter EighteenNobody Likes a Dead Whore Finding her boyfriend tied naked to an upright bed frame, covered in blood, with a dead, blue dominatrix at his feet would be enough to rattle some women’s confidence in the stability of their relationship. Some women might even …

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Chapter SixteenBeing the Chronicles of Abby Normal: Completely Fucked Servant of the Vampyre Flood OMFG-WOOT! I have failed, left my duty undone, like so much dog poop on the gloaming sidewalk of the tragedy that is my life. Even as I sit here at the …

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Chapter FourteenPowers for Good The Emperor was sitting on a black marble bench just around the corner from the great opera house, feeling small and ashamed, when he saw the striking redhead in jeans coming toward him. Bummer lapsed into a barking fit and the …

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Chapter ElevenThen, When They Woke Up “Oh my God, that stuff turned me completely orange.” “Not completely.” “I look like the Great Pumpkin.” “Good grief, Tommy, you do not.” Chapter Twelve Blood, Coffee, Sex, Magix – Not necessarily in That Order Just after sundown. They …

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Chapter NineIt’s Like Time Travel, Only You know, Slower… THE CHRONICLES OF ABBY NORMAL: Tortured Victim of the Daylight Dwellers So here I am again, to open my veins and spill my pain onto your pages. My dark friend, after sixteen years of totally boring …

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Chapter EightShe Walks in Beauty Jody moved down Columbus Avenue with long, runway-model strides, feeling the windblown fog brush by her like the chill ghosts of rejected suitors. What she could never teach Tommy, what she could never really share with him, was what it …

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Chapter SevenThe List While Jody showered, Tommy made a list. Feed Laundry New Apartment Toothpaste Sweet Monkey Love Windex Dispose of Vampire Minion “What do we need an onion for?” Jody asked. She was having a little trouble getting her vision to focus. “Minion, minion,” …

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Chapter SixDo Animals Get the Blues? Clint was the only one of the Animals still left at the Marina Safeway. He was tall, with a wild mop of dark hair and thick, horn-rimmed glasses that were held together with medical tape, and he had a …

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Chapter FourRed and White and Dead all Over Rapoc stuffing and chicken feathers lay in great, fluffy drifts across the room, along with the shreds of their clothing, the futon cover, pieces of a fuzzy, Muppet-skin rug, and the crushed remains of a couple of …

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Chapter TwoThe Last Poop “So that was it?” “Yep.” “Never again?” “Nope.” “Not ever?” “Nope.” “I feel like I should save them or something.” “Would you just flush and come out of there.” Chapter Three I am Poor and My Cat Is Huge Jody walked …

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For my readers,by request ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks, again, to the usual suspects: my agent, Nick Ellison, and Sarah Dickman, Arija Weddle, and Marissa Matteo at Nicholas Ellison, Inc.; Jennifer Brehl, Kate Nintzel, Lisa Gallagher, Michael Morrison, Mike Spradlin, Jack Womack, Debbie Stier, Lynn Grady, and all …

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Chapter 35Sculptures Sunset cast a warm orange across the great Pyramid, while below, the Emperor enjoyed a cappuccino on a concrete bench and Bummer and Lazarus battled for the remains of a three-pound porterhouse. “Men, would that I could let you, like Cincinnatus, retire like …

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Chapter 34Hell Breaks Loose A wave of anxiety washed over Jody as she woke up. “Tommy,” she called. She leaped out of bed and went into the living area, not stopping to turn on the light. “Tommy?” The loft was quiet. She checked the answering …

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Chapter 33Ship of Fools Tommy led them down a narrow hallway and into a large room paneled in dark walnut and furnished with heavy, dark wood furniture. Paintings and bookshelves filled with leather volumes lined the walls; strands of gold wire running across the front …

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Chapter 32All for One, and… Well, You Know They might have been the Magnificent Seven or the Seven Samurai. If each of them had been a trained professional, a gunfighter with a character flaw, or a broken warrior with a past – or if each …

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Chapter 30Cops and Corpses “This guy is pissing me off,” Cavuto said, expelling a blue cloud of cigar smoke against the file drawers of the dead. “I hate this fucking guy.” He was standing over the body of Gilbert Bendetti, who had a thermometer sticking …

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Chapter 29Paying Respects Gilbert Bendetti liked his job, really liked his job. It was a government job, of sorts, so the benefits were good and the work easy. He liked working nights, too, it was quiet and he was usually in the morgue by himself, …

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Chapter 27Bridging the Boredom Half past midnight. He stood at the top of the southwest tower of the Oakland Bay Bridge, some fifty stories above the gunmetal-cold bay, thinking, Jump or dive? He wore a black silk suit and he paused for a moment, regretting …

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Chapter 26At the End of the Night… The Emperor worked a wooden match around the end of a Cuban cigar, drawing and checking until the tip glowed like revolution. “I don’t agree with their ideology,” said the Emperor, “but we must give the Marxists their …

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~Part IIIHunters Chapter 25 All Dressed Up Tommy stormed around the loft collecting beer cans and breakfast plates and carrying them to the kitchen. “Bitch!” he said to Peary. “Shark-faced bitch. It’s not like I have any experience at this. It’s not like there’s Cosmo …

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Chapter 23Mom and Terrapin Pie “She’s in town,” Jody said. “She’s coming over in a few minutes.” Jody lowered the phone to its cradle. Tommy appeared in the bedroom doorway, Scott still dangling from his sleeve. “You’re kidding.” “You’re missing a cufflink,” Jody said. “I …

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Chapter 22A Nod to the Queen of the Damned It only took five minutes to convince the police that Tommy had been at work all night and had seen nothing. Simon had done most of the talking. Tommy was so shocked to see his book …

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Chapter 21Angel Dust The bed of Simon’s pickup was full of beer-sodden Animals enjoying the morning fog and speculating on the marital status of the new cashier. She had smiled at Tommy when she arrived, driving the Animals into a psychosexual frenzy. “She looked like …

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Chapter 19Judy’s Delicate Condition For the first few weeks Tommy was uncomfortable having a dead guy in the freezer, but after a while the dead guy became a fixture, a familiar frosty face with every TV dinner. Tommy named him Peary after another arctic explorer. …

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Chapter 16Heartwarming and UL-Approved There was a bum sleeping on the sidewalk across the street from the loft when they returned. Tommy, full of fast food and the elation of being twice laid, wanted to give the guy a dollar. Jody stopped him and pushed …

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Part IINesting Chapter 15 Learning the Licks They took their shoes off and did it again. The second time was less urgent and they tried to impress each other with their respective repertoires of mattress tricks. Jody was careful not to appear too experienced and …

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Chapter 13To-Do List of the Fashionably Doomed When you know the future is grim, there is no need for speed. Tommy decided to walk to the financial district. He shuffled along with the hang-dog look of the cosmically fucked. He walked through Chinatown, spotted three …

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Chapter 11Lather, Rinse, Repent The Animals were humming the wedding march when Tommy walked in the store. Tommy was rattled from the cab ride from Telegraph Hill. Evidently the cabdriver, who had a nervous tic and the habit of screaming, “The fuckers!” at indeterminate intervals …

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Chapter 8Dinner with the Vampire “Is there something wrong with your food?” “No, I’m just not very hungry.” “You’re going to break my heart, aren’t you?” Chapter 9 He Knows If You’ve Been Bad or Good, So You’d Better… For the few days he had …

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Chapter 7Suitors After enduring a reasonable amount of bitterness from the crew over using his position to make a move on the girl in the parking lot, Tommy was able to persuade them to get back to work. Simon, Drew, and Jeff performed some mechanical …

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Chapter 6The Animals The daytime people called them the Animals. The store manager had come into work one morning to find one of them hanging, half-naked, from the giant red S of the Safeway sign and the rest of them drunk on the roof, pelting …

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Chapter 4Blooms and the City of Burned Clutches C. Thomas Flood (Tommy to his friends) was just reaching red-line in a wet dream, when he was awakened by the scurry and chatter of the five Wongs. Geishas in garters scampered off to dreamland, unsatisfied, leaving …

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Chapter 2Death Warmed Over She heard insects scurrying above her in the darkness, smelled burned flesh, and felt a heavy weight pressing down on her back. Oh my God, he’s buried me alive. Her face was pressed against something hard and cold – stone, she …

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This is a work of fiction.Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Acknowledgements The author gratefully acknowledges those people who helped …

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25. Being the Chronicles of Abby Normal, Failed Nosferatu, Heartbroken Day Dweller, and Deposed Backup Mistress of the Greater Bay Area DarknessMy heady powers of the night are gone, my manga-haired love monkey with a most fly ride is gone, even my tail is gone-worst …

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24. A Love Story?JODY It wasn’t the first time she’d crept out of a guy’s apartment in the middle of the night with her shoes in her hand, but it was the first time where the decision had been because she didn’t want to kill …

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23. Brat in the Paper AisleMAKEDA She stood under the eave of a post office that looked out on the Safeway parking lot, watching the old man with the dogs pounding at the door. Well, that would make seven. She knew she should wait for …

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22. Meeting at the PalaceRIVERA They traded in the Ford at the city motor pool for one that had a Plexiglas divider between the front and rear seats. Cavuto’s knees were pressed against the glove compartment, since the seat didn’t adjust, but it was worth …

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