April 8, 2017
“You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher’s. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!”
October 11, 2016
October 2, 2016
“You are not so old. Your first ball can hardly be forgotten yet.”
“I remember everything it – with an effort. I see it all, as divers see what is going on above1 them, through a medium, dense, rippling, but transparent. There occurred that night what has confused the picture, and made its colours faint. I was all but assassinated in my bed, wounded here,” she touched her breast, “and never was the same since.”
“Were you near dying?”
“Yes, very – a cruel love – strange love, that would have taken my life. Love will have its sacrifices. No sacrifice without blood. Let us go to sleep now; I feel so lazy. How can I get up just now and lock my door?”
She was lying with her tiny hands buried in her rich wavy hair, under her cheek, her little head upon the pillow, and her glittering eyes followed me wherever I moved, with a kind of shy smile that I could not decipher.
I bid her good night, and crept from the room with an uncomfortable sensation.
I often wondered whether our pretty guest ever said her prayers. I certainly had never seen her upon her knees. In the morning she never came down until long after our family prayers were over, and at night she never left the drawing-room to attend our brief evening prayers in the hall.
If it had not been that it had casually come out in one of our careless talks that she had been baptised, I should have doubted her being a Christian. Religion was a subject on which I had never heard her speak a word. If I had known the world better, this particular neglect or antipathy would not have so much surprised me.
The precautions of nervous people are infectious, and persons of a like temperament are pretty sure, after a time, to imitate them. I had adopted Carmilla’s habit of locking her bedroom door, having taken into my head all her whimsical alarms about midnight invaders and prowling assassins. I had also adopted her precaution of making a brief search through her from, to satisfy herself that no lurking assassin or robber was “ensconced.”
These wise measures taken, I got into my bed and fell asleep. A light was burning in my room. This was an old habit, of very early date, and which nothing could have tempted me to dispense with.
Thus fortified I might take my rest in peace. But dreams come through stone walls, light up dark rooms, or darken light ones, and their persons make their exits and their entrances as they please, and laugh at locksmiths.
I had a dream that night that was the beginning of a very strange agony.
I cannot call it a nightmare, for I was quite conscious of being asleep. But I was equally conscious of being in my room, and lying in bed, precisely as I actually was. I saw, or fancied I saw, the room and its furniture just as I had seen it last, except that it was very dark, and I saw something moving round the foot of the bed, which at first I could not accurately distinguish. But I soon saw that it was a sooty-black animal that resembled a monstrous cat. It appeared to me about four or five feet long for it measured fully the length of the hearthrug as it passed over it; and it continued to-ing and fro-ing with the lithe, sinister restlessness of a beast in a cage. I could not cry out, although as you may suppose, I was terrified. Its pace was growing faster, and the room rapidly darker and darker, and at length so dark that I could no longer see anything of it but its eyes. I felt it spring lightly on the bed. The two broad eyes approached my face, and suddenly I felt a stinging pain as if two large needles darted, an inch or two apart, deep into my breast. I waked with a scream. The room was lighted by the candle that burnt there all through the night, and I saw a female figure standing at the foot of the bed, a little at the right side. It was in a dark loose dress, and its hair was down and covered its shoulders. A block of stone could not have been more still. There was not the slightest stir of respiration. As I stared at it, the figure appeared to have changed its place, and was now nearer the door; then, close to it, the door opened, and it passed out.
I was now relieved, and able to breathe and move. My first thought was that Carmilla had been playing me a trick, and that I had forgotten to secure my door. I hastened to it, and found it locked as usual on the inside. I was afraid to open it—I was horrified. I sprang into my bed and covered my head up in the bedclothes, and lay there more dead than alive till morning.
J. Sheridan LeFanu
September 25, 2016
With a mocking smile, he placed one hand upon my shoulder and, holding me tight, bared my throat with the other, saying as he did so, `First, a little refreshment to reward my exertions. You may as well be quiet. It is not the first time, or the second, that your veins have appeased my thirst!’
September 4, 2016
Nevertheless, the potential and actual importance of fantastic literature lies in such psychic links: what appears to be the result of an overweening imagination, boldly and arbitrarily defying the laws of time, space and ordered causality, is closely connected with, and structured by, the categories of the subconscious, the inner impulses of man’s nature. At first glance the scope of fantastic literature, free as it is from the restrictions of natural law, appears to be unlimited. A closer look, however, will show that a few dominant themes and motifs constantly recur: deals with the Devil; returns from the grave for revenge or atonement; invisible creatures; vampires; werewolves; golems; animated puppets or automatons; witchcraft and sorcery; human organs operating as separate entities, and so on. Fantastic literature is a kind of fiction that always leads us back to ourselves, however exotic the presentation; and the objects and events, however bizarre they seem, are simply externalizations of inner psychic states. This may often be mere mummery, but on occasion it seems to touch the heart in its inmost depths and become great literature.
The Fantasy Book: An Illustrated History From Dracula To Tolkien
Diary 21st May
‘You can’t have everything,’ I said.
‘Why not?’ she asked.
‘Darling, where would you put it all…?’
People tend to drain me. There are times I feel I’m in the midst of a huge masquerade ball where, come midnight, the guests unmask and I find myself surrounded by vampires of the most disreputable sort.
This bal masqué will, of course, be the death of me…
Rain yesterday and this morning. Rain on the slates shines sometimes in the smoky light. You know, I feel the future is to be found in the gull infested landfill sites near the coast. The gulls sense it and dig deep in the heaped detritus to find it. Simultaneously, starlings in great shoals abandon the present for the past. They are wiser, perhaps, than the gulls. We? We’ll fade gradually, ungracefully in a wreath of feathers and human hair…
This morning I’m too lazy to masturbate. So I inveigled my way into Gabriella’s good books, and she obliged with a sleepy, teasing handjob that resulted, fifty minutes later, in a nasty, nasty mess on my chest and belly.
In the sitting room the chairs are quite still. After all they have nothing else to do. The books on the shelves are silent, exhausted perhaps after a night of whispering to each other. They rest in such impressive dishevelment, gathering dust and providing shelter to the occasional small spider, embarrassed by its nakedness and wishing to hide its shame from others.
Ah, if only we could dream on beams of silk…?
And still it’s feckin’ raining.
So many wild flowers blooming in the hedgerows. They’re awash with rain, dripping wet, on either side of the puddled lane. Even the gorse is in flower…
Out tonight, restaurant and drinks, with friends. Italian food and good conversation…None of us, I suspect, will be particularly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow.
February 9, 2016
“Stop fighting me!” he said, trying to pull on the arm he held.
He was in a precarious position himself, straddling the rail as he tried to lean over far enough to get me and actually hold onto me.
“Let go of me!” I yelled back.
But he was too strong and managed to haul most of me over the rail, enough so that I wasn’t in total danger of falling again.
See, here’s the thing. In that moment before I let go, I really had been contemplating my death. I’d come to terms with it and accepted it. I also, however, had known Dimitri might do something exactly like this. He was just that fast and that good. That was why I was holding my stake in the hand that was dangling free.
I looked him in the eye. “I will always love you.”
Then I plunged the stake into his chest.
It wasn’t as precise a blow as I would have liked, not with the skilled way he was dodging. I struggled to get the stake in deep enough to his heart, unsure if I could do it from this angle. Then, his struggles stopped. His eyes stared at me, stunned, and his lips parted, almost into a smile, albeit a grisly and pained one.
“That’s what I was supposed to say. . .” he gasped out.
Those were his last words.
January 22, 2016
As she felt his fangs against her neck, she was in another world.
There was screaming. A woman was somewhere in agony. Everything was black, and the tormented scream was overwhelming, echoing through the emptiness. After the screaming subsided, there was panting, loud and steady, and it wasn’t as dark anymore. There was a room visible now, in a reddish light. A pale man with black hair hovered over a woman dressed in white. She lay on a bed, looking disheveled and sweaty. Her brown-black hair clung to her wet forehead and shoulders. She was covered in blood. The man sat next to her, and held her close to him. He stroked her hair as her chest heaved desperately.
“I love you, my dearest Katerina,” he said, cradling her in his strong arms. “Soon, we’ll be together forever.”
Everything faded to black once more, and the woman stopped breathing. All was silent and still.
January 20, 2016
But are his needs any more shocking than the needs of any other animals and men? Are his deeds more outrageous than the deeds of the parent who drained the spirit from his child? The vampire may foster quickened heartbeats and levitated hair. But is he worse than the parent who gave to society a neurotic child who became a politician? Is he worse than the manufacturer who set up belated foundations with the money he made by handing bombs and guns to suicidal nationalists? Is he worse than the distiller who gave bastardized grain juice to stultify further the brains of those who, sober, were incapable of progressive thought? (Nay, I apologize for this calumny; I nip the brew that feeds me.) Is he worse, then, than the publisher who filled ubiquitous racks with lust and death wishes? Really, no, search your soul, lovie–is the vampire so bad?
I Am Legend and Other Stories
January 8, 2016
“Wake up,” she whispers, as ever she is always whispering with those demanding, ashen lips, but I do not open my eyes. I do not wake up, as she has bidden me to do, but, instead, lie drifting in this amniotic moment, unwilling to move one instant forward and incapable of retreating by even the scant breadth of a single second. For now, there is only now; yet, even so, an infinity stretches all around, haunted by dim shapes and half-glimpsed phantasmagoria, and if I named this time and place, I might name it Pluto or Orcus or Dis Pater. But never would I name it purgatorial, for here there are no purging flames nor trials of final purification from venial transgressions. I have not arrived here by any shade of damnation and await no deliverance, but scud gently through Pre-Adamite seas, and so might I name this wide pacific realm Womb, the uterus common to all that which has ever risen squirming from mere insensate earth. I might name it Mother. I might best call it nothing at all, for a name may only lessen and constrain this inconceivable vastness.
Caitlín R. Kiernan
In the Dreamtime of Lady Resurrection