Yeah, sorry. That…that was a hell of a hiatus.
It’s been months since I updated. I would have gotten to this sooner, but this past semester was my last as an undergrad. I’m not kidding, it took literally every waking, non-paycheck-earning minute I had to get everything squared away in time for graduation, but by God, I did it. After this…who knows?
As for Finer Points, it’s revision was also put on hiatus until semester’s end. I left it halfway done, so I should be finished screwing with it by the end of this month. Look for regular excerpts as I tweak and share the work with you guys. All two of you.
However, these past few months have not been entirely unproductive in the literary sense. Between handing out surveys for class research and furiously chugging coffee while simultaneously weeping and writing papers, I pumped out a little vampire novella to pass the time between assignments. Happily, I found that I liked the finished product it the way it was, and my girlfriend has encouraged me to see if I can sell it to somebody at its current length of fifty pages. Until then, though, my game plan is just the same as with the novel: put it on Blurb until I can sucker somebody into thinking I’m a real writer.
And though I don’t presume to have a sizable audience as of yet (or, y’know, anytime in the future, really), a few comments have expressed an interest in having me regularly maintain this blog again. I get that; a long hiatus for anything you enjoy (I’m lookin’ at you, Boondocks) tends to suck, what with the lack of reliability it feels like it demonstrates. The thing is, I only wanted this blog to cover my travails as a struggling writer. To update about unrelated content seemed to go against that idea. However, while a personal blog would be awesomely self-indulgent, not enough interesting things happen to me to justify keeping one. So, I guess, maybe, sometimes, if something seems important enough, or wonderful enough, or is only half-unrelated, I’ll throw it up here too. Because why the hell not? It’s my house. I make the rules here.
So, on that note, THIS: My girlfriend and I started a race at the beginning of the year, to see who could read the most books by year’s end. Burdened as I was with school and crippling self-doubt, she has thus far slammed me. But BY GOD, I will rise again. To follow our exploits, visit us at http://theliteraryrace.blogspot.com/.
One last bit of business:
Since I’ve been gone so long, and since I receive such a copious amount of self-gratification from sharing what I’ve written with you guys (both of you), I figured it was only right to give you folks a little taste of my latest written effort. So enjoy, or don’t, but at least try, jeez. It’s called Hideous Me, and because I have a fragile sense of self-worth, I hope you like what I post enough to want more.
Almost every time a vampire describes a night out, he or she starts off describing the moon. The moon wasn’t out tonight, or if it was, I couldn’t see it past the smoky cloud cover. The sky looked pale yellow as the city lights refracted through the mist.
I was sitting against the steeple of a local Baptist church, the highest point I could find in Cross Rapids, Indiana. The climb had been a bit arduous, but it was the quickest way for me to spot a lone walker, without having to endlessly prowl the streets, drawing suspicion whenever I passed some cop out on patrol.
Admittedly, if anyone caught me chilling here on the roof, plenty of suspicion would be passed around, but you had to weigh the risks and benefits, and I assumed most patrolmen didn’t scour the skyline while out and about.
There. A kid named Justin…something or other. Normal enough kid, I remembered. Played football, or wrestled, one or the other. Kinda big, kinda dumb, likable if you don’t mind the callous disregard most teenagers have for those around them. He always had kind of a slack look on his face, and he had a trucker hat perched high on his buzz cut head.
I jumped down, rolled in precisely the right way to avoid splintering my legs, and ran. He was about a block away. I could grab him, easy. He’d see me, but not before I took him down and sank my teeth into him.
My stomach growled, the low ache in my body flared like fire. My fangs bared by themselves, without any prompting. The usual sharp, cutting pain that came with them was barely noticeable.
I ran so quickly my footsteps sounded like a heavy, rhythmic hammering. I crossed a street, turned a sharp left, cut through an alley, made a right. Justin’s broad back sloped as he bobbed along.
I was almost touching him when he turned around. I only had time to see his eyes swell, his mouth prepare to scream, before I yanked him to me and tore into his neck.
He fought me, flailed his arms and beat his hands against me. He was as strong as he was big, but luckily I was stronger. I held onto him, held him close, chewed into him. I snarled into his flesh.
With the snarling business, I guess I can see where people get the idea of calling us beasts, but it didn’t have to do with anything inherently vampiric. Go two weeks without eating, anything. You can do it, though just barely. Then make it so that the only thing you can eat next is something you have to fight and kill with your bare hands and teeth. Something big that wants to live, and will fight with everything it has to keep on living. Do that, and see if you don’t let out a snarl or two. It’s not a vampire thing, just a general trait all predators seem to share.
Warm, metallic blood flooded my mouth, and in my zeal I almost choked. Weird, considering we don’t breathe. I swallowed mouthful after mouthful, and still it overflowed and spilled onto the concrete. Justin fought, strongly at first, but he quickly grew weaker, until finally he went limp. Holding him under the arms, I dragged him out of sight, my fangs still in his flesh. I could feel the fibers in his muscles lodging themselves in between my teeth.
He was still alive when she saw me, but he was dead by the time I noticed her. I was so caught up in the feed that I completely shut out the world. Christ, I was so damn hungry. I sucked as much out of him as I could, as fast as I could; it’s best to eat quick, while they’re still alive, so that their heart does most of the work for you. I took in huge, choking gulps, until all I could strain from him were weak trickles. My aching body began to cool, and I dropped him like a used sponge.
The frenzy had consumed me, but now that it had passed I felt eyes on me. I turned to see this thin, dark-haired girl staring at me with eyes that were impossibly huge. I swear, they looked like they dwarfed her nose.
That was probably from the fear.
I bolted. I’m not a complete monster; I don’t just murder anyone who sees me. That’d be bad, but not for any moralistic reason. It just doesn’t help with the whole “low profile” thing when you’re indiscriminately killing everybody with functioning eyes.
I did knock her down, though, but only so she couldn’t get a good look at me as I ran. I slammed my shoulder against hers and sent her flying, skidding along her denim-skirted ass. The sound of spangled jewelry rang through the street. She gave a high-pitched cry at the impact, but I’d already turned the corner when I heard her cry out. “Somebody help!”
In hindsight, a little indiscriminate killing that night might have saved me a world of trouble.
– From “Hideous Me,” Copyright 2011, Sean Ganus. All Rights Reserved.