This (I believe) is the first vampyre (yes, this is my preferred spelling) story I’d ever written. I’d written it for my fifth period 11th grade High School English class. Mr. Jeff Spence was my teacher. A tall (as I remember him) curly haired, affable guy! Always quick with a smile and a laugh.
And he gushed over this story! I can still see and hear him doing so!
He read this up in front of the entire class…emphasizing phrases and words here and there—pointing out cool imagery—and I was positively stunned.
Wow, he’d really liked this story that much?!
Man, here was a professional English teacher absolutely taken by something I’d written. He was beside himself even questioning the class’s non-responsiveness to things he found amazing. The atmosphere I’d created. I’d never seen that kind of enthusiasm for anything I’d written before or since in the professional world and often think back to that fine April day (April 6th, as a matter of fact! Note today’s date!). Yes…that was 38 years ago. Well, plus-or-minus. That paper was due April 6, 1978, but I’m not sure he read it the same day—I doubt it—but I couldn’t resist posting this blog on the same date, 38 years later! This was not planned!I had originally planned on posting this last week, but moved it for the “Snow Paper” post…then had this set for Friday, the 8th…but as I reread it, readying it for posting, the date just hit me. So, instead of posting this this Friday, I moved it up to today’s date. Weird energy…I think it all moves in “mysterious ways”….
Anyway, all I can imagine is that Mr. Spence was impressed with the potential he saw in me. Sure, even through all the incredibly poor and purple prose he saw promise…and some cool imagery…how I had an eye for creating atmosphere…my early employment of irony and even messing around with time and perspectives and points-of-view. It was very cool of him.
So, how are you these days, Mr. Spence? What are you up to? I can’t thank you enough for your unbridled enthusiasm…it’s still out there and I’m still tuning into it. I hope life has been good to you….
I have not done any editing to it (and believe me, it severely needs it…)…no comma clean up…no word choice re-selection…no nothing, absolutely nothing. I even found my severely marked-up copy that my mom edited (I’m amazed I still have it!), and she had hacked it up pretty good. Had I taken any of her advice?! Dunno. Haven’t compared the two. Maybe someday I will.
So, here is the story in all its adolescent glory and error! My Adult Me is, however, kinda embarrassed at the incredibly poor copy I’d turned in for an English assignment. Wow. Geeze.
But Mr. Spence loved it!
Read it to the entire class!
This story has never been published, never seen the light of day (pardon the pun), or been seen anywhere outside of Saranac Lake Central High School’s 1978 5th period, 11th Grade English class, taught by one legendary Mr. Spence. It has been transcribed word for word—no changes.
Try to get through it! I dare ya! :-]
Crypt of Vampyres
© F. P. Dorchak, April 6, 1978
The night was cool, the pallid moonlight bathed the area in an eerie, ghastly fog. The country road was deserted except for a lone nocturnal figure stalking down the illuminated roadway. There was s light breeze that blew what clouds there were to and fro.
An ordinary person would call the white stuff fog, but this individual saw figures…ghosts, demons, ghouls…all under his control.
This individual Alan Slovik, was an American-slovak holding on to the old fireside tales his ancient grandmother related to him. He fancied himself a “gothic-romanticist.” To others it seemed he was always dreaming, yet to himself, Alan, it was all very real.
Alan was about fifty feet from the only street lamp on the road when the clouds hid the moon. His shadow arrived at the post first and leaned up against it.
Alan, walking with no shadow, soon reached the post and he too, leaned up against it. As he rested there, peering through the eerie mist, he became suddenly aware that he was observing himself. As he watched, he became fascinated rather than frightened.
Slovik noticed a little later that his shadow walked off by itself. He then saw himself look down at his feet then walk off.
After that he stood there. Then looked down and saw no shadow. He too walked off.
In the cemetery, the wind whipped through with the eternal sound of lost souls as though it were being chased by something unspeakable. The skeleton -like trees were constantly striking at the foul air with their long boney extremities. The lost souls kept rising in pitch as the fierce wind roared on. In this most unholy of places, evil prevailed.
At the far end of the slumbering corpses lay a vault of unknown age. Few people ever venture near it because legend has it that an unspeakable horror is buried in the crypt below.
Inside lie bodies of an ancient family long decayed by Times’ cold hand. The family was reputed to possess special powers. The story goes that they emmigrated from Rumania for unknown reasons and died out just as mysteriously generations later, yet some people still believe there lurks, in the nights fiendish pall, a horror of the undead.
Inside the crumbling vault of horror a blanket of fetid stench envelopes all present. So thick is it that one can it and must slice a way through it–providing they are able to penetrate it. Dust is everywhere, leaving nothing untouched. Bones of hapless victims lie about.
In the back of the cold, dead chamber there lies a heavy granite door embedded in the lifeless floor. A large iron ring is attached to the door midway from the top and bottom, near the edge. The last person pulling that ring had found what she had been looking for without wanting it to find her.
Below there lay a large cryupt, smelling even more rancid than the floor above. There were old forgotten coffin-boxes strewn about, with clumps of earth cast around. The crypt also had an earthen floor. In the center of this crypt there rested a jet black coffin of some exotic wood. The top was closed.
Down in this crypt there was a mist of death, decayed flesh, and other rancidity. All was still, and utterly devoid of life.
The upper part of the coffin slowly opened with no appearent aid. Inside lie the ancient decaying body of a once-woman. Before the top part opened completely, the lower part slowly opened in the same manner. When the upper part completely opened, the lower part was half-opened.
The decrepit body inside was more pale than virgin white. The lips looked as if they were slightly darker due to some sort of tint.
Then the eyes opened, making the face more sinister still. The eyes were an evil black, blaker than the blackest void ever imagined by any mortal. The dead body slowly lifted up from the waist to a sitting position. It sat there staring straight ahead.
Then, in the next instant, it was standing in front of its coffin. The form of the once-woman stood there loosely clad in an ancient white robe that seemed to float in the muck called an atmosphere. The white hair was just sitting ther on her boney skull-head. Its figure scarely resembled the figure of a woman so dearly kept in every mans mind.
As she stood there, a white fog stood there and she was no more. The eerie mistmoved at a pace of death, slowly creeping toward the old granite door leading to the upper chamber of the ancient sepulcher.
The dead fog covered the cemetery outside. In the cold air, a large bat flapped away from this House of the Dead.
Alan Slovik stalked down the eerie road into the thickening fog. He stopped, and his shadow continued. Alan slowly his head,and peered into the wall of whiteness ahead.
He saw himself walking around ina fetid chamber full of empty boxes, upturned and stacked, with one prominant black box in the center, seemingly commanding all present. This box was the blackest he could imagine. In one of Sloviks hands he carried a rather large ax, and in another, a long wooden stake, tempered at he point to charcoal, and a wooden mallet.
The figure approached the box and peered inside at a beautiful body of a woman in her early or mid thirties. He leaned the ax up against the commanding coffin. He then carefully placed the sharp stake between the two full breasts of the ceature before him, and slowly raised the wooden mallet. It stopped. He peered at the seductive body in the sheer white robe lying there. Its eyes suddenly opened and stared directly at him. They burned into his brain. They seemed to implore him. He stared back, arm still poised above the lethal stake. He looked back at the body, then back to the coal black piercing eyes. He lowered his arm, dropped the stake and lowered his lips to the vampyres open, but deadly succulent lips. He and the hell-spawn embraced.
The man’s mind was swirling in confusion, fighting something it didn’t want to fight. The vampyre’s full lips parted even more now, revealing two sharp, lethal fangs. The man went down, as the vampyre’s sharp teeth punctured two neat holes into the side of the victim’s neck.
It sucked in deeply for the hot, crimson blood.
Alan slowly turned himsel around to find another thick wall of fog revealing still another image.
Slovik held his ax in one hand and the charcoal tipped stake and wooden mallet in the other. He walked over to the black coffin slowly but surely, and peered inside. The beautiful woman-thing lay there, its soft seductive body neatly revealed through its shear white robe. Slovik leaned his ax against the coffin, placed the sharp stake between her full breasts and raised the mallet…. The vampyre’s eyes suddenly opened, revealing coal black jewels, but rthis time he did not pay attention to the piercing, hypnotic temptation before him.
Slovik lifted the hand with the mallet slightly higher. The vampyre opened its succulent lips, revealing the teeth of death, and hissed. Then, with one powerful blow, he plunged the sharp stake deep into the creature’s breast, releasing a gushing flow of dark crimson spurting into the air, and onto his face. The figure writhed violently in its bed. Blood ran down the corners of the vampyre’s mouth, nose and eyes. The face twisted into hideous contortions.
Slovik pounded again until he hit the coffins bottom. He then reached for the ax, and raising it above his head, brought it down in one powerful stroke, severing the hideous head from it’s bloody body.
Alan looked at the other image in front of him, and back to the one behind him. He then looked at another form of himself between the two. The figure looked at the latter image.
Alan then turned to come face to face with a beautiful woman’s face in front of him.
He stared at her and she stared back. Her eyes were the deepest jet black he had ever known. She stared, piercing steadily into his very heart. Her jet black hair floated about her head.
As he began to come to focus, it was as if he were viewing the figure through a fine gauze help up before her. Her white robe drifted upon her lithe body which was the colour of deep autumn.
“Who are you?” Alan asked ina trance-lilke state, “What is your name?”
“I don’t have a name,” she answered in a steady, soft voice.
“Please tell me, you must have a name.”
“Vulna,” she replied forceably.
“Vulna? That’s an odd name. Where did you get that name? For that matter, where did you come from?”
“What is your name?” asked the soft voice, avoiding the last question but continuing to stare into his eyes.
“Alan,” he replied obediently.
“Do you come out at night often?” she pressed.
“I walk at night often; yes.”
“Do you live near-by?” Vulna inquired.
“Yes Alan replied, still in a trance-like state.
“Are there other people near by?”
“Yes, down the road.”. Vulna nodded and proceded to drift past him. Alan continued to stare foreward. As she passed him, she seemed to merge as one with the ghastly fog.
Alan slowly turned and came face to face with himself again. This time, he was holding a large crucifix in his right hand at waist level. As Alan completed the turn, Slovik raised the silver crucifix to shoulder height, simultaneoisly moving it out towards Alan.
He turned back around, and saw the same woman again, this time baring her sharp fangs, with fresh blood dripping from the corners of her bloated, crimson lips. He turned back to his other self witht he crucifix. Both images melted into the fog, and Ala,’s shadow returned to him.
He walked on.
That morning, Alan got up and had his breakfast while reading the paper. As he began flipping through it, his eyes caught on an article about a strange murder:
“George Burnholser died sometime this morning between the hours
of 1 and 3 A.M. His lifeless body was found at 6 AM. in an
alleyway. The odd thing about his death is that there were
puncture wounds on the left side of his neck, and he was found
to be drained of all his blood. Some are already speculating
that this was the work of a vampire.”
Alan sat there staring at the article. He wanted to see the body…to actually see this corpse. The idea fascinated him.
Alan was good friends witht he undertaker, and told him that he was investigating this bizarre murder. The undertaker took him down into the morgue and pulled out the appropriate slab.
He sttod there staring at the body, then began examining it. The two holes were jagged, and about 1/4 inch in diameter. The body was a pale white.
As Alan stood there, he began staring again. Then, as if seeing through a gauze, he saw himself in a dark coffin, with eyes open and a strange expression on his face. The undertaker was still speaking while he was in the daze. He later broke out of it when his friend nudged him.
The undertaker asked, “What do you think it was, Al? Most others say a vampire did it.”
“I couldn’t tell you,” Alan said, walking off.
Later that day, Alan went to a library and got all the information on vampyres he could. Once he got what he wanted, he went home and studied the rest of the day.
When he was done, it was about the end of the afternoon and he thought that he’d go over to the nearest cemetery and take a peek at what was there.
As Alan was walking along, his eyes caught sight of a large, odd-looking vault, undated, at the rear of the cemetery. He started towards it. As he approached, he noticed a large, ancient lock on the door. He remembered seeing a lock similar to that one around his home. His train of thought was broken–
“Hey! Who goes there–you’re not supposed to be there! Besides–we’re closing up now!” The voice was that of a worker.
“Sorry,” replied Alan, and he left promptly.
On his way back he didn’t encounter anyone, including the mysterious woman, and it was getting darker.
Once home, Alan made a mantal note to find that lock and key. He was fatigued from reading all that material and went to sleep early.
Next morning while reading the paper, his eye caught on another item. This time two people were attacked. A couple was strolling home when, according to this reporter, the male was attacked by a vampire and drained of his blood, and the female savagely killed. The scene was about a mile from his home, so he finished breakfast and proceded to the dreadful site.
Since he was in a hurry, he didn’t notice a subarticle below it which stated that the previous drained body had since disappeared.
Alan got there in no time at all, and immediately felt the presence of the damned souls.
As he stood there, he saw two people walking down the empty sidewalk at night. A distant, slow flapping can be heard. As the couple nears a grove of trees, a dark figure approaches them. There is a full moon waning. The three figures stop and look at each other.
Then the vampyre puts the man in a trance and approaches him. She wraps her arms around his neck and lowers her hungry mouth. The cold, dead breath cringes his flesh as she opens her thin lips revealing her two sharp eye teeth.
She clamps them snuggly on his warm flesh, making a slight sound, and then sucks lustfully at the warm crimson fluid that will fill her cold, frigid body. A nauseating gargling sound is heard, and the blood runs down his neck. The vampyre, now bloated, lets the lilmp body drop and procedes to walk off.
The tranced girl comes out of it. Realising what happened, she pick ups a hefty rock, and hurls it at the she-devil, catching her in her lower back. The vampyre stops, turns, and approaches her once more. the gril goes into shocj and cannot move. The vampyre picks up her body and throws her a a “V”-shaped tree. Her writhing body hits the tree but as she falls, her neck gets wedged, at the base of the “V”.
She dangles there, just above the saving ground.
Then it’s not there.
Alan winks and realizes the extensive similarities of the vampyre and the mysterious woman he had encountered on the street.
Alan quickly returned home and began searching for the lock. He foundit just as the sun was setting. He didn’t have much time but wanted to search the vault. He knew that if she did inhabit the vault, she wouldn’t be htere tonight.
He got his large silver crucifix, an old lamp and the lock and key. He left in a hurry.
When Alan got there, he busted the lock and entered the fetid smelling chamber which ranked at his nostrils. He couldn’t stand it, but would get used to it. As he lifted the lantern up high, he noticed the skeletons lying around. He began to examine one and noticed that they were, indeed, human. There were more strewn about.
“What could they being doing here?” he asked himself, “What would human skeletons be doing out here?”
As he ventured on, he noticed a large granite door in the floor beyond.
Alan endeavored to pull up on the ancient iron ring. The door was heavy, yet he managed to get it open. When he did, he wished he had left it shut. The even more putrid stink ranked harder than ever athis tortured nostrils.
He entered cautiously, with cross up front. Alan coughed at the cloud of decayedness that enveloped him. Once under, in the crypt, he noticed the several man-sized boxes strewn about with earth inside of them. Then he remembered that when Vampyres leave their native country, they must take some of the native soil with them. He walked furthur, and then it hit him why there were skeletons above. They were the movers of the vampyres body from Rumania, handsomely paid, but killed off by the vampyre, one by one, as it needed them in the end.
Their final payment.
As he lifted the lantern higher and stood there in the cloud of decay, he noticed the commanding coffin ahead…coal black and opened. Alan observed it carefully, then drew a cross in the dirt a third of the way down. There was nothing else he could do.
He examined the crypt once more, then decided to leave.
The passed quickly for Alan Slovik as he waited for the sun to set. There had been another similar murder this morning and he was fairly sure who was the attacker.
As the sun died, Alan entered the darkening street. While walking, he hoped to meet the mysterious, beautiful lady once more.
A few minutes later he saw the dark silhoutte ahead and knew it was her. Crucifix ready, he approached. She seemed to be in a hurry and he was wondering why she didn’t turn into a bat–if indeed she was a vampyre.
As she got within recognizing distance, she spoke.
“I’m in a bit of a hurry tonight to get to a friends house, so I can’t talk now.” Then she said ina strange tone, “Maybe tomorrow night? Nice seeing you again.” It sounded slightly European.
When she passed, he quickly glanced to see if the mark of a cross was on her back. Through the thick fog, he made out the faint lines.
When he first met her, her had often wondered why she wore such a flimsy garment. His questions had just been answered.
He spent the next day readying items to take with him to the crypt. He didn’t have much kerosene left, so he had to go to town to buy it.
It was late afternoon as he proceeded to the cemetery–hoping not to be seen. It was getting dark, so he made it in with not much trouble.
Now he would need extra strength. Waiting untill it was slightly darker and everyone had gone from the cemetery, he carefully, slowly and with a fear of what he was going to find, opened the door and proceeded in.
He closed the door behind him and placed garlic and onions in all the cracks in the vault. Carrying his tools–a silver cross, an extremely sharp ax of some size, a bucket of kerosene and his mallet and charcoal-tipped stake, he entered the crypt with the light from the oil lamp.
As he got into the crypt, he closed the heavy door, placing garlic and onions around that too.
In the still silence of the putrid stench, he suddenly realized that he was all alone.
He proceeded forward, slowly.
He was afraid of what lay ahead, and what may be lurking in the shadows.
The coffin was closed.
Alan set up his lantern on the lower half of the coffin and rested his large ax beside it.
He then slowly opened the eerie coffin, revealing the horrible gruesome sight inside.
The vampyre looked as if she had already had her drink, but her eyes were closed.
Alan steadily placed the sharp stake between the voluptuous breasts, and raised his mallet. As he did so, he took one last look at he woman-demon that lay before him. Suddenly the eyes opened, and burned into his brain. He stared back, observing her imploring lips…
The sun had not yet completely set.
She continued to entice.
His defenses started falling. The stake became loose, the sun became redder. He wanted to kiss her, to emvrace her.
The sun set; the vampyre snarled, revealing her sharp lethal teeth, and proceeded to rise. Alan quickly composed himself, steadied the stake, and plunged it deeply into her chest with one powerful stroke. The vampyre shrieked a blood-curdling scream as the determined stake plunged in like a grave-diggers shovel.
The ill-gotten blood squirted about, flowing freely on her “body”, Alan gave it one more strike to force it to the bottom of the coffin.
It shrieked more. Its face contorted grotesquely, blood spurting out irs nose, ears and mouth. Her reddening eyes bulged out with the strain of screaming.
Quickly, Alan took the ax and severed the vampyre’s gruesome head.
After decapitating it, he lifted itout, threw it on the floor, then poured kerosene on it. He lighted a rag and threw that on it too. The head went up in flames. He then turned to the coffin. When he looked back, he saaw four dark figures standing around him.
His heart stopped.
They were the un-dead.
Hissing, and bearing their fangs, they approached him. He tipped the coffin over, and was backed into a corner.
The four hissing vampyres approached him from all sides.
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