Just a little taste…Long Undead | KT McQueen

My current work in progress is Long Undead, you may have heard me mention it once or twice. It sprang from a “what if…?” and became part of the Noctisbellum Inc. universe and yes, inspired by the Dark Universe (which you may also have heard me mention a few times). And annoyingly Universal are also working on their Dracula/Renfield offering. Still, they can’t possibly have had the same ideas as me…could they? I definitely have different actors in mind when I think of my characters, do you want to know who or would you prefer to give them life yourself?

Long Undead

The Santa Monica Pier at night. Writing: Long Undead, noctisbellum inc. Kate Trinity logo

Romania 1897 

Dust settled like glitter over four empty coffins. Dank, musty, and yet somehow welcoming, the crypt screamed of regular use. Even the broken door, splinters clear against the moonlit night, demonstrated just how recently someone had gained entry. 

The creaking of heavy wood being forced to pivot split the silent scream down the middle and gave way to the flickering of a candle held awkwardly forward of its incongruous barer. The shuffling walk painful to the eye and to the owner; the slight dip with the left step, the wince as the right hip fought the height of the riser on the burdensome stone steps, the guttering of the candle as it fought to stay alight ahead of the putrid panting breath. Hope kept him focused. Hope and fear.  

The hard dirt floor puffed with his final painful step. The pause was long, considering. He had a choice to make as he stared at the largest coffin. He rolled the stoppered, meticulously labelled Harker, vial of blood back and forth in his fingers. He could leave this place, go back home across the sea, to the life he had failed to lead with any kind of respectability. Leave this cold and drafty castle to crumble and age.  

The cloyingly sweet smell of decay arrived as they did, in the shadows, ancient white gowns rasping on bone dry skin. Hesitancy turned to urgency in their presence, almost extinguishing the flame of his guttering candle as he slid it into the wall nook. His feet carrying him, before he’d even meant to move, across to the largest coffin extravagantly lined with red satin that had seen better centuries. A long line of black dust piled along the centre.  

He uncorked the vial and heard the three sigh wantonly.  Stealing himself for a final moment before beginning to pour. As thin blood red smoke curled from the dust he stepped back, holding the empty vile protectively against himself.  

First a long-fingered hand grasped the side of the coffin, then an achingly familiar face arose. Dark hair over dark eyes that stared long and hard into those of the saviour. The reviver.  

“Well done, Reaford.”  

“Thank you, Master. Is there anything I can get for you?’ Reaford asked carefully. 

“I’m hungry, help me out.” 

Reaford rushed forward to assist, an arm under his master’s, the other on the coffin to brace as heaved himself ungracefully into his shoulder like a child seeking comfort. It took but a moment for the long fangs to extend and pierce the flesh. Reaford barely gasped before he dropped to the floor, drained, dead. 

“Now you will be more useful to me.” Climbing out of the coffin he spared the sisters barely a glance as he sliced his own wrist and slewed blood into Reaford’s open mouth.