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Desperately Seeking Vampire
Author: Katie MacAlister

 


KATIE’S CLUES FOR THE ... WELL, CONFUSED

 


Because I know some readers are going to be confused about where in the Dark Ones series this novella falls, I thought I’d give a little info so that we’re all on the same page (so to speak).

And because I love bulleted lists—and also, no one uses bulleted lists in notes to readers, and I strive to be eccentric whenever possible—I’m putting the clarifying information in a handy-to-read list.

Ready? Excellent!

· This novella is technically a prequel. That is, the action occurs before the events depicted in A Girl’s Guide to Vampires, which was published in 2003. Yes, I feel old after looking up that original publication date.

· This means that Desperately Seeking Vampire takes place in the autumn of 2002. The Christian Dante you see here has not yet met Joy, Roxy, or his Beloved, Allie. He’s just a lonely vampire knocking around a big ole castle, waiting to meet the woman who will bring him to his knees in gratitude. And a lot of frustration, but that story is told in Sex and the Single Vampire.

· Yes, I wrote the character of Christian just for me. But I’m willing to share him.

· So, when you are looking at the big list of Dark Ones books (which you can see at https://katiemacalister.com/bookshelf/dark-ones/), Desperately Seeking Vampire is Book 0 (that is, it slots in before Book 1).

· Now that we have that taken care of, I know some people are going to squint at the name of the hero of this novella, Ivo. It’s pronounced EE-voh. Just think of it as a Latinized version of Yves (which is what it is).

· The poetry that Ivo spouts in this story is written by me, for him. Yes, I deliberately made it horrible.

· The tarot readings in this book were real in that I actually did the tarot card readings you see mentioned in the book. I did not manipulate the outcome at all; I simply drew cards whenever it was called for, and added them into the book with my interpretations. As a big devotee of tarot cards, I had great fun doing readings for the characters.

· Christian’s nephew Finch has his own book due out in late 2022.

 

 

I hope that takes care of all the possibly confusing points. If there’s something that’s still puzzling you, drop me an email and let me know.

Onward!

Katie Mac

 

 

ONE

 


Christian Dante

Drahanská Castle

2 July 1916

Uncle Christian,

I have no heart to tell you of the events of today. It seems as if everyone is gone, blood soaking the earth beneath smoking skies. I know that you as well as my father have witnessed many wars between mortals, but this ... this is insanity. Rabid dogs set upon each other could not be worse than the atrocities I’ve seen committed on this day.

If I could escape this hell on earth, I would, but I promised my sainted mother that I would always aid those in need, and I will not risk disturbing her spirit because I left the mortals to massacre themselves.

Do you remember Ivo Zeman? I met him some twenty years ago when we were both in Heidelberg. He has been here at the Somme in the VII Corps for the last two weeks, also as a doctor. He seems to have more of an affinity to it than me, but nonetheless, both his unit and mine have been patching up the shattered remains of mortals as best we could. Then, yesterday, the Germans decimated the British and French ranks. I won’t go into details other than to say that Ivo was caught in the middle of it, and wounded grievously.

Naturally, I couldn’t tell the other doctors at the regimental aid post or the dressing station that he would recover, given time (and blood). I’ve done what I can to guard him from too much attention, but a fresh corps of nurses have just arrived from England and Australia. Martinson, the medical officer, has agreed to allow me to attend Ivo since I told him we are old friends. If I can’t find someone from whom Ivo can feed tonight, I will let him feed from me. It is not an ideal solution, since I have to go several days between feedings, myself, but such is the situation.

I wish I had better news for my weekly letter, but there is nothing here but suffering, blood, and chaos.

Yours,

Finch

Royal Army Medical Corps, 8th Division

Lieutenant F. T. Dante

France

My dear Finch—I am, naturally, distressed that you are seeing more action than anyone could desire. Were your father still alive, he would be very proud—as am I—that you are remaining to provide what aid you can, despite your desire to be well away from the affairs of mortals.

As for your friend Ivo, did you not bring him to the castle around 1912? I have a memory of Tobar telling me that your mother was worried about the influence of a student who was encouraging you, cognizant that you need not find a Beloved, to cut a swath through the local female population. If this is not the same friend, then I apologize; regardless, I hope he recovers without attracting attention from others. If you have not yet done so, you might try to remove him from the dressing station to your own digs to keep him from garnering too much attention.

I am sending a package containing such supplies as I hope will provide you and your friend with some comfort—books, a gramophone, cigarettes and chocolate for you to pass out amongst the mortals, and several pairs of socks and underclothing. Please let me know if there is anything else you and Ivo can use.

Your devoted uncle,

C. J. Dante

Christian Dante

Drahanská Castle

18 July 1916

Uncle Christian,

Things have gone from bad to worse for Ivo. The day following his injury, I was called out to help at the main trench with the MO. Somehow, Ivo fed. Normally, this would not be a bad thing unless he was caught in the act, but apparently, he fed from one of the field nurses whom the MO had asked to check on him since I was at the front. Ivo doesn’t know which one, as he was mostly insensible, having lost a great deal of blood due to the explosion, but he claims he had a dream in which a woman was tending to the wounds, and the next thing he knew, he was feeding from her.

We could probably hush up any complaint the nurse made about him, should she do so, but the situation is much more dire. Although he claims he wasn’t aware of it at the time—and given the extreme damage the mortar fire did to him, it is understandable that he was not aware of his surroundings while his body was focused on healing—the woman he fed from was actually his Beloved. He had no sense of her being such, and thus didn’t identify himself to her. In fact, he said that as soon as he fed, he fell into an unconscious state, and when he next awoke, different nurses were present. The best description he can give is that she had dark copper red hair, wore spectacles, and was possibly American—Ivo can’t remember any distinct accent, but thought she might be American. I don’t see how she could be, since the States have thus far refused to join us, but that is what Ivo has told me.

This would be nothing but an interesting side note except now Ivo can’t take any blood; evidently it all is as poison to him. I tried feeding him myself despite the fact that hunger gnawing at my vitals has been my constant companion, but he could not tolerate even that.

He has regained enough health that I was able to move him to my tent in order to keep his accelerated healing prowess from attracting notice, but I fear that if we do not locate this nurse who has bound his life to hers, he may perish of starvation. I hate to involve you in my troubles, but I have little time to devote to Ivo with the onslaught of injured and dying men, and he is weak and racked with hunger.

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