Sunday Excerpt


Time has come once again where I post an excerpt from one of my many works in progress.

Today’s excerpt comes from a journal based story title Changing Times: A Vampire’s Tale.  It tracks the life, and unlife, of Clarissa Browning, aka Sable in the country music world, from when she was a child until the end of her days.  She witnesses many things after her embrace into the world of the vampire.  This portion you’ll see tonight is when she decides to venture into the professional music scene.

November 1995

One tiny personal event is what spurred me on to try to make it big as a musician. One of my students became seriously ill and was hospitalized for several months. Her parents were well off so it wasn’t any problem for them. But, their daughter, Anna, was very lonely much of the time, and missed her weekly lessons at my off campus apartment. So, I took it upon myself to visit her every chance I got. Usually I would take my grandfather’s guitar and play for her until she fell asleep, or just sing to her.

During the worst of her illness, she was passing in and out consciousness much of the time. I would sit there and watch, worrying about her ordeal. One day, while she in a light comatose state, I played a simple lullaby for her. Whether by fate, or coincidence, her eyes opened, and she smiled. Little did I know, the nurses, doctors, and other patients were listening near the door. Their response was just what was needed to urge me into show business.

Earning my teaching degree wasn’t hard after that. Just remembering those smiles, and the applause, was enough to keep me going. After I graduated from college, I went to teach at Owasso High School, one of the state’s best schools. I stayed there for several years, teaching vocal and helping the band teacher. Every year when the annual Talent show came around, I and a few friends would get together and set up an act. We never won first place, but we never left without a prize. We were good, just not quite good enough, which made us work even harder.

 

March 1998

The one act that caught the attention of a visiting talent scout turned out to not be rock or country, but our own rendition of a series of songs from a movie I enjoyed as a girl. The band, and I, dressed in period clothing, played the set of three very short songs as if we were from that very time period. Months of hard work went into perfecting that one little act. We still didn’t win first prize, but we didn’t have to have that trophy when the talent scout approached me and the band and offered a recording contract.

I stayed long enough to finish off the school year, and then I packed up my things and left with my band. During this time, I had earned the nickname of Sable, mostly because of my love for cats and the painting of a brown feline on the back of my favorite vest.

 

July 1997

We started off small, playing in clubs until we gained enough of a following over those first couple of years. Our biggest following was still back in Oklahoma, but over the rest of the nation, we were slowly building a name. No one could really classify us in any one genre of music, even if country was the basis of all our songs. We were probably the cleanest band around. None of us smoked or did drugs, or even drank, though once in a great while, we’d toast with a small glass of wine or champagne.

 

May 21, 2001

Those first five years of touring were the hardest, and the best, in all my life. But that all soon came to a crashing end when my fiance, Derick, was killed in a crash involving a drunk driver. The shock of his death made performing difficult, though I tried hard to finish off the tour.

 

July 2002

As soon as we returned, I called a hiatus with the excuse to rest and work on new songs for the next album. Only the band members knew the true reason why I was calling for the break. Loosing Derick was very hard, and I needed time alone. He was my inspiration and without him, I felt so empty and alone, not even music could fill the void his death left.

So I packed up my bags and drove to a small out of the way town I picked at random on the map. The place the dart chose, Los Muertos California. Little did I know my life was going to take a new turn in that town within a few months of my first arrival.

With the help from mom and dad, and a few music lessons, I paid for a nice hotel room to stay in until I found a house to rent. What was available was either too expensive or big for one person, or was totally worn down, nothing suitable for a single woman like myself. In those first few months, I met many interesting people, most of which I would later learn, were vampires. At first, I thought of them as rather strange, but nothing I thought would be anything to fear. Had I known before I met Adam, I probably would have packed my bags and left town without a backward glance.

 

February 2003

Near the end of the month, I met who would become my sire, Adam. On several occasions, I had visited the bar he owned. It was a gay bar, but that didn’t mean anything to me. The music, though techno, was good, and the liquor even better. One night, he came down from his office, and we started to talk. An innocent enough conversation about touring, and how tired I was of it, though I never did tell him why I was tired of touring. I only mentioned needing time to write songs for the next CD.

Eventually, we ended up in his office, talking over good Irish whiskey about the music business and seeing Europe. The next thing I knew, he was there at my throat, and before I knew it, he turned me into a vampire. I was both furious and frightened at the same time, and he was the only one there to focus it all onto. I was violated and forced to live a life I didn’t want.

I couldn’t be too mad at him, he did provide an apartment for me so I wouldn’t be caught in the sun, and after a short time, seemed to be a little apologetic, though he thought my mortal pursuits were meaningless.

If he would have only taken the time to understand, he wouldn’t have thought they were meaningless. Life as I knew it changed drastically. I could no longer go out and enjoy a fresh spring day, or return to teaching if I wanted. Everything had to be done at night. As much as I hated it, I had to prey upon humans just to survive. I know, I could have easily committed suicide, but that was something I just couldn’t bring myself to do. Not until I became famous, and the world knew my name. Little did I know how long that would take.

Adam saw to my education as a vampire, teaching me the tricks of the trade, to coin a phrase, their history, and how to use those same tricks to my advantage. Over the course of those first months, I eventually forgave him for pushing his lifestyle on me, but it still hurt to know he was the one that thwarted any chance I had of joining my dead fiancé any time soon.

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