Axel Taiari – A Light to Starve By – Amazon e-novelette
A good friend of mine Axel Taiari, an extremely talented author, just put up his first e-novelette at Amazon called “A Light to Starve By” and for only .99 cents it’s totally worth it. 8000 words (30 pages), it’s a futuristic vampire AND werewolf tale set in Paris. And it won’t be the same old tired story, trust me, Axel writes rich, startling, intense prose.
A vampire story, set in near-future Paris, where vampires and werewolves are hunted down like rabid dogs and put down just as quickly. Their existence is common knowledge, the army and police patrol the streets looking for them, families barricade themselves at night, and even the Catholic Church has its own task force. The majority of the population has been vaccinated, making their blood highly poisonous to our favorite monsters. The small population of bloodsuckers is now reduced to dealing blood like drugs, living in hiding, owning clean human slaves to drink from, and generally living a pathetic life.
Enter my nameless protagonist, a clan-less vampire who has been starving for too long. He has been surviving mostly by himself for decades, stealing and mugging, closer to a feral animal than the organized vampires of old. His only real link with humanity is a woman he lost years ago. As he checks up on her one night, he finds her missing, and all hell breaks loose.
The starving tore us apart. It began with a few rumbles over who would drink who and when. The arguments turned to grudges, feuds, claw fights, gang battles and then bloomed into a full-blown civil war. The more organized clans traded clean humans like rare diamonds, keeping them chained in underground lairs and milking them like your average bovine. They fed them rich meals, kept them healthy and drained their blood bit by bit every week, filling vials with their juices and selling the vials to buy more humans. Every clean human death became a miniature tragedy. The loners like me, we morphed from hunters into buyers. One night you’re emptying a schoolgirl’s tasty veins, blood gushing from your lips, a grin etched on your face, and the week after that you’re breaking into flats and stealing jewelry to pay for your next hit.
We laughed at the mentalists when their struggle started. The hum of electricity was a minor annoyance. After that, radios gave them headaches or made them puke. Then the television revolution, the tide of cell phones and the wireless internet boom brought forth a new invisible hell. Mentalists taking the train at night would randomly shriek when the meat-sack next to them would get a call from his lover. Humans swamped the air. The mentalists, they shied away from cities, fearful of the signals. Silence became their haven. They retreated to the forests and the deserts, fighting over territory with the werewolves. Most of them starved, went insane or were murdered and pissed on by the shape-shifters. The more desperate ones would try to walk back into the cities despite the pain and maybe they’d get too close to an antenna, and their brains would gloriously erupt into flesh fireworks before splash-painting the pavement. The humans couldn’t ignore the supernatural anymore and blood and mind suckers alike became public knowledge. Still we laughed at the mentalists while we kept drinking. Then the vaccine was invented, and we didn’t laugh so hard anymore.