Phone Home (Vampires: The New Age, Flash Fiction)
The Avebury Legacy (Vampires: The New Age #1) is a dark fantasy novel full of excitement, action, a touch of romance and some really nasty vampires. I like to think of it as like Tomb Raider with vampires and way more magic.
You can read the first page of the book over at BooksGoSocial.com and/or you can check out the whole first chapter at The Avebury Legacy’s book listing on this site: Wittegen Press, or use the look inside functionality over at Amazon or download the 20% sample at Smashwords. There are also sample options on all sites where the book is listed that offer that service, so you can try before you buy on which ever device you like to read.
The story below is set between the 1st and 2nd chapters of the book, but you don’t need to have read it to understand it. In fact, I hope the fic will entice you to try out the novel. Thank you very much for reading, comments are always welcome. Enjoy! (If you would like to know more about Nate, I have written a blog post all about him over at my personal blog).
by Natasha Duncan-Drake
“Laven residence,” came the familiar tones of his mother’s telephone voice.
She still sounded as English as the day they had emigrated and he doubted anything would ever change that.
“Hi, Mum,” he replied.
He’d never picked up the American ‘mom’ pronunciation, even thought he’d lived in the US so long. Some things had been hardwired into his brain after nine years growing up in England and it always seemed to please his mother for some reason. It always reminded him of those formative years and invariably brought back his accent so it was a bewildering mixture of English and American. He never did it with anyone else, just his family.
“Nate, how lovely to hear from you,” she said. She sounded happy, but a little cross at the same time, one of her specialities. “You realise you forgot your father’s birthday?”
“I know, I know, I’m sorry, work was crazy,” he apologised; he had been tracking an alpha and a spawn at the time and had totally failed to remember the family anniversary while trying not to die. “Tell him to check his email, I’ve sent something through.”
“I’m sure he’ll forgive you,” she told him, “especially if it’s anything to do with fishing. I don’t know what it is with you two and blood sports.”
Nate found himself smiling; the conversation always went along the same lines. When he had visited home once, soon after taking up vampire hunting, she had found a small stash of his weapons he had carelessly left in the back of his car, so she was convinced he liked hunting big game. He had shot the odd deer in his time, but only so he could eat it. Occasionally hunting the undead took him way off the beaten track.
“He throws back all the fish, Mum,” he said, “I don’t think you can really call it a blood sport.”
“And have you killed anything lately?”
“Nothing that wasn’t trying to kill me, promise,” he replied.
“Nathaniel,” his mother’s stern tone came back.
“No, really, I told you, I gave that up, it was only a phase,” he said. “I haven’t killed anything with a heartbeat in over a year.”
Both statements were technically true. There was no way he was ever letting his parents know what horrors lurked in the dark. He had made sure their house was warded against vampires the first time he had visited after he had discovered the creatures existed and they were never going to find out the truth. He hunted vampires so no one else had to find out like he had, covered in the blood of his best friend.
“And how’s the job?” his mother asked.
His parents thought he was a business consultant with a huge firm that kept him constantly travelling all over North America. It was kind of true, if you allowed that the business was burning vampires or chopping off their heads or staking them out in the sun. He wasn’t exactly employed by a firm, but Macintyre could be looked on as the C.E.O. of a company with a hell of a lot of contracting specialists.
“Going really well,” he replied. “I just landed a huge account in Canada. I’m heading up there today to close the deal. Should end up with a great bonus, so expect a big hamper next Christmas.”
“I’d prefer you instead,” was the instant response, “and you know you can come home before that anytime.”
He hadn’t been home since he was infected.
“And I will try, I promise,” he said, even though he was lying through his teeth.
Glancing over, he looked at his red vampire eyes in the mirror on the other side of the motel bed. There was no way he was going home until he and Lexie found the cure.
“Look,” he lied again, “they’ll be calling my flight soon so I have to go. Give my love to Dad and Georgie.”
“Call again soon, Nate,” his mother replied, “I love you.”
“Love you too, Mum, sorry, gotta go,” he said and pulled the phone away from his ear.
He hated lying to his family, but they were better out of the world he lived in.
“Everything okay?” Lexie asked as she came out of the bathroom.
He smiled a little sadly and nodded. At least he still had phone calls; Lexie hadn’t even spoken to her parents since she was attacked and left with the vampire curse. He really hoped they would find answers in Canada, because they were running out of time. The last thing he wanted for his mother was for her to have to bury an empty coffin and never know what really happened to him. If he died a hunter at least Macintyre would make sure his parents got his ashes, or at least something pretending to be his ashes. If he died a monster he’d just disappear. That was the way his world worked.
This story was inspired by the prompt for this week’s Drabble Cascade over at FB3X: