April 20

1912 — Death of Bram Stoker

Count Verlock’s Apocalypse (Part 1 of 3)

Immortality is an accomplishment to be proud of, though it presents unique challenges.

Count Verlock never became as famous as Stoker’s fictional creation, but obscurity had always been his aim.  No need for a huge castle in the mountains, its location and purpose known and feared by superstitious peasants.  Better to choose an abandoned house outside town, in the deepest woods.

As residents disappeared one by one, townspeople would confine investigations within their own borders…suspicious of each other…a paranoia that sweetened the tang of their blood.

At the first hint of discovery…a footprint on the dry grass outside his dilapidated home, a uniformed official shining torchlight through a spiderwebbed window, a bloodhound sniffing and howling on the forest scent of a missing barmaid or farmhand…well, Count Verlock did not linger to await the results of such trespass.  He knew how such incursions would end…

In his earliest days, he’d witnessed others of his kind…other so-called immortals…discovered in their lair, cornered with religious symbols and strong-smelling herbs, attacked with sharpened wood and neck-severing blades.  He learned from their foolish example…and thus, he outlasted them all.

In recent years, twenty-first century customs made city life the preferable option.

An apartment dwelling offered effortless anonymity.  Other tenants kept their distance, never bothering the elderly gentleman who stayed home during the day.  At night, Verlock could venture out freely among crowds… one strange person, among many…dressed in faded clothes, instead of attention-grabbing regal vestments.

It was like those old storybook yarns, where a count or king walked among commoners, disguised as a lowly peasant.

His victims were plentiful, chosen among the city’s rejects…orphans, petty thieves or alcoholic vagrants, all easily waylaid and drained of their life’s blood.

Count Verlock enjoyed a simple, predictable existence…hidden in plain sight…no worries that he’d ever be discovered.

He’d made one crucial mistake, however.  Verlock had chosen a city too close to the seat of his current country’s government.  Anonymous, yes.  But also the likely target of a nuclear or biological attack….

[…continued in April 21 entry…]

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Author’s Note:  For a less apocalyptic story featuring the same vampire, please consider the following FREE story, “The Dungeon of Count Verlock,” based on a movie that takes place in the 1960’s.

…To read the full story online, click here…

…If you’d prefer a free eBook version, click here to visit Instafreebie…