Just Released on DVD is DARK SHADOWS. So in a nod to Johnny Depp's portrayal of Barnabas Collins, that campy vampire of old soap opera fame, here are a few stories with a bite! You should be able to recognize one classic as the short story that began this dark genre. The others may be a prelude to just some of the troubles Mr. Collins faced in today's world.
Click on the --links to preview a story, then track it through the author's name to a ready made --ANTHOLOGY,
He seemed always just about to tell me something ”the very idea of which evidently frightened him; but each time he pulled himself up, saying, as he crossed himself: 'Walpurgis-Nacht!' He began to speak in English, of a very crude and broken kind, he always got excited and broke into his native tongue, and every time he did so, he looked at his watch. Then the horses became restless and sniffed the air. At this he grew very pale, and, looking around in a frightened way, he suddenly jumped forward, took them by the bridles and led them on ...
"Mrs. Romanek? Valeria Romanek?" The man on the doorstep carried a clipboard bristling with papers. He waved a badge in her direction. "Leo Martinez, Los Angeles Unified Child and Welfare Attendance Counselor. That's a newfangled way of saying, 'truant officer.' I'm investigating an anonymous tip that you have two children who are not currently enrolled in school. May I come in?"
This was really too bizarre, Valeria thought, a human asking permission to cross her threshold! But refusing would not change the fact that the authorities had become aware of her and her children. (Not that they realized she was a vampire,) but records already existed of that complaint, from some snoopy neighbor, no doubt...¦
Cheryl sighed. This was the part of the job she didn't like, denying people their claims.
"Well Mr. Merrill, it is the official opinion of Fundamental Insurance that you are not dead per se. You see..."
Cheryl was rudely interrupted as Mr. Merrill snapped, "I've been turned into a damn vampire! I'm dead! Check my heartbeat! Nothing."
Cheryl nodded sympathetically, "Technically the term you are describing is 'The Living Dead' or 'The Undead.' Your policy pays only upon your death..."
- Two More Anthologies -