Desert Vampires ~ #fridayflash #spokensunday #serialtuesday

Via Flickr by Kevin Dooley

 

Journal Log: Los Alamos, New Mexico

Date Made: Before European Contact, Unsure of Date

Name: Liseli, now goes by Lis

 

Desert Vampires

     For hours I lay awake listening to the wind railing against our tent. Tossing and turning I swore I heard the sound of a flute being carried on the mighty gusts. At first the sound made me feel light headed, but as the wind twirled around us the more it frightened me. Sitting up on my elbow I looked over at my parents. They were cradled in each others arms with their long flowing black hair intertwined. They, along with my brother, were oblivious to the raging spirits and the music destined to carry me away from all that I loved. Pulling my fur blanket high over my head I told myself I did not hear it.

     The next day the spirits were momentarily happy for the sky was blue and the air was calm. As my mother braided my long, dark hair I told her I had hear the call of the moon flute. Stopping she was silent behind me. I could feel her breathing, feel her thinking. Turning my head I wanted to see the expression on her face, but when I did, she put her hand on my head turning my head away from her. Silently she finished braiding my hair then turned me around. As I looked into her dark eyes she told me, ‘Next time you hear it, you must go. It has chosen you. The call of the moon flute brings us great honor.’

     This was not what I wanted to hear. I had seen what had happened to the other members of the tribe when they had succumbed to the lure of the moon flute. They came back, but they were not the same. For days they lie sick in bed and then without a word they walked out into the desert never to return. As she straightened her shoulders I knew she would not wavier her daughter  would do as the music commanded. Stunned I watched her walk out of the tent. Her head held high with her hair swaying behind her.  As I stood outside out the tent I watched her walk away. With the warmth of the day upon us the camp had begun to come alive. She smiled as she walked past the warm fires, children laughed and voices filled the air to greet her. Everyone said my mother was the most beautiful woman in the village. Even if I was not her daughter I would have to agree. Looking around the side of our tent out into the brown desert my heart felt heavy. She knew that if I followed the music I would have to leave. I could not believe she would so easily sacrifice me for honor.

     That night as the moon shone bright and the stars twinkled above our camp the flute music called to me. Without the wind to rattle my nerves the song wooed me, drifting into my heart and pulling me to its maker. Silently I slipped out of the tent. The air felt refreshingly cool against my legs and arms. Carefully I stepped across the hard ground making sure to avoid the small cactuses with barbed needles that pierce deep into the flesh. Within moments it felt as if I was floating. Looking down at the ground it passed quickly between my dangling feet. It was then I noticed the cool arms holding me. Turning I tried to see what creature had taken me, but I could not look behind me, only upwards at the starry sky and downwards at the dry earth.

Via Flickr by Bryce Edwards

     Traveling swiftly we came upon a river miles away from my camp. I knew this river well for our camp always settled here in spring to hunt game and drink its cool water. The river was low now, as it was the height of the summer. Gently my feet landed on the dry river bed. As my weight came down it cracked under the pressure. Lifting my head up I looked into the green eyes of the flute player. He wore his long black hair braided as if he was one of my people. He was even dressed like one of our warriors. But, I knew he was not. His eyes were the color of cactus. None of us had eyes like that. His skin was also strange; it was the color of the muddy river when the first snow melted in the mountains. None of us had skin like that.

     Nervously I asked him what he wanted. Smiling at me he turned to face the sky. Spreading out his palms he replies, ‘I want someone to share the night with, the stars, the moon, everything you see.’ With no hesitation I say I do not want to share the night with him. I want to be back in my village with my family. Looking down the river his face turns to stone. ‘The flute called you to me. You cannot go back as you came.’ That is not what I wanted to hear. Slowly I back away from the riverbed. Looking left and right I plan for my escape. Breaking into a run I am relieved he does not follow. I am moving so fast I can feel the wind on my face and my hair tossing about as I madly dash into the darkness. It is then I feel his cool hands surrounding me. My heart falls to the ground when I realize I cannot escape.  

     Behind me I hear is voice. It is almost angry. ‘Did your mother not instruct you? Did she not tell you that being chosen brings honor to her?’ I remained silent. She had told me, but I dared not believe it. I dare not think she wants to live without me forever. Until the flute player had called me father had plans for me. I was to marry and start a family of my own. Tears well up in my eyes. I can no longer see the sky, the stars, all I can see is blackness. If I struggled, if I ran, I would bring dishonor my family.

     Seeing my tears his face turned soft. ‘The pain you feel will soon pass. You will go home for a few days, say your goodbyes and then you will join me.’ Gliding down onto a large rock he cradled me in arms. Much like the boy I was going to marry did. Looking into his eyes the sound of the flute filled my ears. Smiling he touched my face and said, ‘I will take care of you now. I will show you the way.’ Flashing his teeth they grew into fangs right before my eyes. Struggling I tried to back away, but his grip was too tight. Holding me he brushed my hair aside, took in a deep breath of my skin and then sunk his teeth deep into my flesh. Instantly I felt dizzy and my head bobbed backwards. Looking up into the sky the stars were the only ones to witness my shame.

     The next morning I awoke in my own bed. My parents had already risen and were talking of the things they would be doing that day. My father asked if they should wake me. For a moment they were silent. Then my mother told him no, that last night I had been chosen. Peaking through the furs I could see unhappiness settle around his eyes. ‘She is our only daughter. Why did he have to choose her?’ Scolding him mother reminded him it was an honor to be chosen. Looking directly at me his voice was no longer a whisper. His word were meant for me to hear.‘There is no honor in loosing a daughter.’ Sensing his anger mother quickly shuffled him out of the tent, but I knew he wanted me to know he loved me and life without me would be unbearable. For soon I would be his daughter no more.

     That day I shivered with fever. The bite marks on my neck became swollen and infected. Mother stayed by my side most of the day pressing cool water mixed with herbs on my forehead. In the afternoon the boy I was to marry came to see me. Kneeling down next to me he held my hand pressing it against his chest. For a moment he looked at me with adoration and pity. He told he knew it was an honor to be chosen, but wished more than anything that it had not chose me. Thankfully my mother was sitting outside giving us privacy. We did not talk much for the words seemed to get stuck in our throats. After some time mother’s voice pierced the air telling him I needed rest. Leaning down he pressed his warm lips to mine. If he noticed my lips were already cold, he never said. He knew what I was becoming. He knew I would leave and never return. Hearing my mother pacing outside he turned his head and then looked back at me lovingly. His eyes were filled with such sadness as he told me the despair he felt over the life we would never live togther, of the children we would never have. Pressing a turquoise stone into my hand he said, ‘Do not forget Leslie. No matter what you become in my heart you will always be one of us.’

***

This flash fiction is a part of a vampire series I am doing for #fridayflash.

Vella and Jeremy Vampire Tracker Part 2

Vella and Jeremy Vampire Tracker Part 1

Ammon The Moon Flute Player The Cliff Dwelling Part 2

Lis, Andrew and the Flute Player The Cliff Dwelling Part 1

Lis Desert Vampires.  

Natalia Confession of the Vampire Natalia

Natalia Vampire Natalia Searches the Jungle

Andrew Vampires in the Jungle 

Veronique Vampires at the Moulin Rouge 

Veronique and Natalia Snow in Paris

Vampires ~ Flash Fiction ~ Friday Flash

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, what a great premise. And beautiful description. So sad at the end…

  2. John Wiswell says:

    So you went to vampires and deserts too. Your take is a lot more serious than mine, though, and more robust in its paragraphs and descriptive beauty. I enjoyed wandering through the blocks. Thanks for sharing, Lara.

  3. Thanks, this was a sad tale. I love the descriptions of the desert and most of all, I love the girl and her sorrow at losing her current life. the analogy of the flute was done so well, I could almost hear it, see the stars in the desert and feel her pain.

    Good work 🙂

  4. Jason says:

    You take vampire stories to a new and fascinating level. This is a great series! I love the desert imagery in this story. The moon flute, the turquoise stone. Can she go back, maybe?

  5. Steve Green says:

    A very good read, I thought the storyline had a good pace to it, and I really felt for the character.

  6. Gracie says:

    Nicely done. Poor girl. I’m with her- what’s so great about being chosen? Bless her heart.

    Fresh and imaginative take on the vampire tale. Great descriptions, too. Really enjoyed this one.

  7. L'Aussie says:

    Hi Lara, thanks for coming by and reading my desert army story. I’m not sure if you read my Cinderella vamp tale while you were there. If you did I wonder what you thought of it seeing you’re into vampire tales.

    Love you desert vampires. You don’t usually see them in this setting and you have crafted your story well. I love how you’ve used a moon flute as of all instruments a flute can sound so melancholy. It adds another beautiful layer to your story.

    I’ll be back for more flash…

    1. laradunning says:

      Yes, I just checked out your story! What a great twist on a classic. The world you created was so dark and ominous. I really enjoyed your desert army story, especially since the MC was a woman. Don’t read to many of those. Thanks for checking out my vampire tales. I’ve started a friday flash series where eventually the characters will meet up at some point. The main character or focus is vampire Natalia. If you haven’t already you might want to check out the story on when she was turned. It is the first story (at the bottom) of the vampire stories page. Kind of sets the stage for later flashes.

  8. Aidan Fritz says:

    Lara, I love how you manage to conjure the different worlds and cultures for your pieces. The bittersweetness of her not wanting to leave home creates a solid character that feels significantly different than the other tales. I like how different their origins are becoming.

    I did wonder why she told her mother. Wouldn’t she have been able to pretend that she hadn’t heard the calling if she’d done that?

    1. laradunning says:

      Thank you for your comments. I am planning to create a wide range of characters from different parts of the world and times. I hadn’t even thought of that Aidan. That would have made for a good internal conflict. I guess I made her forthcoming to be able to show her parents conflicting reactions.

  9. jcunknown says:

    Great storie I love the way you wrote it … u really feel for the character great job

  10. KjM says:

    “…His word were meant for me to hear.‘There is no honor in loosing a daughter.’…”

    Such sadness in this piece, and kindness and love in the above statement.

    You do a very good job with the emotion in this story – to say nothing of your gorgeous descriptions.

    Really well done.

    1. laradunning says:

      Thank you. After writing my other vampire flashes I really wanted to create a character that was just on the verge of begining her life and have it utterly change. Andrew was in college when he was made, so a character much younger, still living with her parents and dreaming of her future was a must-then Lis was born! I’m looking forward to creating future flashes with her and her maker.

  11. juliorvarela says:

    I really liked the originality of this and it was well-paced. The object of the moon flute hooked me. That is why intrigued me about the story. Very cool premise and the end was pretty melancholy.

    1. laradunning says:

      Thank you. I wanted to create a story that played with the idea of a flute player that was not a trickster or fertility charmer (such as Kokopelli), but one that brought death instead.

  12. lionel says:

    you have meshed the native tale with vampire lore really well. Like how the calling of the flute resembles the rite of passage for this girl. even though it has vampire in the title, the writing remains faithful to the native and rite of passage story in a intelligent and original way.

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