Child of Dawn

CHILD OF DAWN


Dawn settled in to life running the queendom, and all was finally going like she wanted.  Everything was fine until a young girl appeared with all of her powers and abilities, and a group of rebels decided to use this child to overthrow Dawn herself. 

Gabriel Arnaud had never been part of a family before, but when his brother's queen brought him into their royal family, he did his best to  change from a loner to a family man.  Still, he could only take  the crowds  for a short time each night before needing solitude.  Then he met  Trina, and she changed everything.  Why did he want Trina around always?

Mary Katherine Quinn (Trina) was a good catholic and a timid person.  Sure she was rotund, and a bit geeky, but she was a nice person, that counted right?   When she woke in an alley, deathly thin with an unquenchable hunger and fangs, she was sure she was in a dream.  When she was caught by  a blonde French adonis and brought before the vampire queen, she knew she was insane, especially since the queen looked exactly like her mother!  The only thing real in this whole mess was the feelings she had for the quiet blond man who seemed to always be there when she needed him.


And now a preview of "Child Of Dawn"

Trina woke up feeling confused, cold and hungry.  Her bed was wet.  She sat up and looked around.  She was in a hole somewhere.  She was laying in mud?  A fish swam quickly by her.  A fish?  She looked around.  She was under water!  She panicked and jumped up, pushing off with her feet until her head broke the surface of the water.  She breathed in the cool night air as she tread water.  She saw family of ducks swimming around at the opposite side of the lake, but otherwise the area seemed deserted.  

She remembered running away from the flaming church and diving into the water.  Okay, she had not dived into the water, she fell in, but she still remembered it.  She swam to the shore and looked around.  She was in a big open field, but there were not buildings anywhere nearby.  Where was the church?  She climbed out and walked around enough to realize where she was.  She was near the old McKullers farm.  But she had run from the church right to here, and that had to be over ten miles.  

Her clothes were cold.  Well, one advantage to being in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night was that she could take them off.  She striped out of her blouse and skirt and hung them up to dry on a couple of tree limbs near the water’s edge.  It was a warm night, so she would have no problem lounging around in her underwear.   Feeling a little naughty she pulled off her bra and panties, hug them beside her other clothes, and went skinny dipping.  She had never skinny dipped before.  Heck, she had never done much of anything before.  A guilt laden Catholic upbringing made her a very straight-laced person.  Most of her friends were met through the church or through work.  Face it, she was simply a boring person.

She swam around the lake happy with being a boring person.  Father William was a good friend.  They had so many discussions.  Of course he was always after her to find a husband.  Now that her parents were gone, he was like a father to her.  She smiled thinking of him.  Then the memory of last night intruded.  Had Father William been in the church when it caught fire?  Suddenly her happy swim was a worried scramble to the shore.

She threw on her still wet clothes and looked around.  She had to get to the church.  She thought about the playground just beyond the side door and wished she was there.  She was about to start running when she saw the swings.  She looked around and saw the playground.  She was there.  How did she get here?

“No, Mr. Arnaud,” a voice was saying,  “I was not there, I did not see her.”

“Someone came into your church and tried to set fire to it and you were not there?” She peered around the corner and saw Father William talking to a tall blond man in a dark suit.

“I was in the confessional.  The area is curtained off.  I had no idea anything had happened until afterwards.”

“Did any of your parishioners see anyone at the time?”

“Most of the people had already gone.  There was only one person in the sanctuary when the woman was there, but you already spoke to her.”

“And how much damage was there?”

“Just minor damage to some of the pews and one of our holy water basins.”

“So why exactly did you call us?” 

“That was a different matter entirely,” Father William sighed.  He reached  into his dark pants and pulled a photo out of his pocket.  “I called about her.”

The tall blonde man glanced at the photo.  “What about her?”

“She’s been missing for the last week and a half.  I’m worried about her.”

“Have you filed a police report?”

“Of course.  They say that she probably just went on vacation or something.”

“But you don’t think so?”

“No.” he shook his head.  “I’ve Known Mary Katherine Quinn since her baptism.  She would never leave and just disappear like that.”

“And you called us because?”

“I guess you have not seen the local papers.” Father William said.  “Here, “ he said as he handed the man newspaper clippings.  “All of them were young women, vaguely matching Mary Katherine’s description.  All of them died by ‘animal bites’ to the neck.”

“So you think she is dead?” the tall blonde man asked.

“No, Mr. Arnaud,” Father William said, “If she was dead, I think she would have been found by now.”  He stared up at the tall man “I think she’s undead.”

“And that is why you called us,” the tall man said.

“Yes,” Father William said, “That is why I called you.”  He pulled three more new clippings from his other pocket and handed them to Gabriel.  Gabriel glanced at them.  The first one was of another woman nearly identical to the others.  The second one was of a man being killed the same way at the same time across town.  Only this time, it was in front of witnesses.  Witnesses described the killer as a woman.  She was five foot five or six inches, with jet-black hair.  She was thin and incredibly strong.  Witnesses say that she tossed the man around like he was a toy.  The third article was similar to the second.  It had happened last night at a dance-club about five miles from the church.  

“It is the same woman that came into our church last night.” 

The blond stranger nodded.  “Thank you Father William,” he said.  “I will let you know what I find.” He nodded to the priest, ignoring the man’s outstretched hand.

The priest looked down at his hand and frowned. Then he got a look of understanding on his face and said, “Of course, I apologize.”   

“Good evening father,” The man said, motioning him to go inside. Father William looked at him with a puzzled expression, but went inside alone.


The tall man looked straight at her and said, “You can come out now, he is inside.”

© Steve Stone 2012