“Chaos Children” is a stand alone short story that compliments my novel “Solstice Night”. The first draft of the story is complete and I hope to publish it as a free read next month. Writing this short gave me the chance to include information about the vampire underworld of ‘Solstice Night’ I had to edit out due to maintaining the flow of the storyline.
My current project is the Cover Design for ‘Chaos Children’. Embarrassing as they are, the slideshow illustrates all of my sketches and attempts.
I narrowed down the versions and listed the Options I am most pleased with below:
The short story is about the origin of vampires as told by Alder, the personification of Chaos and Darkness. It questions what makes good or evil, and what defines an individual. Please read the included excerpt for a better impression of the story.
CHAOS CHILDREN – EXCERPT
“Beo, where do vampires come from?” Beo, immortal, infinitely powerful and wise, had no idea. She looked at the child. Kaph, a tribal African, was turned into a vampire at the age of four. The others that shared her home: four vampires, one Wolf and two human women turned for her answer. If the question had been ‘where do babies come from’, she could have answered. She once had six sons.
“Well,…” she stalled. She knew the common notion if not the specifics. “It takes a vampire to make another vampire.” She looked to Dis, a vampire from the time of Claudius II. Naturally quiet, he only shrugged. Beo sent a beseeching look to the other vamps. The only female, Rook responded, “It is very difficult, as birth always is…Most of the time the mortal dies.”
“That is the only reason the streets aren’t overrun with us.” Sin sneered. He leaned negligently against the wall and twisted the gold crucifix he wore around his neck. The others long accustomed to his outbursts, ignored him.
Kaph let out an exasperated sigh and went on in his multilingual syntax. “I know big vamp make little vamp, duh!” He recently added modern slang to his vocabulary. He smiled proudly. “But who made the first vampire?”
The philosophical question stumped the beings with combined millennia of existence. Beo kneeled to the child’s level. She loved Kaph as she had loved her own sons. He was bright, loyal and brave. He would forever be a child. Beo couldn’t decide if that was a tragedy or a blessing. “No one knows, Kaph.”
John Fitzgerald, a much younger vampire, was turned ironically by Kaph during the American Revolution. He suggested, “I think we must have evolved, as other animals do.”
“We are demons!” Fitzgerald’s clutch mate, Sin interrupted. Of all the vamps, he had the most difficulty accepting his nature. “We are the Devil’s children, and we are damned.”
“Sin,” Beo stood in front of him. Dis silently moved to her side. This was an argument they had had in many different ways. Her patience was worn. “Kaph is NOT a demon.” She added more calmly. “And neither are you. That is the ramblings of ignorant priests. Vampires existed before the Church, before Christianity. They existed even before me.” The last was almost a joke. They all knew Beo was the oldest of them, by far.
“But they did not exist before me.” A new voice spoke amongst them. The new voice was slinky and amused. It came from all around them and yet nowhere. A black figure poured through the window.
“Hello, Alder.” Beo greeted her relation coolly.
“Ah, sweet Beo. Still angry?” The newcomer mused.
“Still.” Dis growled. Even though he had been the pawn in Alder’s last scheme, his anger stemmed from the mad being’s betrayal of Beo.
Alder was the personification of darkness and chaos. His hair and skin were oil black, but his eyes and teeth were blazing red. Beo didn’t know if that made him a god or element or a cosmic super villain. She knew he was older and stronger. He was also Beo’s vision couldn’t see. Beo was able to perceive and manipulate all the matter around her except for Alder. Around him, she only saw…nothing. She still didn’t want him in her house.
“Leave, Uncle.” The endearment sounded more like a curse.
“But it is story time.” Alder feigned hurt. “And Kaph wishes to hear how vampires came to be.”
“And you know?” Alder didn’t lie, but he rarely told all that he knew.
“I do.” Alder looked positively wicked. “Who else would make a creature bound by darkness, strong, lethal and impulsive?”
“I knew we were the Devil’s children. I just had the wrong devil.” Sin grumbled.
“I am not the Devil.” Alder’s tone left the possibility for the Devil to exist or not. “I am neither good nor evil. I am part of the Balance. Light and Dark. Male and Female. Life and, of course, Death. Which is good? Which evil? Which are you?”
Sin’s face was pained. That was the question that haunted him.
“So, you created the first vampire.” Fitzgerald said what everyone else suspected.
“In a way.” Alder alluded.
Please comment on the covers/excerpt/whatever is on your mind. I’d love feedback on which cover to use.