Vampire Novel by Stefan Stenudd
Caroline witnesses the agonizing death of her twin brother, when they are no more than 15 years old. Horrified, she feels that nobody should ever have to die. Then she discovers a hidden visitor to her home, who has the ability to live forever without aging at all. And this ability can be transmitted.
As she gets to know the visitor, she finds that there are grisly downsides to such longevity. But events unfold, giving her little time to decide.
Stefan Stenudd is a Swedish author, historian of ideas, and aikido instructor. He writes because he just has to.
Here is an excerpt from the book. Below it are links to its pages on Amazon US and UK.
The Lower CaninesCaroline sleeps in her bed, lying on her back with both arms up by the pillow, one hand under it. The room is dark, except for the pale light of the crescent moon shining in through the uncovered window. There is a slight stir in the corner opposite that of Caroline’s bed. A shadow emerges and moves silently towards the bed.
It’s a short and slender teenage boy, dressed in dark clothes. The skin on his face and hands is so pale it reflects the moonlight. The rest of him is completely black in the dim light.
Ever so slowly, the boy crawls onto the bed and lies down beside Caroline. He gets up close and exhales through his mouth into her face, making a wheezing sound, much like blowing on a window to create mist.
Caroline’s head leans heavier on the pillow, which makes her neck exposed. The boy kisses it lightly, his lips barely touching her skin. Then he bites it, very delicately, and remains there.
Caroline becomes restless in her sleep. She mumbles something inarticulate and her legs move. The boy retracts and looks at her face. When she relaxes again and her legs stop moving, he bites her anew.
Immediately, Caroline wakes up. She twists her head and stares right at the boy, who pulls his head back at the same time. He is just a silhouette from her viewpoint, with the moonlit window behind him.
“Freddie?” she asks, not waiting for confirmation. “What do you think you’re doing? I know you’ve peeked at me before, when you thought that I was sleeping. More than once, when you had your sleepovers with Thomas. I noticed, but I didn’t bother. But this is too much!”
She turns on the bedside lamp. The boy blinks, blinded by the sudden light. She stares at the boy and opens her mouth to scream, but then she stops herself.
The boy seems to be of her age, but smaller. He is very skinny and pale, as if anorectic or suffering from some disease. He shades his eyes with his hand, but it doesn’t stop him from squinting in the lamplight. His thin long fingers make him look even more weak and fragile.
His curly hair is black. So are his clothes. He has a coat on, reaching his knees. It is vintage and quite worn, buttoned all the way to the neck with big leather coated buttons. The pants are also visibly worn, especially by the knees, and his elegant black leather shoes could do with a shine.
Caroline sits up in the bed.
“Who the hell are you?”
The boy mumbles with a weak voice and the hint of a strange accent, pronouncing the vowels with unusual clarity:
“I saw the signs. Your dreams were speaking louder to you. So, why couldn’t I stop?”
“I should have left at the first signs,” he continues with a sigh, speaking to himself. “I know I should.”
Caroline looks around the room. Her door is closed and so is the window.
“So, how did you get in? And how long have you been here?”
The boy sighs again. He has stopped blinking but avoids looking Caroline in the eyes.
“Not long at all, in the scheme of things. Less than a year. But really far too long to remain with one host – I know that.”
Caroline’s eyes widen and her neck straightens.
“One year? Are you telling me that you’ve been here for a year?”
“Much less than that. Nine months at the most.”
“Have you been hiding in my room for all that time?”
The boy swings his legs out of the bed and sits up, turning his back to her. Caroline can see that he is definitely shorter than she – and much skinnier, which is something his coat cannot hide. He crouches as if lacking the strength to hold his back and head up straight.
“Oh no, not at all,” he replies.
“I would think not.”
“I’ve been out and about, most of the nights.”
“The nights?” Caroline repeats with confusion. “And the days?”
The boy points to the closet door at the other side of the room.
“In my closet?”
Caroline jumps out of bed and inspects the closet. There is no sign of an intruder. Nor can there be much room for one in that space, filled with clothes on their hangers as well as some boxes covering part of the floor.
“And the attic,” the boy continues. “Mostly I’ve slept in the attic. Well, the basement, too. Lately also in your brother’s room, since it’s... vacant.”
“You’ve had the tour of the house.”
She steps back to stand where she can see the boy’s face. He has his back to her bedside lamp but faces the moonlight, so his features are quite visible. His skin is pale and smooth, as if his face had been powdered. His curly hair, in need of a haircut, is so black that it seems to be dyed. Also his eyes are very dark. The moonlight is not enough to reveal their color, but they can’t be anything other than brown. It looks like he has no irises at all, just very big pupils. His nose is small and his lips are so thin, they are little more than two dark parallel lines.
“You’ve slept during the days, and stayed up all night? You’re quite a party animal, then.”
“Oh no,” the boy hurries to assure her. He seems to be embarrassed by the mere idea. “It’s not like that at all.”
“How, then? What is it you do at nights that keeps you up?”
“It’s not about the nights,” he replies, staring right at the crescent moon outside the window. “It’s the days I want to avoid. All that light.”
Caroline finds herself staring in the same direction as the boy – right at the moon.
“I can see why,” she comments with a gentler voice. “Nights are peaceful. Things settle down. With the darkness comes silence, too. Yes, there are times when I welcome the night, me too. Some days are just too much.”
“Well, that too.”
Caroline turns back to him.
“So, you’re a night owl. But that still doesn’t explain what you’re doing here.”
“Night owl?” he repeats confused. “I’m not an owl.”
Caroline sighs demonstratively.
“Fine, you’re not an owl. Back to the real question: How come you’re here?”
“I told you. I’ve been resting in your house during the days.”
“Yeah, you told me. For nine months, was it? You also mentioned my closet, the attic and Thomas’s room.” She moves in front of him, blocking his view of the moon. “But when you woke me up you were in my bed. Explain that!”
Blocking the moonlight, she doesn’t see his face very clearly, but his voice reveals great discomfort.
“Oh that,” he says, pausing as if nothing more would be needed.
“Yes, that. Do I have to spell it out? You were lying on my bed, kissing my neck! What kind of a pervert are you, sneaking up on me when I was sleeping?”
“No! That’s not it at all.”
Caroline crosses her arms on her chest.
“I saw you.”
“No, I swear!” There is desperation in his voice. “I didn’t.”
“I said I saw you. And I could feel your lips on my neck.” She puts her hand on the side of her neck. “Right here. I felt it when I woke up.”
The boy squirms where he sits, lowering his head.
“I was feeding,” he mumbles with a low voice.
“Feeling?” Caroline inquires, unsure of what she heard. “Feeling what?”
“Feeding,” he repeats just a little bit louder.
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” the boy starts, and then he is silent.
“I don’t know how to explain it, without you getting angry.”
“I’ll be angrier if you don’t. As a matter of fact, I already am.”
The boy glances at her quickly, and then he lowers his head again.
“You should be. And you’ll be even sorrier if I don’t get any answers. I just need to scream and my dad will be here in a second. Then you’ll really be sorry. Then you’ll see some real anger.” She opens her mouth wide and takes a big breath, to show that she means it.
“Please don’t,” the boy begs her, without having seen her expression from his crouching position.
“So tell me!”
After a few seconds of silence, the boy answers with a voice so low that Caroline holds her breath to hear it.
“I’ve been feeding on you.”
Caroline’s eyebrows bend and her head tilts to the side.
“On me?” Again she puts her hand on her neck. Then she holds it up in front of her face, inspecting it. There is nothing. “What’s this nonsense? You want to eat me, like a cannibal?”
“No, no, no,” he insists, looking up at her. “That’s just what it’s called.”
“I thought as much.”
“I’ve been drinking your blood, only. Not much at all. I mean, you’ve hardly noticed, have you? By now, I guess that you have a bit of an iron deficiency, but other than that you should be just fine.”
“What the hell are you saying? You’ve been drinking my blood like some vampire?”
“I don’t like that word,” the boy objects. “I’m a human being, just like you.”
“Oh, really?” Caroline says with venom in her voice.
“I prefer to call it a special diet,” he continues. “Like being a vegetarian. Well, the opposite, actually.”
How to get the bookIf you want to buy the book, you can do so at most international web based bookstores, such as Amazon and the like. Here are links to the book on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Use the latter if you are European - then you get the book cheaper and quicker. Otherwise, you may want to buy it at Amazon US.
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.