Read from 3 – 11 December, 2020.
Drayton once believed he was a vampire. He doesn’t know what he is. Or why he has lived for thousands of years. He takes not his victim’s blood but the silky essence of their soul during their last breath. Often mistaken for the Angel of Death, his victims sometimes ask for forgiveness. Sometimes he delivers. After all, he is not without sin.
Blake Barnes commits suicide by freezing on Mt. Hood. As his life fades, he assumes Death has come to him in the form of a young man. In his last moments, he asks Death to find his family, to tell them he’s sorry. Drayton honors this last request as he absorbs Blake Barnes’ waning essence. He travels to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to find his family. But saying sorry is not always as easy as the words imply. Drayton seeks to unravel the mess Blake Barnes has left behind and the predator he’s unleashed on his family.
Bookish Things: 70 pages. The cover is simple but it works for a short story. There is also an alternate cover that I like better.
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $1.32.
Drayton is an interesting story that uses some existing fantasy/paranormal tropes to its advantage and leans on the readers knowledge of things like vampires and death to lend itself to the story and fill in some of the purposly withheld caches of information.
This draws the reader in and makes them ask questions of the characters as they read. What little we are told about the characters does little more than weave amongst a carefully scant plot and stark imagery of America’s lowcountry.
Bertauski is a gifted writer and uses elegant writing to paint a vivid picture for the reader with but a few strokes. The story is the first in a 5 part series of shorts that supposedly stand alone, I’d have liked more meat to the story to allow for greater emotional buy in, but alas I’ll make do with this tasty tidbit.
I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up the rest of this collection at some point just to see where things go.
One thing I noticed:
5% – …like he ‘was’ seven years old again…