Terror in Music City

A series of unexplained deaths have sown panic in Nashville. Pale bodies gripped in an ecstatic rictus have appeared at dawn around major landmarks across the city.

The Hermitage. The Parthenon. The Capitol. The Old Hickory Lock.

Puncture marks have been found on various parts of the bodies. The neck of one. The wrist of another. The inner thigh of a third. The back of the knee of a fourth.

The seemingly random nature has made some among the populace suspect a new species of insect is afoot, biting victims that disturb its habitat. But entomologists have noted no consistent environmental pattern in the sites the victims were found that would indicate a preferred nesting ground.

Others remain agnostic about the nature of the deaths, preferring to cocoon themselves in the numbing bliss of ignorance. They choose not to think about them, to imagine what they might imply.

Not so the more superstitious of the citizenry. They know that something supernatural is afoot. They know that these deaths are not the work of some mortal bug or unseen bogeyman.

They know the dead were victims of a vampire.

A freshly made one, too, without a maker who cared enough to watch over him or her. That’s the only reason the bodies would be taken so carelessly, so obviously. A good maker would make sure the kills remained unseen and inconsequential. Bums and hookers in alleyways, not tourists and politicians on the steps of landmarks.

But the inconsistency of the bites…usually, a newly minted vamp will favor at least either the upper or lower half of a body to drain. Either the vamp will pull in the victim close to suck around the shoulder or the upturned wrist used to caress the face, or it’ll prefer to remain at a distance, caressing calves and thighs with sensual massages to lure the victim into a false sense of security before feeding.

God help us all if there’s more than one of these vicious creatures on the loose…

Il Vampiro