September 2, 2012 by Rachel Rueben
Let me begin by saying, I didn’t write a vampire novel because it was hot. I wrote Eternal Bond waaay before the whole Twilight phenomenon began. You see, Eternal Bond was my starter novel. For those who don’t know, a starter novel is sorta like a starter house. It’s your first and it’s where you make all your mistakes. That’s exactly what happened with my novel. I hadn’t written a full length novel before and got overwhelmed.
So I began writing other things, in fact, I wrote several children’s book, and a YA novel. Eternal Bond was simply put on a CD ROM and never touched for almost 2 years. In fact, it was almost deleted several times, for disk space but I never could do it. I actually kept it around as a memento of my failure. Yes, we authors can be such masochists!
To make a long story short, I wanted my vampires to be nothing like the humans around them. In fact, I wanted them to be so unearthly that they despised humanity and not only fed off their blood but also their inferiority. I wanted vampires that were bigger than life and so, I went back to my starter novel and started from the very beginning. I hacked words and rewrote the entire thing. Actually there are several versions of the book and none of them were any good! I think I managed to nail it on the 4th try. Give it a look and see for yourself.
Infected with the Black Plague, Elizabeth is sure when she closes her eyes for the last time, she will be standing before St. Peter at the pearly gates. Instead, she is bitten by a vampire and is reborn Clara. Forced now to fight unearthly urges for blood, she desperately seeks a way out of this hex.
Taking the only road out of town, Clara went as quickly as she could. Her nervousness and glee made her heart race as she briskly walked out of town and out of Lester’s life. There was only a small glow of light left from the sun, putting the landscape in shadows. Soon, the only thing illuminating her path would be moonlight, and she cursed herself for not bringing a lantern. Only ten minutes into her journey, the cobblestone road ended. Realizing she had reached the city limits, she continued on the dirt road straight into the countryside. This was a harrowing journey for someone who had never left Norwich in her whole life. She remembered all the stories told to her about witches and thieves who would victimize night travelers. Nonetheless, breaking this hex was more important than anything, so she pressed on into the dark countryside.
It wasn’t long before everything was covered by a blanket of thick darkness. In near blindness, Clara struggled to keep herself on the road. It took almost an hour before she gained confidence and suddenly the night didn’t seem so terrifying. Just as Clara was starting to feel good, she heard rustling in the grass just next to the road. Stopping in her tracks, she heard it again. Not knowing what to do, she stood there completely still hoping it would just go away. That’s when she heard the sound of growling directly next to her. It was a wolf that had been stalking her for a distance. In sheer terror she bolted, only further convincing the wolf that she was prey. Running she screamed as loud as she could before realizing it was no use. Trying to wear her down, the wolf casually galloped behind her. Just when it seemed Clara was doomed to become a chew toy, her salvation came in the form of a sign post that she ran smack into.
Dazed, she tried to get back up, but soon discovered her leg was dislocated. Seizing the opportunity, the wolf pounced, grabbing her by the back of the neck. Desperate, Clara picked up a stone and started hitting the wolf. In this demented frenzy she not only killed it, but mauled it. Within minutes, it was over and the victor stood in silence, hovering over the battered carcass. Casting the stone aside, she slowly circled the body dragging her mangled leg behind her. Taking notice of the blood on her hands, she smiled and licked her fingers. In this euphoria she found herself delighted by her own savagery and in that moment Elizabeth ceased and Clara reigned.
Wounded, Clara dragged her battered body slowly down the road. Limping along in her torn and bloody dress, she looked like a ghost haunting the countryside. The only thing that kept her going was the fact she couldn’t feel any pain. Though progress was slow, her anger kept her moving along. When she finally reached a house, she attempted to make her way up a pathway. As she did, several dogs started barking at her. Stumbling back, she braced for the worst, but soon realized they were tied up, cautiously, she continued up the pathway. Pounding on the door, she yelled, “Help, please, someone!”
The wait seemed infinite before the door slowly opened, in a nightshirt appeared a man, holding a candle.
Before he could even get a word in edge wise, she said in tears, “I was attacked by a wolf on the road, I need help!”
An older woman appeared, pushing him aside, “Come inside.” she said.
Relieved, she dragged herself across the threshold as the woman yelled for her daughter. The man helped Clara to a chair in front of the fireplace where the woman cleaned and bandaged her arm. Taking a look at her leg the woman sighed and said, “Tis a bad break!”
When Clara started crying, again the woman comforted her and said, “Ye must stay until, we can get a doctor.”
Not able to speak, she just nodded her head in agreement. The women gave her a new change of clothes, and tried to get the grass and leaves out of her auburn hair. Making her comfortable in front of the fire place, everyone turned back in for the night. Now, feeling safe enough to relax, Clara also fell asleep.
The next morning as she slowly sat up in her chair, she noticed a mangled wolf carcass at her feet. Screaming, she almost fell out of her chair trying to get away. Hearing a familiar laugh, she looked about the room when out of the shadows appeared Lester. Picking up the carcass with one arm he said, “Rule one: never leave any evidence behind!”
He looked at the carcass and back at her then continued mocking her, “I guess we all have to start somewhere.”
Clara looked around the house, noticing it was empty. Thinking the worst, she asked, “What’d you do with them?”
Insulted, he said, “Please, I’m much better than that! They went to find you a doctor.”
With the wolf carcass still in hand, he walked out the front door and threw it at the dogs in the yard, driving them into a frenzy. He watched as they tore it apart, piece by piece until, there was nothing left. Having destroyed the evidence, he came back into the house smiling.
Taking a chair in front of Clara he said, “Not that I don’t think you’re worth it, but I always fancied a quiet life!”
Saying not a word, she just sat there listening to Lester’s parody.
When they heard the family come back, he ordered, “Pretend to be in pain.”
“No problem!” She responded.
His expression grew dark and through gritted teeth he said, “I’m not foolin’.”
Rachel Rueben went to school to become an administrative assistant but instead, wound up an author. In her defense, she tried freelance writing, virtual assisting, and blogging to pay the bills, but creating worlds was her one and only passion.
This past summer, Rachel entered the sacred order of authorhood with the release of her first novel “Hag” which made it to #10 on the Amazon’s Women’s and Girl’s Literature list.
To find out what Rachel is up to you can check out her new site at: http://www.rachelrueben.com
She continues to blog about her publishing journey at: http://www.writingbytheseatofmypants.com
You can also find Rachel on Twitter @RachelRueben
And catch her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorRachelRueben