by E.S. Brown
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
Vampires have infiltrated the highest offices of the United States government.
Secretly working with top scientists in the CDC and the nation's most prestigious universities, this clandestine network creates the ultimate weapon for the undead: a particle bomb that, once detonated, transforms any humans within the blast radius into vampires. The world's human leaders deploy nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to quell the out-of-control vampire infestation. In their quest for global domination, the vampires propel the world into the greatest of all wars. A nuclear winter envelops the planet, which provides a haven for the vampires to rise up and fully realize their domination over humankind.
Prater Saxon, a half-human/half-vampire survivor in the post-apocalyptic aftermath of the war, lives alone in a world in ruins. Despite his efforts to maintain his solitude as he makes his way through the desolate wastelands, Prater finds himself drawn into a new war brewing between the humans and vampires.For millennia, humans ruled the Earth.
Their rule...may have finally come to an end.
VAMPOCALYPSE is a dark, gritty, post-apocalyptic tale of survival in a land out of resources, high in crime, and overrun with vampires. When the military can't stop the danger, it's up to one man to lead the charge against annihilation.
Fans of The Walking Dead will love E.S. Brown's newest novel.
I fucking hate vampires.
They’re vile, disgusting creatures. And they’re everywhere. I see what the world has become. My gray eyes take in the world around me as I walk among death. The never-changing monochrome skies – the result of the ensuing war that took place after the Great Turn – blanket each day with a gloomy hue. I wear sunglasses to filter out the sickening tone, to put a damper on the dead sunrays that have been all but dispelled through the damaged atmosphere. True sunlight no longer touches the earth. And the world is all the worse for it. Without the sun to shine through, the vampires no longer just rule the night; they rule the day, too. A putrid odor permeates the air and saturates everything. Some may grow immune to the smell, but not me. I remain acutely aware of what has become of our world. Adaptation is for the weak, for those whose only means of survival is conformity. The roads are long and the land is desolate. I spend much of my time wandering. There are cities and towns, but I try to avoid them. I occasionally come across other wanderers. Some travel alone, others in groups. Or if they’re vampires, they’re usually – though not always – in packs. Those in charge of this…new world…play a dangerous game no better or worse than when humans ruled. A precarious existence has developed between vampires and humans, though there’s no mistaking the vampires are in control. Human or not, you never truly know who to trust. For most that’s a problem. For me it’s easy. I trust no one. Not even the boy – I lowered my sunglasses to get a better look…what was he, five years old? – who limped toward me that afternoon. He approached from one of the long, dust covered driveways that led to the occasional house branching off the barren road I roamed. I kept my eye on him as he drew closer. He was pale and a bit unnaturally thin, and was hunched forward a little to his right. There was a “Stop” sign on my right. Someone had written “Beware! Vampires!” on it. An effort in futility. I quickly surveyed the area around me. From where I stood I saw half a dozen scattered homes with no one else around. Rolling hills blurry in a fog of dust-filled air were in the far distance off one side of the straight road. The other side was bleak and flat. Just like pretty much everyplace else. I wasn’t exactly sure what part of the country I was in, but it wouldn’t have mattered. Outside of the cities, from what I had seen, the entire United States was one giant, dry dust bowl. I stood at the end of the driveway and stared at the boy as he continued to walk toward me. He was about twenty feet away. I pushed my sunglasses back up. “Stop.” The boy stopped. We stood there for a few moments, neither of us saying anything, as I slowly raised my hand behind my head…and grasped the hilt of one of the two swords strapped in an “X” across my back. The boy stretched a hand out toward me. “Mister?” He started to move forward. “Stay right there,” I warned. He stopped again. “What do you want?” The boy swallowed hard. Even at that distance I could see his lips were heavily chapped. “I’m hungry, mister. Do you have anything to eat?” “No. I don’t.” The boy cocked his head to one side. “I’m so hungry and I haven’t eaten in days.” The boy started walking forward again. Dammit. I didn’t want this to turn into something it wasn’t. But I had the feeling I wasn’t going to get my way. I shifted my stance and redistributed my weight as I pulled the sword partway out of its sheath. Trust no one. The boy pointed at the satchel hanging at my left side as he continued to limp toward me. “You got some food in there? Just…a bite? Anything, sir, please…” I drew the sword completely and held it with both hands in front of me. “I don’t know you, boy. I’m telling you to stay back.” The boy stopped – again – about ten feet away. He gave me a curious look then stood up straight as if his physical ailments were suddenly gone. A crooked boy no more. I held my sword steady. The boy raised his arms as he sneered at me. His fingertips had transformed into sharp talons and his snarl exposed a mouthful of razors. I knew it. A fucking vampire. The boy – he, it – leapt at me, right at my head. The boy-creature abruptly somersaulted midair and dropped – my blade sliced empty air, missing due to his sudden airborne maneuver – and his feet landed squarely into my groin. Sonofabitch. I keeled forward, the pain reverberating through every nerve ending in my body. The boy scrambled around and was on my back before I knew it. He grasped at my head, knocking off my sunglasses, and covering my eyes with his forearms. I tried to stab the sword blindly over my head. Despite his small size the boy’s grip was strong and he started twisting my head sideways as I continued my random jabs. Pain shot through my neck as it felt like it was about to be twisted off. One of my stabs finally nicked the boy on top of his head. He screeched and loosened his grip. I reached back with a free hand, grabbed him and flung him forward. The boy twisted in the air, landing in a three-point stance facing me. Saliva dripped from his fangs as he bared them. I displayed my sword high, ready to strike. “Stop now, boy, while you have your life.” The boy-creature ran at me on all fours, snapping and snarling like some sort of feral animal. Just as he was within reach of my blade he jumped over me, bounced when he landed, went up and over me again, and bounced again. Over and over this went, faster and faster as it progressed. It was almost as if there was more than just the one of him. Sometimes he landed real close, and I would swing and slash but always missed. I was growing increasingly frustrated. Most vampires I’d faced were relatively easy to dispose of…but once in awhile I would come across one of exceptional speed and agility that provided me a life-or-death workout I appreciated but never enjoyed. At one point the boy cartwheeled in the air over me, close enough to where he dug the claws of one of his hands into my face as he went overhead. His razor-like fingers scratched from my right cheek, over my eye, and partway up my forehead. Warm blood flowed into my eyes. The boy landed on the other side of me and hissed. I wiped the blood away and rushed at him. Every thrust, stab, and slice of my sword was evaded through a complex series of inhuman twists and turns. It didn’t help that he was much smaller than me. Good against an adult was one thing…good against a child with speed and agility as if he was in the prime of adulthood was something else. And I didn’t know how old this “boy” actually was. He could have been decades old for all I knew…an aging soul forever trapped in the body of a child. This was definitely no mere youth, as I was reminded when he dropped low under my blade and swiped at my feet with one of his legs. I fell flat on my back. The wind was knocked out of me but I was able to maintain grip of my sword. The boy was on me in an instant. I brought my sword up just as he bore his claws down at my face. He grabbed the blade with his hands. I pushed up as hard as I could, trying to get the blade’s edge closer to the boy’s face, but he seemed to have the strength of five men. He gripped the blade tighter. The sword began to cut into his palms and blood dripped from his hands and onto my face. For a moment I tasted the cold, dead vampire blood. With a final push, I thrust the sword up. The flat side of the blade smacked against the bridge of the boy-creature’s nose. His head recoiled back. I took advantage of the moment and shoved him off me. I rolled up onto my feet and raised my sword for the final blow. I swung down hard and fast…but the boy was just as fast. A well-placed swift kick sent the sword flying out of my hands. To the boy’s surprise I continued my downward motion, grabbing him by one arm and one leg. I lifted him up while he writhed and screeched. Holding him in front of me I spun around twice. With a final grunt I released him high into the air with all my might. The boy soared up and away from me. That is, until he twisted around into an upright position…flight. Damn. Thankfully, not all of them are capable of flight. But it’s worse when they are. The boy’s arms were outstretched at his sides, and he glared down at me with a combination of hatred and exasperation. I could only imagine that I had that same look towards him. The boy dove at me, claws first. Just as he was almost upon me I stooped low, reached back and grabbed the other sword that was strapped to my back and swung it. The boy’s body fell to one side of me…while his head fell to the other. With the adrenaline in me receding I realized how heavy I was breathing. I shook off any loose blood and replaced the blade into its sheath on my back. I slumped down onto my knees next to the body and brought my breathing under control. I put my hand to my mouth and carefully removed the set of false teeth I was wearing and placed them in my satchel. My body tensed in anticipation of what was to come. Even though I’d dealt with this for thirty years, it never got any easier. The pain was no longer excruciating but was there nonetheless. The sharp points of my real teeth broke through my gums and extended out about half an inch before stopping. At least my gums didn’t bleed anymore whenever this happened. I looked at the lifeless body lying in front of me. I didn’t even pause as I dropped on top of the boy-creature and sunk my teeth into the open flesh of the headless neck – sucking and taking in his blood. Human blood was good, but vampire blood was always better. My body felt reenergized as the nectar began to course through me… I wished there was another way, especially when it came to children. But this was what the world had become. Survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog. Or, more accurately, vampire eat vampire. ‘cause, you know, we all gotta eat. Just because I don’t like what I am doesn’t mean I don’t deny what I am. Just because you are what you hate doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to hate. I didn’t choose to be this way. I was born this way. After I finished feeding, I got up and retrieved my other sword and put it away. I then headed back to the street where our fight started. And there they were. My sunglasses. I picked them up and – dammit – the earpieces were bent. Again. I hate it when that happens. I gingerly straightened them back out. I’ve done that way too much. Only a matter of time before they finally…
One of the earpieces broke off. I fucking hate vampires.
E.S. Brown has lived nearly his entire life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, which has provided the ideal climate for him to foster his love of writing. He is fueled by an overactive imagination and caffeine - a perfect storm that has translated into many late nights researching and working on any number of fantastical tales waiting to be told.
His interests include a love of living a healthy lifestyle, inspiring others, and simply enjoying life and all its wonders. VAMPOCALYPSE is his second novel, following the release of STARPHOENIX in 2014. He is also a poet and is working on a self-help book (a journey of healing following his divorce in 2014). Other works in progress include sequels to Starphoenix and Vampocalypse, as well as a supernatural spy-thriller tentatively titled CODENAME: SCARLETT.
E.S. Brown lives in Puyallup, Washington, where he balances writing with his day job and his cat and his two amazing kiddos.
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