Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Guest Post and Excerpt The Prophecy (The Children of Lilith #3) by C. David Belt


For 6,000 years, Lilith and her Children have walked the earth, hunting, preying, seducing, corrupting, ruling from the shadows...until now.

An ancient prophecy, spoken by Adam, Lilith's grandfather, foretells her doom. She will do anything, corrupt any innocent, murder countless mortals to save herself.

To survive, she knows she must destroy Carl and Moira Morgan.

The war has begun.

And Carl and Moira know, win or lose, it all ends here.

Vampire Myth - modern VS classic representation in literature
MB's topic
From a sparkling Adonis made of stone who hunts mountain lions in the Pacific Northwest, to Bela Lugosi in a tuxedo stalking young women through the fog in London, from the detached head and neck of a woman, flying through a Japanese village seeking human prey, to an attractive Philippino woman who sprouts bat wings and separates her upper body from her lower body to feed on the blood of pregnant women, from the iron-toothed, tree-dwelling vampires of West Africa, to the Madagascan version that feasts on the blood and nail-clippings of nobles, the vampire myth has many taken many forms over the millennia and across the world. In European and North American cinema, our concept of the vampire myth is derived primarily from the Romanian strigoi as popularized in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Stoker was inspired by John Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, and Polidori was strongly influenced by Lord Byron’s unfinished “Fragment of a Novel”. 

I read “Dracula” for the first time at the tender age of nine. I remember reading late into the night, finally closing the book and laying it on my dresser. Johnathan Harker had just encountered the three wives of Dracula in the Count’s ruined Transylvanian castle. The book was a hardcover edition that my father had checked out for me from the University of Kentucky library. (The local public library either didn’t carry the book or wouldn’t check it out to minors.) The cover was solid black with gothic, metallic purple lettering down the spine. The spine read simply, “Dracula”. As I lay in bed, the moonlight invading my window caught the metallic lettering at just the right angle. The name of the vampire seemed to glow in the darkness. I shivered, quaking with fright. I pulled up the covers, wrapping them around my head like a magical cloak, but I left my eyes uncovered. I couldn’t tear my gaze away from the name “Dracula”. I don’t remember going to sleep that night. Perhaps I did, but if I dreamt of vampiric sirens with pale skin, red lips, and mesmerizing eyes as they materialized out of moonlight and swirling specks of dust, I don’t remember it. 

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt about vampires. 

I have read “Dracula” more times than any other novel except for “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. And I’ve always enjoyed a good vampire story. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many. “’Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King comes close. Perhaps Mr. Stoker spoiled me. 

And as for vampire cinema? For me, it’s very hit-and-miss. Bela Lugosi and Jack Palance as the titular count, are the best portrayals in my not-so-humble opinion. Christopher Lee was brilliant (of course), but Hammer Films’ cheapskate production values and pathetic scripts rendered those films as mediocre fare at best. (As a child, I watched them on late-night monster cinema with a blanket thrown over the TV and the volume way down low so my grandmother or parents wouldn’t catch me staying up past my bedtime. Now, they are virtually unwatchable.) Gary Oldman’s performance was, as always, brilliant, but Coppola’s film and script showed very little respect the source material. And as for “Twilight”, I actually enjoyed the books and the movies for what they were—a teenage/YA romance in a “vampire” setting, but that is not what I would classify as a vampire story. In fact, some films take so many liberties with the classical literary vampire tradition, that I wonder why they even bother calling the creatures “vampires”. The movie “Priest” comes to mind. At least Stephanie Meyers kept some aspects of the vampire mythos. 

What fascinates me about the vampire myth is its longevity and persistence in the western psyche. While we’ve only been using the term “vampire” since the mid eighteenth century to refer to revenants or ghost or demons that seduce the living and prey upon them for their blood, the legends of vampire-like beings go back thousands of years. Going back to earliest myths about Lilith and her children, we find all the classic elements: night demons who seduce the living and consume their blood. These legends date back to Babylon and Judah (and perhaps earlier). Lilith is mentioned only once in the Bible in Isaiah 34:14. In the King James and some other English versions, “Lilith” is translated as “screech owl” (which makes me scratch my head, since the translators used the word “dragon” in the previous verse and “satyr” in the same verse). This shows that Isaiah knew his audience was familiar with Lilith in some form or other. In the Gilgamesh saga and in the writings of medieval rabbis, we see Lilith connected to Adam and the story of the Creation. The myths of the children of Lilith go back to the beginning of human literature. 

In the earliest form of the myth, Lilith was a beautiful woman with feathered wings and (in some versions) birdlike claws on her feet (and perhaps talon-like fingernails). She preyed upon sleeping infants and adult men, seducing, fondling, consuming their blood. In Jewish tradition, a male child was vulnerable until he was eight days old (and was circumcised), and a female child was vulnerable for twelve days. Mothers used to watch their babies while they slept, and if the child smiled or giggled or laughed in its sleep, the mother would tap the child on the lips to wake the babe. It was believed that a smile or laugh meant that Lilith was kissing or fondling the child. In Jewish and Christian tradition, men could never sleep alone (i.e., without someone else in the room), because a solitary male would be vulnerable to Lilith’s nocturnal seduction. 

In the classical literary tradition, there is an element of seduction (although in Victorian literature, it was more of a subtext when compared to the overt sexuality in modern stories), yes, but the true terror lies in the idea that the attack can come in our sleep—when we are most vulnerable, and because we have no choice: eternal damnation can come as a result of the vampire’s kiss, regardless of how pure and innocent the victim. Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray Harker in “Dracula” are prime examples of this. The vampire can not only kill our bodies, he or she can destroy our souls, cut us off from the light, both physically and spiritually. 

And the idea of involuntary eternal damnation, although terrifying, has never sat well with me. That is one of major themes of my trilogy, “The Children of Lilith”: you always have a choice. Others may take away freedom and choices from you, but you always have choices, even if they aren’t the ones you started out with. “The Children of Lilith” is the story of the world’s first and ONLY unwilling vampire. Please visit my http://www.unwillingchild.com to learn more about “The Children of Lilith”. 

Sweet dreams!
Thank you, Mr.C.David Belt


The Unwilling:

“Where am I?” I ask.
She hesitates a moment and then replies, “Ye are in my home. Do ye know how ye got here?”
Now I’m getting worried. “My memory’s a bit fuzzy. Sorry.”
“Ye carried a young woman into the emergency room at the LDS Hospital. She was unconscious and covered in blood. Ye were stag-gerin’ about and yellin’ incoherently. Ye frightened everyone. We took the young woman and attended to her, but ye collapsed. I thought it best nae to let the staff examine ye. So, I brought ye here and tended to ye myself.”
The girl. Yes, I remember the girl. “Is she OK?” I ask.
Moira nods slowly. “Aye, she’s fine. Some blood loss, but she’ll live. Ye did nae kill her.”
Kill her? What?
“W . . . why would I kill her?” I stammer. “What’re you talking about?”
She stares at me again. She seems to be holding some kind of internal debate. Her eyes narrow as she comes to a decision.
“Blood,” she says simply.
“Blood. Human blood.”
I look at her without understanding, blinking stupidly.
“The drink,” she says. “’Twas human blood.”
In an instant, it all comes back to me.
Michael. Rebecca. Chikah. Benjamin. The Cult. The Ritual. Every-thing.
I think I’m going to throw up.
I lurch to my feet and look around frantically for a bathroom, a sink.
Moira is at my side in an instant. She pulls me toward the kitchen. “Dinnae ruin my carpet, laddie!”
Wow! Her grip is strong!
By the time I reach the sink, the nausea has passed. I lean against the sink all the same. The room is still spinning.
Moira gave me blood to drink. I drank human blood.
And I liked it.

The Penitent:

There’s something seriously wrong with me.
I cannae Sleep.
Or, to be more precise, I dinnae want to Sleep. And since I can catch a full day’s rest only once each week, abstaining could have . . . consequences. It makes me irritable. It affects my judgment. It in-creases the ever-present likelihood that I might . . . slip up.
And if I slip up, people die.
Ach! I’m so hungry!
’Tis another thing that’s worrying me. I should nae be hungry! Nae even a wee bit! I Fed just after sunrise! We both did. Carl, my husband, and I consumed two quarts each just before we went to bed. ’Twas a bit of a luxury, those two quarts. One should’ve been sufficient, enough for a week in a pinch. But here I am, lying in bed beside my Sleeping husband, and all I can think of is how hungry I am, how tired I am, and how much I dread going to Sleep!
’Tis nae use.
I rise from bed. Carl does nae notice. To all appearances he could be dead. I slip into my dressing gown and make my way to the living room. I take several turns about the room as I try desperately to think of something else, anything other than my hunger, my weariness, and my fear.
A scratching sound! Aye, lassie, focus on that. Someone’s at my flow-er bed again, digging it up. And I’m nigh certain I know who ’tis. That’s twice this year. I should peek out and catch . . . but, nae, ’tis the side facing the Sun.
My stomach growls.
Perhaps just a wee pint more.
I walk into the kitchen. Though nobody’s watching me, I try to keep my pace casual, walking, strolling as if I’m nae in a hurry, as if I’m nae desperate to get there. Why do I bother? There’s nary a soul to see me. Who am I trying to deceive? Myself?
I open the refrigerator, and the cold air transports the sweet fra-grance to my nostrils. To be sure, ’tis tainted by the odor of the preservative, but that cannae mask the nectar of . . .
There! Outside! Something far sweeter than the contents of my icebox!
Though I cannae smell it just yet, I can feel the general direction.
Quickly I close the refrigerator and head to the window. A cau-tious glance, while I carefully stay in the shadows, reveals nothing about the source of the evil, but it does show an overcast sky.
I shudder with relief, and my mouth begins to water. In a trice, I rush to the door and throw open the chest beside it. This is my emergency kit. I retrieve all the things I need: the bottle of heavy-duty spray-on sunscreen, the sweatpants, sweatshirt, gloves, boots, sun-glasses, cloak, and hood. In just a few seconds, I’ve applied every bit of protection. Only at this point, when I’m prepared, do I pause for a wee tick to be sure there’s still a reason to venture outside.
Aye, the evil’s still there. Sweet corruption.
I open the front door quietly so as not to alert anyone to my pre-sence. Aye, but I want to throw it open!
And the scent of pure evil washes over me. The honeyed fragrance engulfs my senses. Drool spills from my eager lips.
So close!
The familiar rage builds like a smithy furnace stoked by a bellows within me. Here! In my very neighborhood, practically on my front lawn!
Through the red haze of my wrath, I barely notice that my flower beds are indeed torn up, the destroyer having fled. I dinnae care for that. The one I Hunt now has done far worse than petty vandalism. Nae, the evil I smell can be caused only by murder and violence.
The scent turns my head to the southwest. I cannae see the source, but the direction is certain. I follow the airborne spoor across the street and to the right toward . . . Aye! That open garage! ’Tis the Mur-phys’ home. I can see two cars, neither one of them running. Now I can hear voices—hushed but emphatic voices.
“. . . my money, cabrón?”
I dinnae recognize the voice.
Tomorrow! I’ll have it tomorrow!”
That voice I recognize. ’Tis Aaron Murphy. I dinnae know the the family well since they are nae in my ward, but Aaron’s the oldest boy in the family. He’s plays football or baseball or some other sport at the high school. I do hope he’s nae the source of the evil.
I approach the garage with all stealth, fighting hard to contain the mounting rage and the ravenous hunger.
“You said that yesterday, man. And the day before that. You been hiding from me!”
“I swear, Manny! Tomorrow!”
“You don’t get it, muchacho. I give you product. You sell it to your little friends at school. You give me my money. I give you more product. You sell it. You give me money. You get to go on making everyone think you just a good little Mormon boy. That’s how it works.”
“Please, Manny!”
“Not this time, cabrón! I gotta teach you a lesson. Today, I’m just gonna break your fingers.”
I round a corner of the garage and take in the whole scene. In the confined space between a compact car on the left and the Murphy fam-ily’s minivan on the right, Aaron, the all-American boy, is pinned a-gainst the larger vehicle, held there by a big Hispanic man complete with bandana, gold chains, tattoos, multiple piercings, and a nasty-looking switchblade. Manny, the thug, has one hand at Aaron’s throat. The other hand holds the knife an inch away from the lad’s eye.
“Next time I cut off one of your fingers, muchacho. Just try catching a football like . . .”
A snarl rips from my throat.
Manny releases the boy and spins to face me. He looks startled, but nae frightened. Aaron’s head snaps in my direction, but he remains rooted to the spot. He looks horrified.
The thug’s face twists in an evil leer. “Beat it, chica. This is none of your business.”
I laugh low and menacingly. “Ach, nae, rat. Ye are my business.”
I step into the shade of the garage, safely out of the muted sun-light. I throw back my hood and pull off my sunglasses, setting them on the trunk of the sedan. I fix Aaron’s eyes with my own and say with Persuasion, “Lad, go stand over there and wait for me while I deal with this.” Aaron’s expression goes slack, and he turns obediently and walks to the far wall of the garage.
I return my gaze to the gangster, who’s staring at Aaron in amaze-ment. “Now, rat,” I say, “face me. Look into my eyes and see the hellfire that awaits ye.”
Manny looks at me, his face a mask of fury. “Listen, puta . . .”
I open my mouth wide, revealing my dripping fangs.
His brown eyes go wide, and the color drains from his face. “Madre de . . . !
I advance toward him, savoring his terror as I will the honeyed sweetness of his evil blood. I want to tear this vermin to shreds . . . after I consume his life.
Still brandishing the knife in one hand, he fumbles at his breast with the other and lifts a rather large and ornate gold cross on its chain. He holds it toward me as a talisman.
I cower back, shielding my face from the crucifix.
Through my fingers, I can see Manny’s face split in a leer of tri-umph. “That’s right, zorra. Now you know who’s . . .”
I straighten up, no longer feigning fear. I shake my head slowly from side to side, laughing softly. “Ooh, did I give ye a wee moment of hope, ratty? That bonnie bit of jewelry cannae protect ye from me.”

The Prophecy:

“‘Sons of God! Brood of Light-Bearer who fell!’ That is how I would render the first half.
The message is in plain text. The email address looks like a random mix of letters and numbers, and the email provider is one that supports anonymous accounts.
I’ve been collaborating with colleagues across the country and in the U.K., Israel, and Egypt for more than a week. We’ve been trying to decipher the twenty-four syllables of Adamic (at least I assume it’s Adamic) that Lilith uttered at the battle at the farm. My colleagues are experts in Hebrew, Arabic, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin. We’ve been exchanging emails ever since I asked for their help.
Of course, I’ve told them I’m not at liberty to reveal the source just yet, but I’m certain it’s a language that predated all others, a protolanguage. In the beginning, some refused to collaborate on the project because I wouldn’t reveal my source, because I was being cryptic. But eventually, most couldn’t resist the lure of the puzzle. That’s something we all share in common, my colleagues and I: we can’t resist the potential, the lure of hidden knowledge.
And of course, I can’t tell my academic friends that the source is a native speaker. I also can’t tell them that the text is an outburst from a six-thousand-year-old vampire after she’d been impaled by the very spear that once pierced Christ’s side, a spear being wielded by a former Nazi assassin who is now a repentant vampire.
In other words, I can’t betray my friends.


Books in series:
In all the 6,000 years that the Children of Lilith have walked among us, there has never been an UNWILLING vampire... until now.

Carl Morgan has lost everything. His wife and children were killed in a senseless accident. Then he witnessed the murder of his sister at the hands of a beautiful and mysterious woman named Rebecca. When the police cannot locate the killer, Carl takes matters into his own hands. But his search for justice costs him everything he holds dear.

Carl is unknowingly transformed into the world's first and only unwilling vampire. He is cut off from the light, damned to an eternity of darkness, barred from Heaven and any hope of a reunion with his family.

Moira MacDonald, a repentant vampire, has roamed the earth alone for centuries seeking redemption. The very existence of an unwilling vampire, something she thought impossible, changes everything. Has she finally found a path to redemption... and an end to her loneliness?

Carl and Moira discover that Rebecca's Master, Michael, plans to unleash a plague of vampires on the city. Can Carl and Moira stop the slaughter of countless innocents?


In 6,000 years, no vampire has ever defied Lilith, Queen of the vampires...until now.

Moira and Carl Morgan have saved the city from the horror of Michael and his evil wives, but victory has come at terrible cost.

And there are consequences to every choice, every victory.

Word has spread that someone has broken Lilith’s power, that someone has defied the ancient Queen of the vampires.

And she’s not happy about it.

About the author:
C. David Belt was born in Evanston, WY. As a child, he lived and traveled extensively around the Far East. He served as an LDS missionary in South Korea and southern California (Korean-speaking). He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Aerospace Studies. He served as a B-52 pilot in the US Air Force and as an Air Weapons Controller in the Washington Air National Guard. When he is not writing, he sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and works as a software engineer. He collects swords (mostly Scottish), axes, spears, and other medieval weapons and armor. He and his wife have six children and live in Utah with an eclectus parrot named Mork (who likes to jump on the keyboard when David is writing).


Bianca said...

Wow, sound really cool!
I love the guest post! ^^

CCAM said...

@Bia - <3

Deathnote said...

Cool cover and the guest post is great ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! Please feel free to check out the books!