On the verge of suicide after his wife leaves him, Alex Regal learns he has inherited property located in a small town deep within the mountains. Putting things on hold, he heads to Glade, hoping for something positive in his life. Getting there is easy but leaving proves to be impossible. A spell exists, keeping everyone captive in this hidden place.
The town of Glade is run by a Shapeshifter called the Strigoi. The creature needs to drink human blood to survive. In folklore, taking the form of a man or an animal, the Strigoi became the basis of stories about vampires or werewolves. Now Alex must discover a dark secret before he becomes the vampire's next meal.
by Ron D. Voigts
Strigoi translates from Romanian, meaning undead. They are the souls rising from their tombs to transform into animals or phantasmagoric creatures who haunt the countryside, troubling anyone they encounter. In some tales, the Strigoi require human blood to revitalize themselves and keep them alive.
When a death occurs, family members will keep vigil over the deceased to make sure they don’t rise up from the dead. Garlic is sometime hung to keep the dead from returning. The ultimate method is to pierce the deceased through the heart with a sickle or some other object that is meant for piercing.
In 2012, Bulgarian archeologist unearthed centuries-old skeletons and found iron stakes had been driven through their chests to pin the dead down and keep them from returning as vampires. Historically cold iron was used to dispel or harm ghosts, faeries, witches and other supernatural beings.
Much of the Romanian legends lend to the later stories in popular culture of vampires. In Russia the vampire is called Upir and the Greeks have the Vrykolakas. The origin of the modern vampire can be attributed most likely to Bram Stoker in his famous novel Dracula. Romanians also call the vampire Moroi.
Romanians believed a Strigoi was reanimated corpse that sucked blood, most times from its family members. A person who was born with a caul, a tail, or an extra nipple was doomed to become a Strigoi. The seventh child, someone with red hair and blue eyes, and a child born out of wedlock could become living Strigoi. An unbaptized child would return as a Strigoi.
A story is told at the turn of the 20th century about a Romanian family believing a brother had come back as Strigoi, so they exhumed the body. Though dead for many years, they found the body looking fresh and well preserved. Even the cheeks were rosy. A pitch fork was driven through the deceased’s chest; the heart was cut out and burned to prevent the dead relative from returning.
In writing Strigoi, The Blood Bond, I used much of the legends and added some details of my own. An iron stave was used to stake the vampire. Living Strigoi who died returned as the dead Strigoi. But vampirism transmitted like a disease was my touch. Who knows? Today’s stories may be tomorrow’s folklore.
About the author:
Originally from the Midwest, Ron D. Voigts now call North Carolina home where he and his wife have a small house off the Neuse River. Ron’s writing credits include the Penelope Mystery Series for middle-grade readers and the dark mystery thriller, Claws of the Griffin. His reading taste is eclectic and depends if the first sentence captures his interest. When not writing and reading, he enjoys watching gritty movies, cooking gourmet food, and playing games on his PC.