High on blood…

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Parker sits on the balcony in the dark, high on blood, thoughts coming quick and sharp as razor wire. The river rushing cold and fast over stones worn to soft ovals makes Parker think of the five smooth stones David took from the wadi to kill Goliath.

It is too late for people to stroll along the Animus but there is something moving through the cottonwoods. A coyote is coming down the far bank to drink. It stops just before advancing into the open, looking this way and that, wary.

Parker says hello, projecting his mind. The strange invasion of the animal’s inner ear makes it shy and toss its head. In the next instant it is gone, running away to find another place to drink.

Parker pushes up on the metal chair arms and goes back inside. The room is illuminated by a light from the bathroom. The girl is on her stomach. Parker’s eyes explore the heavily inked flesh, like viewing pictures at an exhibition. Angel wings are tattooed over shoulder blades. There is a dragon, another skull. On the back of one thigh, the image of Marilyn Monroe but as a zombie, or so it seems. The words Daddy’s Girl written into the white skin of her ass in script.

My God, Parker thinks.

A permanent bracelet of Celtic design encircles one wrist, the fingers on that hand tattooed like a carnival worker’s.

Parker wonders if there is a story to go with each tattoo. He eyes the pentagram above her left ankle on the outside of her leg. Perhaps he doesn’t want to know. He thinks of the words inked on her breast: Memento mori.

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Also by Michael Romkey
Published by Fawcett Books
I, Vampire
The Vampire’s Violin
American Gothic
The Vampire Hunter
The Vampire Virus
The Vampire Princess
The London Vampire Panic
The Vampire Virus
Fears Point