The Very Bloody Marys
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by M. Christian
Category: Gay Fiction/Dark Fantasy
Description: M. Christian's celebrated queer vampire adventure/thriller is back in a special new edition! Can San Francisco survive a marauding gang of Vespa-riding vampires? Before it's sucked dry, the city's only hope may be Valentino, who's only a trainee for the supernatural law enforcement agency, Le Counseil Carmin. Swept up in the whole blood-sucking business when his mentor goes missing, Valentino is called upon to deal with the menace of these "Bloody Marys." But Valentino soon realizes that, in order to dispose of the gang, he must go into areas he never dreamed of, deal with some very strange characters and learn the truth about the dark side of town.
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler,
eBookwise Release Date: July 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [281 KB]
Reading time: 178-250 min.
The Very Bloody Marys is a comic horror novel about vampires, ghouls, faeries, and the undead that move around after dark. Part chase, part gallows humor, and all shivery excitement, this new story from the wildly imaginative M. Christian is funny, frightening, and very entertaining. "Valentino is a 200-year old rookie vampire cop who is fated to spend eternity as the screw-up assistant to undead drill sergeant cop and all around bastard, Pogue. That is, until Pogue mysteriously disappears. The powers (of the night) want Valentino to find Pogue and stop a rogue band of vampires who call themselves the Very Bloody Marys. The only problem is that Valentino has no clue what he's doing. He stumbles around San Francisco, making an unholy mess of the case, while sinister otherwordly beings manipulate him into doing their bidding. Valentino isn't as hopeless as he thinks he is though, and manages to find out what happened to his mentor, figure out who the real bad guy is, and take down the Very Bloody Marys." - Kathleen Bradean "If you're looking for a good, fast paced read, or if you like mystery or fantasy or gay fiction. Or if you just want something different and new, this book will be as satisfying as a vampire's first drink of blood." - Colleen Anderson "M. Christian's writing really sparkles here, and his wit is obvious, and never labored. There's a lot to love, amongst characters like a talking cat addicted to cat nip, and a statue of Lincoln that is a wizard's personal butler. There were a few moments of perplexity on my part as I was reading through, but M. Christian does well in keeping you turning the page, and, whilst everything is tied up in the end rather niceley, this isn't forced and feels much better for it. In fact, I felt this one book would make an excellent start to a series, and I know I for one would be reading cover to cover." - Steve Williams "M. Christian creates a variety of quirky characters from wizards to zombies to fairies, and the tone captures the feeling of a fast-paced horror movie, alternately funny and creepy." - HorrorWorld "Atmospherically potent and stylishly polished, Christian marries suspense, terror, black humour and romance intelligently and wittily making The Very Bloody Marys a smart and fun addition to the bloodsuckingly camp vampire genre." - GayDar Nation
It was one of those awful San Francisco nights: a heartbreaker wrapped up in a smothering fog smelling like diesel oil leaking from a busted-up truck, the streets all reflective with the tears of a thousand broken hearts, and the bloated bodies of all those leaping lovers floating up from the icy darkness of the bay...
Nah, too much of a downer. Besides, Hammett and Chandler -- or at least the fifty million trench-coated, alcoholic, chain-smoking Bogarts who worshipped them -- would have my balls on an outrageously baroque platter.
This is the city. Half a million people trying to carve out their own piece of the American pie, serve it up on affordable china purchased on credit from a moderately upscale chain store to their 2.5 kids, spicing it up every once in a while with a clumsy fondle of the babysitter or the tennis coach. It's not a bad city, as cities go, full of pretty good, fairly decent people who usually play by the rules. But when they don't that's where I come in. My name is Valentino.
Yeah, like Friday and the rest of his bullnecked cronies on the other side of that thin blue line would let me get away with that. Besides, I don't have a badge. Okay, let's try again.
I reckon it's a common enough thing with most folks that they think they have a pretty darned good understanding of the ways and means of this here Earth we be sittin' on. Ask 'em and they might look down, say, at their boots, and maybe dig up a bit of their fertile, local soil with a leather tip and say in a low, humble-like tone that they don't really know it all, that there should likely be all kinds of mysteries and unknowns and stuff all hidden and secret. But just as soon as they hem and haw out those words their faces done lift up and you can clearly see -- plain see, I say -- the smiles on their faces, saying more than anything they might speak out loud that they really do know how everything is, the ways and means of it all. But I can tell you, honestly and forthrightly, my friend, that these people -- while good in the heart and blessed with a pair of fine seeing eyes, a discerning set of buds in their strong mouths, carefully listening ears, and all the rest of their attuned-like senses -- really, truly haven't the faintest idea what's going on right under those noses, in front of those eyes, and even deep under the rich soil beneath their boots. How do I know that, you may rightfully ask? How is it that I know what these fine members of humanity do not? Well, friend, I know because of one simple fact, a statement that I believe will demonstrate my expertise in such matters of the cryptic and the arcane, the weird and the veiled. See, I may have my own pair of peepers, taste with the best of them, walk the same dusty avenues, listen to the same tune, live or recorded. I have, shall we say, a rightly unusual perspective on such matters, being as I am not at all human.
Well, shucky-darn and slap me silly, clean out my corncob pipe with my trusty pocket knife, and hock tabbacky at that there spittoon; that ain't rightfully it, either.
Okay, face it. Stare the facts right in the face; own up to it: I overslept. Didn't see that one coming, did you? I should have gotten up at the crack of seven -- p.m., of course -- and got right to work. Hit the bricks, pounded the pavement, done my duty, and all that shit, but I didn't. Barbra came on, magnificent Hebe pipes warbling "people who need people" when my battered yet usually beloved clock radio went one minute beyond 6:59 -- p.m., of course -- and instead of rising and shining, getting that worm, yackita, yackita, instead I flailed and floundered until one of my limbs just happened to connect with SNOOZE, and I did just that for at least another hour and a half.
I didn't even have a good excuse to whack away ninety minutes of grade-A prime nighttime. No wild parties, no frantic debaucheries, no late-night film fests featuring obscure German directors, not even a lively trick -- not that I would have turned one down, you understand, it being a long time, a very long time, since I'd had that reason to belt SNOOZE right between the SNEW and the OOZE. Nope, hate to say it, but nothing exciting or interesting kept me in bed that night -- just wanting more sleep, and really not wanting to get up and go to work.
In the end, though, even my dream-hazed, sleep-addled consciousness couldn't keep me out of the marching band of responsibility. Okay, that, and Barbra had been replaced by unnecessarily and inexplicably thumping rap.
Up, not bright and certainly not early, I scratched, yawned, stretched, rubbed, and creaked, then made my way, by way of the so-called musical syncopations of Ice Tray, to wakefulness. First order of business, after achieving said blinking consciousness, was a stumble to the john. Not for the first time, staring down into that porcelain mouth, I was puzzled by the fact that this annoying bit of Average Joe biology, of all things, had stayed with me. With a flush, I was also grateful for indoor plumbing. Once you have it, you never, ever want to go back -- believe me, especially since back was a very long time ago, when outhouses or just holes in the ground were the order of the day.
Now reasonably aware of my surroundings, I returned to the dimness of my bedroom and started to pick through the pile on the floor, at the foot of my huge bed, hoping for something moderately clean to wear, but willing to settle for "not so smelly as to drop birds from the sky." In the end, I picked out my usual: basic white T, just-right-faded jeans, and a pair of decent running shoes. I might not have a badge, but I had my uniform.
I knew I was in trouble -- boy, was I in trouble -- but no way in hell was I going to let myself get scared about it, at least not yet. I was cool, I was collected, I was James Dean. If I smoked, I would have lit one up. Instead, I flexed my pecs a bit (not great but definitely not bad, maybe not stone but certainly not flab ... or much flab), ran a hand through my black curls, and snuggled my ass a bit tighter into my jeans.
Now then, the most important meal of the day. Yum, yum, yum. Bedroom to hall to kitchen. I like my little place. One of the great perks of my internship: a real estate agent who really understood my need as a hip (who I am kidding?), young (as you feel), professional (not quite, but hopefully soon), daylight-challenged hemosapien.
Hardwood floors that only creaked when you walked on them, a kitchen full of the most modern (for 1954) conveniences, plenty of closet space to ignore, wiring that only occasionally smoked and/or sparked, and not a window in the place. One of the best things about it was the piped-in disco, a benefit of being hidden above The Midnight Sun, the Castro's favorite all-night, every night, hot and happening dance spot. Annoying? I'd take rap any time. But it was also kind of comforting to know I was living with something that, just like me, would never, ever die.
But man cannot live by "It's Raining Men" alone. I need more than a good beat you can dance to if I will survive. So, breakfast of champions. Into my pale-linoleum and buzzing-fluorescent dining area. I'd say it looked like a morgue but, in this town, that would make my kitchen out to be the Ritz Carlton.
So, door open -- fridge light blinking on, twitching and hesitantly waking like I was, its yellowed photons stabbing right into my still-dreamy peepers -- I perused for the selection of the day. Luckily I'd been down to the bank the night before and so had a nice little selection of consumables, and to the market the night before that for some stuff to go with it. In the end, just like my jeans and T, I resorted to comfort over spiritually fulfilling or expanding novelty, or the fact that I was obviously, painfully, criminally running late and I was more worried than even I let on and simply couldn't concentrate on originality.
So, a bit of A positive and some Smirnoff. I know what some people say: that for a mixture like this you really have to go for the quality stuff, like some O or B positive, but I and my taste buds just aren't that sophisticated, especially first thing in the morning. Besides, I sure as hell wasn't going to waste the good stuff -- what little I had, what little I could afford, on vodka that, with a very little bit of elbow grease, could cut through the most stubborn of crusted-on oven grime.
Finger running around my Fred Flintstone tumbler (broke my Barney years ago), good to the last drop, a remaining smear of red and booze, finger popped into my mouth for a completing suck. Yeah, I was hungry, always that way when I first get up, but even though I was pathologically, totally, completely late it was a final domestic thing before responsibility hauled my taut and shapely cheeks down the stairs, out the door, and off to get that same taut and shapely posterior chewed off. Sigh, I say, and did as I put my glass in the sink.