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Blood Is Thicker Than Water.
Copyright 2012, 2018 by Raymond Johnson. Fifth edition.
Cover art provided by Jesse-lee Lang. (iStock Photo).

To Sharon White.

“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching, are your family.” – Jim Butcher.

In 1634 a remote village decides to stand and fight against their vampire oppressors who have been slaughtering their people like cattle for decades. With so much pent up rage the villagers intend to wipe out the vampires and destroy their castle finally putting an end to their torment. However before the plan is put into action some hunters can’t believe their luck when they spot two vampires resting by a stream. They seize the opportunity to kidnap one of them putting her on trial for crimes against humanity. But this person who has been sentenced to death by excruciating torture is no ordinary vampire, she’s a mixed breed dhampir, the most violent of their species. It’s no longer a question of will the vampires come to her rescue, but one of will the vampires rescue the villagers.



Chapter 1 – An Autumn’s Morning

The gentle flow of water that flowed into the stream was a delight for the eyes filling me with inner happiness. The waterfall wasn’t as vigorous as it once was but was still enough to provide the stream with all the nutrients needed to sustain the fish and other marine life. I loved nature and the way she kept everything in balance. In many ways, and on many levels, nature was a form of art with everything in a constant state of change while remaining true as to its purpose. However nature hadn’t been kind to me or my family forcing us into near starvation.

There were only nine of us left living in our dilapidated castle that once housed hundreds. The extinction of our species started long before I was born leaving me with no memory of how our mighty civilisation once was.

Sitting down on the damp grass, with our ruined castle behind me, I continued to watch the stream as it wound its way deeper into the forest. Its flow was hypnotic leaving me in a relaxed state as I continued to ponder on the future of our race. I closed my eyes letting the pleasant feeling of the cold air touch the surface my eyelids. Sometimes I wished I could simply sleep and never wake up as was often the case with vampires during a harsh winter, but alas I wasn’t a true vampire, I was a mixed breed, meaning I was incapable of hibernation so had no opportunity to not wake from one. I wondered if others in our sect felt the same way. It was clear our situation had effected our temperaments and I knew it wouldn’t be too long before we came to blows with each other. I promised myself I would leave if that ever came to happen.

A sound behind me caused me to open my eyes breaking my trail of thought as someone exited through the squeaky castle door. I was Clem the human freak. She caught eye contact with me and came running over while waving her hand in the air. I had no idea why she had such a fondness for me, we were in no way alike. I was a dhampir, a full vampire possessing a tiny amount of human blood inherited from my grandmother, that was hardly the same as what Clem was. She was fully human, albeit deformed, with a bloodlust caused from a biting a vampire. She wasn’t really one of us. In fact her lust would likely wear off eventually causing her to revert back into her normal self.

“Good day to you Clem!” I stood up and waved back at her faking that I enjoyed her company.

It wasn’t our way to deceive one another, but it also wasn’t our way to be impolite, so as was often the case one rule outweighed the other. I was sure deep down she didn’t really like me either. To her I was just an available female that she wanted to share carnal knowledge with. If I simply refused she would give up trying, but that it itself would be considered impolite, so instead I flirted with her intentions leaving us both frustrated.

“Thank you,” she responded before wrapping her arms tightly around me and kissing my neck, “I wish you a good day too. A good day and a long happy life.”

As she leant back she smiled through her contorted fangs before adjusting her hooded gown.

“I really wish you wouldn’t wear that,” I said, “There’s plenty of suitable clothes going spare, that’s something we’re certainly not short of.”

She shook her head vigorously.

“I find conventional clothing too restricting,” she said as she swirled herself around, “This is far more comfortable.”

I turned around then sat myself back upon the grass staring at the stream once more. Clem joined me and sat at my side, intentionally resting her knee against mine. I was too polite to change position.

“So Lammy,” she said while staring ahead, “Have you got any plans for today?”

She was the only one in our entire sect to refer to me by that name. I hated it. My name was Lamia and that was the only name I wished to be addressed by. I wished I could have told her but my manners held back my irritation.

“Nothing in particular,” I responded, “I’ll just sit here for a while, watch the wildlife then maybe have a short nap before supper.”

“Maybe we could go for a walk,” Clem said, “Just the two of us. It’s a beautiful morning and we’re immune to daylight, unlike the others, it’s as though destiny has brought us together.”

I smiled at myself for the embarrassing predicament in which I found myself to be. Clem caught my smile and misinterpreted its meaning and smiled back brightly.

“Yay!” She said with exaggerated joy as she jumped to her feet.

She held out her hand then before I knew it pulled me to my feet. Her smile was still plastered upon her deformed face while her hand remained in mine.

“We’ll follow the flow of the stream into the forest,” she said, “Then sit and watch the salmon swimming upstream. It’s a spectacular slight to see them jumping out of the water and romantic too because they intend to breed…”

We both paused for a few moments in awkward silence waiting for the other to speak.

“Okay you’ve convinced me,” I said, “We’ll go for a stroll, nothing else mind, just a relaxing walk.”


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