The Bloodening

I now present the last page of my horror novel ‘The Bloodening’. First published in 1973, it is still regarded by many as the most frightening book ever written; several people died within forty years of reading it, and I can’t help but feel responsible (natural causes? Give me a break).

Though the book sold fewer than twenty-three copies (eighteen fewer, in fact), critically it was a smash. Examine the following testimonials:

“….not….a mess, from start to finish...written by...a man…” — Daniel Jones, The Irish Times.

“….I could…make head nor tail of it” — Joanne Lancaster, The Independent

“…a miracle…made…light of day…and…Stephen King is sh*tting himself” — Don O’Brien, The Literary Review




Flann O’Coonassa

Page 341 of 341

…that he’d crunched the numbers, and a Rick Astley tribute band simply wasn’t financially viable,” said Lucy.
“I don’t think this is the time, or the place,” replied Max, warding off the closest vampire with his makeshift crucifix of twin toilet brushes.

The moon was full, bathing the castle courtyard in a dull blue glow. Max checked the alignment of his toilet brushes to ensure they criss-crossed at appropriate right-angles to qualify as a crucifix. Lucy loaded a fresh clip into her M16 fully-automatic machine gun. Neither was ready to go down easy.

Lucy pressed her back against Max’s. What were the bastards waiting for? Who would attack first? Wolfman? Frankenstein’s monster? Medussa? The hungry T-Rex? Dracula? Or perhaps the escaped mental patient? Max hoped it would be the escaped mental patient, because he had no supernatural powers and was pretty much a sitting duck in his straitjacket.

“Transylvanian package holiday my ass,” spat Max, taking the brochure from his back pocket and flinging it to the ground.
“I’m scared,” said Lucy.
“Why?” said Max.
“Because…because we’re going to die.”
“I was being sarcastic,” replied Max.

Just when all seemed lost, the unmistakable sound of a 1964 Harley Davidson ruptured the night air. It was Bruce, the Vampire Hunter. He’d come back, just like he promised. Ramping over the drawbridge and into the courtyard, he circled the monsters, revving the engine and swinging his trusty mace above his head. Max and Lucy punched the air with excitement.

Leaning back, Bruce accelerated his bike full-throttle to instigate a wheelie. Unfortunately, the acceleration was excessive, and he drove straight into the nearest wall at high speed.

“Bruce, no,” cried Lucy.
“He’s gone,” said Max, restraining her from running to him.
“No I’m not,” said Bruce.
“He’s alive,” cried Lucy.
“We can’t help him now,” said Max.
“Yes you can,” said Bruce calmly.

Dracula made short work of Bruce in his weakened state, beating him to death with the detached handlebars of his own bike. The killing took little more than an hour, during which Lucy never opened her eyes.

“You’ll pay for what you did to Bruce,” said Max.
“Who’s Bruce?” asked Dracula.
“That guy,” said Max, pointing to Bruce’s mangled carcass.
“That’s Bruce?”
“Bruce Steel?”
“Bruce Steel, The Vampire Hunter?”.
“Ok,” said Dracula, throwing his eyes up to heaven.

The monsters tightened the cordon, encroaching ever closer. The bloodening was nigh.

“You know,” said Max, “I always regretted not asking you out Lucy. I came close so many times, but something always held me back. Maybe it was how you still seemed to be grieving for Danny.”
“Well, he only died on Thursday…,” said Lucy.
“I know, I know,” said Max.
“…and he was your son,” said Lucy.
“I know, but still. Do you ever wonder? What might have been between us?”
“Honestly? Not really. I like you as a friend, but I don’t find you remotely sexually attractive,” said Lucy.
“Oh. Well, this is awkward,” said Max.
“A little,” said Lucy.
“Hey Dracula,” bellowed Max, changing the subject to alleviate some tension, “your fangs are crooked. Don’t you floss?”

The monsters descended upon Lucy and Max. The bloodening was swift, and surprisingly bloody for a bloodening, which despite the misleading name, was usually a pretty clean, neck-breaking affair. No trace of the pair was ever found, except for Lucy's spleen, scalp and right arm, and Max's brain, left testicle and bladder.

Legend has it that Lucy and Max can still be seen, wandering the Transylvanian moors on a misty night. It's a stupid legend, because they're both dead, and even in the context of vampires and werewolves, spectral ghosts are an absurdity.

Of Bruce, the Vampire Hunter, the villagers insist he survived the bloodening and still patrols the countryside, fighting against the undead hordes. Again, that's just stupid, because he was violently bludgeoned to death in an instance of sustained, blunt-force trauma.


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Rant by is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2009 Flann O'Coonassa