Life changes forever when four normal teens are conned into scholarships to a charter school for vampires. They're supposed to be kept alive to fulfill a Department of Education diversity requirement, but this school is anything but safe. Sixteen year-old Kathy is on the kill list of a Shoshone vampire who teaches Ethics for Bloodsuckers. Her pal Lionel is terrorized by his music teacher, an 18th century violinist who worked as a Mafia hit man so he could play at his victims' funerals. Most of the students want them bled and dead, and the school's growing chapter of the Satanic Legion has it in for them. When Kathy's boyfriend has his heart broken by a sharpened pool cue, she and Lionel are put on trial for murder. In a vampire court. With a kidnapped gymnastics team as the jury. In the end all the kids are faced with the same three choices: join the undead, escape, or die trying. This novel will delight readers who thirst for humor in the vein of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels. More than just a witty vampire tale, Ethics of the Undead touches on universal ethical themes, and is a story of friendship, resilience and sacrifice.
A bald, barrel-chested man in a plaid shirt and jeans came onto the porch, shut the door firmly behind him and shook his head. Edna crouched behind the low railing, waiting to see if the woman would come out with his coat.
Stay inside and live, she thought, willing her message through the cabin wall. The white man is my prey, as I once was his. Stay inside and live.
She heard the man click a cigarette lighter into flame. She waited for his first satisfied exhalation, then vaulted over the rail.
His eyes went wide. "What the-"
Edna whipped the hard edge of her hand into his throat. His head jerked back. He gurgled like a man drowning. She punched his temple and caught him as he fell. Stifling her own grunt, she heaved him over her shoulder, then stepped off the porch into the rain. She made her way downhill toward the river, avoiding the road. The man's weight felt less burdensome than her urge to feed on him immediately. Still, she walked until she felt him move. Then she laid him down carefully behind a clump of trees, straddled him and peeled back his collar. Resting one hand on his throat, she sang a song of gratitude until his eyes opened. She saw him trying to remember, to make sense of lying in wet underbrush, rain pelting his face, the dark woman sitting on him singing in a foreign language, her hand caressing his aching throat.
"I apologize, cousin," said Edna. "I do this only so that I may exist as long as the Creator God wills it. I have-"
The man tried to speak. She squeezed his throat until he gasped for air.
"Please don't interrupt. White people do that all the time, but not tonight. I apologize that I have not yet purged all revenge from my heart. I do try, but I once was a warm-blooded human and was badly treated. You may be innocent of the crimes of your brothers, but we are all connected - and I need your blood to survive."
The man struggled to push her off. She rode him as if he were a frightened horse, with her knees and the grip on his throat tightening. She bent over toward his ear and grimaced at the odors of smoke and alcohol that filled her nostrils, that she would taste in his blood.
"Do not struggle," she whispered. "I will spare you the pain of waking up a vampire. I apologize for taking your blood, and your life."
He bucked wildly as her teeth ripped into his neck, down to his carotid artery and vein. Too hungry to suck, she punctured the artery and opened her mouth wide to the stream of blood that shot forth. She rode him with her mouth at his neck, gulping down each pulse of salty, warm ambrosia as if the next swallow might deliver both a release from damnation and a heavenly life.
He gave out too soon. Never enough, she thought. She licked up the splatter, picked the corpse up and walked toward the river.
About the author:
Loren Schechter is a retired psychiatrist who loves to write humorous fiction. He was very lucky in that he spent much of his career treating adolescents. His first novel was Murder in Millbrook, a cozy mystery. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife Susan and dog, Amigo. No animals, senior citizens or vampires were injured in the writing of his novels.