0: Patricia

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Patricia Schaefer is a socialite, aspiring vampire and functioning psychopath with a lifelong ambition to murder someone and drink their blood. When she finally meets the teenage runaway who appears to be her perfect victim, things don’t turn out quite like she expected

Book Zero serves as a short introduction to the tone, style, and a few of the many characters who populate the world of Bloodletting. With plans to release the book as a series of self contained novels that, when collected, will tell a complete overarching story, connecting and interweaving characters from a variety of different times and places. 1970s American south west, Victorian England,  the old west, 1930s Los Angeles as well as contemporary settings.

The vampires of Bloodletting aren’t your typical vampires. They aren’t animalistic monsters lining up for some action hero to slaughter. They aren’t moping, gothic sad-sacks, and they certainly aren’t sparkling and playing baseball. These vampires are extraordinary people dealing with a life that requires them to murder other people to survive in exchange for immortality. It’s an exploration of the various ways a person might come to terms with that lifestyle. Most of all it’s a story about how far morality, sense of self and place in a world living among people who are also food, can be tested and pushed. How companionship and surrogate families form among these rare few who will outlive everyone else around them, and the rivalries and interpersonal relationships among the living dead.

Patricia Schaefer’s introduction to the world of vampires is our introduction to that world. It’s brutal, it’s ugly, and hopefully it’s fun.

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Excerpt:

Patricia stomped to her car, smoking furiously. She pressed her forehead against its cold roof, desperately trying to get her shit together. Dropping her cigarette on the gravel she got into the car and opened the glove compartment. Inside was a small glass jar half full of cocaine. She snatched it up and dropped it into her purse. Behind the coke was one of her scalpels. She picked it up and reached up her skirt, pressing the blade against her thigh.

No, that wasn’t a good idea at all. She wanted to, badly, but she knew it would be a mess and it would mean the end of her evening. The cold steel felt good on her skin. She pressed just a little harder and felt the elastic stretch of her flesh on the verge of giving into the edge. With a frustrated grunt she pulled the instrument away with the promise that if she didn’t go through with her plan tonight, she would have a date with the blade.

Patricia capped the scalpel and slid it under the band of her stocking. There was a plastic clip on the cap and it rested snug against her thigh. Regaining her composure she examined her hair and makeup in the rear-view mirror. For a moment she stared at her reflection, her eyes narrowed as she considered starting the car and leaving. Going home, dropping in on Amber, driving into a fucking wall, doing anything but going back in there. She wasn’t afraid, but conflicted. Two separate but equally intense impulses were raging through her. Half of her wanted to throw that girl against the bar, pull her head back by that fucked up haircut and rip her throat out with her teeth. The other half wanted to drive away and keep driving until she hit the ocean and then drive into the water.

“Fuck this.”

She slammed her key into the ignition and started the car and… sat there, eyes closed as she tried to sort it out. Something in her heart ached for the girl. It pulled at her and whispered that if she missed this opportunity, she’d never get another one like it. This girl was special and unique and when she was gone, she would really be gone. She didn’t believe in god or any sort of higher power, but in that moment, she was sure something was speaking to her and telling her that if she was going to do what she wanted to do, it had to be that night and that girl.

Patricia got out of the car and strutted towards death.