Monday, 13 February 2012

Highgate's vampires

Welcome to The London Vampire Chronicles. For anyone who has read Fledgling, this is the place where you can find out what the Elder of London and his associates are up to. Who has bitten who, for example. Or whether Will is simply sitting in his Highgate home tweeting, having recently discovered Twitter.
It is unusual for a seventeenth-century vampire to embrace all technology, but the love of his life - or death - was in life, a twenty-first century woman, and she loves internet shopping. So Will has had to give in, install broadband and buy a computer. (With a lot of sighing and grumbling it has to be said.) Then he discovered Twitter.
For anyone who has not read Fledgling, here's a taster (pardon the pun) to show the path of true love never runs smooth, even for the drop-dead gorgeous Elder vampire of London.

As we walked along Swain’s Lane toward the

cemetery, I began to wonder about getting in.

“It’ll be locked.”

Will gave me a wicked grin as he dangled a

large key in front of my nose. “Courtesy of the

Friends of Highgate Cemetery.”

“So you joined a society of ageing middle-class

snobs just to get a key?”

“No, I merely relieved one of them of the key. I

felt it was too much responsibility for her.”

Best not to delve any deeper into that little

scenario I decided. He really was a law unto himself.

When we reached the imposing gates, he did

indeed unlock them and wave me through. I gave

him a long-suffering look as I walked past him.

He locked the gates behind us, pocketing the

key, and led the way into the depths of the cemetery.

Good that I wasn’t at all scared then. I followed him

down narrow, moss-covered paths that twisted and

turned like a maze between huge Victorian tombs

and their neighbouring ivy-clad gravestones.

We passed the tomb of Queen Victoria’s dog

trainer, and startled a badger foraging for food. It

bared its ferocious yellow teeth at us, and Will bared

his own white teeth back. The badger backed off.

I looked around at the tombstones jostling

against each other, like so many uneven teeth, all

vying for the best position, with masses of dark

prolific ivy cloaking other headstones and shielding

them from human eyes.

The atmosphere was brooding and intense,

almost as though the cemetery itself was waiting for

something…or someone. Somehow, I didn’t feel

convinced we were the only supernatural visitors tonight.

Will stopped at a convenient tomb, and lowered

his lean frame to the ground. He leaned back against

the tomb, and stretched his long legs out in front of

him. As usual, he looked comfortable and completely

at ease.

“Have a seat,” he patted the grass beside him.

I reluctantly sat down, being careful not to get

too close. I didn’t think I could trust him, especially

after his display of temper earlier. I doubted

whether there would ever come a time when I didn’t

feel a bit afraid of him. He, perversely, still seemed

to believe I’d hop into bed with him sometime soon,

even after everything that had happened and

everything that had been said. Incorrigible.

Hundreds of years of never being turned down, I

suspected. It would do him good to be rejected

for a change.

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