I have traveled many miles to be here late this night to write on Rex’s Blog. He and his dog are fast asleep at home and tomorrow he will wonder how I came here and why. He does not really understand my reasons; but the truth is that I just want to tell a little of my story for your reading pleasure and to put a little of my life and thoughts down in print.
The people that live along the edge of the Delta call me Wandering Jack.
I am a Vampire.
My name is not important, Jack works well and I actually like it.
Rex keeps his stories short, so I will give a very quick sketch of who I am and how I came to the so-called famous Christmas Place.
In 1856 I was hired as the overseer for the plantation and actually lived in the house they call The Witches House. My job was to insure the success of the farm. The cotton had to be planted on time and harvested. Land had to be cleared. The mules, cattle and other animals had to be fed and taken care of, and the slaves had to be kept happy and comfortable. My life changed when a young woman arrived from Europe to stay at the big house that the Parkers had on the hill.
We fell madly in love and with my share of the harvest; we planned to buy our own land and start a plantation together. What I did not know was that a vampire had marked her as his own and even though she had escaped, he was following close behind.
I was attacked late one night returning from Tchula near the old covered bridge that crossed Black Creek. Riding an old mule, that suddenly balked at the bridge, I was jerked from my saddle and felt the monsters fangs drive deep into my throat. I was helpless in his grasp and died within a few minutes. Death would have been merciful, but the vampire wanted retribution and his revenge gave me this hellish half life.
When I finally awoke, I was in a shallow grave and several days had gone by. The thirst for blood was beyond anything imaginable and I admit that I killed many men and women before I was able to control the bloodlust and learn what I was. The beautiful lady I loved had disappeared that night and I have never seen or heard from either of them again.
The advent of the Civil War helped hide me, but the local people knew and feared my shadow. As time went on I learned how to stay hidden and began a search to stop the overwhelming desire to drink fresh blood. Years and years of trying different animals’ blood and now I have finally been able to perfect a serum to do this. The blood comes from an unlikely animal, the white-tail deer.
I collect the blood about once a month and take it to my underground home that is hidden deep in the woods of the Christmas Place. I do not bother anyone and spend my time studying history, botany, chemistry, philosophy and biology, but occasionally the desire to speak with people overwhelms me in my forced isolation and Rex has become one of my favorite people since our meeting one morning in a story he calls The Collector.
I linger near their camp, enjoy the stories they tell around the campfire, and rejoice in their successful hunts. I am always somewhere near this fine group of hunters so do not fear me if we should meet in the darkness. Unless, I have not had the serum from the deer blood and I am hungry....