99 Coffins: A Historical Vampire Tale
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Laura Caxton vowed never to face them again. The horror of what the vampires did is too close, the wounds too fresh. But when Jameson Arkeley, broken and barely recognizable, comes to her with an unfathomable, unholy discovery, her resolve crumbles.
Arkeley leads Caxton to a tomb in Gettysburg recently excavated by a local archaeology professor. While the town, with its legendary role in the Civil War’s worst battle, is no stranger to cemeteries, this one is remarkably, eerily different. In it lie 100 coffins—99 of them occupied by vampires, who, luckily, are missing their hearts. But one of the coffins is empty and smashed to pieces.
Who is the missing vampire? Does he have access to the 99 hearts that, if placed back in the bodies of their owners, could reanimate an entire bloodthirsty army? How did the vampires end up there, undisturbed and undiscovered for 150 years? The answer lies in Civil War documents that contain sinister secrets about the newly found coffins—secrets that Laura Caxton is about to uncover as she is thrown into a deadly, gruesome mission of saving an entire town from a mass invasion of the undead. . . .
in his red orbs banked visibly. His hands fell to his sides. “Yes,” he said, “of course.” “Your time will come,” I promised him. As I had promised him before. —THE PAPERS OF WILLIAM PITTENGER 97. W hat would Arkeley do in her situation? He would run. She moved as quickly as she dared through the dark tavern, the beam of her flashlight bobbing in front of her. From behind, near the front door, she heard glass breaking and wood splintering. She did not slow down. The Dobbin House had
older they got the more blood they required just to stand upright, much less to maraud and pillage. Any vampire old enough to have been buried in the cavern would have been far too old to be a danger in the twenty-first century. “Do you have any idea who put them down here?” “None. There’s no evidence down here that would tell us something like that and I can’t find anything in the archives to explain it, either. We opened the cavern three days ago and since then I’ve been hitting the Internet
football stadium ahead of her. She had slalomed into its parking lot—fitting enough, since the car wasn’t going anywhere else that night. She fought to get her equilibrium back. There was no time to check herself for whiplash or other injuries—she had to move. The vampire was still close by and she still had some slim chance of catching him. She grabbed the shotgun from its rack, checked to make sure it was loaded, then pushed open her door and stumbled out onto the concrete. She staggered to
big enough to hold very large objects. Each cabinet had been labeled in a spidery hand, some of the ink so old and eroded that she could barely make out the strings of numbers and letters. She had a feeling she knew what was in the cabinets. They weren’t as attractive or well polished as the display cases in the museum, but they probably served the same purpose. This had to be the real collection of the Mütter—all the bones and biological oddities and antiquated medical equipment the directors
you understand what you’re saying? They’re stronger than us and maybe smarter. We can barely destroy them when they do crop up. The one thing we can count on, the one real advantage we have over them, is that they get old even faster than we do. That they wither away.” Caxton thought of the old stories of vampires who remained forever young, their looks and their strength bolstered by regular access to copious amounts of blood. That was the myth, the dream every vampire tried to make come true.