Mo's Manic Monday - Spike

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2007 by Travis Cody in

Today's Manic Monday word is "spike". This became an exercise in description for me, and I've used several different definitions within the passage.


He let the euphoria wash over him like a wave caresses a beach. The victim, a young attractive male, slid from his grasp to rest on the cold alley pavement.

Erik wallowed in the familiar sensations of the blood lust fulfilled. His eyes closed. Against the soothing darkness, shocks of brilliant light appeared, first one, then another, then more in rapid succession like fireworks exploding in a charcoal sky. Erik felt himself lifted. The strength of the blood roared through his veins. He was renewed.

Suddenly Erik was seized by spikes of agony. How could the ecstasy have been spent so soon? Never in all his experience had there been this pain. His lungs heaved with the effort to fill. But no…he had no need to breathe! What was happening?

He found himself on his hands and knees, gasping for air, the effort doubly painful since his body had no muscle memory of the act. His hands clawed savagely at the rough pavement before him. He caught sight of them. They were shriveled, aged. The smooth, youthful skin of immortality gave way to the withered and parched skin of an old man. The sharp spikes of his fingernails were yellowed and cracked, and a sickly, foul-smelling fluid leaked from them. He wailed in confusion, the cry cut short in a coughing spasm that wrenched his chest.

Gasping, Erik crawled to the side of a building and used it to hoist himself to his feet. He staggered along the wall, his night sight gone and his regular vision fading quickly. He stumbled into an object, an abandoned car. Erik moved alongside it, each step bringing a new pain. He hoped…no, he needed to use whatever power remained his to command to start the car and drive to his lair.

He was beginning to suspect what was happening to him. His victim must have been ill, the blood somehow tainted, spiked with disease. Or worse – some illicit drug like heroine or crystal meth. This was a danger the undead faced. The need to feed was elemental, and often interfered with any power the vampire might otherwise have used to discern whether the blood was healthy or spoiled. Yet from this weakness came the source of immortality and power.

But why should drugs or disease cause this pain? He’d felt discomfort before when he’d fed from some ill host. But nothing like this.

Erik had to rest. Every movement brought pain now. He couldn't get enough air to his lungs. Each breath sent little spikes of pain through the unused tissues of his mouth and nose.

He leaned heavily against the side of the car. He was weak and getting weaker with each beat of his heart. Inconceivable! His heart wasn't supposed to beat except to echo the death pulse of his victims. Yet, the blood was now pounding in his ears, and it was his own heart that labored. He had to get home. The night would not last forever, and if he was caught by the sun's light, he would surely die.

If he could just get to his lair, he could ride this out. A full day to rest, and then he could go in search of fresh blood…and answers to this night’s riddle.

His hand rested against something cool and smooth. He pushed himself back from it and looked down. A spasm of pain doubled him at the waist. When it subsided, he raised his head. He was face to face with his reflection in the glass of the car's window.

His own cadaverous visage stared back at him, the reflection like a spike through his heart. And the 200 year old vampire died.

Thanks to Morgen at It's A Blog Eat Blog World for another terrific word.


  1. Aaaaaccckkkk... spaghetti sauce doesn't sound good to me after reading that!!!

    You're a great minion and a wonderful writer :)

  1. well, guess it was his time...

  1. Skittles says:

    Wow! What a wonderful writer you are !!!!

  1. I just love your stories!!!
    I'll bet Mo likes that one too.
    Great job.

  1. tiggerprr says:

    Awesome story! Vampires were a big phobia for me as a kid, and a giant fascination for me now.

  1. Travis says:

    Heather: Thanks! If I can turn someone off one of their favorite foods, then my work is done!

    Lexa: Perhaps it was.

    Skittles: Awwww, shucks!

    CWM: I appreciate that!

    Tiggerprr: I've always been fascinated by vampires.

  1. well all i can say is i am very glad i read this in the morning instead of at night where i surely would have nightmares!

    thanks for sharing and beautifully written my friend....

    smiles, bee

  1. Sanni says:

    Thanks Travis - I loved reading your brillaint story. I´ve always been fascinated by vampires =)

  1. Masterful tale there, Trav. Wish I could work up the courage to post some fiction; maybe some day.

    Mine's finally up, such as it is...

  1. Morgen says:

    Travis = once again, your writing rocks me.
    Driving into the store this morning, I thought "I wonder what Travis came up with..."
    I am delighted. I've said it before, I think our creative writing bits in our brains must have been separated at birth. This is just the kind of story I would write, but I would want a whole novel out of it - while you deliver the goods in a single post. That takes not only creativity but lots of guts.
    Okay, I gotta go re-read your story.
    Kudos to you, and thank you so much for participating in
    Manic Monday
    Manic Mo

  1. SGT DUB says:

    Awesome story Trav. You certainly have a sense of writing that is always easy to read and keeps us wanting more.

  1. Anndi says:

    ack! but how? I need to know!!!!

    I want more...

    Fantastic Travis!

    Excuse me but I have to go read it again!

  1. lisa says:

    but why? I am with anndi on this one, we need more.
    or must we make up our own reason why he died? :-)

  1. Meribah says:

    Wooooooooohoooooooooooooo!!! I really, enjoyed this tale, my friend. I love fantasy stories like this one. The way you described everything and the mystery leaves me wanting more. You could easily wrap a whole novel around this short snippet! Bravo!

  1. Travis says:

    Bee: No nightmares!

    Sanni: Me too.

    Songbird: I'll be by shortly. Just do it baby!!

    Mo: High praise from a fellow writer. Thank you Sir!

    Sarge: I appreciate the compliment.

    Ann: But, that's all there is!!

    Lisa: Well, I don't know why the vampire died!

    Meri: Easily?????

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Very good story. I could see this being expanded to more. I know what you mean when you say you don't why the vampire dies. I wrote a story where at the end the main character has to decide to live or die and I left it at that, with a question. What did he do I was asked? I answered truthfully, I don't know.

  1. I found that same photo of my boy Peyton - it's a bit larger, and you can see the actual ball.


    I spent a while looking for it last night, but it was getting late and I just wanted to get it posted.

    So, NOW it's up!

  1. julie says:

    I think with you picturesque style of writing I may just be able to look forward to Mondays!

    May we never and I and Mo's Manic Monday!

    Well...I had to think of something nice...that was scary!!!! Sheesh!


  1. Turnbaby says:

    Excellent --- from all angles---love the pull you succeed in creating in such a short piece. I also wanna know--what killed him? So great job. *big ole grin* This is fun Trav--writing is fun again.

  1. Lizza says:

    Vampires are fascinating! I like the mystery element in this--readers have to speculate on why the vampire died. Cool!

  1. Bond says:

    Once again.. the words flow and I smile and reread...twice this time to savor the story you weave.