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Friday, 10 June 2011

Immortal War Blog Tour: Extract

Today I am delighted to be hosting the Immortal War Blog Tour. The Vampirates have stopped by to let you have a glimpse into the final instalment of their journey. So without further ado, here is a sneaky peek:

Extract #2 Immortal War (Vampirates 6)
by Justin Somper, 2011
On the deck of the pirate ship, Captain Jack Fallico was held fast in the clutches of Mimma and Holly, two of the feistiest Vampirates on Lola Lockwood-Sidorio’s crew. Captain Fallico was the only pirate left standing. The others lay scattered across the deck like so much flotsam and jetsam, their prostrate bodies silvery-grey in the meagre light of the ship’s lanterns. Lola’s crew – dark-cloaked shadows - were busy at work, harvesting the blood of the newly dead.

The pirate captain had put up a fight for a time, lashing and spitting at his captors. Now, at last, he seemed reconciled to his fate. His eyes gave a final flash of fire at the deliverer of his doom: Lady Lola Lockwood-Sidorio.

“If you’re going to kill me, just kill me,” said the pirate captain bravely.

Lola arched an eyebrow, giving nothing away. Feeling pleasantly giddy, she sniffed the air. The aroma of different blood types commingling on the deck was utterly intoxicating. She was already contemplating the intriguing new blends she could create from tonight’s harvest. 

“Look here,” Captain Fallico snarled, “I’ve had enough of this! You’ve massacred my crew and taken my ship. You’re obviously going to kill me too, so stop playing games and just get on with it, you vile, bloated vampire!”

“Bloated?” Lady Lola stepped closer to her prey, the heels of her thigh-high sharkskin boots drumming on the bloodstained deck. “Bloated? How dare you! I’m not bloated, you mortal fool. I’m eight and a half months pregnant!” She lifted her cloak and proudly displayed her belly, snug under her maternity top. Rubbing it proudly, she stepped forward and seized Captain Fallico’s rapier from where it had fallen onto the deck in front of him.

“Live by the sword…” Lola began.

“Captain!” exclaimed Mimma.

Seeing the look in her deputy’s eyes, Lola paused. Killing a captain was a moment to savour - like uncorking a bottle long stored in the cellar and breathing in its heady perfume. Mimma must have good reason to interrupt her at a moment like this.

Behind her, Lola now heard the whistling of air, followed by a thud.

Turning, she saw her husband land on the deck, a few metres from her. Her face froze in dismay as Stukeley and Johnny dropped down on either side of him.

Rapier still poised, Lola frowned at Sidorio. “What are you doing here?” she asked, no trace of warmth in her cut-glass voice.

Sidorio’s jaw hung open. “What are you doing here? It’s almost your due date. You’re supposed to be taking it easy.” His eyes glanced protectively at his wife’s bulge.

Lola rolled her eyes. “Must we have this conversation again? There are two types of pregnant women,” she declared, “those who lie around for months reading magazines and demanding foot-rubs, and the other category, to which I belong, who continue to attend to business.”

With that, she turned away, lifted her sword and skewered Captain Fallico.

As he fell meatily to the deck, Holly swiftly plugged in her draining apparatus and began bottling his blood. It was the last of a good haul. From the edges of the deck, others of Lola’s crew now came forward, stepping over their victims. Each carried the standard issue black case, which now held half a dozen bottles of recently harvested pirate.

“Good work, ladies!” Lola said, standing proudly before her crew, as Holly snapped shut her case and strode into position beside her. “Holly, Camille… next job for you. You know that quaint tradition the pirates have of putting a Nocturnal on each of their ships?”

The girls nodded.

“Doubtless, he or she will be hiding below-deck,” Lola said. “Find them and bring them up to me.”

“Dead or undead?” Camille inquired.

Lola laughed lightly. “Undead, if you please. We’re going to play a little game with the opposition.” Her eyes searched the crowd. “Jessamy, Nathalie - fetch the package from The Vagabond, if you please. The rest of you can start clearing up the deck.”

At her words, her crew sprang into action. Jack Fallico’s husk of a body was the first to hit the water.
Next stop: Tomorrow over at Girls without a Bookshelf where you can listen to the playlist and music of the Vampirates...

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for inviting me to take part.

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