Tag Archives: vampires

Book Review: Butchers

ButchersButchers by Todd Sullivan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I dived into this book with certain expectations, as I’m a huge fan of vampire fiction, and I was pleasantly surprised at the unique take the author had on them. This was a wild ride full of gore, grossness, and vampires who are truly immortal and equally immoral. (This review will not be completely spoiler-free.)

The story begins with an intense fight between vampire members of an organization called Gwanlyo. The rules are strict for them and meant to keep vampires in place — existing among humans without alerting them to the presence of beings much more frightening than they could imagine. They may tear at each other, slice off limbs, gouge out eyes, and pry an entire torso open, but unless one is beheaded or a heart is crushed, they will continue to exist. This fight opens the book to show just how much of a beating these vampires can take before one keels over for good.

The reason for the fight? Gwanlyo member Cheol Yu has broken one of their strict rules. His engaging with a potential member, who is still human, was out of line, and he is to be tortured. He happens to be extremely powerful, however, and makes it to safety with his head mostly attached.

After, we are introduced to more of the vampires. Hyeri, a wicked and destructive woman who can’t help but laugh over others’ misfortunes and craves destruction, Sey-Mi, an unfortunate high school girl who is pulled into a world she wants nothing to do with, and Dae Lo, a sadistic, evil monster who is all too happy to cause the greatest misery to those who betray the organization. We also get to meet Min Gun, who is not as foreboding as he initially seems.

What unfolds is a plan to take down the Gwanlyo by a vampire who wants nothing more than to destroy humanity, a betrayer on the run, and a young girl who is to decide where her loyalty lies.

The book definitely began with a bang, and I was unapologetically pulled into the gore that would follow throughout the book. Usually, the vampire stories I read are of the more classic variety, but I found that I actually liked this sort of vampire for a change. While they are known to be beautiful and seductive, they’re equally as awful and scary and every bit of what a horror book would entail. It was so different to me, personally, that I didn’t even think about them being vampires while reading. Although the word ‘vampire’ isn’t even used, or if it was, it was easily missed.

One of the few hang-ups I had about the book was during the chapter where Sey-Mi is being introduced to the organization. Her fear was absolutely warranted, although I felt her reaction built into a crescendo and kept going far past it, and she began tearing at her skin in her fear after punching herself. I had a hard time believing a teenager would mutilate herself like that just to see if she was dreaming.

At times the cruel nature of these vampires seemed to be all there was to them. It does change as the story progresses, however, and the characters that seemed flat, like Min Gun, eventually show that there is more depth to them. On the same note, other characters were wonderfully unique and fleshed out. Hyeri was personally my favorite because of how wickedly fun she was, and we get quite a bit of time with her. Min Gun, however, I don’t feel we get to know very well at all, and I can only begin to speculate who he is and how he feels about everything. At the end, it seems he grows attached to Sey-Mi, but we truly don’t get as much time with him like the others.

One specific little detail I found really interesting about the vampires feeding on each other in unison, was the connection created. They shared memories and feelings, and it was a very intimate experience. The same was true for a vampire feeding from a human. They saw memories and took in sensations, which is a really cool ability and added some emotion to the otherwise cold and cruel creatures.

Overall, I had few nitpicks about this novella and I enjoyed reading it, and I am glad I got the chance to review it. Todd Sullivan definitely got me into the atmosphere and the location, which takes place in Korea, which he knows quite a bit about. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who hungers for a different kind of vampire story, although I would warn that it is not for those who are squeamish.

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Excerpt from original writing: What Lies Beyond

Since it’s Pride month, I wanted to post more LGBTQ moments from my stories. This is the start of more than a few I have planned, but I have a few posted from previous months. Happy Pride everyone!


The two drifted through the cemetery in near silence, Lestan only speaking up as he noticed something unique in their path. The spirit was content with this, never replying but smiling back to acknowledge the other’s presence. He stopped them once they reached the mausoleum he’d occupied the night before, and he drifted around to the front to see that it was locked. A sadness enveloped him. He didn’t have to worry about those sorts of things. “I am sorry, it seems you cannot come with me to see what I have to show you.”

“In there?” Lestan approached the chain lock and held it in his hand, the rust flaking against his fair skin.

“Yes, inside. Below.” The spirit dispersed through the peeling green doors and was absent for a second, only to resurface as his face faded through the door to look out. Lestan found it amusing and bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud. The spirit’s distressed expression didn’t affect his humor. “There is no way to let you inside from here, either.”

“A chain lock isn’t going to keep me out, love. Move back — or don’t, actually.” He finally chuckled. “It’s not like you can actually get in the way, can you?”

“No.” The spirit’s interest was piqued as he hovered beside the vampire anyway, watching intently as hands curled around the chain and pulled tight.

The lock popped away from the metal and rust crumbled to the ground as Lestan applied his full strength, and the iron gate swinging open. The vampire smiled at his victory and pushed against the green doors, the lock in them still intact. It went the same way as the chain, and Lestan stumbled inside. He was careful not to fall down the stairs and stopped before them, allowing the spirit to join him. It seemed the entity was able to manipulate objects in the basest of ways only, which allowed him to close the door behind them. Despite the streaks of moonlight inside, they were awash in darkness.

“So, what’s in here?”

“Down there.” The spirit drifted ahead and Lestan followed him down into an even darker abyss. The pupils in his eyes enlarged like a feline’s as he adjusted to the darkness, seeing everything on par with the entity.

He was nonplussed. “Did you know them?” He looked around at the decayed forms resting in their respective hollows. They’d been down there a while, otherwise the stench would be beyond what the vampire could handle.

The spirit stood in the center of the room, glad that Lestan could see along with him, at least. “No. I just like it here. Come, stand still.” Lestan did as he was told, standing before the spirit in complete silence. “We are beneath the earth now. Can’t you hear it?”

Lestan shook his head. “I hear the wind outside and the insects.”

“There’s something else. Maybe you can’t.” The spirit became sad once more but was comforted by the dull hum of the earth’s pulse. “It’s the sound of life from the source itself.”

“You can hear that?” Lestan finally understood and was in awe. “What does it sound like?”

“Listen. If you can hear the insects, you can hear the pulse. Close your eyes.” The entity closed his own and a small smile was on his lips as he heard it, the thrum surrounding his senses as he became lost in the earth’s song.

Lestan closed his eyes as well, and they stood there in silence for some time before the vampire finally reopened his eyes. The spirit seemed so serene and at peace, and he wondered what it would be like to see other positive emotions on the melancholic being’s face. It suited him more than he would likely ever be able to imagine.

Moving on pure curiosity, Lestan took a step toward the spirit. He was lost in Mother Nature’s thrum and ignored the vampire’s close proximity as Lestan paused right before the specter, their noses nearly touching. Lestan’s lips parted as he observed the entity’s face up close and he found a beauty in it — its features shockingly pale with dark circles around the eyes and charcoal lips. The vampire wondered what they felt like — if they had a feeling at all. He was able to touch the spirit’s hand last night and tonight, and he was sure that while the spirit was distracted he would have his chance to find out.

Lestan slowly ghosted his lips over the spirit’s, a faint feeling of something similar to flesh meeting his own. The spirit finally noticed his closeness and seemed uncertain of what to do, his body remaining frozen as the vampire slid his tongue along the ethereal black lips that had started to tremble. He finally pulled away, his form more corporeal than ever as a light blue blush lit up his cheeks. He had felt a spark of something that he couldn’t put a name to. It felt warm, which was something the spirit did not and should not have experienced. It was nice in all of the wrong ways, and he backed away until he was at the wall of the mausoleum, fading once more.

“No no, don’t fade, sweetheart. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” Lestan covered the distance between them and reached out to touch the spirit’s hand, but his own just bled right through. “Don’t you want to know the name I thought of for you?”

“I am not worthy of a name.” The spirit’s voice was shaking and becoming unclear again. “Please do not give me a name. I have no individuality and am not anything other than my purpose.”

“Jack. I want to call you that so I don’t have to keep referring to you as ‘spirit’.”

“Jack? No.” The spirit curled into himself as he flickered.

“It’s from a movie that reminded me of you, honestly.” Lestan smiled awkwardly. He suddenly felt self-conscious; he’d never had to name anything before. What was worse was that it made the spirit highly uncomfortable, even more so than the kiss he’d attempted.

“I must go. Please leave me and do not return.”

“I can’t do that!” Lestan panicked as the spirit began to fade entirely. “I don’t want to leave you alone. You have to be lonely by yourself existing in this agony all the time. You deserve to be happy.” His words resounded off the walls as he was alone at last, the spirit having receded entirely. The vampire approached the stone wall that the spirit had been huddled against, and rested his head against the cold surface. “Jack — please let me call you Jack. If you’re still listening, I’ll be back tomorrow. Wait for me by the same tombstone, okay? I’ll be there until you show up, even if it’s almost sunrise.”

© 2019 Shane Blackheart

Bear Your Arteries! (Original writing)

(This is a short bit of writing practice I did based off of some Sims 4 gameplay. Lucifuge Rofocale, a demon who lives as a vampire, couldn’t get enough of Bjorn’s blood. So, naturally, I had to write a story about it. MATURE themes ahead! Open-minded older teens & adults only! Link to a related Youtube video based on this story below.)

Bjorn stretched widely upon entering the old yet lavish home. He often visited – usually a few times a week at least. His absence had been much longer this time, however, and Lucifuge had become irritable. The demon who lived as a vampire had no shortage of ‘blood supply’. There was his chosen occupation, which brought many to his home in search of obscure sexual tastes – at times allowing Lucifuge to feed on them. This was a rare occurrence at the best of times and Lucifuge often was left with nothing but monetary compensation for his services, which was the expected outcome anyway. When it came to his particular tastes in blood, though, Bjorn seemed to be the only human who could sate his bloodlust.

The man was of average height with blonde hair that was slicked back just above his shoulders, still short enough to be decent for a human male of his age. His years were beginning to show on his brow and in the soft crow’s feet that were forming on his face. He was of average build but was lazy in his lifestyle and way of dress, often adorned in a beige sweater that fastened in front by a few buttons, a white t-shirt beneath, and a pair of faded dad jeans to complete the image of a sloth of a man. He spoke in a Southern drawl that made Lucifuge cringe with distaste, but despite all of this, at least the man had a redeeming pair of baby blues. Overall, he wasn’t the worst looking man on the planet. He could probably become quite attractive with a few trivial changes here or there, but Bjorn was as he presented himself, which Lucifuge had no control over.

And there the vampire was, focusing on all of this as his hunger for blood grew. He instinctively ran his hand over his silver braid to the side of his shoulder to occupy his hand with something. He knew his eyes were glowing a dark crimson by the way Bjorn seemed to back away from him ever so slightly, which wasn’t the norm. More than likely, his face had also changed due to his dark mood, the lines in his skin much more prominent and the shadows consuming his eyelids. He watched Bjorn as if he were eyeing up his prey and a dark, half-grin stole across his features. “My dear Bjorn, what has you so unnerved?” His dark and sophisticated English accent was clearly taunting, tugging at his guest’s nerves. Bjorn cleared his throat and leaned back against the window as if he were distracted by something outside. A low fog had started to drift about the property line.

“I just… I get nervous sometimes that the wife will catch me. We been doin’ this for a while now, you know? She’s gonna start to wonder where I go all the time at my age.”

“And that is exactly why she won’t suspect a thing. Is it so uncommon for a 40-year-old man to go out with friends to the bar? Play a game of poker or get completely pissed?”

“I got kids too, Lucifuge.” Bjorn sighed and ran a hand down his face. “I just don’t know how long I can keep doin’ this with all that weighing on me. I’m also a straight man.”

“Straight?” Lucifuge burst into laughter, leaning back on the second-floor railing for support. “Call yourself whatever you please, but what we do is far from it.” The vampire waited for his laughter to die down before he eyed the other man with a gaze to make even the most doubtful compliant. There was something within his dark red eyes that caused Bjorn to crumble inside no matter how hard he would try to avoid them. That damnable gaze won every time.

“Just take what you need so I can leave.”

“You love it and you know it. It’s a shame it had to be you, though.” Lucifuge pushed away from the railing and approached his guest, carefully sliding a hand low on the man’s hip and the other to the side of Bjorn’s face that had started to flush. He brought his lips close to ghost across the man’s neck, delighting in the shiver it brought forth. “You’re detestable. Your voice gives me a headache and your very existence irritates me. Yet… “ Lucifuge flicked his tongue out to tease the skin that had just begun to scar from repeated punctures. “I can practically taste your sanguis suavis.”

Bjorn held his breath as he expected the pain to come, but it never did. The vampire seemed to hesitate as he pulled his mouth back, watching Bjorn with interest. “What? Why didn’t you drain me?”

“No, that wouldn’t do for my current mood, I’m afraid.” Lucifuge pushed Bjorn back with force and the man fell onto the red satin sheets covering the lavish bed behind them. “The hunger will make for an interesting session – wouldn’t you agree?”

“You’re scaring me.” Bjorn’s heart threatened to break free from his chest as the vampire crawled over him, pressing their bodies together. Lucifuge’s voice lowered to barely above a whisper as he teased his lips along Bjorn’s ear.

“I must find a way to rekindle your interest. I can’t have you doubting what we have now.”

“Lucifuge…” A sigh escaped Bjorn as the body above him began its torturous dance. He felt utterly powerless and was embarrassed by his growing desire. “We don’t have nothin’ but convenience for you.” He groaned in pain as a clawed hand came up to grab his slightly fuzzy jaw, squeezing as it forced his head to the side to look into a pair of swimming red eyes.

“You can’t hide it from me when we’re like this, you fool. You’re quivering in your boots – which, speaking of…” Lucifuge released the man and sunk low to the floor, pulling both boots from Bjorn’s large feet. He then returned his gaze to the man above him and slid his hands along Bjorn’s thighs as he leaned up on his elbows to watch, the vampire tempting his desires as dark fingers crept higher. Lucifuge slid his tongue across his fangs, toying with Bjorn as his body swayed in an intoxicating spell that soon had the man on the bed gripping at the sheets in anticipation. “There is another artery here…” Lucifuge squeezed high on Bjorn’s thigh and the man forgot to breathe. “… and I’ve yet to try it, although I imagine your blood is rushing elsewhere.” The vampire laughed darkly as the man above him became compliant, falling back onto the bed and closing his eyes. “Speechless?” Lucifuge’s hand crept up to the button on Bjorn’s jeans, flicking it open and dragging down the zipper. “Then let’s begin.”

©2018 Shane Blackheart

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Check out the Sims Machinima I made based on this general story here: Lucifuge & Bjorn – Bear Your Arteries!

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