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n 1742, when their ship is mercilessly sunk by the Trivia, a pirate ship with strange red sails, imprisoned British colonial marine Jan Puzan and Dominican priest Timoteo de Cordova are spared and brought before the vicious Captain Absolon Vigoreaux. Vigoreaux treats them to a terrible but true tale; he is a vampire and his crew are werewolves. This month when the full moon rises, they will take part in the crew’s favorite custom; the Trivia will put to shore at a remote isle and turn Jan and Timoteo loose to be hunted down for sport.
On the island, Jan and Timoteo encounter Sampari, a native girl driven into the jungle by her tribe to appease the beast men and their pale lord. Seeking to break the Trivias’ hold on her tribe, Sampari joins forces with Jan and Timoteo.
They have one day to prepare for what could be the last night of their lives.
Ash Arcenaux of Swamp Dweller Book Reviews said of Red Sails,
‘FINALLY! A vampire-werewolf pairing I stand behind wholeheartedly! You find any sparkly, emo vampires or brooding, d-bag werewolves in Erdelac’s Red Sails. Here, the vampire runs the show and the werewolves keep the ship shipshape…. (full review at http://swampdweller.wordpress.com/page/3/)’
Here’s an excerpt –
Timoteo thanked the Lord for the wind. His calves ached and his bladder was heavy, but he had heard the tremendous explosion from the beach and knew the Trivias were coming. He knew it was sinful to pray for vengeance, but he thought of poor Abbot Ramon breathing his last on a heathen table, a repast for the demon captain, and he thought of his brothers’ suffering at the hands of the things out there in the night. He did so anyway, holding his musket close. He prayed too for resolve. He had never killed a man before.
He thought of the girl somewhere to his left in the dark watching the same path for signs of the creatures. She would kill without hesitation. He had seen her. Poor, savage little thing with no knowledge of God’s love, no regard for her fellow creations. Yet another feeling rose in him, one long buried in incense and abstinence; the exercise of manhood. Neither he nor his father, nor even his grandfather had ever been soldiers, but as a boy he had thrilled to the exploits of Ambrosio and Olivares, and sometimes wondered had he been born into another life, if he should have been able to fight. He supposed this was a musing common to boys, and he felt it in his breast again now, like the discovery of a fond and forgotten plaything.
But this was not boyhood play, it was the everlasting game of God and The Devil, and immortal souls were the wager at stake. This was the work to which he had sworn himself, the eternal conflict, stripped down to a literal, elemental level. He prayed he had prepared Jan enough.
An animal noise came to his ears, as of a pack of hunting dogs. Then the signal fire lit up high on the point above the waterfall, and was met by primeval howls from below.
A great snarling went up among the milling creatures, which he could only perceive by their sound, being too far away to see them. It reached a ferocious crescendo and then one of the things let out a bloodcurdling sound somewhere between a canine yowl and the shriek of a man in agony. The sound dwindled, and the pack of beasts set up a terrible baying, drowning out the lone protestant entirely. A great body of them tore across the jungle towards the far off firelight, and the remainder came in their direction.
Timoteo steeled himself, then saw the dark shadows rushing low ahead like Satan’s dogs come to hound the damned. There were six crashing through the bushes. More than they had hoped would come after the fire.
To his left, Sampari yelled a strange, keening sort of cry. The creatures instantly veered towards her position, jaws snapping in their anticipation.
Two were caught up by the snares and launched into the trees with a whipping sound of the ropes drawing tight. He saw their shaggy bodies rise suddenly from the underbrush, moonlight shining through the long hair on their flailing limbs. They struck the trees and hung suspended.
The other four only began to take notice of their fellows’ fate when they crashed into the concealed pit and onto the bed of muskets with their spike-tipped socket bayonets.
Timoteo broke from his concealment and ran toward the pit. He saw Sampari do the same, and they met on opposite ends.
He could see them down below, writhing in the moonlight. Some of them were transfixed, and these howled insanely and thrashed, clawing at the earth and their own brethren trying to escape.
Some broke free and leapt, gripping the edge of the pit. Timoteo and Sampari drove them back, Sampari sticking them with the spike bayonet in the face and hands until they let go, Timoteo savagely bashing their misshapen heads and long, clawed hands, giving the bayonets below a second chance.
It was bloody work, and ten minutes passed before the terrible shriek-howling from the pit ceased. When it was done, four naked men lay speared to death in the hole. Timoteo made the sign of the cross swiftly over their bodies.
Then they marched to where the two werewolves still hung thrashing upside down in the snares. Sampari ran the first through with her musket-spear, jabbing it repeatedly as it whined pitiably.
Timoteo muttered a Psalm as he approached the second, and nearly bit his own tongue as it suddenly dropped from its rope and flopped on the ground, then turned and scrabbled at him.
He drew the musket over his head like a club and brought it down with a crack on the thing’s head, but it managed to hook its claws into his leg and shred his calf, dragging him to the ground. He pummeled it ferociously, but it crawled up his torso, weathering the blows, hooking and digging its talons in his flesh like an inexpert climber’s pitons and working its way up to his throat.
He could see its black eyes shining, see the whites of its teeth, and feel its hot breath puffing up at him.
Sampari straddled it then, the added weight driving the breath from his lungs. She reached around and put her bone knife under its chin. She plunged its point up several times, each withdrawal vomiting splashes of thick hot blood down on Timoteo. It gave up trying to dig into his throat and desperately tried to twist and deal with the girl on its back, but its efforts soon waned. It fell heavily against him and slid off.
Timoteo lay gasping as Sampari stabbed the werewolf a few more times for certainty’s sake and then stooped over him to inspect his many wounds.
How had it gotten down from the snare? How?
As she prodded his punctured torso, Timoteo turned his head and looked at the thing. Like an expression slackening in death, the thing changed, softened before his eyes. Its hair fell away from its skin, its terrible dog face shrank back into manly proportions, and the coal black eyes dilated until Timoteo stared into the face of a dead, naked white man, curled up in an aura of shaggy, blood soaked hairs.
He whispered a prayer and lay back as Sampari attended him. He saw the snare rope still swinging from the branch, and the pale human foot, raggedly torn (no, chewed) at the ankle twisting, still securely bound in the slip knot.
Edit: Now appearing in my collection With Sword And Pistol from Ragnarok Publications! http://www.amazon.com/Sword-Pistol-Edward-M-Erdelac-ebook/dp/B0140F624S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441037550&sr=8-1&keywords=with+sword+and+pistol