By Richard Laymon
In an deserted inn in a California ghost city, horror author Larry and his acquaintances make a chilling discovery. unintentionally they stumble throughout a unadorned lady in a coffin with a stake pushed via her center. was once she a vampire or the sufferer of a grotesque homicide?
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The waiting was the worst part. Knowing what was to come. The legends, he’d learned, were not to be trusted. The legends were wrong in so many ways. Vampires slept in beds, not coffins—a clever ruse to fool the unknowing. And although daylight sapped their powers, it did not render them helpless. Even after dawn they could wake from their sleep of the dead. They could fight him, hurt him. He rubbed his cheek. His fingers trembled along crusty ridges of scab. She’d had sharp fingernails, the one in Ur-bana.
God, I used to love that one,” Jean said. “Sounds like it’s mostly shit-kicker stuff,” Pete said. “Well, here’s the Beatles. ” “Oh, they were good,” Barbara said. “This one’s ‘California Dreaming,’ ” Larry told her. ” Larry grinned. ’ Johnny Horton. Man, I must’ve been in junior high. ” “There’s Haley Mills,” Jean said, her breath stirring the hair above Larry’s ear. ‘ ” “Now we’re talking,” Pete said. “Dennis Wilson, too,” Barbara said. “So many of those people are dead. Mama Cass, Elvis, Lennon.
He probably could, Larry thought. The guy’s house was a museum of resurrected junk: televisions, stereo components, a toaster oven, lamps, a dishwasher and vacuum cleaner, all once disgarded as useless, picked up by Pete and restored to working order. ” Its chrome trim was dented and rusty, one side of the cabinet was smashed in, the speaker grills looked as if they’d been hit by shotgun blasts, and bullets had torn away at least half the square plastic buttons used for selecting tunes. “You probably can’t even get replacement parts for a lot of this stuff,” he added.