Vampire of the New World
Vampire of the New World
Author: Endeavour

Prologue 1898

The derelict boat bobbed up and down with the waves as it moved across the dark ocean. It listed to starboard as it continued to take in water, every moment bringing it closer to sinking. There were no visible crew onboard and the boat appeared to have been long abandoned. Its faded paint and missing beams revealed that it had been in the water for a long time and had not docked for repairs.

As the tide receded, the boat settled on the coral stones. Wood and metal groaned and creaked with the weight of the boat, its hull threatening to break. Waves continued to batter it with strong blows that gradually weakened with the ebbing tide.

Two men walked from behind the rocks towards the shore carrying containers filled with water and some fruits. They resembled each other, but the older man had graying hair and his sunburnt face was heavily wrinkled due to age and exposure to the elements. Both men were wearing thin shirts that barely protected them from the sun and wind. The younger man stopped in his tracks upon seeing the grounded boat and set down the water container he was carrying. He removed the straw hat from his head and used it to fan himself as he looked at the boat with interest. The older man merely glanced at the boat and continued to walk past his companion without saying a word. Feeling the rush of air as the older man passed behind him, the younger man replaced his hat, lifted his water container, and followed the older man.

After walking silently for a few minutes on the rocky beach, the two men finally reached the edge of the water and started wading towards their own boat - an outrigger with a rectangular sail. A boy sitting in the outrigger was playing with seashells when he noticed the two men walking towards him.  He dropped the seashells he was playing with and jumped up and down excitedly, waving his hand while pointing at the grounded boat.

"Look! There's a boat that got grounded!” The boy shouted, the excitement evident in his voice. 

The older man did not respond while his younger companion followed the boy’s finger and gazed briefly at the grounded boat.

“Can we board it, grandfather?" the boy’s eyes widened as he asked the older man who ignored his question. "Maybe there's treasure on board. Maybe we can find something precious we can take home to mother.” The boy tried to get his grandfather’s attention and pointed at the abandoned boat.

"Stop pointing your finger at it!” The old man admonished the boy who quickly lowered his hand. “You know it's bad luck to take anything from an abandoned boat. Who knows where that boat had been. The dead crew may still be inside and their ghosts will haunt us until we get into some disaster ourselves," said the old man as he set down the bunch of bananas he was carrying beside a water container.

The old man's companion from the shore spoke as he gazed at the derelict boat. "You said it yourself that the crew could be dead. What if we just take a look to find out who they were and who the boat belongs to? We may be rewarded for reporting this to the governor."

The old man's face softened as he said, "No harm, I guess, if you just look." Then, with a stern tone, he quickly added, "But don't you take anything from it. If that boat is cursed, I don't want you bringing anything to the house that will give bad luck to your whole family." 

The old man averted his gaze from the abandoned boat and saw the torn sail of their own boat flapping in the wind, the old man turned to the boy and asked, "Didn't I tell you to fix that sail?"

"I've replaced the ropes and tied the knots as you taught me, but I don't know how to sew the sail," said the boy while looking at his feet, his voice wavering.

"That's what you get for leaving this work to your son," the old man admonished the boy's father. "I'll fix this. The two of you can go and board that boat."

The old man turned to the sail and proceeded to tie it properly. Without wasting any time, the boy jumped into the knee-deep water and waded towards the stranded boat. He got there after only a few minutes and immediately climbed aboard using a rope that dangled to the side. 

"Careful!" the father shouted to his son, but the latter had already reached the deck and disappeared from view. The father grunted as he used loose boards on the side of the boat as footholds and lifted himself up using the same rope his son used. Soon, he was able to climb to the deck and found the boy waiting for him.

"Nothing on deck!" reported the boy after a quick look around. "I'll look in the cabins below,” he said and ran towards the door leading to the lower cabin without waiting for his father’s reply.

The father made a quick scan of the deck, but like his son, did not find anything of value. He went towards the aft side of the boat and saw ropes tied to the rusted railing. Along the side, he could barely make out some letters scratched on the wood: A Y U D E M E

Instinctively, his eyes followed the rope that led to a corner that was partly hidden from view. What he saw caused him to gasp in shock. Tied to the end of the rope were the remains of a man in the early stages of decomposition. Its sunken eyes stared at him and its mouth was wide open as if to scream.

A big wave reached the side of the boat and it lurched to the side, catching the father of the boy off balance. He held on to the side rails to stop himself from being thrown overboard then went after his son, shouting the boy's name as he did so.

The door to the lower cabin through which the boy entered was partly open and the father opened it wider to get inside. He descended a few steps and saw a dim room lit by just a weak ray of sunlight streaming in from the top window.

The boy turned his head and saw his father entering the cabin. "What do you think these are?" asked the boy as he kicked the wooden crates that were piled on the floor. He lifted the cover of the crate closest to him to peer inside. "Looks like sand or something," he said.

The father counted nine crates. He tried opening the other crates, but these were nailed shut. He was looking around to find a suitable tool to open the crates when he saw a closed door leading to an inner cabin. He walked towards it and tried the knob. The door was unlocked. He opened the door, but had to quickly cover his nose as the odor of rotting flesh filled his nostrils. He took out a match and lit it to see inside the dark room.

The room was briefly filled with light, but it was quickly extinguished as the father of the boy let go of the match in shock at what he saw. There were two more dead men inside the cabin, with sunken eyes and mouths wide open in an eternal scream. Like the remains on deck, their hands were tied with thick rope.

With a gasp, the man quickly closed the door and turned to his son. To his horror, he found his son lifted a few feet off the floor, head bent to the side with glazed eyes looking upwards. Behind his son were two glowing eyes that seemed like pinpoints of red light coming from a dark figure that was holding his son high in the air.

In panic, the father rushed towards his son and tried to attack the dark shape, but he felt a strong force that threw him backwards across the room. Dazed, the father held a hand to the back of his head and felt excruciating pain from his back as he struggled to stand up. He saw his son being lifted higher and thrown to the side like a rag doll.

Then, the dark figure stepped into the light. It looked like an old man, but with grotesque features that could only be described as inhuman. The father of the boy struggled once more to get up and was able to crawl to the door leading to the deck. The door burst open and he pushed himself to crawl out. Behind him, the dark figure approached, its eyes a brighter red. Just as the father of the boy was stepping out into the light, he was yanked violently backwards and the door was shut as his muffled cries were drowned by the wind and the waves.

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
Great start! Looks like this is going to be good read!

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