Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things That Go Bump in the Night ...

When poking around on an SF database that listed most of my bibliography, I came across the short story list. One of these was "A Few Minutes in the Undead Hunter's Gunshop."

Sometimes people ask me how come I don't write vampire stories, or those featuring hot babes who hunt and kill vampires and other assorted monsters, but who are also in love with one of the undead.

Been there. Done that.

" ... Gunshop," published in the Dark Fantasy edition of Pulphouse (the hardback magazine), in the Fall of 1990, is a three-character short story.

The set-up for the tale: Cecil owns a gun shop in SoCal, at which he sells weapons for those who want to hunt supernatural creatures: vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, gnomes, water sprites ...

Alas, I don't have the story in e-form, and the back issues, if you can find them, start at around thirty-five bucks and go up. But I'll give you a flavor of the story:

The opening paragraph:

"Mary Ann was wiping stray grains of gunpowder from the reloading bench when the beach boy came into the shop. He looked about as at home here as a green lizard in a cherry snowcone. She shook her head. Cecil would have every dime the guy owned in ten minutes, tops. The kid might as well have a big neon sign flashing 'Sucker!' over his head. He was too Redondo Beach to be way out here in the Valley. Encino was cruel to his kind."

Or a bit later:

"Mary Ann wanted to moan. Troy. Of course. A volleyball-playing beach muffin who wanted to go out at night and hunt the undead. Troy. Jesus."

And since you probably won't find it, the spoiler, in which Troy turns out to be more than he pretends to be:

"'Jesus!' Cecil said. He started pulling the trigger again and again, the little red dot of the laser still centered on Troy's heart. The gun ran dry after five more shots. Mary Ann saw the holes punch into the sweater, saw the cloth dust and little shreds of it fly every which way. Dead, really dead.

"Her ears hurt, ringing to drown out everything else. He was still standing. How could he–?

"Troy reached up and ripped the sweater apart with his clawed hands, revealing a vest of dark gray material under it. Mary Ann recognized it immediately. Cecil wore one like it sometimes when he went out hunting."

"Kevlar," Troy said. He laughed."

A Valley boy vampire who wears Kevlar to stop wooden-cross-tipped bullets.

I got your Twilight right here ...


heina said...

Hehe, fun twist.

There's a lot of suspension of disbelief you don't want to think about with regards supernatural heroes and villains, as it ruins it.

I always loved the scene in one of the Blade movies where the younger (and that's a relative term with regards vampires) generation figures out that good suntan lotion and biker helmets allow them to walk around in the day.

As much as Highlander is a guilty pleasure, I could just never get past the idea that 1000 year old immortals couldn't figure out to "hit him with a .50 cal a few times", then walk over and slice off his head while he's healing.

Kevlar and wooden bullets. Win!

Dan Moran said...

Encino is girlyman land. The gun shops are in Reseda, Van Nuys, North Hollywood ... :-)

Steve Perry said...

That's the pansy gun shops -- not the ones for the undead hunters.