Redshirt Yourself and Get ConSensual Free

In celebration of Consensual’s release Real Soon Now, I have a competition.

Write a short – 2 paragraphs max – description of how you’d like to be redshirted in the Con vampire universe. Anything entered before midnight US Eastern Standard Time on Saturday 30th June will be eligible. The five suggestions that amuse me the most will be used in the next con Vampire book, and their creators will receive a free copy of ConSensual.

The legal-ish stuff: sorry, but you can’t re-use anything unless you file the serial numbers off well enough that it’s not obvious where it started. No re-using any of my characters, either. If you’re one of the lucky soon-to-be-deceased, I reserve the right to mangle your name and description beyond recognition or not as the whim takes me. I offer no guarantees on whether your death will be central or minor. No getting nasty and suing, either (yeah, I know, but I’ve got to at least say it). Oh, yes, and the lucky (?) winners are totally my discretion.

You don’t need to narrate your demise, just give me a scenario and who you are, like “Kate Paulk, wannabe author found in three separate stalls in the Ladies room, and under the sink, wearing only a big smile”. (Oops. That should have had an ick alert. Sorry).

Naturally a big thank you goes to Amanda and the rest of the folks at NRP for letting me do this.

And now, a celebration snippet from ConSensual, more or less random and hopefully not spoilery.

==== SNIPPET! ====

He had courage, I’ll give him that. It takes balls to turn your back on a much older vampire when you’re not exactly sure how friendly said older vampire might be.

B-movies notwithstanding, vampires don’t usually have a preference for nubile virgins — which is just as well, given that there’s a shortage of that particular subset of humanity these days — or for the hug and bite, especially when we’re fighting our own kind. If it’s a fight, biting from behind is better, because that gives the bitee no way to return the favor. It’s a tactical thing.

Drake moved past the cluster of smokers feeding their nicotine addictions to a quieter, darker space in the driveway. This close, I could taste the man’s anger. It was a slow, cold boil, and it wasn’t directed at me.

“He’s after you.” Drake spoke as though every word offended him. “You irritated him.”

The question was whether this was a warning delivered on the elder’s behalf, or whether Drake had chosen to defy his creator. The latter meant the elder hadn’t taken control, but not necessarily that he couldn’t. I wasn’t prepared to bet either way, not with Drake as the supposed subordinate in the matter.

“Good.” It’s not exactly wise, challenging a vampire of unknown age and strength. I was past caring. This bastard had done more than just irritate me. “Maybe next time he’ll teach his babies better table manners.”

25 thoughts on “Redshirt Yourself and Get ConSensual Free

  1. Travis Letteer, wreck on a bicycle, go over the handle bars and land on one of those ornamental wrought iron fences with pointy tops to impale someone in multiple places.
    The bike wreck could be caused by any number of things, hit a dogon a leash/lightpole/kids remote control car; or of course something supernatural pertaining to the story.

    1. Heh. I used to ride as a kid, and my most spectacular fall included a loose saddle and a pony who suddenly stopped and pulled his head down, while yours truly hang on to the reins tightly. Well, the saddle slipped forward and I flew over his head and, literally, landed on the top of my head, and then, falling down from that position got a mouth full of horse shit in the process as there happened to be a pile right there.

      Do there happen to be any horses included in the story?

        1. Kate, this is obviously a failed heroic rescue. Cavalry analog and all. The Intrepid Heroes send one of their ancillary characters out to fetch [useful item], with a strict deadline after which the mission will be rendered pointless. Impediments impede, and he ultimately feels compelled to swipe a mountie’s mount (or unhitch the dray from a Central Park hansom, etc.) in order to meet the deadline …

          1. Or there is a park nearby where it is possible to rent horses, and one of the happy riders ends with a spooked horse?

            Okay, not likely even a hysterical horse would run inside a hotel. Just outside the front doors, maybe.

            Hmm. Slips inside a hotel room, right in front of an open window, falls down head first, gets impaled by that same ornamental iron fence which killed the intrepid biker, head first, possibly a pile of dog shit is involved at some point…

            1. Oh, I can find a way – it will just take some serious twisting of reality. Maybe the local reenactor group is running a jousting tournament on the hotel grounds. Or there’s a park next door with buggy rides.

              The fun will be in weaving the winners into the story.

  2. I pushed the button on the fob. Then I heard a sound behind me. I turned to see the vampire. Instantly it had me in its thrall. I could not move to run. Or to push the button.

    It bared its fangs and drove them into my neck. I felt life draining away when the timer in the fob activated. The click of the igniter broke the vampire’s concentration freeing me. With my last strength I seized the vampire in a bear hug as the primary explosive filled the room with a gasoline aerosol. It shape-shifted into a mist, escaping my grasp, but too late to escape the fuel-air explosion.

  3. “But why is this one’s head missing?”

    “Don’t you realize whose body that is? I don’t even want to THINK about what would happen if one of the zombies got a taste of HIS brain …”

  4. Um…

    I’m the volunteer coordinator for our con (honest I really am) and I’d like to be red shirted after being accidentally (or not) locked in the dealer room after it closes (no cell signal dead zone). No one can hear pounding on the walls because the band Tentacle Craft (real band, never heard them play) is on in the venue next door. I’m not killed by a vampire, rather one of the dealers has an empty (supposedly) carved and inlaid box that I happen to knock onto the floor. Weird stuff happens and in my terror I try to force my way out between/around the solid but movable room divider panels and get stuck in the pocket in the wall that they fold into when opened.

    Someone breaks into the dealer room during the noise of the band (possibly to steal the box) by splitting one of the panel joints and pushing them into the pocket, squishing me dead.


    The dealer room is locked before dark? The box contains a vampire killer?

    OH OH!!! The box contains a *virus* so all the vampires catch Con-Crud.

    1. Oh, okay, the motivations out of it; Julie Pascal, volunteer coordinator, mysteriously found squashed in the pocket that the room divider panels are pushed into between the dealer room and programming venue three.

  5. “Oooolala, look at that pile of goodies!”
    “Don’t even think about it, Pam.”
    “Why’d you put the chocolate on the bottom?”
    The step pyramid of various candies was a masterpiece. “To keep you out of it. The published paid a mint for this display and you will not touch it until one hour after the reception has started. Got that, Miss?”
    The girl sighed. Loudly.
    “Oh sure _now_ you’re all buff and pretty, spend hours a day on your bicycle. But of you don’t get that chocoholism under control you’ll look like a blimp by the time you’re forty.”
    “Forty?” She sounded like she couldn’t comprehend be9ing that old, herself. “Maybe just one, to tide me over? They won’t notice one missing.”
    “Unless it all falls down.”
    She circled the table. “What about that lump on top?”
    “_That_ is very special chocolate from Madagascar. The Publisher’s top writer loves it. And it’s not a lump. It’s molded into a pineapple.”
    She circled again. I saw the flash of a sleeve, and leaped aroundf the table. “What did you do?”
    She took a finger out of her mouth. “One of the little angley things was loose.” Her nose wrinkled. “I don’t think it’s so special . . . ” Her eyes rolled back and she collapsed face first into the pyramid. Decorated cakes and canies flew everywhere.
    I screeched in horror and hauled her roughly back . . . limp, eyes vacant, chocolate foam on her lips . . . and quite dead.

  6. I stumbled over the last step. Looking around, I could see people fleeing in a blind panic, some running over anything – and everyone – who stood in their way, while others were trying to get as far away as they could. It was pandemonium.

    “Sir, your shoes are untied,” a small, quiet voice said from near my elbow. I looked down and frowned. A small child, a girl, stood next to me, her eyes looking up at mine insistently. My gaze continued down and, sure enough, my shoelaces had come undone. I looked back up at the sky, tracking the massive airship and calculating the rate of descent in my mind.

    “That’s nice, kid,” I said and pushed the girl aside. The airship would land on me if I stopped to tie my shoes. I had to run, had to escape.

    I managed to run a few more steps before something caught my feet, causing me to stumble. I tripped and the ground rushed up to meet my face. I barely managed to get my hands up before my nose smashed into the concrete, blinding me and causing blood to gush out from a very painful broken nose. I rolled onto my back and looked up.

    Sure enough, the airship was dropping at an even faster rate. There was no way I could escape, not with blurred vision and blood running down my face. I happened to glance down at my shoes and saw what had tripped me.

    “Stoobid shoelaces…” I muttered.

  7. You would have thought the ‘Danger! High Voltage!’ signs would have given him a clue. Or maybe the chain link fence topped with barbed wire. Or conceivably the angry hum of the 765kV transmission lines could have hinted that getting close was a no-no. The random crispy critters lying on the ground in the power substation would certainly have clued me in, if I hadn’t already known this was suicide. But, The Master ignored these warnings as Defeatist Thinking for lesser beings and swept on into the small cinder brick building in the center of the substation.

    I, one of the afore mentioned lesser beings, probably could have said something, but The Master had already made abundantly clear that Defeatist Thinking will not be tolerated among his Minions. The Master was a great believer in how Attitude Defines the Environment and has lectured me at great length on the subject. Incessantly. So, I muttered a resigned “Positive Thoughts” to myself and hauled The Master’s coffin in behind him.

    The Master surveyed the three large transformers in the room and gestured to the one furthest from the door. “Remove that. I will rest there for the time being.”

    Even the bone-deep buzz coming from the transformer wasn’t enough to reduce the enthrallment The Master had put upon me this morning. All I could do was try to Think Positively as my traitorous legs walked me to my death. “Positive Thoughts. Positive Thoughts. Positive Thoughts. Posszz” zzz -POP-.

    Baron Ludwig von Bernhardt looked at the smoldering remains of his Minion and sighed. These decadent times have bred a lot of Weakness of Thought into humanity. Fortunately, before he had expired, his Minion had mentioned a large gathering of people near by. Perhaps he will find more suitable material at this ‘Con’. Whatever that was.

    1. When the electricity hits the Minion it will arc generating a bright flash of light. I’ve confirmed that arc-lights generated intense UV rays. UV radiation is the primary distinction between artificial light and sunlight. Ergo, the flash of the immolating Minion will create a vampire-toxic environment. I can thus imagine the Baron NOT surviving the Minion’s electrocution. (I’ve killed two vampires using ’70s-style black-lights.)

      1. I imagined the Minion picking up the transformer at the terminals, negating the need for arcing. Reading my post over, it’s too bad I didn’t actually say that. Oh well, blame it on inexperience.

  8. They were little dust-catchers, made up of thousands of grains of rice. They were almost cute if you squinted at them right. Some were of dragons, some were of fairies with filigree rice wings; all had been carefully epoxied together and were hard as rocks.

    Which was a shame for Jean Pinscher. If they’d been a bit more fragile she might not have died choking on the bone dragon someone had shoved down her throat.

    (For those who didn’t get it… knick-knack paddy whack… give a dog a bone.)

  9. When I walked into the room, I was surprised to see Mike’s face looking almost relaxed, draped on the bedspread surrounded by the Japanese students that he had brought to America to enjoy the con. Even though his blood seemed to have sprayed across all the students and their belongings when they pulled him apart under the compulsion of the ancient vampire, several of them persisted in taking pictures of him, each other, the room, and everything else that they saw.

    There was a bag from the Chinese takeout around the corner on the table, and the paper covers for chopsticks from the store lay in several places in the room. Who would have believed that anyone could do that much damage with disposable chopsticks? They had dropped one of his hands at the end of the bed, and when I pried the fingers open, there was a fortune cookie crumbled in his palm. I pulled the slip of paper out and straightened it out. Clearly he hadn’t had time to read it, because it simply advised, “Avoid nitpicking.”

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