“This place is strange. Humans full of warm blood, trapped behind cages. There’s enough here to last a long time, if he can only get to them. In the darkness he passes the next cell where the soft red glow of life emanates from the cot on which it lies. Its heart rate is slow and steady; its breathing even-paced and calm. It is sleeping, with its head close to the bars; reachable. Long claws resembling mutated human hands slowly reach into the cell. Starkly contrasted against the creature’s black and white vision, the red glow of blood pulsing through the jugular is mesmerizing and hypnotic. Grotesque fingers trembling with excitement pause just a moment to linger and bask in the heat emanating from the flesh. They hover just around the head, close to the skin, tingling in the electromagnetic aura that all living animals project. The monster’s nervous system can feel it. The creature wants it, to bathe in it, to wear it for its own; to feel alive again. When it can no longer resist the irresistible tug of life, long inhuman fingernails dig deep into the living flesh, gouging into the neck on opposite sides, penetrating vocal cords so there is no screaming. The human is hooked by the throat and quickly yanked up against the bars. Long sinewy arms hold it firm, and the feeding begins. Long fangs sink deep into the veins and arteries of the throat. The human struggles, its legs kick and arms swing to and fro; but there is no sound. The mouth has no voice, no throat left with which to scream. The only sounds are the slight rustling of the cot as the prey struggles, and the suckling transference of life. The bars are interfering, the feeding hard to complete, and in frustration the creature clamps its fists closed. Long claws tear through flesh and bone until decapitation occurs. A warm spray shoots from the jugular, bathing the monster in the warm elixir of life; a moment that becomes euphoric and orgasmic for it as the human head rolls across the cell floor.”
“Looming over him was a childhood nightmare. The sort of thing that hid in closets and under beds and waited for parents to leave their children alone in the dark. Now he was alone and in the dark, and the monster was upon him.”
The original Das Vampir story was something completely unplanned. It was just one of those sudden inspirational moments when a few unusual phrases popped into my head and I had to write them down before I forgot them. I had no intention of doing anything else with it, was never going to finish it, and I certainly had no plans to publish it. As I wrote down my thoughts, the words just kept coming, and the concept and the story just kept growing. Having seen other authors publish short stories, I decided to give it a shot, but didn’t really expect much to come from it.
The reaction I got from readers was so amazing, I decided to write more of them.
The Das Vampir books are short stories with a different perspective on vampires. The first words were sort of artsy, almost poetic sentences about the world from the vampire’s perspective. They tell of the loneliness of being undead, the fear of the sun, the hiding in nasty places, and the uncontrollable need to feed on the living. They are dark, old-school monster stories; more akin to Bram Stoker or Nosferatu than the glitzy ‘not-so-scary’ vampires so common today. The books also give the perspective of the victims as the monster hunts them down, creating two stories in one.
The first thoughts that began the series went something like this;
“He awoke again to a tortured mind, the slow realization of consciousness the pathway of escape from torturous dreams. Half asleep, half awake, half alive. His eyes remained closed as he searched inside his mind; to remember who he was, and who he had been long ago. He couldn’t remember anymore, but his dreams would always remind him. During his slumber the visions whirled through his mind, like they always did, bringing brief fleeting glimpses of a life long ago, of a time no longer here. He saw faces; the endless parade of unknown faces whose lives he had taken to prolong his own. So much time, so many years, so many lives. He saw in the faces the fear and the death, and as he slowly awoke from his sleep his dreams became more real, until he could smell the faces; until he could taste them. The sounds of screams and blood and death grew louder in his ears, until only awakening could make them stop. As consciousness swept over him the dreams would fade, to be replaced with another night’s reality, as it had done for an eternity.
His eyes opened slowly, unwillingly, as the nightmares in his mind subsided. From the small narrow gap in the cliff ledge, he could see the last rays of reddish glow from the horrid setting sun slipping in through the moss blowing back and forth over the entry to his sanctuary. The sun had searched and hunted for him throughout the day, as it had for hundreds of years, but hadn’t found him. The ocean breeze gently wafted into his place of hiding, carrying with it the smell of sea salt and distant rain. He was awake now, his state of being leaving one set of nightmares only to enter into another. The old familiar hunger was there, permeating every aspect of his being. The desire to feed consumed him, his nostrils flaring to sniff the air, searching for the scent of blood. It was now, as it was yesterday, as it would be tomorrow, that full consciousness was reached. It was now that the dreams completely faded, and he had no memory of who he was, of who he had been.
It was now that he entered the realm of the living, to make them dead.
He shuffled along on the damp wind-blown sand inside his resting place, and slipping out through the crack in the cliff wall, took flight, carried aloft on a stiff ocean breeze. Darkness was enveloping the world, challenged only by distant lightning escaping from a late season nor’easter. He moved with a silent gracefulness that contradicted his grotesque appearance; the centuries of a decaying existence decaying his very form. Far above the ocean he glided, smelling the air, scanning the horizon. In the distance, several twinkling lights bobbing up and down on the water indicated a vessel. A vessel meant people, and people meant life-giving blood. Although it wasn’t a life, really. It was existence. An existence of endless torturous dreams, separated by endless feeding; a cycle that repeated day after day, night after night, for eternity.
Leaning into the wind, he angled himself towards the vessel, towards the people, towards the scent of blood. Like a shark does in the water, he could smell blood in the air for miles; its intoxicating aroma stirring something primal and instinctive within him. Carried silently on ever strengthening air currents, hidden against the dark clouds of the growing storm, he drove intently towards his target; ready to take what he needed, without feeling, without concern, without caring. There was no choice to be made, no moral dilemma. There was only need, only hunger, as there had been for hundreds of years.”
Those words sat around for several months until I felt they shouldn’t just go wasted, so I took the original concept and just played out the next natural sequence of events. The result became a semi-poetic introspective from the vampire’s mind, and part action movie from the perspective of his victims.
My deepest gratitude goes out to all the people that gave me tremendously positive feedback. At the moment I plan to write six short Das Vampir tales, and then probably release them under a single cover as a collection of short stories.
~ Tom Reinhart
“Loneliness will sit over our roofs with brooding wings.” ~ Bram Stoker
“Das Vampir is a welcome throwback to the true essence of the vampire. Mr Reinhart’s vampire is a winner because it is a truly terrifying entity.”
“The author has a true gift of keeping the reader captivated. My heart raced through this whole book. Great read. I’m looking forward to the next book.”
“Loved this horrifying and gruesome read. Gave me goosebumps!!!”
“DAS VAMPIR is an excellent and rather retro treatment of the vampire legend that restores the eponymous monster to its horrifying roots. Rich, dark, and invested with a ruthless malevolence from the get go, author Tom Reinhart instills his short story with more horrific charm than any number of longer works. The human characters are quickly drawn but surprisingly well developed, and when the undead monster from the night descends upon them the suspense is nearly unbearable. A well-wrought tale that fans of real vampires–that is, the kind that don’t sparkle–should uniformly treasure.”
“I loved it! Very gut wrenching short story. It brings you to the primal state where the predator and the prey are standing. Very well done, I am out of words!”
“This was one of the more interesting books I’ve read in a while. A really exciting and action packed read.”
“Now, this is a vampire book. Not a teenage heartthrob, but a scary, evil, hungry monster who wants to rip your throat out!”
“Pretty great little novella. It was scary from the start and the ending had a great little twist….”
“Tom Reinhart has done a fantastic job of creating a very evil demon. I highly recommend this book to all vampire story fans. You will not be disappointed.”
“Killer short!! If you like horror shorts I highly recommend this! Looking forward to picking up the authors other works. You can tell this dudes probably going to hit the big time.”
“Tom Reinhart gives us vampires the way they were meant to be portrayed: soulless monsters with nary a sparkle among them! Highly recommended.”
“Tom Reinhart has done it again in creating a horrifying story that’s dark and twisted. His writing style transports you into the dark recesses of this tale and keeps you trapped until the bitter end. I highly recommend this vampiric tale but be forewarned; it will shake your soul down to its core.”
You can read the entire Das Vampir 2 Story HERE
I’m very happy to announce that the second Das Vampir story has been released, and is now available in Ebook and paperback at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and book retailers worldwide.
“A short horror story from the author of Saint Monolith and Judgment, Das Vampir is an exciting tale with a different perspective on vampires. It’s a dark and old school monster story; more akin to Bram Stoker or Nosferatu than the glitzy vampires so common today. It’s told from two perspectives: The vampire’s, with the loneliness of being undead, the fear of the sun, the hiding in nasty places, the uncontrollable need to feed on the living; and that of the victims, as they fall to a bloodthirsty predator.”
“DAS VAMPIR is an excellent and rather retro treatment of the vampire legend that restores the eponymous monster to its horrifying roots. Rich, dark, and invested with a ruthless malevolence from the get go, author Tom Reinhart instills his short story with more horrific charm than any number of longer works.”
There will be six Das Vampir tales in all. The first two are now available. Check them out, and stay inside after dark.
“The way you switch from present tense to past tense between the creature and the victims, that’s a brilliant idea. It makes you feel right there living as the monster, in the moment, yet keeps traditional storytelling for the rest. It works amazingly well. It creates just enough separation between the monster’s experience and the victims, while still keeping it all one cohesive story. People are going to study this in some “writing styles” class someday. It’s literary genius.”
Das Vampir 2. Releasing everywhere, any minute now. Sleep tight, and good luck. It’s a long way ’til dawn.