The sequel to Darkside.
Zombies--in Kingston? Okay, so there were always zombies in Kingston, but now they're antiquing?
While shopping for Drat's wedding gift, James and Leanne are drawn into a battle with a biker zombie at Ye Olde Antique Shoppe no doubt looking for that perfect knick knack to set off his crypt.
James and the gang are drawn deeper into mystery as they battle foes on a journey that will lead them from the Isle of Skye, home of Skatha--she who strikes fear--to the Cataraqui Town Centre, the largest shopping center in the greater Kingston area!
It's a journey that will force James to confront his own conscience as he struggles with his burgeoning powers, and the realization of just what it might mean to live forever. After all, being dead isn't nearly as much fun as it looks.
Don't you just hate it when people won't stay dead? I know that must make me sound like somewhat of a hypocrite, me being deceased and all, but at least I'm not one of those rotting, moldy corpse, fresh-from-the-grave-and-out-of-the-coffin, stumble-around- sucking-the-life-force-out-of-the-living type dead guys. Let's face it, zombies are a dime a dozen, and rock bottom of the social hierarchy, even among the Other Realm folk.
I, on the other hand, am an Eternal, one of only seven in existence. Of course you'd never know it to look at me. I'm just an average looking Joe, although I am pretty buff, and have minty fresh breath.
It's not like I'm a racist, either. Most of my friends are living-impaired. My girlfriend is a vampire-slash-faerie, and is possessed by the spirit of my dead fianc?e-- don't ask--and my dad and grandpa are both ghosts, and drop by occasionally to chat. Even my dog is dead, and is more of a nuisance than he was when he was alive. He just smells better now.
What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, things not staying dead.
It was a cold, clear November evening, and Leanne and I strolled down Princess Street, window-shopping. Neither of us really minded the cold much, but we bundled up in our coats and scarves anyway just to keep up appearances. There wasn't any snow yet, but then that's Kingston for you. It might be January before we saw snowfall, or there could be two feet of the stuff blanketing the city before morning.
We were looking for a wedding gift for Drat and Tirade. Believe me, that's not as easy as it sounds. I stopped in front of the window at Ikea. There was some kind of funky looking bed on display. At least I think it was a bed. Whatever it was, I'm sure it would have taken a team of NASA engineers to assemble it. Then again, given the kind of trouble they've been having lately they might have had a hard time, too.
I glanced over at Leanne for her opinion on the bed. She made a face and shook her head. My shoulders slumped in defeat--again. "What kind of wedding present do you give a troll chieftain and his bride to be?"
Leanne shrugged, and tucked a strand of her long, black hair back behind the mink earmuffs she didn't need. "The only thing I've ever seen Drat get all worked up over is food. That and a good fight. If we could come up with some way to feed him while he's fighting, I think he'd be in heaven."
I slipped my arm about Leanne's slender waist as we continued on down the street. "He's already got two of those beer hats," I told her.
"How about a small child?" Leanne suggested as we passed a day-care center. "Trolls consider them a delicacy."
She was kidding, of course. Not about trolls considering children a delicacy, but about offering one to Drat and Tirade. At least I'm pretty sure she was kidding. She is part vampire, after all.
A little old lady gave me a dirty look as she passed us by. I get that a lot when I'm with Leanne. She may be over a thousand years old, but she could pass for sixteen. She's got those huge, cobalt-blue eyes, and that porcelain-white skin, and full, pouty, crimson- red lips, even without lipstick. Leanne moves with the grace of a ballerina, and could probably get work as a cover model, if you could photograph her. She looks so helpless and vulnerable, but I've seen her toss Charlie on his ass. Charlie's an eight foot tall ogre, and weighs over seven hundred pounds.
I, on the other hand, am thirty-two years old, but I could pass for twenty-six. Too young to be her dad, and too old to be her boyfriend. I suppose I could make myself look younger--I've gotten pretty good at manipulating my own appearance--but I'm used to my face. Other than bulking up a bit, and growing back some of that hair that abandoned me, I still look pretty much the same as the day I died. Short dark hair, brown eyes, high cheekbones, thick lips, and an unintentionally stern look that only lets up when I smile.
"Do you smell something?" Leanne asked suddenly.
I took a big sniff and immediately gave myself the equivalent of an ice-cream headache. I clutched at my right eye as Leanne laughed, snorting in a rather unlady-like manner. She was right, though. There was something in the air. Something foul and rancid. Leanne pointed across the street and down a few stores to the Antique and Collectible Shoppe. A crowd seemed to have gathered out front.
I heard the wail of police sirens in the distance. "What do you think? Should we go stick our noses in where they don't belong?" I asked.
She grinned impishly. "Race ya," she said, and was gone. She waved at me from in front of the antique shop.
Vampires is speedy little suckers. Not that I'm pokey or anything--a split second later I stood beside her. "What's going on?" I asked some kid with green hair and wearing a leather Queen's University jacket.
"Some big biker's tearing the place apart," he said. "Apparently he walked in and just started tossing stuff around. Didn't even talk to the owner or nothing."
"The smell's coming from inside," Leanne told me. "Like something crawled in there and died."