From They Thirst—A Vampire Novel by Robert McCammon, 1981

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Art by Rowena.

“In the doorway, framed against a bleached sky and the purple teeth of the distant mountain ranges, Papa had turned his gaze upon his wife and had uttered three softly spoken words. They were indistinct, but the boy caught them, his heart beating around a dark uneasiness…Papa had said, ‘Watch my shadow.’ When he stepped out, a whine of November wind filled the place he’d left. Mama stood at the threshold, snow blowing into her long dark hair, aging her moment by moment. Her eyes were fixed on the wagon as the two men urged the horses along the cobbled path that would take them to the others. She stood there for a long time, face gaunt against the false white purity of the world beyond that door. When the wagon had lumbered out of sight, she turned away, closed the door, and bolted it…It was three days since he had gone. Now demons laughed and danced in the fire, and some terrible, intangible thing had entered the house to sit in the empty chair before the hearth, to sit between the boy and woman at their evening meals, to follow them around like a gust of black ash blown by an errant wind.”

from They Thirst by Robert McCammon

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