Vanessa Knipe

A Chronicle of the Staff and Students of

The Theological College


St. Van Helsing

Excerpt only




Vanessa Knipe

A Chronicle of the Staff and Students of

The Theological College of

St. Van Helsing

Copyright 2008 by Vanessa Knipe, all rights reserved. No portion of this novel may be duplicated, transmitted, or stored in any form without the express written permission of the publisher.

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and locations are fictitious or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or people is coincidental.


November 2008

ISBN: 978-1-60215-089-8


'From Ghasties, and Ghoulies, and Long-Leggit Beasties…'

Excerpt Only

On the television screen, the News camera displayed the yew trees dripping, with late summer rain. The stone church guarded the left of the picture and at the open church gate stood an ambulance and two police cars with blue lights strobe over the scene.

The full moon shines down on where something has been digging at the newly filled grave. Dunkley surveys the claw marks. Hefting his wolfspear, he feels a moment's relief--they tell him that the infestation is new. The creature is hungry, but has not--yet--learnt to hunt.

Two wolfhounds snuffle at the scrapes. Calmly, Dunkley checks around him. The yew trees cast shadows that shift in the breeze. Lit from inside by the glorious moon, luminescent clouds drift across the sky. Pure white, like the white coating on the blade of the wolfspear.

The night is not cold, but he turns up the collar on his biker jacket and zips it over his throat. He lifts a bottle from his pocket. It looks like an ordinary drinking bottle, but he uses it to squirt nearly a complete circle near the grave. A pinch of salt and a bishop's blessing make this water holy: salty, like the compassionate tears of a Savior.

From his side, Rory growls.

Dunkley turns sharply, his long plait of hair swinging out, his wolfspear at the ready. A large manwolf hurls from the cover of the yew trees.

Snarling, Ross charges the beast while Rory crouches, ready at his master's side.

The creature leaps over the dogs and straight at Dunkley.

He ducks down, the wolfspear raised.

The creature sees the spear. Twisting and frantically lashing its tail, it tries to change direction mid air. The tip of the spear catches the creature's inner thigh.

It howls in pain, a long aching note not heard in Britain for four hundred years. The creature cuts and runs. Clearly visible in the quiet, midnight light, it leaps over the church wall.

Calling his dogs, Dunkley follows. One hand braced on the top, he vaults the wall. His boots beat down on the tarmac road as the moon glints off the white spear tip.

Silver may be traditional, but there is a better catalyst, which is why Dunkley always edges his wolfspears in platinum.

* * * * The hammer clangs on the hot metal. The red light from the firebox drowns the daylight coming in through the open door. With arms bare in the heat of the forge, Dunkley brings down the first blow, the telling blow that will show him if the metal will produce the temper he looks for in a blade.

* * * *

The cold moon glares down, her hawk-bright eye on the creature running through the village. The houses, friendly cottages in the sun's warm, forgiving light, at night loom over a street plunged into shadow by the moon's stark, black and white beliefs of right and wrong.

Her pure light exposing the affront to nature, she lights the trail for Dunkley.

Rory and Ross alternate between running ahead to sniff the path and trotting close, ready to protect their master. A slow jog, Dunkley puts one foot in front of the other. This could be a long run.

* * * *

Raw from the fire, the red-hot bar flattens under repeated blows. His arm holds to the steady rhythm needed to create a true blade. For strength and springiness, he folds a bar of carbon steel into the center of the wrought iron and seals it inside with hammer blows.

* * * *

The others tell him to use a gun, that the chase is unkind. What they mean is that they do not wish to put themselves to the trouble of chasing. Dunkley knows that the silver bullet in a gun kills the body host as well as the wolf demon. If there is the smallest chance to save the person who was infested, he must take that chance, whatever the danger to himself.

* * * *

The flattened bar has cooled and he stokes the fire in his furnace.

The bellows blow the glowing coals brighter.

Carefully, he chooses the place into which to thrust his metal again.

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