At the conclusion of “Vampire in the City of Crosses”, Daniel McKee is hunting in downtown Las Cruces when he sees a tough, young woman who looks like a tempting target. She proves to be a 500-year-old vampire on the prowl for her own lunch. Here is Mercedes Rodriguez as imagined by Steven Gilberts:
In the chapter “The Quality of Mercy”, Mercedes Rodriguez tells her story to a boy named Hunter Morgan:
About four hundred years ago I worked the land with my husband, a good but hard man. I suppose you could say he was a product of the land he was raised on. I met a dashing caballero from Spain named Rudolfo. He told me I was beautiful and he could make me live forever. I imagined him sweeping our family away from the hard life and taking us back to Europe. He smelled like flowers. I let him turn me into a vampire, which was a mistake.
A new vampire must feed right away. Without thinking I took the life of my sweet young boy, then my baby girl. Once I had done that, I was satisfied, but realized the horror of what I had done. They say La Llorona was mad and drowned her children. I didn’t drown my children. I tossed their bodies into the river to hide them. They say La Llorona killed herself. I was killed by a vampire named Rudolfo de Córdoba. I wasn’t swept away to a better life. I was cursed for all eternity.
La Llorona is a widespread legend in Mexico and the American Southwest of a weeping woman who drowned her children in order to be with the man she loved.
Ever since she destroyed her mortal family, Mercy has been trying to create a new family. When Hunter became an adult, she turned him into a vampire. She used the power of the cross to bring Daniel under her control so she could make him part of her family. Her dream is nearly torn asunder when a pair of vampire hunters arrive at the theater she calls home and kidnaps Hunter and his girlfriend.
Mercy isn’t one to take a threat laying down. When she wakes early and discovers the exterminators in the theater, she looks at Daniel and says, “Time to show your stuff.” The scene continues:
With that, she made for the stairs of the orchestra pit at a run, collapsing in on herself. In two bounds, she was on all fours as a jaguar.
Mercy is featured in Vampires of the Scarlet Order, available as:
- A Nook format ebook from Barnes and Noble.
- A Kindle format ebook from Amazon.com.
- A print book from Amazon.com.