Marcella DuBois was first introduced in the chapbook “Bat Flight South of Roswell” released by Anxiety Publications in January 2002. It was a story inspired by a visit to the UFO museum at Roswell, New Mexico. I was struck by how much stories of alien abduction resembled older tales of vampire attacks. The story was reworked extensively and became the chapter “Incident South of Roswell” that appears in Vampires of the Scarlet Order. In this montage, we see Marcella as envisioned by artists Steven Gilberts and Nick Johns:
In “Incident South of Roswell,” Christopher Garrett is taking a vacation at Carlsbad Caverns when the following happens to him:
Outside the amphitheater, on the trail back to the parking lot, I walked along looking up at the stars. Again, a bat buzzed me. I looked in the direction it flew and wondered if it was the same one that had divebombed us back in the amphitheater. Just then, I was shoved into the mesquite bushes lining the trail. Something pinched, or more like, stabbed the side of my neck. Disoriented as I was, I thought I must have been knocked into a Spanish Dagger Bush. Someone lifted me slightly. The stabbing sensation intensified and my head began to spin. My neck wouldn’t move. I turned my eyes and caught sight of black, spiky hair framing a pale forehead.
With an effort, I was able to turn my head and look into the unnaturally bright green eyes of a pale woman as she lifted her head from my neck. A thin line of blood trickled down her delicate chin. She gazed into my eyes and I began to feel numb. The woman opened her mouth to speak, revealing a hint of a fang, when something pulled her attention away from me. I managed to turn my head away from the green-eyed woman.
Christopher has, of course, just met Marcella. His life gets even stranger when he sees what distracted her:
Two bald, human-like creatures with pale, almost gray skin made their way through the brush like crabs scuttling across the ocean floor. Their eyes were solid black and bulged slightly glistening in the moonlight like rats’ eyes. The woman vanished and all I could feel was a strange scrabbling sensation around my chest, as though some small animal was crawling into my shirt pocket. I raised my arm to brush the animal away when one of the gray creatures leveled a weapon at me. An electric shock set my teeth rattling. My eyes rolled back and I fell asleep on the cold, hard ground.
Marcella tells the story of her origin as a vampire in the story “Pat, Marcella, and the Kid” which first appeared in Night to Dawn Magazine in 2002 and was adapted into a chapter in Vampires of the Scarlet Order.
It was early evening. A chill mist clung to the vines that hung low from the trees. I trudged through the swamp, a rude sucking pop sounding each time I lifted my feet. My body, once that of a sturdy Acadian woman was now a pitiful sight. Translucent skin barely clung to my bones. The blood in my veins was a weak rivulet that struggled, as I did, just to survive. My life as a vampire was off to a really bad start. You might even say it sucked.
Sorry, I try not to descend into puns, but I deserve some slack. Those early days are painful to remember. The year was 1874 and I’d been in the swamp for about four months with no blood other than what I could get from the occasional snake or swamp rat. I was simply too weak to try to drink the blood of one of the many alligators that were all around me. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that the August before that dreadful night, I was a respectable schoolteacher in Bayou Sorrel, Louisiana. Late one afternoon, I’d gone to the schoolhouse to read up on things and straighten up my classroom before the students arrived for the fall. Time got away from me and it was dark by the time I got hungry and decided to head for home. As I locked the schoolhouse, I noticed a tall, thin man in a
red smoking jacket leaned up against the building. A pencil-thin mustache framed his easy smile.
The tall thin man proves to be one of the founders of the Scarlet Order. We’ll learn more about him in the next installment.
Marcella 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.