The link to purchase the full story on amazon…
Also available is the collection now available in paper back or ebook format! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coryburn-Girls-Collection-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B06Y5Y5KXF/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
The first few chapters as a taster just for you
It was but a day and night that had passed by, time trickling like sand in a timer. Dusk was returning to the town that had been so eerily quiet for most of the day. Kayetelynn and Annabella had been laid slumped against the walls of their bedroom, unmoving and unconscious. In the middle of the room, a heavy wooden box with the most curious carvings, sat playing host to the gloriously impressive, blood diamond that had been stolen, many times over history and twice by the two girls rendered motionless.
Chrystyne and Eustace each sat patiently on their daughter’s beds. Waiting, watching Kayetelynn and Annabella slowly begin to rise, lifting the fog from the haze of unconsciousness. Aching and confused the girls struggled to find their bearings in the dim room.
Eustace was the first to speak; he was cool, calm and calculated, his voice trickled slowly as he spoke; “What did you do?”
The internal cringe, the knowing there was no way to hide this mistake or make it a secret.
Kayetelynn was unsure, she shrugged before she pulled herself unsteadily to her feet, the once blood soaked bandage fell from her hand, landing on the floor crumpled, stark bright white against the opulent rug at her feet. Annabella swallowed slowly staring at the unravelling bandage, pulling it away gently, to reveal scarred palms and fingertips. Her eyes drifted through her foggy memory back to the box.
Staring at the diamond and box as though somehow she could accuse it of this strange feeling that was sweeping over her in her consciousness; Annabella felt strong, much stronger than she had ever felt before. Her parents could see the scars, it was then that their parents truly began to understand, a cold panic swept them. Even their usual pale features seemed to some how become a brilliant white. Both Chrystyne and Eustace ran from the room in a panic running to the basement that had remained locked for years. Unsure of what to do Kayetelynn and Annabella ran after their parents.
Down in the dusty basement Annabella and Kayetelynn stared curiously at their parents sighing relieved in front of a mirror. The mirror, heavy, ornate and beautiful, showed only the image of the room, and not the four breathless occupants ignoring the piles and layers of dust that swept across the room.
In one swift motion Chrystyne’s hand came down on Annabella’s cheek; reprimanding her for putting them all at risk. Bewildered Annabella and Kayetelynn were directed back to their room rather aggressively. The relief had left Chrystyne as soon as a reality had settled back in.
Chrystyne lifted the diamond from the box. Finally ready to explain. “This, this saved our bloodline, by stealing your own blood.” Kayetelynn and Annabella looked on bemused. Eustace grumbled, adjusting himself before he began to speak. “The blood diamond absorbed your blood, did it not? I asked a question.” Kayetelynn nodded, he continued, “The box is but an old Nosferatu legend. It is believed to be a destroyer and a maker of our very existence. By taking your blood, it saved our most direct bloodlines, now the purest of the pure. But in preserving ours, it has destroyed many others. Half fangs, they are now what they once were, it will have undone them. And we are in danger.”
Their father seemed weaker, like he had the weight of the world upon him, now wrapped in a shroud of concern and worry.
“If as you say, that the stone has undone them, am I wrong in presuming they survive?”
“There will be a tide of hell unleashed, desperate hell. Annabella what have you done?”
Annabella struggled to reply, unsure of how they knew that this had all been down to her, like somehow this had all been intentional, “I only did as the dream dictated.”
This did nothing to sooth her parents. “Tonight we must leave here. Tonight you will go to London and us to the boarder just as we planned.” Eustace left the room to summon the coachmen and carriages. In haste he loaded their luggage to leave ahead of the girls.
“You will meet the luggage in London, and you will need this.” He handed Annabella a sealed envelope. “These instructions will help you when we cannot.” His last words sounded uncharacteristic of his normal manner, they were heavy and sorrowful. Perhaps more that he was forced to bid farewell too soon; in conditions that he would in time break his heart, as though he knew the fates before them. The myths that had been created to the legends of the stone and box, in old stories that had been passed to generations as bed time tales.
“There will be a fall out; there will be a time that half fangs will know no other way. Their very existence as it had been all these years has become them, their last shred of identity in our existence; they will be unwilling to go back to what they once were. Mortal lives will pain them. Be wary of their clumsy pursuits.”
Kayetelynn nodded and hugged Chrystyne, “for the dead, we travel fast, my dears be at speed.”
Kayetelynn and Annabella said one last goodbye before setting themselves into a carriage made of the darkest wood and most decadent of fabrics. They sat restless as the wheels began to creak and bounce at speed against the old cobble stone roads.
An older man heaved open the lock on the front door dragging a heavy wooden chest into the foyer with a young man pushing from behind shoving the box further inside with four large heavy chests yet to be brought inside. The younger mans attention was beginning to waver; soon his curiosity had become focused on the content of the boxes. The older man, obviously greying was disinterested, disgruntled by his nephew, sandy haired and mischievous. He had been cursing his sister for making him bring the nephew on this particular job.
Now with the slightly lighter boxes being brought in the young man let his curiosity grow still. His master and uncle warned him that he must “leave well alone, who knows what would be unleashed from the Pandora’s box.” The young man laughed unaware that they were being watched fiercely from the shadows.
“I’ll take my chances” the young man laughed as he reached for the latch on the nearest box. A voice emerged from the shadows, echoing throughout the empty house. “Respect your master child and leave, now.” Neither wishing to challenge the shadows or the darkness of the house the men took their fright, they turned on their heels and ran unwillingly. They had heard stories of disembodied voices and demands, and the horrors that are unleashed upon those who did not head warnings. The owner of the voice laughed to the shadows about the house, Kayetelynn slammed the door shut counting all their boxes had arrived unscathed.
Taking the lightest chests with them they walked off to discover their bedrooms, finding everything decorated and prepared for them. “You can tell this is mother’s doing
“Well as nice as that is, I am sure making our own stamp here will do no harm.” Annabella veered off and into a room filled with books and papers that lined the nearest wall. Perfectly designed with Annabella in mind.
Kayetelynn had chosen the more fanciful room filled with velvets and beautiful draping everywhere. Her room was uncluttered and sensual. They were to be in separate rooms, something that growing up they had hated the thought of, but now, as beautiful young women, Kayetelynn yearned for some more privacy and Annabella some more peace.
The night had begun to draw closer as Kayetelynn and Annabella reached the moment for the mood to go for a stroll had become overwhelmingly necessary. Moonlight had shone a light over the streets before them; a much softer glow had fallen on their little pocket of London.
Kayetelynn and Annabella had not noticed the figure hunched in a doorway staring at them as they passed by almost floating. The figure; pale, almost sickly and half alive watched them in disbelief muttering to himself “unchanged and unaffected” his words barely a whisper but still recognizable as the voice of the girls cousin, Dracul Alexanderouse.
Lurking, hiding, skulking as the withdrawn half life of a man he had become.