he Rise and Fall and Rising Again of Father Michael
Chapter One

I was a priest yesterday.

I entered Notre Dame when I was eighteen with all intentions of playing football, winning one for the Gipper, graduating in English, and moving on to Harvard Law..., and I was well on my way when I died the first time.

Driving back from the Rockies after a successful weekend of skiing without breaking anything, my car was hit from the side by a diesel tractor-trailer, sending me spinning out of control into the side of a mountain. I was thrown through the windshield and I vividly remember the sight of my own blood spurting onto the glass as my face was torn.

Later, it must have been later because I was somewhere white, I can only guess the hospital, I saw myself lying on a table. At first I was shocked, then I became more comfortable with the fact that I was dead. It was almost pleasant. I was about to turn and leave when I heard a beep in the distance and felt a great and sudden pain in my chest. I looked down at my own ephemeral body to see two welts appear above my ephemeral heart. The pain was dragging me back into my body. It was then I heard the voice.

"Remember this reminder that not everything is left on the wheel. What goes around does not always come around. Teach people how to live and when to live."

I awoke in the hospital several hours later, my chest on fire from the high-amp shock of the defibrilator. I was in a cast, but that soon came off. I entered seminary after that and became a blessed priest of His Holy Catholic Church in Atlanta, Georgia. My supervisor, Monsignor Frank James, helped me to settle and assisted me in finding my path from the cloistered life at Notre Dame to the hectic life of a priest in Atlanta. The parish folk welcomed me in that Southern welcoming way, and I was happy. I preached and I prayed and I led, and I told my story of my death and rebirth. Mrs. Halligan used the word "resurrection." To me, that was heresy, but I didn't tell her so. She liked me immensely and often had me over to dinner with her daughter. Her husband had died some years previous of cancer.

Her daughter, Maria, was quick and bright, Catholic through and through. She would often come to confession when she knew I would be there, just to be sure it was me she was talking to. She would tell of the sins in her day, which consisted mostly of cheating on tests in school and the occasional liaison with her boyfriend, a young Baptist named John.

Then she stopped coming to confession.

I went by Mrs. Halligan's last night to see what was wrong. Maria was home alone, her mother gone to her sister's for the weekend.

Maria stared at me, her eyes deep pools of Irish green, her red hair straight and long. She then asked if I would hear her confession. I told her that I had not brought my collar or penitence, but that I would listen to anything she had to say. She reached for my hand and began to sniff, as if to cry. I pulled her close and hugged her for a moment.

She murdered me then, sinking her fetid teeth into my jugular and sucking the life from my veins as I held her, praying that this wasn't happening. God had saved me once. He would not do so again.

A thirst began to scratch at my throat, burning, hurting, spreading, becoming a hunger. Maria had pulled away from me. She was still beautiful, even more so, but the blood that slipped from one extended canine to her lip beckoned to me to lick, and the thirst, the hunger, the need was so bad, I had no choice.

I leaped to her, pulling her now naked breasts to my face. Her skin was hot, not just warm, but hot, and her skin was flushed. She tore her skin above her right breast and allowed a trickle of blood to flow over her erect nipple. I placed my mouth firmly over the wound and fed, realizing my damnation was inevitable, and, indeed, already completed as I fed.

She threw me from her after a minute or so, and I slept. I awoke at sunset this evening, thirsting, and, when I looked in the mirror and saw the two teeth extend slowly at my command, I knew my mission.

I was a priest yesterday, and I will be so again. I have been trained in all the mysticism of the Catholic Church, in excorcism and the ways of demon command. I will hunt down and kill all nosferatu, using their own forces against them, feeding exclusively on their fluids, forsaking the mortals' easy prey, and then, when I have destroyed them all, I will fling myself into the waiting arms a stake's wooden embrace and regain my soul from Hell.

Chapter Two: The Confessions of a Vampyre-
The Continuing Story of Father Michael