Those Twilight novels. Haven't read 'em, but saw the first movie. What a load of rot, eh?
Still, if it gets the kiddlies reading and all that...
Apparently author Stephanie Meyers pumped out those stories as easy as that woman on Brisbane's northside pumps out IVF quadruplets.
I heard this after my friend Keira from Sydney complained on Twitter that she was struggling with writers' block, and would never be able to free-flow-write like Meyers. I replied saying 1) all writers struggle at times and 2) if all Meyers had to do to hook the tweens in was pump out a shitty vampire love story - hell, I could do that!
Now Keira's holding me to it.
There are only three rules for this story: 1) it has to have vampires, 2) it has to have a sickening love story, and 3) it has to be shitty.
So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Chapter One of my vampire tale...
Majeela Cane was feisty for a 16-year-old, and fluent in both Pigeon English and Esperanto. Her days as a missionary's daughter in the South Pacific paradise of Lolloa Tunga were full of the hustle and bustle of island life climbing coconut trees, fondling dolphins and sticking pigs for ritual cleansing ceremonies.
Methodologism was an offshoot of Free Presbyterianism, and Majeela's mother served the religious needs of a small community three kilometres from the capital Orinda. Nunna-nunnas loved nothing more than hearing Susanna Cane's smooth voice intone the words of Fig's Bible - complete with its explanatory chapter entitled For those conquering the heart as well as the sole.
Majeela's father was long dead: fancying himself as a modern-day Henry Moreton Stanley, he'd disappeared on a trek through the fearsome Melleflua jungle when Majeela was just six. He'd been the one to name her, and always corrected newcomers to Nunna-Nunna on the pronunciation.
"May-eee-la," he'd say, smiling. "It's an island name. It means 'naive but bountiful'."
Majeela liked to think of her father when she was alone, sitting under her favourite palm tree with her leather-bound journal, imagining Stephen Cane patting her gently on the head. She'd watch the azure waves roll gently in towards her, sun glinting off the horizon. Occasionally dark shadows would play across the water of Santoa Bay, giving depth and intrigue to the aquamarine blanket.
It was a day just like this when Majeela first saw one of the shadows stand up.
The shadow moved towards the beach, pushing against the rollback of waves, cutting a line through the blue. About twenty metres from her, the shadow unfurled its full length upwards, revealing itself to be, in fact, a man. A tall man, with elongated limbs and a toned torso. But not like any other man she'd encountered in over ten years living in Lollua Tunga. This man had light coffee-coloured skin, not the dark chocolate of the Tungans. He also seemed to bear a decoration on his chest a necklace perhaps, or a chain.
As the figure emerged from the water onto the sand, still unaware of Majeela beneath the palm, she realised it was not a decoration, but a tattoo. An image, engraved in skin, of exactly the type of palm leaf she herself was now taking shelter under. Two small, round objects flanked the leaf coconuts.
It was a sight that ate up Majeela's vision and thoughts. Who was this man?
Just then, the tattooed man faced the water and let out an almighty cry. Majeela was familiar with the tribal calls of the Nunna-Nunna, as well as other regional variations. But this too was strange. It sounded like a gurgling bird, a squawk and a purr at the same time. The call was still fading across the sand when more shadows burst upright from the water of Santoa Bay.
Seven or eight more figures waded in to the shore, bearing the same chest markings as the first man. At least three were women they sported a slightly smaller version, with the palm leaf/coconut design emblazoned across their hearts.
All were dressed in the same clinging white cotton fabric, wrapped around their groins and breasts. The crisp, wet cloth was a stark contrast to their creamy brown skin, that coffee-colour Majeela now believed would stay imprinted in her mind forever.
A second cry emanated from the throat of the first man once his companions were all standing on the sand. It was a sign for the group to move away, in a pack, towards the east. Sand dunes along the curve of the Santoa beachfront hid their progress after just a few moments. The last to disappear was the first shadow Majeela had seen, the first upright figure, the first man with the coffee-coloured skin. He turned, surveying the beach they had just walked upon, and the water that until ten minutes ago had been their home.
He then faced Majeela's palm tree, and smiled at her. A beam of white light seemed to radiate from his mouth, and Majeela was suddenly overwhelmed with the smell of pineapples. But in an instant, the sensation vanished, as the man bowed his head and stepped into the dunes.
Majeela did not then know it, but she had just had her first encounter with... the Tropical Vampires.