Read Avenging Autumn: Seasons Change Book 1 of 4 Online

Authors: Derek A Schneider

Tags: #action, #horror, #vampire, #werewolf

Avenging Autumn: Seasons Change Book 1 of 4

BOOK: Avenging Autumn: Seasons Change Book 1 of 4
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Avenging Autumn

Seasons Change Series: Book 1 of 4


Derek A. Schneider

Smashwords Edition

  • Copyright 2008 Derek A. Schneider. All rights

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ISBN:978-1-4343-7522-3 (sc)

Library of Congress Control Number:

1. Autumn Leaves

October, 2006

Autumn Writeman was leaving work late once

She stepped through the double doors of the
Write-man Bank building and into the cool night air. Fall had
finally come to Indiana with the suddenness of a snapping twig
under silent footfalls, in an October that had been unusually warm
up to that point. It was less than two weeks until Halloween and it
had been so warm that the leaves were late in turning. This night
however, the trees were bright and colorful even in the dark and
the bank parking lot was littered with foliage that sped across the
pavement making a scraping sound that might make some cringe, but
Autumn found it beautiful.

A smile touched her lips at the thought of the
im-pending holiday, and her husband’s childlike excitement as the
night of tricks and treats approached. Benjamin Writeman (Benny to
his friends) not only loved Halloween, he was also very fond of the
time of year. He even managed to find a girl named Autumn to

Multi-colored leaves raced around her feet in
the breeze and she was suddenly hit with a parade of childhood
memories. Jumping in a pile of leaves her father had just raked up,
helping her mother carve a jack-o’-lantern, going trick or treat
dressed as Princess Lea, or Casper the friendly ghost, or Dracula’s
bride. She supposed that she loved fall just as much as

Standing next to her car door, Autumn began
the nightly ritual of digging through her purse in search of her
keys. Benny often made fun of her inability to throw things out,
though she often complained that he threw out too much.

Just as her hand closed around her keys a
strange feeling came over her, as if just for a moment, it was well
into winter rather than mid fall. She shivered hard and suddenly, a
rapid flapping sound forced a slight scream from her throat.
Turning quickly she scanned the area and saw nothing but the empty
parking spaces behind her. Moving faster now, she slid the key into
the door of the little black pickup and got behind the wheel,
quickly closing and locking the door behind her. Autumn hated
leaving work at night. The parking lot (and the building too, now
that she thought about it) always gave her a creepy feeling that
she couldn‘t explain. However, working late was a common occurrence
this time of year, with Christ-mas shopping right around the
corner. Of course that wouldn’t be a problem had she not been
demoted two months ago, but the bills had to be paid and Benny
hadn’t sold any paintings lately.

The truck belonged to Benny, a little
Mitsubishi that’s been through hell but just keeps on running
anyway. Her car, which was only three years old, was in the shop
once again. And of course, every time she did have a problem with
her car, he would say the same thing; “I told you not to buy
American.” He had told her this, but for some reason she couldn’t
remember, she hadn’t listened.

She keyed the ignition, threw the transmission
into drive, and pulled out of the parking lot. Soon afterward,
Au-tumn had forgotten about the strange feeling that came over her
and began singing loudly with the Dead Poetic CD Benny had left in
the stereo. In their younger days, Benny and Au-tumn were what some
people would call “Gothic”, and al-though their taste in music
hasn’t changed a lot, the way they dressed and the way they thought
about the world had changed immensely. After all, you can’t wear
black eye makeup and lipstick along with buckle covered clothing if
you’re going to be a “Financial Assistant” for a major bank and

She kept the black hair, though the clothing
and make up were reserved for concerts and parties. Benny, for the
most part, didn’t change much over the years. He kept the black
hair as well, and wore it shoulder length, often hiding most of his
face to give people the impression he was a brooding artist. In
truth, he was a kind hearted joker that liked to keep his romantic
side just between them.

She pulled into the driveway of their old, two
story house and shifted the little black truck into park. Getting
out she smiled again as she looked out at the Halloween
decora-tions that Benny had put on the front lawn at the beginning
of October (the indoor decorations were put out in late

There was the white sheet stuffed with old
clothes and tied to a tree to resemble a floating ghost. There was
the plastic skeleton lounging in a lawn chair and looking as if
he’d had a few too many martinis. As she stepped onto the porch she
noticed the shadowy ghoul that stood by the tree and…stopping in
her tracks, she stared at the dark figure in confusion.

That wasn’t there before,” she
said softly to herself. She opened the door and started to call
inside for Benny, then remembered he was out shooting pool with his

She looked back at the dark ghoul for a moment
and wondered if Benny had gone out and bought more decora-tions.
Turning to walk into the house, her attention was imme-diately
returned to the dark figure when she noticed movement out of the
corner of her eye.

The ghoul was now walking toward

Autumn ran inside the house and locked the
door behind her. Her heavy breathing was the only sound in the
chilly darkness of the home. After a few minutes, Autumn edged
toward the window and peeked through the curtain. The ghoul was
gone. Was he ever really there at all?

She was tired, very tired, and coming home to
an empty house always made her feel a little jumpy anyhow. She took
a few calming breaths and then walked down the hall to the kitchen.
Flipping the light switch up, she began to step toward the fridge
before she realized the light hadn’t come on. She tried the switch
again, and twice more after that. Still no lights.

Looking around the room she noticed the
microwave clock was dark, and the absence of that familiar
refrigerator hum made the entire house seem as quiet as a graveyard
at midnight.

Movement caught her eye from the doorway to
the dining room on the opposite side of the kitchen. It was the
dark figure from the front lawn, the ghoul with the red eyes
shining out from his deeply shadowed face. Had she noticed his eyes
before? She couldn’t remember, at that moment eve-rything seemed
dreamlike and hazy.

Autumn turned and took two steps toward the
door but froze when she saw that the man had somehow moved fast
enough through the living room to block her escape. Without
thinking, she darted up the stairs, ran down the hallway and locked
herself in her room. As she ducked behind the bed, she reached
beneath it and almost immediately found the wooden baseball bat
that Benny kept there for just this type of situation.

She laid there for a long moment with the bat
held tight against her chest, listening for any sound from outside
her door, but no sound came. Slowly, she got to her feet and peered
out the window. There was no movement on the lawn, besides the
Halloween decorations blowing slightly in the wind. She could see
the Mitsubishi sitting in the driveway like a distant beacon of
hope that seems impossibly out of reach. Oh, how she longed to be
in that truck right now. She won-dered if she could drop from the
window without breaking a limb, and if so could she make it to the
truck without being seen, or at least caught by the

Suddenly, she heard the noise she had been
waiting for, only it didn’t come from outside the room, but from
the dark corner across from her. Slowly, she turned and looked in
the corner to see the same red eyes staring out at her from the
shadow. A whimper escaped her lips as she brought the base-ball bat
up into a swing position.

The man finally stepped out of the shadows and
Autumn was amazed to see that he was not a dark ghoul at all, but
quite the opposite. His skin was very pale, his hair was long,
falling mid way down his back, unnaturally straight and so blond it
was nearly white. He was wearing a light grey suit that looked very
expensive and in his right hand he bore a cane that appeared to be
used for more of a decoration than any visible handicap. He walked
over to Autumn and stopped two feet away from her, meeting her gaze
with his calm, ra-diant, red eyes.

What?” Autumn whispered, the
baseball bat waver-ing uncertainly in her hands, “What do you

The man only continued to stare at her,
showing no emotion on his face.

Autumn began to feel very calm, and very
sleepy. The bat fell from her hands with a loud clunk as it hit the
hard wood floor. She felt lost in his eyes, those bottomless red
eyes. She had never felt so relaxed in her life.

The man slowly raised the cane, resting the
lower end in his left hand. The handle looked to be silver and was
crafted into the shape of an Asian dragon. Wrapping around the hilt
was a giant serpent that came up to meet the dragon face to face,
as if some epic battle was about to begin between the two. Then,
gently, he pulled on the handle and the cane came apart to reveal a
long blade that was hidden within. He raised the blade high and
paused for a moment, then brought it down across Autumn’s

Seconds later, Autumn died.

2. Fall Arrives

It was 1995. Benny was eighteen and had just
re-turned home for the Christmas holiday after spending the last
few months in Indianapolis attending Herron Art School. Aa-ron
Trotter was the little brother of a friend Benny had had in high
school and on his second day home, Benny received a call from Aaron
who was looking for a ride to a girl’s house. Benny reluctantly
agreed to give him the ride and soon the two of them were near the
southwest edge of Triloville.

Okay,” Aaron said as they exited
the car (which was an 86 Cavalier hatchback at that time), “I
really like this girl so try not to make a fool of

Benny took a moment to reflect on the
countless times he and Aaron’s older brother, Robert had been
forced by Ma and Pa Trotter to drag the baby brother around with
them everywhere they went, and how 99.9% of the time Aaron was the
one who had made a fool of himself. “I’ll try to behave,” he
replied sarcastically.

At this time in his life, although the trend
was going out of style, Benny was in full grunge attire. The holey
jeans, flannel shirt, and long, unkempt, dirty blond hair (which
would later become black).

The house was an old ranch that was covered
with fading red bricks and deteriorating roofing shingles and for
the rest of his life, for reasons unknown, he would often think of
the Christmas lights that hung lazily from the gutters, spiraling
down the single post of the covered porch.

Aaron pulled the screen door open and knocked
on the worn wood of the front door. They stood there waiting in the
cold for the door to open, but it appeared no one was

Did she know we were coming?”
Benny asked

Yeah, I called and told

You called ahead and told her you
were coming and she left before you got here? That’s not a good
sign, my man.”

Aaron suddenly looked very worried and then
pro-ceeded to knock harder. “She’s here, I know she is.”

Benny opened his mouth to toss another verbal
jab at his friend, but was cut off by the opening door. What
greeted them was a seventeen year old Autumn Sanders and Benny was
instantly smitten. Her hair was long and fiery red and rested
against her pale skin like the burning sky at sunset in winter. She
was wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt that looked to be two sizes too
big, but draped pleasingly over her ample bosom.

BOOK: Avenging Autumn: Seasons Change Book 1 of 4
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