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Reporter Lucille Easton’s nose tells her that the full moon murders plaguing the city are the work of a vampire, and she tasks her friend Willi, the paper’s research specialist, to find whatever she can on the undead—making sure to separate wheat from chaff. Skeptical, but humoring her friend, Willi contacts her former professor, an expert on the occult, and learns the shocking truth: that vampires do, in fact, exist. And that one had actually come to him seeking a cure for his bloodlust—but disappeared before treatments could be administered.

Soon Willi herself becomes a victim, along with the old professor, and a driven Lucille deduces that the killer must be Willi’s new boyfriend David: he’s the undertaker’s recently-hired assistant; he lives in the apartment above the mortuary; and his job guarantees an endless supply of blood.

Acting on her instincts, the lady reporter invites David to dinner at a restaurant—on the night of the next full moon. She dresses, literally, to kill. In her purse is a vial of holy water, and tucked inside her blouse is a crucifix on the end of a fine gold chain. She plans to return to his apartment where she will dispatch or at least disable him. Lucille is already framing the story she’ll write in her mind. At least a Pulitzer, and later a TV anchor’s position, will surely follow.

But we know what they say about the best-laid plans.

A CROSS TO BARE is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Gypsy Shadow Publishing.


Stephen M. DeBock writes on a variety of topics but prefers sci-fi and horror fantasy. His short story “Morgen” (e-pub by Gypsy Shadow) placed #11 in Preditors and Editors Readers Poll in the short story/horror category. “The Bridge Between Worlds” (also Gypsy Shadow) is garnering praise from fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s science fiction novels.

Steve has recently completed the MS of the sequel to “The Pentacle Pendant,” a werewolf novel published in hardbound, trade paper, and e-book by JournalStone ( He lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania.