Vampire Steve is a character in What Grows From the Dead. This was a character guest post as part of that book’s blog tour, originally posted here.

Transcript of Taped Interview: Stephen Janewicz, session #2

Date: November 3, 10:45am

Background on the Drummond case

Interviewer: Det. Gerald Palmer, NCSBI

Palmer:  Mr. Janewicz–

Janewicz: You may call me Steve, mortal.

Palmer: Sorry, Steve. We’ve covered the facts of the case in our conversation earlier this morning, so now I want to turn to what you know about Morris Drummond. I’m trying to get a sense of who the guy is.

Janewicz: To what end?

Palmer: [breath noises] He’s not in trouble. At least, not yet. I’m just trying to corroborate the things he’s said while we unwind what’s going on in Baxter County.

Janewicz: Very well. You may continue.

Palmer: So, you’ve known him a while?

Janewicz: The fleeting lives of your kind do not always impinge upon my memory.

Palmer: Right. But you know Morris better than that?

Janewicz: He has served as my chariot-master these past six moons.

Palmer: The chariot in question being his mom’s Chevy?

Janewicz: [no reply]

Palmer: How often did he drive you?

Janewicz: When the sun was at its height, and at its most dangerous to me, and again when the gloom of night reigned.

Palmer: Can you put that in, er, mortal terms? With hours?

Janewicz: My shop opens at noon and closes at midnight.

Palmer: So he drove you there and back?

Janewicz: And sometimes other places, when I was in need of sustenance.

Palmer: What’s a guy like you eat?

Janewicz: I favor pork rinds. And other foods darker and more mysterious.

Palmer: Right. So, you and Morris are friends?

Janewicz: I sensed there were none closer to him than I during his time of darkness, though others became entangled. I hope his curtain of shadow may yet lift.

Palmer: That was kind of a yes or no question, you know.

Janewicz: [no reply]

Palmer: This curtain of shadow thing. You mean the business with the Baxter County sheriff’s department?

Janewicz: In part. But the pall cast over Morris began well before that. He dwelt in shadow, sucked dry by his employer and then by the loss of one he loved.

Palmer: Who’s that? That he loved?

Janewicz: The one who cast him forth into this sorry world.

Palmer: His mom, you mean?

Janewicz: [no reply]

Palmer: So, he was, what, depressed?

Janewicz: His soul shed tears of blood from a wound that would not close.

Palmer: Right. [Breath noises. Papers shuffling.] Do I have this right that you were in the military?

Janewicz: I served in the ranks of blood and strife, once. It was a time long ago, before I became as I am now. I almost feel that was a different man.

Palmer: [chuckling] I bet. Can’t see you pulling off this, uh, whatever this is, in basic training.

Janewicz: [no reply]

Palmer: Did you ever know Morris to be violent? Use guns?

Janewicz: Morris is a man of peace. Weapons of war and violence were alien to him.

Palmer: How do you know this? Did you talk about it?

Janewicz: He told me he had to watch YouTube videos to even figure out if a gun was loaded.

Palmer: Right.

Janewicz: I must needs depart? My place of business opens anon.

Palmer: Sure, just one more question. When did Morris get agitated about all this… this situation he found himself in?

Janewicz: I think it grew with each new insult to his honor, each new threat to his life and safety.

Palmer: Right. Can you maybe put a date on that?

Janewicz: It was when he found that which his mother preferred buried.