Vampires of the Desert

Vampires of the Desert

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Vampires of the Desert by A. Hyatt Verrill

Published:

1926

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Vampires of the Desert

By

4
(2 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

ey gave promise of being even more interesting and stranger than the plants themselves, and also of developing into blooms of great beauty.

There were indications of long delicate petals of brilliant colors, and it was obvious that the flowers would be of truly gigantic size. But my expectations had fallen far short of the reality, when, on visiting the spot one morning, I found one of the buds had partly opened. I had never seen anything like it or even resembling it. It was not by any means fully developed, and I judged from its appearance that it was a night-blooming plant and that in order to see the flower in its full glory I would be obliged to visit the spot after dark. However it was sufficiently open for me to obtain a good idea of its character, and I examined it with the most intense interest. It appeared semi-transparent, was very fleshy, or I might even say gelatinous, and was coated with a shining, moist, and apparently sticky substance. At the stem or base, for there was no true stem, it

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A strangely modern story from the 1920's. An oil company paleontologist searching the Peruvian desert has his work interrupted by a series of murders when a shift of an ocean current changes weather patterns and brings rain. The murderer is far-ranging, invisible, and strikes by night.
The introduction is too long, but the puzzle is a nice one, and the solution to the killings is entirely reasonable, given the folks involved.
A sudden change in weather patterns brings massive amounts of rainfall to the desert regions of Peru and Chile. Almost overnight, strange, primeval plants begin to carpet the landscape. An isolated oil-drilling operation is suddenly beset by a series of mysterious murders, committed by a diabolically clever killer who strikes without warning and disappears without a trace. All the victims were strangled, and some of them -- the ones with dozens of strange, shallow wounds on their heads and chests -- have been drained of all their blood ...

This tense and generally well-written monsters-from-the-past romp from the period between the two world wars is marred only by a casual racism, which was all-too-typical for the day.
Susan Rooke - A Mixture of Fantasy and All Things Heaven and Earth
FEATURED AUTHOR - Susan Rooke is a multiple Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net and Dwarf Stars nominee, and author of the Space Between series. Her poems and short stories have appeared in publications such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Twilight Zone Magazine, among many others. She and her husband live surrounded by cows on a square of green, peaceful country in Central Texas. When she's not writing speculative fiction and poetry, she blogs fortnightly about real life, food and cocktails at SusanRooke… Read more