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Praying on the weak

A Horror Tale

By Shane DobbiePublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 9 min read

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn’t my own. It showed my lonely chambers, in the back of a cold church. It showed Alby Duncan and his daughter, Lucy, standing behind me. Alby had been a member of my flock so long that I remember Lucy being born. 19 years ago that was. It was always a delight to see them. Lucy smiled at me in the mirror. “Hello, Father Morris,” she says.

I finish rinsing my teeth, dry off, and give her a welcoming hug. “Hello to you to, Lucy. I see you’ve brought back-up.”

Alby gives a tight smile. “A father always protects,” he says. “And under the circumstances I’m sure you understand.”

“All too well, Alby. I would insist upon a second person no matter who it was.”

He rubs his wrist, seemingly unaware he’s doing it. Understandable. I turn my gaze upon Lucy. The desire starts to rise. It’s been harder to hide, harder to control of late. It takes remarkable willpower not to take her right now.

“Shall we?” I say, trying to keep the excitement from my voice.

Lucy looks apprehensive. Like her father, she’s been here before. She knows what’s coming. She puts a brave face on and nods.

“Make yourself comfortable,” I say. “Everything is laid out ready for you if you want to prepare. I’ll pop the kettle on. A nice sweet cup of tea does wonders afterwards.”

Alby joins me as I sort the teapot and switch the kettle on. He has one eye on his daughter, always concerned. “You’ll be gentle, Father?”

I look to Lucy, sitting by my desk. She is already tying the rubber tubing around her arm. I turn back to Alby. “As much as I can be,” I say. His face, already old and tired, drains of colour. I see the wheels turning. I know what he’s about to say.

“Can’t you do me instead?”

“Not again. Not so soon.”

I feel his pain; his desire to protect his child. I want to send them both away so they don’t have to go through with it, but I need it. The desire sings louder than my better angels.

“I’m ready, Father,” Lucy says.

Alby nods, crestfallen. I take his hand to reassure him. “Stay close,” I say.

Lucy is opening and closing her fist as I sit down opposite her. I can see the scars on her arm from the last time; healed over, but permanent. She taps her wrist. Her veins bulge. I can hear the blood pumping through them. Sweet nectar. I take a hold of her arm, feeling the smooth, warm skin. I can control myself no longer.

I drop to my knees.

My fangs extend.

I penetrate her wrist.

The grey world I inhabit bursts into colour. She lights up like a colourful x-ray. I can see her heart beat. Her blood flowing through me is like a hot sauna after a freezing cold swim. My senses sharpen. I can smell the damp church office, the tea brewing in the pot, Alby’s body odour, Lucy’s perfume…her sex.

“That’s enough, Father.”

Alby. The voice is distant. I dismiss it. I’ll finish my feed then take his daughter for my pleasure.


Alby hauls my head back. I’m pulled out of his daughter’s arm and spray blood wildly across her. He pushes me to the floor and moves in to help Lucy, wrapping her wrist in a towel. I stare at him through a predator’s eyes. In this state I could easily slaughter them both. This is the hardest part. I have to remind myself I am a man of faith and that these are the good people whose faith and kindness keep the monster at bay and allow me to live.

“Father?” Lucy says.

They are both watching me intently, Lucy; concerned, Alby; protective.

I nod. The monster abates. “Are you okay, Lucy?”

A weak smile. “I’ll be fine.”

I look to Alby. “Sorry, Father,” he says. “I had no option. You weren’t stopping.”

“It’s getting more difficult. I’m glad you were here. Get Lucy that cup of tea will you. It’ll help.”

“Sure thing. One for yourself?”

I shake my head. All I can taste is Lucy’s blood, but I keep that to myself.

Alby throws me a clean towel. “Might want to clean yourself up. All that blood isn’t a good look on a priest.”

I do so as best I can for a man with no reflection and then join them at the table. Alby nods at my neck and touches his own throat. “Missed a bit!”

I pull my collar loose. Blood stains on the pure white. I consider it for a moment - a metaphor for my situation.

“You okay there, Father?” Alby says.

“The shepherd should protect his flock, not vice versa.”

Alby nods. He understands the situation I’m in.

Lucy sips her tea and then says, “Can I ask a question, Father?”

I’m happy for the distraction from my thoughts. “Is it: How do I shave?”

They both laugh.

“Electric razor. And Faith.” I say. “Was that actually your question, Lucy?”

She shakes her head. “I was wondering about crucifixes. As a…”

“Vampire? You can say it. No point pretending I’m anything else.”

“As a … vampire, how do you manage to be around all these crucifixes?”

She toys with her own one, shiny silver, hanging around her neck. I steeple my fingers. “Asking all the tough questions today, Lucy.”

I wonder how to answer: to give the friendly faith affirming answer they’re looking for, or to give the truth. They deserve the truth. It’s the least I can do in return for what they give to me.

“Don’t believe everything you see in movies and read in books -” I say.

She smiles, seemingly happy with the answer.

“-Is the answer I usually give, but it’s bullshit. Truth be told, these symbols we wear,” I point to her own, “or adorn our churches with, are mere simulacrum, so far removed from the thing they represent as to be be meaningless. Copies of copies of copies…like the Mona Lisa; everyone says they’ve seen the Mona Lisa but how many actually have? In the flesh, so to speak, in the Louvre, appreciated the brushwork up close? Perhaps the original cross upon which Jesus was crucified might have some power. We’ll never know. Today you put a ‘wobbly Jesus’ on your car dashboard and still expect THAT to have some power over ME!”

I see them both flinch. Alby, instinctively, moves closer to his daughter. I realise I’ve raised up, almost out of my chair. I settle back down, and slump into a less threatening position.

“Sorry,” I say. “These are the thoughts I dwell upon in the dark, lonely hours. “Being an undead priest shakes ones faith.” My tight smile does little to comfort them. Lucy looks saddened. I tap my chest. She understands, and toys with her crucifix again. “Its power,” I say, “Is in your belief. Like Faith itself, it exists because you believe in it.”

She nods. “Thank you, Father.”

Alby rubs her back. “And thank you for being honest, Father. It would be easier to hear empty platitudes, but you’ve given us something to think about.”

“I should have saved that for today’s sermon,” I say, and after checking the clock, add, “speaking of which, I believe the rest of my flock should be arriving. Are you staying, or heading home to rest and recuperate?”

Alby looks to his daughter. She wiggles the fingers of her punctured arm. “I’ll be fine,” she says. “Let’s stay and hear what Father Morris has for us.”

“Then I suggest you take your seats. I’ll just need a few minutes to freshen up and get a new one of these.” I wave the bloodied collar. “Then I’ll be ready for the show.”


The church is full, as always. I can’t help but smile at my gathered flock. I nod to Alby and Lucy, and then begin.

“Today I’d like to talk about the kindness of strangers.”

A comical groan from the masses.

“Yes, again.” I say, and laugh. “As you know, or as may be obvious from her arm, it was Lucy Duncan’s day of... giving. It fills my heart with joy -quite literally- that you all give so freely of yourself to keep my strength up. Never a day goes by that I am not thankful for the kindness of strangers. And, Yes, none of you are strangers to me now, but you were once, and still you came. I often dwell on dark truths these days. I’ve struggled with my faith since I was attacked and became…what I am now. It’s your kindness that always brings me back in those times.

Just before you all arrived I unleashed some truths upon Alby and Lucy. I apologised, but they seemed to appreciate my honesty, as difficult as it must have been to hear. In light of that, I want to open up again for you. To share one of the thoughts that linger in my mind. A thought on kindness.

I’ve come to terms with who/what I am now, and I’ve come to accept that as I stand before the gates of heaven I will not be allowed to enter. Honestly, I doubt I’ll even get close. But. You all will. For you are all kind and generous. And even though your kindness and generosity has aided me, I know you are simply feeding a monster. My last good act as a man of faith will be to lead you to the gates of heaven and watch you pass through, safe in the knowledge that I managed to do what was asked of me, even under the direst of circumstances.

I could not do that without the kindness of strangers.”

Once everyone has left I return to my lonely room, and my thoughts. While my sermon was honest and heartfelt, I couldn’t bring myself to tell them the full truth. They will reach the gates of heaven, if such things exist, but it will most likely be at my hand, rather than my guidance. I know the desire is getting stronger and more difficult to control. It’s only a matter of time before I can’t come back from a feed and the result will be a bloodbath of, dare I say, biblical proportions. I will stand amongst their blood-soaked bodies, a god among men, and my punishment will be just.


About the Creator

Shane Dobbie

If writing is a performance art then I’m tap dancing in wellies.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  4. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (35)

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  • River Joy2 months ago

    I really liked this. I especially like the idea that the idolatry is no longer effective because of how far removed it is from the original. Well done!

  • Moueed soomro2 months ago

    Brother I have some problem my words didn't count can someone help me?

  • Charlotte Flores2 months ago

    You wrote a good story. I haven't read a story about vampires in a long time. The events were well connected and appropriate sentences were used in the conversation between characters. Your ability to write a fictional story is great. If you like please read my story and comment. Thank you :)

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Horrific story!!! Well done!!! Congratulations on Top Story!!!💖💕

  • Victoria R Rise.2 months ago

    Nice story 👍

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Great story. And ooh the ending, creepy!

  • Kayla Lindley2 months ago

    I loved the originality here! Great writing, can't wait to see more in the future!

  • Loryne Andawey2 months ago

    Oh damn. I am both horrified and disgusted by Father Morris, especially how it is implied that he was a monster prior to his transformation. Great character writing. Well done and congratulations on your Top Story! 🤗

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Great story. Really well done. Congrats on the TS

  • Nice story shane…❤️

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    I’m so glad I worked up the nerve to read this 🫣🤣. Awesome job and so original!

  • Karthick Raja2 months ago

    Keep it up .good one

  • Adan Fatima2 months ago

    Wow! impressive ❤️

  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    You out did yourself on this one, Congratulations on top story 🥳🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Nice Storytelling ❤️👍

  • I can't put it any better than Jennifer just did. As a member of the clergy, I found a growing understanding & respect, not only the horrors, but also the wonders & beauty of who we are as human beings. We are capable of & often indeed do the most gracious & self-sacrificial things. At the same time we are beasts, capable of the most vicious atrocities. We do the best we can, trapped in this place where we can do no better, & hold onto this hope that an answer will come to this struggle we seem unable to solve, whether we see it or not. And the priest's dilemma: still called to be faithful, even as what he experiences & convinces himself is true is God's absence. "The Dark Night of the Soul" of St. John of the Cross, perfectly captured. How many of us who dwell on the deeper & darker things found in scripture find ourselves in this very same spot? Absolutely captivating, worrisome & wondrous. Congratulations on your extremely well-deserved top story.

  • Bruce Curle `2 months ago

    Interesting, great twist and Bravo to your talent!

  • Aphotic2 months ago

    Outstanding. From the clever title to every skillfully placed word. Great characterization as well. Very well done.

  • Grace, beauty and horror all in one. You weave a wonderful and unexpected story. Fantastic job!

  • Muhammad Ali2 months ago

    This story is truly gripping and well-written, leaving the reader with a sense of unease and tension throughout. The author's use of vivid imagery and sensory language makes the experience all the more visceral, and the internal struggle of the protagonist adds an intriguing layer to the story. The dialogue is also expertly crafted, bringing the characters to life and adding depth to their relationships. Overall, a masterful piece of storytelling that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat until the very end. congrats for top story..

  • Dana Stewart2 months ago

    Excellent storytelling Shane. Well-paced and unpredictable. Chef's kiss.

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh2 months ago

    Compelling, artful, thought-provoking... and skillfully paced. Well done.

  • Vivid Masonganyika2 months ago

    great art. you have really nailed it!

  • J. S. Wade2 months ago

    🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇 Great story Shane! Congratulations on Top Story. 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇 Hmmm. Anything you need to tell us? Your perspective on Vampires seems …ummmm… rather personal. 😂

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