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A Rocket & Ring Publication

Published by Rocket & Ring Press



Dr. Vampire’s Fertility Clinic



Copyright © 2018 by Revel Flint

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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First Edition. June 2018.






Dr. Vampire’s Fertility Clinic

Dr. Vampire #1



Revel Flint



We rolled up to the clinic in our carriage. A word from our driver told us we’d arrived, though a low-hanging fog shrouded everything more than three feet in front of me. Evie made a great show of straightening her auburn hair in a hand-mirror and rustling her skirts.

“This is utterly unnecessary,” I said. That we were here was beyond humiliating. Evelyn and I had been friends practically since birth; our marriage was all but fated, but that didn’t mean we always felt a certain necessary spark to kick things off.

The fact was, the entire point of our marriage was to secure both my estate and her wealth with an heir. An heir, of course, was not forthcoming. I might have been known for a bout of philandering in my university days, but the truth—that women were brilliant for long conversations, but did not pique my interest when it came to bedroom activities—was something I had managed to conceal from everyone. Even from Evie, who knew about as much about me as there was to know.

“Nonsense. Don’t be such a girl, Henry.” Evie flashed a teasing smile at me. She was sharp-chinned with a pert little nose. A strong jaw, for a woman. I’d been told many times by well-meaning peers that she was striking. She also had a gift for gab. “We’ve got an appointment and everything. The doctor is just going to help us—” She gave a gesture with her hands which signified something I’d rather not think about. “It’s perfectly natural to seek guidance for such things. My parents did.”

“Forgive me if that doesn’t provide comfort.”

“Quit your stalling.” She grasped my hand and pulled me out of the carriage and into the foggy streets of Ruelle du Sange.

I’d lived in Hythlon my whole life, barring my university days abroad. Ruelle du Sange was one of Hythlon’s larger cities a day’s ride from the coast. My estate, Autumnvale, bordered it, with lands stretching to the sea, and so I’d spent a lot of time there. And yet I couldn’t remember ever traversing down this street, whether on business or for pleasure. The clinic itself was narrow, as many of the city houses in Sange were, and stood three stories. A sign of etched sheet metal hung above the door that said: Dr. Victor Dommik – Curer of Ills – Modern Medical Science – Walk-Ins Welcome. It relieved me to know the man believed in medical science, rather than the old woman’s cures and witchy nonsense my wife had been reading up on. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so bad.

When Evie knocked, a woman in an apron answered. She was tall, with black hair bound into a knot at the nape of her neck. “Hello,” she said. “You must be Mr. and Mrs. Merritt.” Her handshake was strong, nearly as strong as a man’s. “Please come in. Would you like some coffee?”

“Please,” said Evie. I declined, as my stomach was already a roiling sea of nerves.

“Dr. Dommik will be with you shortly,” said the woman. “Please make yourselves comfortable.”

The parlor, if a little cramped, was at least simply furnished and in good repair. We took a seat in a velvet sofa, next to which was the coffee cart, and waited. A grandfather clock in the corner ticked the seconds away. On the wall opposite us hung a portrait. It looked to be an original from the Renaissance era, its colors vividly rich. It was a portrait of a young man with wide-set eyes, glancing just beyond the painter. He wore a large ruff, and gently touched a hand to his heart. It was the vision of a young man in love, a young man who had yet his whole life ahead of him—and likely a great deal of fortune with which to spend it on.

“Now, when the doctor asks you questions, you ought to be honest.” Evie patted my strong hand with her slender one. “Don’t spare my sensibilities. Women are much stronger than you’d think.”

I felt my face flush with heat. “No one is as strong as you, my darling,” I said, knowing that was what she wanted to hear. I kissed the back of her hand, which made her smile. I did so enjoy seeing her smile, even if when we got into bed I was…less than helpful.

She was a slim woman, barring her impressive backside, but compared to me she was tiny. Our friends made fun that she was the beauty and I the beast. I was always a bit too bulky to fit comfortably in an armed chair, broad in the shoulders and broader in the waist every day. I was naturally big-boned, but it didn’t help that my work had me poring over records and writing letters for the majority of the day. But someone had to manage my estate—and the ancient old manor of Autumnvale Hall passed down from my grandfather. Someone, too, had to manage the endless stream of quarrelers that came to sway my votes one way or another.

As the owner of the largest parcel of land in the area, I had the most votes with which to make my voice heard at court. Of course, it was Hythlon’s king who had the final say, but it was a power he rarely exercised. He was younger than me, and thought it wiser to let the lords have their way than try to wrest any real control. Which was probably wise. If I had any inclination to be king, I could raise a coup in three days and have done. But I had no desire it, save to keep my estate above water with the help of Evelyn’s family and Ruelle du Sange safe from the monsters.

We’d had a real problem lately in Sange—dead cattle, ripped to shreds. More than any pack of dogs would do—if they were hungry, they’d eat it. There were several instances of gruesome murders, too—always at night when the victim was alone, and outside the city limits.

It seems silly to say. When I was a child, the idea of monsters, aside from the occasional rampant bear in the woods, was preposterous. But my paladins, and the soldiers of several other nobles as well, had had close encounters with several. They’d all had to be killed during the encounter, but I’d seen one of the bodies: pale, sickly. A long set of four sharpened fangs. Black eyes, like an animal’s. A distorted spine and long legs. My private paladins had reported it mindless, hissing and trying to bite whoever’d gotten close. But since I’d voted to enact curfews and regular patrols, the problem had curbed somewhat.

That taken care of, it was time to turn my attention to family matters—I needed a child to be heir to my lands, estate, and titles.

The door opened and Evie and I stood. I glanced at the painting on the wall; it was uncanny, the resemblance between the doctor and the man in the portrait. The same bright, pale eyes. Same elegant cheekbones. He was slender, but his clothes hugged his body; beneath them was the body of a tradesman, not necessarily muscular as a fighter’s but strong and skilled in its own way.

“I’m Doctor Victor Dommik.” His hand was cold but strong and clean. He smiled kindly, then laced his hands together. “This is my assistant, Clarissa.” Clarissa, the tall woman who had greeted us, stood behind him, holding a notebook and a quill.

“Henry Merritt,” I said. “This is my wife, Evelyn.”

“Lord Merritt?” said the doctor. “Of Autumnvale Hall?”

“Yes,” I said uncomfortably. “Listen, Doctor Dommik, I would very much appreciate your discretion in this matter. It’s something I wish to rectify with as few flapping tongues as possible.”

“Of course,” said Dommik. He inclined his head. “Please forgive my curiosity. My services are completely confidential, I assure you.”

“And you must forgive Henry for his brusqueness,” said Evie. “He’s terribly nervous, poor thing.”

I flushed with embarrassment. “Must you make this worse, Evie?” I decided to change the subject. “Dommik. What manner of name is that?”

“Rhuskan,” he replied, naming the country bordering us to the north. They were quiet, reserved peoples, and I’d had little interaction with them except in occasional trade negotiations.

“I don’t hear an accent,” I said.

“No,” he replied with a gentle laugh like a running river. “My father’s father came from Rhusk. They were apothecaries by trade. I suppose I was interested in the science behind their old tradition.”

“And the portrait?” I said, even more curious than before. “No apothecary could afford such a thing.”

“My mother’s family,” he answered. “They were consorts to kings and queens, all of them.” He smiled and opened a door to the stairway. “Shall we begin? Clarissa, will you show the Merritts to the examination room?”

“Of course.” Clarissa led the way. The stairway was narrow, with hardly room enough to maneuver my broad bulk. I felt Evie’s hand against the small of my back, and it comforted me.

The examination room took up the entirety of the second floor. It was clean, washed with white paint. A small window was in the top corner of one wall, too high for anyone to see inside. There were two padded tables near each other, and on the other side of the room, a rolling cart gleaming with sharp implements the function of which I did not like to contemplate.

I shuddered and glanced up at the ceiling, as if admiring its old boards.

“Please, sit down,” said Doctor Dommik. He took the only chair in the room, so Evie and I each sat on the edges of the exam tables. I saw her straightening her pressed skirts again, and for the first time realized she was nervous, too. Clarissa stood in the corner and began to take notes. I did not like the idea of someone making records of this interaction.

“So,” said the doctor. He had thick black eyebrows, and they drew together in concerned interest. His eyes were pale, and their clarity seemed to paralyze me to the spot. “I understand you’re having trouble conceiving?”

“Yes,” interjected Evie, saving me the trouble of fumbling over my words. “We’ve been married for three years, and I just thought I would be a mother by now.”

Her words stabbed me in the heart. I might not be attracted to Evie in the traditional sense, but she was still the most important woman in my life. Nothing I did, none of my…inclinations…were designed to hurt her.

“I see.” Doctor Dommik stood up. “I’m going to check your pulse.” He pressed a pair of pale fingers against her throat, watching the grandfather clock in the corner. It looked identical to the one downstairs. “Any history of infertility in your family, Mrs. Merritt?”

“Well, my parents went to a doctor when they were first married, but here I am, aren’t I?” She smiled her charmed smile. She could make any man in a room turn his head.

Doctor Dommik seemed unmoved, which put me at ease. “And you have regular menstruation?”

“Yes.”

The doctor came to me next. He smelled clean, like soap. And something else—clean but earthy. Lemongrass? I nearly leapt out of my seat when he touched my throat. His fingers were so cold.


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