Dracula: The Un-Dead

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9780525951292: Dracula: The Un-Dead

The official sequel to Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula, written by his direct descendent and endorsed by the Stoker family.The story begins in 1912, twenty-five years after the events described in the original novel. Dr. Jack Seward, now a disgraced morphine addict, hunts vampires across Europe with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school to pursue a career in stage at London's famous Lyceum Theatre.The production of Dracula at the Lyceum, directed and produced by Bram Stoker, has recently lost its star. Luckily, Quincey knows how to contact the famed Hungarian actor Basarab, who agrees to take the lead role.Quincey soon discovers that the play features his parents and their former friends as characters, and seems to reveal much about the terrible secrets he's always suspected them of harbouring. But, before he can confront them, Jonathan Harker is found murdered.The writers were able to access Bram Stoker's hand-written notes and have included in their story characters and plot threads that had been excised by the publisher from the original printing over a century ago.Dracula is one of the most recognized fictional characters in the world, having spawned dozens of multi-media spin-offs. The Un-Dead is the first Dracula story to enjoy the full support of the Stoker estate since the original 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi.

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About the Author:

Dacre Stoker is the great grand nephew of Dracula author, Bram Stoker. He lives with his wife, Jenne, in South Carolina. The Un-dead is his first novel.Ian Holt studied at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before becoming a renowned screen writer.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue

Letter from Mina Harker to her son, Quincey Harker, Esq.

(To be opened upon the sudden or unnatural death of Wilhelmina Harker)

9th March 1912

Dear Quincey,

My dear son, all your life you have suspected that there have been secrets between us. I fear that the time has come to reveal the truth to you. To deny it any longer would put both your life and your immortal soul in jeopardy.

Your dear father and I chose to keep the secrets of our past from you in order to shield you from the darkness that shrouds this world. We had hoped to allow you a childhood free from the fears that have haunted us all our adult lives. As you grew into the promising young man you are today, we chose not to tell you what we knew lest you think us mad. Forgive us. If you are reading this letter now, then the evil we so desperately and perhaps wrongly sought to shield you from has returned. And now you, like your parents before you, are in grave danger.

In the year 1888, when your father and I were still young, we learned that evil lurks in the shadows of our world, waiting to prey upon the unbelieving and the unprepared.

As a young solicitor, your father was sent into the wilds of Transylvania. His task was to help Prince Dracula conclude the purchase of a property in Whitby, an ancient monastery known as Carfax Abbey.

During his stay in Transylvania, your father discovered that his host and client, Prince Dracula, was in truth a creature thought to exist only in folktale and legend, one of those which feed upon the blood of the living in order to attain immortal life. Dracula was what the locals called Nosferatu, the Un-Dead.

You may more readily recognize the creature by its more common name:vampire.

Prince Dracula, fearing that your father would expose the truth of what he was, imprisoned him in his castle. Dracula himself then booked passage to England on the sailing vessel the Demeter, spending the many days of his voyage hidden in one of dozens of crates in the hull. He concealed himself in this strange fashion because although a vampire may have the strength of ten men and the ability to take many forms, he will burn to ash if struck by the light of the sun.

At this time, I was staying in Whitby at the home of my closest and dearest friend, Lucy Westenra. A storm had blown in off the sea, and the treacherous Whitby cliffs were shrouded in a dense mist. Lucy, unable to sleep, saw from her window the storm-driven ship heading for the rocks. Lucy raced into the night in an attempt to raise the alarm before the ship was wrecked, but she was too late. I awoke in a panic, saw that Lucy was not beside me in bed, and raced out into the storm to search for her. I found her at the cliff's edge, unconscious and with two small holes in her neck.

Lucy became deathly ill. Her fiancé, Arthur Holmwood, the son of Lord Godalming, and his dear friend, a visiting Texan whom you know as your namesake, Quincey P. Morris, raced to her side. Arthur called every doctor in Whitby and beyond, but none could explain Lucy's illness. It was our friend who owned the Whitby Asylum, Dr. Jack Seward, who called in his mentor from Holland, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.

Dr. Van Helsing, a learned man of medicine, was also acquainted with the occult. He recognized that Lucy was suffering from the bite of a vampire.

It was then that I finally received word from your father. He had escaped from Dracula's castle and taken refuge in a monastery where he, too, was deathly ill. I was forced to leave Lucy's bedside and travel to meet him. It was there in Buda-Pesth that we were married.

Your father told me of the horrors he had seen, and it was from this that we learned the identity of the vampire that had attacked Lucy and now threatened all our lives: Prince Dracula.

Upon returning from Buda-Pesth, we were told that Lucy had died. But worse was to follow. Days after her death, she had risen from her grave. She was now a vampire and was feeding on the blood of small children. Dr. Van Helsing, Quincey Morris, Dr. Seward, and Arthur Holmwood were faced with a terrible decision. They had no choice but drive a wooden stake through Lucy's heart in order to free her poor soul.

Shortly thereafter, Prince Dracula returned in the night to attack me. After this attack, we all swore an oath to hunt down and destroy the vampire, and rid the world of his evil. And so it was that we became the band of heroes and chased Dracula back to his castle in Transylvania. There, Quincey Morris died in battle although, like the hero he was, he managed to plunge a knife into Dracula's heart. We watched as Prince Dracula burst into flames, crumbling into dust in the light of the setting sun.

Then, we were free, or so I thought. But about a year after you were born, I began to suffer horrible nightmares. Dracula was haunting me in my dreams. It was then that your father reminded me of the dark prince's warning and how he had claimed, "I shall have my revenge. I shall spread it over centuries. Time is on my side."

From that day onward, your father and I have had no peace. We have spent our years looking over our shoulders. And now I fear we are no longer strong enough to protect you from his evil and I have made a terrible misjudgment in character.

Know this, my son, if you are to survive the evil that is now hunting you; embrace the truth I speak in these pages. Look deep within your young self and, as your father and I were once forced to do, find the brave hero within. Dracula is a wise and cunning foe. You cannot run, and there is nowhere to hide. You must stand and fight.

Good luck, my dear son, and do not be afraid. If Van Helsing is correct, then vampires are truly demons, and God will be at your side as you do battle.

With all my undying love,

Your mother, Mina

Chapter I.

OCEANS OF LOVE, LUCY.

The inscription was the only thing Dr. Jack Seward could focus on as he felt the darkness overtake him. In the darkness was peace, with no harsh light to illuminate the tattered remains of his life. For years, he had devoted himself to fighting back the darkness. Now he simply embraced it.

Only at night could Seward find peace with the memory of Lucy. In his dreams, he still felt her warm embrace. For a fleeting moment, he could go back to London, to a happier era, when he found meaning through his place in the world and his research. This was the life he had wished to share with Lucy.

The early morning din of milk wagons, fishmongers' carts, and other merchant vehicles rattling hurriedly across the cobblestone streets of Paris intruded on Seward's dream and thrust him back into the harsh present. Seward forced his eyes open. They stung worse than fresh iodine on an open wound. As the cracked ceiling of the stale Parisian flophouse room he had been renting came into focus, he reflected on how much his life had changed. It saddened him to see all the muscle tone he had lost. His bicep sagged, resembling one of those hand-sewn muslin tea bags after it had just been removed from a teapot. The veins on his arm were like rivers on a tattered map. He was a shadow of his former self.

Seward prayed that death would come quickly. He had willed his body to science, to be used in a classroom at his alma mater. He took comfort from the fact that in death he would help to inspire future doctors and scientists.

After a time, he remembered the watch, still nestled in his left hand. He turned it over. Half past six! For an instant, panic overtook him. Damn it to hell. He had overslept. Seward staggered to his feet. An empty glass syringe rolled off the table and shattered on the grimy wooden floor. A small, smoked brown bottle of morphine was about to follow the fate of the syringe, but he quickly caught the precious liquid, untying the leather belt from his left bicep with a practiced movement. Normal circulation returned as he rolled down his sleeve and returned the silver monogrammed cuff link to his frayed dress shirt. He buttoned up his vest and slipped on his jacket. Wallingham & Sons were the finest tailors in London. If his suit had been made by anyone else, it would have disintegrated ten years ago. Vanity dies hard, Seward thought to himself with a humorless chuckle.

He had to hurry if he still wanted to make the train. Where was that address? He had put it in a safe place. Now, when he needed it, he could not recall where exactly that was. He overturned the straw-filled mattress, inspected the underside of the wobbly table, and peered under the vegetable crates that served as dining chairs. He sifted through piles of aged newspaper clippings. Their headlines spoke of Seward's current preoccupation: gruesome stories of Jack the Ripper. Autopsy photos of the five known victims. Mutilated women posed, legs open, as if waiting to accept their deranged killer. The Ripper was deemed a butcher of women—but a butcher is more merciful to the animals he slaughters. Seward had reread the autopsy notes countless times. Loose pages of his theories and ideas written on scrap paper, torn cardboard, and unfolded matchboxes fluttered around him like windblown leaves.

The sweat flowing from Seward's brow began to sting his bloodshot eyes. Damn, where had he put it? The Benefactor had taken enormous risks to get him this information. Seward could not bear the thought of disappointing the only person who still believed in him. Everyone else—the Harkers, the Holmwoods—all thought he had taken leave of his senses. If they could see this room, Seward knew, they would fe...

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