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I woke up suddenly in a cold sweat. Taking a few deep breaths, I reached over to my phone on my nightstand.
3:33 AM. The Witching Hour.
Laying for what felt like an eternity, I tried to get my breathing and heartrate under control. I stared at the shadows being cast on the ceiling from the trees swaying outside. They looked like those creepy hands from the black-and-white horror movies I used to watch when I was a kid, like they were trying to slowly claw their way through the drywall and out of the roof.
I let my eyes close as I tried to go back to sleep. After about half an hour of unsuccessfully trying to doze off, I opened my eyes again.
The hands still hadn’t made their way through the ceiling (was I relieved?), so I looked at the clock on my phone again.
3:37? How could it have only been 4 minutes? This wasn’t working.
I swung my legs over the side of the bed onto the floor, but had a strange feeling at the base of my neck that something would reach out and grab my ankle. I panicked and picked my feet up again, as if I narrowly missed the Boogieman pulling me under the bed and into his nightmarish lair.
I sighed at myself. “What are you doing, Merle? There’s nothing there. It was just a dream.”
Still, I took my phone and, in one motion, put my feet down and was out the door.
Walking down the hall, I felt like a little kid who was embarrassed for doing something no one saw. Why was everything freaking me out all of a sudden? Then, like one of those oil-covered ducks being saved by a cleanup crew, it dawned on me.
I walked into the kitchen, flipped the light switch, maybe took a quick glance around to make sure the coast was clear and started making my coffee. Might as well start the day early. My sleep was done.
As soon as there was enough coffee in the carafe for a single cup, I pulled the pot away from the machine and filled a heavy mug. No cream or sugar, this one was thinking juice.
I sat down on a stool next to the island, my cup already half-empty.
Closing my eyes, I searched my memory for details of the dream that woke me before they were gone into the ether. Flashes hit me like waves of heat from that first bite of a Doomed taco.
The first wave that crashed was a vision of a gaunt, shadowy woman with long black hair. As I focused on her, I saw she was deathly pale, like a female dracula in a long black dress.
While still trying to remember the details of this mysterious vampiress, a second vision from the dream revealed itself. Smoke rising from some ethereal fire started condensing into another being. By the time the vampira realized what was taking form behind her, it was too late.
At the last moment, she turned to see the sharp, black blade of the Grim Reaper slicing down toward her.
She let out a soul-piercing scream.
With the shriek, vampira breathed a shower of flames over the Reaper, engulfing them both. In a few brief seconds, they were gone, leaving nothing behind but smoke, ash and the reaper-less scythe.
I snapped back to reality in my kitchen. Again, I was covered in a cold sweat. But this time, I had some clarity about what had woken me up in the first place. And more importantly, I had an idea of what to do with it.
Jumping from my stool so fast it teetered on one leg, I ran to my fridge in search of the right sauce. Grabbing that little green bottle, I ran to the junk drawer for a pen and pad of paper.
Going back and forth from the bottle to the pad, I frantically wrote an ingredient list. Changing a few ingredients, adding a little here, taking a little there, a recipe started to emerge. Taking the final swig of my cold coffee, standing in the dim light of my kitchen, I held the pad triumphantly in front of me.
This was it. This was what my vampiric nightmare was trying to tell me.
And now, after weeks of laboratory experiments, SHE’S ALIVE!!
Just in time for Halloween, I’ll be releasing for a limited time the new Vampira Halloween Hell 2021 hot sauce. It’s the same basic bones as the award-winning Vampira Verde Venom, but from my vision, I knew I needed more heat, more Reaper.
So we’ve upped the Green Reaper content to bring this from a soft 2 to a hard 6 on our Hellfire Heat Scale (patent pending).
Just keep your eyes peeled as we only have a few cases left. ‘Cause once it’s gone, you won’t see this hot Vampira again. Except in your nightmares…