Nov 3, 2007

Do Not Hasten to Bid Me Adieu - A vampire short story

I just finished rereading one of my favorite short stories. Years ago I read a collection of erotic vampire love stories and this one was selected for the anthology. While I would not exactly classify it as erotic, It is certainly a love story in its own rough way. The title is Do Not Hasten to Bid Me Adieu and is written by Norman Partridge.

It is a brief retelling of Stoker's Dracula, but this time from the viewpoint of Quincey Morris, one of the suitors of Lucy Westenra. As Stoker told it Lucy had three men who wished to marry her. After careful consideration she chose the English aristocrat Arthur Holmwood. Quincey considers Stoker's attempt at telling the story the ravings of a feverish mind. In truth Lucy and Quincey chose each other. They had a love so deep that few mortals would ever be able to understand. As the story begins Quincey, dressed all in black, drives a wagon across the boundless land of his home state of Texas. In the wagon is a large black box that carries his most precious love. He had made a promise to Ms Lucy and now he meant to carry it out.

The story shifts back and forth between the torturous happenings at Whitby, England and the bizarre events that Quincey sets in motion in Morrisville, Texas. At times the incidents from both places intertwine as if Quincey was going through a time of nightmare until, somehow, he sorts his thoughts and comes back to reality. He knows his task to be a difficult one, but despite the many obstacles he faces he does not hesitate to carry them out.

As far as I know the most recent publication to carry this story is Women of the Night, edited by Martin Greenberg. Barnes & Noble, 2007. My first encounter was in Love in Vein: Twenty Original Tales of Vampiric Erotica. edited by Poppy Z. Brite. HarperPrism, 1994.

By the way the story title comes from the cowboy song Red River Valley. Some of the lyrics can be found in the story. For instance:

Come sit by my side if you love me,
Do not hasten to bid me adieu,
But remember the Red River Valley,
And the cowboy who loved you so true.

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