Love, Murder & Mayhem: Read it Now: Invasive Maneuvers

Hildy Silverman’s “Invasive Maneuvers” pits a team of vampire, werewolf, witch, and human vs. an army of gangly alien invaders who have descended upon the sleepy New Jersey suburb of Piscataway. Can this monster-mash get beyond their squabbling to keep their otherworldly invaders in check, or will their egos get in the way?
Here’s an early look:


Invasive Maneuvers

By Hildy Silverman

It began as these things often do—routinely.

Diana Thornheart, my neighborhood watch partner, and I, Lord Frederic Dravyn, pater sanguis of the Piscataway, New Jersey bloodline, were on nighttime patrol. Our assignment: keep thrill-seeking humans from sneaking into my neighborhood of Wyckoff and vampires with a yen for human blood from swooping into her human community of Stelton.

Along the way, we passed by and nodded politely to our counterparts—a snide crone known as Mother Hester and . . . well, I could not identify the werewolf with her. I know it sounds species-ist to say they all look alike when in wolf form. But they do.

“Frederic,” Diana asked me, “what’s that?”

I looked over to where she was pointing. A bright greenish light shone above the college football stadium about a quarter of a mile away. “Is there a game tonight?”

“I’m pretty sure the season ended last month.”

We watched as the mysterious light hovered for another moment then abruptly dipped down into the stadium. A boom echoed through the night and shook the ground beneath us.

“Oh, my dear lord.” Diana grabbed my arm, and for one giddy, foolish moment, I thought she meant me.

“I think something crashed!”

“I’ll call nine-one-one.” I reached for my cellphone, but she caught my hand. “What?”

“Frederic,” Diana said, her dark brown eyes alight, “you know all of Piscataway heard that. Someone’ll contact the authorities.”

My heart sank. “You want us to investigate. Do you have any idea how dangerous that could be? There might be fire. Neither of us are built to survive fire.”

“Then let’s not get too close,” she advised. “But we have to see what that was!”

“We do?” Her glare challenged my masculinity. “Very well. A quick look, and not too—”

“Come on!” She sprinted off.

I followed, careful to keep my preternatural speed in check so as not to leave her in the dust. Diana was in admirable physical condition (and I did admire it, frequently) but she was still only human. A fact I’d had to remind myself of with increasing frequency over the years since we implemented the neighborhood watch program, which had proven quite successful in reducing unfortunate (and sometimes fatal) misunderstandings between the beings occupying Piscataway’s four neighborhoods.

As we ascended the stadium stairs, I saw the greenish light had dimmed. We peered down from the top of the stands then looked at each other. Diana’s expression mirrored my shock.

“That’s a friggin’ spaceship!” she exclaimed.

I could only nod. There was no mistaking the craft that now filled the field from goalpost to goalpost for anything else. It was ovoid, like an egg laid on its side, and covered in a series of interlocking grids of a luminescent material. A large rupture ran from underneath the ‘egg’ up the side facing us, revealing shadowy figures within.

“Oh-kay.” I pulled Diana over to huddle behind a pillar. “We came. We saw. Now we retreat.”

She cocked her head to one side. “Really? Lord Dravyn, threehundred- plus-year-old vampire, wants to run away from the most amazing thing to literally hit this town since . . . well, since vampires, werewolves, and witches moved here?”

“Yes, he most certainly does.” Relieved she understood, I started away, until she grabbed my elbow and pulled me up short. “Diana.” I tried not to sound aggrieved. “You know how one gets to exist for three centuries?”

“Drink blood?” She grinned slyly. “Convince a wannabe slayer to open her mind?”

To read the rest of “Invasive Maneuvers” click here.

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