Six Sentence Stories – Lillianna

Six Sentence Stories is a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise at Girlie on the Edge blog.

This week’s cue word is: Improvise


With arms crossed about my bosom and eyes wide shut, I set sail, my wooden casket secured in the black belly of the ship’s hold, where the slaying luminosity of sunlight’s coverlet upon the wretched sea could not burn me. 

At night I would emerge to feed on my fellow passengers, and after I would gladly stare at the black coals of the ocean and sky and feel myself becoming stronger, vital, an 800 year-old monster in the shape of a human woman, and with all of mankind’s evils in my arsenal; a parasite of a parasite.

Those nights of bliss, but days of hell in that rat-infested hold, O, the agony in mahogany, mocking me, the angry sea reflecting the sun as if sensing my brutality to poison English shores and unsuspecting humanity, and I… clinging on to sanity by dreams of arriving at my harbour under a veil of stars, disembarking every bit a lady in fine costume and furs, where from my coach I would extend unsaid invitations to society strolling about the avenues, while my servant drove our horses onwards to our castle.

But, alas, this was not to be, as one night a ferocious tempest ripped apart our ship and sent us under, and I the only survivor in a coverless lifeboat, with all certitude of being burnt to death the moment the sun rose the next morning.

By light of the moon, and with only my fangs and claws, I stripped the skin clean from the drowned passengers strewn about me, used sinew and hair and finest bones to stitch together a corpulent suit to shield myself against the coming sun.

I survived for a number of days in this foul skinsuit, until I at last reached shore; though it was not the shore I had originally sailed for, and was poorer for its people and culture, yet those people were rich in charity and offered me a room in their humble inn, where I began the plotting of my improvised reign of a blood-letting to come, and a notoriety which would soon tempt vampire-slayers from all over Europe to hunt me down in the middle of this ocean.

Editor’s note: My micro-story Lillianna is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and adds the dilemma: what if Dracula suffers a shipwreck on his passage to Whitby, England, and never makes it to his intended destination?

Lillianna is the grim tale of an 800 year-old vampire who survives a shipwreck while on course for England to begin her reign of blood. Too far from land to transform into bat form and fly to safety, she is faced with the inevitability of being burned to death the moment the sun rises the next morning. Lillianna must improvise a way to survive daylight until she reaches dry land. Once more, this vampire must turn to humanity as her resource for survival.

Lillianna micro story by Ford 13 May 2021

Lillianna artwork – ink, ribbons and netting and digital render by Ford 13 May 2021


  1. Wow, now that is improvisation of the grimmest kind! Gave me “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” vibes with the stitching of skins together – a bit like Leatherface.
    But on a lighter note, we will be safe here in good ol’ Blighty (England) cos in Whitby we have a secret deterrent to Vampiric ladies….SHEEP! Yes the humble sheep shall protect us. When I was young my school organised a trip to visit Whitby’s ruined cathedral and whilst we sat eating our packed lunch sandwiches in the field next to the ruins the Sheep came…and “attacked” eating one of my friends’ sandwiches…plastic wrappings and all! Should Lillianna step ashore she will probably be devoured by the big walking balls of wool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, watch out for those feisty (and hungry) sheep! Thanks FT. Glad you liked and that you also felt the Leatherface/Ed Gein vibe which I have to say came as a grisly surprise even to me, as I didn’t expect the story to take such a turn until it happened!


  2. “…O, the agony in mahogany,
    Dude! Nice lick.

    Writing sure is fun. You (in this Six) take something we all know (the Stoker) and suggest something that we didn’t know. And, through the combination of the strength of the story we know and the your skill in suggesting what might of have been… it (the new story) becomes all the more effective.*

    (flicker of the bic lighters in the dark ~Here~)

    *both as a frightening story and a coda to the orginal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Clark. That little rhyme: “…O, the agony in mahogany, ” has been sitting in my writing locker for months now waiting to be used… and finally was perfect for this vampire tale set at sea!

      Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ is such a dark and impressive Gothic tale that I actually felt chilled dipping my toe into its landscape to come up with my tale.
      And the character Lillianna… it’s as though she snuck up on me and tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘excuse me, I have a story to tell.’
      No way I could refuse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, D, for the compliment 😊 I know I would have been right at home back in the romantic period; its style and a bit of the gothic always finds its way to me.
      Got to tell you when I was ten our family moved from the big city to a countryside town, and all our street names were named after poets: I lived on Milton Grove, then there was Tennyson Road, Chaucer Road, Coleridge Drive, Keats Avenue, Auden Way, Eliot Way, Wordsworth Avenue. Even the tower block we lived in was named after a poet – Binyon Court. How cool was that for a bit of subtle writing influence 😎😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • That was very cool, V! And no doubt inspirational. But how did you feel about it at 10? How old when you began writing poetry?
        The only name in your list not familiar to me is Laurence Binyon:

        “As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
        Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
        As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
        To the end, to the end, they remain.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Love the quote, D! Very starry indeed 🤩
          I was aware that Tennyson, Milton, Keats and Wordsworth were poets but didn’t study them till a bit later. It’s a good question – I was already winning poetry and writing competitions at school from age 7, and went to the local library each Saturday morn to get my fix of books. The earliest inspiration for poems for me is the Rupert Bear stories, which come with a traditional story narration plus a rhyming poem narration. Very clever way for kids to get into poems. Was also a big reader of Dr Seuss – again those clever rhymes. And the Edward Lear nonsense stories.

          Liked by 1 person

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