Many years ago (probably between 10 and 15) I was asked to write a vampire tale, but it was meant to be something that came across as a little different. They were not to be called vampires for a start, in fact they were not to have any real name in the story, just be different, more 'real' if that was possible, and we were going to refer to them as Sanguisuga outside of the story, and ultimately in the title.
I relished the idea and had a stab at it, coming up with something that was a little different in construction as well as content. The Sanguisuga tale came in four parts, each one building on the last, the earlier ones being something that might have happened in real life, and although the later ones had a certain edge to them they were still meant to feel real - as though they could have actually happened.
I was really pleased with the way they turned out at the time and although it was not exactly what the person had expected they were extremely happy with what I'd done.
But life went on, people change, things fell through.
When going through my papers I found parts 2-4, reread it and though there might be something there worth looking at. I had a hard copy of part 1, which I OCRed and added to the computer and did not think any more on it. Until I started the mass of editing I'm doing at the moment.
I turned my hand to the first part of Sanguisuga, edited, finished and saved. Went onto another short story or two and went back to part 2 and was working through it. It was both the second paragraph when I began to think... 'this feels a little too familiar'. It was. It was the first part all over again.
It seemed that at some point I'd misfiled it under the wrong, name. So I only had parts 1,3 and 4. There was no way I was going to be able to remember what happened in a story I wrote so long ago. And so I consigned it to pile of work to come back to in the future, after all I had an awful lot to work on anyway.
Last week I was looking for something. I had a blue book, filled with some excruciatingly bad poetry from my troubled teen years (or not so troubled). I knew there were a few dates in there that I wanted to check on though, and as happens in these cases I could not find it.
But... I did find another similar blue book that I forgot I had. It was empty, but the first few pages had some handwritten short stories. Stuffed in the front were a couple of pages, one set typewritten (!) the other dot matrix printed sheets.
The first was the very first short story I ever dared submit to a magazine way back in 1989 (I may well talk about this later); the second was Sanguisuga Part 1. It seems I had Part 2 all along. But now, after another quick burst of OCR I have the tale complete again.
Four parts making up a complete subtle story which is as much none-vampire as it is vampire. It's an unusual construction which means I will have to think about it a little before I decide what to do with it, and there is a lot of editing that is needed still... but the sense, the feeling of seeing a story become whole again after believing it lost is quite a remarkable one.
Whether the story is good or bad, perhaps more importantly it is complete.