My Beef with Vampires – Ancel K. Houchen
My problem with the way vampires are being portrayed today is that they have become indistinguishable from comic book super heroes. They are fast, strong and typically wealthy. They get to party all night and sleep in late. And instead of turning to dust come sunrise some just sparkle.
Seriously? I mean really WTFreak?
Vampires used to get by with a drafty castle and one slightly insane assistant. Now they live on grand estates with rolling lawns, gardeners, butlers and pool boys. Instead of being reclusive and aloof now they live in secret vampire societies with hierarchies, titles rules, bosses and probably union dues. I don’t know about you but I get enough of interoffice politics at work.
I prefer the old school vampires, like Kurt Barlow from Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot”. Vampires are supposed to be remorseless killers, agents of Satan, not over emotional centenarians suffering from teen angst. They shouldn’t be torn between good and evil they should be tearing out throats and taking names.
I think the vampire genre needs a rest. When you see vampires running around in black latex using guns and swords you know the fad has run its course…for the time being. No worries though, vampires will be back, and when they do I’ll be doing my part to make sure they don’t stray too far from their roots.
In the mean time here’s a excerpt from one of my stories about vampires titled “Must Love Cats”.
“When Simon was a new vampire, he found that catching his prey was notably more difficult back then than it was in the modern world. He did not attribute the difference to his unfamiliarity with his new nature. Vampires, like snakes, were “born” fully formed, with all of their powers and instincts already present and keenly honed. The problem was not with him, it was with his prey.
Most people at the time lived on farms or in small villages in tightly knit family groups. They were naturally suspicious of new faces and night travelers. The majority of the New England colonists were of British or French descent so vampires were not a part of their common folklore. They did not consciously recognize the signs of a vampire yet many of them still found a way to know when a supernatural creature walked among them. Simon could not figure out how the mortals always seemed to know when he was coming. He found it maddening at times. Something as simple as horses sweating at night or fresh milk turning sour by sundown was seen as an unquestionable sign of bewitchment resulting in the entire town closing up as tight as a fist. Families would huddle around their oil lamps reciting tracks from the Bible. Garlic, roses and small wooden crosses would be nailed to doors or placed in windows. Their flimsy wood slat homes would be transformed into an impregnable fortress of wretched Christian belief.
But on rare occasions he would find himself the recipient of an invitation from some miserable fool who was looking to bargain with a devil. Sometimes they were old or sick and wanted Simon to help them cheat death, more often however they were shallow and vain, more fearful of the crow’s feet in their reflection than they were of the Reaper who seemed to be never that far away. They willfully offered a blood sacrifice for the promise of eternal life but the bargain was never to be fulfilled. Of the few vampires he knew of, none of them were empowered to make another like themselves and Simon was no exception. Lucifer and the Adversary guarded their powers of creation jealously. Simon would take their offer, their blood and their life, leaving as dead as December leaves.”
Ancel K. Houchen 5/21/2012