Vampires: Why they are depicted as they are…

baris-vampire

In modern times, vampires are often portrayed as gorgeously attractive, blood-sucking, immortal creatures who have supernatural powers such as turning into bats, hypnosis and having super senses and ultra speed, to name just a few. Funny enough, as gorgeous creatures as they are, they do not have reflections in mirrors. And somehow, they can easily turn into dust under daylight and can be killed by a wooden stake, when stabbed right through their hearts. Let’s speculate a bit about these elements which have made the modern vampire:

1. Blood-sucking: Blood is what gives life to the living. Since vampires are undead, it’s perfectly normal for them to suck life from us, transferring it from their victim to their bodies. And since they cannot get their daily vitamin D intake from the sun, they drink blood which has at least trace amounts of the necessary vitamins.

2. Fetish for the neck: Picture a scene where a vampire is draining the blood of an attractive victim, which part of the body would the vampire go for? What makes a great scene even when feeding? Fangs penetrating the skin over the abdomen? Knee caps? Arm pits? Or the neck itself?
In Armenian mythology,  there is one queer vampire named Dakhanavar, who sucks the soles (Yes, “soles” of the feet, not “souls”) of its victims while they are sleeping. It surely does not look so cool visually, except for people with foot fetish. And maybe not even for them if the victim is a peasent grandma housing an ecosystem of blisters and bunions on her feet.
Another good reason for vampires choosing the neck is carotid arteries that can be found in each side of the neck. Why drink from an infrequently dripping tap when you can get access to a fountain. Right?

3. Turning into bats: Bats are nocturnal creatures just like vampires. Besides, vampires would not look so cool if they turned into hamsters or ponies, would they? (They would look cuter though). By turning into “vampire” bats, they also gain the ability to fly, which takes the problem of geography off the table: A vampire story would have no limits on the diversity of the locations that it took place at. Do not forget that we, humans have started as explorers as well, not settlers…
vamp-bat

4. Hypnosis, Altering or Erasing Memories: If you are still reading this, it means that you haven’t been killed by a vampire until now. Do not consider yourself lucky as it might be because most vampires would rather feed on their prey multiple times than kill it off instantly. There’s no need to annihilate the food supply at one go. It’s like eating out at your favorite place most nights, again and again. They know that, we, humans can compensate blood loss by generating more blood when needed. Here’s how the hunting process goes for a typical vampire:
Find a lively victim, lure it into a dark alleyway by hypnosis, prevent the prey from resisting (again by hypnosis), fang its neck, drink just the right amount of blood so the victim can survive, alter or erase the memories of the incident and let the victim blame the fang marks on the neck, on a twisted tree branch run into the previous night. Visit the victim again and repeat the process when the victim recuperates.
Now, let’s shed light on why vampires seem to have this ability, which is far less cooler than most other super powers (like being totally immortal or time travelling):
Hypnosis, altering or erasing memories add to the intellectual qualities of a vampire, meaning that they do not only have brawns, but also brains. Plus, it provides them with mysterious characteristics as nobody can know anything about them for sure. The victims’ memories could have easily been altered.

5. The Destructive Sun: Nobody has ever seen a tanned lord of the night. Right?  Vampires are all pale and turn into dust when exposed to direct sunlight. But, why? Well, first of all, the sun provides life to all living things on our planet. The sun and life are as closely related to each other as night and death. And vampires are dead…err…. undead, but I think you get my point.
But, what about the impact of this in modern culture?
Let’s go back about 60-70 years in history, when having a pale, white skin, unspoilt by a suntan used to be a sign of nobility. It was those times when peasents, workers and the poor had to work in fields under direct sunlight to earn a living while the noblemen stayed indoors, in their luxurious castles or dwellings and rarely put afoot outside. So, we can easily link pale skin to nobility and that may be why the vampires are susceptible to sunlight. When stripped out of their nobility (having a suntan), vampires become more ordinary, similar to the vast majority of people living in those times. Ordinary is far from being cool. Turning into dust under direct sunlight may also have reference to our origins: Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

6. Being irresistibly gorgeous and immortal: No matter how good-looking we are, we, humans tend to find flaws with our physical appearance (All the women and most men). We are programmed that way. The physical qualities of a vampire, on the other hand, is exactly what we have been looking for since the beginning of time. It’s a spot-on representation of what we have been longing for, just like immortality. Perhaps, vampires are a mere representation of all our dreams: Being extremely good-looking, immortal and noble beings with super powers… And perhaps, that’s why they do not have reflections as they are perfect in every way and we are not. At least not in those countless selfies we take on a daily basis.

7. Death by wooden stakes: Mythologically speaking, vampires go way back in time, when adamantium rods, lightsabers or steel swords were pretty much non-existant and iron weapons scarce. However, wood was everywhere. Although it is still not clear why stabbing vampires through the heart kills them (a heart which does not beat or pump blood), it is good to know that wooden stakes do the job. Especially ones that are shapened from ash trees (Another reference to “Ashes to ashes”?). Ash trees were also referred to “Tree of Life” in Norse mythology. There!

8. Vampire Repellents: A blood-sucker shows up in your doorstep. What do you do? No worries! Just use one of the repellents below that are commonly found in nearly every household:
a) Garlic: It’s the vampire kryptonite! As humans we are, we can barely stand the stench of someone who has recently consumed garlic, how could a vampire with super senses endure it? These creatures of the night can allegedly smell the scent of blood from miles away just as they could be effectively disgusted by the sight and smell of garlic in face-to-face encounters. Besides, garlic is known to eradicate bacteria if we assume vampirism to be a contagious illness spread by bacteria.
b) The Cross or the Crucifix: Although overrated, religion seems to have some power after all. A newly turned vampire can remember his/her sins after turning and run away when confronted by such symbols, possibly succumbing into a temporary depression. When in depression, hunger just fades away… for a while…
It would surely be different symbols (repellents) for bloodsuckers following other religions: A crescent for Muslim vampires or the Star of David for Jewish vampires would work just the same. Just pray that you never meet a heretic vampire!
c) Bag of rice: While not a repellent, common rice has its own tricks up to its sleeves. Most vampires in mythology seems to have a weird case of OCD and they tend to count every grain of rice when they come accross them, thus losing valuable night time when counting every bit.
This OCD may have developed in vampires some time after immortality as when immortal for centuries, anyone tends to get bored of life and look for new… activities to kill time…
This is just a brief summary and speculation of why vampires are imagined as they are.
I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Illusions: How I became a crappy horror-erotica author.

image

Lise dragged me to the gents’ and we rushed inside a narrow toilet space and began kissing. Soon, we were half naked and the freezing toilet seat had already stolen the heat off my butt, making me hard…to concentrate. However, I didn’t care, we didn’t care, we had found ourselves in each other’s arms again. We kept going on although we heard other men came in through the outer door. I wasn’t going to be embarrassed, if Lise wasn’t.

Above is an excerpt from my flash fiction “La Verita” which started as a supernatural horror and transformed into horror-erotica upon publication. I have to tell you though that it was only me to blame for this misconception as I couldn’t decide whether it had adult content judging from the excerpt above, but I marked it as adult content to be on the safe side anyway.
I’m thinking of changing the genre to avoid angry masses of playboy magazine subscribers who had high hopes when they downloaded the book.  First of all, there’s only partial nudity. Then, there’s no demon sex; only half-naked, half-baked human sex scene. ..yes,  scene not scenes and etc.
What should I do? Please comment.

“La Verita”

It was June the thirteenth, the 7th year mark of our marriage, rather, my marriage as for the last year or so I had felt like I was the only one trying to save it. Lise had delved into a depression of some sort and had never shown a spark of bliss in her deep green eyes for the past whole year. She was suicidal, too, eventhough she never attempted or spoken of it. I had memories of six wonderful years which she seemed to have no recollection of. For her, nothing seemed to matter anymore. Sometimes I even caught her looking at me with concentrated distaste. It appeared to me that I was relocated out of heart and my last chance to fix something,  anything was our 7th wedding anniversary. I persuaded her for one last meal at the very same restaurant where we had first met.
“La verita” was a small, clean family restaurant where you didn’t have to spend a fortune for a decent meal. It could accommodate about 40 people when it was packed and almost always it was full. It was a good idea to book a table well in advance to avoid an obvious surprise of overcrowd. And that was exactly what I had done. Lise unexpectedly accepted my offer to eat out one last time although I was sure that her intentions were completely different; she was planning a break up.

The restaurant was having one of its usual Fridays. Full of people and their endless chatter. Although we still lived together, Lise had insisted on joining me later. It had been half an hour of solidarity when she stepped in through the door. It was like magic unleashed into an unsuspecting, ordinary world. Her crimson dress flickered like a dying candle as she moved, flailing her straight raven hair like a cuckoo clock’s pendulum  from one side to the other. Her smooth white skin glimmered like some fake vampire’s shell. Inside that skin, there was a bundled up harmony of agony and beauty. She smiled and I melted down as she sat down after we greeted each other. I was so stoned by the sight of her that I didn’t even pull out her chair like a gentleman would do. Like I would always do. We ordered blueberry wine as starters and started staring at each other like complete strangers with, out of the ordinary eye contact. Nevertheless, her melancholy took over after the initial moments and a couple of sips of wine. Tears had formed ready to race down her cheeks and she got up and excused herself to the bathroom. A lump formed in my throat as I realized that it was more desperation than hope in her last look at me.
It had been nearly twenty minutes and she hadn’t returned so I decided to check upon her. The toilets were at the back of the restaurant and were accessible through swinging doors which first led to the ladies’ and further down to the mens’ room. The withered peeling off wallpaper didn’t quite match the chic decoration of the dining area. But hey, the food was good and the place was special. I stood in front of the door like a lost puppy, not knowing what to do. There were a couple of ladies queued up, looking desperate. Anyone could tell, that they were going to do more than just renew their makeups once they were inside. Lise had to have been still inside,  occupying the toilet. At that instance,  I remembered that “La Verita” had at least three toilet seats in each bathroom (I knew the ladies’ room from our first visit here with Lise. Yes, I know I am not a lady but we had used it differently back then. ) I waited impatiently for a minute or two, until a couple of more ladies lengthened the queue. Not wanting to seem any more weirder, I made my way to the gents and once inside just stared at the mirror with a worrying look. A few moments later, I got out and headed back to the food area. The corridor was still packed with ladies, but staying there wouldn’t have helped. When I made it to the dining area, I was relieved as Lise was back, sitting at our table with a big nestled smile on her face.The long-lost sparks in her eyes were back. Her green eyes seemed to have gone lighter in colour when they sparkled; A distant memory I hadn’t had for a very long time. I nearly threw myself onto my chair,  not wanting to miss any second of her blissful state. Of my bliss.The next few moments , I was in heaven, she smiled extensively, held my hand, laughed at my stupid jokes and even played footsie under the table.

Something was off in her touches, but I didn’t care as long as she kept skin contact she was touching me more passionately than ever. I could feel her nails dip into my skin, tearing thin strips of flesh. The best form of pain. Even when she touched my legs with her barefeet. She hadn’t had time to go for mani and pedi but I couldn’t blame her for that, could I? It was a good feeling no matter how she touched me. There in one moment of uncontrollable overflow of emotions,  I wanted to rip her dress off and make with her right there on the table. She had to have the same thought as she grabbed my wrist and literally yanked me off the table. We were headed to the toilets among the disturbed looks of the restaurant customers. A quick glance towards the ladies room demonstrated that the situation inside was still the same.  This time there were angry knocks on the door and a few swear words from the ladies in the queue. Lise dragged me to the gents’ and we rushed inside a narrow toilet space and began kissing. Soon, we were half naked and the freezing toilet seat had already stolen the heat off my butt, making me hard…to concentrate. However, I didn’t care, we didn’t care, we had found ourselves in each other’s arms again. We kept going on although we heard other men came in through the outer door. I wasn’t going to be embarrassed, if Lise wasn’t. After long minutes of deep intimacy, we heard a shriek coming from a distance, it was definitely a woman. And then some hurriying footsteps followed by complete silence. A feeling of uneasiness started settling in me, though the more emotional one, Lise, seemed to be unaffected by these external disturbances. A few minutes later,  I heard a police siren as if it was signaling us to finish up. Despite Lise’s silent protests, we dressed up and got out. Luckily, the bathroom was empty now so we slipped out hand in hand and joined the crowd outside the ladies’ room. The door was ajar now and judging by the sounds coming from the inside, the police seemed to have been investigating. We didn’t stick out much. I just asked what had happened to an over curious looking obese man in a dark blue suit.
“Some lady slit her wrists. She’s dead. ” he spoke fast and turned away in order not to miss anything that might happen. I felt sad for the woman. If Lise managed to free herself from her depression and suicidal tendencies,  anyone could.
Since Lise didn’t want to stick around anymore, I paid a hefty sum for our no-order no-show dinner and the wine including a generous sum mainly to
cover up our little misbehaviour and we went home. We made love the rest of the night as if we were trying to compensate the non-sexual days of our lives. It felt like Lise had not only overcome her depression, but also upgraded her sex drives. She had become Lise 2.0.
The next morning, I woke up in a partially warm bed; Lise’s side was empty. On her pillow, there was a little note saying: “Thank you for the great night. Liz. ”
Apart from the childish, crooked lines that made the letters and the words, she had misspelled her name. And, that wasn’t her handwriting. “She must still be wasted. ” I thought as a feeling of uneasiness started taking over. I started waiting for her but the feeling inside me made sure of its presence as a lump in my throat gradually formed. The best way to wait her up and keep preoccupied was to switch on the TV and zap through channels of useless mind litter thrown to us. It was the local TV station’s morning news, and I encountered Lise when I least expected to see her. Her photograph was in the headlines with the subtitle; “Unidentified woman ends her life in a local restaurant’s bathroom. ”
The dents she had carved into my skin started itching like hell.