Halloween Spotlight: Vampires
Vampires are legendary. It’s that simple. There are tales throughout the ages of these creatures that have many different approaches to the lore. When I was halfway finished writing my zombie novel, I decided to slowly tie in the vampire aspect. I wanted something else to tackle. As I consulted Dan again with my ideas to expand the novels and a topic for our second comic book collaborative, I decided on a new approach.
Everything from vampire lore needed to exist in the same universe. Their weaknesses and strengths may not be universal among all blood suckers, but I didn’t want to discredit the varying kinds. And so, “Blood, The Second Helping” the novel was born, as well as its graphic spinoff “Legends of Vampire.” The characters involved in the first book needed to deal with something more dangerous than zombies this time, and vampires were the next logical choice. They are faster, smarter, and have abilities and influence throughout the ages, making them a powerful ally or lethal foe. Here’s a brief view of how it works in my created universe.
1) Silver weakness – The reason for this vulnerability goes back to the dawn of man. When Cain, the first vampire, murdered his brother Abel, the rock that he used kill his kin contained high amounts of silver. Forever, Cain would be damned to walk with a blood thirst and weakened by the element he used for murder.
2) Sunlight weakness – Not all vampires are harmed by the sun’s rays. Upon being locked in a room void of any sunlight for thousands of years, and surviving on only insects and small rodents, a vampire will become harmed by the sun’s rays. The lack of nutrition and fresh blood causes their skin to develop a lupus like disease. Immediate exposure to sunlight will either severly burn their flesh or cause them to turn to ash.
3) Generational differences: Cain, being the first vampire, is immortal. Even being stabbed through the heart with silver will not keep him at bay forever. Even if his body were to be destroyed entirely, his soul would reside somewhere until it returns to life. The twelve that he turned into his first generation vampires can die much easier. They each have their own abilities based on their talents in life. With each generation down the line, vampires progressively get weaker as the cursed blood slowly phases out through genetics. It is when the sixth generation comes that these creatures no longer require blood. They have become mindless zombies at this point and need flesh to survive.
4) Crucifix deterrant: Do crucifixes actually harm a vampire? The answer is no. There are certain sects of vampires who may believe in darkness. The sight of a cross literally enrages or repulses them. This is not the case with all vampires though.
5) Memory: Vampires remember and gain knowledge of everyone they’ve ever consumed the blood of. One vampire in particular, Kristoff, has the ability to learn everything and recall that knowledge at will. His photographic mind is of genius level proportions, enabling him to go as far as researching an injectible cure for his bloodlust… a cure for the vampire curse.
6) Garlic weakness: Garlic is like any other food. Its powerful scent and taste does not actually repel a vampire. It does have an effect on one vampire however. Evelyn, is a wine connoseur. She has found that the effects of wine on the blood are beneficial to the amounts of times she needs to feed. Unfortunately for her, she had a severe allergy to garlic when she was once human. That allergy remains in her vampire years and will cause her airways to close or for her skin to break out in a rash if exposed to enough of it.
7) Mind Control: Two vampires have exhibited mental abilities beyond normal means. One of these vampires has the ability to control anyone’s mind, while the other can communicate with animals and insects. Either one of these abilities makes them a more deadly foe than the normal vampire.
8) Healing: Vampires heal at a much more rapid rate than usual. If they lose a limb it will grow back eventually, unless that limb was severed with something made of silver. Silver hinders their ability to heal wounds. Drinking fresh blood will cause them to heal even more rapidly. In the case of the vampire, Evelyn, she has an even greater gift of healing. She can cure the wounds and ailments of others by absorbing them into her by a mere touch. The downside is that for a time, these afflictions are fully experienced by her until her vampire DNA forces it out.
9) Disease: There are many blood diseases and ailments out there. If you think that these abnormalities don’t affect vampires, then you are wrong. The effects of drinking the blood of someone who may have H.I.V. for example, are just as deadly for a blood sucker as they are for a human.
10) Youth vampire: Although he is not a vampire like the others, one man is still considered as much. This man is not a descendant of Cain’s curse. Instead, he had an accident that causes him to age exponentially faster than normal humans. He’s got no enhanced abilities like vampires do, but he can make himself younger by absorbing the youth of others. For example: If he were to breathe in the essence of a 12 year old, that child would become as old as he was at that moment of absorbing, while he’d gain the difference in years back to his youth. Theoretically, he could live forever this way.
11) Wannabe: There are some goth teens that have the desire to be something more. Believing that they are either vampires or will become vampires through their actions, they go on a string of murders, consuming some of the blood of their victims, including family members and friends. These are in fact NOT true vampires.
12) Historical influence: The following events are just some of the events directly related to vampires or their influence throughout human history: Cain and Abel, The Fountain of Youth, Excalibur, King Arthur, The Great Sphinx, Vlad Tepes, Sampson and Delilah, Lilith, CIA controversies, Kennedy Assassination, Elizabeth Bathory, and much more.
13) Mirrors: Vampires DO in fact cast reflections in mirrors. One vampire was not happy with their appearance however and decided to smash any mirror they’d come into contact with.
14) Foresight: One vampire has the ability to foresee events to come. Of course these visions could always change depending on actions taken in the present, but this one has the sole ability to see the future through dreams/visions.
Those are the vampires in our universe here. Notice there are no sparkles involved. Dan and I of course discussed the spinoff comic over another appropriate bottle of wine, pictured above. So what are our vampire influences? Below are just some of our favorites:
Rick’s favorite vampire Movie is Interview with The Vampire. His favorite Book on vampires is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The Video Game series Legacy of Kain remains at the top of his list. Rick’s pick for vampire of the year is Selene from the Underworld series.
Dan’s favorite vampire Movie is 30 Days of Night. His favorite Book involving vampires is What if…Wolverine was Lord Of The Vampires. The Video Game series Castlevania remains at the top of his list. Dan’s pick for vampire of the year is the classic Nosferatu creature.
What are your favorites? Are you a vampire fan? Grab yourself a copy of “Blood, The Second Helping” the novel. It is available at www.lulu.com in softback book and on www.amazon.com for the Kindle. Also, the spinoff comic book “Blood The Second Helping: Legends of Vampire” is available for purchase at www.indyplanet.com. Help support our blood curling madness.
“Blood, The Second Helping” and its spinoff are (C) 2011 by Rick Pipito. Stay tuned for our werewolf spotlight…