Bloodsuckers

 

So… how does everyone feel about vampires?

I know, loaded question, I guess.  Vampires have such a huge volume of stuff behind them that it’s kinda tough to get past it.  I mean you’ve got your Nosferatus and your Draculas. (So many Draculas.)  There’s Lestats and your Edwards and Angels and on and on.

The thing of it is though, these vampires— good guys, bad guys, whatever guys— They’re all essentially portrayed the same way.  They’re monsters.  Super predators.  Very Dangerous Guys.  That’s it.  The stories for each of those characters revolves around that central theme: they’re extremely dangerous and Should Not Be Near Humans.  In rare cases (looking at you, Angel) they know that about themselves and feel wracked with guilt about tit, not that they do anything to stay away really.  Which in my mind makes them pretty much one dimensional and really boring.

I prefer a good sideways take on them.  Kojou Akatsuki, for example, in Strike the Blood.  He’s a vampire, yes, but he doesn’t really want to be.  Mostly it’s just a pain in his ass at the top of the story.  His biggest goals, as far as he’s concerned are making it through the end of high school, figuring out what the heck to do next, and keeping his little sister from finding out what happened to him.  Not exactly the bloodthirsty monster we’re used to.  Nor is he guilt-plagued and angst-ridden.  He’s just tired.  And stressed out from keeping his secret.  Over the rest of the stories (that I’ve read so far) he’s held back not so much by vampire hunters or the Terrible Wretchedness of his Curse, but by the same thing that weighs down Peter Parker: how, exactly to use his powers responsibly, and how to shoulder that responsibility without crumbling beneath it.

I just read another interesting take on it.  A book called Bill the Vampire.  To sum up, Bill is a geek (I liked him already) who ends up getting turned against his will and rather by surprise.  Of course, he’s a Special Vampire or we wouldn’t have a story, but he’s basically dumped off at home to figure out how to be a vampire on his own, though he does recruit his equally geeky roommates to help him run a few experiments.  He may now be a scary super predator, but he’s not guilt ridden about it, he’s just annoyed as hell.  Bursting into flames when touched by sunlight makes it really hard to get to his weekly Dungeons and Dragons game, you know?  And forget making it to the morning meetings at work, although that’s rather less annoying.  I very much enjoyed the take on religion and crosses affecting vampires, and how that plays out in the climactic Final Battle.  I’m going to get around to reading his further adventures, but my To Read list is long.  (I don’t get it all on Goodreads cause I tend to forget about it…)

I know that with my Accidental Novella from a few weeks back I’m only adding to the slush pile of vampire what-have-you, but I enjoy playing around with the concept.  I hope you all enjoy it too when it’s a more finished product than it currently is.  What can I say, there’s, um… a few dark spots in the rough draft.  I should open up a window and let some sunshine in there.  See what happens.

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