Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Attempt To Return Vampires to Glory. Pt. 1

It's a sad time to be a fan of vampire lore. They started off so well. From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice, vampires have become entrenched in our consciousness, and for good reason. Terrifying yet alluring, these creatures who roam by night and sleep by day strike both fear and curiosity into those who encounter them.

But now......

Now Hollywood has taken vampires and comepletely ruined them. Vampires to not go to school. They do not engage in teen romaces. The certainly do not glitter in the sunlight!

Vampires should be nasty creatures who can put on a veneer of civility if it suits them. They are essentially undead psychopaths. There have been varying iterations of these creatures throughout the years, sarting with Bram Stoker's vision of a refined gentleman living in a gothic castle who harbored a......nasty little secret, and unfortunately culminating in the affront to the horror genre we see today:

Really, what the hell is that?

My personal idea of what vampires should be is a cross between Stoker's original vision and the nasty, viscious creatures seen in the movie 30 Days of Night:

Now THAT'S a Vampire!

And so, with this in mind, I bring you an excerpt from my entry into last years' 3 Day Novel contest, still in the judging phase. The entry is a short novel, written in 3 days, as per the rules, so it's definitely a bit rough around the edges, but I believe it turned out rather well for a 3 day marathon effort. So, without further ado, I give you an excerpt from Hunter's Bluff, my attempt to return vampires to the state to which they rightfully belong, while at the same time hopefully injecting some new ideas.

(Enjoy, and feel free to offer any criticisms you may have. If this garners enough interest, I'll post more, so let me know if you're interested or not.)

As the shadows grew longer and longer in Hunter's Bluff, and as the night began to take over the day, there grew a certain restlessness. In a cave at the south end of the city, the existence of which was and always had been completely unknown to all humans; the entrance hidden in the underbrush of the forest at the city lines, creatures, centuries old and confined to slumber during the day, began to awaken, slowly, in stages. Muscles began to contract as nerve impulses were sent, readying them for the mobility which was soon to come. Dreams of splendor and feasting were broken up and dissipated, giving rise to a growing consciousness as these creatures, anxious to begin an evening anew, awakened from their slumber. These particular few, however, drew from their slumber as though drunken. Weary, weakened, they rose unsteadily to their feet. Some more so than others, as all were in various stages of starvation. These few, however more fortunate than some of their comrades who now, unbeknownst to them, lay dead on a highway, were much less fortunate than their former kin, who lived a life of spoil and splendor, in parts of the world long left behind, feeding upon humans, drinking their maddeningly tasty, nourishing, rejuvenating blood.

No, these few were confined to this reclusive little town by a master incensed by their audacity. For these few, along with their fallen brethren, had dared to challenge his authority, had even the tenacity to try and overtake him. Their former master, whose very name they dare not speak, for it can burn the tongue it crosses, or so it has been said, had, approximately a year and a half earlier, banished the ungrateful few to a remote area with a limited food supply and left them to their fates.

The group of exiled creatures had totaled eleven. Their numbers had been reduced down to three by this day. Five had, due to starvation once the human and animal food supplies had started to run thin, ventured off, at varying times, to try and locate another town that some had believed existed somewhere nearby. Some among their ranks believed this was nothing but a myth. No one who had ventured out had ever returned. None knew for sure what this meant. One other had died of starvation, and two others had died by turning on another one of their kind and trying to feed, which was fatal for these creatures. They had been cognizant of this fact, but the poisoned blood had proved to be too tempting for these frantic, blood thirsty creatures.

The remaining three creatures, now awakened, were a fearsome looking group, even in their compromised conditions. They were as tall as any human revered for height, and stronger and more agile than any human could ever be, although these attributed had been diminished somewhat, to varying degrees, due to their malnourishment. They had complexions so fair they were almost translucent. As they rose from their slumber, there was a sing song of gnashing teeth. Teeth so sharp they could, and have, cut through bone. Teeth hungry for flesh and palettes quenched only by the taste of blood. Teeth that were sharpened to a point.

They had wispy, jet back hair, and black eyes that struck a deep, all encompassing fear into anyone unfortunate enough to be gazing into them. Their arms were unsettlingly long, and they ended in clawed hands with yellowed, razor sharp nails. They were dressed all in black. They looked identical, save for their differing body weights due starvation. However, although their appearance would lend the impression that there are no differences between them, they still had a hierarchical social order, and this division was based mainly upon intelligence. They all possessed a savage brutality, an unquenchable blood thirst, but some possessed enough intelligence, cunning, and foresight to formulate plans and think ahead, and, when they determined it to be advantageous, they had the ability to exercise restraint. This use of this ability had become more useful, but harder to employ, as their food supply dwindled.

This social order had been headed up by their former master, and this had been the arrangement for centuries until the group of eleven had dared plot against him. This order had been broken and the eleven had been banished to Hunter's Bluff, to fend for themselves until eventuality had run its course. Amongst the eleven, there had remained a hierarchical division, and even now, with that broken down to three remaining members, there still existed a for of that hierarchy. The most intelligent of the three, Gideon, was the leader. He stepped forward, fully aroused from his slumber, and called two the other two, Uriah, and Elijah.

“Come.” He beckoned to them, his voice raspy and very deep. Uriah and Elijah, shaking off the last of their sleep, heeded his call.

Elijah was by far the least intelligent of the three, and he mainly operated on instinct, allowing his hunger to dictate his behaviour. If left unchecked, that is. In the situation they had been thrust into, Gideon had to keep control of him, for all their sakes.

Uriah's level of intelligence was much higher than Elijah's, but he did not possess the mental prowess that Gideon did. He lacked much of the foresight, and some of the restraint. He was able to rein in his hunger when needed, but he had been known to slip, especially in the early part of their ordeal, when they had first arrived here at Hunter's Bluff. He had, with Gideon's help, learned to control it, and often times found himself helping to rein in Elijah.

Now, the three of them stood together, awakened, ready to stalk the night in hopes of locating some animals on which to feed. The wildlife supply in and around the town was dwindling, and some nights passed without a single feeding. Animal blood fulfilled their nutritional requirements, but it was human blood that brought ecstasy. Human blood was divine. It had been fifty-seven days since they'd had the opportunity to feed on a human, a fact that escaped none of them. At this moment, facing the possibility of another night gone by with nothing to eat, the idea that there were four humans ripe for consumption would have brought tremendous excitement. However, at least for now, these three hideous, horrifying creatures did not realize they had humans in their midst. And so it was that they stepped out into the night expecting yet another uneventful evening.

NOTE: Here is PART TWO if you are interested in reading more. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed this.

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