Monday, April 26, 2010

Vampires, by Kristin Manter

As I opened my eyes and lifted my hands to wipe the sleep from them, my body was stiff as if I had been asleep for centuries. I wanted to stretch, but something told me that no matter how far I extended each of my limbs, it wouldn't be enough to loosen up the tension found within me.

My stomach churned and I found myself both hungry and thirsty, although I could not distinguish exactly what is was my body craved. I rose from white marble floor and looked around. I remembered being brought here, I remembered the opulent furnishings, the luxurious sofa where I had sat with him, and beautiful antique grand piano where he played the melody that now haunts my mind and is a part of my soul.

Who was he, exactly? Where is he now?

What possessed me to come home with him, after only just meeting him? As I began to explore the vast mansion in search of my host, my hunger grew and the thirst that once merely made my stomach churn, now drove the direction of my feet.

Through a maze of corridors and past several large rooms. My hunger led me, until at last I had found the kitchen. There he stood; my host, the most beautiful man I’d ever laid eyes upon. The sight of him took my breath away when his icy blue eyes met mine, and my knees nearly buckled beneath me. He was tall, towering above my 5 feet 4 inch height, by at least a foot. He had the most beautiful jet-black hair, luscious and soft, flowing over his shoulders to the middle of his back. His face was as white; ivory, and absolutely flawless with high cheekbones and a square jaw-line. His shoulders were square, waist narrow.

With an inhuman swiftness he was at my side, holding me stable with one arm while offering me a goblet of a thick red liquid. “Drink, mi amore, it will take your weakness away and clear your mind”.
The words seeped from his crimson lips, the only color on his face. He lifted the glass to my lips and slowly I sipped. Each taste bud came alive as the fluid coated them. I could feel it travel down my throat and into my stomach, once there it seemed to infiltrate my own blood stream. I could feel it rushing through me, pumping life and energy into my near lifeless body. I drank more, sips turned to gulps and with each one, I felt stronger and more alive.

When at last the goblet was empty, he released his hold on me and stepped back like a painter examining a finished masterpiece. “Shall we get on with our evening, and your training? You have a lot to learn, young one”.

As I looked at him once more, I felt connected to him in a way I had never felt before. More than the love I had felt for my husband, I felt as if there were cords binding my heart to his. I felt as if I were a part of him somehow, as if I belonged to him and forever would be bonded to him.

I searched his eyes, trying to discover the secret he was holding over me, finding that as I did, the an unseen corset tightened around my waist, again, leaving me breathless.

I didn’t need any answer, only him. Forever.

Speech escaped me as I extended my hand to meet his, and finally nodded. He led me out of the kitchen, and into a library. Books lined three, of the four walls from floor to ceiling. So many of them, looking to be centuries old.

He sat me in a large leather chair, and walked toward the solid looking cherry desk, toward the back of the dimly lit room. Upon the desk sat only a single book, and he lifted it, turning back to me.

His strides were graceful. He stepped behind the chair, and leaned over the back. He brought his lips close to my ear, hot breath creating goose bumps over my skin. I closed my eyes and took in the sensations, having him so close to me created.

“This book tells of our beginning, our journey so far, and what we must do to survive.” The final word in his phrase, jolted me from the peaceful calm place my mind had wondered and my eyes became fixed upon the title of the heavy book he placed in my lap.

Vampire.”

***
Dear Reader,

There is no question about it; vampires are everywhere.

They have invaded our bookstores, movie theaters, TVs, and even our live action role-playing games. What is it about these bloodthirsty night-stalkers that has captivated the human imagination?

With the unimaginable success of the twilight series in both print and onscreen, adults and adolescents alike, now swoon to where vampires may be. We buy merchandise, we watch tv shows, we play internet games on our facebook accounts. We cannot get enough vampires.

As we sink our teeth into learning more about the their societies created by our favorite authors, we find that vampires no longer seem to be the murderous, heartless, emotionless, predictors of decades (even centuries) past. We find them drinking animal blood, rather than human, invading blood-banks so that they don't have to prey on human, or creating synthetic blood for survival so that they can live among us in peace and harmony.

This has not always been. Prompted by a special I watched on the History Channel, I would like to explore for a moment the history of Vampires and take a brief look at the evolution of the vampire in our culture (or pop culture).

As you can see from the time line below, vampires have been around since before the time of Christ and it looks as if there is no end in sight to their rule. In the time of vampires, there have been some great tragedies, some mistaken convictions, and some psychos who take their fantasies to levels on unimaginable and commit murders in the name of vampirism.

Given the time-line below, the thousands of years worth of vampire tales and today's pop culture infiltration of the vampire society; I want to ask you, do you think vampires exist and dwell among us? Are they really as immortal as they seem given their history? Do you see an end to their reign as our number one horror curiosity?

5000 BC
The emergence of Vampirism in the Mediterranean Basin.


2000 BC
Tomb of the Vampire is erected in Giza, Egypt.

31
Jesus is claimed to have healed vampires at Capernaum.


140
Reign of Longinus, Rome's Vampire Emperor.

773
Charlemagne defeats Quadilla the Vampire thus saving Rome.


1047
"Upir" makes it's first appearance as a word referring to a Russian prince as "Upir Lichy", or wicked vampire.


1096
First Crusade expels vampires from The Holy Land, Jerusalem.


1196
"Chronicles" by William of Newburgh's. It recorded several stories of vampire-like revenants in England.


1428
"Dracula"; aka Vlad Dracula or aka Vlad the Impaler is born.


1477
Vlad the Impaler is assassinated.


1484
The Malleus Maleficarium (the witch hunter's bible) is written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. The topic of how to hunt and destroy a vampire is discussed within it's pages.

1530
Italian scientist Ludovico Fatinelli burned at the stake for suggesting a biological cause for vampirism in his "Treatise on Vampires".


1560
Erzsebeth (Elizabeth) Bathory is born.


1607
"The Ship of the Dead" brings vampires to the New World.


1610
Elizabeth Bathory is tried and convicted of killing several hundred of girls. Her sentence is life imprisonment.


1614
Elizabeth Bathory dies.


1679
A German vampire text, "De Masticatione Mortuorum", is written by Phillip Rohr.

1734
The word "vampyre" enters the English language.


1748
The first modern vampyre poem, "Der Vampir", is published.


1813
A vampire appears in Lord Byron's The Giaour.


1819
John Polidori's "The Vampyre," is the first vampire story in English is published.


1847
Bram Stoker is born.


1850
Haussman destroys Paris' Vampire Quarter then rebuilds city.


1854
Copper Creek Siege in California prompts formation of Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency.


1872
In Italy, Vincenzo Verzeni is convicted of murdering two people and drinking their blood.


1891
Steketee's Vampire Rights movement in France is started.


1897
"Dracula" by Bram Stoker is published in England.


1924
Fritz Haarmann the "Vampire of Hanover" is arrested, tried and convicted of killing more than 20 people in a vampire crime spree.


1931
Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, is released.


1932
The movie "Vampyr," directed by Carl Theodore Dreyer, is released.


1936
"Dracula's Daughter" is released.


1943
"Son of Dracula", stars Lon Chaney, Jr., as Dracula.


1950
In New Mexico an auto mechanic named Joe Valdez becomes the first successful recipient of the vampire vaccine.


1962
The Count Dracula Society is founded in the United States by Donald Reed.


1964
"The Munsters" and "The Addams Family"; television shows with vampire characters.


1967
Due to the Lazo Disaster in Siberia, the United Nations (UN) passes a resolution banning vampire blood research.


1970
Sean Manchester founds The Vampire Research Society."In Search of Dracula" by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu is published. --Stephan Kaplan founds The Vampire Research Centre.


1976
The first of the Vampire Chronicles, "Interview With the Vampire", by Anne Rice is published.

1979
Frank Langella stars in the remake of Dracula.


1980
Richard Chase, the so-called Dracula Killer of Sacramento, California, commits suicide in prison.

1985
"The Vampire Lestat" by Anne Rice is published and reaches the best seller list.

1986
President Reagan lifts ban on the vampire and zombie blood research.


1987
"Methuselah Project" is initiated at the Santa Rosa Institute.


1988
"The Queen of the Damned" is published by Anne Rice.


1991
Vampire: The Masquerade," the vampire role-playing game is released by White Wolf.


1992
"Bram Stoker's Dracula" directed by Francis Ford Coppola opens.
Andrei Chikatilo of Russia, is sentenced to death after killing and committing vampirism 55 people.-
"The Tale of the Body Thief" by Anne Rice is published.


1994
The film version of Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" opens with Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis.


1996
TV series - Kindred: The Embraced airs on TV.


1999
TV series - Buffy the Vampire Slayer airs on TV.


1998
Blade is released into theaters. Pandora by Anne Rice is published. The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice is published.


1999
Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice is published.


2002
Blade II is released in theaters. Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reaper vampires who feed on vampires.
Queen of the Damned is released in theaters. The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires.


2008
Twilight is released in theaters. A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire.
TV Series - True Blood airs on HBO.


2009
The Twilight Saga: New Moon is released in theaters.
The Vampire Diaries series airs. It is about a teenage girl torn between two vampire brothers with a long dark past.

***Source for timeline: http://hellhorror.com/vampires/history_of_vampires/)

Happy Reading…


Kristin Manter

7 comments:

Kristin said...

I want to extend my heartfelt and sincere gratitude towards Kayden for sharing her blog space with me today. I hope that you, her followers, have enjoyed the opening tale my muse spun just this morning and will reflect on the journey of the Vampire :-)

Cindy Jacks said...

Fantastic entry, Kristin :) I love the topic and opening gave me chills. Great job.

Kristin said...

Chills, Cindy? Chills?!?!?! OMG! Thank you so much! You are amazing. <3 ya!
I am NOT a twilight fan but I do love vampires. Something about them, and no, I dont want them to be blood bank or synthetic vamps. I like the preditor/prey aspect of the idea of vampirism. Its all very intriguing to me.

Kristin said...

Chills, Cindy? Chills?!?!?! OMG! Thank you so much! You are amazing. <3 ya!
I am NOT a twilight fan but I do love vampires. Something about them, and no, I dont want them to be blood bank or synthetic vamps. I like the preditor/prey aspect of the idea of vampirism. Its all very intriguing to me.

Tabitha Shay said...

Fantastic entries and one of my favorite topices, only you left out Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler...

Kristin said...

crap! I did! So sorry to Mr. Butler (as well as dracula!)
thanks for stopping by and commenting, Tabz! I can not tell you how awesome it is for me to have actual (HIGHLY TALENTED) published authors commenting on my entries. Really, I am so very appreciative!

Lorrie said...

A chilling, tempting excerpt. Yes, vampires have had an allure in the history of writing. And this novel looks to carry on the tradition well. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Kudos Krisin.