Of fangs and fantasies . . .
‘The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him.’ (Garrett Fort)
When I was writing the first draft of Paperweights/Glass Flowers two years ago, I had constructed a crucial scene where the protagonists are chased through a forest at the risk of death.
It was necessary in the scheme of the fantasy that the chasers were Other, and in crafting my plot, decidedly ghoulish. Out came my increasingly well worn copy of Spirits, Faeries, Gnomes and Goblins – an Encyclopaedia by Carol Rose. From cover to cover I read about all sorts of death spirits and then wandered through the reference library and the internet looking for nasties that set my teeth on edge. Finally I made my choice. I picked the Strigoi Mort from Romania.
The Strigoi Mort are dead vampires (Yes, dead ones. As opposed to live ones . . . interesting), reanimated to return to suck the blood of any living thing. Legends abound: the seventh child of the same sex in a family was doomed to be a vampire, or the child of a pregnant woman who didn’t eat salt or was looked at by a vampire or a witch and so on.
At about this time, the first of the Twilight movies was released and vampires became the flavour (flavour? Ugh, please!) of the times and I was glad. It vindicated my choice of the Strigoi Mort. The only difference was that the Strigoi took up a mere two chapters in Paperweights/GlassFlowers, whereas Bella and Edward would be ongoing . . . forever!
Thus it seemed to me that young women were in need of protection and stalwart young men must become vampire-hunters. So where to find the consummate vampire hunter’s kit?
E-Bay? Etsy? Surely not!
But it seems so.
In a tiny corner of the e-market is one such awe-inspiring kit. Disturbed at the deadly presence of the Strigoi, of the Bhuta or of common or garden vampires, one finds everything one needs in this carry-case. ‘The lid of the chest contains a pistol with a snakeskin grip, a butcher’s cleaver, and a set of Bavarian maps.
The body of the chest is divided into three sections. The first contains a journal, a rosary and garlic, each in its own compartment. The middle contains a glass bottle of holy water sealed with wrapped snakeskin, a Holy Bible bound in red bookcloth, and a pewter cross. The third section contains a possibly vampiric blood sample in a brown bottle labeled ‘Blood Sample taken Sept. 24, 1896, Ruhlhaven Bavaria’ and a wooden mallet and four sharpened stakes. All the contents of the body of the chest except the mallet and stakes are removable.
The chest has seen some wear; stains, soot, dents and some substantial claw marks on the lid testify to its use. Tucked into the chest next to the journal is a bloodstained letter from the former owner.’
And perhaps neatest of all, it fits in a pocket, obvious to neither friend nor foe. It’s a tour de force by the Bo Press Studio. http://www.bopressminiaturebooks.com/productvampirechest.html This neat little kit should be de rigeur for all young women walking on the greenswards of city, country and campus at night.
Because all vampires are not like Edward.
Ah, if only my protagonists had the advantage of such a thing!