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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

AtoZ Day 26: Z is for Zealot, Zburator

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Zealot

noun - a person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.

When it comes to vampires its usually the hunters who are shown as the zealots. For example the hunters in John Carpenter's Vampires are zealots; they eat, sleep and breathe vampire hunting and its rules. At the beginning of Underworld Selene is a zealot; she lives only to hunt and kill lycans. It's interesting how both sets of hunters have to unbend somewhat before then end of their respective films.

A fictional vampire who is a zealot is Adam from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; he believes in the superiority of the vampire race and that they must bring the humans in to line and take over. Nothing can sway him from this course.

The zealot in fiction usually comes to a bad end if they do not change their ways.

If you were a vampire hunter do you think you would be a zealot or would you be a little more flexible?

Creature Feature:

Zburator


This one is a bit of a stretch because he's a dragon, but in some legends the name is also used to refer to a demon that disguises himself as a young man to prey on women in their sleep just like an incubus. (wikipedia)

Movie Recommendation:

Sorry, no rec today because I couldn't find one I had seen beginning with the letter z. Today you can have a picture of Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandrige from Fright Night to say sorry.


Blood Lust 
(#26 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Ianthe still couldn't move as fast as she wanted to as the restoring heat from the charm moved through her limbs. However, it only meant the priest was as fast as she was. He was ahead of her as he ran for the next flight of stairs, but she was on his heels. He would not get away.

With the chase on, she could feel the blood lust rising. The predator in her was all but in control and she bared her fangs as she ran down the hallway. The house smelled of paint and barely looked lived in as she kept the priest in sight. It was clear the only rooms he had really made his own were those in the attic. Everything else was still magnolia where some letting agent had covered all individuality. The pale walls tinged pink as her blood pounded and her vampire traits came to the surface.

She didn't bother running all the way down the stairs, she simply vaulted the banister to come down solidly on the next landing.

The priest had reached the next set of stairs because they were only a few feet away, and wild, fearful eyes looked at her once, before he disappeared downwards. She could not simply jump these ones because of the way they slid under the previous set, so she followed him. It was then she realised he was heading for the front door.

The last thing she wanted was the priest to make it to a public place. She could still chase him, but she would have to hide what she was and she was in no mood to do that. She wasn't even sure she could now that she was giving proper chase.

It was as she prepared to leap on him from halfway down the stairs that she felt it. She snarled as every instinct in her screamed that there was another predator in the house. That was when the priest skidded to a halt only a few feet from her. It felt as if the universe held its breath as both she and the priest froze and Alex stepped out of the shadows next to the front door.

"Hello, Steven," Alex said, voice deep and emotionless.

"Demon," the now named priest yelled and then turned on his heel, running towards the back.

Everything in Ianthe recognised her maker, recognised his strength. She knew she would have to bow to him if he wanted this, but Alex just stood there. Part of her was even pleased that her maker was keeping an eye on her.

"Go," he said simply.

With that permission she flew into motion, hopping over the banister and running after her disappearing quarry. Her body was her own again and her prey was in her sights.

She heard the snarl and the yell of terror before she made it to the open back door. In her haste she had almost forgotten Lilith, but clearly the hell hound was still on guard. When she ran into the garden the priest was already falling where Lilith had grabbed his ankle as he headed for the gate. The priest landed heavily, but twisted, kicking out at Lilith's head with his free foot. As far as Ianthe could tell her dog barely felt the blow.

"Good girl," she praised, "now leave."

Lilith dropped the priest's foot and stood back instantly, still snarling, but letting Ianthe walk past her.

"Now you're mine," she said and swooped on him.

The haze of blood lust clouded her vision and she grabbed him by the ridiculous white collar, dragging him to his feet. Her instincts screamed at her that this was her prey and she should feast. He was the enemy. He had dared try to harm her and retribution was hers for the taking. This zealot should die by her hand, never to threaten her or hers again. It would be so easy to squeeze and snap his neck and feast on his blood. All it would take was a simple gesture.

Only the words she had spoken earlier to Alex stopped her. She had told him she would not kill this enemy and children did not lie to their makers as makers did not lie to their children.

It took all of her will power to force down her vampiric nature. Even as she breathed in deeply to try and calm herself she could smell his fear and it called to her.

She sensed it as Alex stepped out of the house behind her and she acted before she could do something she would regret. Turning, she flung the priest at Alex's feet and stepped back, calling Lilith to her side.

"Deal with it," she said and then she ran.

The blood lust was too high; she knew she could not control it and something needed to die. She had never killed a human being; she didn't want to start now, but there was wildlife in the nearby park and it was better than the alternative.

~*~

It was hours before Ianthe returned home. Dawn was just beginning to touch the sky and she had forced her vampire nature back in the box.

The hunt had taught her a great deal about herself and her maker, but she wasn't sure she was ready to deal with it all just yet. She needed to sleep and process. However, Alex stepped into the hallway as soon as she entered the house. For a little while they just looked at each other in silence. Their relationship had changed forever and Ianthe wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

"You did well," Alex said eventually.

"I would have been toast without Mila's charm," she replied.

That was one of the things she really didn't want to think about too hard.

"How did he know magic like that?" she asked anyway.

"Steven was a scholar," Alex told her; "he found an ancient book and translated it. Mila has it now."

"And the priest?" she asked, unwilling to name him, which was faintly ridiculous, but she wasn't going to ask too much of her psyche this morning.

"Where he cannot hurt anyone," Alex replied.

"Just promise me your solution isn't to lock him up and throw away the key," she said.

The way Alex winced said everything.

"Have the balls to end it, Alex," she challenged; "if you can't help him put him out of his misery."

It probably wasn't fair, but neither was locking up a man who could live an indeterminate amount of time. When he would eventually die wasn't something any of them could answer.

"I can't," was the somewhat defeated reply.

For once Alex sounded like the lost and confused one, rather than her. She sighed.

"Have you thought that turning him might actually cure him?" she asked as the idea crossed her mind.

Alex looked kind of horrified.

"That is impossible," he said; "if it did not work he would still be mad, but he would be one of us. As his maker I could not kill him."

"I could."

Ianthe never wanted to have to kill anyone, but this would be a kindness.

For a while Alex simply stood there staring at her and for once she let him.

"Just think about it," she said and continued her walk to the stairs; "I'm going to bed. It's been a long night."

Lilith trotted along beside her and she took comfort in the puppy's presence. Tomorrow night she would think about things. Tomorrow night she would get on with the chaos that she called a life. Tomorrow night she would figure out what came next.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

AtoZ Day 25: Y is for Yarrow, Yara- Ma- Yha- Who

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Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a common plant and when collected during August as it flowers it can be used as a herbal remedy for many things. What makes it interesting is that it can be used to help a person generate a psychic shield and hence protect them from 'psychic vampires'.

Creature Feature:

Yara- Ma- Yha- Who


This is an Australian Aboriginal monster and he's a nasty little blighter. According to Villains Wiki he is a small man shaped creature between three and four feed tall with an oversized head, huge mouth and suckers on the end of his fingers.

He uses these suckers when an unsuspecting victim sits under his fig tree as he jumps down on them and uses the suckers to drain their blood until they are weak and helpless. However, all is not lost, even though the Yara-Ma-Yha-Who is going to eat you. He has such a big mouth he swallows his victims whole. However, then he takes a drink, has a nap and then regurgitates his victim.

The victim is now a little shorter and has a slightly redder tinge to their skin, but they come back to life.

However, if a victim is unwary too many times they will eventually become one of these creatures as well. (Wikipedia, God Checker)

There is a great animated film by Blanca Martinez with this monster here on vimeo.

Movie Recommendation:

Sorry, no rec today because I couldn't find one I had seen beginning with the letter Y. Here's a picture of Lee Pace from Breaking Dawn because he's pretty instead.


Floral 
(#25 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Ianthe felt her panic rising. The priest clearly knew what he was doing and it seemed everything to this point had been a ruse. She had walked right into a trap. It was strange though; the tingling in her limbs hadn't come back even though the priest must had returned to his attack.

As she stood there, trying to work out what to do a light smell wafted up to her nose. It was herby and flowery and it tickled a memory in the back of her mind. Her Great-Nan had had a plant that smelled like that in her garden. It had been what seemed like so long ago, but the fragrance brought the recollection back as sharply as if it had been yesterday. She had been maybe five at the most, and it had been a sunny, summer day. She had followed her Great-Nan around the garden listening to everything about the plants and herbs that looked so pretty. The memory came with an ache; that had been the last time she had seen her Great-Nan before she died.

The plant was called yarrow and her Great-Nan had been adamant it was good for cuts and bruises. Clearly it was good for more than that.

As the scent permeated through her head she managed to twitch her hand. Warmth was spreading from the region of her hip and where it moved through her body the heavy feeling began to dissipate. It could only have been one thing; Mila's pouch.

"That's not possible," the priest said as she lifted her arm.

"You'd be amazed what's possible," she said and shuffled one step forward.

The immobility was leaving her and she sent a mental thank you to her ancient friend. However, it was only going slowly and she could see what was coming next.

The priest picked up an axe and charged at her.

It was stunning what adrenaline could do, even for a vampire. As he swung at her she somehow managed to throw up her arms. Where the strength came from she would never know because her arms moved as if they were made of lead. It took everything she had to catch the handle as the sharp head came towards her and she felt the jarring through her whole body. It was enough to make her wonder if she was mortal again.

"No!" the priest screamed.

He was pushing against her grip, trying so hard to hit her and he was stronger than a normal man. However, he was simply no match for her as more and more strength returned. The priest snarled his rage, but she held firm.

"You have lost," she said, looking for any shred of reason in the man's eyes.

"Never," he spat in her face and jerked away.

She knew he was going for the loft hatch, but she wasn't fast enough to stop him. Her body was still sluggish. Throwing the axe to one side she all but threw herself after him, but the hatch was open. Now he wasn't hiding she could tell he was not quite a normal human. He was faster as well as stronger and she knew she could not let him get away. Forcing herself to move more quickly with every step she chased him to the ladder.

He looked up at her, finally with fear in grim lines of his face before he set off running. Ianthe simply jumped through the hole; there was no way she was letting him escape this time.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Monday, 28 April 2014

An Interview with me over at Music and Words

Firstly, if you are looking for today's AtoZ blog post (X), please scroll down one or click here.

Today I am lucky enough to be being interviewed on Music and Words the lovely blog of Andrea, who has some really fantastic AtoZ posts up too, so you should check them out as well.

Just click above to visit the interview and then don't forget to check out the rest of Andrea's blog as well.

AtoZ Day 24: X is for Xanthodont, Xiang Shi

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site and see all the other participants.
Xanthodont

I'm guessing most of you haven't come across this word, and yes I am scraping the barrel here, but it does work :). A xanthodont is a person with yellow teeth and we all know that not all vampires care about personal hygiene.

Several vampires are nasty creatures not much better than zombies and they crawl out of the grave. Since oral hygiene wasn't exactly prevalent in earlier times the state of their teeth is likely to have only been worse. Imagine a waxy skinned, bloodshot eyed, death smelling creature coming towards you with long yellow fangs dripping with saliva in its mouth - ewwww!

Okay, I know I pushed this one a bit, but can you do any better? What words beginning with x can you think of that can be associated with vampires?

Creature Feature:

Xiang Shi (Jiangshi)


This is a Chinese vampire and it moves around by hopping. They can look relatively okay or be horrible and bloated depending on how rotten the corpse is. According to Wikipedia they have greenish-white skin and long white hair and Teresa Wilde adds glowing red eyes.

These vampires occur where there has been violent death from suicide, hanging, drowning or smothering and if a person died without proper burial. Cats were also problematic because if they jumped over a body it would become one of these vampires. There are many protections against them and you can read them all at the full post at Land of Theives and Ghosts.

Movie Recommendation:

Sorry, no rec today because I couldn't find a vampire movie I had seen beginning with the letter X. Have a picture of Tom Hiddleston as a vampire as an apology :).


On the Inside 
(#24 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


The door from the altar room to the next one was slightly ajar, but the space beyond was completely dark. Even her vampire eyes could pick out very little from her current angle. Listening intently, she searched with her other senses, but there was no sign of the priest. As carefully as she knew how, she pulled the door further open and stepped into the next room.

All her senses were on high alert.

There were windows in the room; she could see the outlines, but they were blacked out, which explained the near total darkness. Her eyes adjusted automatically, picking out everything in monotones and giving her an idea of the area. It wasn't clear, but it was enough to show her the way.

This space had not been in the dream. She had no idea what she was walking into, but at least it seemed to be devoid of human life. It looked as if there was furniture all around the edge of what was a reasonably large room, but there wasn't anything in the middle. However, there was a faint sliver of light near the centre that Ianthe guessed was the hatch into the rest of the house.

The moment she stepped forward into the open space she knew she had made a mistake. Magic lanced up her nerves and for a second her body seemed to be totally out of her control. It was as if she blinked and her brain disconnected. When it reconnected she found herself standing up straight, unable to move.

As if that wasn't bad enough, lights flashed on all around the room and someone began to laugh. Her eyes screamed in protest, but she refused to close them as danger threatened.

"Just like a fly," said a familiar voice.

The priest stepped out from behind what appeared to be a very carefully stacked set of boxes and, even though there were bright spots in her vision, she had her first good look at him. He did not have the face of an elderly man, in fact he barely looked forty. There were a few lines around his eyes and on his forehead, but he didn't even really appear middle aged. If he hadn't had the crazed set to his features he would have been handsome.

"Now I have you," he said and all but snarled at her.

That was when the illusion shattered. The priest's teeth were almost completely yellow. They reminded her of the teeth of a corpse in the ground a few years and it was if there was corruption on the inside even if there wasn't anything to see on the outside.

"What do you want with me?" she asked as she tried to will her limbs to move.

It was as if heavy mud had settled all over her body, gluing her arms to her sides and her feet to the floor. She could barely twitch a finger.

"I want your life," was the simple reply.

"Why?"

"I need your strength," the priest said, walking round the edge of what Ianthe could now see was a circle carved into the floor.

The groove of the circle was filled with something white; she guessed it was salt. Salt on its own was not dangerous to supernatural creatures, but it could be used as a conduit for power.

"You believed I was an ignorant fool," he said, "but I have not spent my time idly. I know how to free my soul from him and I will use you to do it."

"But I never did anything to you," she protested.

Her fingers were tingling and she realised she could not feel her toes.

"You gave your soul to him," the priest snapped back.

"I did not."

He sneered at her, his lips curling back from those vile yellow teeth.

"You can't deny what you are, hell-spawn," he said; "you gave your soul to the darkness for immortality. You failed where I prevailed."

Ianthe felt like laughing, she might have if she hadn't been focused on staying alive. She needed time.

"So Ren didn't sell you that detail," she said, letting the bitterness into her tone.

"What?" was the reluctant, but instant question.

"I never chose this," she said and fought to keep her vampire nature inside. If she could gain his sympathy, even for a few minutes it might help. "I was a mistake. Alex..."

The priest actually flinched at the name, almost turning away.

"He," she said sharply, not wanting to lose the man's focus, "was feeding from me when he was attacked. I was dying and his blood turned me. This is not my fault."

"You live in his house."

"Tradition; you must remember that."

"You are his beloved child."

It sounded as if the priest was trying to convince himself of that point.

"I am the worst embarrassment of his life," she said, "and he would love to see me dead. He can barely stand to look at me. You kill me you do him a favour."

Even if it wasn't true it might give her a chance.

"Yet here you are, hunting like a good little vampire," the priest countered.

"You were hunting me, what was I supposed to do?"

He stood there just looking at her with his wide, less than sane eyes and she started to hope. The tingling in her limbs had lessened, as if whatever he was doing had paused. Just maybe she had a chance of talking her way out.

"Accident?" he asked.

She tried to nod, but of course she could barely move.

"Yes," she replied.

For a few moments she thought she saw sanity flicker through his troubled gaze. Then it was gone, just as quickly.

"It makes no difference," he said; "I need your power to destroy him. Take comfort, I will free your soul."

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Saturday, 26 April 2014

AtoZ Day 23: W is for Wall, Wurdulac, Waxwork

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Wall

One of the vampire images that sticks in my mind is Dracula crawling down the wall in the 1979 version with Frank Langella. I remember being very scared when I first saw it and it stays with me so well because my darling twin screamed a lot and we had to turn it off. My forays into vampire films did not begin again until The Lost Boys came out :).

There is something about a creature that can scale walls that are supposed to keep the enemy out that is very frightening. Our fortresses and homes are vulnerable so we have to take other precautions.

Vampires also break down our metaphorical walls as well and make us question our own reality. If vampires are real death is not a limit and they are constantly associated with social taboos like wanton sex and stealing the life of others.

Do you have a mental image from a vampire film or book that has always stuck with you like Dracula on his wall did for me?

Creature Feature:

Wurdulac/Wurdalak


Now this creature from Russia deserves pity because it is cursed to consume the blood of all its loved ones to convert its entire family. V.I. Tolstoy wronte a story about one of these vampires which was later turned into a film. (Wikipedia, Enchanted Doorway, Encyclo)

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Waxwork
Rating:18
Summary: Mark and his friends visit a private wax museum and one by one become trapped in the exhibits, completing them. When all are finished the evil they contain will be unleashed on the world.
Why you should watch this: Another 80s horror movie and just as fun as the others. It has humour and gore and a clever plot. We still in the era of wax special effects and models so the plot had to fill in the gaps CGI so often patches over these days. Only one of the exhibits has vampires, but this still counts :). You'd be surprised how many of the cast you recognise.

Up and At 'Em 
(#23 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


With all the information she had extracted from Ren it was embarrassingly easy to track down where the priest was staying once Ianthe put her mind to it. She had never hunted anything before. It was part of her vampire nature she had refused to acknowledge, but she was beginning to understand why the others loved it. It was also becoming obvious why those who crossed vampires very rarely survived.

She stood looking up at the nondescript four storey town house and she knew it was the place from her dream. It wasn't anything she could put her finger on, but it felt right and it also felt right to go up. Following her instincts had seen her right so far in the hunt, so she obeyed them this time as well.

"Round the back," she said in little more than a whisper as she looked down at Lilith.

The hellhound currently looked like a black Labrador, but as they walked to the small alley at the side of the house, Lilith grew into her larger form, although not the largest.

It took a matter of seconds to slip over the garden wall into what was an overgrown mess of a forgotten corner. Lilith joined her with barely a sound, landing as lightly as a creature an eighth of her size. No one had bothered with this place in a while. There was still a to-let sign out the front, so she assumed someone was having problems selling it and had gone with renting it out instead. Crossing to the house she made no noise in the long grass, passing like a ghost; Alex would have been proud.

As soon as she skirted the side of the building the light from the street dimmed considerably. It wasn't completely dark, but she knew no one could have seen her as she lurked in the shadows.

There was one window at the attic level on the back of the house and the design looked familiar. She remembered seeing it out of the corner of her eye when she had dreamed. It had been in the altar room. A priest would not expect a vampire to enter that way.

Placing her hand against the red brick wall of the house, she allowed her human mask to fall away.

"Guard," she told Lilith and the hound's eyes glowed.

It was not a matter of using her talons to grip the brickwork or slip between the crumbling mortar as she began to climb. It wasn't fine hairs or sticky residue either that allowed her to move upwards smoothly and steadily. It was simply a matter of circumventing the laws of physics, or at least that was how Ianthe always thought of it. She grinned to herself; her father, ever a practical man, would have hated that explanation. Of course, it wasn't as if anyone had ever scientifically studied vampires.

The window had no latch or hinges when she got there; it was simply stuck in its frame. That caused her to grin again as she used one long nail to flick out the grout on the old window frame, just like she had seen Dracula do in a film once. She really was going for all the clichés this evening.

There was still anger bubbling under her skin, but the excitement of the hunt had taken over. She had no fear; she was the predator, her adversary the prey. He would fall to her and it was as simple as that.

As the pane of glass fell from its frame she caught it with lightning reflexes and placed it in the valley gutter to the side.

It was not a large window and she was not a sylphlike individual, but she was flexible. Not having to worry about gravity was also a major advantage as she pushed herself inside. As she dropped to the floor she took stock of the room and it seemed bigger than she remembered from the dream. The altar was to the left of the window and there was far more space than she had been expecting. Everything was in place as she expected, but it was as if the size had been affected by the priest's perception.

That worried her slightly, because she wondered what else she might have missed; but it was too late now.

Standing up straight she was ready; now all she had to do was find her prey. She really hoped he was home.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Friday, 25 April 2014

AtoZ Day 22: V is for Vendetta, Vyrkolakas, Vamp

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Vendetta

noun a blood feud in which the family of a murdered person seeks vengeance on the murderer or the murderer's family.

Blood feuds are something vampires really should know a lot about considering how important blood is to them. In fiction the blood feuds tend to be between hunters and vampires, both sides having lost members to the other.

In reality it is likely vampires have been used more than once in vendettas between rival families, either as an excuse for the deaths or as a reason to attack. In the past politics often used the supernatural in its machinations, just look at the Salem witch trials; no vampires there, but there is likelihood many of the accusations were to do with land rights.

The film Van Helsing is a turn your brain off movie, but there is a definite blood feud running all the way through it.

What is your favourite vampire movie/book/TV show with a vendetta in it?

Creature Feature:

Vrykolakas


As the spelling might suggest, this vampire is from Greece. I didn't realise Greece had such a varied folklore about vampires, but it seems it does and this is one of them.

According to Lyn Gibson these are not pretty vampires. Before they feed they looked completely drained of blood and after they feed they look bloated and nasty.

These creatures come about when someone dies who is excomunicated or scariligeous or someone who eats the meat from a sheep injured by a wolf or a werewolf. Some legends also say a werewolf would become one of these vampires when they died. (Wikipedia)

According to Enchanting Gardens this vampire is not always a killer and sometimes just causes trouble. However, the way to kill it is to chop off its head or impale it on a spike.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Vamp
Rating: 18
Summary: Keith and AJ are on a mission to find a stripper so they can get into a fraternity on campus. After a run in with a biker gang, they end up at The After Dark Club. Only problem is the strippers are vampires and they eat the clientèle and they've taken over the whole neighbourhood.
Why you should watch it: Grace Jones is the head vampire and she is the weirdest stripper I have ever seen. She also barely says a word and still captures the screen. It's a fun 80s vampire movie with humour and a little bit of excitement and it's a romp. Keith and AJ are played beautifully as slightly arrogant 80s boys and nothing takes itself too seriously.

Truth 
(#22 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Every lock in the house had been changed and yet Ianthe knew she would not feel safe until the priest was dead or locked up. Even Alex did not look relaxed and she'd never seen him agitated for more than a few seconds before. They had returned home to talk tactics, but they hadn't got far.

"What aren't you telling me?" she asked as she petted Lilith's head and tried to distract herself from her darker thoughts.

"Nothing you need to know," Alex replied.

"Bollocks."

Alex looked at her then; he disapproved of foul language. However, he didn't just leave, which also said a lot about their current situation. They were in the library and this was probably the longest they had spent in each other's company alone since Alex had given up trying to turn Ianthe into a proper vampire.

"Alex," she said, because frankness was about all they had left; "I need to know anything you do. It's me he's coming for."

"No, it's me," Alex replied, "he just thinks he can make me suffer by destroying you first."

Ianthe almost laughed, because the opposite was probably true. If someone else disposed of her Alex's life would be far easier, so she said so.

The look that Alex levelled on her was as devoid of emotion as ever.

"You really believe that?" he asked eventually.

"Well it's true, isn't it?" she replied. "I embarrass you just by existing."

"I understand most children embarrass their parents," Alex said; "it is part of the job description."

"Not the same thing."

Alex raised an eyebrow at that.

"It is exactly the same thing," he told her. "Yes your creation was a mistake, but I believe nothing ever happens by pure chance. Our personalities appear to be fundamentally incompatible, but that does not stop you being my child. I will care for you whether you like it or not and it would pain me should anything happen to you."

The way her stomach twisted gave her an indication of how much of a shock that was to her system. Nothing had prepared her for Alex to say that. She despised him for what he had done to her, but it seemed the feeling was not mutual.

"Then why is he coming after you?" she asked, because she needed time to process anything she might be feeling.

"He was my lover."

That news propelled Ianthe to her feet and she walked over to where her maker was standing.

"He was what?"

"My lover," Alex repeated.

"But he's a priest," Ianthe protested.

That made Alex smile a little and she realised she was thinking down very conventional lines.

"He is currently eighty four years old."

Ianthe blinked.

"You did something to him," she said; "there was no way the man I met and whose eyes I saw through was over fifty."

"He was twenty eight years old when I met him," Alex said, turning to look at one of the bookcases, his eyes just dancing from one book to the next. "I fell in love almost immediately and he with me. He just seemed to forget about his church. When I told him what I was he came away with me."

There was a wistful note to her maker's voice that made Ianthe actually feel for him for once.

"We were together a year when I suggested he become one of us."

That sounded about right from what Ianthe knew about vampire initiation. A prospective vampire was introduced to certain parts of vampire society for between one and three years, but without the real secrets being revealed, before being offered the change.

"He said no?" she asked because Alex seemed to have become lost in his memories.

"He said yes," was the surprising reply.

"So why ..?"

"I initiated the first stage," he replied before she could finish asking; "the blood bond. I took blood from his neck, above his heart and his inside leg and allowed my power to flow into him. I placed a drop of my blood in each of his wounds."

Ianthe knew about this. It wasn't necessary to create a vampire, but it was supposed to make the transition easier. A victim had to be brought to the very edge of death and actually drink their maker's blood for the conversion to take place. That was what had happened accidentally to Ianthe when Alex had been shot by hunters after he drank from her.

"But something went wrong," Ianthe guessed.

Alex nodded.

"The connection broke his mind. He became convinced I was a demon sent to test him and only his faith could save him. I tried to help him, but he would not allow me close. Then he escaped. He returned to his church and they placed him in a mental facility because of his ravings. He was there for five years before he escaped their control as well. He came for me, but even with the longevity the first part of the ritual gave him, he was no match for one of us. I had him taken back to his hospital. He found a way out yet again more than half a century ago, but I thought him long gone."

"And you've known it was him all this time?"

"Since the ritual."

"A priest has a vendetta against you and you didn't think I needed to know?"

"It doesn't change anything."

"He isn't completely human anymore," she pointed out. "No wonder he knows how to hide."

"He is insane."

"And you still love him."

The revelation just fell from her lips as it popped into her head.

"Bloody hell, now, of all times, you actually have human emotions," she said as Alex refused to look at her.

It was an insight behind the mask that Alex showed the entire world and it made her reconsider so many things. She also suspected Mila was aware of these facts and the significant looks Mila had been sending Alex the previous night made perfect sense.

"When I find him I won't kill him," she said after a very long pause.

"You have the right," Alex said, trying to come over all authoritative, but there was still a frown between his perfect eyebrows.

"He's after me," she replied, "no matter if it's to get to you and I know what my rights are. I'm going after him and I'm going to stop him, but then I will bring him to you."

"He is dangerous."

"So am I," she replied and bared her fangs, letting her vampire nature out full force. "For once I am going to be the vampire you want me to be."

With that she turned and walked out, Lilith trotting along behind her.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Thursday, 24 April 2014

AtoZ Day 21: U is for Underground, Uruku/Utukku, Ultraviolet

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Underground

Vampire are creatures of darkness, so what better place to hide than underground. In John Carpenter's Vampires they literally bury themselves if they see fit; in Nightlife there are catacombs; in Vampires Les Muertos an underground lair; in Fright Night 2 a blood pool in the depth of a castle's underbelly.

Caves are dank and dark and the earth easily prevents the glare of the sun so underground is perfect for the living dead.

Underground can also refer to something that is hidden from the general population, for example the 'underground' parties held by the vampires in Blade. Underground is hidden; underground is out of sight of those who could do harm; underground is safe.

If you had to have an underground lair, where would you want it to be? I think I'd go for a basement complex under a castle.

Creature Feature:

Uruku/Utukku


Now this legend is a really old one from ancient Mesopotamia. The Uruku's name mean 'vampire that attacks man' and it is all trouble.

According to Vampires Around the World even just looking into its eyes can cause a human to be injured. The Encylopedia of Vampire Mythology adds that one of these creatures is created when a person interferes with someone else's burial rites. It is said to be similar in appearance to another creature the Ekimmu and is demonic and phantom like.

Movie TV Recommendation:

Title: Ultraviolet (1998)
Rating: n/a
Summary: Michael is a cop and joins an elite team of government vampire hunters when, after his best friend Jack vanishes, he is thrust in the world of the leeches. He joins Dr Angela Marsh, Vaughan Rice and Father Pearse Harman in the fight against these adaptable beings.
Why you should watch this: It's a very different take on vampires. They have many of the normal traits, but they are shown as adapted to modern living and integrating with society. They don't convert people by force all the time, instead simply using persuasion. The rules for the vampires and their history is very interesting and this is a great mini-series. It also has Jack Davenport and Idris Elba so win/win.

Old Fashioned 
(#21 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Ianthe did not finish with Ren until a little before dawn, at which point she let the weasel run. She wasn't interested in him as she pulled out her phone.

"Alex," she said as soon as he answered her call, "it was Ren; he sold information to the priest. I know everything he gave away."

"Good," Alex replied, "I'm proud of you."

It still came as a shock to hear praise from her maker.

"I am having the house secured," Alex continued; "it will be done by tomorrow night, but for today we have been invited to stay with Mila. When should we expect you?"

"Twenty minutes," she replied, not bothering to question it.

Krige showed her into the same room she had been in before as soon as she arrived. Alex was sitting primly on the chaise, a glass of familiar red liquid in his hand, while Mila walked around the room.

"Ianthe, My Dear," Mila greeted immediately and came over and hugged her, "you must be very upset."

"I'm furious," she replied; talking with Ren had done nothing to calm her down.

"And you have every right to be," Mila said, patting her gently on the arm.

It could have been patronising, but Mila seemed perfectly genuine; her ancient eyes showing nothing but sympathy.

"My house is your house for as long as you need it," Mila went on.

That almost shocked her out of her anger, because vampires were usually very territorial creatures. Mila had just given them permission to use her home as if they actually lived there rather than simply being guests. It was so odd that Ianthe looked to Alex just to check she was reading the situation correctly. Her maker simply nodded minutely in confirmation.

"Thank you," she said, "I'm very grateful."

"Come and sit down," Mila offered, "and tell us all you have found out."

In moments Ianthe found herself in a comfortable chair, Lilith at her feet, with her own glass of blood, at which point she began to talk. She told Alex and Mila everything Ren had told her and exactly what information Ren had sold to the priest. Throughout the whole thing Alex simply sat there looking stoic. He nodded in all the right places, but it looked as if the whole situation had affected her maker far more than Ianthe would have suspected.

"Ren will be dealt with," Mila said simply once Ianthe had finished and Ianthe really didn't feel like asking how, "he is a danger to the community. As for this priest, his apprehension and punishment are yours by right as the injured parties."

The way Mila looked at Alex made Ianthe wonder what the two had been talking about while she was busy. Alex simply nodded.

"Of course," Alex replied, but he didn't sound over enthusiastic.

Vampires were, by nature, predators; an opportunity to hunt should not have been met with what looked like reluctance.

"Are you alright?" Ianthe asked, for once slightly worried about Alex rather than simply annoyed with him.

"I am fine," Alex said, looking her right in the eye and making her doubt what she had just seen, "but I do not wish to become too involved. If I allow my blood to rise I will steal the hunt and this should be yours."

Ianthe realised that being shocked by her maker was distressingly becoming a habit. The last thing she ever wanted to do was start not hating him; it would be far too complicated.

"Thank you," she replied, even though she wasn't sure she wouldn't mind Alex taking over.

"Good," Mila said, "then that is settled for tonight, now I will show you to your rooms. Dawn is already here and we must all be well rested to face what is to come."

"That would be welcome, Mila, thank you," Alex said, standing in one graceful motion.

Ianthe had no choice but to go along with it. If truth be told, she was beginning to feel the strain.

Mila, however, did not lead them upstairs; she led them to a large oak door that soon revealed steps going downwards.

"I know I'm old fashioned," Mila said as she led them into the dimly lit interior, "but I come from a time when windows didn't exist and blackout curtains just weren't viable. I always feel more comfortable sleeping underground."

The stairway was a dressed stone spiral going down, with a beautifully carved, wooden handrail and Ianthe had no idea what to expect at the bottom. When they stepped out into a long, high ceilinged, flagged stone hallway with ornate little gargoyles every few feet she was impressed. It appeared there was a whole other level of Mila's home that was completely invisible from outside.

"Alex, Darling, you're in here," Mila said, pushing open double doors to the left. "This suite has the best bathroom and I know how you are about preparing to sleep."

Ianthe almost smiled.

"Thank you," Alex replied and walked in.

"If you need anything, just ring for Krige," Mila told him. "And, Ianthe, My Dear and your darling Lilith, this way, the bathroom may not be as big in the second suite, but the bed is very luxurious."

Before they reached the second set of double doors, Alex was already closing his.

"Good day," was his final communication.

"Sleep well, Darling," Mila said and linked her arm with Ianthe's before pushing open one of the new doors with her other hand.

It was a very beautiful room, all reds, blacks and cream with the most enormous bed Ianthe had ever seen. It looked as if it could sleep seven, let alone her and Lilith.

"Thank you," she said, doing her best to show her appreciation, but she couldn't help fidgeting just a little.

She was tired, but there was an itch under her skin that she hadn't had a chance to scratch because of everything that had happened. Mila's incubus blood had not helped at all.

When Mila did not reply she turned her head and found the older vampire was looking at her with one eyebrow raised slightly. She wasn't sure what the expression meant.

"Of course," Mila said before she could ask anything, "that is a very big empty bed. It would be terribly inhospitable of me to make you feel lonely."

Ianthe knew what she thought Mila was saying, but she was pretty sure she had to be reading the situation incorrectly.

"I have an even bigger bed that is very comfortable," Mila added.

There had been too much going on and was still going on in Ianthe's head to play games.

"Are you propositioning me?" she asked, because blunt seemed the best way to go.

Mila smiled brightly.

"Oh, yes," Mila replied, "are you interested? You seem to need a little distraction."

Ianthe considered the question for all of ten seconds.

"It really is a very big, very empty bed," she said as if still thinking about it, "and it would be rude of me to snub your hospitality when you offer your own company so selflessly."

Mila giggled.

"I like you, Ianthe," Mila said, "I like you a lot. Modern vampires are so stuffy. Come on, Lilith, sweetie, me and your mummy are going next door where I'm sure Krige has some lovely dead things for you to enjoy while we're busy."

There was so much to think about, but Ianthe let herself go with the flow. After the night she had had she needed a break and Mila was the perfect, willing solution.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

AtoZ Day 20: T is for Thrall, Tlahuelpuchi, The Twins Effect

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Thrall

A thrall is a vampires servant, so called because they are enthralled by their master.

Ludwig is a good example from Dracula: Prince of Darkness. He is perfectly harmless, a creator of beautiful books, until he comes under Dracula's influence, at which point he becomes his minion.

Many vampires are said to have mesmeric powers as a way to trap their prey. We used to have a cat who could stare at a bird and make it walk off a branch into his waiting paws, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't a vampire.

The idea that the will can be taken away is frightening and yet also freeing. Thralls are subject to the will of their masters so they are not responsible for what they do.

Is there a vampire you wouldn't mind being a thrall to?

Creature Feature:

Tlahuelpuchi


This is a vampire from East-Central Mexico and is rather a sad case because it is the victim of a curse. This vampire is not turned it is born this way and cannot do anything about it. They don't even find out what they are until puberty. (Wikipedia)

Examiner.com expands on this saying the vampire lives with its family and must be protected and cannot be killed by a member of that family or the curse will continue to the next generation.

According to Haunted Curiosities these mostly female vampires are the epitome of evil. Once they come into their powers at puberty they have an insatiable thirst for human blood and they can shapechange into animals.

Garlic onions and metal will repel this vampire and they can be killed by chopping off their head with a metal blade.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: The Twins Effect (aka Vampire Effect)
Rating: 15
Summary: Prince Kazaf is the last of the European vampires who are being hunted down by a rival vampire duke who wants their power. Kazaf relocated to Hong Kong where he meets and falls in love with Helen. What he doesn't realise is Helen's sister, Gypsy, and Gypsy's mentor are vampire hunters. With everything in the mix it's going to complicated.
Why you should watch this: It's fun and entertaining. It's a film out of Hong Kong so it has kick arse martial arts and it definitely has its tongue in its cheek at points. Definitely never going to win points for depth, but it is worth watching.

Gloves Off 
(#20 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Ianthe was no longer in a mood to play games. She had thought she wasn't before, but now she was furious. Her stalker knew things about her that could only have come from the supernatural community. Someone was selling her out and she was pretty sure she knew who.

Ren let her in without argument and gave her an obsequious little head nod as she marched into his cellar. Lilith stopped by the door, guarding it as if she knew exactly what Ianthe had in mind. Ren clearly noticed, however, he wasn't expecting it when she grabbed him by the front of his grubby shirt and pulled him towards her.

"Look into my eyes, Ren," she commanded.

His face filled with shock.

"You can't ... it's not allowed ... you ..."

Ren tried to look away, but it was too late.

Ianthe did not like mindless puppets and this was the first time she had ever used the power she knew she had.

"You are mine, little man," she said and let the vampiric energy in her veins flow towards the surface.

She had seen Alex do this; she knew her eyes would be glowing bright red and, for once, she wished she could see herself. It was child's play to invade Ren's mind and push his will down deep. She didn't snap it, even though she knew she could have; she didn't want Ren as a slave forever.

"I am yours," Ren repeated dutifully.

This was why vampires of certain bloodlines were feared. They were strong in body, but they were stronger in mind. Very few supernatural creatures could stand against those with such dominant powers of the mind.

"Tell me the truth, Ren," she commanded, "you are helping this hunter."

"Yes," Ren replied, his expression blank and his voice lifeless.

He was in her thrall and she could have ordered him to kill himself if she had wanted.

"Why?"

"He pays well and I don't like you," Ren replied simply.

She almost laughed.

"What have you given him?"

"Weapons and information about your habits and where you live," Ren admitted without hesitation.

"How did he get into my house?"

"I drugged your cleaner in the pub, copied her key and made her tell me the routine of the house," Ren explained.

Ianthe had to hold her instincts in check as the need to kill flashed through her. This rat had broken the first rule of the supernatural community in selling out to a human and he had allowed the priest to invade her home. The vampire in her saw it as a very simple solution; kill until there was no danger left. Luckily for Ren the part of her that retained human decency was in control.

"I should rip your throat out," she hissed at him, baring her fangs and letting her control of his mind drop.

He screamed and stepped backwards crashing into his work table. The smell of urine filled the air and she realised he'd wet himself.

"If you want to live you will tell me every detail you gave the priest," she said, her tone as cold as ice. "I will know if you are lying."

Now she had been in his mind that was perfectly true and Ren whimpered, but he nodded.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

AtoZ Day 19: S is for Stake, Shtriga, Sundown - The Vampire In Retreat

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site and see all the other participants.
Stake

So possibly the most famous method of disposing of a vampire is a stake through the heart.

Most people think this is how Dracula was killed in the book, but actually he was killed with a knife. It was Lucy who was staked, then decapitated and even then, just to make sure they put garlic in her mouth. Not a dignified way to end up really.

Ever since, however, all the best vampires end up with stakes through their heart: David from the Lost Boys (okay so it was an antler, but same idea), Kurt Barlow from Salem's Lot, Helen Kent from Dracula: Prince of Darkness, just about all of them from from Dusk Till Dawn.

What is the most dramatic death by stake you have read or seen?

Creature Feature:

Shtriga


Today we dip into Albanian folklore for our creature of the day. The Shtriga is a vampiric witch which, according to Wikipedia sucks the blood of infants at night and then turns into a flying insect.

Unnatural World also adds that part of her legend is that she sucks the living essence or spirtus vitae out of people at night.

By day she appears human, most often an old woman and The Demonical says that this is when she can be killed. She can be trapped in a building using a cross of pig bones after which she can be killed quite easily.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Sundown - The Vampire In Retreat
Rating: 15
Summary: Vampires have taken over a small American town where they seek to live in peace under the watch of Count Mardulak. They have a plant which manufactures fake blood, only there is a problem with production so they bring in the inventor and his family to fix it. However, all is not peaceful among the vampire ranks and there are those who wish to go back to killing. Add in a Van Helsing and things are going to get ugly.
Why you should watch this: It's hilarious and has Bruce Campell and David Carradine, do I need to say anything else? Honestly, it's a great entertaining movie.

What's At Stake 
(#19 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Philips entered the hallway just as Ianthe was storming up the stairs.

"Is there something wrong, Madam?" the man asked.

"This," she all but hissed and threw the destroyed rose branch at the butler.

It wasn't fair to take it out on him and she did deliberately miss him, but she had to let the anger out somehow. Afraid of what she might do she turned and continued upwards to her rooms. She needed to think and to plan.

As she threw open the door to her section of the upstairs it only latterly registered that the door had not been completely closed. Fear tried to spark again, but she was far too furious. However, that didn't stop Lilith. The hellhound puppy shot past her as she froze just inside the doorway. She could actually feel Lilith feeding off her anger and as she watched the puppy became anything but.

Cute, if somewhat fantastical looking puppy became a huge, demonic dog, but Lilith didn't stop there; there was more to come. Shock almost curbed some of Ianthe's rage, but it was something of a feedback loop and Lilith's determination and protective instincts came back to her, bolstering her righteous anger. Lilith grew more until she was one hundred percent bigger yet again. Spines erupted from her back in a long sharp row and black scales flowed across her flanks and down her legs to form armour. When Ianthe stepped up beside her hell hound she could also see long, sabre like canines jutting out of Lilith's top jaw.

"Find it," was all she said, putting any questions about Lilith's abilities to the back of her mind.

There was no hesitation as Lilith immediately jumped forward, through the bedroom door.

Ianthe was not expecting a yelp to follow. It was the unmistakable sound of pain and she didn't even think about it, she used every ounce of speed she had and rushed into the next room. Lilith was standing her ground, glaring around the room, snarling, but Ianthe's eyes were immediately drawn to the large wooden stake sticking out of Lilith's left side.

Every fight response Ianthe had fired and her humanity dropped away completely. She was all vampire as she glared around the room. Anything remotely dangerous would have found itself shredded before it could attack, but there was nothing there. What she did see was a mechanism and it had clearly been attached to the door as a release. Lilith had fired a trap meant for Ianthe.

"What in hell's name is going on here?"

She span on the spot and almost launched at Alex. It was only the maker bond that curbed her actions and she had to take a deep breath to centre herself.

"Someone got in here," she all but accused even though she knew it wasn't Alex's fault.

Lilith growled in agreement. Alex's eyes grew in shock as he looked at the hellhound, but at that moment Ianthe didn't really care.

"The priest was here," she declared.

She knew if she let herself think too hard the fear would come back. She did not want that. This was no time for human sentiment; she needed to act. The priest had stepped over a line that no vampire would allow, no matter how forgiving, and he was going to pay. Before any worry could touch her, she turned, pulled the stake out of Lilith's side and threw it across the room. In the next second she ripped a hole in her left palm with talons on her right and thrust it against the wound.

Vampire power met demon power in a heady mix. It sent shots of ice up her arm, but she could feel the wound closing under her hand. It was the work of moments.

"Someone betrayed us," she said, wiping her hand on her dress without thought as she turned back to her maker; "I am going to find out who."

"Wait," Alex said, but Ianthe wasn't interested.

She swept past her maker and Philips who was in the outer room and headed straight for the stairs. This could not be allowed to stand.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Monday, 21 April 2014

AtoZ Day 18: R is for Roses, Revenant, Razor Blade Smile

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site and see all the other participants.
Roses

Roses are a sign or romance and true love, of honour and remembrance, so it's not really surprising they turn up in vampire lore.

One famous occurrence is in Dracula where Van Helsing points out that a branch from a wild rose placed on a vampires coffin will immobilise him within it. This of course makes the vampire an easy target, but of course you have to find the coffin first.

Other legends say that a cross made of the branches of a wild rose will ward off a vampire and some recommend that a stake used to pin a vampire to his coffin and the earth should be made from wild rose wood.

Fright Night II uses roses in a very spectacular fashion when warding off a vampire.

What is your favourite use of a rose in vampire fiction/history?

Creature Feature:

Revenant


This is a Western European kind of vampire, with stories coming from all over, but especially my neck of the woods: Great Britain. A Revenant isn't always a vampire, simply someone who returns from the dead, but they often get up to no good.

According to Wikipedia they come back to terrorise the living and have sometimes been called vampires. Zombiepedia is broader and quotes William of Newburgh for the 1190s: "one would not easily believe that corpses come out of their graves and wander around, animated by I don't know what spirit, to terrorize or harm the living, unless there were many cases in our times, supported by ample testimony".

Myth Beasts says that the name from from the Latin 'revenir' meaning to return.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Razor Blade Smile
Rating: 18
Summary: Lilith Silver is a vampire and these days works as a hired assassin. She has set her sights on the Illuminati and is killing them one by one. Her sire, Sethan Blake, is involved with the Illuminati making it a lot more challenging.
Why you should watch this: It's a terrible film, but the ending, oh the ending makes the whole thing worth sitting through and that's all I'm going to say. It has the dubious honour of being the lowest budget film to ever receive a cinema release in the UK.

Warnings 
(#18 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


Ianthe stopped dead as she lifted her keys to open the front door. At first all she felt was disbelief, which slowly morphed into cold, hard fear in the bottom of her stomach. It sat there like a stone as she stared.

There, stuck to the door with the most ridiculous piece of gaffer tape, was a branch of wild rose. There were even open blossoms on it. Legend said wild rose could be used to keep a vampire in their coffin. Legend was stupidly wrong and even the most incompetent vampire hunter would know that.

No, the branch wasn't actually a deterrent: it was a message.

It said two things very clearly: one, I know where you live; two, stay inside and hide.

As the shock slowly worked its way through Ianthe's system, spreading its cold fingers and making her head feel fuzzy it began to change. Cold gradually turned to heat and the first touches of rage started to boil in her blood.

She was fed up of being afraid, fed up of being a pawn and it was going to stop.

Lilith whined beside her and then quietly began to growl.

Not caring who might be looking, she snarled herself, letting all her vampire traits out. All it took was one snatch of her taloned hand and the branch was crushed in her fingers. No one was going to threaten her anymore. This was going to end.

Armouring herself with her anger, she opened the door and stormed into the house. The priest would get what was coming to him.
~~*~~

A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter
to one and all

I wish you the blessings and joys of the season and lots of lovely chocolate too :)

Saturday, 19 April 2014

AtoZ Day 17: Q is for Quixotic, Queen of the Damned

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site and see all the other participants.
Quixotic

adj. - Not sensible about practical matters; idealistic and unrealistic

Vampires live for a very long time, it's only logical to think some of them might turn out to be dreamers. As we age our habits and idiosyncrasies which define us become more pronounced, so imagine what a vampire who began life as a bit of a head in the clouds romantic might end up like.

In fiction vampires are often romanticised and what is more romantic than the dreamer who wishes his or her way through life? The artist, the musician, the writer. If you know Vampire the Masquerade you would know this type of vampire as Toreador.

Can you imagine what some of the great artists would have achieved had they been given eternal life as a vampire? Who do you think would have created masterpieces and who do you think would have been stifled without the impetus of mortality? 

Creature Feature:

Sorry, none today because I couldn't find one.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Queen of the Damned
Rating: 15
Summary: Lestat has become a rock star and revels in being a vampire on stage even though no one believes he is really what he says he is. His music wakes Akasha, the queen of the vampires and the first of their line. She causes destruction, taking Lestat with her as other vampires seek to stop her.
Why you should watch this: It has some great music and as long as you forget it was supposed to have anything to do with Anne Rice's book, it's not a bad film. Because it's based on the book it has some completely irrelevant characters who are never actually introduced, but they are easy enough to ignore. It's a fun romp.

Don't Give a Stuff 
(#17 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake


There was only one person Ianthe knew who was more knowledgeable about vampire lore than Alex. Her name was Mila and where Ianthe was the young upstart, Mila was the old eccentric. In this case very old. No one in the local vampire community was sure quite how old.

Mila lived alone apart from one servant whose origins were equally as mysterious and the whole vampire population paid her respect even if they did think she was batty. Ianthe had met her once when being introduced around in society and the one thing she had noticed was that Mila didn't give a stuff about what anyone else thought. She could respect that.

When she called for an appointment, Mila's servant Krige had been very welcoming. That didn't stop Ianthe being very nervous as she led Lilith to Mila's front door. She hoped the ancient woman didn't object to the hellhound puppy, it was just there was no way Ianthe was going anywhere without her.

"Hello, My Dear," Mila greeted as soon as she was shown in, "how nice of you to call and who is this lovely young thing?"

Lilith all but bounced over, taking Ianthe with her, because there was no stopping a hellhound when they wanted something.

"Aren't you lovely," Mila said, bending down and giving Lilith a kiss and ruffling her ears as if she was any other puppy.

"Her name is Lilith," Ianthe introduced.

She couldn't help noticing the whole room was only lit by a fire and some candles. There was an electric light standing on a nearby table, but it didn't seem to be plugged in.

"She is beautiful," Mila said, standing back up, "and just what you need I suspect. How can I help you?"

"I need some advice," she replied.

Mila smiled. The fact she didn't look a day over twenty and yet had to be hundreds if not thousands of years old was a dilemma for Ianthe's brain. She had been doing this a few years now, but she still couldn't get her head round bodies that didn't show age. Rather than worrying about it, she looked in Mila's eyes; then she couldn't mistake who she was talking to.

"I'm afraid I'm not very good with advice," Mila replied. "I love to help, but I never seem to quite get it right. I wanted to build an orphanage, but Krige won't let me. Well he says not yet; he's looking into it. I don't know what I'd do without him."

Ianthe wasn't quite sure what to say.

"That's nice," she managed, "but it wasn't general advice, it's about vampires."

"Oh, oh," Mila said, smiling more brightly, "that I can do. What do you need to know?"

"Someone is trying to kill me," she revealed.

"Not good," Mila agreed.

"Alex and I..."

"Oh Alex, how is he, the darling boy?"

She had never heard anyone refer to Alex as a boy before.

"Um, he's fine."

"He used to be such a romantic, you know," Mila said. "Oh, I'm so sorry, would you like a drink? I am forgetting my manners."

"Thank you, that would be lovely," she replied as she tried to get her head round this new information.

Mila wandered over to a decanter and poured two glasses of something deep red. Ianthe simply accepted it when offered without wondering what it was.

"We had an adventure once," Mila continued talking. "We went around the world helping people, well as much as our kind can. A little money here, a strong arm there, because of course we couldn't allow anyone to know who we were. It was so much fun. He's lost that spark now, have you noticed?"

Ianthe had noticed, her mind simply boggled at the very idea of what Mila was suggesting. The Alex she knew was interested only in himself.

"We performed a ritual to find out who is trying to kill me," Ianthe did her best to drag the conversation back on track.

Then she sipped her drink. She almost had to sit down as heat flared from her navel to the top of her head.

"Incubus blood," Mila said with a smile just this side of completely bonkers; "lovely isn't it. I know this beautiful thing who's perfectly willing to donate if I let him bang me every so often."

"It's good," was the best Ianthe could do.

The heat was spreading down between her legs and her head was beginning to fill with incredibly inappropriate thoughts. She kind of loved that Mila clearly cared about the rules of modern vampire society about as much as she did.

"The dream ritual?" Mila asked.

Ianthe nodded and forced her brain back to the matter in hand.

"And I dreamed of him, but there were no details."

"You didn't see into his mind?"

"No."

"Hmm, then he is protected in some way," Mila concluded. "Not unusual with hunters. Why is he trying to kill you?"

Ianthe lifted her shoulders in a helpless little shrug.

"Because I'm a vampire is as much as I know," she replied.

Mila nodded and put her glass down on a small table before walking over to a bureau in the corner.

"Hold this," Mila instructed and threw a small crystal at her.

Luckily vampire reflexes meant she didn't embarrass herself and she caught it. The stone was pale green and it tingled in her fingers.

"Hmmm," Mila said closing her eyes and placing an index finger to her forehead, "yes, right."

She then turned back to the bureau and riffled around in the drawers looking for something.

"Aha," she crowed in triumph and brandished what looked like a perfectly ordinary hessian bag.

It was only a couple of inches across and it looked like it had been sewn shut by someone not really looking at what they were doing with red thread.

"This is for you," Mila said, "you'll need it."

"What is it?" Ianthe asked as Mila walked over and presented her with it.

"Protection," Mila replied.

"Thank you."

"Keep it on you at all times," Mila said; "it will save your life."

Ianthe put it straight in her pocket.

"How do you know?"

"I can sense it. I have good instincts and you are holding my focus crystal."

The fact her life was going to be in danger again was not settling, but at least Ianthe knew she was now prepared.

"Is there any way to see who the man is?" she asked.

Pursing her lips, Mila thought about that and the slowly shook her head.

"If you had something of his person, maybe," the older vampire said, "but otherwise Alex has shown you the strongest ritual. But I do know he will come to you and it won't be long."

That didn't make her feel any better.

"Stay strong, My Friend," Mila said, moving forward and taking her hands; "you have great things ahead of you."

Great things were all well and good, but Ianthe would have preferred a quiet life.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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