The mythology of vampires has evolved quite a bit throughout fiction. They started out as monsters and demons and eventually became irresistible representations of sexual desire. Recent movies seem to be reviving the monster tradition with Priest and the remake of Fright Night.
The first vampire character I remember tangling with is Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ah, the dark, brooding vampire with a soul. In Buffy’s world, Angel is the exception, the one good vampire. When one is turned into a vampire, he loses his soul and a demon takes over the body. Personality and memories are intact, but the heart of the person is gone forever. Unless you chance to be cursed by gypsies.
These vamps look human until they “vamp out” and then they get ridges on their forehead and around the eyes (no, they’re not Klingons), and the fangs come out. Yup, vampires are not irresistible sex toys in Buffy’s world. In fact, some of them were pretty hideous, not like in Stephanie Meyer’s world where vampirism seems to make everyone drop-dead gorgeous.
Crosses burn them, sunlight scorches them, and jabbing a stake through their heart doesn’t look that hard when you watch Buffy’s sidekicks helping her out (after some practice, of course).
Despite that interpretation being my first exposure to vampires, I find I like a kinder approach. Vampires may be monstrous with their blood lust and growing egos, but they are essentially the same people they were when they were human. This leaves room for the right heroine to come along and bring out the good in them.
Although, even Buffy’s world evolved to include the possibility of redemption. Spike joined up with Buffy when he still didn’t have a soul. Which begs the question: are all vampires really soulless monsters?
Who was your first vampire? Do you like the ravaging monster version highlighted in horror flicks, or do you prefer the dark, brooding, sexy vamp? Are there aspects of both you like? I love hearing from you!
“Tombstone Voices From Beyond” by Kate MacNicol–I did not know about this piece of technology.
“Reading By Flashlight” by Lesann Berry–Ah, memories.
“Long Lost Childhood Reads” by Tiffany A. White–Ditto the above.
“Well, isn’t this Smurfy” by Kristal Lee–They’re taking over the world.
“Self-Discipline–The Key to Success” by Kristen Lamb–Need to get your writing butt in gear? Read this.
“10 Secrets to a Perfect Synopsis” by Stacy Green–If you need a laugh. Which you do.