Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vlad's Lament

By Lisabet Sarai



Pity me.

I am humanity's blackest nightmare. I am the silent and invincible evil that steals upon you as you sleep and drags you to hell. I have the devil's strength. I might tear open your tender throat with my fangs, or rip your heart, still beating, from your chest, but that is not why I am to be feared. Death is the least of the dangers you face when I waft like smoke under your door or beat my leathery wings against your window.

You would beg for the quiet void of death, if you truly understood what I bring you instead. Along with your life-blood, I siphon off your soul. I leave you an empty husk, an eternal creature who is nothing but embodied appetite. The most ravaged drug addict is fortunate compared to what I will make of you. No thought but the thought of blood. No emotion but the craving for the salt and iron taste as the viscous fluid of life slides down your throat. Consumed by the need for blood, every action directed toward satisfying a thirst that can never be assuaged. Centuries may pass, civilizations rise and fall, but my victims never notice. They are dumb beasts in the grip of an inexorable compulsion to kill and drink and kill again.

I am different, as you can tell. I was the first. I have some intelligence remaining. I have in fact become more crafty and more cruel over the thousand odd years since my change. Indeed, calling it a "change" seems like a mistake. I did not change, when I slipped over the door sill of death into eternal monster-hood. I became more of what I was already: more vicious, more sadistic, with a deepened contempt for frail and ridiculous humankind. I was always blood thirsty, though perhaps not so literally as now.

I ask your pity, but not because I am the product of forces beyond my control. I am not a victim of circumstances. I am not tortured by remorse. I recall my bloody centuries with intense pleasure. I make no excuses for the thousands of souls I've stolen, the legions of loathsome, blood-addicted vermin I've left in my wake. I am beyond redemption, and I like it that way. Do not believe that the love of God, man or woman can save me.

Still, I seek your sympathy, and why? Somehow, while I have been amusing myself, feasting on your juicy flesh, gleefully snuffing out the meager intelligence of my despised prey, my own soul has been purloined and perverted. People still speak of me, in hushed and reverent tones, but no longer do I inspire the terror that is my due.

No, now pubescent girls and middle-aged housewives masturbate to the thought of my fangs grazing their throat. They imagine me as tall, young, clean-shaven, muscle-bound, with mysteriously pale skin that sparkles in the sun and hypnotic dark eyes from which they cannot hide their lascivious thoughts. They picture themselves swooning in my arms as I simultaneously lap at their blood and drive my preternaturally rigid cock deep into their sex.

Ha! What would they think if they saw my barrel chest, my swarthy complexion (though I will never again look upon the sun), my bushy black eyebrows and bristling mustache, my rotted teeth (aside from my fangs) and hooked nose? I am as I was when I changed: a middle-aged Slavic warrior, shorter than average, with bowed legs from riding and powerful arms that can decapitate a man (or woman) in a single stroke. My incorruptible cock still rises, but it is the scent of gore that makes me hard.

I care not a whit for the beauty of woman (or man). What I lust after is your fear, your horror, your disgust. And now, that is denied me. Battalions of counterfeit blood drinkers assail me, everywhere I turn. They pass as high school kids, rock stars, cops and mafiosos. They walk among humans and share humanity's weaknesses: affection, compassion, guilt. No longer do the undead rise from their earth-filled coffins, stinking of carrion and decay. They wear Armani suits and Calvin Klein cologne.

And they take human mates! What an insult! What mortal could understand the exquisite satisfaction of feeling their own skin tear and their blood gush into my waiting mouth? What human woman would beg to be "turned" if she understood that eternal life as a vampire is nothing but an endless, empty quest for the next fix?

I am Nosferatu, Vlad the Impaler, an ancient terror. I am pure evil and proud of it. Alas, I have been emasculated, neutralized, turned into a twisted, misdirected, romantic hero who needs only the love of a good woman to rescue him from his pitiable past.

Pity me, then. No miserable, puny human is strong enough to destroy me. But human culture has come close.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks, Craig!

    I had a lot of fun writing it!

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  2. Great post, Lisabet! The same lament has been expressed elsewhere (Peter Tupper posted something along these lines on LiveJournal), but not in Vlad's own voice!

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  3. Vlads do not sparkle. . . . probably.

    This take on Vlad the Impaler goes back to that big mystery of popular fiction - what makes vampires sexy? Even the best vampire authors - and I've had the privelege of meeting two of them in person, Charlaine Harris and Dacre Stoker - have no idea how that works.

    Garce

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  4. Hi, Jean,

    Well, I've never been able to make much claim to originality.

    My first thought for this week's topic was the wicked witch of the west. Then I realized that had been done, by someone far more skilled than I.

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  5. Hi, Kathleen,

    I actually liked Anne Rice's vampires, especially at first. For one thing, their vampire-hood wasn't really the point. Rather, Rice was exploring the implications of immortality and the spiritual consequences of living as a parasite.

    But the vampires of romance - well, I don't want to say anymore. Especially since I've written one or two of my own.

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  6. Hi, Garce,

    I have my theories. One is the relationship between sex and death - the two are definitely entangled in our psyches. Another relates to D/s - what more complete surrender than offering up your life to a being of power? Finally, in the romance vein, many women (myself included) find appealing the notion that they might break through the armor of some cold creature (like Dr. Spock) and spark them to passion - or save some tormented soul by loving them.

    There's also, of course, the attraction of the forbidden, the compulsion to violate taboos.

    I can understand how some vampires are sexy. But honestly, many of the vampires I encounter these days are so tame, they're absurd.

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  7. Oh, this is a guy whose company I could enjoy (at a bit more than arm's length, of course) in a dark, cozy bar, where we would have both retreated to avoid those nihilistic teenage vampire wannabes. I wonder what his opinion of zombies is.

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  8. Hi, Bob,

    Ah, don't get me started on zombies. I take a vow right here and now. I will never, ever write an erotic zombie story.

    (I have to admit I've written one or two vampires. But they're not typical - or at least, I hope they're not!)

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  9. Personally I'm left cold (pun intended) by the idea of being impaled by an icicle! I don't even let the gyne do my exam unless he warms the speculum first! And embracing cold, clammy flesh? Ew! Imagine how their breath must smell, what with a diet of blood, which as all we women know, does NOT improve its scent once exposed to oxygen! Nah, I'm gonna have to take a pass! Vampires once thrilled me...no more!
    But hot-blooded shape-shifters? Now we're talking!

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