Caleb Ride's Vampire FAQs
Living Dead? No
Die at Dawn? No.
Combustible? Oh, yes.
Stake in the heart? Effective.
Sunlight? Hurts, kills over time.
Hypnotize victims? Naw.
Prey on victims? The old days.
VAMPIRE FAQs, as related by Caleb Ride
1. Vampires are the living dead.
We're not dead. In fact, the term "living dead" is an oxymoron, if you thnk about
2. Vampires die at daybreak and come back to life in the
Why does everybody think we're dead? No, we don't "die" at dawn, we just get
extra-special sleepy. You've heard the expression, "I slept like the dead." Well,
that's what we do every day, only real, real, soundly. And, yes, we can wake up
during daylight hours, but it takes a hell of an effort and we need more than a
cup of coffee to keep us going.
3. Vampires can't touch holy water.
Not so. We can touch it, bathe in it, drink it, and it won't dissolve us like it's acid.
It's water, and we don't melt in the rain. As for that religious aspect, rumors
were spread in the old days as a means of self preservation. If folks thought
vampires couldn't touch holy water but they could, then vamps had a surefire
way to keep their condition a secret.
4. Vampires get burned by crucifixes.
Again, sorry to disappoint, but it doesn't work that way. Me being a Christian
didn't evaporate when I got turned, though I have to admit, my faith did get a
workout at the time. And I still go to church on occasion, especially come
December. I love singing Christmas carols.
5. Vampires can live forever.
Another myth. Fact is, we have a shelf life, just a damned long one. And there's
a catch. We vampires might live ten times longer than your average Norm,
seven hundred years, give or take. But we pay for it when we die. When vamps
reach the End, death comes fast, in a matter of days, as our rejuvenation
systems break down and we begin to fall apart. The heart goes wonky, lungs
can't fill with air. And, most important for some, looks begin to fade. Some folks
have trouble prioitizing. Vamps are no exception.
6. Vampires need lots of blood.
A lot less then you might think. Your typical vamp needs about a cup of blood a
week, maybe a little more during periods of strenuous activity. That's why we
have acolytes, contracted companions to keep us company and provide us
sustanance. Of course, we have our gluttons. You can always tell which vamps
overindulge. Their acolytes have the skin tone of Casper the Friendly Ghost.
7. Vampires have to have permission to enter a home.
As a gesture of good manners, absolutely. As a matter of practical necessity,
not at all. And hanging garlic by your windows won't keep us out either. It'll just
make your house smell like an Italian restuarant.
8. Vampires would love to come out of the closet if they could.
By and large vampires like to keep a low profile. It's trendy for modern books to
talk about vampires coming out of the closet and gaining a certain measure of
acceptance from your run-of-the-mill humans. In reality, we vampires are scared
to death someone somewhere will find out we exist. Let's face it. If Norms will
torture and maim their own kind for petty differences like race or religion, what
would they do to a minority like us, with our powers and longevity? Can you say
torch-wielding mob? And remember, we don't fare so well with torches.
1. Vampires are extra flammable.
Alright. I admit it. The burning thing has more than a grain of truth to it. We
vampires do tend to be more combustible than your average Norm, and the
flame source doesn't have to be that intense. That's why we bathe in special
lotions, to reduce our flammabity quotients.
2. Vampires can be killed by a stake to the heart.
We depend on our blood to circulate. It's the key to our rejuvenation powers. So
no ticker, no vamp. You want to take out an electrical grid, you take out the
transformer. You want to take down a vamp, stop the heart, by any means at
hand. It can be messy. Bring a towel.
3. Vampires can be killed by cutting off their heads.
That's another thing the vampire books get mostly right. Vampires, like most
living creatures, have difficulty living without a head.
4. Vampires are extra strong and fast.
You bet. We can snap metal locks with our bare hands and run like gazelles.
Can't outrun a bullet, though. no matter how much we want to.
5. Vampires have enhanced senses.
You better believe it. Sometimes it's a blessing, like when you need to spot an
assassin lurking in a tree half a mile away, or when you're stalking a criminal
and he steps on gravel, you can pinpoint him better than GPS. However, vamp
senses turn into a curse in certain situations. Like when the homeless guy on
the bus hasn't washed in two weeks and he sits down next to you, or when the
teenbopper with her earphones brushes by and you can hear every syllable of
her boy-band music. Gaaak.
7. Vampires can hypnotize you and make you their slave.
Not exactly.Over the years, the so-called experts have claimed we vamps
possess super hypnotic powers and can make you do anything from jumping
off a cliff to setting your underpants on fire. That's a load of poppycock. We
don't have that kind of ability. What we do have is vampire spit. Turns out
vampire spit makes Norms more subject to persuasion. I know it sounds gross,
but it comes in real handy at times. Like when you have to help a Norm forget
Stuff You Probably Haven't Thought About
1. Vampires contract with their acolytes.
The contracts are to protect them, because an acolyte/vamp relationship is a
temporary affair--always. As a rule, vamps aren't supposed to keep an acolyte
for more than five years. They age so much more quickly than we do, and if
you're around the same person for too long, people begin to notice. And notice,
for the most part, is what we try to avoid.
Most vamps of my acquaintance change acolytes on a rotating basis, keep
them for a year or two, then trade them in for a newer model, like a car or a
smart phone. And that's wise. An acolyte is supposed to be a temporary
arrangement, to provide you with sustenance, primarily, the companionship
being more of a fringe benefit. My problem is, I always get too involved--wishing
for something permanent. Kinda frustrating.
2. Vampires have great tech.
Just remember--vampire technology is a tad bit better than the gizmos you buy
off the shelf at Wal-Mart. When your scientists live for hundreds of years, they
have a leg up. And being underground means they don't have to share.
3. For a vampire, taking blood is an erotic experience.
The way we feed, it's intimate, an exchange at the primal level with a strong
carnal component. That's why we have acolytes who fit our sexual preference
profiles, because feeding and sex go hand in hand. Sort of like with Norms, but
the feeding is part of the the act instead of just a prelude. Makes us cheap
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