I’ve always been fascinated with vampires. Of all of the many creatures that haunt the human imagination, perhaps none are more seductive than these multifariously symbolic bloodsuckers. So when I noticed a comment in our moderation queue that began “Do you want to become a vampire,” of course it had my full attention.
“Do you want to become a vampire,” the commenter, who identifies himself only as “James” inquires, “so that you can be powerful and have dominion over everything in this world?” Well, dominion over everything in this world sounds exhausting, but I do want to become a vampire. But how?
“I want to say a very big thanks to Mr. Micheal who transformed me into a vampire after taking the powerful transformation blood of the vampire,” the comment continues, “I was turned immediately and now I have powers and dominions over everything, and I am so rich and famous now. The vampire world is a great and beautiful world everybody would love to be in but those who have made up their mind can become one of us.”
I knew it. I knew there was a great and beautiful vampire world that I would one day be inducted into, and here was my chance. No skulking in the darkness for these vampires, no Masquerade. No, these vampires were out there living in plain sight, taking full advantage of their otherworldly powers to attain material riches and the adoration of their peers. Smart! And this Mr. Micheal sounded like a great guy.
“If you’re interested and you want to become a vampire email [removed to protect the vampiric] for instant transformation and once you are turned,” the comment finishes, “you will be able to turn to vampire anytime and turn to human anytime too.”
Admittedly, this was a little confusing. I was under the impression that once you were a vampire, that was it. Being able to go back and forth kind of cheapens the whole thing, no? But still, who was I to question the ways of vampires? I knew nothing of their great and beautiful world. So I did what anyone avoiding work would do — I emailed the address.
Chapter I: Seduction by the Dark
I didn’t expect a response. After all, vampires wouldn’t let just anyone into their great and beautiful world. But a day after my initial inquiry, I received a reply. Sent from a George M Raymond (perhaps the M stood for “Micheal?”) it noted my interest and asked me two simple questions: my age and the country in which I was based. This seemed sensible enough — there are probably ethical issues in the vampire world around turning those who aren’t legal adults, and different countries likely have their own vampiric governing bodies, so George wanted to make sure everything checked out. I told him truthfully that I was from the US, but fudged the numbers a little bit on my age out of fear that vampires would hesitate to turn any but those in the peak of their youth and vitality. This was my first mistake in communicating with George, but it would not be my last.
“So tell me,” George replied, “what did you want to know about vampire?”
God, where to start? I had so many questions. I decided to get right to the core of the issue. “How can I become a vampire?” I asked. And, I added after some consideration, “Is it safe?”
“Yes is very safe,” George answered. He was being cagey — he had totally dodged my question about the process of vampirification itself. I figured this was all part of the dance. After all, if vampires just told their secrets to anyone who asked, the vampire world wouldn’t be so great and beautiful. I pressed on.
“Great! I feel like becoming a vampire would be a good step for my career,” I told him, “but I am worried about the potential downsides. Is it true that I will have to stay out of the sun and avoid garlic?” Honestly, the sunlight issue wouldn’t be a big deal for me, but the garlic one would. No going outside during the day? Easy. No more garlic bread? Stake me now.
“Well I understand, well there was a ring I will sent to you,” George explained, “that ring is for sunlight protection, you can walk in day time, even when is heavy sun is not going to harm you.” Again, George deftly answered only part of my question, leaving me fumbling in the dark. I needed to know about the garlic. Still, the ring was good news. And if vampires had solved the sunlight issue, they probably had scientists or dark wizards at work on the garlic front. “Oh, I think I’ve heard of that,” I told George. “It sounds very useful.”
Chapter II: Hesitation and the Fall
I was reassured, but still confused. I had entered into a strange, shadowy world whose contours were only beginning to reveal themselves to me. I was afraid. This would be my undoing.
“Is there anything else to worry about as a vampire?” I asked. I didn’t want to raise the point directly, but I was starting to wonder — if vampires were real, then what of werewolves, who famously hated the nightwalkers? Or vampire hunters? Sure, the world of vampires might be great and beautiful, but there might be other, darker worlds out there too. “I am kind of nervous,” I admitted, “but you seem very knowledgeable.”
George had me where he wanted me, and he got straight to the point. “I will send someone to give you vampire blood and vampire ring since we are not in the same place,” he said. That threw me a little — he was going to send me blood? Like, in the mail? It wasn’t exactly the intimate ritual that’s the stuff of myth. How much was this all going to cost me, I wondered?
“$450,” George told me. “For the material.”
On the one hand, $450 is a not insignificant amount of money. On the other, amortized over the countless years of my future undeath, I would be losing money if I didn’t buy the blood. But there was one last concern. Once I imbibed the mail blood, would I be driven to attack and drain humans?
“Well I will be the one who will be feeding you with blood first till you have strength,” George explained. “Once you have the strength you can feed yourself with animals blood not human blood again, I hope you understand that?”
Did I understand? Sure, I understood. I understood that becoming a creature of the night doesn’t make you evil, but it does make you faster, stronger, better than humanity. I understood how a vampire — even one with the best of intentions — might come to see humans much in the same way as we now see animals.
“I am concerned about a scenario,” I confessed, “in which I accidentally get a taste for human blood and then animal blood won’t do it for me anymore.”
Here George surprised me. I expected a stern lecture on the laws of the great and beautiful vampire world. Instead, he shrugged it off. “That’s your wishes and choice,” he noted, “that’s not bad.”
It’s not bad? I could become alienated from humankind, a bored and callous monster as depicted in so many classic films and novels, and that’s not bad? I needed to step back. I needed perspective. I needed a priest. But since I don’t know any, I just Googled “vampire bible” instead.
What I found shocked me. Leviticus 17:10-14 says “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people… No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.” A pretty clear injunction against vampires. Given that I’m already on kind of shaky terms with the Christian God on account of my various lifestyle choices, I couldn’t risk another mark against me.
I explained the situation to George and wished him the best of luck in spreading the curse of eternal undeath. But George didn’t take it so well.
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Chapter III: Rage
“I know very well you are totally lying,” George told me. “I’m just laughing at you because you trying to play smart. You think I’m fake. Well don’t worry, I will let you go. I’m happy tonight. If I wasn’t, you would be dead.”
George had turned on me in an instant. But in his fury, he neglected to realize that he had already confided me in several secrets of vampirekind. For instance, I knew about the sunlight-defying magic ring. I tried to apologize, but also noted that it was pointless for him to threaten me. Should he attack, I would simply remove his ring and he would burst into flames.
What a fool I was! To think I had penetrated the secrets of the great and beautiful vampire world based on a short email exchange. George had one last thing to reveal to me: he was half-human, half-vampire.
“You wanna know how?” George taunted. “My dad was a vampire my mom was not a vampire, you see. I always walk in daylight. Sunlight can’t do me anything — wearing a ring or not, I’m safe.”
I had learned only what he wanted me to learn. I knew nothing of the great and beautiful world of vampires. Would stakes work? Crosses? Silver? George hadn’t even confirmed that garlic would be an issue. All I knew about vampires was that sun would harm them, but here George was, immune to its holy rays.
“Like I say, I’m happy this night. If not, you would be dead,” George insisted. “I would have sucked your fucking blood. I’m a real powerful vampire.”
I knew he was. I knew I had played with forces beyond my comprehension, and that I would pay for my insolence. George would see to that.
“I command you from today you will dream evil dream very bad dream,” he told me. “Let’s wait and see for that.”
It’s been 24 hours since then. My sleep has been uneasy, though that may be because of the state of the decidedly not great or beautiful human world. But earlier today, I noticed another comment in the queue that just might be the solution to my problems. What’s the one place vampires would never think to look for me? Under the sea.