For her guest post, Victoria is looking at eternal life – the problems that come with it. She comes up with some interesting thoughts, though in all her discussion of stories where ‘vampires living normal lives’, she seems to have forgotten Being Human 🙂
A Wry Look a Living an Undead Life
In my own vamp series, one of my characters asks his hundreds year old friend a similar question. What do you do with too much time on your hands? Vampires, if managing to avoid the standard stake in the heart, incredible sunburn, or beheading, can live incredibly long lives. These situations make good storylines for writers of the undead.
Holding on to History
Can you imagine how much history a vampire has witnessed, let’s say, since the Dark Ages? Perhaps since 1200? The rise and fall of kingdoms, eras, and nations could be daunting. Is there temptation to get to involved in changing the natural course of evolution? To start or stop wars?
Witnessing the advances in energy, from horse power to steam, electricity, gas, and solar power, which they probably wouldn’t want to use, has to be challenging. Accidentally leaving a window open and having sunlight reflect off a mirror could be a last day on earth for an undead.
What about technology? Transportation for one, having to adapt from riding horses to driving cars, or heaven forbid having to use public transit? How do you not want to eat your fellow passengers? Booking only night flights could be a real challenge.
And communications? Maybe you’d pine for the days of the telegram, where if someone wanted to reach you, they’d have to go a few miles into the largest town to send you a message. Now you dread your phone blowing up from telemarketers. Would smart phones be able to read your fingerprints?
How would one handle the basic needs? How do you feed? How do you eat? In the old days, if you were wealthy, you could sleep in your castle all day, have one of your servants pick out a lovely farm girl or fat peasant for dinner. I suppose in today’s world, you could do it gangsta style and just pick off random people at night. Or be the ultimate undead superhero like Blade, and only take out the bad guys.
Just running a flat with undead roommates could be too much to bear. In the comedy “What We Do in the Shadows”, the vampires have a bit of a scuffle which causes the police to arrive. You can see them sweating it out, quite humorously, as the officers check the apartment for a “funny smell” and noise disturbances.
And just how do the kids of Twilight just keep changing schools? Eternal education has to suck.
Making a Living at Being Undead
Let’s say you’re a phenomenally good looking vampire. Changed at a young age and hotter than hell. It’s certain to bring you lots of opportunities, but also recognition. Perhaps a little too much attention?
In the indie film “Only Lovers Left Alive”, Adam is a hip vampire musician hiding out in the worst neighborhood in Detroit. When his music is released in an underground club without permission, word leaks out where he leaves, and fans start showing up and ringing his bell. You can see his panic as he realizes he might have to move.
So what kind of profession would best suit a vampire? Anything in a medicinal environment with easy access to blood would be ideal. If you worked in a hospice facility, you could be an angel of death and not feel so guilty about sending someone home a little early, especially if they were suffering. You’d probably want to steer clear of saw mills and any woodworking facilities.
Then again, you could be a nightclub owner, just making sure to keep the patrons from becoming too rowdy and getting everyone out before dawn so you could make it home before sunrise.
Which brings us to…
Or not? The amount of exes for a vampire could be massive. The world is a smaller place now and the chances of running into an undead former flame are pretty good unless you agreed to divide up the world into territories.
What about permanently partnered? How do you keep those home fires burning without killing each other?
And what about new love? Heaven forbid, you’re a really lovely lady that has been fancied for centuries. There’s a steady stream of blood daddies perhaps, put under fantastic spells while you feed. But won’t they eventually go to their physician and get diagnosed with a mysterious anemia?
Maybe you’d mastered the art of getting a lady out of a corset long ago, using your fangs no less. And you are absolutely thrilled that they are back in style. You are way better in the sack than Lestat and Louie combined. But now you have no clue how to remove one of those new criss-cross halter leather brassieres. Or being asked to wear a condom? You hadn’t gotten anyone in the “family way” since 1220, when you were still human. Is vampire sperm still viable?
Perhaps love isn’t for the undead. Or maybe, like Dracula, you’re able to find that one human that “you’ve crossed oceans of time to find”. Now that’s someone you could really sink your teeth into.
Victoria L. Szulc is a multi-media sci-fi/steampunk artist/writer who regularly displays her work at 1900 Park Creative Space in the historic Victorian neighborhood of Lafayette Square in St. Louis, MO. Her first Steampunk art installation was there in June 2014. She spearheaded and curated the first Steampunk Broken Hearts Ball Masquerade and Art Show in St. Louis and directed the first Steampunk Fashion Show at the Big River Steampunk Festival Masquerade in Hannibal, MO in 2017. Victoria’s third steampunk novel, “A Long Reign” was in competition for the 2017 Amazon UK Storytellers contest and was an Amazon/kindle bestseller, reaching number 7 in Time Travel and number 9 in Steampunk on the Amazon bestsellers lists. Volume 11 of the Vampire’s Little Black Book Series is set for release March 31, 2018. Victoria is currently working on the third part of the Society Trilogy, “Lafayette to London”. This new book and related visual works are scheduled for release in June 2018.