vampire legends: Mid-transitional vampires

Mid-transitional vampire is kind of self explanatory. While most vampire legends are fairly straight forward, there are a few that speak of a slow transformation. The common accepted formula to make a vampire is for the human to drink the blood of the vampire. In most cases, they are either changed into vampires or killed from being drained. A few stories tell of people, who rather than dying are changed slowly into vampires. The constant exposure to having the blood sucked out changes the human slowly. First they have terrible headaches, then hypersensitivity to light, then sound. After comes an almost telepathic power. (This is actually the transition to a low-level psy vampire, a vampire who ‘eats’ thoughts. So to speak.) Last comes a craving for blood. The mid-transitional vampire still is human at that point. Most legends agree the mid-transitional won’t become fully vampire until the human gives in and drinks human blood.

There is no painful ‘death’ and agonizing rebirth with mid-transitional vampires, like with more traditional vampire creations, but unless their sire stays close, the mid-transitional vampire will lose themselves to madness. A rogue mid-transitional vampire is much more dangerous than a traditional vampire because most commonly the latter has a better understanding of what happened. Mid-transitional vampires tend to need more blood, and to feed more often. A traditional vampire can go years without drinking blood and still function, centuries if they ‘sleep’. Mid-transitional vampires can go three days at most.

The first mid-transitional vampires in Bloodcloak should appear in book 4 XVIII/XVI MOON TOWER (Rapunzel)

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Exerpt: SIMON

Flitting from shadow to shadow, Violet checked at the front step to be sure she wasn’t followed before she knocked three times on the moldy, decaying door.
“Who is there? Speak, if thy be a friend, or flee if thou art an enemy!” A low voice called.
“Simon,” Violet moaned. “Not again. I won’t.”
“You have to Vi- come on.” the voice wheedled.
“I am not only Thine friend.” Violet rolled her eyes. “I am thine Ally. May your enemies know, and flee from me!”
“If Thine be a friend and ally, thou wilt speak the proper phrase of opening.” The man proclaimed in ringing tones.
“Garlic.” Violet replied and stepped nimbly in as the door creaked open.
“Don’t be so dramatic Simon.” She growled at the grinning man.

Thus we are introduced to Simon. A pompous, responsible, intelligent, slightly privileged, self important vampire. He is the doorman at the vampire hideaway. He might have o.c.d., he’s only really deigned to talk to a “measly little writer girl” (I.E. Me) a handful of times. All in all, despite his over flourished way of speaking, he is a good enough guy. He believes in fairness and weighs the pros and cons very seriously. He’ll play a lager role in Moonlit Snow than he did in Scarlet’s Moon. So he better start talking to me.

Physical appearance;  Simon is tall, with sandy hair and freckles. He has a sharp nose and angular face. Sunk in blue eyes, most commonly in a suit. He isn’t very muscular, more wiry than buff.

Rats, Vampires, and Dressing, Oh My!

Vampires can’t eat Garlic.  Even the most rudimentary legends agree on this.

There are exceptions of course. For various reasons, different writers have opted out of the ‘no garlic’ rule. Understandably so, as it seems kind of random.

Garlic. Of all things, Garlic?

Why garlic?

I’m glad you asked…. and  a little surprised you didn’t ask sooner.

Anyway, there IS a reason.

The vampire/garlic myth dates back to the black plague and people thinking VAMPIRES were infecting their victims at night. The people would go down to the cemeteries and stab the dead bodies, but people kept getting sick (Because it was actually transmitted by rats and their fleas) So they would go back again and burn the bodies, but still the plague spread.
there were four men who took cloth and dipped it in a vinegar mixture with onions, GARLIC and ginger, then cover their faces with the cloth so they wouldn’t get sick. there’s an enzyme in Garlic that also exists in onions. The enzyme absorbs and kills a lot of germs, bubonic being one of them. 4 thieves went into the grave yard among the vampires again and again, night after night and weren’t ever bitten once. Rumor spread it was because of the garlic/onion/vinegar mixture. It worked it’s way into the vampire legends.

There is a salad dressing very popular in the Mediterranean area. It’s called “The four thieves vinegar” based on the same recipe the grave robbers used to ward off vampire bites

Obscure fairytales: The girl who pretended to be a boy (A Transgender fairytale)

This is a transgender fairytale. I am not making this up. I really wish this was more well known. The story is called ‘The girl who pretended to be a boy.’ It’s old, obviously and rather sexist, unfortunately.

It’s strikingly similar to Mulan, so for many years I thought it was a Japanische Märchen (Fairytales from Japan, translated to German) but it’s actually a Romanian story (Contes Roumains as translated to the french) which makes more sense when you break it down. It’s unmistakably a fairytale, as it has the common themes of three siblings with the youngest being the hero, talking animals, damsels in distress, magic, of course, and, the hero being sent on various quests.

In the story, there is a mighty emperor who conquers the lands around him to the point NOBODY likes him. As he takes over the lands, he adds insult to injury by demanding the kings he overthrows to hand over their sons to be slaves servants for 10 years. The last kingdom he conquered has a good king who has no sons, only three daughters. Each one sets out to offer her service to the new emperor to serve in honor of her father. The first two are very prideful and make a big show of getting a good horse and good armor and money and fine food and the whole 9 but they don’t get very far. (They never do)

Enter Fet-Fruners, the brave youngest, our hero. I want to refrain from calling Fet-Fruners a specific gender, as our hero is  in flux. In the text, mostly referred to as ‘she’ but I’m not as sure.

Anyway, Fet-Fruners goes to the stables and looks all the horses over carefully, before coming to the horse Fet-Fruners father rode when he was a warrior. The horse (naturally) can talk and is known through out the kingdom to give good advice. So our hero decides to take him on the quest. Thus, the pair set off on a journey. Fet-Fruners, unlike her sisters, left home with boys clothes on.

Fet-Fruners comes to a large bridge and face to face with a giant wolf. Fet-Fruners charges and the wolf backs down, then on another bridge, comes across a large lion. Once again they charge and the lion backs down. On the third bridge (Always in threes) a great dragon/hydra thing stands in the way. Still, Fet-Fruners and the horse charge. Fet-Fruners cuts off the dragons head and poof! It turns into her father who is a jerk. He tells his youngest that this was a test to make sure that Fet-Fruners was truly ready and he was now sure of it.

Down along the road, Fet-Fruners and the horse travel happily along when they find two beings called genius (stop laughing) each offers Fet-Fruners a great gift if Fet-Fruners helps defeat the other. By killing one and helping the other, Fet-Fruners wins a horse, the little brother of the one Fet-Fruners is riding now. The genius takes Fet-Fruners home to get the horse, but his mother suspects he brought home a woman, not a man. More sexism ensues as they try to prove Fet-Fruners gender. She tricks them into thinking she’s a boy (or he proves he’s not a girl, depending on how you look at it) and goes on her way with the new horse. While the old horse heads back home.

Fet-Fruners continues on to the palace of the mighty emperor. On the way, finds a thick lock of hair and decides to keep it….

…This is less creepy in fairytales, somehow. It comes back into the story later or I wouldn’t bother mentioning it.

Once at the court, the other pages are exceptionally friendly to the ‘new page’ Fet-Fruners. The emperor has a huge celebration coming up and its discovered (more or less by accident) that Fet-Fruners is a better cook than the royal kitcheners. The night before the great feast, the royal cook gets incredibly drunk. The others freak out and beg Fet-Fruners to help, as no one can cook as well.

The feast is done and the emperor declares it the best food he ever had. The next day, the king calls for the head cook,who took credit for the feast (an ongoing theme in this fairytale, and quite a few others.) and demands his breakfast be just as good. The cook admits the truth and Fet-Fruners becomes the kings favorite. This makes the other princes jealous and they start some rumors about Fet-Fruners, but most run aground because the king knows what kind of personality Fet-Fruners has. Finally the princes-turned-servants decide to get rid of Fet-Fruners with a difficult task. Remember the lock of hair that was picked up like a serial killer trophy? It belongs to a divine being known as Iliane. The emperor immediately insists Fet-Fruners kidnap Iliane or lose ‘his’ head.

With no other choice, Fet-Fruners goes off to retrieve Iliane, who has already been kidnapped. (Damsel in distress. You could seriously make a drinking game from this) Fet-Fruners dresses up as a merchant and pretends to be selling lots of beautiful things from his ships. Fet-Fruners lures Iliane to the cargo hold and sails off with her in the ship. They sail with no real adventure until the kidnappers mother returns to rekidnap Iliane (I’m trying to feel bad for her. I really am. *snorts*) Fet-Fruners throws three things to stop the pursuit and gets back safe after all.

Iliane is not taking the second kidnapping well though, as she doesn’t want to marry the emperor. She sets three hard and life threatening tasks, all of which the emperor hands over to Fet-Fruners. Naturally, Fet-Fruners is victorious in all three. It’s notable to mention she asks for some weird magic horses (nobody sing the my little pony theme….) and some kind of holy water at a specific church where the hermit who guards it knows magic.

Fet-Fruners gets the horses who only give a little bit of a fight, only worth mentioning because they breathe fire later in the story

In the temple, Fet-Fruners gets the water, but the hermit notices on the escape that the water is gone and places a spell to basically gender-swap the thief.

But punishments are things about which people do not always agree, and when the princess suddenly felt she was really the man she had pretended to be, she was delighted, and if the hermit had only been within reach she would have thanked him from her heart.

Exact quote. Exact quote. Seriously it really does say that.

The emperor is super pleased with Fet-Fruners and declares him the heir to his throne (unless he as a son of his own) then goes to celebrate the fulfilled all the requirements Iliane gave to consent to marriage.

Chalk this up as ‘Things Iliane is not having’ but she pretends so as not to get her head chopped off.

The magic-is-not-so-friendly ponies fry the hell out of the evil emperor, thus making Fet-Fruners the emperor. Fet-Fruners and Iliane get married and he lives happily ever after.

As a man.

like a boss

Dying languages of Australia

Ahem. *Climbs atop soap box.* I want to make it clear that I am an ‘American’. I live in the United States, and have for all my life. So when I began thinking of ways to write the Bloodcloak series, I admit I was very naive. I thought maybe the aboriginal people of Australia spoke 6, 7 maybe 12 different languages.

I was wrong. Very, very wrong. And this is a problem.
A very big problem.

I found a few other writers from Australia who helped open my eyes. In Australia, before captain Cook and the subsequent genocide of the native people and their cultures, Australia had hundreds of different languages. Tribes with dialects and accents. The whole nine yards. Now there are maybe twenty or thirty languages. MAYBE

And that too, is a problem. I think this is something people should be more aware of, in general. Languages are dying out quietly, and have been for decades. A few groups such as Reconciliation and Advancement committee are trying to spread more information. So much is lost, and day by day more is slipping away. This needs to be acknowledged on a global scale.

Could I just make up languages as I go?
Yes.

Could I just put my characters don’t understand what the yaramayahoo are saying?
Yes.

Is it possible to just waffle through a’la Stephenie Myers (and consequently E.L.James) making up anything and everything with no regard to stereotypes, miscommunication and cultural appropriations?
Yes.

But I won’t. Sometimes, being a writer doesn’t just entail ‘making it up as you go’. Sometimes it’s more rewarding for the reader and the writer to do diligent, careful research. I have no desire to trample on a group of people who have already been so horribly treated. I don’t wish to dismiss my audience as imbeciles.

In short, this is a learning experience for anyone and everyone involved. This is a cause the human race should pick up, collectively as a whole. The culture of the Aborigines should not be thrown to the winds and buried in the sands of time.

Thank you.

*Climbs back off soap box*

vampire legends; Yaramayhawho

Yaramayhawho (From Villains Wikia)
The Yara-ma-yha-who is a vampire of Australian Aboriginal culture . Many Aboriginals viewed the Yara-ma-yha-who as an extremely dangerous and exotic inhabitant of the outback rather than a truly supernatural creature.
According to legend, the Yara-ma-yha-who is three to four feet tall and resembled a monkey-like little man owing much of its height to an over-sized head. Its entire body was said to be covered in red skin, and the tips of its fingers and toes covered in suckers. Its face was dominated by a wide, toothless mouth, apparently large enough to engulf a human being.
This creature was said to live almost exclusively in the foliage of fig trees, patiently lying in wait for a lone human stopping to rest at the base of its tree. Once the victim let their guard down, the Yaramayhawho would drop from above and begin a multi-step feeding ritual.

First, the Yara-ma-yha-who would latch on to the victim and rapidly drain blood in a leech-like manner through its sucker-tipped digits, feeding until the victim was on the very brink of death. Too weak to escape, the prey would be left lying helpless for an indeterminate amount of time before the monster returned and promptly swallowed them whole. Washing down its meal at the nearest river, the Yara-ma-yha-who would proceed to take a long nap. As soon as the creature awoke, it would regurgitate its victim completely alive and unharmed as though the attack had never happened at all: except that the unfortunate soul would be very slightly shorter for the rest of their days.

A Yara-ma-yha-who would never miss an opportunity to attack the same person again and again, and with every attack, the person would be left a little smaller, a little redder, and a little bit hungrier for blood. It was never certain just how many attacks were necessary, but anyone foolish enough to keep sleeping under fig trees would be transformed fully into a Yara-ma-yha-who.

In Bloodcloak, Yaramayhawho is a little known set of vampires found in Australia. They are secretive, intelligent and unforgiving of most trespassers. Very few speak English. (There will be some soap boxing on this later) There were well over 700 languages before large tribes of the Aboriginal people were subjected to SEVERE genocide. (things that are no ok, btw)

As a writer, I won’t be using just some silly gibberish, I will find the real languages and use them for the story. Anything I can’t find, I simply won’t use. There are resources to learn more about the aboriginal languages online, for anyone who wants to know more.

Fairytale origins; The little Mermaid

Hans Christen Anderson, a Dutch writer is very underrated. This is one of the few stories he really gets credit for. A lot of the others are overlooked. There are a few variations as to why the Little Mermaid was written. One is a theory that he fell in love with someone who spurned him. So this is supposedly a tragic love letter. I don’t think the ending particularly FITS this theory, but we’ll get to that.

Another version, which is kind of more fun is that HCA spent years writing this huge long story. It was meant to be his magnum opus. It was a long journey of a young mermaid, exploring the ocean, the land and the air.  The mermaid falls in love and spends time with the prince, but ultimately, he marries another and she returns to the ocean. He wrote it all out, edited, polished and got it all set then sent it to his publisher. The publisher turned it down and told him to trim the fat, so he wrote it another 15 to 20 times every time it was handed back with “Trim the fat.” Finally Andersen lost his temper, sliced the story to the bare bones of the story (Reportedly he hated it for years) and the publisher sent it at once to be printed.

Anyway. The original story of The Little Mermaid starts out well enough. A young mermaid who is fascinated with the human world grows up with her loving father, wise grandmother and 6 elder sisters.  (they aren’t important yet, but it’s important to note they exist and  they are exceedingly beautiful like beyond that of the lot of mortals eat your heart out fashion magazines, Aphrodite just ran and hid in shame type beauty.)  At the age of 16, she is allowed to go to the surface and look at what it’s like above the water.  Once up there she sees a huge storm coming and a giant ship. The storm hits the ship, the prince falls into the water and somehow ( I guess because they are never really seen in the ocean) she figures, he can’t stay in the ocean. She takes him to shore and sits with him until a group of women come out of the church that just happens to be on the beach there…. No, I don’t know why. The group of women come over and see the prince alone on the beach unconscious. The woman in the lead wakes him up and then leaves him there again. No, I don’t know why.. She goes back to the church and the prince finds a way home. The little mermaid is fascinated and she does kind of have a thing for the prince at this point.  (I would put money on a case of counter transference.) The mermaid goes home and asks her grandmother about humans, why they don’t live in the water and if they could and all that stuff. the grandmother explains death. (HCA had a REALLY unhealthy obsession with death)  the grandmother explained that humans have a short lifespan but immortal souls.  Mermaids live 300 years then become seafoam (yea tell THAT to the kiddies next time you go to the beach.)

The mermaid is not only interested in the prince, but humans, legs, and the immortal soul. It is the latter she REALLY wants. So she goes to the seawitch. The sea witch isn’t really evil. There is just the prid-qou-pro. The spell will not work unless the payment is just as valuable as the purchase. A pair of legs for a voice is only fair. The sea witch explains the mermaid has to win the heart of the prince in order to obtain a soul.  The trouble is the potion has some side effects… a lot of people who read the book think that the witch created the potion so it would feel like the mermaid was walking on 10,000 knives and that a sword was slicing her in half, but truthfully she didn’t have one that didn’t. Having been told “Oh, hey this is going to REALLY hurt,” the mermaid took it anyway. Kind of like all those disclaimers at the end of the Viagra commercials. Anyway take the potion, grow some legs (I assume just legs?) lose the voice and  hit on the prince; check. The prince thinks she is beautiful, and sweet and charming and a great dancer. the only problem is he took some weird vow that since he can’t sleep with the woman who saved him on the beach (he assumes she was a nun.) but his parents  want him to marry a woman they chose for him. The mermaid doesn’t give up, and everyday she does something to show love and affection. The prince slowly starts to fall in love with her.  Just before it’s really clenched, though the prince is called away  because his mother is sick!! He takes a ship to where his parents are, bringing the little mermaid with him, because he loves her. (squee alert)

they get to where the queen and king are staying to find the queen is perfectly healthy and happy. the whole thing was a rouse to set the prince up with his fiance. The prince is mad about this, until he learns  the princess he is set to marry is his ‘nun’ (I have some theories about this too, but it involves another prince and illegitimate child(s).) anyway she isn’t a nun, she is a princess and both are willing to marry each other.  the mermaid is really sad about this. somehow she gets a message to her family about what is going on. Her sisters sell their beauty for a magic knife (Are there refunds? I don’t know but if not its going to suck)  the knife is enchanted to change the mermaid back into a mermaid. All she has to do is STAB THE PRINCE IN THE HEART thus returning the love she had for him. The blood would then poor over her legs, turn her back to a mermaid and she would live her normal 300 years. The death of the prince is just an unfortunate side effect. In the end, the mermaid loves the prince and can not kill him, because it would be wrong (Thus gaining a soul) she throws the knife into the water and leaps into the ocean, waiting for morning until she dies and becomes foam on the waves.

After dying, the mermaid finds she still has a consciousness. she meets a few others who explain, she like them is a sylph, an air spirit. Because she tried so hard, she has a half soul. In a few thousand years, if she doesn’t cry, she will have a full soul and live immortally in the after world.  Sylphs are also keepers of children. For children who are good, they have  a smile and gain another day closer to ‘heaven’ but when children are bad, the syphs cry, and for each tear, they spen another 100 years in limbo.

Tell THAT one to the kiddies. Severe emotional guilt…