Polidori, John “The Vampyre.” The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, by Alan Ryan, Penguin, 1989, pp. 7-24.
John Polidori’s romantic fiction, The Vampyre produces a hellish creature meant to highlight the folly of human mortality. The tale recalls Aubrey and his travels across Europe, primarily his relationship with a suave yet mysterious Lord Ruthven. Ruthven peculiar behavior of excessive gambling and seduction has Aubrey travelling elsewhere. Aubrey briefly settles in Greece alongside a beautiful girl Ianthe. Aubrey initially disbelieves her tall-tales about vampires that inhabit the woods until they both become victims of such encounters, hers being fatal. Aubrey rejoins Ruthven but their reunion is short-lived as bandits attack and mortally wound Ruthven. Ruthven makes Aubrey give him his word not to tell anyone about his death for a year and one day. Aubrey’s woes only escalate as he soon discovers not only that Ruthven is alive but courting his sister. Aubrey is driven mad and puts forth futile efforts to stop Ruthven from harming his sister as the day the oath ends, Aubrey’s sister is discovered dead by the hands of a vampire. Aubrey’s feeble efforts showcase how vulnerable and incapable a mortal man can be when confronting such a supernatural menace as well as the tragic flaws he suffered in being too trusting, honorable, and weak.
I think this story exemplifies both the mystical charm and terror of the best Vampires. Lord Ruthven is intimidating because of his cunning wit and supernatural power. Ruthven essentially checkmates our protagonist and you can’t break the rules because who would want to “cross” a vampire. It’s a tale of impeding doom, of unavoidable circumstances and how this feeling of vunerability is part of the human condition. You can’t always protect those you love from death and there are forces out their beyond your capabilities to control and that is what makes Polidori’s vampire truly wicked.
Stoker, Bram “Dracula’s Guest” The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, by Alan Ryan, Penguin, 1989, pp. 163-174.
Bram Stoker utilizes vampires as a ghostly mythos to illustrate the horrors of what is unknown in Dracula’s Guest. An unnamed narrator wishes to venture out from his Quatre Saisons Hotel and travel into the night. The narrator finds it difficult to do so as his carriage driver is superstitious and refuses to travel during “Walpurgis Night”. The narrator harboring no superstitions of his own decides to continue along by himself. The narrator travels in the pitch black unaware of his whereabouts until the moon illuminates the path revealing himself within a graveyard. The snowstorm worsens as the narrator approaches the grave of Countess Dolingen, which swings open and a flash of lightning reveals the women striking features. Another bolt strikes the iron spike and damages the tomb as a shriek can be heard. The narrator becomes unconscious and awakes to a large wolf-like creature resting upon him until he is rescued by a few horsemen. As the horsemen take the English narrator away, it is revealed that his saviors were summoned by a telegram from Dracula who had assumed the Englishman might be impervious to the wolves and snow of the night.
Walpurgisnacht should be a spooky Mario Odyssey 2 level with Wario and WaLuigi in a spooky forest. The story almost feels like transcribing a haunted house into a short story. You’re in a spooky forest, and then you find a graveyard, and then lightning, and then you see a spooky lady, and then you hear a spooky scream and then you get attacked, and then Dracula tells you how to purchase your ride photo. Very descriptive details, a very succinct story, and it is a good set up for more to come.
The Unicorn Tapestry
Charnas, Suzy McKee “Unicorn Tapestry.” The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, by Alan Ryan, Penguin, 1989, pp. 505-561.
A major excerpt from Charnas’ full The Vampire Tapestry. The Unicorn Tapestry uses the immortal vampire as a vehicle to address those ostracized by society. Floria is a therapist working in New York when she encounters a new patient with the bizarre claim that he is a vampire. Despite Floria having failing patients and personal concerns for herself, she decides to attempt to assist Weyland in getting over his delusions. Floria suspects that Weyland’s delusions stem from a place of feeling lonely as he often refers to his targets lacking “the protection of the herd”. Through their therapy sessions Weyland expresses his thoughts and feelings on his feastings, sexuality, and his desire to meet another vampire. Eventually, Floria has come to terms with the fact that Weyland is exactly who he alleges to be. Weyland emerges and threatens to kill Floria if he does not receive a letter confirming his cleared mental health. Floria promises to fulfill Weyland’s sexual desires and allows him to flee towards New Mexico. Weyland is portrayed as both damaged yet complicated that illustrates a rather human nature to him despite his lustful and sinful desires.
This is the hardest story to find anything online about so your welcome. Homosexuality allegory? The Unicorn Tapestry is part of a larger trilogy the Vampire Tapestry and it’s one of the more fascinating portrays of a Vampire as a misunderstood individual. I was convinced that Weyland’s inner turmoil and fear of identifying as a vampire was linked to some allusions to homosexuality but then he has sexual relations with that woman… and another one. I still think that is something to consider just that the relationship isn’t a fully 1:1 interpretation. Weyland’s journey is about the fear of being ostracized and coming to term with ones self and their are multiple context that could fit the strokes of the narrative. Weyland is not human but his struggle is very much human and that makes him a curious case when it comes to a dastardly vampire tale.
What did you think of these spooky blood-sucker tales, what is your favorite fictional vampire tale. Let me know in the comments and be sure to follow to keep up with these upcoming spooky tales I got planned. I’m gonna follow you home anyone so it’s the least you could do…. I mean, I don’t know where you live. Until next time, ALWAYS WATCHING, ALWAYS WAITING. BYE-BYE!