Thursday, 12 January 2012

Why aren't Vampires Earthy Any More?

When Bram Stoker created Dracula, he made a monster that needed its native soil. Images of Dracula crouched in his soil in Carfax Abbey are disturbing ones. Yeah, okay, Francis Ford Coppola's film isn't always the greatest, but showing Dracula as a kind of white maggot as he crosses the ocean, pupating and writing in the earth... brrrrrrr. And I like that connection to the soil, to power, to the animalistic side of the vampire.

Modern vampires are usually not so big on soil. Christopher Lee's Dracula wouldn't have got his fingernails dirty, and since Anne Rice made vamps sophisticated they tend to be more ethereal creatures. Like in Poppy Z Brite's Dead Souls - they don't have a particular connection to nature. In fact, their powers are mind powers. The poor women in that novel - they just have to glance at vampire Zillah's green eyes and they're shedding their underwear. He has psychic abilities, see, that overwhelm all reason, to the extent of being prepared to have vampire babies that will eat your womb while they're still inside you. It would have to be one hell of a mind-trick to make me sign up for that.

I'm not keen on these monsters who are all head and no feet. I want rooted, natural vampires. I want their connection to be with the earth. I want DH Lawrence vampires.

So here's my attempt at a DH Lawrence vampire story. Well, two paragraphs, anyway:

She held her loosening face to the full moon, felt the moon inside her, filling her stomach, her womb, ah! The joy of the fecundity, the ripeness, as his teeth came to her throat and she spilled her blood into his mouth. He forced her down to her knees with his beast strength, overpowering, and yet he could not master her, could not bend her backwards into the ears of white corn, could not break their stalks. She was beyond him yet, even as he sucked at her, demanded her attention, and he was no more than an annoyance between her and her moon; she reached for it, begged it to claim her utterly, and fill her emptying veins with its light.

He took his teeth away, like a calm wave of the sea, a careful retreat in the face of her indifference. 'Do you not want get bit then, lass?' he said. 'Shouldn't come out t'field at night, then, should ee?' Every word hurt her more deeply than he could have known, and yet, how could he not know that they were locked together in this war, a war against her sex, and he was utterly intent on winning.

Actually, I quite like it. Throw in a rainbow and a miscarriage and I might be on to something.