Archive for undead

Profile of an Undead Predator

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 17, 2013 by dcmclaughlin

Humans are animals. I know this statement may offend some people’s sensibility but it’s a scientific fact.

We don’t want to be animals. We like to think of ourselves as better or more highly evolved or something else entirely which outranks an animal. We think of animals as a primitive species. Maybe this is why it bothers us so much. But we are, if you will pardon my comparison, “the gorilla in the business suit”.

We definitely behave as animals. Humans expect things to go a specific way. We want people around us to act in a particular fashion or do a certain thing. We take comfort in predictability. In keeping ourselves complacent by making our lives well planned in advance, we have domesticated ourselves. We never see the predator lurking around the next corner or the disaster waiting to happen.

When things do not go as planned or expected, it shakes us to our core and turns our world completely upside down.

Vampires may come from humans but they are definitely not human. There is nothing predictable about a vampire.

Vampires are predators, plain and simple. Every predator has special ‘tools’ bestowed on them by nature to help them hunt their prey like teeth claws or venom.

Therefore vampires have their own unique way of hunting prey. I will attempt to delve into these traits in more detail in this article. Please keep in mind that I am discussing the classical vampires not the more modern interpretations.

The first tool in a vampire’s arsenal is the talent of allure. The dictionary defines the word ‘allure’ as meaning ‘an attractive or tempting quality possessed by somebody or something’ or ‘to exert a very powerful and often dangerous attraction on somebody.’

This certainly describes the vampire in popular fiction. Whether they be male or female they always appear in all the physical perfection a human is capable of possessing. This is one of their most important hunting skills. A vampire cannot feed if he or she cannot attract meals to them. By appearing to the public as incredibly beautiful they lure their dinner to them instead of having to pursue a frightened or wary meal.

We are designed by nature to be attracted to beautiful things, and we find many things in life lovely to look upon. We are drawn to this beauty, like a moth to a flame.

Yet the rose always bears a thorn.

We are also taught from a very young age what behavior is acceptable and what is not. We are schooled from childhood through adult in a series of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’.

Clean up you mess but don’t touch the perfectly decadent cake sitting on the counter. It is for the party later.

Did you notice what I said? Just by mentioning there is a cake on the counter you want it, now. The hell with waiting!

Just saying don’t press the red button or all life as you know it will cease to be, makes you want to hit it to see what will happen next.

We are bombarded all our lives with ‘don’ts’. All it really does is put the thought in our heads to do just that.

Don’t pet the dog. He bites. Don’t touch the cat’s tail. He doesn’t like his butt touched and he will scratch. Don’t date that man because he’s trouble.

Don’t get involved with a vampire or he will eventually kill you.

We are taught these things but we are also fatalistically fascinated with the ‘don’ts’ and the ‘what ifs’.

We touch the mean dog because we tell ourselves, “If I go slow and talk sweetly to it, it won’t bite me. If we touch the cat’s tail really fast the cat won’t be able to whip around faster to get us. The bad boy isn’t really bad, he’s just misunderstood, or so we tell ourselves.

And what happens? The dog mauls our arm. The cat shreds our hand. The man dances on our heart, rips it out and leaves. Typical. Why didn’t we see that coming?

We are fascinated with danger. We want to stay safe but get a thrill from standing next to the disaster about to happen. The problem is that there is no safe place next to danger. It has a tendency to bite anyone near.

We also want to change the bad to good. We want to be the only person that dog doesn’t bite, the only person that cat doesn’t scratch. We want to be the one woman that can convert the bad boy into a saintly human being.

It’s a human trait to try to change the world around them and make it better. Our intentions are truly honorable. But when we apply that to other humans it often has a tendency to blow up in our faces. Then our friends are standing there, shaking their heads and saying “I told you so.”

Do you really think vampires don’t know this already? They are banking on us to be this way. We actually help them to hunt. They’ve had centuries to observe our patterns and develop their hunting skills. If they choose to prolong the hunt, they can wait lifetimes before they accomplish their eventual goal. Nothing is more patient than a vampire on the hunt.

Imagine the most brilliant ‘shrink’ you’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. You trust this person.

And then you found out this doctor has criminal intentions toward the entire human race.

Kind of stops you cold doesn’t it?

Let’s look at another vampire requirement namely blood. It seems you cannot call a human creature a vampire without the need for the blood of others being a trait. (I am specifically excluding energy vamps from this article.)

We all are composed of organs fed by blood. We need to keep our it to ourselves. We can donate small amounts of it but if we lose too much blood at one time, we will die. If it is removed from our body and allowed to sit without agitation or the assistance of heparin, it becomes a solid. Doctors can tell what is wrong with the patient many times by analyzing it. It is the fingerprint of a body’s health. We cannot survive without blood.

Yet people have always been a little squeamish when the subject of blood comes up. Some people faint at the sight of their own blood, it cannot be withdrawn from the body without some measure of pain and blood can carry diseases or poison our system. It can feed our body or kill it. It is extremely important to our survival hence the word “lifeblood”.

A vampire cannot survive without taking it from us. The vampire’s method of feeding itself usually involves great pain for the host. He must also become a primal creature of savagery and great hunger. These can be quite frightening for the intended victim. Some vampires are capable of lulling their victims into a stupor so that they can feed easier although whether this is a kindness to the victim is still up to debate.

Vampires cannot exist without feeding on blood. For a vampire to deny himself this sustenance would cause the predator to become enraged or insane. They would eventually sicken. According to some renditions of the story a vampire can put themselves into a prolonged “sleep” that lasts years even centuries. But they are like the bear which has just ventured out from its hibernation den, very grumpy and absolutely ravenous. Do you really want to be the first person they encounter when they awaken?

And then there is the fact that vampires look human. Again this is part of their hunting mechanism, to seem something else, something common and familiar, something predictable.

But human they definitely are not!

We treat them like they are humans and they expect this. But they are wholly another creature altogether. They do not follow the same rules as humans, their morality. (or lack of it) is completely non-human and the way they like to pursue, cuddle up to and play with their prey, taking days even weeks to get it to trust them is more cat-like than homo-sapiens.

So next time someone tells you they love vampires, just smile sweetly and ask them what kind of flowers they would like at their memorial?


D.C. McLaughlin