I go back to the bromance, where I am going to dissect it to death, so someone hand me a chainsaw and stand back.
Yes, I railed against the whole romance angle that surrounds vampire fiction just because the vampire is one that is the pursuer and the girl is the pursuant. Sadly, unless the pursuant is interested in becoming a vampire, this relationship is going to end like all the others. Cracked.com ran a really good article on the problems of immortality which I recommend anyone interested in writing about immortals should read before starting their work. I certainly will.
Anyway, back to the traditional vampire story. There’s so much to be done with that sort of dynamic, but ultimately it’s the touching story of a man wooing a hamburger. If we’re going to take the vampire seriously, then we have to acknowledge that becoming a vampire and existing as you do (there has to be some sort of dire consequences for not indulging in people – doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical sickness like a withdrawl. A social stigma works wonders for enforcing order. No matter how badass you may look in leather or how many enemies you’ve slaughtered on the battlefield, you are still a social creature and your social circle has dropped from thirty or so down to two or three) will change your outlook on people. Dr. Manhattan said it best:
The world’s smartest man poses no more threat to me than does its smartest termite.
The talking things around you just go about their day-to-day lives not even knowing that the world is more horrifying than they imagine. There is a bit of a kinship between the vampire and the soldier – particularly in The Great War (also called The War to End All Wars…and that worked out great!). They are both witness to horrors that are beyond the comprehension of the common man and have few others to turn to for support, relief or kinship.
Hence the bromance between Harker and Dracula in the novel: Dracula looks at Harker the same way we would look at a clever pet. Harker looks up to Dracula as someone to perhaps emulate – he’s not very shaken by the events going on around him (rather to the contrary, he’s getting off on this!) and gets the respect of the soldiers around him with no effort. What’s not to like? I mean…other than the lust for slaughter, and the possible drinking of blood from either fellow soldiers or the captured enemy (this is still WWI, there are expectations of civil treatment) and most definitely the problems of not only Dracula descending further into either madness or Hell, but him dragging a friend along for good conversation. Harker at first finds him seductive – which should be part of the horror for us that such a good and upright man would look at Dracula with anything approaching respect. Another part of the horror is that the reader should be agreeing with Dracula and how it’s so hard to find a semi-kindred soul and well, if things don’t work out with Harker all he has to do is withhold favors and let the war deal with him. After all – Hell is other people.
Now – the one question I am going to work on is how long should this stretch out? World War I is eventually going to end, but should it end with a bloody bang or a whimper in the middle of the night? I’ll think on that.
But the hour grows late and I must be attentive for a package for tomorrow, so I bid everyone a good evening and I hope to continue to keep your attention for a little longer. Thank you for reading.