Sunday, December 18, 2011

A New Kind of Vampire

This post will get a little gruesome.  If reading about anatomical details in the context of a vampire consuming human beings makes you sick, please stop reading.

Today in my pre-deployment training, in a class called "Combat Lifesaver's Course," our medic instructor mentioned in his medical training that cerebrospinal fluid is sweet.  He wondered out loud why he had been told that in training, as he were going to taste it--something he'd never do.

And at that moment launched in me an idea for story vampires that perhaps constitutes something altogether new.  Imagine a vampire that has no interest in sucking blood, but longs for cerebrospinal fluid.

Cerebrospinal fluid (a.k.a. CSF) is, by the way, the clear or slightly greenish fluid that bathes the brain and spinal column, providing protection and nourishment.  When it leaks from the ears or nose, it's an indicator of a serious skull fracture, which is why we were discussing it our class.

If CSF really is  sweet, it's possible that a garden-variety vampire would like to have it for desert after feasting on blood.  Or might simply like the taste.  But the idea that passed through my mind was a whole new kind of vampire, with massive jaws with sharply incised teeth like a rat, the teeth containing a hollow tube within them, making a sort of drinking straw inside, in this way like conventional vampire fangs.  This creature would pinch a human head in its inhumanly wide jaws and compress with enough force to puncture a hole in the skull (it need not necessarily be a big hole).  Then, of course, it would suck out the CSF.

Not the sort of creature you'd see featured in Eclipse  for certain, but not necessarily a creature any more sinister than the way vampires are typically portrayed nowadays.  Though I do think this idea would naturally tend to bring back the original idea of a vampire, which was that of a terrifying creature that no sane human would want to have any dealings with.

I realized after I started writing this that you could do something similar with any human bodily fluid, though this could get quite bizarre.  I mean, wouldn't a lymphatic-fluid-sucking-vampire be anything but  scary?  Though the thought of a bone marrow sucker gives me a chill.  As would a bile drinker.

These variations on vampirism could still be called vampires, I suppose.  Or they could be given entirely different names.  Any proposals?

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2 comments:

  1. I could even see a non-paranormal story around this. What about a serial killer who kills because he believes this fluid will keep him alive forever or give him super powers.

    But I have another one that I am actually writing right now. Vampires as a different species rather than the undead. In my paradigm they crash landed on Earth in the 11th century and because they have very good immune systems live a very long time. They had two branches in their species. One has an over supply of blood, but an undersupply of immunity antigens. The other an undersupply of blood and an over supply of the antigens. When they feed, the antigens are injected into the others. But the ship that landed on earth only had the feeders. When they in ignorance tried to feed on humans thinking they were helping, they found them dying of exsangination when they took as much blood as they did back home. But in smaller amounts the people bled could actually improve their health because of the antigens. Thus began the practice of bleeding.

    Anyway in this world, some of the vampires are responsible and feed sparinging through an underground of willing people. Others don't care,consider themselves superior to these savage natives and feed agressively.

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  2. Your vampire idea sounds very interesting, Terri.

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