I believe in vampires, but not zombies and have a personal tale about trolls

Anne Rice scared me half to death with “Interview with a Vampire”.  For months after I read it, I was reluctant to go outside by myself after dark.   Why?  Because the vampires she described were so fast they couldn’t be seen and somewhere inside me I feared being snatched by one of these almost invisible creatures.   Rice’s vampires also seemed utterly real in their attitudes and emotions.  They were simply one step removed from humans, while still in human guise.  What a change from that old, rag-tag vampire, Nosferatu, back in the 1920s or Count Dracula as portrayed by a Hollywood actor in a swirling black cape.  (BTW, Nosferatu seems to have made it to the New World in Carlos Fuentes recent novella, “Vlad”, where the vampire is portrayed as a heartless, emaciated blood-seeker.)

new vampire in town cover

So deep down I think vampires like the ones Rice created could really exist–or at the least are close enough to being “real” to intice me to write about them.  Which I have.  My vampires are very contemporary, living in Vegas and dealing with ordinary vampire problems like bald tires, GPS, Skype and marshmallow people.

On the other hand, zombies, those lurching around, flesh-falling off, bad-make-up creatures in ratty, raggy clothes are so unappealing.  And they are so slow, unlike the almost invisible, speedy and stylish vampires.  The best I can grant zombies is that they could be humans who have been drugged.  I have no interest in writing about drugged humans.

Now I promised you a tale about trolls.  When I was a child we lived in Washington State in the Columbia River Gorge.  It was a wild, heavily forested area then (late-1950s) and, in parts, still is.  Somehow or the other I learned about trolls when I was in first or second grade.  One family nearby was originally from Appalachia and they told us kids all sorts of old scary tales.  Whether they were the ones who told me about trolls living beneath bridges and coming up to attack travelers I can’t say for sure.

One evening I was visiting the daughter of this family–she was my age–and was about a half a mile from home.  I stayed playing until it was almost dark even though I was supposed to be home before dark.  As I began to walk home I came to a big ravine filled with wild blackberry bushes.  There was no bridge across it, but the ravine fell away into darkness beside the gravel road so the road itself gave the impression of being bridge-like.   I was afraid that trolls would rise up out of the ravine and get me.  I began crying and calling out.  My crying was heard by another neighbor, and she came out and took my hand and lead me home.  Saved from the trolls!    I no longer believe in trolls, so I won’t be writing a thing about them either.

But I may write another vampire tale.  I like Cate and Conrad.  You can find them here on Kindle.

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