Mead, R. (2008). Blue moon. In P. C. Cast & L. Wilson (Eds.), Immortal: Love stories with bite (pp. 127-158). United States: BenBella Books [Borders Exclusive].
Lucy Wade is a young female vampire on the run from her family after she discovers a terrible secret they would kill to protect. That secret is part of a prophecy: a child born on a blue moon and who turns 18 on another blue moon will know the way to create 13 vampire hunters and thereby destroy the vampires’ heretofore total invulnerability. Lucy is the child of the prophecy. She forces a young human male named Nathan to help her get safely out of the city, and gives him wads of cash to compensate him. Nathan has some friends who help her with getting a fake human ID and give her a mini-makeover to cover her pale skin and silver eyes, but they sell her out for the reward money and they must go on the run. Both vampires and humans are after her, but when she imbues Nathan with the power to defeat vampires, he helps her stop those who seek to destroy her and they embark on a journey together to bring back balance into the world.
At first, Lucy seems like a rebellious teen with an overactive imagination, but it is quickly revealed that there is much more to her than that. Nathan’s history with vampires is a painful one, but though he has every reason to hate Lucy, they are inexorably drawn to one another through the prophecy. The story seeks to show a world with a gross power imbalance in favor of vampires, but instead of tilting the power in the opposite direction, Lucy wishes to bring balance to it, thereby putting humans and vampires on equal footing. It is ultimately a very touching teen romance with a tantalizing glimpse of a different sort of vampire mythos. With some mild violence and a little romance, this story is recommended for ages 14+.
If you like teen vampire romances, try:
Murphy, K. A. (1997). The nightwatch is a lonely vigil. In M. Rowe & T. S. Roche (Eds.), Brothers of the night: Gay vampire stories (pp. 83-94). San Francisco: Cleis Press.
Andrew was a squire to his beloved liege, Sir Geoffrey, until Geoffrey was slain in battle. Though Andrew is to become a knight, he mourns the loss of his friend and master, and he cannot help but weep. His hair is cut and he is scrubbed clean by the monks who are preparing him for the nightlong vigil before being conferred his knighthood. Reflecting back upon Sir Geoffrey, he unwittingly muses upon all of his vampiric traits, from only taking challenges between dusk and dawn, to supping alone in his chambers, to his pale countenance and youthful looks. He hears his liege lord’s voice whispering to him through the darkness, revealing his true nature as a nightgaunt [i.e. vampire]. He asks Andrew if he will join him, fighting anonymously against the forces of evil in the Holy Land, and Andrew joyful accepts his knighting at the hands of his deathless lord. Sir Geoffrey then turns him, and Sir Andrew lies in torpor so that the monks might arise and declare him dead, so that he may arise from the grave and follow his love and lord wherever the fight for good may take them.
The bond between squires and their lords was an important one, for the squire assisted the lord with many things, and in turn the lord provided training and shelter. In this tale, the bond between Andrew and Geoffrey transcends the common bounds and becomes a deep love between warriors. Though this site’s collection of annotations primarily focuses on contemporary tales by contemporary authors, I felt it important to include a few historical tales as well.
If you seek more vampyres in olden tymes, try:
Nelson, V. (2005, Fall). Draculess. Raritan, 25(2), 42-49. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
The unnamed protagonist has set free Draculess, her “own personal vampire” (Nelson, 42). Draculess takes on many forms, first plump and aquatic, then thinner with pale skin and fangs, and finally morphing from wild and bright into tamer and subdued. She starts a relationship with a Wolfman, and together they take the protagonist hostage. The protagonist is then herself transformed, and she takes the form of a seven-year-old boy with a large head. Managing to make her escape, she transforms back into a woman. Trapping the Wolfman, she also captures Draculess, but finally realizes she must let her go.
This story is very well-written, with an abstract, dreamscape narrative. The action and movement within this narrative are collected together as an interrelated group of events, rather than a linear progression, which further contributes to the dream-like feeling. With the imagery and depiction of the vampiress, Draculess, it seems much like an allegory or extended metaphor. Raritan is a quarterly publication that offers a variety of poetry, fiction and essays. This periodical would make an excellent addition to a library’s periodicals collection, and it would be a valuable resource for AP or post-secondary English courses.
If you enjoy non-linear narratives, try:
Nickle, D. (1996). Sick Reggie. In M. Rowe & T. S. Roche (Eds.), Sons of darkness: Tales of men, blood, and immortality (pp. 70-91). Pittsburgh, Pa: Cleis Press.
Martin and Jason are in a serious relationship, so Jason introduces Martin to his son, Reggie, a sickly young boy. When Reggie chomps on Martin’s arm, Jason apologizes and explains that his son has “Bathory’s Syndrome,” a spurious disease and allusion to Reggie’s true nature. Soon after, Martin moves in and things begin to get very weird. He starts hearing Reggie’s voice in his head and they share blood, which leads Martin to start suspecting that Reggie is something other than Jason’s son. This is confirmed when Reggie telepathically shares his long vampiric history and turns him so he has an ally who can help him escape his confinement. Unfortunately for him, a few drops of vampire blood can create a perpetual appearance of youthfulness in humans, so their blood is at a very high premium. Both he and Reggie are kept helpless, neither alive nor dead, slowly being drained of their blood.
Not only is this story about vampires, but it is one that truly puts an element of horror into the story, not just mere eroticism. And the truly horrible acts are not only perpetuated by the eternally-youthful Reggie, but by the humans driven by avarice and the lust for eternal youth. A creepy gay vampire tale for adults.
If you like erotic horror tales, try:
Nolan, W. F. (1998). Getting dead. In A. Durant & N. Hardcastle (Eds.), Vampire and werewolf stories (pp. 90-95). New York: Kingfisher.
Count Arnold has been alive, or rather, undead for thousands of years. After the first 4,000 years of his unlife, he no longer enjoys being alive and becomes forgetful and suicidal. However, his drive to survive is so strong that he thwarts his every suicide attempt fails to end his existence every time. When he sees an ad for Anything Inc. promising to do anything for a fee, he literally pays them a king’s ransom to help solve his problem. He tells Mr. Anything the various methods he’s tried and failed with, and Mr. Anything finally comes up with a mysterious plan. Unfortunately, Anything Inc.’s solution is to have a werewolf bite Count Arnold. Alas, the silver bullet that surely awaits him will have no effect as it is merely superstition. Count Arnold is doomed to live.
Often, vampire stories focus on the glory and glamour of immortality and eternal life, but this tale is different. After so many thousands of years, the glamour and glory are all used up and existence has lost any thrill it once had for Count Arnold. Though there is a certain air of dark humor, one cannot help but ultimately feel pity for the Count’s infinite, empty life. This collection of vampire stories is a bit more bleak than one might expect in the YA genre, but there are many classics worth reading.
For more short vampire stories, try:
Oliver, R. (1997). The whole vampire thing. In M. Rowe & T. S. Roche (Eds.), Brothers of the night: Gay vampire stories (pp. 45-72). San Francisco: Cleis Press.
It’s 1955 and Paul Douglas is an aging actor staring into the abyss, doomed to lose his status as a leading man in films as he loses his youthful good looks. A mysterious place called The Center offers to help him combat aging with a secret procedure. The cost of this procedure is his life, but he begins his unlife with a handsome new appearance and plenty of acting work for a time. Years pass and he falls in love with Carl, an artist, and they have a happy life together until Carl contracts GRIDS (later to be named AIDS) and dies. Paul becomes suicidal, but The Center will not let him die. Instead, he is to be contained within the grounds forever, “performing” for select clients, trapped with other undead celebrities and his TV.
Another depressing tale of unenjoyable immortality, this time in an erotic gay horror tale. Paul has no qualms about killing, but without his partner and lover, immortality quickly loses its luster. Aside from his love for Carl and their dog, Paul is a morally bankrupt individual, killing those he preys upon without remorse. Though it is hard to like Paul, one cannot help but feel sorry for his loss. Recommended for an adult audience, this explicit horror story will titillate and entertain without offering anything more than a quiet despair at the end.
If you want more Hollywoodland vampires, try:
Rothman, C. (1991). Curse of the undead. In Yolen, J., & Greenberg, M. H., (Eds.) Vampires: A collection of original stories (pp. 19-34). New York: Harper Trophy.
Herbert “Bert” Krosky wakes up in his coffin. In this funeral home, people waking from the dead has become a common occurrance. So much so that the cleaning lady is unphased and chases him out with a mop. Confused and unable to go home, Bert goes to visit his friend Ivy who takes everything in stride and makes him a very rare hamburger. Returning to the funeral home to try and find some answers, the funeral director, Mr. Van Helsong [vamp name ref] convinces him to play dead in his coffin so his funeral can go on. Bert’s Uncle MArko, suspicious by nature, tries to stake him, but he’s saved by Gail, the girl who gave him the vampire virus in the first place. She debunks some vampire myths (it’s paprika that harms vampires), offers to give him lessons and turns into a bat and flies away.
This story takes a rather tongue-in-cheek look at the vampire myth while simultaneously reinventing it. The vampires aren’t afraid of daylight or garlic and vampirism is transmitted like the common cold, a far cry from the Stoker stereotype. Bert is a very likable main character, and through Gail, a very atypically pleasant vampire, he gets a second chance at life. With a fun, straightforward plot and a male main character, this story will appeal to young adolescent boys, as well as to the broader YA reader group.
For more vamp tales with male adolescent appeal, try:
Russe, S. (2008). Overbite. In Telep, T. (ed.), The mammoth book of vampire romance (pp. 293-310). Philadelphia: Running Press.
Sol Tytel, a dentist and all-around good Jewish boy, leads a very dull existence until the night he books a special client at the request of his Aunt Blanche. Brice Canyon is a vampire with a cracked incisor, and when he reveals his true nature to Sol, they decide to form a partnership–Brice will find vamps in need of dental work, and Sol will discreetly fix their teeth. It isn’t long before Sol is turned, and it transforms him from a dull little man into an attractive and vital vampire. Embracing the change, he becomes a nighttime dentist and takes on all the undead clientele he can handle. Still, something is missing. He longs for glorious sexual conquest with the right Goyishe gal, but no one appeals to him until he meets Bunny (nee Sunny nee London nee unknown). Unbeknownst to Sol, Aunt Blanche’s matchmaking skills are responsible with it all, but he lives happily (ever after?).
Sol has a respectable life and profession for a nice Jewish boy, but he’s bored and wants the exotic looks of a WASPy blonde with an itty-bitty nose. He wants a woman who doesn’t want to start changing things around either, but even Bunny starts out perfect and then starts wanting to feng shui his apartment. Being a vampire doesn’t fix problems in this story, it just makes them nicer to look at. For a story in a collection of romantic vampire tales, it isn’t all that romantic since Sol is mostly interested in sexual release for a good portion of the tale. It’s amusing, but not particularly sexy. Recommended for adults who enjoy humorous short stories.
If you need to keep your bite bright, try these dental tales: