Saturday, February 16, 2013

I Vant To Lick Your Stamen


Back in the olden days, people used to up and die of things, one right after the other, plagues and boils and consumption and what-have-you, wiping out whole families and numerous community members. The victims were all connected in some way, people felt certain, and the only plausible explanation for any of this was, of course, your vampires. Rumors got started. Hysteria ensued. One poor soul rises from his coffin and starts perforating people to death, and pretty soon people think they’re everywhere. Many parts of the world boasted vampires, but there was always a good clot of them in Serbia, and so it is not a real surprise that we’ve got another one on the loose now in the town of Zarozje.

Not a new one, but that’s the thing about vampires: they hang in there. Sava Savanovic in fact had the distinction of being Serbia’s first vampire back in the 1700s. He was a man of means, the owner of a nice grist mill on the hill, and in his glory days, he reputedly picked off one citizen after another who brought their grain up to him for processing. It’s not a bad business plan if your business isn’t so much milling flour as drinking blood. This is the first indication we have that the good people of Zarozje might have been a little on the dull side. Mrdjvk goes up to the mill and comes back dead and drained, Jckjvckstc pops up to see what’s up, Drgnvlsc goes and gives it a whirl, no one comes back, and no one stops to consider that maybe whole grains are better for you after all. Before long a swath of the community has been disenvoweled, with repercussions to this day.

What sort of society, we moderns wonder, would tolerate the existence of one prosperous fellow on the hill who fattens himself up by gradually sucking out the very life-blood of the working people while they’re still alive? It’s preposterous. It’s what happens when people no longer have a stake in their own future. Or in something.

At some point a group put it all together and marched up to the mill with a stake, which as we all know is bad for the heart, and poor Sava finally met his end, or so they thought. Unfortunately it made him pissy and his spirit lived on, residents said, in a butterfly. We scoff at these things today, but we weren’t there. The chrysalis was tremendous.

Boogah boogah.
Humans are always trying to keep people alive, but they should worry more about keeping them dead. On many occasions someone suspected of being a vampire has been exhumed for examination and found to be plump and juicy, and in need of remurdering. This happened as late as 1890 in this country when a whole clan seemed to be succumbing one by one to tuberculosis. As the last little boy lay ill and his family grew desperate, his sister was disinterred, found to be a vampire, and run through with a wooden stake, whereupon portions of her were blenderized and fed to her brother as a tonic. He turned the corner almost immediately, although it was the wrong corner. The science was inexact.

So now, back in Zarozje, land of the malevolent butterfly, the old grist mill finally fell down this year. And five people subsequently died. Citizens are pretty sure it’s the vampire again and are taking no chances. Of course, this is the same crew descended from the original dummies who kept marching up the hill with their bags of grain. They’re worried about a butterfly and they’ve got garlic stuffed in their pants. You might not want to take them seriously, but they have a point. Poor old Sava is now homeless and irritable, sitting at the freeway off-ramp, and if you can read his sign, you’re standing way too close.





39 comments:

  1. "Disenvowelled."
    Your blood should be bottled, Murr. Erm...perhaps not the best comment for this post?

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  2. You do know why certain people didn't die out during the plagues, don't you? Rumors of Satan ran wild, and no one ever suspected that their strange religion required lots of hand-washing.

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  3. I had to stop reading for a minute after disenvowelled.

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  4. You're supposed to stuff the garlic in your pants?!? Dang. *falls silent, contemplating the possibilities*

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  5. LOL Good one Murr. I once posted on Proof of Vampires with photos of crackpot tattoos and piercings. That the damn thing still gets a hundred hits a day with comments that are unbelievable. I've decided that half of them are children, the other half, Zombies.

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    1. A hundred hits a day! You are a blogging god!

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  6. I'm rooting for the vampires. They've solved that problem of staying alive, or at least undead, indefinitely. They can do fun things like turn into butterflies, or at least bats. They party all night, sleep all day, and never seem to have jobs. They avoid garlic, but so should everybody. And all they have to do for it all is occasionally put the bite on some Balkan peasants too stupid to live. The smart ones would have known a good deal when they saw it.

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    1. You had me until the "so should everybody." I loves me some garlic.

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    2. Avoid garlic!? Zesty, aromatic, seductive, pasta-enhancing garlic!? I'd hate being a vampire.

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  7. So what DO you get when you google "Vampire poop?" I'm afraid to try. Though it would make a good name for a goth girl band.

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    1. Maybe vampire poop is like YouTube poop? You know, goofy YouTube videos made by and for vampire?

      "Dear! Come vatch this video! Count Zhartov taught hees cockatiel to say 'verevolves are dorks'. Bah! I could vatch this over and over!"

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  8. So now we know what happened to all those vowels. You have done a real public service here, Murr.

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  9. I thought the Serbs lost their vowels when Babel fell. I know the Welsh did.

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    1. Which Cym? Seems like every other town in Wales is Cym somethinerother....

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  10. "What sort of society, we moderns wonder, would tolerate the existence of one prosperous fellow on the hill who fattens himself up by gradually sucking out the very life-blood of the working people while they’re still alive?" Oh, I do love the way you manage to sneak political commentary into your posts!

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  11. "How cwm?" Oh, help me, Rhondda!!

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  12. My favorite vampire movie is: Fearless Vampire Killers, or pardon me but your teeth are in my neck. This was a Roman Polanski film staring Sharon Tate.
    My favorite scene is where the Jewish vampire comes through the window and the young girl holds up a cross...and the vampire says, "Boy, have you got the wrong vampire."
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Sharon Tate got her share of horror, as I recall...

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    2. Actually, what the Jewish vampire said was, "Oy, have you got the wrong vampire!" Loved that flick. Didn't realize it was Roman Polanski.

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    3. I wouldn't touch that with a five foot Pole.

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  13. Most of us may no longer believe in Vampires, but there are plenty out there who still believe in gods, devils, virgin births, a 7 day creation, angels, goblins, pixies, fairies, ghosts, heaven, reincarnation, etc, etc ... need I say more!

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  14. Murr, I enjoyed reading your vampire story. They could make a movie about the vampire up on the hill. But, now I feel sorry for all the innocent butterflies out there!

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    1. See, that's what butterflies want you to believe. Don't fall for it.

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  15. I have only one thing to say to vampires "Bite me!"

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    1. You're a little closer to the nest of vampires than I am. You might just get the chance!

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  16. I just came from reading Indigo's latest piece, which is whimsical and brilliant. Now I read your latest piece which is so magnificently textured with metaphor in a scary/hilarious package... How blessed I am to be among such teachers of the art. Fabulous. Murr. Have you picked up Karen Russell's latest story collection, "Vampires in the Lemon Grove?" I think you'll like her work a lot.

    Love this story and completely adore you!

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    1. Indigo is a kick in the pants, as are you, Jayne. I'm digging your short fiction. And kinda wondering if you're working towards a novel. Hm?

      I'll bookmark that name. I always regretted that my first novel had no chance in the market because I neglected to put a vampire in by Chapter Three, but I've solved that with zombies in my latest.

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    2. I'm a kick in the pants? Oh yeah, and a bag of chips. Sorry, do the hip kids still say that? I loved this, Murr! "Before long a swath of the community has been disenvoweled, with repercussions to this day" gave me a good belly laugh. I may even read that wonderful book of yours sometime; it's getting close to the top of the pile now! Indigo x

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  17. It boggles the mind that so many of the illnesses formerly blamed on superstitions have only had their causes and cures found in the past 50 to 80 years. A hundred years ago, we could all have been prey to those superstitions.

    And again, with the Pootie outfit - cute!

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