Vampires and Immortality…Just One Teeny Problem
I love vampires to pieces. I did a big researched article about them a few months ago, called “Will Vampires Never Die?” when I was trying to figure out just why so many other readers couldn’t get enough of ‘em either.
We figured out that at their core, the reason so many of us love to love the fanged ones was:
– They’re frightening, yet vulnerable
– Their blood-drinking habits are sexually oriented.
– They usually have extraordinary strength and speed
– They can usually be reformed
– They’re the Ultimate Bad Boy
– They’re usually immortal
I’ve been thinking about that last one for a while now, though. The dictionary defines “immortality” as “perpetual life after death.”
Yet most vampire stories spend a lot of wordage explaining how to go about killing vampires. One of the most famous and popular series even features a pint-sized vampire executioner.
The most common methods for vampire assassination include beheading, staking, cutting out the heart, draining them of blood and exposing them to sunlight. You can also stuff them full of garlic and press crucifixes against their hearts, depending upon the author and the story world you’re in.
In my story world, particularly in Carson’s Night, the one toxin in the world that is lethal to vampires is gargoyle venom, and one of the heroes is injected by a concentrated dose of the toxin…but I digress.
There are other, more esoteric methods for killing a vampire that you can find in other stories besides mine, including impaling a vampire with silver through the heart and stopping it from beating, chaining them with silver so they’re prevented from feeding and so forth. Some of the methods become quite creative and some of them downright cruel.
The point I’m trying to make is that all of them work. They all achieve their aim of killing the vampire.
If vampires can be killed, then they can’t be immortal. Long lived, certainly. Basically, they go endlessly onwards, unchanged, until someone changes their condition of undead to properly dead using one of the more extreme methods needed to kill a vampire. Because one thing is certain: Vampires may not be immortal, but they are tough cookies to kill. After centuries of living, they are slick, fast and very smart at staying alive…er…undead.
There’s more than a few reasons I love writing about vampires. Their sheer relentlessness and endurance is just part of their fascination for me. What about you?
Seen any really cool, slick or plain gross ways an author has invented to kill vampires? Or really bravo! ways vampires have outsmarted killing rampages?