My apology, I have been rather slack with my Willow the Vampire blog this last week – but between visiting Italian mothers and new Polish flatmate arriving, my existing flatmate F. causing chaos because she’s cooking THE first meal for her YOUNG MAN, clients wanting their translations done and me wanting to have a bit of a social life, blogging has had to take a back seat this week.
I’ve long given up making plans, since life never works out the way we envisage it. Come to think of it, expecting the unexpected is very much in the nature of vampires, witches, ghouls, ghosts, elves, goblins, fairies, trolls and all the other nocturnal critters I have been blogging about. They never take anything for granted and enjoy their existence to the full, knowing at any moment the party might come to an abrupt end.
Supernatural beings are usually not that easy to get rid off, though. As humans, we are far more vulnerable than we think. When we’re young, we believe we’re invincible and forget, the unexpected is lurking everywhere. One minute you’re going fishing, minding your own business and hoping for a nice bit of trout for your dinner – the next minute the Creature from the Black Lagoon swallows you whole, before letting off one almighty burp.
Or you’re strolling down a Stinkforthshire country lane and suddenly ZAP, a vampire mother hurls herself at you and takes a chunk out of your leg – sorry, make that throat. Even in school we’re not safe. There are bullies among the students and even worse bullies among the teachers. And then there’s Mr Henderson, the headmaster…also known as Evil Incarnate (at least that’s what’s written below the official sign on his door)
Willow the Vampire’s friend Eddie Strongarm expected a happy marriage, but ended up being married to the pet killer from hell. He also expected to inherit a fortune, but death duties ate up most of his legacy. Now a vampire, Eddie is wondering what the after-life could possibly throw at him that could be worse than having been married to THAT woman or being already dead.
His ancestor Edwin Strongarm the crusader also got a bit of a surprise, when he entered a temple in medieval Jerusalem in the hope of some easy-to-carry-loot. Far from being the cash-n-carry Edwin had hoped for, the temple’s most important artefact came rather unwillingly – thanks to the grumpy dragon attached to it.
As for Willow, just when she’s come to terms with being rather different from other vampire kids, she’s now having to cope with something even more irritating than a set of fangs and a hankering for vanilla ice cream instead of blood served straight from throbbing veins.
That floaty, glowy thing, she has no control over, which happens every time she gets nervous or a little overexcited. Puberty strikes again, I hear you cry, but in Willow the Vampire and the Würzburg Ghosts life is never as straightforward as that.
Expecting the unexpected and living each day as if it was our last is a lesson many of us have to learn the hard way – me included. When we are told, our lives are about to end due to illness or when a loved one is lost forever, we often shake our heads in despair and say “I should have seen that coming, life was just too good right now”.
Living each day as if a vampire might rip out our throat and suck the life out of us, when we least expect it, provides us with that little thrill we have been craving to spice up our humdrum lives – ever since we discovered our troglodyte neighbours were just waiting to brain us the moment we stuck our heads out of our caves with a hearty “Good Morning, have you seen Grotto-Mart’s got a special offer on clubs this week?”
For those of you who have loved ones, friends and family, give them a hug RIGHT NOW and tell them how much they mean to you. RIGHT NOW, do you hear? For in that dark shadow in the corner by the fridge freezer over there lurks goodness knows what, ready to take a chunk out of your leg…erm…throat (I blame Google translate).
But what’s this…can’t you hear it? That soft thud from under the floorboards…
Is this an apparition from an Edgar Allan Poe story or is there really a heart beating under your carpet tiles? Can’t you hear it…it’s beating faster and faster…actually, it’s yours…damn, how did you get there?
Ah yes, that visiting Italian mother turned out to be a crazed axe murder and the terrified Polish flatmate helped Signora L’Accetta tie you up with rope, before stuffing you between the Axminster and joists. You can hear the two women debating in pigeon English, what to do with you until the time is right to chop you up.
You’ll scream the house down? Go on, have a go – the Jubilee celebrations in the street below will drown out the noise of your cries for help. See if anyone hears you in the unoccupied flat below. Yes, old Mrs Busybody, the one who never lets you walk up the stairs without popping her head out of her door to say a few sharp words about the state of your garden has gone away to a better place – expect the unexpected, remember?
For those of you, who are like me alone in the world, please accept this as a virtual hug and a small reminder that life is brief, so make the most of it – and please don’t put off writing your novel until it is too late!
(source of animation: heathersanimations.com; picture credit above: Hinkler “Draw Fantasy Art“, E A Poe to the left: Wikipedia)