I mean that metaphorically speaking, of course.

Wait. No I don’t. I would actually like to be the one who kills Edward Cullen, and all other so-called vampires like him. Edward just happens to represent the pinnacle of today’s vampiric monstrosity, and in the name of all that is unholy and dark in urban fantasy literature…he must die. Horribly and painfully, with as much gore and blood as is inhumanly possible.

I…don’t actually *love* vampires. I feel they’re overdone, abused, and far too romanticized to be considered a viable monster anymore within the literary world. This won’t prevent me from incorporating them into my own storyline – I’m not stupid, those neckbiters SELL. But…I don’t love them.

I did, once upon a time. I sat enraptured, watching Barnabus Collins seduce his victims in the old cult classic series, Dark Shadows. Barnabus was a monster, but he was a cool monster; that brother had GAME, kna’mean? He didn’t have to jump out of a shadow and maul you to bloody pieces; he’d just give them The Look, and crook that finger, and oh yeah baby would come-a-callin’, offering up that neck willingly. Billy Dee Williams, with a British accent. Smooth.

I don’t know what the hell happened after that.

I can blame the 80s. Vampire movies littered the silver screen all through that period, most of which (The Lost Boys being a notable exception) turned vampires into sick jokes. Transylvania 6-3000, Love at First Bite, Once Bitten, A Polish Vampire in Burbank, My Best Friend Was a Vampire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, the movie sucked arse), Fright Night…

Vampires went from cool guys in fancy clothing and a air of power and aristocracy…to Jim Carrey with his hair slicked back, and dancing in a high school gym. They became harmless.

And then came Ann Rice’s rise to popularity. Interview With A Vampire came out in the late 70s, but it didn’t take off until the 80s; her romanticized view of vampires as hedonistic, beatific creatures shifted the view of them from dangerous jokes, to a potentially dangerous LOVERS. Women wanted to throw themselves into the arms of Louis and Lestat; they (*shudder*) SYMPATHIZED with them.

They loved them, longed for them. Vampires were no longer just dangerous and alluring.

They were damn sexy.

Fast forward to today. Let me say, for the record, that I wish Stephanie Meyer nothing but good fortune; her Twilight series of books were well timed, and written such that they directly appealed to a very susceptible portion of the consumer market – teenage girls. They somehow identify with her character Bella, and like their mothers before them did with Lestat and Louis…these girls lust after Edward and his kind.

Having said that…I have never hated a vampire as much as I do Edward Cullen and his ilk. To call them vampires is an abomination unto itself; it is an insult to their Nosferatu forbears. They are as far removed from the mythos of the wamphyri, as a collie dog is from a lycanthrope.

They are (shudder) vegans. They don’t burn up in sunlight, they SHINE for gods’ sake. They are young; barely out of their 20s, able to pass for high school teenagers. They are beautiful, and pale, and superhuman daywalkers. They don’t need to reconnect with their native soil, crosses and other holy relics don’t hurt them, and garlic is a nice garnish on their pizza.

And I would very much like to drive a stake through their unbeating hearts. Repeatedly.

What happened to being afraid of vampires? Where is the monster who epitomized the darkness of the human soul? Where is the creature who once owned the night?

There is a bestial nature to a vampire that has disappeared in today’s portrayal of them. The monster is gone, leaving only it’s shadow that – in the view of today’s readers/viewers – taints what is otherwise a poor, sad, tortured being…a being that must be comforted, held close. Loved.

I say, enough. No more of this. Bring back the beast, and let cry the dogs of war! I will steadfastly refuse to continue the trend…although, admittedly, I may use it to lull people into a false sense of security. Let them believe that my vampires are the safe, seductive, tortured souls they’ve become accustomed to.

So much the better when the real fangs come out.