Interview with a Real Vampire

Warning: This may be a controversial post.

I was approached by a gentleman that claims to be a real vampire, so I, of course, interviewed him. This is a result of being infected by the v5 virus. You can read more about it here.  Some may not believe his claim, but regardless of beliefs, please keep it civil.


Interview with a Real Vampire

 

2017

Angela—What is your name and how old are you?

Nightshade—Over time, I’ve had quite a few names, actually… so, for the sake of ‘identity issues,’ I don’t often use my “legal” name. Nowadays, I just go by the Apache-given name “Nightshade Child,” or the name by which the “Real Vampire Community” once knew me by; “Shadow Walker KA.”

As for how old I am, I don’t even know, anymore. I am old enough that all my current records are not even my own. But going by “legal record,” I am nearing my thirties.

Angela—You are a vampire because you’ve been infected with “v5.” What is it and how does it affect you and others?

Nightshade—Put as simply (and in as few words) as possible, “v5” is a retro-viral gene (basically a genetically-based retrovirus) that essentially makes the said ‘vampire’ or person afflicted by it stronger, faster, more agile, and basically increases overall health, but with the (albeit unfortunate) “cost”—so to speak—of the physical need to consume the “life-force energy” (typically fresh blood) of another living being.

In short, our bodies require, thus sustain a much higher intake level of iron and certain proteins found only in blood. For some, however, the need for blood not only maintains our physical health, but mental/psychological health, as well.

For some, it also enhances the metabolism (scientifically-speaking; metabolic rate), in that it either becomes slow to the point of “sluggishness,” or it speeds up to being “sluggish” due to being so fast (think of it as being similar to a clock-manner spectrum). But of course, as you can imagine, one of the biggest things that is enhanced by “v5” is the person’s healing rate (some wounds take only a short time to heal, whereas others may heal almost instantaneously).

Basically, it takes a “mere human being” and turns them essentially superhuman, at the cost of having to consume blood, in order to maintain personal health. Now, there are quite a few more things that it does, but for that, I would have to write you a pamphlet or more (quite literally, mind you).

Angela—What is the difference between “v5” and the vampires in fiction?

Nightshade—In short, vampires of fiction are exactly that: fiction. Real vampires (people afflicted by “v5,” in any of its many degrees (and yes, there are “degrees” or “levels” of it, so to speak) do not turn into bats or mist, religious icons such as crosses have no effect (in the words of an old acquaintance of mine, “it’s ludicrous to believe that religious icons would have any effect on a creature that if it ever existed, it has existed prior to that even being an icon; What if the vampire is Jewish?… a cross is just going to piss him off”), most of us are not allergic to garlic unless it is either an allergy obtained otherwise or one is born with said allergy, nor does “holy” water affect us.

And as for sunlight, the only real problem there is most often a visual sensitivity to bright light, in general, unless the gene has not had the chance to properly evolve/advance past the problem of being sunburned (in other words; do we burn into ash in sunlight? No. We may get a sunburn, and/or a migraine, but that is about it.)

As for things such as Real vampires (“v5”) being “from Hell” and the such… again, not even close… and things such as the ‘charisma’ concept– that only depends upon the vampire/person his or her self.

Angela—How long have you existed?

Nightshade—This one, admittedly, is a little tricky, since you’ve already asked it, just in a different way. As a vampire, myself, I can only say “it’s been a long time.” I may not have been the first vampire to exist, but I have yet to meet one actually older than myself in that regard. But beyond being a vampire… I don’t even know how long I’ve been around. I only know that I can still remember when there was no such thing as religion, if that says anything.

Angela—Do you turn others into vampires like in the stories?

Nightshade—In light of the fact that Real vampires (“v5”) are again a retro-viral gene that is transferred via blood alone, so far, the only way that any of us have found to transmit the gene to another individual is through an exchange of blood (ergo, one must in some manner or other ‘ingest’ the blood of a vampire to become a vampire).

So, a vampire simply taking a bite out of someone is just not enough (in fact, nowhere near enough) for that person to become a vampire. In fact, the only thing really required is that the person simply consumes enough of a vampire’s blood to have the gene be absorbed into the body, and thus it still takes time for the “awakening/turning” process to fully occur.

However, the problem with this is that a vampire’s blood, depending upon how old said vampire is, can be highly toxic to “normal” human beings (because (oddly enough, this being semi-accurate of fiction) a vampire’s age does indeed affect the potency of our gene).

Angela—How did you become a vampire?

Nightshade—In my case, I suppose it was a little bit ironic, and seems to most too far-fetched to even be possible. But I literally almost drowned in a pool of highly ‘contaminated’ blood (and by “highly contaminated,” I mean it had an extremely strong ‘strain’ of the original retrovirus already infecting it).

But these days, it’s apparently believed that I may have already had a faint strain of the gene, or that I simply “wasn’t human to begin with,” given my obvious survival of the incident.

Angela—What is your purpose in life?

Nightshade—Frankly, that is like asking the sun or nature what their purpose in life is. In all honesty, I really don’t even know why I became a vampire, even being ‘what’ I was prior to becoming one. Let alone do I know what the purpose behind it was, or even what that alleged “purpose” is, to-day. So the only thing that I can really say about it is that I Am What I Am, and I Am That I Am. Whatever the original purpose for it, whilst I may not know, I only know the purpose I’ve given for it, myself, over time.

Angela—How does “v5” affect an unborn child?

Nightshade—Really, it only makes the child even stronger. There really isn’t much difference betwixt a “normal” human child and a vampir child—least of all, in the womb. The only real difference is that a vampir child is much stronger than it would be if the child were a “normal” human.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith's work has been published in several print and online publications, including the “Horror Writers Association's Poetry Showcase” vols. 2-4, “Christmas Lites” vols. 1-6 and the “Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthology. She has nearly 20 books of speculative fiction and poetry for adults, YAs and children. Her first collection of poetry, “In Favor of Pain,” was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award.
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