Vampires, werewolves, and monsters oh my!

Monsters are metaphors. Well they are for most people. I still to this day believe there are shadowy creatures lurking beneath my bed, and one or two dancing the inky black ocean that separates our world from the world of leviathans hiding in my closet. And some of them are my closest friends. They whisper their exploits into my ears as I lay sleeping so I can write it down for posterity and share them with all of you lovely people.

My daughter and I sat talking of werewolves and vampires. Speaking of how over the centuries as the stories of these creatures evolved, and they became the dark lovers and handsome heroes of today’s glittery world of PG thirteen entertainment how they have shifted.

For vampires they have transformed from fearsome villains into the broody, well dressed stoic hero who fights against his instincts. Dwelling on centuries of past mistakes and dark deeds that they feel they must atone for. Fighting against budding feelings of romance for the plucky teenage girl that they are so drawn to for her innocence.

Werewolves are no less neutered. Instead of marauding beasts that rampage through the local woodlands eating the flesh of any hapless humans that happen upon them. Waking up naked slathered in blood with a hazy recollected next day hangover. They were given the gift of spirituality.

Usually Native american, these creatures find a way to balance that fiery rage with a peace that comes from the nature of their animal counterpart.

Everything I write tends to slant toward the denizens of a shadowy world that humans should have no part of. Give me blood, violence, death and lots and lots of sex. Because when you boil down every religion, every human thought ever conceived you are left with two concepts. Creation, and Destruction.

My daughter was complaining that all monsters are the same. To a point she is right. They have been stereotyped harshly. They’re either the wicked, vile, creatures of nightmares, or the romantic hero burdened with a darkness that they can barely control.

In my writing I took these components. The dark hero, the plucky teenage girl, and the romance that invariably comes from putting these two archetypes together. But I tried very hard to come to a middle ground in the stereo types.

My hero is burdened with decades of handing out a bloody death to anyone foolish enough to come near him. However, that doesn’t bother him. No matter how hard he tries to pretend otherwise in the beginning. He likes the killing. He likes to shed blood. My Vincent was an efficient killer long before he was given the claws and teeth that shoved him fully into the word monster.

My plucky teenage girl learned quickly that the rules of normal no longer shackled her, or protected her-depending how you look at it. She learned that to survive in this dark twilight world she had fallen into it’s kill or be killed, she learned how to be a murderer.

In the end my book turned into a run and gun beauty and the beast. And I’m proud of that. My beauty loves her beast for his darkness. She loves that look of caged anger, of the hunger in his eyes. She loves the fact that Vincent can shred someone, shatter their bones, and then touch her with the gentlest of bloodied hands. She loves the fact that should anyone consider harming her they will meet with a bloody violent end, and the only reason it would be at his hand is because he is faster than her.

People do bad things. Sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes for their own reasons. Embrace that. Whether you are a writer, or someone looking for the answers to why. Hero’s stumble, they do horrible things for the greater good. So why can’t monsters do good things, because it’s right, or at the very least right now?

I say let monsters be monsters. Let them spill blood. Let them rip, and tear, and swim in that dark ocean their natures have pulled them into. Let werewolves be savage. Let vampires be devious and twisted. Because in the end, just because you’re a monster doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person.

- Amber Ross

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