On an early evening in October, we caught up with Victor Bainbridge, a very real vampire who is also very British but lives in a splendid home in Spain. To fill his time, he is an affiliate marketer on the Internet and has a fine flock of sheep. It is obvious from his palatial home that being a vampire is not hurting his earning capabilities.
As the authors of Leon’s Lair, in which he is a major character, we were shown into his study by his majordomo. The study walls were lined from floor to ceiling with books, many leather bound and obviously quite old. Victor sat in a leather high-backed chair with a small crystal glass on a side table, a voluminous report in his lap, and his right leg crossed at the knee. Dressed in soft chinos, Italian shoes (no sox) and a black cashmere pullover, he looked self-assured and comfortable with our visit.
He rose to greet us with a smile and offered us a chair opposite him. After a few pleasantries and an offer of a drink, (which we declined. We were both little nervous about accepting, as what he was drinking was a dark red, viscous liquid that clung to the sides of the crystal.)
GARY: Well, Victor, I must say you have a beautiful home. It seems being a vampire has been a rewarding way of life. Can you tell our readers a little about how you became a vampire and where it all started?
VICTOR: Well, Gary, there are a lot of misconceptions about vampires, many old tales that have survived down through the ages.
Vampires have been around since the dawn of time. We are a different but similar race to Homo sapiens. Unfortunately, over the centuries there have been efforts by Homo sapiens to eradicate us. I think you would call it genocide or ethnic cleansing. As a result, there are fewer of us than you.
Vampirism was first recorded in Persia. According to an ancient Hebrew text, Adam’s first wife, Lilith, was a vampire. She left Adam due to his lack of sexual prowess and became queen of the underworld. She established the race.
There are recorded archives of vampires from China in the 6th century B.C., and more legends throughout the world, including India, Malaysia, Polynesia, and the lands of the Aztecs and Eskimos. However, it is in Europe where our main population flourished for many centuries. The main beginnings occurred in ancient Greece and spread up through areas known today as the Balkans, then west and into England.
I originated the old fashioned way, coitus, pregnancy, and birth.
LEE: That’s pretty astounding. The common story goes you have to be normal and then bitten by a vampire, and some say you must drink a vampire’s blood. Is that just legend?
VICTOR: Absolutely not. That is the way to become newly “born,” but I am a vampire because my mother was a vampire. We are real vampires. She was a really sexy women and was until she died – always looked young. Vampires can be created from Homo sapiens as you described, though normally it is not forced but assented. It is a secondary way to keep the race alive.
LEE: She died? I thought vampires live forever.
VICTOR: Mother was almost 300 years old, but she finally went to a vampire rest home and passed on. That is just another of the myths that scare Homo sapiens into atrocities against vampires.
GARY: Okay, but you have to admit that vampires draining people of their blood is pretty brutal.
VICTOR: That has happened, I admit, but it is no worse than Homo sapiens decapitating a vampire, pounding stakes through the heart or burning us to death without a trial, just on the ranting of some fear-deranged human. How would you react to a mob pounding down your door with hate and fear?
Victor’s eyes had become red and his cool self-confidence melted as he gripped the arms of his chair and leaned forward in a menacing pose. We felt more than concerned by his apparent anger.
VICTOR: No, I think you need to reassess your race’s actions before you accuse us of brutality.
Victor seemed to regain his calm, sat back in his chair, and his eyes returned to the deep brown they had been.
VICTOR: Since the year 400 A.D, we organized with other magical and supernatural races. The International Association of Paranormal Beings made strict rules and one was never harm a human in anyway. We drink the blood of animals.
Granted there have been vampires with a blood-lust for humans such as Count Dracula, whose real name was Valad Tepes Dracula, Prince of Wallachia. His slaughter of many probably incited much of the inaccurate views people have of vampires. Of course Bram Stoker’s fictional tale of Dracula stereotyped vampires to this day. Dracula was a tyrant, but he also liberated his country from the Ottoman invaders. You know, he was a national hero.
GARY: I see. That is very interesting. Tell me Victor, why should humans change their view of vampires?
VICTOR: Without going into detail, vampires have actually saved the human race from near extinction. The Dark Ages set man upon a course of clear apocalyptic self-annihilation. The International Association of Paranormal Beings literally sowed the seeds that raised human’s interest in survival, interest in science and the arts to a level high enough to pull them out of the apathy and degradation which had caused death and destruction throughout the hitherto civilized world. Those acts alone saved millions upon millions of lives.
LEE: That’s quite a pronouncement Victor. What about Leon?
VICTOR: Leon is an abomination. He is not a real vampire. He and his kind are a danger to mankind and we mean to eliminate he and his kind off the face of the earth. We will win. Your readers can read about it in your book, Leon’s Lair.
Victor elegantly rose from his chair as he finished his glass of red liquid.
VICTOR: I have matters to attend to now, and I hope I have given you enough to create an article that your readers will find interesting and informative.
Victor’s majordomo appeared in the room as if by magic and held the door open for us to leave. The interview was obviously over.
GARY: Thank you, Victor, for your time and very enlightening information.
What would you do if your vacation cruise ship was being attacked and you were certain you would die?
Would you fight? Would you hide? Would you try to escape?
This international thriller/contemporary fantasy is a nail-biting ride that is grisly but somewhat tongue-in-cheek, a brutal tale of horror and the occult that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It includes romance, continental adventure, action, suspense, and dozens of vivid characters from around the world.