On an early evening in October, we caught up with Victor Bainbridge, a vampire who is very British but lives in a splendid home in Spain. It was obvious from his palatial home that being a vampire was 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 volumous 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. we began. We were both little nervous about accepting a drink as we surmised what he was drinking was a dark red, viscous drink that clung to the sides of the crystal and wasn’t the kind of refreshment we wanted.
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 this just legend?
VICTOR: Absolutely not. That is the way to become newly “born,” but I am a vampire because my mother was a vampire. 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: Absolutely not. 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 at his apparent anger.
No, I think you need to reassess your race’s actions before you accuse us of brutality.
Victor seemed to regain his calm and sat back in his chair and his eyes suddenly returned to the deep brown they had been.
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 had set man upon a course of clear apocalyptic self -extinguishment. International Association of Paranormal Beings literally sowed the seeds that raised human’s interest in survival and 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. Would you care to elaborate?
VICTOR: Well, your readers can read more about us in your book Leon’s Lair.
Victor elegantly rose from his chair as he finished his glass of red liquid. 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.
GARY: Thank you, Victor, for your time and very enlightening information.
LEON’S LAIR IS AVAILABLE IN KINDLE AND PAPERBACK ON AMAZON