I’ve had a bit of word-collision going on.
Yesterday I was writing a short vampire story. A vampire, in some older literature, is described as a revenant – a term Wikipedia defines as ‘a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living’. So it was a word I used quite a few times.
Today I was writing something about economic regeneration in local contexts, and the roles of relevant government departments and other agencies.
And the spellcheck, of course, didn’t pick up that I’d managed to include quite a lot of references to revenant government departments.
Here’s another one. Done ages ago but rediscovered in the folder where I keep bits of trivia that might become useful at some far-off point when I write a new story (that at least is the fiction I tell myself). I think I modelled it after one of the ‘Eastern European women in search of marriage/visa’ type emails I got a lot of about a year ago. I also have some serious stuff to post about writing and publishing but it will have to wait for another day.
My dearest friend
I am sure you will recognise my name. I am Vlad Draculea, also known as Dracula, late Prince of Wallachia. Despite my reputation, power and wealth I find myself requiring of your assistance in a matter of some delicacy.
As Prince of Wallachia, a country that ceased to exist a little over a century ago, I am faced with some slight difficulties in modern society. There is an annoying yet persistent reliance on passports and other identity papers, and many of these documents rely on conventional human expectations. Even in order to access my own bank accounts, I must present myself as my own great-great-grandson. At one time, everybody knew who I was. Yet today, many of the population do not even recognise their own political representatives, while my very existence has become the stuff of myth and legend. I am too often taken to be merely, in your current terms, a perverse follower of what you call ‘cosplay’ or ‘live action roleplay’.
I therefore require a bride, a woman with all the appropriate ‘identities’ for this modern world. Marriage would legitimise my position, enabling me to obtain visas and other documents.
I have more than recovered from my brush with the tiresome so-called Professor van Helsing, and find myself with a certain notoriety thanks to that meddlesome scribbler Stoker – whose account of my death was, of course, a work of purest imagination. The popular following I have acquired now makes it important for me to step into the light (metaphorically speaking, though not literally) and resume my plan to establish a ‘night club’, for which purpose I propose to acquire the buildings and grounds of a certain disused abbey. Matters would be progressed through the offices of a firm of solicitors in Exeter. I would expect no less of my bride than that she join me in this venture, which should be both entertaining and profitable.
I will require my bride to possess the following attributes. She should be young, though of legal age to conduct business affairs. She should possess an appropriate ‘nationality’ or ‘citizenship’, as I believe it is now termed, to provide me with a right of residence in her country. She should be pretty, though not in a conventional way – the style you call ‘gothic’ is closest to the fashion of my own culture. She must be prepared to accept my unsocial hours. And she should be prepared to engage enthusiastically in sexual practices that might once have been regarded with dread and defined as perverse, though I believe these days (judging by your television programming) are considered no more than slightly unusual if not amusingly ‘quaint’.
Following a properly consummated marriage – by which I mean consummated according to my own heritage and tradition – I will be prepared to offer the greatest gift possible for any mortal. As my get, and from my own historical bloodline, my bride will receive the benefit of immortality.
Please always be assured of my most sanguine attention in this matter.
Yours in darkness,
Reposted from http://shortfuseleicester.wordpress.com/ – Short Fuse is a monthly short story/flash fiction event at the Y Theatre in Leicester.
Coming Up: RETOX Tuesday January 19th, 8pm
Roll over Burroughs and Bukowski – Short Fuse Presents a night of literary excess and intoxicating polemic
Topping the bill, we have dope-dealing legend HOWARD MARKS – AKA Mr Nice Guy – riffing on the reefer
A heady line-up in store:
CK Walsh’s thought provoking paper on ‘Drugs and the Internet’…
Nicholas Lezard’s highly original take on the 12 Steps…
Extracted from ‘Fruitcake’, Rob Gee’s darkly comic tales from the psychiatric ward, law and disorder and attendant chemical cocktails…
Jon Vagg’s short story about spaced out vampire clubbers
Helen Burke’s flash fiction about a busted party
Watch this space! Book tickets at The Y Box Office on: 0116 255 7066