My life is quiet and mostly non-violent but one message from my cousin could cause me to lose everything I've sacrificed for my peaceful life.
Remembrance Day is just an excuse for vampires and humans to throw themselves a parade. They like to pretend they did us werewolves a favor. But I guess it's not all bad. I do get cheap booze, live in an underground lunar city, which some would find cool, and I am employed. Sejanus Industries isn't a benevolent corporate ruler, but they're the devil I made a deal with. My life is quiet and mostly non-violent but one message from my cousin could cause me to lose everything I've sacrificed for my peaceful life.
The Eternal Conflict Between Werewolves and Vampires
For anyone familiar with the paranormal genre, we know werewolves and vampires might as well be Capulets and Montagues, Lannisters and Starks, Tupac and…well you get the picture. The history of both of their origins could and have been explored in dissertations for thousands of pages. They share many similarities in that they’re both myths and legends to explain things early civilizations didn’t understand. We can find vampire myths dating all the way back to Mesopotamia. Werewolves show up in the Epic of Gilgamesh which was written 2100 BC. These stories are ancient and many of the early legends have a lot of similarities.
So why the beef?
I think what separated werewolves from vampires was the association of vampires with the ruling class. Dracula was a brooding royal figure who fed on his subjects to keep himself alive. It’s not hard to draw social and political parallels, nor was it done so without reason. Likewise, werewolves were, and still are, largely centered around their ancient folklore. They’ve taken on the characteristics of a wolf pack with an alpha. I’m not keen on that characterization since even the originator of the alpha wolf tried relentlessly to pull his claim back when he realized he was wrong, but I digress. We can easily see this divide in shows like True Blood, with characters like Bill and Eric being wealthy and suave whereas werewolves are depicted as feral criminals. As literature and cinema incorporated more and more versions of vampires and werewolves the cultural divide between the two grew wider. We got to Underworld where werewolves, or lycans, were literal slaves to vampires who lived in castles and mansions with literal royalty. Lycans were led by a populist who wanted to bridge the divide. These themes are universal. We see them all over the place like Star Wars, The Hunger Games, and Animal Farm. Most dystopia is based on the glaring inequality of the lower classes vs the upper classes. So it is with vampires and werewolves.
In my book Unrest I explore these themes as well, though through a different angle. The divide between the two wasn’t as stark. There was still some simmering animosity, but friendships and relationships between each other were more common. Both species rose to prominence in different levels of political/social power. That is until the Artemis 1 mission to the moon. I don’t want to give too much away, since I wrote a short story about what happened, but suffice it to say, the schism between the two, along with humans caught in between, exploded. They are at odds again but this time with the full force of the popularity contest zeitgeist of the Twenty-First Century. It becomes less about which is superior and more about who can frame the narrative more effectively, and spin news to further their agenda. Sound familiar?
The ubiquity of their myth is what, I think, makes them such a captivating and enduring genre. Stories and motivations can be as simple as two apex predators sparring for dominion over the night, or as a vehicle for a deeper examination of humanity.
Abandoned hope thickened the air as people streamed between polished stone pillars that fronted this house of false promises. Equity and justice for all were laughable concepts the powerful wielded to fit their will and whim. The sky drizzled and misted enough to be cold, damp and miserable. Its gray cloud cover blunted the vibrant colors of the sparse, yet immaculate landscaping, and the wet air smothered the flowers’ sweet fragrance. I trekked past the throngs of caged miscreants as a lone wolf would pass through a swarm of rodents. The weight of my misdeeds forced my shoulders low, lined my mouth, and left my gaze fierce and steady. Guilt over leaving the cousin who called me sister slowed my steps. Betrayal of my chosen family left the bitter taste of regret on my tongue. Lady Justice, the sullen patron saint of my temporary home, was painted and carved on every available surface. We were told the cloth around her eyes meant Justice was blind and fair. But I know now she didn’t mask her eyes to symbolize the blindness of her virtue. Justice wasn’t blind. She just couldn’t bear to see the truth.
About the author:
Victor Arteaga is a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal stories. Though he’s always been an avid reader, his dream to be a writer was jump-started when he got sober in March of 2015. What began as an exercise to keep his sobriety billowed into a deep and unbridled passion to create. His experiences with addiction and being a first-generation American from immigrant parents inject a flavor of unique authenticity to his characters and worlds that he creates. His imagination is given free rein to conjure worlds and experiences on the page which enthralls and captivates readers.
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