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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

AtoZ Day 2: B is for Blood, Baobhan sith, Byzantium

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Blood

There are many type of vampire and some feed on life energy, but when most of us think of blood sucking when it comes to these fiends of the night.

It is possible that the belief in the dead coming back to drink blood is actually caused by normal signs of decomposition. Some people were seen as being vampires because after death there was seen to be fresh blood on their nose and mouth. This is perfectly normal. When a dead body rots it swells because of gasses created by the decomposition and these are  forced into the torso, which in turn causes pressure and blood to ooze out of the nose and mouth.

Everyone knows that the dead do not bleed, so when staked a dead body should remain inert, right? Not the case if decomposition is under way because the same gases will force blood through the wound and even cause the corpse to make noise. Hence blood is probably the cause of many vampire beliefs.

Of course it's also incredibly sexy to think of a handsome man or beautiful woman nibbling on your neck, so there is that as well.

What is your favourite blood drinking scene from any vampire film, book or TV show? I have to say, for myself I find the scene in Fright Night (1985) where Gerry drinks from Amy to be incredibly intense.

Creature Feature:

Baobhan sith


This lovely lady is a blood sucking fairy from Scottish mythology. According to Wikipedia she is usually in a white or green dress and uses her beautiful appearance to lure unwary travellers into her trap. Then she uses her talons to pierce her prey's neck and drink their blood.

According to The Spooky Isles, however, these ladies are nastier than that. Unless you can protect yourself with iron they'll do more than drink you're blood, they'll dismember and eat you as well.

Then The Vampire Underworld gives more details, saying that she rises from her grave once a year to feed on young men. She can also appear as a raven or crow, so she's a tricky creature.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Byzantium
Rating: 15
Summary: Clara and Eleanor are mother and daughter and vampires, in fact they are vampires that other vampires want to kill and they always run and hide. This time they take refuge in a small seaside town where Clara earns their keep the only way she knows how, with her body, much to the disgust of her daughter. Of course they cannot hide forever.
Why you should watch this: This isn't high budget and it's not fast paced, but it's still brilliant. The characters and the plot drag you in and refuse to let go. The vampire lore is new and interesting and beautifully committed to film. The actors are also superb. I reviewed it in detail over here when I saw it in the cinema: Review: Byzantium
The Taste 
(#2 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

There was nothing quite like the taste of blood for a vampire. Other food was still good, even exquisite given the right chef, but it could not compare to blood. Ianthe bought most of her blood in bags from the local hospital trust. She was registered as having a condition which required it and it set her up quite nicely. She wasn't the only one surviving in such a way, modern society being so vigilant for unusual things, but most of her brethren would have denied it to their dying day, which was a very long time for a vampire.

Ianthe didn't care.

However, it was never quite that simple. Bagged blood was to normal food what feeding from a living donor was to bagged blood. There was nothing like it. Just occasionally Ianthe let herself indulge.

"Well hello, Precious," Grant greeted as she walked into his restaurant; "it's been a while."

"Too long, Mon Cher," she replied and smiled as he kissed her on the hand.

Grant wasn't even close to French, but he managed a very upmarket French restaurant and when she had mentioned she was from French stock he had started to play the game. He never seemed afraid of her, even though he was only human and his playfulness was fun. The establishment was owned by one of the old vampires in the area and it was where everyone came when they wished for a certain kind of company.

"Lauren," Grant flagged down one of the waitresses, "please show Miss Jawara to one of the back booths."

"Yes, Sir," the young woman said politely; "if you would like to come this way, Miss Jawara."

Lauren made sure she had everything she needed including the menu and a very nice glass of champagne before leaving her in the dimly lit, high sided booth. She perused the menu until Grant reappeared with a completely different one designed only for his special clients.

"I'll give you a few minutes to make your selection," Grant said, "just wave when you are ready."

"Thank you," she replied and flashed her eyes at him.

He inclined his head at the show of trust, clearly pleased. A vampire revealing themselves in any way to a human other than during feeding or attacking was a sign of respect.

The new menu was full of pictures of people. Everyone at the establishment was a volunteer and there was a club below through a very thick floor where potential donors waited and enjoyed Grant's hospitality. Never let it be said that the vampire community was not prepared. Hiring a donor wasn't cheap either and she knew for a fact a good percentage went to the one being hired. Most of the ones Ianthe had used did it because they enjoyed it rather than for the money, but she assumed it was a silver lining.

She perused the images and read the short bios that went with them.

A vampire couldn't taste race in blood other than if the individual stuck to cultural dietary norms, but they could taste sex. Due to hormone levels the blood of women did taste different than the blood of men. It was also very sexual so some vampires had preferences. Ianthe didn't, but she wasn't sure what she was in the mood for.

Most of those in the menu were pretty or handsome young things, all bright eyed and clearly lively, but Ianthe wasn't feeling the pull. Then she turned the page and knew she had found the right one. The women looking back at her from the picture was somewhere in her late thirties by Ianthe's guess (the bio said twenty nine, which was a complete fabrication) and she had an interesting face. Given that Ianthe enjoyed conversation as well as blood she was sure this was her choice.

Grant was by her side before she even had to lift her hand to call him.

"Oh yes," he said as she indicated the woman she had chosen, "very you."

Sipping her champagne, she waited for her companion to arrive.

"Good evening," an alto voice greeted a few minutes later.

"Hello," she replied, looking up at her choice, "my name is Ianthe, please, have a seat."

"Jane," her companion replied, "thank you."

As soon as she sat down Jane politely offered her wrist. As with all things vampire there were protocols and Ianthe took Jane's wrist gently in her fingers. There was no point in continuing if she didn't like her companion's taste and so as etiquette dictated she allowed her fangs to lengthen and took a tiny bite. It might have been small, but as soon as the blood hit her tongue she knew she had chosen well and pleasure flooded her. She did not skimp ofn echoing the sensation back to Jane either, after all, it was only polite.

Jane gasped quietly, flushing as Ianthe watched through her eyelashes. With a flick of her tongue she sealed the small puncture and allowed Jane to take her arm back. The woman appeared somewhat surprised, but pleased and Ianthe knew they were going to have a good time. With any luck they would both end up having a really good time.

~~*~~
A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

get the InLinkz code to add to your blog

64 comments:

  1. I'll have to watch Byzantium. Sounds interesting.

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    1. It's a good movie, very different from most of the big budget blockbusters and well worth seeing. Thank you for dropping by.

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  2. Thank god I read your posts during the day!! Hehe...anyway Byzantium sounds good...will catch it soon!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was a superb movie, but it only had a week release in the cinemas near us so I don't think many people saw it. Thank you for dropping by.

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  3. Nasty, nasty fairy! And thanks for the gory details on decomposition, just what I needed when eating my lunch, sis! ;P

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  4. Byzantium is on my list of movies I have to watch in October for my horror film fest (come back to my blog in October!).

    I LOVE Baobhan sith. They have a special place in my heart as one of the first vampires/faerie creatures I ever wrote about. I guess that was 25 years ago or more!

    Great posts, so excited about this Supernatural A to Z. It is really getting my own creative juices flowing. Or that is coffee. Either way. Great stuff!

    --
    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches

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    1. It's a great movie, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

      I am really enjoying the Supernatural AtoZ too, so many fab posts and people keep adding on too :D.

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  5. So much of Paranormal this AZ! Loving it :)

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    1. Me too - I love reading everyone else's takes on it. Thank you for stopping by.

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  6. Sorry, not into vampires and the like. When I was a young woman they were much scarier than they appear to be today. So were zombies.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.



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    1. I think some are scary and some aren't :D Thanks for returning the visit.

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  7. Some of my favourite Vampire films are: Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu; Guy Maddin's beautiful Dracula: Pages From A Virgin's Diary (it's a black and white, silent except for music, ballet version of Stoker's tale); the moody Swedish film, Let the Right One In; Coppola's succulent 1992 Dracula; and anything with Christopher Lee as Dracula. All fun stuff indeed.

    See ya 'round the web my fellow AtoZer. Check me out: All Things Kevyn.

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    1. I love Let the Right One In and the US version Let Me In, and I adore most versions of Dracula :). Haven't seen the ballet version, however. I didn't really enjoy either version of Nosferatu though, not sure why, although I haven't seen either recently so I may have changed my mind :). Thank you for dropping by.

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  8. I never knew the gasses of a dead body could push blood out. Makes sense if one stops and thinks about it. Neat post.

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    1. I hadn't thought about it either, really, but several sources assure me it can :). Thanks for dropping by.

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  9. Actually, the blood drinking scenes always freaked me out. They're not my favorite.

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    1. Zombies eating people freaks me out, but vampires sucking the life out of someone, not so much :) Of course it depends on the vampire, some are just icky! Thanks for commenting.

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  10. I have been planning on watching Byzantium for a while, now I'll definitely give it a shot. I am not generally big on vampires, but I do go for a good story. :)
    Cheers!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Tales of Colors
    MopDog - The crazy thing about Hungarians...

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    1. It is definitely that :) I hope you enjoy it because I don't think it got enough publicity when it came out.

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  11. Mine is also from Fright Night, but I prefer the one where Gerry drinks from Evil.

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    1. That is indeed a great scene one of my favs from the movie, although, for some reason my brain doesn't think of it as blood drinking because it's all under the coat. I was so annoyed with the way they did it in the remake.
      Thank you so much for commenting.

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  12. I remember reading your ambitious theme during the reveal. You've done an outstanding job! I'm not at all into vampires, but you had me hooked on that excerpt. One of the curse of being a co-host is that we really can only visit participants once since we're trying to visit as many as humanly possible. Maybe a vampire could do better ;-)
    Love your idea of linking up all the supernatural folks. I hope you have a great Challenge. Your post is really amazing.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. Thank you and thank you for stopping by. There are so many good blogs aren't there. I started with twenty must visits from the theme reveal and I'm already up to sixty I want to visit as much as possible. It's bonkers. I can only imagine what it must be like being a co-host. Good luck :).

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  13. For some reason, whenever I think of vampire movies, I think of THE LOST BOYS. Shows you how old I am. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

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    1. That is a good thought - The Lost Boys is one of the best :). It was my entryway movie to the world of vampires. Thank you so much for visiting.

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  14. It's those same gasses that when a casket is opened, the corpse will suddenly rise up. I can see the response of grave robbers, "IT'S ALIVE!!! IT'S ALIVE!!! Stab it, stab it in the heart!!!"

    Of course if I were there, and felt the need to engage in grave robbing, because who doesn't have that need? I'd be like, "You realize you are stabbing a dead person, right?"

    Beautiful woman nibbling on my neck...hmmmm. I do like the appeal of that.

    I'm at a loss for a good blood drinking scene. I don't want to repeat blade again.

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    1. I think I'd be running the other way ever if deep down I knew it was just gasses :).

      Blade is never a bad choice ::g:: Thanks for commenting.

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  15. I watched Being Human until it got too sad and they killed off all the characters. Who does that! Anyway, I haven't read a lot of vampire books. I'm a bit of a sissy, actually. Great post, Tasha. Very creepy.

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    1. I don't know! I get fed up when they kill off the characters too. Forever Knight was bad enough, but at least we only have to pretend one ep didn't happen.

      It's funny, I don't even find scary vampires frightening any more, I think I'm immune. Now ghosts, those can scare the bejezus out of me :).

      Thank you for dropping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  16. My favorite vampire is Damon from the Vampire Diaries. I love him with Elena, so any blood drinking scene with them would be a favorite!

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    1. I have never gotten into Vampire Diaries. I kept meaning to, but kept missing it and then I was so far behind I didn't think I could catch up. Of course I said that about Teen Wolf too and then mainlines two seasons in a week. :) Thanks so much for commenting.

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    2. i read the books and damon was my favorite too. I really wanted him and bonnie to get together. i haven't watched the show, but i've seen the actor that plays damon. he looks almost exactly like how i pictured him. =D

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    3. If you have Netflix, you can catch up - and I highly recommend it! :)

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  17. one of my favorite scenes is the ending in queen of the damned with stuart townsend. when lestat bites jess right before they destroy akasha (or whatever her name was).

    lacroix from forever knight was a favorite of mine as well. and of course, gerard butler in dracula 2000.

    basically i like vamps that aren't afraid of biting. i sort of get tired of the woe's me attitude. dang it! embrace your nature! =D

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    1. Yeah I like vamps ready to just go for it as well, although I like some of the woe is me ones too :). I always had a soft spot for Nick in FK even if sometimes I did want to whop him round the back of the head for being whiny.

      I really enjoyed Queen of the Damned as long as I forget it's supposed to be like the book ::g:: - and I agree, that is a great scene.

      Lacroix, now there is a vampire with much attitude. I loved him in the series, but I wasn't so fond of him in the original movie where he was played by Michael Nader. Gerard Butler is awesome as Dracula 2000.

      Thank you so much for commenting.

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  18. I'm going to learn more than I expected to on some unexpected topics as I read your AtoZ's. Never seen Byzantium.

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    1. I hope not unpleasant though :). Byzantium had such a short release that many have not. Thanks for dropping by.

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  19. I totally fell in love with Moonlight, the TV series. Yeah, it was a little hokey, but there was also something very magnetic about it. Perhaps it's the way they portrayed vampires, the way I'd always imagined them. =)

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    1. I loved Moonlight too - I was so annoyed when they cancelled it. I have to admit I much preferred it (and Bloodties) to Tru Blood and that took off like a rocket. Of course Moonlight had less sex so that could have been it. :)

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  20. Ah you know I never even thought of the origin of it all. Not quite as sexy as modern day vamps lol. I can't think of a favorite vamp drinking scene. Crazy! I know there have been some I've so enjoyed. Maybe one of the funnier ones from Michele Bardsley's Broken Heart series. (it's a town that has a sudden influx of single parent vamps when a rogue gets loose and turns half the town in his adventures) Anyways. Their blood takes on what they eat and one of the heroines has an obsession with godiva chocolates so her donor eats those for her and happy chocolate orgasmic times ensue for her finally getting her chocolate fix since she couldn't eat them herself. lol

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    ~Anna
    herding cats & burning soup.

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    1. Legends rarely are as sexy as novels :). I love the sound of that series. It's one on from Anita Blake where vampires can enjoy food via the experiences of their marked companions. I can only imagine what would happen to a chocolate deprived vampire ::g::. Thank you for stopping in, hope you are enjoying the AtoZ.

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  21. My fav Vampire is Lothaire from Kresley Cole's book Lothaire. :)

    Decadent Kane (blog)

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    1. I haven't heard of that one, I shall have to look it up. Thanks for dropping by.

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  22. I like Kresley Cole's immortals too. Fun and interesting excerpt! :)

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    1. Ooh, two recs, I will definitely have to look it up, thanks.

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  23. Loving the story, can't wait for tomorrow. Ianthe is growing on me! Not literally of course, but that would be interesting!
    As for fave neck-biting scene, honestly can't think of anything at the moment, although Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula from the TV series) can bite my neck any time he wants!

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    1. LOL - vampires with fungus like qualities, now there's an idea ;)
      JRM is very nice to look at isn't he. I tried to get into the TV series, but it didn't grab me. I only had a chance to watch a couple of eps so I shall have to go back when I have more time. Thank you for dropping by.

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  24. I really enjoyed Byzantium and thought it was a really good film - I'm happy to see people rec it :)

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    1. Yay, someone else who has seen it :). I thought it was brilliant. Thanks for dropping by.

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  25. Wot? Corpses make noises? Like, what kind of noises? (All I can think of is fart noises, but then again I had beans last night).

    Love the story, by the way!

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    1. I understand corpses do fart :) It's innocent blood where the pathologist says: "Some nights there's so much farting and belching in here, it's like being in a ballpark."

      Thank you, I'm very glad you're enjoying it.

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  26. I'm not into blood drinking and vampire stuff, but I used to be a blood donor for 15 years. Not sure if anyone drank my blood or used it for something else, surgery maybe >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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    1. I'm suspecting more normal uses like saving lives :) Thank you for dropping by.

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  27. I'm really ticklish on my neck so I don't think I could stand having a vampire nibble on mine. They'd have to gnaw on my wrist. LOL

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. I'm sure some sort of compromise could be reached ;)
      Thanks for stopping in.

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    1. It's fab, isn't it. Thanks for commenting.

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  29. Eats them???? I don't like her much. But at least she focuses on men...lol

    Carrie~Anne at That Dizzy Chick

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    1. Gives us ladies a chance to make a run for it :)
      Thanks for visiting.

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Thank you so much for reading. I love to hear from people. Please leave your comments below.