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Thursday, 10 April 2014

AtoZ Day 9: I is for Immortality, Impundulu, Innocent Blood

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Immortality

Many mythological vampires are demonic in nature, giving them immortality by default and they feed often because they enjoy it. Others are walking corpses who decay as they go along if they do not get blood or life essence and hence they feed because they have to.

The idea of living forever is attractive to people because death is dark and scary for most. Most religions have as part of their foundation a guarantee that something  comes next, so the option of never having to find out, never having to cross that barrier is enticing. I wonder how many of us, given such a chance, would turn our back if the only proviso was that we had to drink a little blood?

Having to kill, now that would be a deal breaker for me, but sneaking a little drink here and there; totally doable. Not that I'm sure I'd want to live forever, but for longer than allocated with no fear of disease or death, now that's attractive, as long as I can take my loved ones with me.

What do you think of the idea of Immortality?

Creature Feature:

Impundulu


This is a vampiric bird creature, or at least this is the shape it chooses to use most, and according to Wikipedia its name means 'lightning bird'. I Love Werewolves points out it gets the name because it can strike lightning from its talons.

Vampire Underworld says that the bird is a witch's servant or familiar and the creature is passed down the female line and must be kept well fed so it will not turn on its owner. The Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology goes further and says if it is owned by a non-witch it must be used regularly or it will turn and kill the woman who owns it.

In some legends of the bird is can shift into the form of an attractive human male as noted by Myth Beasts and Vampire Underworld and it uses this form to hunt women and drain them of their blood.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Innocent Blood (1992)
Rating: 15
Summary: Marie lives for sex and blood and she never plays with her food, so the two are always separate. She picks her victims carefully, only killing those she considers evil. When feeding on Sallie, a mob boss, her feeding is interrupted and she fails to complete the central nervous system disconnect to make sure he does not come back. With the help Joe, a cop who was undercover in the mob, she must then track down Sallie and prevent him making an army of mob vampires.
Why you should watch this: It's simply brilliant. It's funny, the vampires are superb and Marie is wonderful in the way she goes from looking completely innocent to cold hard killer in a heart beat. The way her relationship evolved with Joe is also perfectly done.

Mortal? 
(#9 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

With Alicia's phone number newly in her contacts, who knew they had mobile reception in hell, Ianthe carried Lilith to Cal's car. The puppy was very heavy, but seemed quite happy to be going home with what had been, until half an hour previously, a complete stranger.

It turned out hellhounds ate fresh meat, the fresher the better and Alicia had given Ianthe all the details she needed to set up a supplier. Alicia had recommended that she add in some human meat from time to time if she wanted Lilith to be particularly vicious with strangers, but Ianthe hadn't mentioned she didn't go in for that sort of thing. She hadn't wanted to offend the succubus and she was sure Lilith would be fine on steak and chicken.

However, it was strange, Cal had been all for Ianthe getting the puppy before she had, but now he seemed pensive.

"What's up?" she asked.

Cal looked at her while opening the driver's side door.

"Get in," he said, so she did, cradling the puppy to her chest as she tried to put on her seatbelt.

"So?" she asked.

"Hellhounds don't bond just like that," Cal said, pulling out of his parking space.

Ianthe looked down at the cuteness in her arms.

"I didn't do anything," she promised.

"Oh I know that," Cal replied, "Alicia would have at least chased you out or tried to kill you if you had. No, something is going on here."

Red eyes looked up at her out of an adorable face. She couldn't think of any reason a hellhound might have simply picked her.

"She was born for you," Cal said, looking at her and the puppy in a very serious manner as they waited at the junction.

"Don't be ridiculous," she replied.

Even the supernatural had their superstitions and she would have none of it.

"I'm serious," Cal insisted, "and there's one way to find out."

"How?" she asked, humouring him.

"Hellhounds live a long time," he replied, "but when on earth they aren't immortal. The most they live is a couple of centuries, because they give up part of their demon heritage to cross over to this reality."

Ianthe nodded, that much she did know. She knew Alex had had a hound once; there was a painting of it in the library.

"And so?"

"A hound born for an immortal remains immortal, even when they cross over," Cal told her.

Now that she had never heard, but then again she didn't hold with stupid beliefs. Becoming a vampire had opened her eyes to many things and ridiculous ideas was one of them.

"How do you pick up these things?" she asked, shaking her head. "Anyway, what difference does it make, there is no way to tell what Lilith will grow up to be or how long she will live?"

"I know someone who could tell," Cal said and Ianthe just knew she was being dragged along whether she liked it or not.

An hour later she was sitting in a cluttered lounge surrounded by random odds and ends. Lilith was still on her lap, eyeing the old man across from them with suspicion.

"Oh, very interesting," he said, peering at them through stereotypical round glasses. "No doubt at all."

"What, Krill?" Cal asked.

"Bound souls, yep, for definite," Krill said; "the little lady is bound to her mistress."

"We know that," Cal said, sounding just a little irritated, "but what about the puppy? Is she immortal?"

"Of course," Krill said as if it was obvious, "it's as plain as the nose on your face. Stop asking stupid questions."

Ianthe had absolutely no idea what to say to that.

"But why?" she finally blurted out.

"Now that's a sensible question," Krill said and smiled. "No idea, but I'd look into that if I were you. Bound to be important."

Then the old man stood up, walked over to a bookcase that was as full of action figures as it was of books and began rearranging them.

"Come on," Cal said, "I'll take you home."

There wasn't anything she could say to that. They didn't talk on the way and she thanked Cal when he dropped her off, but that was it.

"Why are you for me?" she asked, lifting the puppy so they were eye to eye.

Lilith just licked her face and made her laugh.

It might be centuries before she found out, after all, these things didn't work on mortal time. It was a brick in the road that was her life and it would do no good worrying about it.


"Come on," she said, cuddling Lilith back to her chest, "let's go and find you some supper."

~~*~~
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.

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40 comments:

  1. There is a scene in John Carpenter's Vampires where Cardinal Alba states that as he is getting older, he essentially fears death and not convinced there is a God, so made a deal with Valek to become immortal.

    I was also thinking of an espisode of Buffy, where Anya granted a wish that created an alternate world where she never came to Sunnydale. It featured the Master once again, and I recall him complaining about a human that kept looking at her, and envied another vampire (I think Willow) for her passion for the kill, to which he lost in his old age.

    To reference the living forever as a curse, I would need to mention Q from Star Trek Voyager.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Two sides to the argument - fear of death, but how do you keep things interesting. :)

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  2. I'm dealing with immortality for one of my "I" posts, because as we learn more about medical science, who knows how long we can extend life? Personally I wouldn't want to live forever, but I'd take a few extra healthy centuries if I didn't have to kill anyone to get them.

    Innocent Blood sounds like a good movie. I'll have to check that one out!

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    1. Me too, me too, or immortality with a way out always sounds nice :)
      It is a great movie - very funny in places. I so love how they did the sex scene.

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  3. Love your posts, Tasha. Four posts per letter is quite ambitious. Getting hooked on the fiction, too. Though the idea of immortality is intriguing, I don't know if I could ever get used to drinking blood in order to achieve it. Even the odd nip here and there might ultimately sour me on the idea.

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    1. Thank you :). I think I could get used to the odd nip, but definitely not having to kill someone. That would horrify me.

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  4. Living forever does sound enticing, but in the long run, I think it'd be more of a curse. Sure, you'd get to see history as it happens, but you also get to see everyone you love die. Maybe a hermit vampire that only interacted to feed on people would like that existence. (I so want to write a vampire hermit now! LOL)

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. Do it! A vampire hermit could be so cool. The question is what brings them out of their lair to perpetuate the story? :)

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  5. Hi Tasha - living forever would be incredibly hardwork .. I'll be happy to go in my time - I hope it's not for a while yet though! But I'd like to know what happened and what happens to this earth of ours over time .. whether that would be possible or not - that's what I'd like .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I can imagine that it would be tiring living forever; the never ending struggle to keep going. I like the idea where some vampire characters sleep for years to rest and then come back later when refreshed.

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  6. I don't think I'd want to be immortal, not truly immortal, i.e. living for ever, but a little blood for extending my life indefinitely until I chose not to any more sounds interesting, as long as I had my family around me - loneliness is still loneliness, however old you are.

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  7. I thought vampires were meant to be immortal and then I read Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy where vampires can be killed with a stake, There goes immortality. I prefer to be mortal, prospect of death makes life worth living.

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    1. I suppose you would have to find something else to motivate you if you had forever wouldn't you. Good point :).

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  8. I loved Innocent Blood. Great flick.

    Immortality would be boring I think and sad. Watching people die all the time. Not for me.

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

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It is isn't it and yet so many people don't seem to have seen it. I keep hoping for a blu-ray since my dvd is getting old, but it's not come up yet.

      Yeah, you'd have to be able to spread the immortality to those you came to love, which I suppose is an advantage of being a vampire. The whole killing thing is the downside :)

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  9. I need to innocent blood on my list. Haven't seen it. Another great snippet today. Loving it.

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    1. It's a really good movie, one of my favs. Thank you :)

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  10. The thought of immortality is intriguing, to say the least. It would be wonderful to watch the world as it evolves, but I can see it as a lonely existence.

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    1. The question is how many people can you make immortal before there is too much of an imbalance I suppose. I imagine it couldn't be very many, but human contact tends to breed human contact so there would have to be a limit.

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  11. I agree that the idea of immortality is an attractive one. Like you, I would also like to take along loved ones, nor would I want to kill. What makes vampire stories compelling, however, is that they often don't have a choice, and I like the tragic element this introduces.

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    1. Yes, that can be a big factor in some vampire stories. I do get fed up when all the vampire does is angst though :).

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  12. I discussed immortality in my supernatural-thriller series because my MC is immortal. She didn't like the idea of being immortal because she didn't want to see all of her loved ones die, and she definitely didn't want to witness the end of the world. Funny enough, that book also has vampires in it. Both the immortal kind and the kind that are just walking corpses. ;)

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    1. Sounds complicated and very interesting. I imagine immortality with no way out and no warning would be rather shocking. I always liked HIghlander for that.

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  13. I have zero interest in living forever. Frankly, the future is f*cked!

    Precious Monsters

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    1. You never know, human beings might surprise you, or nearly annihilate themselves and then surprise you :).

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  14. I think immortality would get droll. It's death that makes life and time precious. I'd end up whining like Louie. :) I was disappointed Dracula was canceled. It was an interesting spin on the classic tale.

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    1. It would be hard to keep finding things that are interesting, but I suspect without the worry of death exploring the planet would take a while. All depends on the limits of the immortality really, I suppose.
      I didn't realise Dracula had been cancelled, I'm surprised.

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  15. I really don't think I would want to live forever. Life is short, so it would be great to gain a few more years, but I wouldn't want full on immortality. I imagine it would get pretty boring.

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    1. That's why I'd want a way out, so if it came to it there was an ending.

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  16. There seems to be an abundance of mythical animals that like to seduce human women. What does that tell us about human psychology and nature?... I wonder. :D

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

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    1. Some of us like to dream about dangerous seducers? Or, in some cases, a lot of the legends were written by men and women were seen as easy prey?

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  17. Cute hellhound. =) I LOVE writing about immortal creatures, but only because they're so easily tortured. I believe people are eternal, so the idea of living forever doesn't scare me, but I darn well better have a perfected body when it happens to me. =)

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    1. I would very much like there to be a - gain perfect body - clause in all immortality - it would only be fair. I'd rather not hobble through eternity, although there are worse things I suppose :).

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  18. Live and learn as they say, and today I learned among other things, that hell houngs prefer fresh meat. Chicken? Hah! I like the reasons given on the types of vampires who eat for pleasure and survival. http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

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  19. At my age, immortality is a definite no. Now, if I was still 18 with the body to go with it, maybe. ;) Only joking, thumbs down to immortality for me.
    Well, that's me caught up. Back to normal and my daily fix of vampires. :)

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    1. I like to think that with immortality would be granted youth - it would only be fair :). Thank you so much for visiting.

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  20. I think immortality, like anything else, has its good points and bad. That said, I love the idea of living forever!

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    1. It is kind of enticing isn't it. The idea of all that time to do whatever you wished.

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