Monday 28 April 2014

AtoZ Day 24: X is for Xanthodont, Xiang Shi

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I'm guessing most of you haven't come across this word, and yes I am scraping the barrel here, but it does work :). A xanthodont is a person with yellow teeth and we all know that not all vampires care about personal hygiene.

Several vampires are nasty creatures not much better than zombies and they crawl out of the grave. Since oral hygiene wasn't exactly prevalent in earlier times the state of their teeth is likely to have only been worse. Imagine a waxy skinned, bloodshot eyed, death smelling creature coming towards you with long yellow fangs dripping with saliva in its mouth - ewwww!

Okay, I know I pushed this one a bit, but can you do any better? What words beginning with x can you think of that can be associated with vampires?

Creature Feature:

Xiang Shi (Jiangshi)

This is a Chinese vampire and it moves around by hopping. They can look relatively okay or be horrible and bloated depending on how rotten the corpse is. According to Wikipedia they have greenish-white skin and long white hair and Teresa Wilde adds glowing red eyes.

These vampires occur where there has been violent death from suicide, hanging, drowning or smothering and if a person died without proper burial. Cats were also problematic because if they jumped over a body it would become one of these vampires. There are many protections against them and you can read them all at the full post at Land of Theives and Ghosts.

Movie Recommendation:

Sorry, no rec today because I couldn't find a vampire movie I had seen beginning with the letter X. Have a picture of Tom Hiddleston as a vampire as an apology :).

On the Inside 
(#24 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

The door from the altar room to the next one was slightly ajar, but the space beyond was completely dark. Even her vampire eyes could pick out very little from her current angle. Listening intently, she searched with her other senses, but there was no sign of the priest. As carefully as she knew how, she pulled the door further open and stepped into the next room.

All her senses were on high alert.

There were windows in the room; she could see the outlines, but they were blacked out, which explained the near total darkness. Her eyes adjusted automatically, picking out everything in monotones and giving her an idea of the area. It wasn't clear, but it was enough to show her the way.

This space had not been in the dream. She had no idea what she was walking into, but at least it seemed to be devoid of human life. It looked as if there was furniture all around the edge of what was a reasonably large room, but there wasn't anything in the middle. However, there was a faint sliver of light near the centre that Ianthe guessed was the hatch into the rest of the house.

The moment she stepped forward into the open space she knew she had made a mistake. Magic lanced up her nerves and for a second her body seemed to be totally out of her control. It was as if she blinked and her brain disconnected. When it reconnected she found herself standing up straight, unable to move.

As if that wasn't bad enough, lights flashed on all around the room and someone began to laugh. Her eyes screamed in protest, but she refused to close them as danger threatened.

"Just like a fly," said a familiar voice.

The priest stepped out from behind what appeared to be a very carefully stacked set of boxes and, even though there were bright spots in her vision, she had her first good look at him. He did not have the face of an elderly man, in fact he barely looked forty. There were a few lines around his eyes and on his forehead, but he didn't even really appear middle aged. If he hadn't had the crazed set to his features he would have been handsome.

"Now I have you," he said and all but snarled at her.

That was when the illusion shattered. The priest's teeth were almost completely yellow. They reminded her of the teeth of a corpse in the ground a few years and it was if there was corruption on the inside even if there wasn't anything to see on the outside.

"What do you want with me?" she asked as she tried to will her limbs to move.

It was as if heavy mud had settled all over her body, gluing her arms to her sides and her feet to the floor. She could barely twitch a finger.

"I want your life," was the simple reply.


"I need your strength," the priest said, walking round the edge of what Ianthe could now see was a circle carved into the floor.

The groove of the circle was filled with something white; she guessed it was salt. Salt on its own was not dangerous to supernatural creatures, but it could be used as a conduit for power.

"You believed I was an ignorant fool," he said, "but I have not spent my time idly. I know how to free my soul from him and I will use you to do it."

"But I never did anything to you," she protested.

Her fingers were tingling and she realised she could not feel her toes.

"You gave your soul to him," the priest snapped back.

"I did not."

He sneered at her, his lips curling back from those vile yellow teeth.

"You can't deny what you are, hell-spawn," he said; "you gave your soul to the darkness for immortality. You failed where I prevailed."

Ianthe felt like laughing, she might have if she hadn't been focused on staying alive. She needed time.

"So Ren didn't sell you that detail," she said, letting the bitterness into her tone.

"What?" was the reluctant, but instant question.

"I never chose this," she said and fought to keep her vampire nature inside. If she could gain his sympathy, even for a few minutes it might help. "I was a mistake. Alex..."

The priest actually flinched at the name, almost turning away.

"He," she said sharply, not wanting to lose the man's focus, "was feeding from me when he was attacked. I was dying and his blood turned me. This is not my fault."

"You live in his house."

"Tradition; you must remember that."

"You are his beloved child."

It sounded as if the priest was trying to convince himself of that point.

"I am the worst embarrassment of his life," she said, "and he would love to see me dead. He can barely stand to look at me. You kill me you do him a favour."

Even if it wasn't true it might give her a chance.

"Yet here you are, hunting like a good little vampire," the priest countered.

"You were hunting me, what was I supposed to do?"

He stood there just looking at her with his wide, less than sane eyes and she started to hope. The tingling in her limbs had lessened, as if whatever he was doing had paused. Just maybe she had a chance of talking her way out.

"Accident?" he asked.

She tried to nod, but of course she could barely move.

"Yes," she replied.

For a few moments she thought she saw sanity flicker through his troubled gaze. Then it was gone, just as quickly.

"It makes no difference," he said; "I need your power to destroy him. Take comfort, I will free your soul."

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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  1. Nope, I can't do any better than that!! I don't think it's reaching, either. Vampire = yellow teeth. Seems legit to me!

  2. Sorry, I wouldn't even know where to begin! But, I think you have it covered with the one you found. Definitely does the trick.

    Dum-dum-dum, will Ianthe escape, or is this the end. ;)

  3. I like your apology for no rec :)

    And thanks for that not so lovely mental image first thing in the morning - I think I'll stick with Adam!

  4. Xenophobia

    Vampires are very inclusive of their kind and their houses, holding no love to anyone outside of that. There are excpetions of course, but vampires tend to stay with those that sired them, thus staying with their house. The idea of defecting to another house is a foreign thought and liking someone of another house or another species (ie. werewolf, human), while not unknown to happen, is unlikely.

  5. A hopping greenish vampire. Okay, my story mind is a racing as well as my imaginary one. Did a great job with the X word today. X was hard one to find good words for.

    1. Yep - fun, but hard - I did a bit of dictionary hopping to find one I liked :)

  6. I want your life... great line!
    Good picture to stick in place of the movie.
    Yellow fangs... never thought of that before. Eww. That does make them scarier!

    Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !

    1. Thank you.
      Tom is very pretty isn't he :)
      I suppose some of the vampire I've been talking about this month would have yellow fangs since most of them aren't very pleasant :)
      Thanks for visiting.

  7. This part totally cracked me up - "A xanthodont is a person with yellow teeth and we all know that not all vampires care about personal hygiene." I actually went to the dentist this morning so I feel very relieved that no one can call me a xanthodont. :)

    1. Stand on the high ground and look down on those poor, dentist free vampires :D

  8. Your imagery and prose, the way you built up her entrapment, that was amazingly done. Beautiful! And now I'm wondering how the heck she's going to get out of this one.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  9. Nope, I have not heard of a xanthodont before. Your description of a vampire with waxy skin and yellow fangs gave me the creeps! A hopping vampire? Normally that would be funny, but I've seen many Asian movies and they can jump amazingly high in their fight scenes. There would be no escaping a Xiang Shi!

    1. I can never help thinking that I'd make a really bad Xiang Shi - I can't jump at all. I didn't even make it into the sandpit doing the long jump at school (I am not kidding :)). So I always find it hard to take hopping vampires seriously, but you're probably right - Jackie Chan or Jet Lee as a vamp would be scary!

  10. Oh my. A hopping, bloated vampire sounds really freaky and wrong. Add yellow teeth to that for extra creepiness. Xanthodont is a good word, and now I've learned something new, which is always nice. Vampires need to take good care of their chompers. ;)

    1. I suppose the ones that seem to decay would have a problem with their fangs the same way they have a problem with the rest of themselves :)

  11. Hey, that picture is just fine...:)
    I think you've done pretty well to find anything for x - besides, vampires are all about the teeth!

  12. I can't think of any vampire movies that start with or feature X in any way.

    Unless you want to count the "X-Rated" Dracula movie from the late 70s.

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

    1. I think there are some Asian vampire movies, but I have no idea what they are about and I haven't seen them so I can't review them :).

      LOL - vampires have been popular for soft porn for a long time - I never thought to look under that genre ::g::
      Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
      FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

  13. Shit! Take comfort? Oh crap. When's Daddy coming?

    1. :D Alex really should have tidied up his own mess a whole ago, shouldn't he.

  14. Visually epic today. I need to get rid of those images out of my head now. Ick!

    1. They were a little unpleasant, we're they :) Sorry.

  15. Yellow teeth, foul breath and body odor hopping vampire. Ugh! Holding my breath as I type. Lanthe really stepped in the spider's trap. Michelle

    1. Yep, really not pretty vampires today :)
      That she did!

  16. I can imagine a vampire story where vamps call humans xanthodont as a pejorative term :D

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

    1. Yeah, if their immortality grants them perfect teeth as well as perfect skin, it could work well :)

  17. Interesting! I'd never before heard of either. I have learned so many things while blogging A to Z. :-)

    1. Me too - so many new and interesting things to read about from all the participants :)

  18. Snerk. Hopping vampire. I'm imagining a deranged Easter bunny with fangs.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

    1. Don't joke about bunnies, just look at the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog! ;)

  19. Every vampire they push in movies and on TV has perfectly white fangs. Never any dental problems.

    1. I've seen a few who have, but I think it's easier just to stick fangs on the pearly whites of the Hollywood set ;)

  20. You're right...I'd never heard of that one before. Going in my dictionary.


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