After some enlightening responses (thank you!!) to the original post, I’ve decided to change this a bit xD
So, instead of jumping right in, let’s actually explain what I mean when I say “classic” vamps. I wrote “Dracula-style” in the original post, but that’s the wrong label to use. Basically what I mean by classic is the iconic idea of a vampire. So, the pale skin, the black tux, the aversion to garlic and sunlight and crosses, the stuff that you would see in a cartoon making a vampire joke. They sleep in coffins, poof into bats, maybe hypnotize people a bit, that kind of thing.
There’ll be posts on what I think about the idea of “vampire mythology” being a set-in-stone thing later, but this just a lighthearted start. And my first post, woo! So let’s get on with the edited version of Problems for “Classic” Vamps. And please note, this is intended to be edutainment, not straight-up history class xD
Blood does NOT stain teeth. Thank you, folks! But seriously though, always remind your vamps to brush and floss for healthy fangs (and to avoid blood breath, of course).
Fluorescent lights emit UV rays. Which means if your vampire is sun-sensitive, there’s a good chance they’re sensitive to indoor lights, too. Scarves and sunglasses, mate. Scarves and sunglasses.
Garlic is evil. Stay away from Pizza Hut at all costs.
I won’t say church is evil ’cause this is the internet, but. Those crucifixes might cause some discomfort for your vamp. Might wanna experiment with other belief systems. Or just pray from home, that works too.
Immortality lasts a long time. Unless you wanna cop out and make your vamp have amnesia, they’re gonna have a lot of memories from their long, long pasts. They’ll also have lots of abilities/hobbies (knit one, purl two, yo) and experience from staying alive for so long. Unless, of course, they’ve been in a crypt for all this time. Then their language skills might not be so good.
Classic vamps transform. Into mist, wolves, bats! So be careful with windy nights, dog catchers, and white-nose syndrome.
The basket was full of dyed skeins of wool and linen thread.
Some I had been given by Jocasta, some I had spun myself. The difference was obvious, but even the lumpy, awkward-looking strands I produced could be used for something. Not stockings or jerseys; perhaps I could knit a tea cozy— that seemed sufficiently shapeless to disguise all my deficiencies.
Jamie had been simultaneously shocked and amused to find that I didn’t know how to knit. The question had never arisen at Lallybroch, where Jenny and the female servants kept everyone in knitted goods. I had taken on the chores of stillroom and garden, and never dealt with needlework beyond the simplest mending.
“Ye canna clickit at all?” he said incredulously. “And what did ye do for your winter stockings in Boston, then?”
“Bought them,” I said.
He had looked elaborately around the clearing where we had been sitting, admiring the half-finished cabin.
“Since I dinna see any shops about, I suppose ye’d best learn, aye?”
“I suppose so.” I dubiously eyed the knitting basket Jocasta had given me. It was well equipped, with three long circular wire needles in different sizes, and a sinister-looking set of four double-ended ivory ones, slender as stilettos, which I knew were used in some mysterious fashion to turn the heels of stockings.
“I’ll ask Jocasta to show me, next time we go down to River Run. Next year perhaps.”
Jamie snorted briefly and picked up a needle and a ball of yarn. “It’s no verra difficult, Sassenach. Look— this is how ye cast up your row.” Drawing the thread out through his closed fist, he made a loop round his thumb, slipped it onto the needle, and with a quick economy of motion, cast on a long row of stitches in a matter of seconds. Then he handed me the other needle and another ball of yarn. “There— you try.”
I looked at him in complete amazement.
“You can knit?”
“Well, of course I can,” he said, staring at me in puzzlement. “I’ve known how to clickit wi’ needles since I was seven years old. Do they not teach bairns anything in your time?”
“Well,” I said, feeling mildly foolish, “they sometimes teach little girls to do needlework, but not boys.”
“They didna teach you, did they? Besides, it’s no fine needlework, Sassenach, it’s only plain knitting. Here, take your thumb and dip it, so …”
And so he and Ian— who, it turned out, could also knit and was prostrated by mirth at my lack of knowledge— had taught me the simple basics of knit and purl, explaining, between snorts of derision over my efforts, that in the Highlands all boys were routinely taught to knit, that being a useful occupation well suited to the long idle hours of herding sheep or cattle on the shielings.
“Once a man’s grown and has a wife to do for him, and a lad of his own to mind the sheep, he maybe doesna make his own stockings anymore,” Ian had said, deftly executing the turn of a heel before handing me back the stocking, “but even wee laddies ken how, Auntie.”
I cast an eye at my current project, some ten inches of a wooly shawl, which lay in a small crumpled heap at the bottom of the basket. I had learned the basics, but knitting for me was still a pitched battle with knotted thread and slippery needles, not the soothing, dreamy exercise that Jamie and Ian made of it, needles clicketing away in their big hands by the fire, comforting as the sound of crickets on the hearth.
Not tonight, I thought. I wasn’t up to it. Something mindless, like winding up the balls of yarn. That I could do. I laid aside a half-finished pair of stockings Jamie was making for himself— striped, the show-off— and pulled out a heavy skein of fresh-dyed blue wool, still redolent with the heavy scents of its dyeing.