Friday, July 20, 2018

Guest Blog: Interesting Shorts: Valeska

We welcome Clark back to the blog as he looks at Valeska, a short from the collection Voices of the Damned.

Author: Barbie Wilde

Published 2015.

Contains spoilers

Horror fans will probably best know Ms Wilde as the female Cenobite in Hellraiser II: Hellbound, but in this anthology collection she proves that she is also as adept at writing as she is portraying a horror icon.

The 11 stories contained include 10 previously published works, including The Cilicium Trilogy which are set within Clive Barker's Hellraiser Mythos.

I would add at this point that the stories are erotically charged horror, and therefore perhaps not suitable for younger horror fans (at least until they get a bit older).

The 11th story is the one of most interest for this blog though, being Valeska, the sole vampire story within the collection. This article will, by necessity, be very spoiler heavy

Ms Wilde has used vampire lore as a starting point and added her own twists.

Valeska, the titular character, is a vampire, but not your usual "run of the mill" vampire. She is of a class of vampires known as Seminals. This class of vampire is only female, for reasons that become apparent through the story. Seminals are considered to be a lower class of vampire by the Sanguine, a far more numerous, albeit weaker, vampire class.

The story starts in the present day as Valeska prepares for a nightly hunt. Upon entering a club, she sees a male who takes her eye. By emanating a special perfume from her sexual organs, she is able to ensnare him. This reminded me a little of how some vampires have used hypnosis as a form of ensnaring their prey. She goes to his home with him and seduces him. The scene set is very sexual in nature but necessarily so as it explains the nature of Seminal vampires. They extract the potency and life force needed to survive by sexual means instead of drinking blood.

As she is going home she senses another vampire, a Sanguine, who distracts her by informing her that the Sanguine have declared war on the Seminal. Whilst distracted another figure appears behind her and knocks her unconscious.

At this point the author takes us back to 1348, enabling her to explain her own vampire creation myth. She explains how famine had forced a family to take the words of Christ literally "This is my blood, drink it; this is my flesh, eat it". Suspicions within the village has forced them to leave one night and head East, naming themselves the Sanguine and continuing their ways without interference.

We move forward to 1692, and meet Patrizia, a Sanguine, who is walking near her village, thinking she is safe as Sanguine are far stronger than humans. She senses a presence and sees a dark clad figure. We learn this figure is called Varazlo, and he is far stronger than Patrizia. Initially against her will, yet later willingly, she is seduced by him. He tells her she is now carrying a child. This child is the first Seminal.

Seminal vampires are only ever female, whereas Sanguine can be either gender. The 2 classes of vampire tend to avoid each other except to mate, and any child born will become Seminal if female, but males will be sent to be raised by Sanguine.

The story returns to the present day and Valeska, who awakens to find herself on a bed. She feels that whilst unconscious she was raped. The perpetrator enters the room and we learn it is Varazlo, who although a vampire, is of a type unknown to both Sanguine and Seminal. He admits that he did indeed rape Valeska while she slept, and that she now carries his son, who is of a new class of vampire, more powerful than any that have come before.

He states he has done this because he is angered by the spats between the 2 vampire classes. As he turns to the door Valeska, who is understandably furious with him, attacks him, knocking him half unconscious when his head hits the door.

Valeska uses the Seminal way of feeding whilst he is coming round, extracting his life force until he dies before stealing his clothing and making her escape.

The story ends with her walking in the rain, pondering whether to keep the child growing within her or not, knowing it will have a huge impact on the vampire races.

Ms Wilde's prose is easy to follow with characters you can empathise with.

I found it a highly enjoyable story, and hope the author will write further about Valeska, as I feel there is more to be told about her and the vampire classes.

I would recommend the book to anybody who likes their horror with a healthy dose of both blood and sex.

In Paperback @ Amazon US

In Paperback @ Amazon UK

No comments: