Dude, I’m a fan. No insults meant, just some good fun. (Well, except Twilight because, y’know… *sparkles*.)
If I am ever a hero or regular good guy cursed with vampirism, and the plot revolves around my desire to become human again and/or my romantic involvement with a human, I will be certain to do the following:
1. I will cultivate my academic interest in humans, increasing my knowledge of their behaviors in order to blend in as much as possible, and I will go so far as taking acting lessons and updating my wardrobe to ensure this. A simple t-shirt and jeans never go out of style, and the opera cape and foreign accent can be saved for costume parties.
2. I will be certain to change my name to something that is appropriate to the locality that I am currently residing in and the backstory I have fabricated, and is not either a tip-off of my pre-vampirism profession or an exceedingly rare name in the area. Also, once a name has outlived its usefulness, it will be immediately discarded and I will not consider using another form or translated version of it ever again, no matter how cool I think it was.
3. I will do a full, discreet background check on any humans who work with me or gain an interest in me. That way, I can reduce or eliminate any possibility that my human friends and associates aren’t either sycophantic vampire wannabes or vampire hunters, and are not likely to fall into either side.
4. I will not use my vampire powers in public, for any reason. While it might be tempting to hypnotize the beat cop to prevent myself from getting a ticket, I will have encouraged suspicion in that cop’s mind if my attempt at manipulating their thoughts fails.
5. I will make sure to move every ten years, regardless of how attached to my current life I am. It will take longer than that for people to realize I haven’t aged at all, and so I should be in the clear.
6. I will take on jobs where my photo-phobia and strange dietary habits aren’t questioned (such as coal-miner), or eccentricity is expected of me (such as indie-rock musician).
7. I will not take on a job that makes me a highly visible member of society. The plethora of photographs and video of me from that time period will make it easy for an enemy to identify me later.
8. I will not hang onto items from previous lives. These items will also make me recognizable to those enemies who are searching for me. Instead, I will sell all my antique items to museums or collectors, and I will donate more recent items to charity. This will give me a clean slate, a few extra bucks to tide me over until my new life begins, and the satisfaction of knowing someone in greater need than I will be happy.
9. Though an abandoned warehouse or decrepit Victorian mansion may appeal to my Gothic sensibilities, and I may have the urge to spend my newly-liberated cash on an expensive domicile, I will be mindful that a humble two-bedroom bungalow in the suburban area of the city I now live in will raise fewer eyebrows.
10. I will not tell the cute archaeologist I’m flirting with that the first four digits on the Mayan stellae she’s studying match my alarm code. That’s just inviting her to break into my home after failing to phone-stalk me.
11. I will find other ways to help my stuck-in-their-teen-years vampire offspring control their blood-thirst, as there are no doubt much better ideas than forcing them to endure the hell of repeating high school over and over again (such as working for me in a store I own, where they will be dealing with humans in a controlled environment and under my watchful eye). Also, if it’s necessary to our current lifestyle that they appear to be school-age, or their knowledge of various disciplines needs to be updated, I will consider homeschooling them or making them take classes online.
12. If I’m moonlighting as a detective (be it gumshoe or government employee), and my partner crashes at my place after fighting with his significant other, I will NOT subject him to my ire at having my solitude shattered. The guy’s clearly got enough on his plate without involving my temper. Instead, I will be gratified that his trust in me is deep enough for him to seek me out first. I will also use my centuries of experience in studying human behavior to gently manipulate him into patching things up with his miffed mate. The sooner they’re happy, the sooner I get my house to myself again. Plus, if I actually support him in his hour of need, I won’t get a call from my ex telling me my partner decided to get drunk at her goth club and is currently scaring her customers away… by dancing the Funky Chicken to a Black Sabbath song.
13. If I fall in love with a human, I will not engage in any behavior that would qualify in the human world as stalking or abuse.
14. I will first determine if she’s a risk to my self-control and the current life I lead (which does not require stalking) and, if I find that she poses no threat, I will inform her upfront about my undead nature. Thus, saving her and myself the heartache and shattering of trust that will surely result from hiding the truth from her, once she realizes she’s in love with me.
15. If she has come to the conclusion on her own, has approached me with her conclusions and is not frightened of me, then clearly she is an open-minded individual, the risk to my own safety is negligent, and I will remind myself to repay her willingness to understand me with full disclosure. Humans who LIKE vampires without being sycophantic worshipers are truly rare, indeed, and I have reason to enjoy the delightful break in my isolation.
16. I will be mindful that searching for a cure to my undead nature is the equivalent of a hearty “F— YOU!” to my fellow vampires and, as such, it would be both better for my determination and for any persons aiding me in my quest if I fully break away from the vampire world. After all, if I intend to flounce this cursed existence, hanging out with other bloodsuckers defeats the purpose of my struggle.
17. If sexual intercourse is possible with my human girlfriend, I will always make sure to use the appropriate contraceptives. If a pregnancy were to result from our intimacies, it will draw the wrong kind of attention to us (from both vampires and vampire hunters) and place her and our unborn child in mortal danger. Also, there is a good chance that going into labor will prove fatal for her. If either or both of us long to have children, then adoption is a far less risky scenario than my human girlfriend becoming pregnant with my half-undead hellspawn.
18. I will NOT operate under the delusion that separating myself from my mortal beloved will guarantee her safety. It is far more likely that she will get into worse trouble, or be duped into an association with my enemies, now that I am no longer present to keep her out of harm’s way.
19. Mindful that my appreciation for humans as more than a snack is, at best an oddity, and at worst a threat to the vampire community, I will equip my home with the latest in anti-burglary systems with an automatic dial to the local police and FBI. Let my enemies try to kill me whilst explaining their way out of an arrest for breaking and entering.
20. If the new burglary system is insufficient, there is no reason I cannot equip myself with a fine assortment of handguns, rifles and military grade weaponry. And a panic room (reinforced with titanium, Tungsten steel and carbon fiber, to prevent being pried open by my enemies who are gifted with superhuman strength) in which to stow away my mortal beloved until the danger has passed.
21. If I receive warning that my enemies will be arriving at my domicile within a few hours, that is more than enough time to create a perimeter around my home, and set up a line of defense. When my enemies cross the open ground between the perimeter and my home, there’s no better way to reach out and touch someone than with either a sniper rifle (for the human, vampire hunting enemies), a rocket launcher (for my non-human enemies) or the C4 landmines that just so happen to be buried in the yard. After all, there’s no rule book that says I’m required to engage opponents in hand-to-hand combat.
22. I will purchase a digital, waterproof watch with an alarm. I will verify the time that the sun rises every day, and set the alarm to go off two hours in advance, so I have plenty of time to get home… while making allowances for traffic jams and other unforeseen, and highly inconvenient, events. That way, it will be much less likely that I will have to cram myself into the trunk of my car to avoid the daylight.
23. If my vampire sire decides to play a cruel trick on me, involving converting my beloved pooch into a bloodthirsty hellhound, I will not “put down” the dog. After all, it is a simple creature, confused by the strange urges it’s experiencing, and it remains loyal and faithful to me. I will train it, instead, to be a highly efficient guard dog and skilled hunter of non-human prey. Sharing the blood of our animal kills forever will be a small price to pay for eternal, unquestioning devotion… and the sheer pleasure of watching Fido take a chunk out of my sire’s ass in revenge.
24. I will delve into the multitude of vampire-like medical issues that mortals have been known to experience, such as porphyria and xeroderma pigmentosum, and use this knowledge to concoct a believable cover story to explain why I can’t simply “hang out” with my human friends during the daylight hours. Saying I have a specific illness, and then explaining symptoms of said illness (which my vampirism conveniently falls into), will encourage sympathy rather than suspicion. And sympathetic friends mean PROTECTIVE friends.
25. I will not whine about my condition. Though I do not wish to be a vampire anymore, due to the distinctive disadvantages it gives in a modern society, I must be willing to accept that there ARE reasons why people (including myself, once upon a time) want to become one of the undead. My former supernatural “family,” especially, will be very irked by my complaints and, no doubt, attempt to find ways to make my search for a cure that much harder to entertain themselves because I’ve become insufferable to them. Keeping your mouth shut is the best possible policy when dealing with your inhuman elders.
26. If I suspect my human girlfriend is only dating me because she wants to become a vampire herself, I will provide her with a reenactment of my “bad old days” as a murderer. Let’s see how blase she still is when she sees me track down and kill an innocent being in a dark alley. The innocent, of course, will actually be a skilled actor who I’ve paid handsomely for both their skill and their silence, and who merely plays dead at the end of the demonstration (wherein I “attack” my victim). Scaring a vampire-wannabe straight doesn’t mean I have to abandon my scruples (or run roughshod over those who are the most loyal to me) in order to make a point.
27. If I am forced to leave my mortal beloved, I will do so with the gentle reminder that I still love her and that I take the concept of eternal devotion VERY seriously. After my departure, I will call or email her regularly through untraceable proxies to assure myself of her continued good health. I will NOT take nasty comments from her werewolf friend (who clearly hates me and wants to get into her pants) as proof that she may have taken her own life due to post-breakup depression. I will demand to speak with her and, if wolf-boy hangs up, I will contact her parents and let them know that her new guy-pal is acting oddly possessive of her. Let him try to seduce her while dealing with her angry (and no doubt armed) father.
28. I will not stay away from the battle for which my family and friends are willing to die, in order to keep my mortal beloved from becoming neurotic over my possible death. I will remind her that the reason we are fighting the armies of evil is because EVERYONE is in danger, and all of us who possess supernatural powers must be willing to take the necessary risks to save the innocent mortals in our town/country/world. If I do not survive, she will still have the love and support of my remaining human-tolerant family members, her kith and kin and the fond memories of our time together. If I am successful and survive the confrontation, she will laud me as a selfless hero. If I hide in safety with her, I will spend the rest of eternity loathing myself for my cowardice (and, besides, there’s no reason why any of my equally powerful and human-tolerant friends can’t look after her).
29. I will make sure my beloved always carries a lighter, a can of hairspray and a stake in her purse at all times in the event she is attacked by a human-eating vampire. I will demonstrate how she can use the lighter and hairspray in tandem as a homemade flamethrower. I will also teach her how to effectively stake a vampire (providing myself and other friendly vampires wearing protective vests as her opponents). There’s nothing sexier than a girl who knows how to defend herself… which is why so many good-guy bloodsuckers tend to fall in love with Vampire Slayers, anyway. But, even better, my girl won’t have the stake-anything-with-fangs-even-if-it’s-not-actually-a-threat bias that Slayers usually possess.
30. I will not buy expensive clothing, cars or jewelry when concealing myself among working class humans. It would cause me to stick out like a sore thumb, and the presence of so much money will invite rumors or–worse–investigation into my financial history. I will, instead, drive a more sensible Chevy, Ford, Dodge or Jeep around town. The shiny Volvos and classic Cadillacs–and the many other expensive toys I’ve acquired over the years–will be reserved for a night on the town with my human girlfriend, at a more heavily-populated area far away from those who’ve seen us together before. Spoiling my girl a bit is a privilege of my gentlemanly background and of modern dating, and no other humans who know of me need be aware of my insane wealth.
31. If I decide to marry the human girl of my dreams, an understated ceremony performed after sunset by the local justice of the peace is a perfectly acceptable way to begin our lives together. I can’t go out into sunlight or stand in a church anyway, so it’ll save us both a lot of potential embarrassment and reams of explanations for her family members. Besides, the whole point of doing normal, human things like this is to AVOID suspicion, not cultivate it. We can always lay on a big celebration with all the bells and whistles for a supernaturals-only crowd later, after all the humans have gone to bed.
32. In the event of a physical confrontation, I will be sure to wear a Kevlar vest with a ceramic trauma plate located directly over my heart. A protective cup (not unlike the ones commonly used by American football players) also makes for a trendy fashion accessory… and helps to reduce the impact of cheap shots taken by those who prefer to fight dirty.
33. I will follow the wise teaching of the Dread Pirate Roberts and his use of iocane powder. Meaning, I will provide myself with regular small doses of garlic, holy water and sacred objects in a controlled environment, so as to develop an immunity… or at the very least, a significantly reduced sensitivity. That way, when one of my non-vampiric enemies uses such things in an attempt to weaken me, they will be unpleasantly surprised by my apparent boredom at their cliched methods.
34. I will not be immediately against turning my mortal beloved into a vampire. She is mortal, therefore one day she will die. And, if I have followed rule #26, she is likely to be much more cautious regarding the blood-thirst and unlikely to hurt people. I will make certain she will be able to subsist on the best possible animal blood–or donations of human plasma that have been rejected by the Red Cross. If I have been smart, I will have been spending her human days during our courtship carefully indoctrinating her into my non-violent and human-friendly way of life. And if, once changed, she forgets that humanity is precious, I will remind her that while vampires are inhumanly strong and long-lived, we are not indestructible god-like beings. Fire can still burn us to a crisp, after all. (Besides, once we’re both vampires, we can take all the time we need to find a cure… and I don’t have to worry about her dying of old age before we find it.)
35. If I feel compelled to bite my mortal beloved, and drink of her sweet life’s essence, I will not immediately go for her neck. That is the location that would prove most fatal for her. Instead, I will better acquaint myself with the cardiovascular system of the human body, so I can bite her in some less harmful place… such as the inside of her thigh or into her breast. This will also ensure that she will not need to alter her wardrobe in any obvious or ridiculous way to conceal the marks of my affections from her friends’ watchful eyes.
36. I will NOT tell my story to any reporter, struggling writer or psychoanalyst, no matter how lonely and misunderstood I may feel. I will also not keep the company of artists, as they can be unstable, or fashion myself as a rock star.
37. I will not keep my coffin in the basement; my enemies will look there first. I will instead sleep in a plain wooden box in a safer location. The fancy mahogany coffin with the gold trim and high-gloss finish will be a decoy armed with a small bomb that is triggered by the opening of the lid. If they’ve actually snuck into my house with the intent of finding where I sleep, then clearly their intentions are not good and I don’t have to feel guilty about blasting them sky-high.
38. The windows in my home will have a special anti-UV tint to protect me from the sun’s wholesome, uplifting, vampire-frying rays and will also be made of heavy-duty Plexiglas. That way, when someone attempts to break a window and/or expose me to the sunlight by removing the curtains, they will be sorely disappointed.
39. I will not dismiss a human enemy threatening my safety or that of my mortal beloved, simply because I have more experience dealing with threats than said enemy has dishing them out. Even the most inept bug-eating moron can sometimes get lucky.
40. The blood I store in my refrigerator will be concealed in containers of V-8 or Slim Fast, not in unlabeled wine bottles. I will also have plenty of human food in my refrigerator to disguise the presence of my own liquid meals. Besides, if my mortal beloved decides to drop by, I should be a good host and have the material needed to prepare a decent snack for her… especially if she tends to skip meals when she’s trying to find my cure.
41. If there are young people in the area who have a strong interest in the supernatural, I will monitor them for any changes in their behavior. Additionally, if I find them snooping around my house, I will not engage them in battle. Instead, I will contact the authorities and have them arrested for trespassing. Being a law-abiding citizen does have its perks.
42. If people are getting suspicious of my preference for working after dark, my limited diet, my very comfortable financial status, my affinity for wearing dark colors, and my inability to age, I will move on. No matter how much I loved this particular life, I’m not going to stick around and risk exposure of my dark secret. Not everybody’s as understanding as my mortal beloved, and I will have her memorize my new address before I leave, so there is no written record of where I am going.
43. Umbrellas are still an excellent fashion statement (especially in black), and are also a decent layer of protection against unexpected rays of sunshine. I will be sure to keep a collapsible umbrella on my person at all times… so I have a few more of those critical seconds when I need to find shelter for the day.
44. I will make lots of long-term investments under different names, particularly in real estate. It’s not like they’re adding more land to the planet, and this way all my financial eggs aren’t in one basket. Because it’s incredibly stupid to have ALL my money in ONE account, and it would be far too easy for a hacker to put me in the poorhouse that way. At least, if I have additional assets, I can sell them off and not be broke.
45. I will not babysit. For any reason. Kids are cute, but they’re also very curious and tend to get their fingers into EVERYTHING. And the last thing I need is an interested tyke accidentally finding something that results in their or my injury. If I want kids in my life, I’ll adopt… and the first thing I’ll teach my kids is to leave the windows SHUT while Daddy’s sleeping.
46. If my mortal beloved suddenly develops psychic powers, I will double-check to make sure who’s actually pulling the strings. Just because the visions she gets enables me to help people in trouble, DOESN’T mean the Higher Power that bestowed them on her is actually a force for Good.
47. If my mortal beloved wants to be intimate, but sexual intercourse is too risky for us (because I’ll drain her and/or turn evil…), I can always find alternate ways to be physically intimate with her. After all, while it may be dangerous to put Tab A into Slot B, I do still have a functioning pair of hands that have held plenty of objects without breaking them. So, I’ll learn massage therapy, and regularly give her a full body treatment, complete with “happy ending”. She can unwind after a rough day, I can do an internal victory dance at giving her some pleasure. (Hey, just because I’m old doesn’t mean I’m not interested…)
48. Crossbows, spears and other antique weapons made of wood and/or possessing large blades will be verboten in my home. There’s nothing wrong with collecting a fine assortment of handguns and rifles. Additionally, anyone who walks into my home wearing outfits or holding bags that may conceal such weaponry will be searched and, if anything is found, those individuals will be immediately removed from my home. (Except for my mortal beloved; her weapons can stay right where they are, because she needs to be safe against any gatecrashers.)
49. My home will not have wooden furniture, as they can be fashioned into stakes at inopportune moments. The cutlery in my house will also be made of stainless steel, rather than silver. Additionally, my home will also not have any mirrors where I am likely to be at the same time as someone who is suspicious of me (such as the bathroom).
50. I will carry a small handgun on my person, and regularly practice my aim at a firing range. If I am stymied by religious objects or otherwise unable to use my vampire powers during a confrontation, I can still open fire.
51. I will not frequent vampire bars, vampire theaters, vampire whorehouses, or associate myself with vampire biker gangs. They attract too much attention from hunters, Slayers, cultists, etc.
52. Before I join anyone at a restaurant or diner, I will verify whether the place serves garlic in their recipes. Likewise, I will provide refreshments and snacks for any guests that drop into my home, so they aren’t likely to order pizza and I end up gagging/sneezing/fainting.
53. I will not spout information and/or factoids that a person of my apparent age cannot POSSIBLY know.
54. I will try to look concerned and not hungry when a mortal accidentally cuts themselves.
55. I will take seriously anyone who approaches me with a water pistol and a confident expression.