Archive for psychology

Case #13 – Skovajsa: First Impressions

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by vampirony

Reason one out of, oh, I don’t know, about one hundred, why I always conduct my first meeting with a client in a very public place: You just never know what you’re getting into.  Skovajsa. One name, like Cher or Sting. The Carpathian vampires are still the most dangerous. Full of power, hunted for centuries almost to extinction. Terrified of the world and ready at any moment to try and conquer it. Not the sort of vampire I would ever expect to call for my services. 

 He’s a tricky read: emotionally disheveled, almost childlike in his discomfiture, like an adolescent trying to fill adult shoes.  Like Bela Lugosi’s shoes.  It’s almost sweet.  But then, all that economy of emotion and movement often covers ill intentions.   It is like a first date; you get to see the persona and if it does its job, if it’s intriguing enough, you might want to see more, to try to tell what’s fact versus façade.  I admit I’m intrigued.  1100 miles is a long way to go for a five minute talk.  He’ll call.  He hasn’t figured me out yet.  And he wants something.  That much is clear.

 Of course, it coulda been worse.  He could actually have been charming or cute. 

 Get back to the hotel# and up to my room, my groceries have been delivered.  Empty out the bag just to check.  A lemon rolls out of its mesh bag.lemons

 *sigh*  No lemons for you, Mr. One Named Wonder.  Bartender hasn’t called me back.  Will try him tomorrow.  He might’ve gotten busy.  Would’ve thought that $100 would have kept me on his to-do list.

Now here comes the strange part.  I’m looking out the window, there’s a moon, and honestly, I’m missing simpler times.  Missing someone to get to know me.  Missing an adult conversation.  Missing…flirting…   So stupid.  If it isn’t in my cards, it just isn’t and nothing on Earth can change that.

 THUMP! Goes my trunk.  Archaic, I know, to travel with one but I need my references.  I open it up, take out the Book.  Give  it a rub.  Ok yeah I talk to it when I’m morosely lonely.

 “Getting a little restless, eh? Been a long time since you’ve stirred.  You seem to like Seattle?”

 It doesn’t actually talk back.  Ever. 

 I set it on the desk, move to the bed to unpack some things.  Have a sudden feeling that somebody just walked over my grave.full moon

 The book’s cover knocks over and the pages start to flip on their own.  Ok, when I moved the book from my carry-on upon landing in Seattle, it moved on me.  This?  This hasn’t happened in my recollection in over a century.

 The book falls over onto the floor with a thud.  I go pick it up, careful to note the page.

 It’s one of the blank pages towards the back of the book, the edges well worn.  I flip back a page and land on the Burim twins.

 “Lucienne and Maurice Burim – My brave charges, how can I write of you and your bravery, so young when turned, without cursing the heavens for damning your souls to this world of pain and suffering forever.”

Heartbreaking but no, not them.  This page.  I’ve touched this page many times before but it won’t give up its secrets so easily.  Sometimes I forget that the magic of this book is all its own.  I can’t quite remember who gave it to me, which lifetime, only that I have ever since used it to record the people I have met in my lives.  And every new life, with every new awakening, I find the book again and it shares with me those that I have met before.  Only this lifetime, every since stumbling upon it 3 years ago, it has been mostly silent.

 Until now.  And yet, it’s not ready to tell me what it wants me to know.  Crazy.

 Hope to hear back soon from Bruno.  Already, Seattle is becoming more than I bargained for.  Better get some shut-eye.  I have a real meetup with a real adult (vampire cohort but still adult human) early morning.  Something about vampire dreams.

Case Notes #13 – Skovajsa: First Interview

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2009 by vampirony

Sitting at the bar waiting:  Weds night, Ladies Ladies Night at the EO Bar, DJ stage somewhat out of space and time for the “library chic of the rest of the hotel lobby.  Strange crowd includes our lesbian friends here supporting their girl, suits sizing up their newly introduced female companions in overly short, overly tight attire, the odd couple enjoying a chat over cocktails in window booths overlooking the balmy night.see the world

Enter Vampire Skovajsa.  Overlarge black leather jacket, black slacks, dark leather shoes.  Dark hair, dark eyes, first guess Greek or Slavic.  He senses for a moment, not sure if it’s for prey or me. (Maybe me in both cases?)  Warm night for that jacket, must not have fed recently.  Somewhat dated look completely overwhelmed by lack of movement.  Tightly controlled but still unable (unwilling?) to keep his negative energies from causing the bartender to flinch when he leans across the bar.  Handles that effortlessly as he charms the bartender over to ask for me. 

Moment of decision: my sense for vampires not liking this so far, his pick of locale, his utter discord with it.  Something tells me this guy is trying to impress with his first date selection.  But I should ride it out.  He seems harmless enough.  For now.

I slide my card to him at the bar, smile to myself.  Am I just another female companion being paid for my services here tonight?  Hand in my jacket taps the ‘record’ button.

He ignores normal introductions:  “Aren’t you going to suggest we retire to a more, um, private locale?” voice thick with accent.  He’s learned English very recently or acting it up that way.have a cocktail

“That depends, Mr. Sko…”
“Just Skovajsa.”
“Yes, well, Skovajsa, that depends on what you expect me to do for you.”
Carefully regards me.  “You are the, um, psychologist. You tell me.”
“That’s not how this works. You have to want my help. If you don’t have a specific reason you called, then I think we’re done here.”
I give him a moment.  He’s doing what I call Computing.  Some vamps lose a lot of their emotional base when they are turned; they can have trouble reading humans because of it.  They try to mimic what they think the human reaction should be.

I ease off the bar stool, start to move past him.
He takes my arm, not with force I note, “Wait.  Please.  Sit.”
I resume my seat, thankful.  At least seated, I don’t have to crane my neck to keep eye contact.  “So?”
He turns his head full towards me and I know it’s coming before he even speaks.  Eyes widen, voice guttural with what can best be described as a reverb effect to it:

 “Don’t you want to be alone with me?” 

Ah, vampires.  Sometimes you can set your watch by their moves.  Especially an uncomfortable one.  This wasn’t to the level of entrancing but a strong attempt at persuasion for sure.   And using Vox Compulsum, “the Compelling Voice.”  That’s not nice.
I think you want to go with me.”
“I bet that works on lots of the ladies.”
He blinks, surprised.  Yeah, I can’t help it if I always enjoy this moment.  It reaffirms everything I’ve been through and maybe forgives some of what I’ve done.  Being immune to most vampire powers means being in a position to cut to the chase. 
“You’re not afraid of me…Why then did you sit back down?
“I like to wait for the punch line.”
I tap my card on the bar.
“Keep the card. When you think of a reason to talk, we can try again.”
I leave him standing there, nonplussed.  Catch a cab immediately and leave the area, heading back over the 520 bridge.  I’ve got the recording, bartender should call me for the end credits, then I’ll record my observations.  For now, I just want to absorb.

Vampire Factbook excerpt: Six Degrees of Influence

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2009 by vampirony

While variations have been recorded within the types (see Chapter 1: I am Vampire), there are standard ways vampires effect a human’s behavior.  The ability to influence humans toward the vampire’s wishes can often mark the difference between a long preternatural life and a quick death by stake or burning.  Considering the complex world in which vampire- human relationships exist (prey, partner or predator), vampires often use whatever influence abilities they possess without conscious thought or practice.  Although these abilities can be honed and skillfully applied, vampires lack the tutelage in most respects to excel past the limitations of their own necessitated experiences. 

Overall, influence can be measured by the degree of control over the human and the effort involved which can work to either attract or repel depending on the aims of the vampire.

  • Cloud – Clouding is the simplest and weakest of influences, allowing the vampire to mask his presence and guide the human toward or away from the vampire without the human’s awareness.  Vampires have an inherent polarity that as they mature, they need to gain more control over to meet their needs.  Negative vampires tend to cause general discomfort in surrounding humans, a feeling of ill ease that most humans will move away from.  This serves as a defensive mechanism, especially for younger vampires who are still learning to control their needs and abilities.  Positive vampires tend to attract human attention wherever they go.  Fewer positive vampires survive to maturity because of this but have been observed to develop stronger powers of influencing humans because of this underlying attraction. 
  • Charm – Charm, while mostly associated with attracting humans, can be used either way, however the influence is actively asserted.  Charm can be used to change the attitudes of a human to be more amenable to the vampire. #Charm includes very simple enforcement of the vampire’s will upon the human and, in measured doses, has no lasting effect on the individual human.  It is often used in conjunction with Clouding to influence a human to forget the encounter in which the charm occurred.  For example,  a vampire might charm prey to leave a public place to walk home alone and cloud them to not remember the conversation at all.  Charm almost always involves vocal engagement to activate, unlike Clouding which is an inherent state of the vampire’s being.
  • Persuasion – Persuasion, while more active than charm, greatly depends on the human’s pliability to the request or suggestion.  It often involves influencing the human to some action that might at first seem unpleasant but upon further consideration, seems agreeable as it might make some favorable end.  It’s analogous to changing a person’s opinion on a subject by convincing them they’d always thought that way or that it was their idea.  #Because persuasion involves knowledge of the human’s attitudes, it typically involves more of the vampire’s sensory abilities (see Chapter 2: Nature of the Beast) however still leaves no lasting mark beyond the encounter.
  • Entrance – Entrancing begins a quickly accelerating process of binding a human to a particular vampire.  Entrancing first involves creating a state of deep connection whether mental, emotional, or physical with the human in order to elicit their behavior in exchange for pleasing the vampire.  In other words, the vampire enraptures (syn) the human by making them a willing servant and then giving them some task to do for reinforcement, usually in the form of physical or emotional closeness with the vampire if positive and escape from bodily harm or mental torture if negative.  This two step process is exactly the same as with Spellbinding however, in this case, leaves a transient tie in the human.  Depending on the pliability of the human and the strength at which they have been entranced, this state can last for weeks or months but usually no more than a season.
  • Spellbind – Unlike Entrancing, the effects of Spellbinding a human are permanent unless released by the vampire* but unlike first thought, spellbinding does not produce a completely compliant human.  The increased awareness of most humans under spellbinding can lead to erratic behaviors and agitation as the human tries to show the vampire their devotion.  Vampires have often had human cohorts (see Chapter 3: Favor of the Beast) slain by spellbound followers in fits of jealous rage.  Spellbinding requires vigilance on the part of the vampire to protect both vampire and human from the worst possible fallout of spellbinding, wrecking.  However, a properly managed spellbound companion can prove a highly effective daytime steward for the vampire.  Most adult vampires have a single spellbound companion (aka devotee) while elder vampires and ancients, because of their abilities, can easily manage many devotees.
  • Wreck – Wrecking involves the vampire exerting so much force of will on the human that the human either emotionally or mentally breaks.  This can also happen from circumstances on a devotee when the stress of trying to please escalates into overwhelming need and jealousy.  Wrecked individuals can very rarely be rehabilitated as the tie to the vampire remains intact while their will and/or mind, both necessary for any release, has been broken.   Contrary to popular myth, wrecking humans happens more out of inexperience than intention but some vampires have been observed to prefer this method of trapping humans before feeding, gaining satisfaction from the process.  Whether a learned or inherited,  it is preferred by the most dangerous vampires, the Carpathanians, but occasionally practiced by other types.  Jiang Shi have also been known to prefer wrecking when the life essence of a human prey could not be successfully absorbed.

It is not quite understood whether or not vampires can also be effected by these influences.  Vampires are often born with an existing tie to another vampire, their maker.  Further, the blood tie may in fact usurp any other influence as it shares the vampire’s powers with its offspring.  This may offer continual protection against any other influence being exerted on them by other vampires.  Because vampires tend to live isolated with no organization (unlike werewolves), studying vampire interactions becomes difficult.  It is hard to know how much of the interplay between random vampire encounters evolves from vampire-human influencing versus their own complicated human-into-vampire emotional journeys.

*note: One alleged case of vampire “exorcism” is known but the details are as of yet undocumented as the human died shortly afterwards in childbirth.

Case Notes #13 – 4: Business Cards

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by vampirony

Initial meeting with new vampire, Skovajsa, set up.  Man, these digs in Bellevue aren’t bad, despite the view of lots of cranes.  Although slight oversight, not making accomdations in Downtown Seattle since he wants to meet there.  Sure the mix up happened for some reason.  http://bellevue.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

Got another referral, seemingly from someone who snagged one of the new business cards from the production floor.  This one is fascinating: a vampire thats dreaming.  First time in all my lifetimes I’ve ever heard of that.  Another strange twist…it was his lady friend that contacted me.  She didn’t want to tell me any more details than that.  Seemed keen to meet ASAP.  Well, when in Rome.  Set up a coffee talk for that, just in case the night meeting with Skovajsa runs late.  Meeting in the daylight for a consult.  Yeah first time for everything.  Will get my Belgian contact to run a background check on her.  I’m keen to call him Hercule.  🙂  Bruno won’t mind, considering his forte is background checks looking through decades old birth registers and the like.

Checked the Seattle papers, seems recently some vamp signs, but only within the last few months.  Seems to be a new vamp influence in the area.  Maybe one of these two is responsible for it.  Once I size them up and categorize them, should answer a lot.  Never handled two vampire consultations before but I remind myself…things happen in due time.

I do like the new business cards.  The logo is elegant…need to update my FB page with it.  That and Lyle’s last consultant.  Getting some more interest through the sites and blogs.  This new technology.  Don’t understand half of it.  Need to find an assistant, someone who gets this techie stuff.  I’m about history, not technology.

Phone: Task List

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by vampirony

Task List

  • Pick up new Business Cards
  • Check listings for new office
  • Put ad out for office assistant

Shopping List for Vamp Test Kit

  • Lemons
  • Straight pins
  • Pickles (big jar)
  • Bag of Sunflower seeds
  • Velcro strips

DON’T Forget!!  Jasmine’s bday.

INBOX: Re: The Gift

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by vampirony

From:  Lauren Lyles (lysistrata@webvampyr)
Date:   Mon, 15 Jun 2009
To:      vampironyis@live.com
________________________________________________

So excited to share, Psych!  After a few futile attempts, I finally got up the cajones to unwrap your gift and sure enough, I could see myself!  I have to report, tho, that it took me awhile to decide it was me.  Reminds me of how Muffin reacts to looking at her self in those things.  She barks, most times.  Yeah, i did it, I fanged out.  😦

But here’s the wack thing: it wasn’t me.  I mean, a few rounds of pantomine with it proved it was but…I look nothing like myself that I remember.  I still have a photograph somewhere of my mortal self…I’ll have to send when i find it.

I didn’t last long; i’m working up to staring a minute so I can see what’s different.  gotta find that pic.

thanks so much!  am thinking, once I build up some tolerance, i can practice my lines in front of it, work on making my lips move more..er..naturally…:)

yours,

lyle

————————————————–

Date: Thurs, 4 Jun 2009
From: vampironyis@live.com
Subject: The gift
To: lysistrata@webvampyr

Congrats, Lyle!  You’ve done so well that I left you a little gift.  No pressure here, just go at your own pace.  It’s a mirror.  No silver so that you won’t worry over that.  It’s small so you could put it in that trendy oversized bag of yours. 🙂

I’ve truly enjoyed working with you and consider my electronic door always open.  You have all my contact info.

Also, thanks for the referral.  I know this was a friend of a friend of a lover of a bla bla bla….but it still helps keep me going.  You know I can’t share deets but Seattle looks fun!  Will let you know how it is.

My best,

Sophie

Case Notes #13 – 4: Seattle

Posted in Fiction, Vampirony with tags , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by vampirony

citrus

New case, first in Pacific Northwest.  Anything to get me out of LA.  Nothing’s worse than a vampire worried about gaining 10 lbs on screen.  Well, except one worried about her complexion.  There’s just no easy way to work through bad self image with a vampire.  Umm, look in the mirror??  4 tough months later, I think the new star on a not-to-be named Fox dramedy will easily be able to be the 25 yr old playing the 16 yr old for a long long time…YAY, syndication!!

Admit with the move, I felt both excitement and a certain amount of unease and when I saw all those tall majestic trees as we came through the clouds and circled the Space Needle, I could pour most of that excitement into a box of “here’s something new.”  But not all of it.  need to understand that.  The unease?  Completely clueless on that.

Skovajsa…what kind of name is that?  I suspect he’ll introduce himself with a flourish of his arm and declare himself a One Named Diety, like Cher or Madonna.  Vampires…what drama queens!  If I have to hear “I am Vampire” as if it explains every weird quark and bad behavoir, I may prescribe myself some anti-psychotics….if I could prescribe meds.  boy, that’d be useful.  Not for vamps…but for cohorts and companions.  Those are the ones to look out for.  They’re wound tighter than their immortal masters.

This guy was so vague and generic on the phone…I might as well be on an eHarmony date.  Hi, I’m Skovajsa.  I am Vampire.  I drink blood and am allergic to garlic.  I’m more of a night person and dig hanging out outside clubs to hit on unsuspecting drunk chicks.  I don’t smoke and prefer non-religious types (unless I’m wanting to stick it to the Man).  No dogs or cats.  I’m looking for a mate who has a certain moral flexibility and believes in forever.

Yeah, that sounds like the kind of guy I’d go for.  *sigh*  Please, just not another vamp who would stare at himself all day if he could.  Or night, as it were.  Couldn’t this time, I just found one who’s a bit more…alive?