I didn’t start out writing a tale of an apocalypse. As happens too frequently, I started with a song stuck in my head. That one opening line in the Smashing Pumpkins lyrics haunted me. It resonated in my mind, and I knew there was a story here. Somewhere.
The World is a Vampire is an apocalyptic love story. No, there’s no romance hidden in the words; the affair is between my heart and my childhood. This was the story that was born of every Universal Horror and Hammer Films marathon I watched as a kid. Weisband, our lead character? Born from too many Vincent Price movies. He embodies all those times we watched Price as he came to grips with the horrors he had unleashed.
But it is also a nod to the Godzilla franchise that made cheesy films fun. While watching Cabin in the Woods, I wondered – where is the kaiju apocalypse? How would that come about? And as a writer, one thought led to another – what kind of world gave birth to kaiju? It would have to be the kind of world where anything was possible – where vampires roamed free, lycanthropy was a disease, and that’s just the obvious. In a world where everything that goes bump in the night was a real, living thing, history would have gone in different directions. The World Wars could have had different outcomes, if they had even happened as they did in our world. It could be a world where Chernobyl is providing power to the theme park next door. A world where coastal countries would be dealing with the kaiju threat.
The song was still rattling around in my brain at this point when I thought: what if someone had a crazy idea to take care of the kaiju? What if, they reasoned, you infected them with something that made them tear each other apart for you? And the survivor would be destroyed by sunlight. Beautiful!
Or is it?
And so a story was born.
One of the things I enjoyed most about writing this story were the hints I was able to interweave of a deeper history than we get to see. Take this one short passage:
“There’s enough there to turn an entire population into blood sucking, sun fearing vampires.
“Or one kaiju,” Hendrix said, guessing at Seward’s bold plan.
“Or one kaiju.”
There is so much hidden in those few lines, it makes me giddy reading them. In a world that has dealt with every schlock horror imagined in our films, there’s an irony that it’s fighting monsters with monsters that ushers the end. But that’s what B movies are all about, right? And that’s the other thing about this story – it’s a B movie, and it’s a B movie by intent.
So sit back and feel welcome! Don’t mind the mummy in the corner or the wolfman at the door. Pass the popcorn, and Enter the Apocalypse!
[…] If you’re wondering what happened to my guest post for the Enter the Apocalypse anthology, you can find it here! […]