Castlevania: Blood Strangers
By Simon Strain
I sit here now and scrawl these words; I suppose I want a legacy to live on: ironic in my case. Perhaps this is a way to deal with the internal demons I face: an exorcism of sorts. Or perhaps it is just a chronicle, a record I create to pass the time. Time: a most unusual substance, feared and yearned for; the most precious thing in the universe to most and yet something a few of us have in abundance. Once I looked with relish at time, now it is no longer relevant or constant. Years slip past me in translucent dream, yet a single second can capture my imagination and I become trapped within it for an eternity. Time has lost its magic for me. Strangely enough this is not a common occurrence for my kind, but I suppose that is a reflection on our personalities. I find myself drifting from my original purpose, so this diary of mine: it is perhaps a record of the events I hope will secure the fate of the human race for at least a hundred years more, we shall see. I think it is also an attempt to remember: not only the past but also what I am. I stopped regarding myself as a “who” long ago. Why does everything come back to time? I am out-with time. I am no slave to it, yet in being free of it I am doubly enslaved to this, cruel master. I find myself drifting once more. I need a drink. That’s better; I find Jack Daniels always sharpens my mind. Strange, the toxins can have no affect on my body yet I still “feel” it. Another example of the power of the subconscious mind? Enough of this, have at you.
I sit here now in my “apartment” as the Americans call it. I am not sure of the year but it is what they love to call the “New Dawning Age of Man”. I laugh whenever I hear that. So many times have I witnessed this: it seems that man is constantly in an age of new dawning. Call it The Light Ages, The Renaissance, The Elizabethan or Victorian era. Each “New Century” holds the same promises, the same hopes and the same dreams; but delivers only the same pain, the same failure, the same hate and greed and suffering. Just as the Industrial and Cultural Revolutions washed over me so to now does the Information Revolution. And yet despite my cynical tone I cannot stop taking interest in human affairs. That is where my most troublesome disloyalty lies.
I recall how over the years this weakness of mine: my inability to leave my beginnings behind and embrace my “true” heritage, has caused me loss and pain.
“What is a man, nothing but a miserable pile of secrets!” my fathers cold words reverberate inside my head after so long. Yet to this moment I still cannot let them be? It is difficult to explain to those that are not of the nox daemóns. Lifetimes of words escape me. I am rendered mute. To be torn between two families, that is perhaps the most accurate analogy, both into which you were born and yet neither can tolerate the other. Both live together: one blissfully unaware of the other that is always silently and invisibly stalking amongst it. I am the rare exception to my brothers. I cannot sever my connection with my first family just as I cannot sever my own head. I exist trapped between two worlds, belonging in neither. Cursed on one side by my bloodline and by my ethos on the other. I am trapped in a prison I have created; but not through my own choice. I serve a sentence that has no end, for a crime I committed; yet did not cause. I’m sorry if I confuse you with my paradoxes but everything about me is essentially a paradox. You will learn to accept and eventually understand this much as I had to. Where was I? Ah yes my disloyalty. Unfortunately I am well acquainted with that old friend.
Let me explain to you now, in this day in age the forces of darkness are forgotten: all banished to the world of fairytale, mythology and folk law. Well that is just one symptom of the great human disease of science. I assure you at one time all forms of diabolical, nightmarish creatures roamed the earth. Many still do but now the human race rationalises these creatures out of existence. When a child disappears it has been abducted by a rapist or paedophile, not taken and devoured by a Troll. When a young girl’s body is found mutilated in an alleyway it is the result of a mentally disturbed homicidal maniac; not a pack of Werewolves. The human mind no longer accepts the existence of these creatures and so all trace of them is eradicated. Replaced by “reasonable”, “rational” and “scientific” theory. It never fails to amaze me that a creature with such inventive and creative spirit cannot seem to accept the reality of such things. I have learned that the human mind is incapable of facing up to the truth. A brain that has the potential to do so much, to create and to think is unable to cope with the existence of such creatures. Humans instead seem to blame themselves: Their rationalisations always turn the blame upon others of their own kind, they would rather recreate themselves as monsters: as murderers, rapists or worse than to accept a Vampire or Ogre. Although such evil humans do exist they still blame the most horrid acts in the world on themselves: I doubt many humans would consider or ever believe that Hitler was actually an Akathla demon. Well there is a reason why they never found his body you know. The poor humans that killed him just couldn’t believe the truth and all traces of his body were destroyed and the truth forever hidden. Man blamed himself once more. Perhaps this is because humans recognise that they are capable of great good; and great evil. But still, this masochistic tendency to except responsibility for all the evil in the world? It puzzles me. Perhaps this is the subconscious retaliation for mans inability to face his own personal demons: his dark urges and flaws. Rarely have I met a human that can look at him or herself, and accept their sins. But those few have touched my soul…
It is simpler for the human mind to create a complicated masquerade than to accept the truth. Humans cannot acknowledge the existence of nightmare creatures; yet they cannot accept their own dark natures. Instead they fool themselves: creating elaborate illusions yet all the time secretly blaming themselves, or more often than not others of their own species: this is the next best thing to accepting your own guilt.
It is this human unwillingness to accept the existence of such beings that makes it so easy for my kind to live among them unnoticed. Next time think twice when you hear that bump in the night, it may turn out to be exactly what you fear. However in this modern age there are still few who dare believe in the creatures of the dark. And now when our greatest hour of need is almost upon us I believe I have found him: the last descendant of the Belmont bloodline who still might believe.
Adrian F. Tepes