Monday, December 26, 2016

The Nosferatu Adventures s11 p20

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 294, chapter 294

Out of Time...

The hybrid screamed, clawing at the female's hands as she covered his mouth. "Ssshhh! I know it hurts. But you can't afford to scream. There are sleeping humans, and if you shatter the windows..." he nodded, straining against the pain as he buried his face in her elbow. "You've been fine half the night. What changed in the last five minutes?" she lifted the male to the edge of the bed, watching the tears of pain pool from his eyes. The hybrid was struggling to breathe. Biting her wrist, she force fed him once again. Edric could do nothing but cough up the blood as another spasm tore through his limbs, as they broke and realigned themselves. Arching his back, the hybrid suffered another round of torture. "The full moon ritual sets into motion the need to claim a mate. Any male werewolves in the same territory will tear each other apart in order to get the female first. You stopped transforming earlier because...because Dagan was across town out of your territory. Which means either he's woken up and is near by or...or Arthur has fully turned."  The bed stopped shaking, Edric laying silently still. Every hair on our heroine's body stood on edge as the air around her shifted. Opening his eyes, Edric sniffed. The low growl that escaped him hurt the female's ears.

The air crashed out of her body at the same moment she crash landed on the ground; broken glass all around her. Edric crouched in the now broken window, his taloned claws covered with a thin layer of sweat, his nose twisted into a muzzle, his eyes pure white. His duel natures unable to either take full control of his body, trapping him between the wolf and the banshee.

Launching himself from his perch, the male landed squarely on his feet, centimeters from our heroine's head. Crouching down, blocking her view, he snarled towards the edge of the parking lot. Nosferatu didn't have to look to know Edric was warding off a rival.  Only, none of it made sense. She was soulless, unclaimable. Both Edric and whomever he was threatening should have both made a run for the other side of town where Matilda was. She was the only other supernatural female in the whole reality they'd been dropped into by Loki. A reality where magick didn't work the same way it did where they were from.  Our heroine felt a rib crack as the male hybrid dropped his hand to her chest, pressing on it. He was holding her in place, keeping her from getting up from the ground. She watched as he tossed his head back, sniffing the air, grunting; as if satisfied with the result.  The female let out a short gasp of pain as Edric stood, his taloned hands tangled in her short spikes dragging her to her feet.  Picking up a piece of the broken glass, he crushed it in his hand dragging his palm across the wall of the hotel. Before smearing his blood down her face and the front of her clothes. Marking his territory.

Edric backed away from the female in the direction he had been growling only seconds before. A guttural noise echoed hollowly in the rapidly rising sunlight. The now grey sky hinting at a light tint of pale orange and copper. Our heroine still couldn't tell who her fledgling was marking his territory from, and there didn't seem to be any scents in the air to clue her in. In fact, she could smell nothing but the hot coppery salt of Edric's blood smeared on her. Nothing was getting past it to free her mind of the chaos it was in. Seconds ago, they were done with each other, freed from the sire bond ready to part ways. Now, she was standing in what seemed to be the middle of a war for territory between her chosen champion and some unknown assailant. Oddly, this time she was just a viewer and not the prize.   Or so she thought.

Both Edric and our heroine caught sight of the preconceived threat at the same time; turning towards each other in question.

"Really?" Nosferatu shook her head squinting up her eyes as she gestured towards the figure. "Yeah, I guess The Seer sends his love." she nodded towards the guy dressed in the mermaid costume. The Seer had cast a spell over him, basically possessing the guy. The joke being that he was one step above a zombie and of course, wearing a mermaid costume. "No one else would be twisted enough to send a mermaid to do...guess it's time to get my hands dirty. You can go, I got this."  Edric snarled wiping the back of his hand over his mouth, before moving very slowly to the right of our heroine. Grabbing the edge of a dumpster, he pulled himself up perching on the very edge of it in a crouch. "Or you know, grab a seat get comfortable...ow!" she grabbed at her neck, the long nails of the drag queen having left their mark. Edric tilted his head to the side his eyebrows knitted together at the sound of bones snapping and a yelp of pure pain. The guy stumbled back a few steps holding what was left of his arm, the shattered bones exposed just below the elbow before passing out.  "That was sadly too easy." our heroine commented as she turned taking a step towards her fledgling. She felt the sharp edge of the dumpster cut into her cheek as she was sent flying into it. Turning around, she spotted three more mermaid costumed men, the one closest to her holding a baseball bat. "Who brings a bat to a vampire fight? Wait, puns on me."  Grabbing it out of the guy's hand, she snapped it in two before ramming him face first into the brick wall. The scent of blood was now heavy as the limp dead body fell to the ground. "Where exactly did he find these guys?" she ducked as the next guy back flipped over her, landing almost perfectly in the tight fitting dress. "His wig didn't even fall off, that's impressive." she pointed towards him before moving around him in a blur. Our heroine found herself moving out of the way at rapid speed as the guy had managed to get a few punches in, one kick landing squarely in her chest. He barely blinked as the female just stood there smiling. Edric snorted from his perch on top of the dumpster, informing our heroine of the final mer-man to her left. "You know what..." she removed her hands from their chests at the same second, her arms covered with blood; their hearts in her hands. "I really hate mermaids."   Breathing heavy, she lifted her right hand, the bloody heart still in it so that it was just under Edric's muzzle. "This blood's for you."

Growling the hybrid grabbed her wrist, his fangs sinking deep into the offering, before draining it. He jumped down from his seat, taking what was left of the heart from her, chewing noisily on the muscle. Nosferatu leaned back against the dumpster with a thud, licking the blood off her fingers. She saw the way Edric's eyes shifted to her other hand, as the male licked his already blood covered lips. She handed him the other heart moving a few centimeters from him.  Another sound escaped his throat that was more animalistic then she'd yet heard from him. Dropping what was left of the prize, Edric nudged his face against her ear. Taking a few deep sniffs, the hybrid ran off into the darkness, just as the banshee scream began to rip from both their throats.

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. I really do hate mermaids.)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Night Bleeds December

The last combo of the all vampire movie book club for 2016, is Dracula  and the 1992 movie version Bram Stoker's Dracula. 

movie:  Starring Gary Oldman and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
plot:  1462, and there is a war between the lands of Vlad Tempes and the Ottoman Empire. Vlad manages to turn the Turks back away from his lands, but not before is wife is tricked into believing that he was killed. She then commits suicide, damning her soul in the eyes of the church. Vlad Dracula, then in a violent fit of depression vows to return from the dead to take revenge.  1897, London and we see Johnathan Harker, who has just been given an assignment by his new boss of traveling to Transylvania to meet with a Count Dracula, in order to deliver deeds to his new properties. Harker, leaves behind a new fiancee; Mina, to make the trip where he is kept prisoner by the Count. Mina, meanwhile, is staying with her childhood friend, Lucy for the summer. Lucy, agrees to marry Lord Arthur Holmwood (after turning down his two best friends Dr. Jack Seward and Quincey Morris) After a letter arrives from Harker, Mina wonders if he's in fact alright, but her attention soon is taken completely by a Prince Vlad who has arrived in London. Meanwhile, next door to Lucy's house, is Dr. Seward's insane asylum where R.N. Renfield; the lawyer who had Harker's job before him, is being kept. Seward has a close friendship with Renfield, which proves interesting as the story progresses. Lucy, while sleepwalking one night is attacked by a werewolf-like creature and begins to act out. Dr. Seward then requests help from Professor Van Helsing. He preforms three blood transfusions on Lucy, but she ends up the victim of the Prince after Mina leaves for Transylvania to be with Harker.  The men (Van Helsing, Seward, Morris and Holmwood) then proceed to track and destroy Lucy once they learn she has become a vampire herself. When Mina and Harker return to London, they learn that the Count is a vampire, and Mina his original choice of victim as she is the reincarnation of Vlad's dead wife. The group try to save Mina, by hiding her in the asylum, only to cause Renfield's violent death by Vlad, and then chase him from London back to Transylvania for a final showdown.

So some of my favourite scenes are the shaving scene when Dracula breaks the mirror, the seduction of Harker in the castle by the three brides, Lucy running down the garden stairs screaming "I love him, I love him",  Van Helsing asking Seward for the knives, the love scene between Mina and Dracula, and Lucy's werewolf rape scene.

Van Helsing  - "Jack, I need for you to get for me before nightfall, a set of post-mortem knives."

Seward - "An autopsy, Lucy?"

Van Helsing- "No, no no, not exactly, I just want to cut off her head and take out her heart...Jack Jack!"

The themes in the movie, are forbidden love, lost love, reincarnation, trust, faith, mental illness, domination, sexual repression, drug abuse.

I like the parallel going on in this. We have Lucy with her three "husbands" Arthur Holmwood, Quincey Morris and Jack Seward; while Harker has the three "brides" who are actually un-namned. Both are being "seduced" in their own way.  Then, tipping the scales, we have Mina with her three love interests as well in the form of Harker, Dracula and to a level Van Helsing.

Both the movie and the book bring up the idea that by exchanging blood, a form of marriage has occurred. Arthur Holmwood is the one who mentions it in regard to himself and Lucy, unaware (in the book anyways) that Van Helsing, Morris and Seward have also "fed her" their blood by medical means. You then see the sire bond beginning to take shape between Dracula and Lucy, and later Dracula and Mina. With the emphasis on the psychic/empathic connection. (a big trait in folklore on the proof of vampires)
The movie drops a lot of the folklore, such as the fact vampires can not cross running water (the book deals with this element - no pun intended- by having low tides and running boats aground)

The book:  Johnathan Harker sets off across Europe, to meet a Count Dracula, in order to hand over the deeds to a series of properties around England. The Count, at first is pleasant but after awhile, begins to become shifty. He even goes so far as to steal Harker's clothes locking him in a high tower room. After escaping his rooms, Harker wanders the castle and discovers what at first seems like three ghosts, but are in fact vampire women. They attempt to trap him by seduction, only to have the Count threaten them for it. Harker then witnesses their true nature when he sees them devour a child. Again, he tries to escape only to find the vaults where the Count has begun collecting dirt in large boxes, and the Count himself sleeping in one. Meanwhile, back in England, Mina and Lucy are on a trip to Whitby. Lucy's mother is gravely ill and the two girls are doing their best to keep calm but it's wearing Lucy down causing her to sleepwalk. One night, she sleepwalks out to their favourite spot, while a storm has happened just the night before, causing a ship to run aground. Lucy is then attacked unawares to herself and Mina. Lucy, then starts to become sick herself and they return to London. Here, we meet the three men who are in love with Lucy, Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmood (Lord Godalming) and Quincey Morris. She quickly becomes engaged to Holmwood.  Mina is then pulled way from England by a letter from a convent in Romania, letting her know that Harker was found wandering with a brain fever. Meanwhile, Dr. Seward who is self medicating over his depression, is giving special attention to one of his lunatics, R.N. Renfield. Renfield keeps escaping his cell and running to the empty house next door. Seward ends up having to ask his friend Van Helsing to come help out with Lucy. Within two weeks, Lucy's mother dies of a heart attack, as does Holmwood's father. Lucy then dies of extreme blood loss. This causing the men to follow stories of  'the white lady' and the fact a sudden rise in children disappearing only days after Lucy's death. They soon learn she is a vampire and destroy her. Mina and Harker then return to London, to learn of all this. From the many letters and diary entries that everyone has kept in the long five months, Van Helsing pieces together what has happened and that they are looking for a real vampire. Tracking the Count down to the building next to the asylum, they begin to purify the boxes of dirt. While this is going on, Renfield is murdered in his cell, and Mina is attacked in her bedroom. The group then travel to Transylvania chasing the Count for the final showdown.

There are a lot of differences between the 1992 movie version and the original 1897 story. Such as, the movie has added much more of the idea of Vlad Tempes, where the book just touches at it. The movie added the entire reincarnation idea, the vampires have less weaknesses in the movie than they do in the book.  In the book, Renfield as far as we know, was never a lawyer or in Transylvania; in fact he doesn't meet Dracula until near the end of the book when he's killed.
The movie has Mina still in London when Lucy becomes gravely ill and meets Van Helsing just before she goes off to rescue Harker, where as the book does not.  Dracula himself, has very little scenes in the original novel, as Seward and Van Helsing are the real main characters.

The book, though is a classic gothic novel, it's also a bit of a crime story which were becoming popular at that time. A lot of the story has the group making plans over breakfast or dinner, or having the characters tracking down information/leads; which drags the story out for nearly nine months. 

Something I have always wondered about the novel, is if it was meant to be a serious book or a bit more comical? There are paragraphs where Van Helsing is babbling in what seems like complete sarcasm. Not too mention Mina's constantly commenting on "brave's work" etc. You almost wonder if Stoker wrote it tongue in cheek or if he was serious about his social concerns?
The men in the novel are appalled by the fact that the women are more aggressive, voluptuous, and calmly confident when death/near death after having been in contact with the Count. At certain points, all of them physically turn away disgusted by the sight of their beloved in the "trances", when they are more "live"; and calmer when both Mina and Lucy return to a more compliant frame. 

Some of the themes in the novel are fear of foreigners/foreign lands, mental illness, equality, sexual repression, religion/superstition, status, plagues.

Okay, I have to admit, given the hundreds upon hundreds of essays and literary studies done on this novel, I don't know if anything else I have to say right now, will measure up?  So this is my end for this topic. I must admit, because I've referenced Dracula all year in comparisons/examples of the other book club selections, I feel like I've covered all I can at this point.

Doing Night Bleeds this past year has been an exercise for me in my biggest obsession/hobby/studies. I'm grateful for anyone who joined in with me, who read what I had to say, who might have picked up the movies and book reading/watching along with me and Heather (I think she's got a take on this coming? I will post a round up if/when she does)   I am still tossing around ideas for doing Night Bleeds in 2017, so if anyone is interested...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Nosferatu Adventures s11 p19

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 293, chapter 293

Out of Time

Our heroine entered the hotel room silently, her pale skin practically glowing in the dimmed light spilling from the bathroom. Edric poked his face out from around the bathroom door, "I don't know about you, but this night has felt like it's dragged on for at lest three months."  his eyes sparkling as he gestured towards the skirt. "You found something then." he crossed the room grabbing a handful of tie-dyed material, raising an eyebrow. "Shameful. There is a naked hippy somewhere out there right now because you..." he stopped talking actually looking at the banshee. The male hybrid tilted his head to the side, his eyebrows first relaxing then beginning to knit together in question. Nosferatu stood there, her arms crossed, her face down hazel eyes searching the floor. "You were gone an awfully long time." he whispered squinting his eyes at her, tilting his neck again as if getting a better look. His stomach seemed to drop and began sending a sick panic through him, forcing Edric to swallow hard.

"The sun will be up soon now." our heroine said without looking at him. She knew he was seeing her right then in a different light. Edric grabbed a hold of her hand locking his fingers with hers. The confusion like a stamp on his face, as he brought his free hand up to first her throat, then her chest. The tentacle like beams that glowed; that connected them at every chakra point were all but gone. The male let his fingertips trace the line from the hollow of her throat to the edge of her cleavage.

"What did you do?" his voice began to shake, causing him to close his eyes shaking his head. "It's not as bright." he tapped two fingers on her chest, just over her heart. "What did..." he made a sound that was something between a grunt and a growl. "what did you do? I need to know..." snarling Edric pulled his hand away from her chest as if it had burned him. "Tell me what did you do? I need to hear you...say it!" his voice began to rise as he fought to control his emotions. His duel nature was threatening his human side as his fangs began to break through his gums, his eyes turning the amber-grey of the wolf.

Forty-five Minutes earlier...

Our heroine slammed the door of the laundromat, her mind racing with what Vlad had just told her. Dagan, had not in fact claimed Matilda for his mate. He hadn't had the chance, as he'd been knocked out cold. She looked at the sky, breathing in the night air. Her banshee senses were in overdrive, allowing her to see the slight ring of light pooling in the sky. Light that no human would see for at lest another two hours. Their plan had failed. Without Dagan having claimed a mate, this whole process would happen again at the next full moon. Like it had countless times already in the past decade. Nosferatu was stuck in this never ending loop. This fresh hell of having to outsmart the lycanthropes every month.  She couldn't take it any more. Even giving up her soul, she was still locked into this victim role; at the mercy of a pack alpha. Just as Vlad pointed out.

"Nice night for a stroll." the voice came from the shadows just behind the dumpster. Our heroine turned to see a man leaning against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. She was about to make a dismissing comment when she noticed the smirk on his face. A beautiful face at that. The guy was around 5'foot 10, with short cropped sandy-blonde hair, blue eyes, a sculptured nose and thin lips. He had high cheek bones that drew your eyes to the softness that seemed to radiate off him. Sniffing, our heroine laughed to herself. Bacchus. The god had changed shape once again, and seemed to be for the moment, Australian. The only thing that was the same were the blue eyes and sandy hair. The female figured even the gods had some traits they couldn't change about themselves.

"What?" she shrugged taking a step towards him.

"You're miserable. Fortunately for you, I can make it all better. Well, part anyways." he said moving towards her.

"Why?" she sniffed again, catching the hint of seagulls and trash.

"Why not?" he reached one hand out towards her snapping his fingers. "End of all this, you're mine. You want to win this imaginary fight you've created for yourself with The Seer. Who, I must point out, hasn't been heard from in days. Hint, yes he's still in this reality just not here." he pointed to the ground. "You pointed out yourself, that you can't fight him till you find away to locate him and keep him in one place."

"So you're going to track him down for me?" she sighed letting her hands slap her thighs.

"Not on your life. No, I want you to do that part yourself. It's a skill you're going to need when you're with me, leading my bacchae. But I can take away some of the distractions for you."

"Let me guess, all it will cost me is having my soul shoved back into my body?" she growled at him.

"No. That would be playing to Loki's benefit not mine. I like you better without a soul. This way you are useless to him, which means I'll collect you that much sooner." Bacchus grinned in the shadows of the parking lot lights. "Say that you want my help and I'll remove it." he nodded towards her chest. "No more sire bond."

"That will leave me vulnerable..."

"To what?" the sandy-blonde haired god shrugged. "No soul, therefore they can't claim you. What does it matter if you've got Edric hanging off your every word following you like the overgrown puppy he is; or not?"

Two Minutes ago...

Edric's fist flew into the wall, just centimeters from our heroine's ear. Leaning over her the male hybrid began breathing heavy, his neck beginning to pulsate as he stared her down. Both sets of fangs had emerged as he growled wiping the back of his left hand across his mouth, thick ropes of saliva sticking to it. "No!" the sound was garbled as he shook from what at first seemed like pure anger. The female banshee stood there waiting, expecting her fledgling to continue his assault. To rip a chunk out of her neck like Dagan always had when he lost control of things. He punched another hole in the wall, this time closer to her rib cage. "No!" he repeated in a hiss, moving first a half step from her, then back towards her again. He bent his forehead to hers; his breath hot gasps of pain. "You do not get..." he grabbed her face in one hand, plaster dust flying around their mouths as he did. "Look at me! You do not get to take everything away from me without giving something back!"  Edric ran his hand over his mouth again, his mind no longer his own, no longer clear. "This is a sham. A sham, and a conspiracy!" the male gritted his teeth together tilting his head side to side, his eyes then turning to the pure white of the banshee. "First you didn't want me as the pack alpha, fine I get it. Then you decide I'm not good enough to be your mate, bruised the ego but could handle it. Now, now you don't even want me sired to you. You want me out of your life I'm gone!"  Our heroine stood there, waiting for the rest of it. Waiting for him to do his worst.  "I'm done!" the male continued to hover his breath hitting her hair in rasps.  Neither of them moved.  They were down to just about an hour now before the sun was scheduled to rise. Once it did, Edric knew he was on his own.  The male let out one more deep breath as he turned moving towards the hotel room door. "You owe me. You owe me a pack, and a mate. You are leaving me without an identity. Half shapeshifter, half vampiric. Totally alone." he stood there his hand on the doorknob. "You not even going to deny it? Not make an excuse or defend yourself?"

"What do you want me to say?"

Edric turned flexing and unflexing his hands, his left arm twitching in frustration. "Why? Why not me?"

Nosferatu screwed up her nose, her hands at the back of her neck, playing with the edges of her short spiked hairdo. "My god. You're like a broken record. Thank god this night is finally over." she replied as she flopped down on the bed.

"That's it isn't it?" he pointed towards her. "You're waiting for it to be safe enough then you're going to race over to the Van Helsing's so you can rescue your precious Arthur. Or have you already?" Edric brought his one hand up to his chin, before shaking his head in disbelief. "You love him and now that he's a werewolf you're going to let him claim you."

"Oh, shack I totally forgot about him." she sat back up on the bed.  "He was a cute distraction when he was human. Useful even."

The male laughed. "A cute distraction?" he growled clutching his side, doubling over suddenly. The female reached out across the edge of the bed towards him. "Get away from me. Everything you touch turns to crap. Get!" he slapped her hand before falling to his knees. Edric was starting to transform again. 

"That shouldn't be happening." she looked out the window, seeing that even though the moon had moved across the horizon, it was still visible in the sky.

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Edric's loss and pain might be someone else's gain.)

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Nosferatu Adventures s11 p18

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 292, chapter 292

Out of Time...

The back door to the building opened easily as our heroine ungracefully broke the lock. Moving through the office towards the main area of the laundromat, she took a deep breath. The smell of wet soap tickled her nose, causing her to sneeze. The lost and found box in the corner by the office door, held nothing but missing socks and a few children's items, forcing her to move farther into the main area. Someone had left a backpack, which held a bit more promise. She'd managed to find a pair of jeans, but they didn't quite fit. Stomping her foot she swore. "I miss magick misting." Sighing, the banshee started to slam all the washers and dryers open hunting for any loose items that she might be able to wear. "A-hah!" she scored a long skirt tucked in the bottom of one of the dryers. Shaking it out, she screwed up her nose at seeing that it was tie-dyed and had large pink bunnies on it. But at this point, she really didn't have a choice. "No wonder they left it in the dryer."

"I do miss watching you get undressed. Or in this case, dressed." the voice said from the shadows. Spinning around, our heroine tucked her chin towards her chest, letting her shoulders sag. Vlad was standing in the doorway towards the back office.

"Not something I hear every day. Or ever actually." scratching at her temple the banshee moved slowly, cautiously towards him. "I assume you've come to tell me what happened after you left." she stood less than two feet from him, captivated by the way the light poured in from the far window, casting shadows around his head and shoulders. She watched as Vlad leaned one leather clad shoulder against the door frame, crossing his hands in front of him. The long leather trenchcoat Quentin had bought for him, fit Vlad like it had been made for him. The colour a deep mahogany which he favoured so much.

"I find it interesting that even though you made such a fuss about wanting to be alone with your fledgling during the moon, yet here you are. Not with him. Nor have you been." he said without a hint of anything but cold fact.

"Yeah, well just because he's my choice doesn't mean that I was his." she found herself searching the darkness for a glimpse of his eyes. But Vlad had turned in such a way the shadows were completely hiding his face. All he was, was an outline and a voice. It still sent chills through her to hear him speak.

"Aren't you? You underestimate the power you have as a woman." he spoke, his accent thick as he moved a step, beginning to circle around her. "That was always your downfall. Had you embraced it more..." Vlad pointed at her, still circling forcing her to turn with each step. 

"Huhmm." she smirked into the darkness. "It was the 1400's. All I needed to do was bathe to be a complete catch. Easily a ten. Here, I'm barely a two. Two point five with make-up, okay a solid two point nine with the furball crowd but only on nights like tonight."  Vlad's eyebrows knitted together in slight confusion as our heroine crossed her arms sighing. "So the news?"

"There is no news." Vlad replied moving towards her as if in a single breath. "Can't a husband miss his wife." it was a statement not a question, as he seemed to breathe in the actual moment causing her to feel light headed. He reached his left hand up to touch her cheek, his fingertips trailing down the edge of her jaw.

"Don't!" she heard herself saying but barely recognizing her own voice. "Don't you dare pull any of your tricks on me."

"This is not a trick. No magick being used on you. I give you my word."   Nosferatu felt herself being drawn in to him. The same way she had been back in the 1400's, when he'd convinced her to marry him. To help him lead his army, to tame the lycanthropes for him. The allegiance the packs had given to Vlad and his men, was taken by trickery. He'd known that as long as the packs were united under their combined loyalty to Nosferatu, they were bound to be loyal to whomever she'd chosen for her mate. He wasn't completely ready to give that idea up. Nor the fact she was the only female of his kind he'd come across. Sadness crossed his features as he realized that she didn't feel the same way anymore towards him. In the time they had been apart, our heroine had stopped thinking of him as an idol. Had stopped looking at him with the admiration and awe she'd been filled with on the first moment they'd met. Now, she gazed at him with empty eyes. "You can't beat him." he said softly. "Not alone." he moved from her just enough turning sharply on his heels, his one hand in the air the other behind his back. "Your alliance is divided." walking slowly around the room, he listened to the empty echo of their breathing. Noting just how tight our heroine's was and timing his own to match. "The first time we met, you informed me that you couldn't love me. That your heart belonged to someone else. More than one actually. You were in love with Reuben, and Dagan, and Loki if I'm not mistaken. But you were bound to them, just like you were bound to Rolf and Finn, and ..." he rolled his wrist letting his sentence fall into silence. Turning back to face her, Vlad had let his eyes turn to the pure white of the banshee. "To your pack. To those mutts who took you in. Stole you from the glory you were meant to be part of." she was about to protest but he held his hand up silencing her with the mere gesture. "I'm not finished." his eyebrows knitted together once again as he raised his chin collecting his thoughts, and it seemed all the air in the room. "It's one thing to let your heart be divided to those you love. It's another for your mind to be too. You'll never be able to beat The Seer, if your mind is not your own. Giving up your werewolf nature was smart. Draws the line in the sand as far as your loyalty goes. But your inability to choose a's left you weak. You're still thinking like one of them. Acting like it. Still waiting around for a pack alpha to save the day. You said yourself, this isn't a wolf thing, it's a vampire thing. Wouldn't it make more sense to have an ally who knows you? Who's as smart and strong as you are!" he slammed his palm on one of the dryers. "Where is the woman; the leader of armies I married? Cause you, you're nothing but a weak child waiting to be rescued by a man!"

"She died in a well!" our heroine screamed at him. Taking a step closer to the vampire, she let her fangs cut through her top gums. "That woman was captured and imprisoned for four years!" 

"It should have made you stronger, not weaker." his voice never rose from a hushed whisper. "You can't continue to live one foot in their world and one in ours. You are no longer bound to them. You're bound to no one! You are a smart woman, use your brain. Not your emotions." his brown eyes shimmered in the dim light, emotionless. "Leave them. You left them once, you can leave them again." he sighed, his mouth becoming a thin line as he straightened, his shoulders back slightly, chest out. "You don't love this one. Tell me I'm wrong."  Vlad watched as our heroine stood there, her palms flat on the white machine, clumps of laundry soap near the lid's opening teasing her fingertips, as they both unconsciously counted the grains.

"I need to get back to him. I don't need him coming looking for me, putting everyone else in danger." she moved from the dark haired male. "With Dagan having claimed Matilda, it just makes more sense..."

"Dagan never claimed Matilda. Dagan was knocked out before we left here."

Our heroine's eyes went wide as she raced out of the building and back to the hotel room, leaving Vlad standing in the darkness.

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Vlad is planning something, the question is what?)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

CoffeeTalk Dec 6th 2016

Spudguns! I hope you've got your largest coffee mug this morning, cause I've got some randomness to dish.

First, the blog anniversary was back on December 3rd. Which means, this is the official first post of Blog Year 6!  My little batwing is growing up so fast...which means that I failed the one a day movie challenge for year 5.  It also means I do not have a solid plan for year 6. I think it is going to be a "random" year. But randomness is always good, cause it clears the head, and allows some creativity to sprout.

Second, Night Bleeds...we're capping off the year with Dracula. The original book and the 1992 movie version Bram Stoker's Dracula starring Gary Oldman. Deadline for that is the last Sunday of the month, which is Dec 25th. You read the book, watch the movie and if you are inspired by either/both to cook/bake/craft anything, you blog about it. Link back to the Night Bleeds page or the day of -my post. This is the official announcement post. You must have a blog to join in.

Third, I have instagram now. (here ) I'm already following a couple of the Foodn'Flix members...

Fourth, my Nosferatu Adventures; the once a week format is something I'll stick to with it.  Can you believe I've been writing that serial now for almost four years! It started off as a filler post back in year two, and look where it's mutated to. Remember, you are what you eat.  

Fifth; the What that Movie Inspired Me to Do, round of posts. Everybody's favourites.

To recap, we've got one more Night Bleeds combo this month, the mini-challenges and the never ending soap opera will continue, I have failed my blog readers (she says in her best Arrow voice) and I pictures of trees.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Night Bleeds November

The Oxford Canadian Dictionary 's definition of vampire : a ghost or reanimated corpse supposed to leave its grave at night to suck the blood of the living,
their definition of a zombie: a corpse said to be revived by witchcraft, a dull or exceedingly tired person,
the definition of a revenant : a visible ghost or animated corpse believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living, a zombie.
movie: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)  starring Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro.
plot: When an explorer finds his ship trapped in ice at the northest point of the then known world, he is startled to discover a man half frozen. When he takes him aboard, he learns the man's history.  Victor Frankenstein having lost his mother in childbirth when she had his younger brother, becomes obsessed with the idea of cheating death at all costs. He begins studying the works of both modern medicine and the known occult philosophies. He hides himself away in his lab, at first reanimating dead tissue in small animals, but eventually moving on to the idea of reanimating the recently dead. (this comes after yet another lost love one) His single minded obsession leads way to him becoming sick, and taken away from the university by his best friend and his step-sister; Elizabeth. Unknown to them, Victor had been successful in creating a new lifeform, which he's run in fear from. We then see the world through the eyes of the creature, as he learns to survive on his own while having to hide his injuries. Before long, the creature demands that Victor create a mate for him, and swears that he will not rest until either he is allowed to have what Victor has or takes it all away from Victor in rage. When Victor tries to outsmart the creature by secretly marrying Elizabeth, the creature retaliates by killing Elizabeth. He then demands that Elizabeth be used to create his own mate. Succeeding in this against his will, Victor claims the newly reanimated Elizabeth for his own, but she understands what has happened to her and kills herself. The two men are then left running from each other in a battle of wills.

I have to say, one of my favourite scenes has always been the creature's revenge when he rips the heart out of Elizabeth.  Another is when Clerval introduces himself in the street after the lecture, complimenting the coat and Victor says "I am not mad". There is just something so perfect in the comedic timing between the two.  Is it wrong to admit that Clerval is one of my favourite characters in the movie version?  He's the perfect combination of silly sidekick and serious conscience. ("Dear diary why does no one understand me? P.S. I am not mad!") 
You also have the stairs scene, where Victor is carrying the dead Elizabeth up this winding staricase in this blood red robe (a toss to the fact they used the same set from Dracula) It puts you in mind of some demonic-angel ascending from hell.  This is his big F-U to everyone, throwing all logic and ethics out the window by brazenly admitting to what he's been doing. No longer even trying to hid the fact he's been messing around with stuff he maybe shouldn't have.

Besides wanting the trenchcoat he wears in the beginning (and later worn by the creature) I always wanted the journal Victor keeps. There is something about the idea of a book of all knowlegdgefullness...

Here is a man who is caught between the knowledge he's gathered of the occult and the modern Christian concepts of God. His desperation leads to first his faith in extending life, then to his obsession of "gathering the raw materials" to prove it can be done. He bucks the limits of the then modern medicine when he knowingly says that to grant pain free/death free life was a risk worth any consequence.

It's interesting that they set the movie during the time of a plague, given that vampires were often "blamed" for many of the plagues that happened.  The use of birthing fluid and electricity is brilliantly used here to help "kickstart" the reanimation. Electricity, although connected to the Frankenstein movies, was never really touched upon in the book. (there is one scene in the book where Victor is transfixed by a thunder storm and a dead tree)
We see how Victor's single minded obsession also leads to his illness and depression. He's fallen to his own madness and half wasted away. (visually putting you in mind of a vampire) 

Right off, I'm having issues with the photo and I have no clue how to flip it in the post here so yeah it's sideways...

Book: After the death of his mother, Victor Frankenstein, goes off to university where he quickly becomes obsessed with the idea of the "natural sciences". After devoting nearly four years of his life to the study of what some would consider metaphysics, he begins to question the reality of heaven, hell, lifeforce and creation. Consumed with the idea of a stronger man created not from the natural connection of sexual relationships, but from the idea of expanding on the evolution of what is already, he begins to reanimate life into dead tissue. When faced with his creation, the truth of what he has done, of what human nature is capable of, he flees in fear. When his best friend Clerval arrives at the university, he finds Victor near death from illness and exhaustion. The evidence of Victor's addictions long since disappeared. When they decide to take a trip back home, to visit the family, they learn that Victor's youngest brother has been murdered, and their adopted sister Justine is accused of the crime, Victor knows without a doubt that his creature has done this for revenge. Meeting with the creature on a remote mountain top, the creature asks one thing of Victor, to end his suffering and create a female for him. When Victor refuses, the creature begins to kill off each of the family members till there is no one left to protect.

It's been a few years since I last read this, and I have to admit I had completely forgotten about the side story midway regarding the "French family and the Arabian wife", that the creature tells.  It shows a lot about the types of stories that were popular at the time of the author's writing (such as 1001 Nights,  where the anthology style was becoming popular. Where you would have one storyteller giving you different tales)

Frankenstein is a story of obsession, vice, fear, faith, disillusion, and ego.  While the character of Frankenstein sets out to explore the inner world of humankind, the character of the creature sets out by no fault of his own to discover the outer world. Each as lost and disgusted by what they find. 

I always saw the relationship between the two leads as that of a sire bond. There is actually a scene in the book where Victor refers to the creature as his own vampire, when he realizes that the creature is trying to destroy everything he loves. The story refers to them as Father-Son, God-Adam, God-Satan,  style relationships. But, in it's own way, it's as if we are looking at a split personality, one of innocence gone wrong. Each is left struggling with their need for family and a place to fit, neither finding it. That is, until it's too late. It isn't till faced with their own deaths, that each seems to realize how much they are devoted to the other.

The level of manipulation going on between the two, is much like that of Dracula and Renfield, or even Dracula and Harker. The creature puts the worst fears into Victor, knowing his threats are the only thing holding any sway over him. The only difference here is that the creature doesn't do what he does out of ego, he does it out of grief.  There are moments in the story, where Victor has lost all reason, all hope. He's emotionally and physically weak, drained having put all his time, effort, energy into either making the creature or running from his fear of the creature. This is one of the biggest examples of the classic folklore vampiric relationship. The totally absorption of self into the ego of another. (there is also the nod to the fact the creature mostly only moves around by night)

Besides the fact the story deals with having a god-complex, the metaphors for loneliness and self-destruction are two of the most common we see in vampire stories. The two main characters, Victor and his creature, are both dealing with an extreme level of isolation. Neither being able to accept fully that they invited it themselves. Victor by his obsession to recreate life and the creature by his obsession to fit in.

Okay, so I'm going to shut up now and point you to Heather's blog All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, so you can see what she has to offer on the topic.

Next month, we're rounding out the year with Dracula both the book and the 1992 movie version Bram Stoker's Dracula. But I'll be back later in the week with the official post on that.

Night Bleeds October Continued

Okay, so this is the very overly long awaited second part of last month's book/movie club. Sorry guys, I really had no idea how long the book was when I added it.

Salem's Lot  by Stephen King:  plot - Ben returns to his childhood hometown in order to write a book based on some tragic events that happened when he was younger. That, and to get over some long held fears about the place. His arrival is tainted by the deaths of a few local kids, as well as the untimely arrival of a pair of strange business men. The town soon begins to express their fear and distrust with good reason. One of the high school teachers, Matt; befriends Ben, as does the young local doctor, Jimmy. The three find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery, which quickly elevates, when they realize they are in fact dealing with a group of vampires. Ben's new girlfriend Susan, and one of the children in town Mark, have witnessed the horrors newly plaguing the town, and agree to help the others fight off the vampires before the whole town becomes infected. Armed with only their fear and some folklore, they turn to the only priest who still believes in the supernatural, Father Callahan; to help them defeat the vampires.

I have to say, for me this book didn't even get interesting until around page 550. You're more than half way into the book before there are any vampires. The first half is literally just setting up the cannon fodder. Normally, I can get lost in a King book with ease, hanging off of every word, but this book was like trying to walk through mud for the first half. After reading the details of how the young teenaged mother beats her newborn, you're routing for the vampires to kill her brutally and slow.

I did, however love the fact the house is as much a vampire as the vampires are. The house itself weighs down on the town, it's every shadowy presence stretching over the town for decades causing hearts to skip a beat and grown men to sweat buckets at the mention of it. The fact that as each character finds themselves on the doorstep of the place, they feel the literal weight of the building baring down on their chests. And I did like the metaphor of towns that no longer thrive as undead pockets filled with revenants, unnoticed by "the actual living" as they drive through. The metaphor of ghost towns plays a prominent role in the story.

Dracula is referenced a lot as well, comparing the group -Ben, Matt, Jimmy, Callahan, Susan and Mark to Harker, Van Helsing, Seward, Holmwood, Mina/Lucy, - as well as Barlow and Straker to Dracula and Renfield.   The depiction of Barlow is also extremely like Vlad Tepes, which is contrary to the movie version I remember seeing as a kid (in which he looks more like Count Orlock from Nosferatu)

So for me, the first half of the book which picks apart the sleepy town and plays with the fears of a satanic cult, was not interesting. But I understand why it's used. This story was originally written when the whole cult paranoia was spreading rapidly through the news.

As you might remember the other half of the combo was the 1985 movie Fright Night.  The reason I picked this as a combo and not going for the obvious of the book and one of the tv movie adaptions was simply because I had a difficult time locating a dvd copy of it.  But, if you got around to watching the movie Fright Night, and reading Salem's Lot, then you will see the similarities.
You've got a guy who obsessed by terror stories, becomes fixated on the neighbour's house believing there is a vampire living there. His girlfriend becomes a victim being turned. you've got the young sidekick (Evil Ed in the movie; Mark in the book) who is the horror genre expert. You've got the older father figure type (Peter Vincent in the movie, Matt the school teacher in the book) who is acting as the Van Helsing character and therefore the backbone of the team (this in the book is actually split between first Matt then later Callahan) and of course the house. Both the movie Fright Night and the book Salem's Lot, center around the neighbour's house as much as it does the vampires.   Given the fact the book came out a decade before the movie, you can't help but suspect the film was influenced as much by it as it was the old Hammer films of the 60's.

Okay, this is where I am ending the chat on this for now.  I will be back later in the day with the November Night Bleeds combo which is Frankenstein and the 1994 movie version Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Nosferatu Adventures s11 p17

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 291, chapter 291

Out of Time...

Bacchus sighed as he walked around the small room in the occult shop. The sound of the snoring shapeshifter grinding on his every nerve. Snarling, the god was tempted to knock over one of the statues from the shelf just to hear it crash. Rolling his eyes, he decided against it, instead pacing around in the slowest motion his body would allow, as to not frighten the others. Quentin was set to arrive with orders to collect the other spellbook. That's what the sandy haired god was waiting for. He watched as the little hellhound bounded down the stairs like the puppy he was, his curiosity causing the little furball to sniff everything in his path. Yelping, he came skidding to a stop in front of the sofa where Dagan was snoring.  "I don't expect he'll be awake anytime soon." the god spoke to the creature scooping him up in his arms. "Vlad had to restrain him earlier. In order to get him back here. And Rufus doused him with some sleeping potion." the little pup whimpered as he turned to sniff Bacchus's face.


Edric lay on the hotel bed, empty blood bags scattered around him. Burping, the hybrid sighed as he flipped through the channels once more. "I'm bored."

"We still have a couple hours till sunrise. You can handle it." our heroine said, her back turned to him as she flipped through the large spellbook. Her ears twitched as she heard her fledgling beginning to hold back a giggle. "Don't say it."  she looked at his reflection in the window. Watched as the male rolled over the edge of the bed tossing the used blood bags into one of the empty plastic grocery bags, before leaning on his elbow.

"I get it more than you realize. You're tired of being treated like some championship belt. Everyone's greasy little paws clinging onto you like you're their only chance at stardom. I understand, I do." he laid back down with a grunt. "I dealt with that my whole life too. That was until you turned me." he let his left arm drag over the edge of the bed, running his knuckles back and forth on the rug. "Only difference is you didn't become the title shot until after you were turned." his voice lowered to a whisper. "I envy you for that. In a way." the sandy-blonde male was off the bed standing behind his sire without a sound. "You at lest got to have a normal life before you became the championship belt." he nodded to his own reflection in the window; his arms suddenly around our heroine's waist.

"We've been over this a million times. Soulless equals no longer the title belt." her shoulders stiffened as she got defensive.  The male hybrid shrugged, reaching one hand around her grabbing the large spellbook and sitting back down on the bed.

"A spell for keeping moths out of the garden, a spell for turning your enemies into slaves..." he flipped the pages noisily. "Right next to a recipe for chocolate cake and lemon basil cookies."  Nosferatu glared at him as she opened a bottle of pop. "What?" Edric continued to flip the pages letting out a sound that was somewhere between a growl and a sigh of disgust. "Like I said, I'm bored." he pulled his right hand away. "It bit me." he said watching the drops evaporate.

"That's what you get for rough handling it. Paper cuts."

"No, I mean it bit me, Not just a paper cut." he held out his hand towards her. There was no denying there did seem to be a red spot on the tips of his two fingers that looked a lot like fang marks. "Explain that to me." he pouted.

"Yeah dude, I can't." she replied taking the book back placing it on the small table again. She watched the male's reflection once more, as he flopped back on the bed, his right knee moving from side to side. "You hungry? We can order something." she turned back around to face him.

"This time of night? Everything's closed man." he sighed reaching out once again for the tv remote. He turned on the weather channel seeing the little icon for the sun, the time stamp beside it reading 6:48am. Glancing at the bedside clock, Edric let out another sigh as the digital lights flashed 3:15am. He hadn't transformed in over two hours. Scratching at his stomach, the hybrid sat back up his blue eyes wide. "You think it's safe yet?" he asked all seriousness to his tone. "I mean, maybe we should call them?"

"And what? Ask if Matilda was brutally shacked by a crazed wolf?" our heroine crossed her arms over her chest, hugging herself.  Edric tilted his head to the side processing the sentence.

"You mean...that..." he brought his hands up crossing them first at the wrists then uncrossing them, his fingers flexing in question. "Oh.Oh!" he blushed.

"It's not a pleasant experience trust me."

"Were...were any of the times you were claimed..." his voice trailed off as he continued to blush. Our heroine sat down on the bed, nearest the headboard but keeping a few feet between them. "...was it..."

"Less than brutal?" she let out a sigh of her own. "Couple." she tucked her feet under her, curling up with emotional exhaustion.

"Well by now he has to have claimed her? And we won't have to worry about the ritual any more." Edric said yawning. Stretching back out on the bed beside his sire, the male allowed himself the luxury of believing everything was going to be okay. "So let me ask you something." he tucked one arm behind his skull closing his eyes. "If it had been the other way around. If you and Matilda had been the ones effected by the ritual...who would you have gone and claimed?"

"Fishing for compliments so beneath you." she moved a little closer to his shoulder tempted to rest her face on it, but held back instead fluffing up the pillow.

"I know." he tapped his other hand against her thigh. "Answer. Come on. Truth or dare."

"I wouldn't have had much of a choice once the full moon kicked in. The guys have described it as sort of blacking out but not really. You have no control over yourself yet it's like watching from a dream. You know it's happening, yet you can't do anything to stop it. I guess it would have been you?"

"You guess?" his voice raised in a pinch.

"You would have been the closest supernatural male. Plus the sire bond..." she trailed off. Our heroine turned over onto her side, tracing her fingertip over Edric's throat. He swallowed, the pulse point in his neck beating rapidly. The tint spread then from his cheeks up into his ears and down his neck causing goosebumps. "You know, for a male, you blush a lot."

"Well the bloods got to go somewhere." he bit the corner of his mouth.

"Oh my god."

"Shhh." he let a half grunt escape his throat. "Not so loud, Loki might show up." he squeezed her thigh before yawning again. "With your soul." he grinned wide. "Second thought, maybe that's a good idea. Huh? Then I could claim you..." he growled playfully.

She sat half way up on her hip, clearing her throat. "Your hand does not belong there."

"Yes it does. Besides, that's a lot of thigh, plenty of real estate." He winked at her from over his shoulder. The phone started to ring, causing Edric to practically steamroll over our heroine so he could answer it first. "Yeah?" he mouthed the words It's Seward. Our heroine nodded pointing to her ears.

"Banshee hearing." she sighed half listening to the hollow voice on the other end, half admiring Edric's shoulder, wanting desperately to rip a chunk out of his smooth flesh.

"Are you sure? Okay just keep calm, we...we can't for another two hours at lest. Sunrise...drug him. Go ahead and just stab him full of whatever you've got...I don't know! Then hit him with a lamp. Figure it out!" he hung up swearing. The male hybrid let himself fall diagonally across her as he howled in frustration. "Well we're going to have a pack after all. Don't say it!" he spat, more angry with himself than anything. The sandy-blonde male swore again, slamming his fist into the headboard causing it to dent. "I didn't bite him I swear." he moved to a kneeling position balancing himself at the edge of her hip; before jumping from the bed in a blur. "If you had just let me take you for my mate, we've got enough for a pack and Dagan is going to be alpha" he paced back and forth feeling like the hotel room was choking him.

"Ugh! You don't want it trust me." our heroine said as she got from the bed, "It's like being Prime Minister, everyone thinks they want the job, but in the end it's a really rough gig." she mindlessly said as she grabbed the room key. "I'll be back in ten minutes, just chill out for a few."

"Where are you going?" Edric demanded his eyes having flashed to the amber-grey of the wolf.

"The laundromat few doors down. I am going to see if I can find something to wear." she gestured to the sweater and shirt she was barely wearing.

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Edric making lemon and basil cookies, naked, wearing only a pair of glasses and an apron that has the Canadian flag on it...)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Food n Flix November 2016

This month's selection for Food n Flix is the 2015 movie  Burnt, and its being hosted by Caroline Makes

I've talked about this movie before on here (last year this time) but here's a brief reminder  : Bradley Cooper plays Adam Jones, a once famous chef who'd managed to gain two Michelin Stars before his addictions forced him out of the business. Now, sober he begins to form his plans to not only get back to his career, but to earn that third star. He manages to charm old friends, new coworkers and everyone in between with his stubbornness and his recipes, but old habits tend to die hard.

Notes:  burgers, fries, oysters, cake, eggs, tomato, bacon, mushrooms, coffee, prunes, seared tuna, wine, pasta, bread, strawberries, rum, chopped sage, vodka, bourbon, milkshakes, street foods, pulled pork, chicken, BBQ, falafel, lamb, shrimp, mussels, mackerel, ricotta, duck eggs, escargot, quail, peas, zucchini, micro-greens, lobster, scallops, pizza, monk-fish, soup, oranges, egg rolls, limes, ribs, beef, eggplant, cauliflower, sprouts, risotto, halibut, pork, cheese, potato, peppercorns, butter, celery, brussel sprouts, truffle, sole, salad, sea bass, garlic, cayenne pepper, omelette, pigeon, sweet breads, oatmeal, pop, fennel, carrots

Okay, so my two favourite scenes in this were the one where he's in the Burger King defending the fast food industry, and when the sous chef is making her daughter fish for breakfast over and over until she gets it right. I wanted to make a seafood dish, but I just couldn't convince anyone to let me cook it for them, and me being vegetarian, well there went that idea. (halibut with a white sauce and a side salad of red peppers, onions and blood orange was one idea, another was a breaded fish sandwich with mozzarella stick-fries)

What I ended up going with was a vegetarian dish that was a lot less fancy, but very comforting. Scalloped Potatoes. Yes, I finally got around to making a casserole for FnF. I thought this blended the ideas of my two favourite scenes just enough. The idea of comfort food (the burger scene) with this could be fancy (the fish scene)


three large potatoes, half an onion, half a liter of milk, 1 cup flour, 3 Tablespoons butter, salt and pepper
peel and slice the potatoes into rounds, as well as the onion

Layering everything - potatoes, onions, bit of the butter, flour, salt and pepper- do this about 4 times (roughly depending on how deep your dish)  until you are nearly at the top of the dish,

Pour milk over the layers, till it almost reaches the top

bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes -depending on your oven

Okay, so I have to admit, since I was making this for someone else, I had salt in it, if I had been cooking this just for myself at home, I would have left out the salt completely and doubled up the black pepper.

One of the reasons I always liked scalloped potatoes, was because it looked like it took all day to make, when it was a simple quick dish. So for me, it's always been elevated comfort food.

Next month, our fearless leader Heather from All Roads Lead To The Kitchen, is hosting and her pick is Krampus.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Nosferatu Adventures s11 p16

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 290, chapter 290

Out of Time...
The Van Helsing Boys

Landin ran his hand through his bleached blonde hair, chewing on a piece of gum. His blue eyes searching the crowded lobby of the police station, his ears buzzing with the constant ringing of phones. The full moon really did bring out the strange in people. His younger cousin was already talking to the nearest officer, informing him that they were looking for Arthur. The officer pointed towards the back room, telling them they could wait there. Seward all but skipped back to where Landin was, a look of pure delight in his eyes.

"He's in with a reporter. But we can wait for him in the back. You okay?" Seward asked. Landin nodded shrugging.

"I've got that feeling again." he shook his head. "I'm cool. I'm cool. Just if I seem like I might faint or something, at lest don't let me fall on my nose okay?"

"Always jealous that you got grandma's perfect nose." Seward grinned wide at him, tossing his head back slightly causing his mass of wild curls to bounce. "Ah cool. There he is."   The two started moving in unison towards the older male, neither sure just what to say.  "So you want to break the silence first?"

"With what? Hi I know we only met once, but your ex-girlfriend is a bloodsucking fiend but not to worry about her, it's her shapeshifting ex that wants to kill you."

"Works for me." Seward cleared his throat grabbing Arthur's hand. "Hi. Hi."

"Can I help you?" Detective Holmwood looked at them through very tired eyes.  Seward tilted his head to the side grabbing his cell phone. Snapping a shot he texted it off quickly before turning back around, already reaching into his backpack for something.

"Nosferatu asked us to stop by. She's worried..."

"She's worried that you were..." Landin butted in but quickly lost any train of thought he had, puffing out his cheeks with a deep sigh.

"Her ex boyfriend is sort of on a ripper tonight, she asked us to stop by on our way home just to see if you were okay. Make sure you hadn't had any dealing with him tonight." Seward commented as he grabbed a blood pressure cuff. "Mind if I?" he gestured to Arthur's arm not waiting for the other man to approve.

"The guy who was in here the other day?" Arthur asked his eyes suddenly half closed. He was so exhausted the last few hours, that he just let Seward have his examination.

"That would be Edric, her new...uhbbb...friend. No, we mean Dagan." Landin replied.  He noticed the detective rubbed at his jaw a few times in the minute and a half they'd been talking to him. "Forget to shave this morning?"

"What? I must have. Been so tired the last twenty-four hours, I barely remember my own name." Arthur's voice dropped a notch and became muffled as he yawned.

"I'm going to call Quentin and tell him to swing by here. I think we might need some of the bagged bl ...uh...cocktail sauce." Seward said nodding his head smiling closed lipped. "You're just looking a little peckish, and I think it might be a bit of a virus...flu! But, we've been dealing with this with Nosferatu the last few days so..."

"Cocktail sauce? For the flu?" Arthur asked rubbing his jaw again.

"Really amazing...cocktail sauce." Seward smiled again nodding. "Vitamin B12. Great for the iron." he started to dial.

"What happened there?" Landin asked noticing for the first time the red marks on Arthur's hands.

"Rash. Allergic to something I suppose." he started flexing and unflexing his hand as if never having seen it before. "Sort of appeared yesterday after I was on a case."

"Something to do with chemicals? Cause those sort of look like burns." the bleached blonde said elbowing his younger cousin. "Want to take a shot of those."

"It was just really weird. One second I was fine, brought a guy into custody, and then this happened." he held up his hands towards them, noticing how his normally manicured nails were suddenly longer. "I must be more tried than I thought, I swear I just trimmed those?"

"Again, I ask were there chemicals at the crime scene?" Landin asked not completely sure he should touch the detective's hands, but wanting to examine the glass like nails.

"No." the older male sighed crossing his arms. "I don't know? Might have been. Just remember cuffing him and then this burning sensation..."  Seward looked up at him from under his hair.

"Your jaw...that from the other day when Edric was here? When he took me home?" Landin asked.

"Yeah." Arthur responded not looking at them but somewhere between the two males. "When he threw me into the cabinets."

"Okay. New plan. You're taking the rest of the night off and coming with us. I have a feeling Nosferatu is going to want to know about this." Seward remarked.  Landin held up his finger gesturing for Arthur to give them a second, as he grabbed his cousin by the shoulders guiding him away a few feet.

"If you're implying what I think you're implying, we can't let him anywhere near Nosferatu. Not tonight."

"Oh shack!" Seward's eyes went wide. "What do we do?"

"Take him back to our place I guess? That's far enough away from both the hotel and the occult shop." Landin replied as he started to walk back towards the detective. The bleached blonde male's gaze fell upon a set of handcuffs sitting on the edge of one of the desks. Clearing his throat he scooped them up as he continued on. Carefully, he brushed them against the detective's arm expecting to see it burn. Only, nothing happened. "Um...huh." he turned nearly smashing into Seward. "We've got a problem."

"You mean more than the one staring us in the face right now; with the fact Detective Holmwood is about to become the latest member of the furry faces are us fan club? Because I don't think that anything else you have to tell me right now, could be more of a problem?" Seward replied.

"The handcuffs did nothing. I touched them to him and nothing." Landin said holding up the set still in his hand.

"That's because handcuffs are not made of silver. Of course they had nothing to do with the burns on his hands. Werewolves react to silver. And those my friend are not made of silver. They are made of stainless steel."

"Okay smarty pants, then what the hell caused the burns?" Landin asked, the handcuffs clanking in his grip.

"Yeah I have no idea. Like seriously. What in this day and age is still made of silver?"

Groaning, Landin rubbed the heel of his palm against his eyes shrugging. "I don't know. Jewellery? Maybe?"   Seward leaned over his cousin's shoulder asking Arthur if he could remember touching any jewellery at the scene?  The detective stood there for a long moment, just staring off still, before mumbling something neither could hear. Scratching at his temple, Seward asked him again.

"There was a ...thing..." Arthur gestured towards his neck, the nails gleaming in the lights. "...a trinket. Coin."

"A coin? Old coins were made of silver, but that would mean the thing was priceless. Ohhh." Seward made a face as a realization came over him. "Was it a robbery? Did you arrest him for robbing someone?"


Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Bet you didn't see that coming...)

Friday, November 11, 2016

year 5 day 179

movie: Sausage Party
starring: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill
genre: Comedy,
format: Shaw Video On Demand

plot: When a grocery store full of food items discover that their lives are build on a lie, they begin to break the rules of their packages in order to find the truth.

So I had mixed emotions about this film. When I first saw the trailer last summer for it, I was looking forward to it. It looked really funny.  I watched this the other night on rental, and I don't remember laughing more than once. If it wasn't for the fact I had paid for the rental, I would have turned it off. I did not find it funny.  This is basically one continuous penis joke after another, which normally I find penis jokes hilarious, but it got old quick.
But, with that said, it lingers in your mind. Sure, it's "packaged" as a "fresh idea"; which it is but not in the way it was expressed in the previews. As I said, it lingered in my mind a bit. This is a real slap in the face social commentary on religion, politics and sexual identity. Which, were this a live action film would never have made it to the cinemas. It's too over the top at times, but that is almost what is needed to make the points.

You've got a set of characters here from the typical hot dogs, buns, a bagel, bottle of alcohol, twinkies, to the people who buy them. Then there is the big bad, who is a douche. No, I'm not being sarcastic, the villain in this is a cartoon feminine hygiene product that has one thing on his mind. To get up in there. That, and "kill the sausage." Which you can take anyway you want.
I sort of walked away from this film disgusted at first, then as it rolled around a bit in my brain, sort of got why the humour was as blunt as it was.  I really could have done without the poop or the big sex orgy, that was both a bit much for even me. The talking condom was funny, that was the one real joke I laughed out loud at.

There is a speech one of the characters makes in the film about how they knew the truth of what happens to the food when it leaves the store, but created a happier myth for the others, and how they are disappointed by the way their harmless story has become twisted. I think that sort of summed up everything in one sentence, as being the core of the movie. The opening scene has all the products in the store singing in praise of their "gods" in hopes of being picked that day. Which, rapidly snowballs into each section of the store's "neighbourhood" declaring themselves better than the rest of the products.

what did I learn? Would I sit through this again, honestly I'm not sure?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Nov Night Bleeds Announcement

Spudguns! this would be the monthly announcement for the all vamp movie/book combo; Night Bleeds.  And you might notice that I haven't taken the "red highlight" off of last month's. That is because, as stated in my "unfinished homework" from last month; November is a choice.

Combo November's original book is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and the 1994 movie version Mary Shelley's Frankenstein starring Robert De Niro.

Or...if you; like myself did not make it through last month's book and would like to;  can do Salem's Lot (book) and the 1985 movie Fright Night.

Rules: Read the book, watch the movie, blog about your thoughts and if you were inspired by both or either of them, to cook/bake/craft something, then add it to your post.  You must have a blog to join in, and link back to either this post or the Night Bleeds page.

Deadline: Sunday Nov 27th 2016

I stated because I did not do my research before adding the Stephen King book to the list, and was unaware it was as long as it was, that's why I'm giving the choice of continuing October's selection or actually proceeding with November's. I will be doing both much to my own horror.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Nosferatu Adventures s11 p15

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 289, chapter 289

Out of Time...

Edric rested his skull on the edge of the tub, the water steaming. He had no idea how much energy the transformations would take out of him, and he couldn't even transform into a wolf completely. It had been over an hour already, with Edric having transformed twice, and both times needing to feed. They wouldn't know if the plan worked completely till they talked to Matilda. Without enough lycanthropes for a pack, they were in the dark as to whether Dagan had stopped the full moon ritual by claiming Matilda as his mate? Edric had not felt anything to indicate it had happened.  Letting out a deep breath, the hybrid started mumbling to himself.  His sire appeared in the doorway of the bathroom, leaning on the door frame her arms crossed, smiling at him. Sniffing, Edric opened his eyes to look at her. "What?"

"You're quoting the bathtub scene from Fear and Loathing. Cute." she remarked.

"Yes ma'am, I am." he sniffed again this time reaching his hand out for her.

"I'm not getting anywhere near you right now. I think we might actually be able to get through this tonight with only the feeding part. I called Quentin, he's going to bring a few more blood bags cause we need something fresh. Smile, you dodged a bullet." she remarked the cuff of Seward's sweater once again at her nose. It was literally the only thing keeping her head clear, keeping her from throwing herself at Edric. She'd have to remember to send the kid a fruit basket or something with a big thank you note for not having washed his sweater.  Growling, Edric got out of the tub removing the stopper, letting the water quickly down the drain.

"You're really selfish you know that?" he snarled pointing at her as he grabbed a towel, walking out of the hotel bathroom and into the main room.

"Just how am I selfish?" our heroine asked turning to follow him. The hybrid didn't answer her, just raised his hand as if tossing something into the air before grabbing the tv remote turning it on. He sat on the foot of the bed, flipping channels mindlessly, letting the hissing noise as each channel appeared for the half second, fill his ears. "How am I selfish?"

"Removing your soul." he refused to look at her as he continued to flip through the channels again not finding anything of interest. Turning the tv off, Edric tossed the remote down on the side table. "Not trusting me enough to follow through with my plan. Why do you keep ripping it down?" he stood facing her again. "We were equals!" he gestured between them. "For the first time ever in my life, I had someone who was dealing with the same crap I was. Who knew just what I had to live with. And then you had to go and screw it up! Removing your soul, removing the part of you that made you a shapeshifter. You left me without the chance to become a pack alpha, without a chance to claim a mate, you left me incomplete!" he growled in frustration tossing his head back, his blue eyes turning once again to the amber-grey of the wolf. "You...left me! Alone! Through all this now, I'm going to be alone!" he moved around the small room, his hands on his hips, his jaw clenched. "What is it exactly that you don't like about me? What is it that is keeping you from being with me?" his right hand hovered between them very near her throat. "You made yourself the most important person in my life by turning me. Siring me to you for all eternity. Yet, you refuse to take that responsibility." he shook his head. "Why?"

"You think I don't want you? It's all I can do to keep my distance." she said her own hand suddenly balance with his. "Every nerve in my body is screaming at me to throw you on the bed. You forget, the sire bond is shacking with my brains too."

"Then why are you fighting me on this? It's a good plan. Brilliant if you ask me." the sandy-blonde male said smirking, his hands fiddling then with the edge of the towel still wrapped around his waist.

"I never said it wasn't. I just said you'll hate us both if it back fires." she let out a sound of exhaustion. Turning, our heroine sat down on the bed, both hands in her short spiked hair.

"How could it back fire?"

"Bacchus did say Loki was trying to get my soul back. What if he does? What if he does before I can figure out the spell to trap The Seer? Or worse what if he replaces my soul while..." she waved her hand towards him, the cuff of Seward's sweater falling over the tips of her fingers.

"So when all is said and done, you are afraid to be my mate?" Edric sat down beside her on the bed, staring off towards the window. "Way to make a guy feel crappy about himself." he flopped back on the bed, his hands over his face.

"Why are you acting like some horny teenager anyways?"

"Everyone keeps drilling it into my skull that the next chick I shack will be the one I'm stuck with for the rest of eternity." he sat back up, scratched at the back of his neck. "Right now, this is the loophole in the contract. Unless you're hiding another soulless female somewhere..."

"Wow. Wow." our heroine stood back up, moving towards the bathroom locking the door. Edric sat there in the little room flipping back and forth between anger and disgust when his ears began to twitch. Sniffing deeply, the male hybrid got up, magick misting himself a pair of jeans and letting his eyes return to their human blue, before opening the hotel door.  Landin was standing there in the hallway, just about to knock, carrying two large grocery bags in his other hand. Sighing, Edric sidestepped gesturing for the bleached blonde to enter.

"Dude!"  Seward said a few feet behind them as he raced down the hallway, a large backpack in tow. "Have you seen the parking lot?" the younger male was practically jumping up and down with giddiness. "Massive claw marks on the outside of the building. Right there" he pointed to the nearest exit. "And I'm pretty sure whatever it was, ate like three large birds, cause there are black feathers everywhere." he crossed to the table opening up the backpack, pulling out the large book. "I was told to bring this." he said starting to flip through it.  A pale slim hand slammed the book shut on him, our heroine standing there suddenly. She had moved so fast, no one, not even the fledgling had heard or seen her return from the bathroom.

"That's not for you." she said grabbing up The Seer's grandmother's spellbook. "You bring the rest of it ?" the dark haired male nodded as he reached into the backpack again, handing over the photocopies and notes from his own grandfather. "Quentin said he'd be over in awhile with the other book. He and Ruthven went to the occult shop to get it from Matilda."

"Why is all this so important anyways?" Landin asked as he chewed on a straw. He was fighting a slight blush as he was overly aware of Edric's presence in the room. It wasn't helping that the empath was picking up on the already existing sexual tension that seemed to have been layered in the air before they arrived.

"Somewhere in all this, is the puzzle piece to beating The Seer. I hope." our heroine replied  Edric cleared his throat holding the door open still.

"You two should go. I'm not really safe to be around tonight." it was all the male could do not to grab both the humans ripping their throats out. The sound of their hearts beating was forcing him to sweat. Licking his lips, Edric cleared his throat again sniffing, moving past them locking himself this time in the bathroom.

"Yeah. You should go. And be careful getting back. The thing that made those claw marks, was Dagan. He might still be in wolf form?"

"Huh?" Seward gave a nervous giggle. "We'll text you in the daylight. Come on, maybe we should go hang out with that cop at the police station where it's heavily guarded and no monsters can get in."

Our heroine froze, her mind rolling at a million miles a second. "Oh god! Arthur! You have to go there for me, make sure detective Holmwood is okay alright! Please,  Dagan might wolf form he might....I didn't even think..."  she was pushing both Van Helsing boys out of the hotel room door, shoving them violently into the hallway. "Now!"

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Food n Flix October (Hallowe'en Week 6)

Spudguns! it's been a few months since I last joined in the group, and I couldn't think of a spiffier way to cap off Hallowe'en Week this year then doing a little treat based on a movie of tricks.  The Food'n'Flix selection this month is Beetlejuice, and it's being hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

plot:  When a couple are killed in an accident, the find themselves stuck in their old house as ghosts with a new family. After many attempts to rid themselves and what they consider to still be their home, of the unconventional modern family, they hire a so called expert to help. The self proclaimed bio-exorcist offers them not only a free possession with every expulsion, but his help comes at a price. He wants to be able to keep his human form, and not be confined to the afterlife. Soon, the ghostly couple find that they have more than just the uber modern family to get rid of.

I do believe I've chatted about this movie back in year one of the blog. (I know I did, I'm just too lazy to search for the post)

Notes:  milk(the model truck) juice, wine, bread, garlic, coffee (mentioned) beer, chicken (wall decoration) apples, rum and bananas (the song) bottled water, Chinese food (Cantonese actually I think is what they said?) pop, tea, soy sauce, cow, chocolate bar, onions, lettuce, turnip, chives, tomato, radicchio, herbs, artichoke, green peppers, salad dressing, jam, spices, oil, ginger, fruit, peas (mentioned) Italian food (mentioned) shrimp cocktails with sauce, lemons, limes, ice, olives, martinis. 
I would love to say I had this great out of the box idea for this, but that would be a lie. It sort of stumped me, (I think that I've hit a food creative wall lately)   One of my favourite scenes actually has nothing to do with the main cast, but with the sidekick Otho during the ending of the seance; where he's stripped of his dark cool looking suit and ends up in the powder blue nightmare 70's one. And I desperately was trying to come up with something for it. Sadly, my creative food writers block got bigger.
But, as I was staring at the screen giving myself an ego attack, I thought about the blood red wedding dress Lydia gets "stuffed" into against her will. And I had it! So simple it hurts, but I made a really easy Stuffed Red Pepper.
I started with a basic mushroom fried rice.

Cooked the rice, added some chopped mushrooms, green onion, and a fried egg.
Mixed it together with a splash of oil and pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a splash of hot sauce.

I then gutted the pepper, stuffing it with the mixture and baking it for 20 minutes at 300degrees.

Sadly, I don't have a spiffy cute name for it (my creativity is suffering)  Don't forget to join in next month when the movie de jour will be Burnt, which is being hosted by Caroline at Caroline Makes. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hallowe'en Week p5 (night bleeds)

So this is day 5 of the blog's Hallowe'en week, and it happens to be the monthly vampire book/movie club day.  And I have a confession to make...I did not finish reading the book. I know, I'm the host to book club, but I failed to do my own homework before hand, and did not realize the book is 700 pages long. When I added it to the list, I thought it was one of Stephen King's shorter novellas.  So I ran out of time, and never finished the book half of the combo this month.

I did however, get around to Fright Night, and decided to give you a "what that movie inspired me to do" dish to soften the blow of no book half... The combo was suppose to be that of the neighbourhood being taken over by a vampire and no one believing the one person who knew.

What I am going to do, since I never officially listed anything for next month's combo, I'm going to extend this month's into next, and offer the choice of doing the originally planned combo of the book Frankenstein, and the 1994 movie version Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.( starring Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro)  So if you want to join in next month's Night Bleeds, it's a choice of Fright Night/Salem's Lot  or Frankenstein.   And since I've only got myself to blame for not finishing my homework...I'll be covering both.
Fright Night (1985):  Charlie Brewster is obsessed with vampires. When he spots the new neighbours moving a coffin in next door, he becomes obsessed with proving there is a vampire living there. When he goes to the police, telling them about the murdered prostitutes last being seen at the neighbour's, no one believes him. Turning to his local hero, a late night horror host Peter Vincent, Charlie finds himself in a battle for not just his own soul, but that of those closest to him.

The key elements in this movie are belief, respect, loyalty, courage, desperation and obsession.  This is probably the best bridge between the way horror movies had been and the direction they turned in the late 80's going forward. The vampire movies started to turn from the point of view of the hunters to that of the vampires, not too mention, the vampires went from being the village terrors to becoming slick, sexy, desirable ideals. The scenes with the character of Peter Vincent, do play out more like the classic vampire movies, with him having to prove that the vampire is indeed a supernatural creature. As well, as fighting off the Renfield character of Evil Ed. The apartment Peter Vincent (classic combo name of Vincent Price and Peter Cushing) is decorated to remind you of the old Hammer style films, as there were always garlic and crosses prominent throughout the "old inns, churches, castles".  The big theme in those old style films, was always having to save the soul of the virginal girls, which in itself was a metaphor for losing your virginity and becoming "an adult". We see this played out in the character of Amy. When the movie opens, we see her ready to give herself to Charlie, who's distracted by his "childish obsession" with vampires as he sees the neighbours move in with a coffin. Amy, later in the infamously cool dance club scene, is in turn seduced by the older man, and turned into a vampire. The dance scene in itself is very erotic and more than suggestive to the idea that she has "lost her virginity" to him. When we next see her, she's dressed similar to the "brides" in most classic vampire movies, and it's once again Peter Vincent who raises a cross shying her away.
There's a great line midway in the film, where the vampire Jerry Dandrige tells Peter Vincent that in order for the cross to work on him, Vincent needs to have faith in it. Lending to the idea, that because of him being an actor, he's lost all faith in anything other than the material. This line is repeated later on near the end, when Vincent does in fact hold Jerry Dandrige back for a few moments with the cross. I have to point out, that both Evil Ed and Amy are easily affected by the simple sight of the cross, implying one of two things; either because they are fledglings and therefore weaker, the cross has a lot of power over them; or their own faith and belief in the image of the cross is what causes them to buckle. Suggesting highly that the power of suggestion is greater than the sword. (you can also argue on a third idea, that because Dandrige is such an old creature, the Christian god has no power over him as he predates Christianity/has other religious beliefs)
The opening scene, also shows us a thin line between obsession and desires or even that of basic needs. As Charlie is easily distracted by what's going on outside of his window, ignoring his girlfriend. Sex becomes less a need for him as he lets himself become engulfed with his obsessions. We also have a vampire movie playing in the background of the opening scene, with "Mr. Peter Vincent the Great Vampire Hunter" who is shown holding his stake backwards as he begins to kill a vamp. This again gives to the idea of not paying attention to your surroundings, and not paying attention to the situation at hand. It goes on to lend to the idea that your personal heroes are fallible. In the end of it all, the cowardly "movie hero" Peter Vincent, turns out to be the real hero of the plot, as he's the one who kills the vampires. He does this because he's left with no choice not because he's brave and strong. His desperation is foreshadowed when he takes the kid's money to help Charlie to begin with because he's beyond broke. And again this shows you how he's lost faith in anything that isn't of the material world.

I have a recipe...there is a bit more food than you would have first thought, mostly in the first half of the film. From casseroles, to burgers, chips, sloppy joes, fruit, beer, fries, pop, and a few drinks at the dance club.   Because we see the character of Jerry Dandrige eating apples more than a few times, I thought I'd make an Apple Brown Betty.

Slice up 3 to 6 large apples, placing them on the bottom of a pie dish, if you'd like you can add a light sprinkle of lemon juice to them to keep them from turning brown while you proceed,

Sprinkle both  2 teaspoons white sugar and cinnamon on them. You may add a pinch of nutmeg if you wish.
mix together 4 tablespoons butter, 2/3 cup of brown sugar and 8 tablespoons flour into a crumbled mixture, spreading over the top.
Bake roughly 45 minutes at 350degrees depending on your oven.

I know, so simple it hurts right?
I know my essay sort of blows this time around too. I've got bit more I want to say on Fright Night, which I will try to cover when I do the second part of this next month. I just didn't realize the book Salem's Lot was as long as it is, and just didn't allow myself enough time to get through it.

As I said, I'll extend this month's book club/movie combo to the end of November, and let anyone who wants to join in have a choice between it and Frankenstein. More on that later in the week with the official post.

Don't forget to check out Heather's offerings over on All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, this month, (here) she actually did the homework.