Sunday, June 25, 2017

Night Bleeds June 2017

Spudguns! It's that time again for the all vampire book/movie club. This month's selection combo was Witches of Eastwick.

Book:  Alexandra, Sukie and Jane have been friends for years. Ever since they all moved to the small town of Eastwick. Alexandra is getting bored with her current lover Joe, who keeps asking her if she wants him to leave his wife; while Sukie has just decided to exchange her current lover the town minister Ed for her boss Clyde, and Jane is also bored with the fact her current lover Raymond Neff is too demanding. The three women decide it would be nice to have a change of pace, when they find their worlds turned on it's side as a new man moves into town.
Unfortunately for the three witches, Darryl Van Horne, is more than just the talk of the town. He's also the center of attention from the other women. His entrance stirs up trouble with the city zoning board, but at the same time, manages to give half the town new jobs. He claims to be an inventor, but none of his works every seem to make it past the first creative stages. Meanwhile, he's prompting the three witches to expand on their own careers; pushing Jane Smart into trying harder works of music designed for a solo spot in the orchestra, as well as promising to make Alexandra Spofford the next household name in art. As each woman is seduced by their own fantasies of what Darryl really could represent for them, their home lives are breaking down. As the wives of their lovers are also beginning to want their own freedom from the husbands.
Felicia's husband Clyde, with his dreamy ideas of becoming a step father for Sukie Rougemont's children, snaps one night killing his wife with a fire poker before hanging himself. Brenda Parsley (Ed's wife) is both relieved and annoyed by the fact Sukie has dumped Ed for Clyde, as the affair was the one thing keeping Ed in check. But because of Sukie's desire to move on to Clyde, a teenaged Dawn sweeps in to ruin the equation. Dawn convinces Ed to run off and join a group of radicals opposing the war, which in turn gets Ed killed.
With the deaths of Felicia and Clyde, their children Chris and Jenny arrive in town. The three witches take a liking to the younger Jenny, inviting her to join their coven. Sadly for them, Jenny manages to steal Darryl from them, doing the one thing they couldn't, marry him. This sets off a chain reaction of hate from Jane, who convinces Alexandra and Sukie to help her get rid of the girl. They perform a spell using sympathetic magick by creating a poppet of wax and personal belongings of Jenny's. Jenny quickly becomes ill, and diagnosed with cancer. 
As an elderly couple -the Hallybreads; move in to town and buy Felicia and Clyde's house, Jane sets her sights now on the husband Arthur, leaving the wife Rose to deal with a new loneliness. Rose then befriends Dawn, Brenda and Greta Neff forming a new coven of their own.  Before long, Jenny dies leaving her now very wealthy widower husband Darryl Van Horne free to move back to New York with his lover; Chris, Jenny's younger brother.
Alexandra, Sukie and Jane have no other options but to do another spell each for their perfect man having decided they no longer want or need to stay in Eastwick.

So this book which is a 1984 novel, is for starters, set in the 1960s. Though, not a lot of "60's" details really stick in your brains letting you know this. It's mentioned here and there, but it honestly could be any decade really.

The big main theme here is women's liberation. Anyway you slice it, it comes down to a woman starting over and taking back her power. No pun intended.  It differs vastly from the movie version, from the fact they already know they are witches, to the multi-layering of extra characters, to the fact they are already very solidly having affairs when the story begins. Not too mention, the character of Darryl Van Horne is basically a bystander in it all. He's more a prop in the novel than anything else. Nor is he ever expanded on character wise. The story is seen through the eyes of all the women in town. Even with information in regards to the character of Darryl, it's either given by the four main women -Alexandra, Sukie, Jane, Jenny; or Rebecca the waitress who is dating Darryl's butler.  And nearly half the novel is done in second-hand/third-hand style. As gossip passed between the women. 

Movie: Alex, Jane and Sukie are three bored housewives. Jane is freshly divorced, Alex is widowed, and Sukie's husband abandoned her. Every week the three spend their Thursday nights trying out new recipes, drinking too much, gossiping about the rest of the town, and wishing for a better life. One night, they make a mutual wish for a new man to enter their lives.  That same night unknown to them, their wish is granted as Darryl Van Horne has just bought the old mansion on the hill. This sets off a ripple of excitement through the town, gathering the attention of Felicia; the town's self declared moral compass. Before long, the three main women find themselves the center of a scandal as each is seduced by Van Horne. Felicia, on the other hand has become obsessed with driving them out of town. But her visions of the coven drive her husband crazy, causing him to kill her then himself.
On the heels of the double murder, our main characters Alex, Jane and Sukie; decide to break away from Darryl's influence, but a moment too late as each ends up pregnant.
The three feel no choice but to use magick to send him away as they finally realize it was their combined will that brought him there to begin with.

This is one of those situations where the adaption is so different from the original works, that you almost can't even call them the same story.  In the book, Jane is the villain. There is nothing likable about the character of Jane Smart at all. She's vindictive, bitter, selfish, violent, abusive, and just greedy.  The character was not just softened for the movie, but overhauled into something more human. The movie combines the characters of the Neffs with a few others, giving Greta a base few mentions at the martini night scene when they are talking about the school principal. Where as in the novel, she's got a larger role.

The movie, is a starting over movie. All three of the main characters have lost the love of their life one way or another, and find themselves struggling to find a balance again.

I've talked about this movie in more detail last year when I hosted it for the May 2016 Food n Flix.  As well, I've done two recipes for it in the past. (Hallowe'en 2015 day 13 and the May 2016 Food n'Flix)  even though there is a ton of food mentioned in the book, I decided not to try any recipe right now. 

The vampire element you are the novel, Jane becomes more "alive" as Jenny deteriorates. The character of Jane goes from pale and mousy, to vivacious and brazen more and more as the spell works. Jane has literally stolen the life out of Jenny by having cast the hex on her. And it's at this point in the novel that Jane Smart ends up with her choice of lovers. (Which once again, has me casting notice to the subplot in Dracula where after the women are bitten and turned, the men become afraid of their sexuality.)
In the movie, Darryl is the one who holds the vampiric hold over the women. Manipulating them into giving him what he wants most, which are children. (and this vampiric element tying it to the idea of him being Dionysus/Bacchus which I talked about in a previous post) We see yet another parallel to the idea of Dracula and his three brides/Lucy and her three suitors; as Darryl has linked himself spiritually/emotionally and psychically to the three women, leeching off them their love and growing more powerful from their fears. (the scene where Darryl is sitting eating the basket of fruit watching the television sets of their video confessions, and suddenly their fears become real. He gets a powerful jolt from that both metaphorically and literally)

And with that, I'm going to end this one here for this month.  I'll be back later in the week with the official announcement post for August's combo, which I do believe is Night Watch...till later.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Nosferatu Adventures s12 p13

The Nosferatu Adventures
page 313, chapter 313

Pangs of Glory

He shifted the gear as he looked over his right shoulder towards the other car, Seward gaining on him. Edric laughed as he crossed the finish line clapping his hands, before raising his arms in victory. The little screen beeping and glowing with the strobe lights announcing him the winner. Lifting himself out of the seat of the molded plastic 'car', the sandy-blonde male stuck out his tongue at his friend clearly enjoying himself as he bounced to the song piping through the arcade. "200 points! You owe me a drink." he said pointing towards the younger male.

"Yeah yeah." Seward said, running his hands through his dark hair, one lone curl flopping over his forehead. "You got the keys?" he asked gesturing to the door of the room. Edric rolled his blue eyes at him, before retrieving the key ring from his pocket.

"We better lock up in here, the floors should be dry out there by now." he commented slapping Seward on the shoulder. The two were little more than night security, even though they got paid more and were allowed to wear plain clothes. With it being July 1st long weekend, the mall had closed early, which had them arriving for their shift while the janitor was still cleaning. Seward had decided to come to work that night in a red and white t-shirt that simply had a maple leaf on it. He just couldn't resist. They locked up the arcade behind them, before heading down the escalator to their office; Seward checking the notes from the day shift.

"Okay I'm going to do the first walk round outside." he held up the note scribbled on a small piece of grid paper. "They have been having issues again with drunkenness near the south end of the building. I'll go check that bus stop make sure no one's hanging around."   Edric nodded as he settled in to watch the security cameras.  It took Seward a full fifteen minutes before he returned. Sighing he smiled weakly. "Your chick here again?" the dark haired male asked gesturing towards the screens.

"Nosferatu's not...but, yeah. She was at the fancy make-up store." Edric mumbled as he started to swivel in the chair, his hands locked behind his head.

"I don't understand you sometimes. You've been crushing on her for how long now?"

"Long enough to know that every Tuesday she goes to the record store cause its new release day, every third Wednesday it's the book store because that's when they get the new shipment of magazines. And every Thursday, she comes in on her way back from the cinema, buys a coffee at the fancy coffee place and grabs the bus on the north side of the building."

"Not your chick huh? That so totally proves she's your chick. And how do you know it's the cinema?" Seward asked smiling.

"She still has the half empty popcorn bag with her when she enters the building." Edric commented matter of factly.

"Have you thought about introducing yourself and asking her out instead of just sitting here during shift watching footage of her from the day?"

"The thought has crossed my mind." Edric let his voice drop a notch. Running his hand through his hair, as he continued to blush. "I'm not her type."

"Have you met you? You're everyone's type. You walk down the street and lamp posts swoon. Dude, ask her out." the younger male said as he checked off the schedule sheet. "Here in fact you can use my phone." he continued as he reached into his back pocket for the cell.

"Give me that!" Edric blushed wildly as he hit the on button. "What the hell would I say?"

"Hi. I'm Edric, I work at the mall." Seward raised an eyebrow at him, as Edric licked his lips before pressing them together, continuing to blush. "Just send a message on her instathingamginnick. Less stalker guy, more casual."

"The world has gotten too casual if you ask me." Edric said pouting. He held up the phone to his buddy. "See, goth guy." he moved his thumb across the list of who she was subscribed to. "Another goth guy with zombie make up." he moved his thumb again. "Another goth guy in a rock band." he continued to scroll through the list. "And another goth guy at a comic convention.  Oh and the goth guy with zombie make up holding a set of drum sticks at a comic convention."

"Different guys though." Seward shrugged. "Oh and the dude from Walking Dead. So that's something right?"

"Everyone is subscribed to the dude from Walking Dead. He's the dude from Walking Dead." Edric's voice became pinched as it rose a few notches, his hands gesturing towards the wall.

"Good point." Seward took his phone back looking at the page sighing. "Oh! Dude from Walking Dead just posted about his...I'll look at that later." Seward's voice dropped as he turned his back for a second. The phone binged, causing him to move a few feet away his back still turned. It binged a second time before he put it back into his pocket.

"Well, I see Zeddy forgot his keys again." Edric yawned. "Better go let him in." pointing to the security camera that was positioned just outside of the food court.

"When does he ever remember them?"

Shrugging the sandy-blonde male got up from his seat and headed down the hall. Unlocking the door nearest the pizza place, Edric stood waiting for Zeddy. The larger male was looking around, his eyebrows knitted together.

"What's the matter?" Edric asked.

"I think...I think someone's following me?" Zeddy remarked quickly as he tried to squeeze in past the other male. His arms out in front of him, his shoulders hunched.

"Why would anyone be following you?"

"I have no idea?" Zeddy shook his head eyes wide. "But I've been feeling it all day. Like when you're standing in line at the grocery and people are standing so tight to you, you can actually feel them breathing down your neck. It's been like that all day long."

"Dude, how much have you been smoking?"

"Nothing. I haven't had anything at all today...well okay I finished off the brownies that we got from grandma's roommate at the retirement home."

Edric nodded his head rubbing his hand over the back of his neck. "That would do it. You know Donna cuts those with mugwart right?"

"So?" Zeddy shrugged as he started to unlock the door to the pizza place, needing to get the dough made for the next day.  "Wait, so there's not pot in them?"

"Oh there is. She just adds mugwart too. Balances it out. So you shouldn't be feeling paranoid." Edric sighed as he started to walk back to the office.

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Yep, a mall.)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Nosferatu Adventures s12 p12

The Nosferatu Adventures 
page 312, chapter 312

Out of Time...

Edric wandered around long since having lost track of time. He gauged it to be somewhere after 2 a.m. just by the sudden rush of after bar traffic. He wasn't angry anymore, wasn't even sad. He was just numb. Thinking over everything that had happened in the last couple of months. How his life went from total crap to total high, back to...what was it even? It was still technically new. He could go anywhere he wanted, reinvent himself into whom ever he desired. All he had to do was keep on walking out of the city limits, never looking back.  The male hybrid was more than tempted. His powerful thighs pushing him forward in the night. What did it matter if he did? Edric had nothing holding him to the city anymore. With his sire missing, he was alone. No family, no friends, no job and no pack. The gravel crunched under his boot as he continued on towards the grain elevators, the edge of the harbour in sight.
No pack. Well, that wasn't completely true now was it? He had accidentally turned Detective Arthur Holmwood, and there was Dagan, his sire's ex. Though none of the three could stand being in the same room with each other. The thought of them being a pack made the sandy-blonde male snort with laughter. Another round of heavy crunching underfoot as Edric rolled his eyes. Looking up, he spotted a few sailboats on the water, the lighthouse in the far distance guiding them. The thought then crossed his mind of renting a boat. Of just sailing across the lake into the next province or even getting out of the country. But that rocky land mass that seemed to guard the edges of the waters, the giant; spooked him. The idea of having to pass his ship by it sent a cold shiver through him. If werewolves were real, what was that thing out there on the horizon really?  The waves began to crash up on the edge of what passed for beach. For the next few miles, all there was were rocks that seemed to mark the baseline between the lake and the sloping land. Edric took a seat on a larger one, his legs stretched out enough for the spray to lap at the toe of his boots.
The thought continued to invade the spaces in his mind, of just leaving and becoming someone else. Of finding work; something he could put his new found energy and strength into. Did werewolves work? Could it be possible for him to hold down a normal job? Construction maybe or rescue work? No, he shook his head at that one. The idea of any kind of bloody emergency scene would send him into a bloodlust. That also left out most sports now too. The dream he'd had the other day, he'd been a professor. He watched as a tiny pool of minnows glided around in circles just centimeters from his feet.
Sniffing, he leaned forward, his elbows now on his knees. And what about the rest of things? Our heroine had tried to warn him. Tried to get Edric to understand that claiming her as his mate would leave him vulnerable once Bacchus collected her. Letting out a deep sigh, he closed his eyes, resting his chin on his one hand. In the short amount of time, he'd gotten very used to having his sire with him. He sat up bolt straight, his eyebrows knitted together in worry. What about the blood? He could survive on the iv bags, that was proven already, but it was the connection he got from feeding off his sire, of her feeding off of him that really got him through it so far. It was itself, a drug. The real anchor for him now. The idea of not having another mate didn't disturb him half as much as the idea of never having that jolt, that high again did.
Now, he felt sad. Sad because he should have felt guilty at the thought. But hadn't. Edric rubbed the palms of his hands into his thighs, his shoulders tensing up as he swallowed the realization. He really did want her back. Selfish as his reasons were, as they could be, Edric wanted Nosferatu back!
He wanted to be with her in a house with a backyard just like the Van Helsing's had. Wanted to be able to sit in the kitchen in the mornings with her as they made breakfast, just like the kitchen at the Van Helsing house. Hell, if he could he'd buy the house from the three Van Helsing boys if they were willing to sell it to him.
No, that's not true either. When Edric thought about his life now, this new gift he'd stumbled into, he thought of sharing it with our heroine and the three Van Helsing boys. Seward, Ruthven and Landin were like family to him now. They were his pack.
Growling, he stood up tossing his head back, his eyes closed tight, letting out a scream of frustration. It wasn't anything like he'd allowed himself before. It was more than a howl of the wolf, more than a human scream. It was his banshee side that he allowed to rip through the night from his throat. And when he opened his eyes, they were not their normal human blue, or the amber-grey of the wolf, but the pure white of the banshee. Like an empty white socket.

"Bacchus!" the scream of pain chilled even him as he demanded the god show himself. "You have something that belongs to me!" he slammed his fist into his chest as the magick mist dissolved around him for a heartbeat. His own ears began to ring, as the last notes of the echo bounced back off the water. He swore the one sailboat that was closest to the shore bobbed a little more than it should have as the waves crashed harder. The hybrid waited listening to the animals, the birds, the very fish as they all quickly got away from him. His nostrils flaring he swore even the leeches miles out in the still shallow areas fled in fear.  He screamed again.

"What is it with you mutts that you think you're so damn entitled? There are rituals to call on gods. But you just scream, throw a tantrum and expect the gods to answer."

"Who are you?" he spun around to stare at the female.

"Doesn't matter. I'm not actually here, I'm just a token." the female said crossing her arms. "Bacchus is busy, what do you want?"   Edric snarled as he moved closer to her, his hand out in front of him. It went right through the female's neck like a hologram.

"If you know who I am, then you know what I want. I want my mate back!" his voice rose taking on a pinch.

"Wasting time here. Yeah, that's not going to happen. Nosferatu is Bacchus's now. Anything else?"

"Tell Bacchus that I'm going to find where he's hiding her. And when I do..." he stumbled forward, the figure having disappeared. "Shack!" he screamed again into the night air, this time scaring an owl. Gasping for air, Edric ran as a blur back to the Van Helsing's.

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your up story. Anyone else got the theme for Love Boat stuck in their heads now? No just me then)