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30 July 2010 @ 06:46 pm
Vamp_Land Challenge: Casting Picspam  
One of the things that always annoyed me about Christopher Pike's The Last Vampire series is that Sita, the "last vampire" was 5000 years old, from India, and yet had blonde hair and blue eyes. It's incredibly historically inaccurate and offensive to replace what would be a character of color with a blonde woman. So when the challenge came at vamp_land to cast something vampire-y, I jumped at the chance to cast The Last Vampire with more...genuine actors. ;) (And yes, I realize it is a vampire series but the best vampire books, to me, are ones with threads in reality and history)


I am a vampire, and that is the truth. But the modern meaning of the word vampire, the stories that have been told about creatures such as I, are not precisely true. I do not turn to ash in the sun, nor do I cringe when I see a crucifix. I wear a tiny gold cross now around my neck, but only because I like it. I cannot command a pack of wolves to attack or fly through the air. Nor can I make another of my kind simply by having him drink my blood. Wolves do like me, though, as do most predators, and I can jump so high that one might imagine I can fly. As to blood—ah, blood, the whole subject fascinates me. I do like that as well, warm and dripping, when I am thirsty. And I am often thirsty.

The moment is pregnant with mystery, even for me. I stand outside the door of Detective Michael Riley's office. The hour is late; he is in his private office in the back, the light down low—I know this without seeing. The good Mr. Riley called me three hours ago to tell me I had to come to his office to have a little talk about some things I might find of interest...He, however, is a montage of many impressions. His coat is not only wrinkled but stained—greasy burgers eaten hastily. I note it all. His eyes are red rimmed, from a drug as much as fatigue. I hypothesize his poison to be speed—medicine to nourish long hours beating the pavement.

His face has a depth his father's never imagined. He is cut in the mode of many handsome modern youths, with curly brown hair and a chiseled profile. Yet his inner character pushes through his natural beauty and almost makes a mockery of it. The boy is already more man than boy. It shows in his brown eyes, soft but quick, in his silent pauses, as he takes in what his classmates say. He reflects on it, and either accepts or rejects it, not caring what the others think. He is his own person, Ray Riley, and I like that about him.

He talks to a girl on his right. Her name is Pat, and she is clearly his girlfriend. She is a scrawny thing, but with a smile that lights up whenever she looks at Ray. Her manner is assertive but not pushy, simply full of life. Her hands are always busy, often touching him. I like her as well and wonder if she is going to be an obstacle. For her sake, I hope not. I honestly prefer not to kill young people.

I can smell alcohol on his breath, from the previous night, and alcohol from the night before that, and the night before that. He is only thirty, but the circles under his eyes indicate his liver is close to seventy. His tough stance is only an image; his hands shake as he waits for me to respond. His eyes are all over my body.

An anemic-looking young man with thick glasses and headphones speaks to me.My flesh encloses his, and I know instantly that this young man will be dead in less than a year. His blood is sick—how can the rest of his body not be? I hold on to his hand a moment too long, and he stares at me quizzically.

I was there at the beginning, and had as a friend the mother of all vampires. Amba, which meant mother in my language. She was a good woman. Amba was seven years older than my seven years when the disease came to our village. Although separated by seven years, we were good friends. I was tall for my age, she was short, and we both loved to sing, bajans mainly, holy songs from the sacred Vedas, which we chanted by the river after dark.

For Yaksha grew faster than any child in the history of our village, and when I was fifteen years of age, he was already, in stature and education, my age, although he had been born only eight years earlier. His accelerated development brought to surface once again the rumors surrounding his birth. But they were rumors at best because the men who had been there the night Yaksha had come into the world never spoke about what had happened when the priest had tried to invoke the yakshini into Amba's corpse.

I met Rama, the son of a wandering merchant. My love for Rama was instantaneous. I saw him and knew I was supposed to be with him, and by the blessings of Lord Vishnu, he felt the same way. We were married under the full moon beside the river.

The man wears a black leather coat, a dark tie, a white shirt, smart black trousers. He is approximately forty-five and has the look of a hardened Navy Seal or CIA agent: the short crew cut, the bulging muscles, the quick shifting eyes. I see that his eyes are green even from two hundred yards away. His face is tan, deeply lined from the sun. There is at least one gun in his coat, possibly two.

The woman is ten years younger, an attractive brunette. She is dressed entirely in black. Her coat is bulky, as are her hidden guns. She has at least one fully automatic weapon on her. Her skin is creamy white, the line of her mouth set and hard. Her legs are long, her muscles toned. She may be an expert in karate or some such discipline. Her mind is easy to read. She has a nasty job to do and she is going to do it right. Her promised reward is great.

The first vampire I created was a girl my age, with large dark eyes and hair like a waterfall made from the light of the midnight sky. I imagined she could become a friend, even though I took her against her will. By then Yaksha had told me what was necessary: the lifting out of my vein coming from my heart; the merger of her vein going back to the heart; the transfusion; the terror, the ecstasy. Her name was Mataji, and she never thanked me for what I did to her, but she stayed close in the years to come.

We had heard about Radha as well, whose name meant "longing." She was called this because she longed for Krishna even more than she desired to breathe. She was picking jasmines by the clear waters of the Yamuna when we came across her. We did not frighten her; she actually smiled when she saw us. Her beauty was extraordinary; I had never seen and never would see in five thousand years such an exquisite female. Her skin was remarkably fair, her face shone with the subtle radiance of moonlight. Her form was shapely. She moved as if in a joyful theater, each turn of her arm or bending of knees seemed to bring bliss.

He was not a blue person as he was later to be depicted in paintings. Artists were to show him that way only because blue was symbolic of the sky, which to them seemed to stretch to infinity, and which was what Krishna was supposed to be in essence, the eternal infinite Brahman, above and beyond which there was nothing greater. He was a man such as all men I had seen, with two arms and two legs, one head above his shoulders, his skin the color of tea with milk in it, not as dark as most in India but not as light as my own. Yet there was no one like him. Even a glance showed me that he was special in a way I knew I would never fully comprehend.

Nikki: ats: cordy hell yes!nikkiwawa79 on July 31st, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
I LOVE all the people of color, in this cast :D I wish Hollywood was like this.
Kelly: TB: Fangbangedxlivvielockex on July 31st, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
If only, if only. Doesn't seem to matter in Hollywood though. They have blinders on.
Lexi: Cangel - with Connor (A CANGEL ICON!)eilowyn on July 31st, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
This books sounds fascinating, especially the way you cast it. Do you recommend it?

(And look! I finally got a Cangel icon!)
Kelly: TB: Fangbangedxlivvielockex on July 31st, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)

It's a series of six young adult novels and well, they are written like YA novels. The plot is kind of...holey but overall, I did enjoy them when I was growing up.

If you like, I have the first book in Word or PDF form. I can upload it for you.
Lexi: Cangel - with Connor (A CANGEL ICON!)eilowyn on July 31st, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
Really? Thanks. That would be awesome (I need some frothy teen lit that involves vampires who don't sparkle right about now)

P.S. - are you still surrogate mothering all those kittens, or were they all fostered out?
Kelly: Buffy: Beneath You Spuffyxlivvielockex on July 31st, 2010 05:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, we keep them until they get adopted. We have one we have had for a year because he has trouble at the adoption center. So we have him on a website. So still got the full house. :)

Here you go Both PDF and WORD files. I downloaded the other books too, if you like this first one, can upload them. :)
(Deleted comment)
Kelly: TB: Fangbangedxlivvielockex on July 31st, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
Someone bought the film rights so it won't be long before we see it on the big screen. LOL Pike is writing a seventh book. Hopefully he can fix the damage he did in the sixth.
penny_lane_42 on July 31st, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
I know nothing at all about this book, but I love the actors you chose! I'm fascinated!
Kelly: TB: Fangbangedxlivvielockex on July 31st, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you. :)
RivenLietherrivenliether on January 20th, 2012 09:00 am (UTC)
K, the only issue I have with casting Freida Pinto as Sita is that Sita is supposed to be Aryan -- hence the blond hair and blue eyes.
Kellyxlivvielockex on January 20th, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
Hi there,

If you read the very top sentence, I have a huge issue with Sita being Aryan in India as old as she is supposed to be. It seems to me like Pike just wanted a beautiful blonde protagonist. So rather than cast another white girl, I decided to cast with more genuine historical accurate portrayals.

Thanks for commenting though!
Colleen WhiteColleen White on March 24th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
what i think
Sita in the book it says she is blonde why did you go with A dark haired women , when I picture Miss Germany I picture someone who knows what they are doing someone young and well trained ......... thats just what I think but nice job on every one else thoe
Kellyxlivvielockex on March 24th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Re: what i think
Hi there,

If you read the very top sentence, I have a huge issue with Sita being Aryan in India as old as she is supposed to be. It seems to me like Pike just wanted a beautiful blonde protagonist. So rather than cast another white girl, I decided to cast with more genuine historical accurate portrayals.

Thanks for commenting though!