Since January 2013, the South African Vampyre Alliance adopted a polling system to select new members from the community, nominated by current members, and then debated and voted on internally before extending invitations to these candidates. The SAVA recently welcomed several such new members, and they have been asked to prepare short articles on their experiences and thoughts on being Vampyres, being part of the Vampyre Community and on entering the SAVA. In this article, we hear the thoughts of Scarlet Storm.
Being a vampire has its advantages, and for the better part I find the secrecy and the mystery to be the most appealing. I might be new to the SAVA community but I am not new to being a vampire.
As a child, you’re taught a great many things on vampires, be it through culture or simply what you see on television. I had references on what vampires looked like, were like – their weaknesses and their strengths. Most of those I have found to be nothing more than harmless myths created by a society that has no idea what the term Nosferatu actually means. I have come to realize that just as in the days before, it hasn’t become any easier to be a vampire, although a more modern society too caught up in their own ego’s has lost all appreciation and belief of the real creatures of the night that don’t lurk under your bed, but live simply as neighbors. It is in this society that we have become powerful but mysterious. It is through this society that we can teach. And it is through the ignorance of others that I first came to believe. And it was also in this society that I came to realize that everything I thought I knew about the term “vampire” was re–created by my own self-search and self-discovery.
But this isn’t necessarily my story; I’m here to talk about my new found family – SAVA. I can tell you I have been welcomed with open arms and open minds alike. I have met new people, creatures and hybrids who have been better to me than most. SAVA has opened a door that very few like us ever have the opportunity to find. I have laughed and have seen so much in so little time and for all of that, I have become wiser and more understanding not only of the people around me, but also of myself and the role I fulfill in this time and space. I have met old souls that seem strangely familiar and have come to realize that SAVA is synonymous with home. Yes, there are those to oppose and rebel. Yes, there are those to point and laugh. It is nothing we did not overcome before and surely will do so again, except that the battle is no longer fought as one but as many in one.
As most of you already know, it has always been impossible to live an open life in what most consider to be “reality”. We have been persecuted throughout the ages and have made ourselves recluse simply because the time and the world we reside in has concluded that everything associated with the term “vampire” has to be satanic or dark. We are accused of unimaginable things such as murder, torture and brain-washing when the truth is that we too are simply trying to live our lives as freely as the ones beside us. There are kindred spirits among us who, although they are not vampires, have come to accept us and I am fortunate enough to be married to such a lovely soul. Being a part of SAVA has introduced me to so many more and it is a great reminder of the very thing that we stand for…. Acceptance.
I find it funny when I do tell someone about myself that they retort with “I’d love to be a vampire too.” They imagine mythical creatures born from the minds of directors and expect me to “drink their blood.” I laugh… Simply because the greater public is so uninformed. I always ask: “What kind of vampire would you like to be?” And the look of utter confusion is still priceless.
I have no need to drink blood. Nor do I enslave poor souls. I don’t sleep in a coffin and don’t scurry away at the smell of garlic. Crosses do not offend me and the bible doesn’t make me instantaneously start melting. Sunlight does nothing but give me a tan and I like my silver just fine. I am a great many things and proud to be so. Just as I am proud to have joined SAVA.
I am Scarlet Storm.