January 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
December 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
VAMPIRISM: The Musical Notes
- increased height (generally between 2”-6”) without normal physiological explanation
- Aversion to sunlight
- Over-dilated pupils
- Bouts of extreme aggressiveness, increased aggressive behavior overall especially with the intent to bite or scratch or in other ways break the skin
- Unnatural strength and speed
- In later stages of the disease, increased photophobia, tendency toward vitamin-D overdose (excluding causes such as prolonged sun exposure or supplement overdose), phototoxicity
- Hydrophobia in most instances
Vampirism is spread through saliva, blood, tears and sweat from an infected individual. Any individual who has been in contact with or was injured by an infected individual is at high risk for the virus. It is theorized that some small segment of humanity may be immune due to genetic diversity (naturally produced antibodies for similar diseases being one of the leading hypotheses), however there have been no recorded cases of immune individuals.
Scientific documentation of the disease, particularly in its later stages, is currently minimal at best, due in part to the danger posed by infected individuals. The disease’s incubational primary phase also makes estimates of unmonitored infectious periods and the length of the disease’s dormancy hard to ascertain. However, given current scientific data, the progression of the disease can currently be divided into five stages, including the infection stage:
Stage zero, the infection, occurs when an individual comes into contact with the bodily fluids of an infectious patient. Most frequently, this occurs through bite wounds, although there is some evidence that scratches from nails can also carry risk of infection. Infections mostly occur above ground level, with the major exception being individuals near an infected patient that reaches stage two. Obviously, this puts workers who spend considerable time above ground level at the most risk, and therefore they are most frequently checked for infection.
Stage one, incubation period, is approximated to last anywhere between two weeks to four months, with the average incubation period lasting approximately a month. The dormancy has been reported to last up to six months in a handful of instances, however this appears unusual; there are no substantive theories about why there is such a large range of incubational times. Patients during stage one exhibit normal behavior and a slightly elevated white blood cell count and a body temperature of anywhere between 98.9° (body temperature) and 73° (approximately room temperature). Patients may have light-induced headaches when spending extended periods of time in well-lit areas. Individuals with prolonged incubation periods appear to more frequently complain of the headaches and also in rare instances have been known to have elevated levels of vitamin D. The only consistent symptom displayed during stage one is patients entering a growth spurt that is unexplained by natural causes (such as physiological development like puberty), generally of anywhere between two to six inches.
Stage two is the first stage where patients show symptoms, and the best-documented of the five. Patients become extremely aggressive, highly photosensitive, and exhibit unusual strength and speed along with other rabies-like symptoms. Hydrophobia is also common, although not universal. Stage two is when patients are the most at risk for spreading the infection and unchecked a single patient can infect an entire colony in under a month (see the Phoenix Outbreak). The disease is spread through bodily fluids, so bite victims have an almost 100% infection rate. In accordance with most colony procedure, infected victims are removed from the underground portion of the colony at this stage and generally transported a safe distance away on the surface.
Stage three is less well documented than the previous stages. Patients become extremely photosensitive (only able to tolerate minimal levels of nocturnal light) and are at risk of vitamin-D overdose if they spend prolonged periods of time in crepuscular or diurnal light levels. It is generally theorized that this only applies to full-spectrum light sources; however no tests have been made with fluorescent lights to see the comparative effects. The vitamin-D over dose has no clear cause, however the generally accepted theory within the scientific community is that the bodies of patients become optimized for synthesizing vitamin-D in low-level light, in following with their nocturnal habits, and that exposure to strong light causes the body to produce vitamin-D at toxic levels, eventually killing the patient. Aside from mortality, patients with vitamin-D overdose also experience crippling pain and increased risk of heart attack.
Stage four is based largely on conjecture and some eyewitness data; there is considerable debate within the medical community as to whether it is distinct from the previous stage or simply an extension. In stage four, patients begin to regain their tolerance to light, allowing them to live above ground during the early dawn and late dusk periods of the Helian day-cycle.
Currently, there are no known successful treatments for the disease. Hypothetically, there is a small fraction of the population immune to the disease due to genetic diversity, but there have not been any reported cases of individuals who have been infected but do not succumb to the disease.
Until a vaccine is developed, the most effective method to control the spread of the disease is at the moment extermination. The proven effective methods are severing of the spinal cord, blood loss, fire and prolonged sun exposure. Health Dept.-sanctioned extermination teams keep a two-mile radius clear of infected individuals around main colony structures. Due to their extraordinarily high risk of contamination, these teams are not allowed within the actual colonies to further quarantine the disease and prevent the outbreak of a full-scale epidemic.
December 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
My, what big ears you have…
The knife fits easily in her hand, like they were made for each other. It fits even better just under the ribcage, angled up into the heart. The handle is slick with blood and her fingers keep slipping, she can’t pull it ou-
All the better to hear you with, my dear.
She sharpens her knife for an hour everyday. The blade is thin and wicked sharp and nearly as long as her thigh. She wears it always, under her skirts where she can hide the comfort of it from prying eyes. She never leaves the house without it.
My, what big eyes you have…
-there are footsteps at the mouth of the alleyway. She panics and turns to run, even as the knife tugs free and clatters to the ground. It is Hunter, stupid, sweet Hunter and he can’t see her like this. She knows it will break him. She runs.
All the better to see you with, my dear.
She loves Hunter, perhaps not the way he loves her, but it is the only way she can. She has loved him since he took her home that night, and if she is entirely honest, even a little before then. She loves him so much it hurts.
My, what a big nose you have…
She weaves bloody-faced and barefoot through the streets. She can see the wolves hiding in the shadows, eyes glinting and teeth flashing. She can feel them rise up to follow her, to chase her. To hunt her. Good. All thoughts of her near discovery flee as she leads them down an alley. Her fingers have already wrapped around the blade of her second knife as she swings around to face them, scarlet coat billowing around her.
All the better to smell you with, my dear.
Deep down, she has always felt that what happened to her must be some sort of mistake; those kinds of things happened to Bad Girls, and she had always been a Good Girl. She said her prayers and ate her dinner and stayed on the path for eight years, and all she got for it was a dead grandmother and a head full of blood-washed nightmares.
My, what big teeth you have…
The wolves are quick, but she is quicker. Her knife flashes, cuts through fur and flesh, slices to the bone. Now it is her eyes that are glinting, her teeth that are flashing. Steel plunges through the external jugular, nicking the omohyoideus. She spins, and the blade drives up into another throat, through the anterior jugular and digastric muscle. The blood is always bad, but the screams are the worst.
When they scream they sound human.
All the better to eat you with, my dear.
She hates the wolves for taking everything away from her. She hates Big Bad most of all, for eating her, her—
She also hates her father, because he never told her what was really out there in the shadows, just waiting for naïve little girls. She hates her mother even more for sending her out there with only that damn basket and a head full of useless rules. She hates this whole world for being built on useless rules.
Mostly though, she hates Hunter for pulling her out of there.
December 3, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Syn Datura is my blog for post bits of fiction and notes related to my stories, mostly for archiving purposes. Feel free to leave comments or whatever. If you want to introduce yourself, that would be cool, even if I already know you in real life. Lurking is also acceptable- I do it a lot too.
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