Then the restaurant door swung open, and another person came out.He was around my age, short and chubby and six inches shorter and sixinches wider than I was. His pants and shirt were both too small and tight,exposing a small patch of flabby skin hanging over his waistline. He had abowl haircut very similar to the one belonging to the girl who might havebeen Sasha, and he wore a thick pair of glasses on his face. He was readingand walking at the same time, holding a book right in front of him.He smelled like garlic.There was no mistaking the telltale scent. This kid had either eaten anentire plate of garlic knots for dinner or poured garlic powder all over hispizza. He was drenched in the smell from head to toe. It mixed with hisblood and radiated from his body like a scented homing beacon.I don’t know who first spread the rumor that garlic repels vampires, butthat person is a godsend. Garlic is the only thing that improves human bloodfrom its original delicious state. It even makes cold, refrigerated blood tasteappealing.The fat kid was almost at the end of the block. If he didn’t look where hewas going, he would walk right into the burned-out streetlamp.I opened my mouth, and my fangs protruded from my gums. I hadn’teaten fresh, garlic-enhanced blood in a long time. This meal was one I wasgoing to savor. My teeth would tear into this kid’s neck, and the blood wouldflow into my mouth.My hand trembled. The cigarette fell from my hand and onto theground. The fire at the tip glowed momentarily before dimming and fadingaway.I had stopped myself just in time.– Fanged, Chapter 1
Why write about vampires?
One piece of vampire mythology that never made sense to me was the idea of garlic warding off vampires. As someone who grew up with an Italian grandmother (and by “grandmother” I mean “father,” since Dad cooks as much pasta and homemade sauce as any good Italian grandma, I’ve always loved garlic and have considered it a staple in great cooking.
When I finally got around to reading Dracula and did a little research, I understood where the garlic myth came from, but I still didn’t want to keep it for my own story. I love garlic. And I thought, “wouldn’t it be funny if the complete opposite were true, and garlic actually attracted vampires?”
And vampires loving garlic came part of my story, one of my second twists on the genre. Much like my twist on the crucifix in question, it started off as a joke, back when I was writing a satirical vampire novel instead of a serious one.
But as the story became more serious, garlic was no longer just a source of a throwaway joke. It became the first sign of my protagonist’s struggle.
It’s the first sign that Sean has to struggle to prevent himself from killing people.