When the Roles Changed, Part 1

What eventually became The Chalice started out as a poem and a milky vision of a story that would help me deal with coming face-to-face with my Soulmate in 1987 only to find out he was married in this latest incarnation. The poem featured at the beginning of the the book with a dedication to him.

If I were a Vampire
To live in the night
And partake of forever
On an eternal flight,
I'd take you up with me
Beyond all human sight
You could drink from my chalice
Then I'd be your light,
And we'd fly through the centuries
In passion and fright
For we'd both be Vampires
To live in the night.

I had already written a short Vampire story about Vasily Tenin back in 1986, so I had the idea that the new story would incorporate the poem and bring back Vasily, who would battle an evil Vampire hellbent on taking what she felt was rightfully hers, her soulmate. I knew how it would end, with her entombed in a mausoleum forever, lost to the world and longing for her ancient lover. Yeah, it was sort of autobiographical. This is how I felt.

The first song to help flesh out this character was "Something in the Air" by Information Society. It's when I first saw my character, with her long dark wavy hair and Gypsy-style clothing, dancing in night clubs and hunting for her next victim. It was during this time, also, that I was reconnecting to my Jewish heritage, and first learned about Adam's first wife and her association with owls and succubi.

So Kelat's first name was Lilith. This is why today, her full name is Lhihlhishian Kelat'menan, and her primary residence was Jerusalem. Ohhhh, and she was a real baddie, killing her prey most of the time, but also creating new Vampires when the fancy struck. Night clubs were not safe when she was in town. No one was safe. She was the most powerful Vampire on Earth, matched only by Vasily himself. It was natural that they became siblings.

I tried to write what little of the story I had, but just couldn't. Something was blocking me, so I set it to one side and dreamed of the characters, and what they may be like.

Two years passed and, during that time, I discovered Witchcraft and learned the true nature of Lilitu. It just didn't seem right anymore, that Lilith would once again be relegated to the realm of the demonic, so the story suffered a little bit more while I tried to make it so She did not have to go down that road. But now I was without a villain.

But not for long.

I won't rehash how Cadmus came into being. Suffice it to say, he did, and he took on a lot of traits I once attributed to Lilith, most importantly making night clubs his happy hunting ground. I had a brand new band to listen to, and their music lit a match under the dry kindling that would eventually become The Chalice. A prologue was written, and kept safe for when the real work would finally begin.

Over the course of the next three years, I did even more research on Vampires, and collected more Vampire music to help me on my quest. During that time, I had the idea that Vasily would be misled by Cadmus into completely turning on his sister Kelat'menan and imprisoning her in a marble tomb. It was also during this time that I first saw the Oingo Boingo video for 'Dead Man's Party.' Even though I'd known about Boingo for ages, and loved Danny Elfman's movie music, it was this video that triggered the creation of Orphaeus. I really didn't have much to go on, but the name and a vague idea that he was scalped by Cadmus and that he banished Cadmus from the Hive of the Beast as a result, essentially making him a pariah. Then it occurred to me that maybe Orphaeus is the one who finds Kelat'menan and rescues her from her tomb. Maybe he was actively hunting for her, but why? Maybe he was her grandchild.

More on this tomorrow...
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