20 years ago, I dated a girl who shared (if not surpassed) my love of the roleplaying game “Vampire: The Masquerade”. She is a gifted artist and one of her abilities is drawing.
In the late 90s, it wasn’t so easy to scan or photograph her work, so she would snail mail it to me. I always appreciated it but only recently believe to see it for what it is; A gift of self.
If an artist ever gives you something, take the time to appreciate it. It can be anything. A drawing, sketch, photo, or a crocheted blanket. Whatever it is, if someone invested time to create it, they wanted you to have it. Appreciate it.
A few years too late I’m sure, I’m now compelled to share a piece that’s always caught my attention. Carmen named it “Zillah and Caine from the Book of Nod”. A piece inspired by a sourcebook that was written in a fashion similar to the Christian Bible (but with vampires).
As the story goes, Caine (a play on the spelling Cain of Cain and Abel) was the first vampire. God inflicted the curse of the vampire onto him after he killed his brother Abel. Caine was banished from Eden and forced to wander the Land of Nod (anywhere outside of Eden). This is where he met Lilith.
Lilith, the first wife of Adam, born primarily from the Jewish tradition, was made of the same material of her male counterpart and, because of this, refused to lay beneath him (i.e. missionary position). She felt she was his equal and, for her defiance, was banished by God to Nod and cursed to never know the love of another.
When they met, Lilith recognized Caine’s power. His ability to murder, which was a new concept at that time. She was surprised as Caine didn’t appear to understand his power but Caine did notice the power in her.
The two became lovers and Caine pled for her to share her powers with him. Reluctantly, she did. With his new abilities, Caine continued to wander Nod alone until he established the, “First City” and positioned himself as the “Dark Father”.
Fast forward a bit and Caine finds himself forced, through politics, to Embrace (the act of transforming one into a vampire), several others. One, was Zillah.
Caine fell in love with her immediately. Yet, Zillah did not return his affection. This frustrated Caine to such an extent that he sought the magick of the “Crone” (an unsightly but powerful being) who taught him the power of the “blood bond”. A blood bond is created by one vampire sharing their blood with another on three separate occasions. The result is complete submission to the will of the bonder from the bonded. A blood based parallel to “love”.
Caine tricked Zillah into a blood bond which resulted in her finally “accepting” his marriage proposal. That’s where, I assume, Carmen’s work picks up. A moment with the two together.
It’s interesting that Carmen chose to place Caine behind Zillah. It indicates Caine is the one who initiated contact. He is in love (if not for any reason but to possess something he finds beautiful). But notice Zillahs’ expression. She allows Caine’s touch but her body language is rigid and both hands are at her side. This indicates she has no interest in reciprocating affection but is powerless to stop receiving it. This makes Zillah twice damned as she is a vampire and a slave to her sire.
Or… a drawing is just a drawing. What do you think?