On Post: Come to My Window
Date: January 10, 2013
In Stephen King’s book Salem’s Lot there is a moment where a young boy must resist opening his window and letting in a former classmate hovering just outside his second floor window. It’s a tense moment that recasts the somewhat nonthreatening trope of a vampire only being able come into your home if you invite him or her as something far less easy to turn back. It is simple, brief, and actually doesn’t really figure into the plot at all. However, it’s been something like 16 years since I read it and I still have a distinct memory of it. So much so, in fact, that it was the first image that popped into my mind when “Come to My Window” came up on the old randomizer.
Of course, I didn’t want to just copy that moment. Also, the song’s title is an invitation to the window, not inside. While the lyrics go there, I just chose to ignore that bit and instead imagine how frustrating it would to be a vampire invited up to but inside the house of one’s prey. A mature or classic predatory vampire, however, would either use their hypnotic powers—a la the scene in Salem’s—or just blow the damn place up—Fright Night!— so I had to tweak that. Thus, we have a less cool Twilight style vampire. Teenaged, lovelorn, and too focused on happy ever afters to be what he is, a ruthless killing machine with serious sexual powers. Once that was the vampire of the story, the frustration was given focus and made a lot more sense.
I do wonder, as a reader, when it becomes clear to the reader that this character’s wincing and whining (I like him, but let’s be honest, he’s whining) comes from somewhere different than the usual teen difficulties with the opposite sex and crushes. I was pretty half hearted in my efforts to mask it, I thought, at the time, but re-reading it now…the character “feels weird” but doesn’t scream vampire to me until the reveal. Or am I just being too charitable to myself?