Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wind Back Wednesdays: The time I was a vampire

Wind Back Wednesdays, where I choose a memory from my childhood and talk about it.

When I was in Primary school, I pretty much lived for imaginary play games. Every lunch and break time consisted of me roping a friend into some make believe story and insisting that no one breaks character for the entire time. I'm sure you all can relate to this, we all did it between the ages of 5 and 11. In fact, I may have even tried to get friends to do it past this age, but it got a lot harder to be able to do this... although not impossible. 

I found that there was a large difference in the make believe games I would play with people, dependent on whether they were boys or girls. If I was playing with other girls, it would always consist of some Disney movie of some kind, where I was forced to play the guy in every game and we all instinctively broke out into American accents without previous discussion, it was the unwritten rule. You couldn't play Disney characters without honing in on the American accent that went with it. Although these games would be fun, it did get quite annoying that I always had to be Prince Eric instead of Ariel or Aladdin instead of Princess Jasmine. I had one friend who insisted we play Aladdin every day and always had to include a moment where we would both sit on a bench, pretend it was a magic carpet, and sing A Whole New World as loud as possible. Although Aladdin always had more to sing, this friend would usually insist that we started the song when Princess Jasmine started singing, because otherwise she got bored. She also always justified her playing the Princess instead of me because she had black hair and I had blonde hair. It never occurred to me to make the argument that Aladdin also had black hair, although if I had, I very much doubt it would have made any difference at all. Also, this rule went completely out the window when playing Sleeping Beauty, as she would always insist she played Aurora because her hair was longer or something. No doubt about it, I had no say whatsoever in that particular friendship. 

Due to this, I found myself wondering off to find a new person to conduct imaginary worlds with, which is when I found the joy of playing games with boys instead of girls. Sure, the games with boys became less Disney and more action based, but I adapted and actually found out I enjoyed these more. It was just so much more exciting! 

One friend that I played a silly amount of these type of games with was my friend Andrew. Around this time, Power Rangers had come onto our TV and so quite often our imaginary games would strongly resemble this show. We'd fight baddies and use over the top movements to look like we were karate chopping the air, it was awesome. 

As our play became more regular, we went down a new route which was based on vampires. I don't know how we got to this point. It was way before vampires became the popular and "sexy" thing that they are now. I'm not even totally sure how we knew about vampires to begin with... but nevertheless it became a bit of an obsession in our playground games for a good few months. 


I feel I need to put in a disclaimer here. I contacted Andrew recently to ask if he minded that I put up this story, he said that he didn't, but that he really couldn't remember much about this game. Although he said it vaguely rang a bell, he couldn't remember much else. I, on the other hand, have a ridiculously detailed memory of this, which I've been told in the past suggests that I might have made it up. I'm like 98.6% sure that I haven't made this up, but I thought I'd mention it... just in case. 


And back to the memory. 

To say that this game became a little obsessive is the teensiest bit of an understatement. As far as I remember it, we took the game very seriously. The rules behind it were simple; whilst in the classroom or anywhere away from the playground, we were simply Lisa and Andrew, 8 year old human friends. However, the moment we hit that playground, we were vampires. We were never allowed to break character or deviate from the story. We never spoke these rules, but we knew them to be true, and we took them very seriously. 

The storyline to the game was, although repetitive, still revetting and again pretty simple. Only one of us could be a vampire at any given time and the purpose of the game was to try and make the other one a vampire instead... Basically it was like the game of tag, but with mystical creatures and fantasy worlds. Our way of turning the other into a vampire was a little more simple than the "biting of the neck" technique that seems to be so popular. We were eight and, although friends, also found the prospect of biting each other's necks icky so found another equally effective way of turning the other would be to press two of our fingers onto the other's neck instead. Once one had pressed the other neck, they were no longer a vampire and had transferred their vampire state into the other. 

The way I remember it was that we played this game for months, although it might not have been nearly as long in reality. All I know is that I loved it, as well as finding it absolutely terrifying. I can't speak for Andrew on this point, as we never spoke about the game when we weren't playing it and never referred to it as a game when we were playing it, but the reason that this game terrified me was that, after a while, I managed to convince myself that what we were playing might actually be real. 

I remember vividly one lunchtime, both of us staring out of the school gates and seeing a woman standing across the road with her shopping bags. Somehow we both managed to convince ourselves that we were the only people in the world who could see this woman, due to being vampires. This was down to one of us suggesting that she was vampire as well, asking someone else in the playground if they could see the woman, that person saying that they couldn't, and my mind being completely blown. I started to freak out that we had played the game too much and we had actually managed to turn into vampires in the process. It wasn't until the next day, when we saw this woman again and asked another person if they could see her, to which they replied that they could, that I began to calm down a little... 

Although, by this point I had begun to feel special in a "I'm actually a mystical being" type of way and, given that I was only just getting over the fact that I wasn't secretly able to alter my past with my lies, I was desperate for another awesome power. As such, I think we both justified the fact that this kid could see the woman as proof that they too were secretly a vampire. 

This day to me, marked the beginning of the end of this game however, as this shizzle was just getting too real for my liking and I was convinced The-Parents would be really angry at me if they found out I had imagined myself into a real life vampire, even if it was completely by accident. 

The final nail in the coffin happened when we were playing the game not long after and it was my turn to turn Andrew into a vampire. I was chasing him around the playground as usual, hissing and threatening to drink his blood, whilst flapping my arms like a bat. Finally, I reached him, stretched out my fingers and pressed it into Andrew's neck. Andrew became the vampire, but as he was also playing a power ranger when infected, he became part vampire, part power ranger. As such, he turned, karate chopped into the air and smacked me squarely in the stomach. 

I keeled over and all breath left me, completely winded. Andrew looked mortified although didn't want to break character, you know, because of the whole unwritten rule thing, so asked me in his most evil vampire way if I was okay. When he saw that I was struggling for breath, he ran off shouting something about getting a teacher to make me better as he didn't want to turn a wounded person into a vampire... ever the method actor. 

The teacher came and took me to the medical room. I sat outside the room in the corridor, and suddenly Andrew came bounding in, looking entirely human and not in the least bit vampire.

"Are you okay?" He asked, sitting down next to me. 

I had begun to breathe normally again, although felt a little sore from the experience, however I nodded. 

Andrew smiled. "Good."

Despite the nasty accident, I still couldn't bring myself to break from the game so I looked at him quizzically. "What happened to you? Why would a vampire care if I was hurt?"

Andrew seemed prepared for this question. "As soon as you were hurt, the vampire realised that he could be found out so he left me before anyone worked it out."

I nodded. This made complete sense to me as I'm sure it does to all of you... 

However, I really don't remember ever playing that game again after that. It would appear that the vampire who used to transfer itself between the two of us became so spooked that he never came back... We completely rocked at playing power rangers though... that one never got old. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

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