Back in the 1850s I was a plain old nobody. Just a man in a tophat. If I asked someone on the street who I was they had no idea. A couple of friends could put a name to my face, but that was about the height of my fame. That all changed when a man handed me a leaflet. I'd been given my fair share of leaflets in my time, but very few had captured my imagination likes that one.

"Do something amazing;" it said "Drink blood". I didn't realise it at the time, but there had never been anything I wanted to do more than become a vampire. Back then, being a vampire really meant something. We were respected, feared and mysterious.
Who knew what we'd do next? One day we'd be slaughtering entire villages, the next we'd be trying to destroy the world. There was a quiet dignity in it.

Then, in the late 20th century, something called Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed everything. It completely ruined the way people saw us. It became cool to be a vampire, sharp teeth and a leather jacket. Quite incredibly, the show gave us feelings. Feelings, for Christ's sake! People expected us to be deep and troubled. When all we wanted to do was rape and pillage. There were a few among us who even played up to it and started pretending to show remorse for their crimes. It was a travesty to the bad vampire name.

All of a sudden it became fashionable to be seen with a vampire. You couldn't go to an award ceremory or film premiere without seeing an A-List celebrity with a vampire on her arm. People wanted their photos taken with us, they wanted us to speak to their friends on their portable telephones, give after dinner speeches, all that nonsense. In short, we sold out. Worst of all, it brought immortality to the working class. They'd seek us out and beg for us to turn them. I never did, but not all vampires were as strong as me. Once we let the builders and the taxi drivers in it just wasn’t the same.

William, West London.

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