It’s a vampire story, and a non-Morlock story. The specific genesis was seeing I Am Legend this winter and thinking, “This is impossible. The vampire-zombie-whatevers have completely obliterated their prey population and they should be dying off. They’re monsters with no visible means of support!” Then I got onto a line of thought (probably well-travelled by others before, but new to me) that vampires (as presented in the media) really could not exist. They are essentially prolific superpredators; they would hunt through their prey population in very short order and become extinct. A couple of days later I pounded out the story and sent it off. And now it’s in “print” as it were and people are commenting on it–not quite Instant Messaging speed, but close enough to justify the title to this entry.
The title of the story is a little too obscure, though. The viewpoint character is a narrow-minded minor-league academic (“They said to me, ‘Write what you know,’ so I says to them…”) and, to sneak my ecological argument against vampire stories into this vampire story, I made him an ecological biologist. This, and some other things in the story, suggested dark echoes of Francis of Assisi’s Song of the Sun, the first significant piece of Italian literature, where the sun is saluted as Frate Sole (“Brother Sun”) and the moon as Sora Luna (“Sister Moon”). At first the title seemed to me too much of a giveaway for the story, but in retrospect that looks like a symptom of how cloistered my thinking is getting.
There was a Zeffirelli movie about St. Francis, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, but apparently that doesn’t ring any bells with people anymore. I vividly remembered the TV commercials for this movie as I was typing out the title… but now I realize I must have seen them thirty five, thirty six years ago, in the early 1970s. I think I’m starting to get that old-folks memory, where it’s easier to remember things that happened a generation ago than what happened an hour ago.