365 Days of Women Writers

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Day 52: 50 Fatwas for Virtuous Vampire by Pamela K. Taylor

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Kameron mentioned this story on twitter the other day and I’m glad she did. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with it.

First the love: I rarely like faux non-fiction, but I really enjoyed the excerpts from the books that advise vampires on how to live a virtuous life and one keeping with the Koran.

In Chapter Three of Ethical Eating: Seven Steps to a Godly Diet’ Sheikha al-Binawi explains, “Selecting the appropriate individual for dining upon can seem quite a daunting prospect. However, the Muslim vampire can take heart, for God does not leave us without guidance. The Qur’an, in a most appropriately titled chapter–The Table Spread–tells us that ‘whoever slays a human being, except for murder or spreading corruption on the earth, it is as though he had killed all of humankind, and whoever saves a life, it is as though they had saved all of mankind.’ Keeping these words firmly in mind, a righteous vampire can not only have his cake but eat it, too! His heart can rest at ease as he dines upon murderers, arsonists, rapists, philanderers and other nasty criminals, knowing that he is not only ridding the Earth of those who would corrupt it, but also saving innocent lives in the process! Truly, we must be deeply grateful for the double blessing the Lord has showered upon the Everliving!”

The actual narrative part of the story, well that’s something else. First, having your main character stand around and think a lot? This very rarely a good idea and definitely not one here.

The bigger problem is that I didn’t feel like the author had any awareness of how repulsive Ibrahim was. I feel like she meant him to be a hero who is saving Lina from the horror of a brutal marriage. Of course, he’s the man who attacked her and now she makes Bambi eyes at him? The whole last scene makes me want to stab the author with a fork.

Imagine to yourself what you would do if a stranger approached you on the street and said:

“I want to help. I can protect you from Sidi Ahmed.”
“You know about him? What he wants?”
“I overheard.”
[…]
“What can you do? We depend on him for everything. We’re completely under his thumb.”
“I can marry you,” he said, surprising himself.

Are you going to look at him like a) a dream come true or b) another predator who is going to do you wrong as much as the guy who was trying to blackmail you into marriage.

I choose B. The author chose A

Written by Chance

November 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm