At one seminar the writers discussed where they mustered their inspiration to write about vampires. How they mined from the depths of their popular cultural childhoods of cartoons, comic books and soda pop tops. Certain writers meet a market called Young Adult, YA. Implicit is the suggestion is that vampires are for kids.

Vampires are for real.

Remember Eleonora, the vampire princess from those Balkan mountaintops, the one who drank the milk of lady-wolves to guarantee a male heir. Despite the longed for son, Eleonora lived a life of pain. She had no friends, only money and servants and indiscernible ailments. Her social interactions were with doctors and she used the occasions to dress her best.

She traveled to Vienna to die amongst even more expensive doctors. Forensics were performed as a matter of purging the devil. In those days a princess's corpse would never be subjected to the intrusion of an autopsy but such was the dread of her powers.

Outside the seminar, downtown Key West, a werewolf said to me, "I like the taste of skin." This is my friend Darko, a slim Serbian with black hair. He speaks sheepishly, "is that so strange? Am I strange? When she said I can't bite her." He stopped talking and raised his index finger which he allowed to droop. Darko looked at me and said, "my, you know", and he raised his eyebrows and looked sad, "does that make me strange?"

Smelling of sugar, a couple of teens trundle by, scooping mouthfuls of Key Lime pie off paper plates, and he says to her, "we are just like Grandma and Grandpa." And surely they do look like Grandma and Grandpa who are walking behind them with the t-shirts to prove it. Four Midwesterners looking like a fleet of Smart cars and gullibly spooning up pie.

The wolves they bite, watch out.