Parallel Earth: 431110
Designation: Permanent Collection
Parallel Historians: Julliet Martine, Teresa Galus, Kirt Blackwood, Alissa May Atkinson, and Ben Tumbling. Special thanks to Martin.
Wooden Stakes Club (est. 2008, New York, USA), 2016
Enamel and steel
Exclusive clubs and secret cabals have been part of the fabric of New York City since before the Declaration of Independence. From the upper crust (the Union, the Yale Club) to the gritty streets (Hells Angels, Dead Rabbits), people come together in common cause for common gain. In a city that can be both awesome and terrifying, both bright light and shadow, it can be dangerous to go alone. And one can feel the most alone after being touched by violence.
The pin shown here is the emblem of the Wooden Stakes, a support group whose members claim to have survived attacks by vampires.
Club members allegedly number in the dozens but there are no membership records.
An ever decreasing number of Americans now recall a time when vampires were a very real danger to human life and democracy. Their functional immortality allowed them to hoard wealth, generation after generation, which in turn made it easier for them to influence culture and government. For example, even after the North and South’s reunification to end the Civil War struck a decisive blow against their economic interests, prominent vampires and their thralls survived in relative privilege. With coded language and subtlety, they continued to spread the ideals of fascism until their treason was exposed at the end of World War II. The last official report of a vampire in the United States was in 1955. A male was discovered in an abandoned apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, with thirteen human thralls. It was slain on the same night thanks to a quick response from local authorities.
Such historical records cast doubt on the claims of the Wooden Stakes. They are not, however, deterred. One member, who asked only to be identified as Al, told the New York Times, “I stabbed a vampire through the [expletive] heart and it turned into dust right in front of my [expletive] eyes. I don’t care what anyone says. It happened.”
What does worry the group is the growing trend of fictionalized vampires in books and movies, many of which feature vampirism in a positive light. Propaganda is a common weapon in a fascist’s arsenal. It would be just like vampires to make new thralls of us all from beyond the grave.
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