real vampires, vampire games and tv shows, movies or films, and vampire books

For the Ink Travels Fast

A few years ago, after the first run of performances of my original stage play DRACULA: LORD OF THE VAMPIRES, my cast all pitched in to pay for me to get a tattoo to commemorate the occasion. I decided on the official seal of the Order of the Dragon. (There are actually two seals, both authentic, but I picked the one I liked best.) The depiction is straight out of the history books, with one exception: I gave the dragon vampire fangs.

I’d been planning to add to this tattoo for some time. I’d thought I’d get the saying “For the dead travel fast” done in a stylized font, but I didn’t want it in English. I considered going with the German version Bram Stoker used in DRACULA (the novel): “Denn die Todten reiten schnell.” But I almost like it better in Latin: “Mortui veloces sunt.” (This is not an exact translation, though I like the sound of it more than the more literal translation of “mortuus est ieiunium itinerantur”.) Ultimately, though, I decided upon a famous phrase from the novel that is even better known than “The dead travel fast.” This one has also made its way into several of the Dracula movies. “Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” I left off the first three words for the sake of space—I could have larger letters if I shortened the phrase—and added an ellipsis for effect, but that’s my new ink. The bats are there for atmosphere.

TheCheezman • December 3, 2019

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