Hello and welcome, listeners! This is Ben Brock, Special Correspondent for the Paranormal Public on Queer Sci Fi Radio, and I have with me today Head Detective Jonas Forge. Detective Forge has won numerous commendations working for the Flint Police Department, and has become a steadfast member of their–mainly human–community. He’s also a vampire, and a rising star in our society.
Thank you, Detective Forge, for coming on our show today.
Forge: It’s my pleasure. I’m honored to have been asked and it’s a thrill to meet you Mr. Brock.
Let’s get some minor details out of the way first. How long have you been with the Flint PD?
Forge: Oh, wow, I have to think. I graduated from William and Mary College in the 1842 with a law degree. It wasn’t long after that Declan and I settled somewhat permanently in Flint, Ohio. It became our home base so to speak. About a century later our friend Simon Hawthorne joined us and convinced us to buy Boggs’s Castle instead of paying rent. Flint didn’t have a police force in the early days, but there was a sheriff and I lent him some help from time to time. It was a lot easier back then, without photo IDs and the internet, for us to leave for a few years every dozen or so years, come back with moustache, no moustache, different hair and so on and fit in with the town again. I think the official police force was in place sometime around World War I. I was a constable then, after World War II a beat cop, when we were in Flint. It wasn’t until the early eighties, after Stewie Belle became head detective, that I took the tests and earned my detective shield.
So why did you choose law enforcement, in some form or another, as a career?
Forge: That’s a question I’ve been asked and honestly one I’ve asked myself. My parents were farmers. They barely had enough money or food for my sister and me. They couldn’t read or write yet we recited Bible passages every night. The one thing I think I got from them was a sense of honor. Protect those that can’t protect themselves at all costs and do what you know in your heart is right. Some days that works out better than others. And for the record, I’ve never killed anyone or anything unless it was a last resort… I have however, used my vampire skills to coax a confession from a suspect. A little bit of fangs and changing eyes and their memory and communication skills dramatically improve.
I’ll bet. You’re an important member in human society, and in our paranormal community. Very few manage both, and from what I understand, you are stealth to some of the Flint PD. Tell us a little bit about how you ingratiated yourself into human society, and achieved the level of success you have.
Forge: I didn’t do it alone, that’s for sure. As I said, we had some tricks. Mostly they were Declan’s doing. It’s not that difficult to alter your appearance with simple things like hair style, clothing and how you carry yourself. A lot of people in Flint accept there are certain members of the community that don’t age as much as others do. It’s like the town secret that isn’t a secret but no one asks about it… much. I have hobbies, friends and play on the force basketball team. Sometimes I attend functions in an official capacity at churches and schools.
And not only do you have a successful career, but you have a dynamic personal life as well, living with other vampires, including your bonded mate, a human, and a werewolf. Tell us a bit about what it’s like to have that level of diversity in your home.
Forge: The rest of us pale in comparison to Lucas Coate, aka the werewolf. All kidding aside however, we’re really not that different from other families. Ben—Simon’s human bond mate, Blair, Lucas and myself all play on the force basketball team in the men’s league. Simon and Declan, though they claim not to understand why we play games, come and watch and pretty much clap and cheer at the appropriate times. They always show up for the after game round of drinks and dinner! All of us meet with a few other friends regularly for a poker game. By the way don’t play with Blair, he’s a real shark and he hustles.
There is the matter of Lucas’s full moon change every month, that can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. Our diversity comes more from our upbringings. Simon, Ben and Declan are originally from Great Britain, New Zealand and France respectively. We’ve had a bit of a language issue over the years. I think as a family our diversity is part of our strength. It’s certainly part of our charm.
Thanks for the tip about Blair. Now, I won’t be crass by asking how old you are, but I’m sure our listeners would be eager to know something about the challenges of you not aging in human society, when your peers will. What have you had to learn to adapt to? Anything surprising?
Forge: Actually I’m pretty proud of my age. I’ve not only survived quite a bit, but flourished. I was born in 1743, you can do the math. The biggest challenge to me has been putting down roots and living predominately in one area for as long as I’ve lived in Flint. When I was born there was no United States. I didn’t know how to read or write until Declan taught me decades later. The most difficult thing is watching my human and werewolf friends age and facing their deaths, that hurts. A lot.
What’s surprised me the most I think is how society’s perceptions and attitudes change. The way people eat is another constant change. Pizza was very easy to adapt to!
Quick question! Technology–love it, or hate it?
Forge: I don’t think it’s a big secret that I adore technology and have since I was a little boy. Anything new that came into our settlement I wanted to learn about. Don’t forget there was a time that electricity, automobiles, manned flight and the ball point pen were new-fangled technology. I find those types of changes, large and small exciting and fascinating.
You’re better off than I am, then. I don’t even know what number iPhone we’re on. Six? Eight?
From your experience living before modern comforts, what are some skills you’d recommend our young paranormal members learn to do the ‘old fashioned way’?
Forge: Find, cook and preserve food and find fresh water to drink. Knowing what sort of landscape makes a safe place to sleep is another lost skill everyone should know. I’m not preaching a survivalist lifestyle by any means, but those skills have served me well in a number of eras and situations. Food, water and safe shelter are paramount. Everything else is simply icing on the cake.
I’ll have to work on my hunting skills, then, because I have no idea where tacos live.
You’re a success as a vampire and member of human society, and because this is Queer Sci Fi Radio, you are also a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m sure our listeners would love for you to discuss a bit how being gay in human society has affected your career and personal life, and if you have any words of wisdom for our queer members.
Forge: When I was young being a homosexual was illegal, and could get a man thrown in prison with a sentence of hard labor. Or killed. Later there were ‘treatments’ some people were forced to endure.
Werewolves, as a community, never had to concern themselves much with those issues. They have to mate with the opposite sex to reproduce, of course. Other than that each individual is free to love and have sexual relations with whomever they please and much as they please. It sounds great to humans and vampires, but having known Lucas so long I can tell you there are drawbacks for them as well.
For the majority of my life, and career, I’ve had to hide the fact I’m homosexual. It’s a hard habit to break, but I make an effort to change. I’ve always lived by the personal adage “I am nothing if not adaptable.” Declan lived for many years in a Native American society that honored and revered both vampires and homosexuals. I was fortunate to have his influence for most of my life. Declan made me understand I wasn’t abnormal.
There were times in my life I’ve had to reconcile upholding the law and being a gay man. I tipped off many ‘gentlemen’s’ clubs of an impending raid. Then was forced to maintain my ‘cover’ and participate in that raid. At least I was able to prevent more than one violent act against those men, and sometimes women, by my fellow officers. There was more than one occasion Declan and I left for a few years because of my reputation for being soft toward certain members of the community. As a society we’ve still got a ways to go in regard to acceptance of LGBTQ+ people. However, that journey was considerably longer in the past centuries.
It’s a fine line for paranormals to live within society’s constraints and be true to themselves. Humans face the same issues expect unfortunately some never live long enough to see the good changes.
Blair, bless his heart, understands intellectually of course, but he doesn’t really get it. He’s never had to hide in the same way homosexuals did a hundred or two hundred or more years ago. At least in this country the LGBTQ+ community members, human and vampire, can live fairly open lives. The elaborate deceptions Declan and I wove as part of our daily lives in order to travel and live together were constant and necessary and draining.
The best advice I can give is if you don’t like it, get out there and figure out how to change it. Do it the right way and do not make me arrest your ass.
You heard it from him, folks.
Thank you, Detective Forge for taking the time to join us today. It’s been an honor to host such an esteemed member of our community. May you have many more successful centuries.
Forge: Thank you, Mr. Brock, for having me as a guest today. The best of luck with your correspondent career and Queer SciFi Radio.
Elizabeth Noble lives by the adage “I can’t not write”. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to write them down. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. Using a real love of scifi and urban fantasy highlighted by twisty plots she crafts stories taking place in a slightly altered version of our world.
When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She shares her little brick house with an adorable canine princess and her tabby cat side-kick. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians!) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotting her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.
Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published two of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner up in the 2015 Rainbow awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category.
Emotion in Motion: http://www.elizabeth-noble.com
The Vampire Guard