Astraea's Guide to Killing

Welcome to Astraea's Guide to Killing, a series of humourous articles written for the now defunct Circle Moonbeam. As said at the original time of publication (1999!), we hope that you enjoy browsing through this page - a humourous look at what exactly goes on inside Astraea's head!

Your Average Wooden Stakes: Vampires

It's not known who invented wooden stakes but he/she must have been damn smart because this is one of the easiest and quickest way to kill your average blood sucking vampire!
You don't have to be a master in the vampire slaying business, if your smart and strong you can pretty much kill your opponent. Once you've over-powered him/her (you have to fight of course and its not as easy as 'Buffy' makes it look. Your average vamp isn't gonna sit there while you slay it!) you have to drive the stake straight into the chest (where the heart lies!).
This should kill the vampire. In the event that it doesn't, you should get your ass the hell outta there 'cause this vampire is gonna pretty pissed. You tried to kill it and failed so my advice is to run!!!

When you are going vampire slaying or just want to be safe, the best stake you can get is one you've made yourself, you'll then know what wood it's made from (snakewood is the best) and you'll know how much work you put into it. You're gonna need a point so get your knife out and start carving (like a regular little girl scout). The point must be sharp enough to penetrate the vampires skin (eugh!!). Once your stake is carved and ready you should probably make another one, afterall you're gonna be fighting vampires and you may loose the first one. The stakes should be in a secure place and easy to get at (so when he has you in a head lock you can whip it out and kill the sucker for messing your hair!!). I suggest that you strap one to your ankle (the Rambo way!!), it'll be easy to get at and if, for instance, you're set upon by some thugs, you can make the move to go for it , they'll think its a gun and run!!

If you're one of the foolish ones who have gone out late at night, alone and unprepared you'll probably die basically!! No one these days should go out alone late at night. But if you have the will to live and are attacked by a vampire then try to fend it off until you can

A) run - a favourite of mine
B) grab a pretty big and strong branch/pole and drive it through the sucker.

You're gonna need to put some force behind the branch/pole because there won't be a sharp point at the end of it (and you can hardly ask the vampire to hold on a minute while you sharpen the edge!!). If you happen to be fighting in a garden with those cute picket fences then god damnit someone up there likes you because you'll have beside you a sharp and already pointed stake. Once you've pulled one out of the ground and killed the vampire - or better still, to be fancy, you've thrown him on to the fence, to save the trouble of you pulling up one of its planks!!) - you should go up to the house and thank the occupant for putting the fence up. Of course he/she will think you crazy and call the police. Ideally it's at this point that you disappear.
I now hope you're well prepared for vampires. If not, tough shit it was nice knowing you. I tried my best!!

It's Witchcraft: Dragons

"Its witchcrafttttt" as some famous guy sang ((just found out it was Frank Sanatra!!), and who knows maybe he himself was a witch. Stanger things have happened!!
Anyway the craft, (spells ,fire, cauldrons, voodoo dolls and what ever you call it or what ever you use to concoct your potions) is an old, well known and often laughed at way to get back and often kill your enemies. I myself believe in the craft however I'm only a newbie and haven't quite mastered it yet. (Turing your boyfriend into a toad isn't as funny as you might think and kissing him doesn't turn him back either (eugh!!) )
Some people are natural witches and know it. They use their powers to their advantage, while others are intrigued by the power it holds and try it out ( i.e. Me!).
But whether you're a natural witch or not , witchcraft is a good and easy way to kill. (But always remember that witches believe the the Times Three rule!)
Just about anything can be killed by witchcraft if you have the right spell and the right instruments. Love spells often involve flowers and pink candles and a whole lota lovin! But if you're in the middle of a fight you don't want to fall in love with your enemy. You want to kill.

Take the dragon for example..
The dragon is known to be both vicous and mean and will most likely kill you as soon as look at it. With it's fire breath and huge claws death by a dragon would probably hurt. (Fortunately I don't speak from experience!!) Some dragons can be quite nice. Take Puff the Magic Dragon. He wouldn't hurt a fly (or so we're told. Maybe on the side Puff offered a horrible death to everyone he met. Sorry if ive killed anyone's childhood dreams of a fun 'n' furry animal!!). Other niceys can be those ickle dragons - small baby ones that have just been dropped by the stork!! Awwww....
Anyway, these cutie dragons weren't killed by witches they were simply put to sleep (shows that witches have hearts!). But the dragons you wouldn't want to meet on a dark night (or any time for that matter) were killed.
Now its not easy to kill a dragon, their big and mean, but the witches overcame this when they put their minds to it. They came up with a spell to rid the world of dragons - they already knew that if a dragon looses its horns its weak and vulnerable to everything (how they know this I don't know. It was probably a guess that turned out to be true!).
They put all their secret materials into a cauldron (probably the ol' eye of newt and tail of frog. Not forgetting the sperm of one young male virgin, which is very hard to come by!!), then they chanted their spell (boil and bubble, toil and trouble, bring forth the horns from this dragons head, and banish him forever dead!!!!!!), thus the extermination of dragons began!!

I don't think you'll come by a dragon today but if you do tell it that your aunt/uncle is a witch and that they'll whoop it's ass if it comes near you!
Alternatively, you could go out and buy a book on the craft, read it and learn all there is to know about it and then you'll be ready to fight back.
If you don't come across a dragon you can always use your knowledge to get that cute guy you've been eyeing up =) O you could ask for all the knowledge in the world and get an A in your next test!!
Either way and whatever you choose I, and all your great ancestors, wish you well!!

The Silver Bullet: Werewolves

Ahhhh, the silver bullet. The most widely used object of killin'... Well, its not always silver but lots of things, be it human, animal or alien, have been killed by a bullet or been shot at.
A bullet made outta silver is the best of all (I think so anyway). It's slick and shiny, and so very deadly.. kinda how I like my man actually!
Now I'm sure you're asking yourself "why not just use an ordinary bullet? That'll do the job. Its strong and powerful..." But you're wrong. If you're up against a vampire, werewolf or shapeshifter an ordinary bullet ain't gonna help you. Shoot a normal bullet and all of these species will simple laugh at you. It's like attacking a dog with a fly (if that's possible!).
By now you should know you should know that you can kill a vampire with wood. If you don't know that by now then you're a slow, slow learner! So in this case it's best to make your bullet from wood. Snakewood, as mentioned above, is preferable!
If you're fighting a witch, a bullet made from silver, wood or just ordinary materials, will do the job if placed in the right place. Of course, there's always the chance that she'll just heal herself and put one of those damned spells on you, but it's a chance you'll have to take!
However, if you just happen to have a gun with silver bullets, I suggest that you go 'a huntin' ' for some werewolves. (I'm sure at this point you're headbutting your computer screen thinking "Of course you do! I KNEW THAT!"). So yes, silver will kill a werewolf (and apparently scary-ass clowns too. Have you seen "IT"??)

I guess silver has the same effect on werewolves as wood has on vampires, but, unfortunately silver doesn't grow on trees (wish it would though. It would make a damn fine tree!!).
The only way to get your silver bullets is to make them yourself (A la "Blade"!). Now this is actually easier than you think and with my direction you're bound to have fun!!
I suggest you first get the house to yourself (your parents might not understand that your melting their best silver ware to save humankind!!). So once you've kicked your parents out and locked your little bro in a press (with food of course! We're not that heartless... OK, we are! Scrap the food!!), you're ready to start.
First find all the silver you can. Yes, mum's good candle stick will have to go, but you can blame your little bro for its disappearance!! Jewelery is always good for bullets. So if you have any rings or necklaces that an old boyfriend gave you (and you dumped him cause he was an idiot!) you can melt them. As a bonus it'll give you great pleasure to see them bubbling away (if, at this point, you've mastered witchcraft then you can add to the satisfaction by giving him some kind of blinding torment to teach him a lesson!).
So once you've all your silver gathered up, bung it all into a pot and turn the heat up to max. It'll take a while to do this, so I suggest you go give your bro a drink of water. Afterall he's probably thirsty after all the screaming he's done! I just hope none of the neighbours have heard...

When you have a silver liquid, pour it into a mold. Making the mold is quite easy. Just get a normal bullet (large of course, werewolves are bloody big!). Press it into some modelling clay and let it set. When it's done all you have to do is pour the silver into it and let it harden. There are other ways to make the mold, you could carve it from wood or stone (if you have the tools and the time) and it's really up to you which kind you make. If you're livin' in an area that's known for werewolf activity (you shouldn't still be there. You should be long gone!), you'll need a mold that will last for a loooooong time. I'm sure that you can come up with some ideas of your own!

In the actual killing of the werewolf you should have all your bullets either in the gun or in an easy place to get at. You should dress in black (not only will it be in conspicuous but it'll make you look slimmer too!!). You shouldn't really go looking for werewolves (they'll find you most likely) and if you don't come across one then it's a good sign. It usually means that you're not gonna die today! YAY! But if you do come across something breathing heavily and way too hairy to be human, I suggest that, once you've stopped screaming or comparing it to your Aunt Dolly, that you get your gun and fire as many shots as you can at the thing before it runs and hides. If you get it in the chest, then cool! You should probably sign up for army service. They could use people like you, with good aim 'n' all. And if you hit it in the chest then you'll most definitly kill it. If you hit it somewhere else then you should RUN! (I'm very fond of running myself!!) It's probably gonna be pretty pissed with you for hitting it and if it's not dead then it's gonna be even more pissed 'cause now it's gonna gave to run after you and kill you... all with a gun shot wound.
Although werewolves are know to be vicous they're really just big teddy bears and hate it as much as you would if you had to go kill someone with a painful injury. All it really wants to do is go home and get it's significant other to lick it all better (A great method of foreplay for werewolves. It usually leads to great sex which, like the rest of us, werewolves enjoy!)

It's A Thriller: Zombies

Now zombies, although I'm a person of great knowledge (some disagree), I don't actually know that much about.(I'll have to do a Giles and check my vast library of the occult……my library consists of one book but its not my fault funds are low at the mo. I guess I shouldn't have spent all my money on the life size model of Brad Pitt but he looked so scrumish). If anyone wants to extend my library so I can help you guys then send money now to me!!!!!!!!

Anyway back to zombies. Well all I know 'bout them is that they're dead (aren't we all!!) and they're usually flesh eating things (now that I don't wanna be!!!!)
The only method that I've heard of killing them is with wood (them being dead like vampires 'n' all). So I'm guessing that the whole speech I gave on wooden stakes and lil cute fences applues here. But I'm not gonna give it again 'cause you don't wanna hear it and I have a selective memory when it comes to what I remember and don't remember. I did remember that there was a site with Brad Pitt naked on it (I suggest that you go look it up!), but that's not going to help me or you when fighting a zombie so just go look at what I wrote on the whole vamp killin' scene.

I've never come across a zombie (my sis doesn't count...right?!) so I don't know what they look like but I'm guessing horrible! I mean if you're dead and take to eating peoples flesh for a hobby then you're not gonna look you're best…..unless you're rich. Then you can book your self into the Betty Ford Clinic(I'm sure they take flesh eating as an addictive disorder). Then you can get cleaned up and look good in no time. But you gotta be warned - everyone who comes outta there always goes back to their addiction.

Disappearing Act: Shapeshifters

Now my last topic - shapeshifters. I think they're cool! Imagine being able to take on any form or shape (Brad Pitt's underwear here I come!!!!). They're mostly gently creatures although they have a bit of a superiority complex goin' on but there are always a few who'll go astray.
These can be tricky when they piss you off and then just as you're about to kill them they disappear. Well.... they don't actually disappear they simply change forms, but it ain's so simple. (Rather complex actually)
You have your average 'shifter that can change into an animal and rarely do harm (except for when they have to eat but lets not go into that) and lead a happy life. (And they can be so cute when they turn into an ickle cute puppy). But most don't do this - humph! Instead of taking the easy life they change into a big mother of a tiger and attack anything and everything. Hence the stories of animals escaping from Zoos. They actually don't, it's just the government covering up because they can't really explain to the average motorist why exactly a huge bear or cheetah would be prowling along the highway. I mean, come on! If you're a bear, for example, and you're in a Zoo, you get fed a lot and petted and generally treated well, you're not going to wake up one day and decide 'Ah! Today I'm gonna go escape to a place I've never been before and where I'll probably be killed.' Animals are smarter than that. (I'd just like to add that I don't condone Zoos. I think that they're cruel and should be closed. Animals should be in their natural environment. So there's my view expressed and I think I should go back to talking 'bout shapeshifters!)

'Shifters, as I'll call them, can cause alot of damage without getting caught.
If you find you're being terrorised by a 'shifter (oh that word makes them sound so sinister!) then you need a plan of action.
What you need to do is to find out what they change into (most of the evil ones will change into an animal, its no good attacking you if they change into a table!! Unless you're afraid of wood), so you gotta see what animal they're comfortable with and like. Its also good to see what one they're not comfortable with. Take for example Buffy the Vamp Slayer. In one episode Xander was a hyena and when he walked by the pig (the school mascot not Buffy!! Ohhhhh I'm a bitch!!!) it got all distressed and stuff. So if your 'shifter makes some animals run away then get to your library (do a Giles) and find out what animal that animal doesn't like (it's a whole big animal thing).
You'll eventually have some knowledge and will figure out what animal it is. Then all you need to do is get some hunting materials. If its a big cat your killing you'll need a big gun and so on.
So next time your 'shifter is annoying you and trying to kill you and you got to kill it and it disappears all you need to do is look for its animal. If it's a big cat (eg. Cheetah) then it shouldn't be too hard to find. Then you can kill the animal and hence the 'shifter. They're very tricky to kill so it's best if you don't try and just leave the country.
However, if you can't leave the country and can't figure out what it shifts into then you need a better plan of action. Just get yourself a gun with ALOT of power and some silver bullets and the next time it comes to get you, get it first! (This'll be hard as you'll only have a split-second before it shifts so give it up girl! Go home and do some major moping instead!!).

Originally compiled by Astraea Yuyama with images by Callisto, both of Circle Moonbeam, 1999.