A bit of a spoof on the famous novel for fun...
|“Come on, Mina! It will be fun!” Ren enthused. His bulbous eyes stared at me expectantly, a sly smile tugging at the corners of his quivering lips. He looked like he’d had a few too many Red Bulls.|
“Fun? Getting your blood drawn?” I asked, wrinkling my nose. “You have a fucked up idea of fun, dude.” I let my gaze drift over his pale, angular features and weird, protruding eyes. “You know, maybe you should get out more. There’s this party at Sigma Phi on Friday that—”
“What?!” Ren interrupted. “Knowing that you’re doing a good deed for someone in need? Providing life-giving blood?” The dude’s eyes looked almost manic. He was way too excited about a freaking blood donation.
I rolled my eyes, sighing in defeat. “I suppose you’re right. It would be for a good cause…”
Ren smiled wide, staring at me with strange intensity. The glint in his unblinking eyes caused me to shiver. Luckily, a fly clunked into the window nearby, buzzing noisily as it bounced along the glass. It seemed to distract him, his twitchy eyes darting back and forth between me and the bumbling insect.
“So where did you say this blood donation clinic was again?”
Gradually, Ren’s gaze left me entirely, remaining locked onto the fly. He licked his lips, skeletal fingers trembling. What was up with this guy?
“Carpathia Street,” he murmured distractedly.
“Got it,” I replied. “Do I need an appointment?”
“Oh no,” said Ren. “In the evenings, you can just walk in.”
“In the evenings? Like after normal business hours? I thought most doctors pretty much did the 9 to 5 thing.”
“This particular doctor is quite accommodating. The Mas—er, um, he likes to be available when it’s more convenient.”
I furrowed my brows. “Convenient for him or his patients?”
Ren’s thin lips drew into a strained smile. “His patients, of course. Especially the pretty ones. Mas—Dr. Acula like it when I bring him the pretty ones. Like you.” His voice was distant, his mind clearly in the same place as his narrowing gaze—on the fly. Finally, it landed on the window sill, its buzzing hum abating. The instant its movement halted, however, Ren’s hand darted toward the window. Fly pinched between his fingers, he slipped the hand into the pocket of his black jeans.
“What the hell?” I cried, taking a step back, startled first by the suddenness of his movement, then by the fact that he had just stuck a fucking bug in his pants. “How did you just do that? And why?”
“I don’t like to leave flies about the house. All that succulent vitality wasted bouncing against the glass,” he said.
Succulent vitality? What the hell did that mean? He flashed me his best imitation of a reassuring grin. It only served to further unnerve me.
“Okay, well, I guess I’ll meet you over there tonight then. Does, um, 5:00 work?”
Ren donned his coat, shoving his arms into its red liner before smoothing out its black satin exterior. “The office opens at 8:00 PM.”
“Really? That late?” I was starting to get a bad feeling about this place.
“Yes, Mina. Just after sunset.”
I cocked an eyebrow, but he didn’t seem to be joking. His expression was inscrutable, but there wasn’t a hint of amusement in it. If anything, it was more like excitement.
“Okaaaaaaay…” I drawled, still trying to ferret out the emotion that was written into his odd features. “So who do I ask for if I get there before you?
I shrugged. Sounded Indian. Maybe Filipino. Not a relative of my new lab partner then. Ren was as white as it got. Pretty much ghost-like. “Alright, well, see you then, I guess.”
As I turned to leave, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of Ren’s hand flying upward from his pocket. I paused, turning to look at him again. He was chewing on something.
“Did you just…?” I shot him a curious look, unsure how to politely phrase my question. Was this freakazoid eating the fly he had just caught?
He finished chewing, then swallowed, a Cheshire smile expanding under those wild eyes of his. He nodded enthusiastically before licking his fingers. “Tasty.”
Okay, this guy was seriously weird. If we hadn’t been assigned together for this class project, I wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with him. The semester was just beginning, and I already couldn’t wait for it to be over.
After classes, I headed back to my dorm, taking the opportunity to google “Dr. Acula” on “Carpathian” street once I got to my room. There were no reviews of the guy. Not one. Strange.
Still, his office was close to campus. It wouldn’t take me long to get there. And since his office apparently didn’t open until 8:00, it gave me time to grab some dinner first. Tonight was spaghetti night, and donating blood gave me the perfect excuse to splurge on carbs.
After dropping off my backpack, I made my way to the cafeteria, grabbing a double helping of garlic bread. I scanned the crowded tables, my eyes finally settling on a friendly face.
I smiled as I approached, sliding my tray onto the table and taking the seat next to him. “Hi, Abe! How was class today?”
“The much-anticipated lecture on Dutch-Transylvanian relations? Boring. As usual,” he replied with a smile.
I laughed. “Why did you even take that class?”
He shrugged. “Well, I’m Dutch. And my parents are always encouraging me to learn more about my ancestry…”
“Oh yeah. You’re from upstate New York, right? ‘Tired Cove’ or something?”
“Right,” I said with a grin. “You’re probably a Yankees fan. I should hate you.”
“Oh, Lord,” he said. “That’s right. You’re from Boston.”
“Not Boston, exactly. But close. I’m from just a little ways north called Salem.”
“The place with the witch trials?”
“Yeah,” I sighed. “Seems like we’re still trying to live that one down.”
“Well, when you hang nineteen witches in one go, one of them is bound to get a curse off before she goes down.”
I stuck out my tongue. “Har, har, Mr. Van Helsing.”
“Real mature, Miss Harker.”
We both laughed.
“Actually, for your information, I’m about to actually do something mature for once. My lab partner for Bio 216 talked me into donating blood tonight.”
Abe’s bushy brows furrowed “Tonight?”
“Yeah. At 8:00. Wanna come? I’m sure they’ll be all over some fresh Dutch hemoglobin.”
Abe considered for a moment before grinning and spreading his hands wide. “Why not?”
“Is this the place?” Abe asked as we approached the gothic building on the corner of Carpathia and Stoker. The windows glowed flickering amber. “What are they lighting the place with candles? It looks more like some kind of defunct cathedral than a doctor’s office.”
“What’s wrong with candles?” I replied with a shrug. “Probably to make it a more relaxing, chill gemütlichkeit.”
“Again with the German?” Abe asked, exasperated. “I keep telling you that you should have taken Dutch.”
“There isn’t really an English word as good as the German one in this particular instance.” I flashed him a wicked grin. “Besides, isn’t Dutch basically just a pale imitation of German anyway?”
Abe laughed, declining to take the bait. “Don’t let my parents catch you saying that…”
“Good call,” I said, a little disappointed that I hadn’t been able to get a rise out of him. I must be losing my touch. With a sigh, I checked my maps app to be sure this was actually the place. It was a little unconventional to light a doctor’s office with candles. Usually, those sorts of places were all about sickly flickering fluorescents. But the address was correct.
I looked around. “I wonder where Ren is?”
“My project partner. Ren Fields.”
“Oh yeah. Right. That guy.”
I picked up on the hint of jealousy in his tone. Abe was a pretty good looking guy, and I was pretty sure he was into me. I’d been looking for an excuse to brooch this particular subject for a while now. “Jealous?” I probed, nibbling hopefully on my lower lip.
“What?!” Abe seemed startled. “No! It’s just that that guy is really… odd.”
Fuck. I felt the air leave my sails instantly. “Yeah. He’s super sketch. When we’re giving blood, remind me to tell you what he did this afternoon with this fly. You won’t even believe it.”
As we paused at the door, we saw a small sign that read, “Blood donations welcome.”
“Looks like it must be the place,” I said uncertainly.
Abe shot me a questioning look, then shrugged. He grabbed the wrought iron knocker on the door and gave it a good clank.
“Come in,” said a feminine voice in a British accent from inside.
Abe pushed open the door, the languid squawk from its rusty iron hinges echoing through the large, wood-paneled entryway. We stepped inside, spotting a woman in black scrubs behind a desk and making our way toward her. I don’t think I’d ever seen anyone in black scrubs before. It was trippy.
“We’re here to sign up for a blood donation,” Abe announced as the annoyingly attractive blonde looked up at Abe. Her name tag read “Lucy”.
With a smile that revealed a pair of elongated canines, the young woman spun a clipboard toward us. “Excellent. Sign right here.” She seemed to hold her esses for an unusually long time. It was probably the teeth. She should really consider getting them ground down or something.
On second thought, thank God she hadn’t because everything else about this girl looked just about perfect. From her shimmering hair to her doll-like features, her looks were to die for. She was one of those women that seemed blessed by inhumanly good genetics. Her foundation was about five shades too light though. Made her look as if she spent way too much time indoors!
Abe scribbled down his name, and I quickly followed suit. The nurse pulled back the clipboard, looking it over. Of course, she completely ignored my name, focusing completely on Abe’s. Her eyes shot upward immediately, meeting Abe’s with an intent stare. “Van Helsing?”
“I’m Dutch,” Abe replied, a wry smile crinkling his handsome features.
“So I gathered,” Lucy shot back, looking as if she had just smelled something particularly distasteful. I cringed, remembering my garlic breath. Was it that strong? I really should have brought some gum or something. Shit! No wonder Abe was giving me the cold shoulder tonight!
She continued to study Abe’s features, and I rolled my eyes. Jesus, lady. I almost muttered, “Enough with the eye fucking, lady. Why don’t you just tear his clothes off already?!” but, thankfully, managed to restrain myself. A moment later, she turned to me, announcing, “Mina, you may enter Dr. Acula’s office now.”
“That’s it?” I blinked in surprise. “No pre-screening or whatever?”
“Pre-screening?” The nurse looked at me blankly from under those freakishly long lashes of hers. Seriously, were those things fake? They had to be!
I shook away the thought, focusing on the topic at hand. “Yeah, like to make sure I’m not sick or anything?”
“Why would we not want you to donate blood just because you’re sick?”
My eyebrows rose. “So that you don’t make someone sicker by giving them my blood? I mean, what if the recipient died because I have leukemia or COVID or something?”
“Oh, your donation can’t make him sick. He’s already d—” The nurse stopped, catching herself.
“Him?” I queried. “Is there already a recipient for my donation lined up?”
At that, Lucy smiled. “There is indeed.”
“That’s cool. It would be awesome to know whose life I saved. But I’m sure you can’t tell me his name because of doctor-patient confidentiality and all that, right?”
Lucy’s smile grew wider. “No. You’ll learn his identity soon enough. This way…”
I followed her through another doorway where she deposited me on one of those medical beds with the steel railings and velcro cuffs that look like they should be used for some sort of BDSM fun. …Er… not fun. I meant weirdness. BDSM weirdness… Yeah. I mean, it’s not like I would ever do anything like that. With someone cute. Like maybe Abe. Not me. No way! Never!
So anyway, I looked around as Lucy glided away. Aside from the BDSM bed, there was nothing that I would have expected to find at a doctor’s office. Nothing on the counter. No cotton swabs. No needles. No heart monitor. No blood pressure thingie with the little rubber bulb. Nothing. What kind of doctor was this?!
The door opened, startling me. When I turned and looked, however, it wasn’t Dr. Acula that had entered. It was Ren.
“I’m glad you made it, Mina,” he said, circling the bed until he stood behind me. He placed his hands on my shoulders and pressed them down to the mattress.
“What are you doing?” I said, growing alarmed as I attempted to sit up only to have his fingers dig into my scapulas. This was not normal. Even for him.
“Just making sure you’re comfortable.”
“Dude. I’m not comfortable! In fact, I’m very distinctly uncomfortable.” I tilted my head back, turning it until I could see one side of his face. He looked excited again.
“That’s unfortunate.” The pressure on my shoulders didn’t ease in the slightest.
I began to squirm. “Unfortunate? Unfortunate?! What the hell, Ren?! What are you doing? LET ME GO!!!”
He didn’t move, so I struggled harder. Damn, this guy was strong! Who knew flies could build such strong muscles? Fucking things must be seriously protein rich or something.
As I mused on the possible health benefits of Musca domestica linnaeus (the common housefly), the doctor walked in.
He was tall, slender, and breathtakingly sexy. Like, literally. I felt my lips part in an involuntary gasp as my gaze met his. He smiled at my reaction as he swept into the room, his black, unbuttoned lab coat parting as if it were a cape. “Good evening, Mina. My assistant has told me much about you.”
I blinked. Even the guy’s goofy Eastern European accent was achingly sultry, his voice giving me goosebumps.
“Your assistant? You mean that Lucy girl?” My voice sounded breathy, even to me. I squirmed my shoulders back in an effort to emphasize my breasts. For some reason, I really wanted this guy to check me out.
“No. I was referring to Mr. Fields,” he said, his w’s sounding like v’s. He nodded to the man holding me down.
“Wait! Huh? My project partner is your assistant?” I wanted to twist back for another look at Ren, but I was strangely unable to pull my gaze from Dr. Acula’s smoldering eyes.
“More of a servant actually,” said the doctor with a dismissive wave of his hand. “I was just trying to be polite.”
Well mannered and seductive, eh? I licked my lips, idly wondering whether I could persuade Ren to simply cuff me to the bed and leave me alone with his boss for a few. In fact…
A nagging voice in the back of my mind appeared. She didn’t seem to like my little situation. In fact, she seemed to be trying to warn me about… something. Fortunately, I was quite accustomed to ignoring my better judgment, so I quickly dismissed the thought.
“Did you hear that, Ren? He basically thinks you’re a slave. Do you really want to work for this dude? How about you let me go, and I’ll just forget this whole third degree assault thing you’re doing right now? Dr. Acula here can peel these germy, contaminated clothes off my body, and everything will be.. just….” I trailed off, imagining the doctor’s soft hands on my bare skin… mmmmmm…
“I am his servant,” said Ren, startling me out of my lascivious thoughts. My creepy lab partner’s tone was reverent as he gazed intently at the doctor. “He is very powerful, due to what he ingests.”
Wait! I knew that look! It was the same one I was giving the good doctor. Damn it. Ren was totally gay. Why hadn’t I realized this earlier? The doctor had better be into girls. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck. I was going to scream if he and fucking Ren started making out right in fucking front of me.
“What he ingests?” I asked, more to buy time to think of a way to get rid of my male competition than out of actual curiosity.
“Oh, yes. I feed on only the smallest of life. The Master feeds on human blood.”
Ah, so that was the deal. BDSM it was, then. Sounded like the doctor was a biter. Did I say I wasn’t into that earlier? Well, that’s not entirely true. There was this one time, freshman year… and he hadn’t been half as delicious as Dr. Acula here.
That was when the nagging voice at the back of my mind made a return appearance. This was new. Usually once I banished my better judgment, she was gone for at least the rest of the evening. Of course, this time, I hadn’t had any chemical assistance in getting rid of her. That must be the problem. I stuffed her back into the farthest recesses of my consciousness once again.
So this dude was into blood-letting huh? Not really my thing, but I was totally willing to make an exception in this case. Anything to get those lips of his on my skin… I shivered with anticipation.
I lifted my head to get a better look at the doctor. His canines seemed to be growing. Cocking my head to the side, I couldn’t help but give voice to what I was thinking. “Doesn’t that hurt your lower lip? I mean those things look damn sharp!”
Even as I said the words, my lips curled into a grin. He had the same tooth disorder as little miss longtooth outside! Yes! Scratch her off my competition list. She was probably his sister.
The doctor shrugged. “You get used to it after a few centuries. You see, if you extend your jaw a bit while opening your mouth, your lips do not catch on the fangs.”
“Smart.” I nodded.
With that, he began to slowly approach.
“Look at me, Mina,” said Dr. Acula in a voice so achingly seductive that my thighs began to writhe against one another.
“Oh, I am,” I breathed, my heart thumping against my ribs. “Kinda can’t stop, actually.”
I felt lightheaded, unable to think straight. Like when I was high, except even better.
“Cease your struggling.”
His words seemed to reverberate inside my mind. I wasn’t actually struggling. Well, not struggling to get away. More like struggling to control myself. Still, I had no choice but to obey. So I ceased. But he hadn’t said I couldn’t speak…
“Shouldn’t I be in a hospital gown?” I said in my best sultry purr. It wasn’t difficult to come up with a throaty tone, not with the sensations that were traveling through my body under Dr. Acula’s devouring gaze. “Don’t you think these clothes should come off…” I pinched the fabric of my sweater between two fingers, giving him my best come-hither.
“Lift your chin,” he commanded, ignoring the whole hospital gown thing. Apparently, he wanted to start with a kiss. Foreplay. So unlike college guys. That was cool. I could live with the older man approach. Even if it was getting pretty damp down there.
I lifted my chin, my body growing increasingly aroused as I continued to gaze into his dark eyes. As I thought of his teeth puncturing my flesh, I nearly moaned with pleasure from the thought alone…
…and that’s when my better judgment attempted to warn me again! And this time, she actually managed to get through. The whole teeth puncture turn-on was actually pretty strange for me. Normally, I didn’t go for the whole pain thing. I was more of a strictly pleasure kind of girl. I mean, handcuffs were one thing, but actual blood?
“Did you roofie me or something? Why am I feeling like this all of a sudden?” My words seemed strangely distant even as I spoke them.
The doctor paused, suddenly perplexed. “Roofie?”
At that moment, the door burst open. Abe rushed inside, flinging away Lucy, the receptionist, who was clutching frantically at his arm. He held a stake in one hand, and a necklace of garlic cloves in the other, determination lighting his stunning blue eyes. Dr. Acula turned to face him, finally breaking our eye contact. “So we meet at last, young Van Helsing.”
Abe nodded, but as he looked into the doctor’s eyes, his pupils began to dilate.
Mother fucker. Abe was gay too? Why were all the sexiest men always into dudes?!
Dr. Acula laughed, then strode confidently up to Abe, grabbing him by the neck. The doctor lifted him off the floor with terrifying ease. As the garlic necklace and wooden stake clattered to the floor, the doctor examined Abe’s face. “Really? Is that it? I expected more, frankly. I’ve heard so many things about the Van Helsing clan.”
“Well, I usually do my vampire hunting during the day,” Abe rasped with a shrug. I was impressed. Not only was he speaking, he actually managed a full-on shoulder lift—quite the feat while dangling from his neck.
“Grandpa recommended the daytime method because things are quite a bit tougher at night,” he continued, still dazed. “I mean, at night, there’s the whole mesmerizing thing. And the strength thing. And the razor-sharp teeth thing. It really is quite a bit easier in daylight,” said Abe. “No vampire ever really puts up a fight.”
“Perhaps you should have used that technique in this case as well,” said the doctor, frowning as he looked his would-be assailant over. “I am Dracula, after all.”
“D-Dracula?” said Abe, swallowing hard. ”The Dracula?”
The doctor nodded slowly, a wicked gleam in his dark eyes.
“I thought that ‘Acula’ name had a familiar ring to it. Very clever.” A nervous laugh issued from Abe’s trembling lips. “Anyway, I’m right there with you on the ideal vampire hunting time. What do you say we try this again in the morning when it’s more of a fair fight? Me versus the, um, sleeping version of you?”
“I think not,” said the doctor. Moving faster than my eyes could follow, his head lunged forward, fangs sinking deep into Abe’s neck. As Dr. Acula sucked, Abe’s face grew pale. His head lolled, his mouth moaning in pleasure, his eyelids fluttering shut.
Seeing him like that gave me tingles. He looked to be thoroughly enjoying the experience. Fucker. I had been about to feel that before he had so rudely interrupted.
“Yes, Master! Yes!!” cried Ren, sounding every bit as excited as I felt.
I tilted my head to look at him, finally able to once again with the doctor’s attention focused on Abe. “Get a life, fly boy.”
Ren scowled, pressing his bony fingers into my throbbing scapula with renewed vigor.
Apparently finished with his meal, the doctor tossed Abe against the wall. He slid down, landing in a crumpled heap. Lucy, who had re-entered the room, clapped her manicured hands together in delight.
I stared at Abe’s lifeless body for a moment, then turned a wide-eyed gaze toward the doctor. “You k-killed him?”
Dr. Acula shrugged. “He was a Van Helsing. He came here to kill me. What did you expect?”
He had a point.
“I just… are you going to kill me too?” Pathetic, I know. But there were three of them and only one of me. And I’d just gotten a really sucky preview of what was likely my very near future. I wasn’t really liking my chances at this point.
In an instant, Dr. Acula was by my side. Before I could scream, he leaned down, protruding fangs extending downward. I had my answer. I was going to die.
As his mouth neared mine, however, he paused, drawing back slightly to sniff the air. “What is this I smell?” His knees began to wobble.
I cupped a hand over my mouth and breathed out, suddenly remembering the two pieces of garlic bread I’d downed at the dorm just before coming over here. “It’s garlic!” I exclaimed, suddenly beaming. I glanced down at the garlic necklace that had dropped from Abe’s fingers earlier. Garlic was some sort of anti-vampire thing, wasn’t it?
I sucked in a lungful of air, then let loose a massive exhale of garlic breath right into Dr. Acula’s face. He reeled backward, screaming and slapping his hands over his pale face.
Ren was so shocked by the sudden turn of events, that his grip loosened, and I was able to wriggle free. I leapt from the bed, sprinted past a flabbergasted Lucy, and ran straight back to my dorm. I called 911, but apparently everyone had disappeared from Dr. Acula’s “office” by the time the police arrived.
The following week, Abe had a nice funeral. When I told his family what happened, they simply shook their heads and muttered “dom”, which I later used Google to translate. It’s Dutch for “stupid”. Not too different from the German word “dumm”. See?
Anyway, Abe’s family took his unusual death pretty much in stride. Apparently death by vampire is not particularly unusual in the Van Helsing clan. Who knew?
And not to complain, but I never saw Ren again, so I was stuck doing our joint project all by myself. That really sucked. Which I supposed was appropriate. You know, vampires and all.