A story written for my blog Tenacious Tidings
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An interview with Count Dracula for FORWARD PRESS by Apondia:
As I entered the castle across a lowered drawbridge. It looked like serious rot was showing across the whole of the bridge. I tiptoed around the obvious holes and was careful to tap some parts of the surface before putting weight on it with one of my feet.
The castle main was heavy stone so it seemed as safe a place to enter as we would see during today's jaunt into the unknown.
As soon as I entered into a hallway with a ceiling high enough to drive a truck into; someone I think is human undead approaches me. She is quite tall, wearing a long filmy white dress spotted with dark blood red spots that seem to drip down from her throat onto the dress. She was holding one hand up against her throat. When she came within 5 feet of me she stopped. With a colorless, glassy stare she beckoned me with one hand, turned and moved soundlessly out a west side doorway.
This action seemed brazen to me. I had expected to be told odd facts today since this was the first exclusive the Count had allowed in many years. Nevertheless, I would like to get a closer look at the woman’s neck where she continued to place the palm of one hand.
We traveled not to far down a hall into another room. This new area was comfortably furnished. The rug underfoot was modern in plush fabric and coloring. An odd pattern of blood red and black swirls. The same pattern was woven in a smaller way into the chairs and sofa.
Aha. Apondia. You have arrived right on time. Can you be seated for a moment it seems Alyssa has a minor problem I need to fix.
As I chose a very soft and form fitting comfortable chair and took out my pen and pad, Count Dracula was motioning Alyssa to come closer. However, he was standing next to a very modern electric fireplace. It was one of those that have pretend flames leaping and dancing across a screen.
Alyssa shook and trembled and backed away from him. Oh bother Alyssa the fire is not real. I guess you don’t feel the heat though, do you? Just see the flames. “ Come here immediately,” he ordered.
Hesitantly, she obeyed . The Count took a roll of gauze out of his pocket and began to roll it round and round her neck. Red oozed into the white of the gauze but did not seem to be flowing freely down her garment any longer.
Now run along to the kitchen my dear. Tell cook to bring some good English tea and some of those cookies I bought at the store. No. Um, not the ones we eat at the castle. Something purchased from the town grocery would be better for this visit. Apondia isn’t one of us. I think she would not appreciate castle made fare.
As she turned to go, Dracula settled into a chair opposite me. Now, exactly what are we talking about here today.
As you know Count Dracula, I started.
Just Dracula will be fine Apondia.
OK. As you know this time of year the minds of people turn to things other than the living and your name comes up a lot. I had a few questions that would enlighten the public who read our publication.
He rubs his chin. Some things maybe people shouldn’t know but ask your questions and we will see what comes up. Pardon me while I turn the lights a little lower. He touched a dial on the arm of his chair and the lighting became very low with just enough to barely see where to put my pen to paper.
There, I think better in a darker area.
Tell me a little about your name?
Well of course you know Brom Stoker, who created me in his story Dracula, took the name from Vlad III. It’s origin is from a word which describes a dragon or mm sometimes Drac is for the devil. Dracula smiled a kind of intimidating smirky smile.
Why did you want to move from Transylvania to England?
Eligible maidens were coming up missing right and left out there in Transylvania. I guess parents were moving away from the castle and taking their daughters with them. I’m not really to blame, you know. Over the years it’s been proven in many a writing that vampires can be exceptionally desirable.
How did you become a vampire Dracula?
Let’s see that was a long time ago. Oh yes, I remember now, that was the black magic. I was very wicked to use it, wasn’t I. I did it for eternal love of Mina. I did meet her again, in England, you know?
Why are you afraid of crosses?
Dracula tipped his head sideways and rested his forehead in his palm. I heard him mumble something.
I’m sorry I couldn’t hear what you said?
He rose up out of the chair and turned on me with a frightful look. Why do you want to know that?
It’s just one of the things that are often mentioned in vampire stories. People do get curious about it you know.
If you must know it’s very drafty in this castle and sometimes in any castle. He shook his head back and forth and sat suddenly with a plop into his chair. There are ancient ideas that I ignored when I was mixing up that magic potion. It’s got to do with that old book.
Which old book? I asked. Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing? Was Dracula’s colorless pale skin turning an embarrassed pink color?
The one the Christians use to learn about, you know... him.
You mean God?
Yeah. It seems I made a boo boo when I used magic to gain eternal life. Now, I’m stuck forever doing, what I do as a vampire. It’s boring and unusually irritating most of the time. Not only that, I can’t get away with anything really. That cross thing is a constant reminder of the way it actually worked to gain eternal life. Anyway only one person could do that, and do it right. Of course it wasn’t me. People are always picking on me with a cross as though I needed to be reminded.
Just then a plumb motherly looking lady arrived with a beautiful tea service and served us tea.
She scolded Dracula and he took it with a mollified look. Dracula you have to take a walk with the dog tonight. He has been scratching and whining all morning in the kitchen.
Something had followed her into the room. It was large, with the head of a lion, the short feet of a dachshund, and the tail of a pony dragging across the carpet. When the monster puppy sat down he flipped the tail up over his back in a curl and the long hair waved in the air.
Dracula one last question? Will you be out on Halloween night?
No. Absolutely not. To many monsters, other people’s zombies, the undead, and other vampires out that night. I’m just not as good with competition as I was when I was younger. The population of zombies and undead seems to be rising at an overpowering rate the last few years. You know what that means don't you? The important one will wake up the troops and their will be more crosses than ever to dodge. Why did I ever make that magic potion?
I finished my tea and rose to go. I do appreciate this interview Dracula.
Alyssa will make sure you make it to the drawbridge. Alyssa came gliding out from a hidden doorway.
I reached out to shake Dracula's hand.
He startled backwards in a quick move raising the short black cape he was wearing across part of his face. Is that a cross you are wearing on your bracelet? he screamed.
Oh. I'm sorry I'll just go now. I moved quickly out of the room and down the hall with Alyssa in the lead.
As I started to leave the castle and move onto the drawbridge Alyssa became more animated.
Wait, she shouted. She reached out and touched the cross on my bracelet. Can I come with you, I don't like it here. Her face was shining with a new animation.
Of Course,I exclaimed. Holding hands we fled across the crumbling moat. As we reached the other side someone else called from the castle.
The cook was scurrying toward us. " Wait for me," she called.
Behind her the monster had turned into three *Cool* animals a pony, a dachshund, and a lion.
When they left the moat behind they were frolicking on the grass in the joy of finding the light again.
When I stopped in the press room of FORWARD PRESS to write up my article for publication the editor stopped by my desk. How did your interview go? He wanted to know.
Pretty well, I said. How is Alyssa today?
She is so glad to be home. Once a year it's good to be reminded that monsters, zombies, and vampires become human again the day after Halloween.