Penelope goes all in for immortality
“My neck is up here,” she hissed in an annoyed tone.
“And such a lovely, creamy, treat it is, my dear,” murmured a distracted Count Yorgi. “So round and full . . . of blood, I mean.”
Penelope broke their embrace and turned away in frustration. She’d hoped that the filmy negligee would finally entice the Count to take her bait.
“What’s a girl got to do to get a little respect around here? I offer you a perfectly good neck to bite and all you can do is ogle my chest!”
She'd invited Yorgi up to her place for an after-dinner drink, but the Count hadn’t made a move as yet. Penelope was beginning to wonder if he still had the chops to pull it off. She donned her robe and lit a cigarette.
“Please, my darling, you know nicotine doesn’t agree with me,” sniffed the Count.
“What’s the point of being undead if you’re still obsessed with healthy habits?” she demanded.
“It’s not my lungs so much as my tuxedo,” replied the Count. “The smell seeps into the fabric and then I have to lie inside a closed coffin all day with the reek of cigarette smoke. And, besides that, it’s difficult to launder. Do you know how much they charge for dry-cleaning these days?”
“All I know is that I’m tired of waiting around for you to make a commitment. I want to be undead while I’m still young enough to enjoy it. Maybe I need to find someone more virile. Someone with stronger teeth perhaps . . .”
“Soon, ma cherie, soon. I’m going to ask my doctor about Chewallis.”
Penelope snorted at the lame joke and poured three fingers of gin into a highball glass. A long swallow warmed her mood a bit.
“Must you swill alcohol, sweetheart? It thins the blood and imparts an unpleasant tang. I have no appetite for pickled hemoglobin,” Count Yorgi pleaded.
Penelope ignored his comment and took another swig. She’d invested a lot of time and effort to find a vampire, and she wasn’t about to let it all go to waste, not when the payoff was an eternity of ageless beauty. Penelope held no illusions. A woman had only a few good years to marry a fortune and set herself up for the future. But, if she played her cards right, Yorgi would provide all the time in the world. The stuffy, middle-aged Count hadn’t been her first choice, but he was the first one who hadn’t been scared off by her aggressive approach.
“Look, Yorgi, I want this relationship to move forward. I know you like my bod and I can do things for you that’ll make your head spin,” she purred suggestively.
The Count reflected ruefully on the contrast between the coarse Penelope and the lovely woman who’d introduced him to the realm of the undead. She too, had wanted his wealth and position, but Ava was charming. He’d fallen under her spell, and Ava had come to love him as well. They enjoyed more than a hundred years together before their tragic separation.
“Damn Van Helsing!” he thought for the thousandth time.
Penelope was almost a twin to his long-lost Ava, but she was also proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The Count had been captivated by her near perfect form, but then disappointed by her mercenary personality. He held no illusions, either. He knew that Penelope would inevitably leave him. He’d have to give in to her desires, if only to be rid of her, but he didn’t look forward to the joyless task.
The act of initiation was delicious if done properly. It should resemble a dance, with dewy innocence pursued by ancient evil, or a delicate moth drawn to an irresistible flame. There should be seduction, a promise of pleasure as well as pain, and always a frisson of fear. A willing victim was a bit of a bore. An eager participant was simply distasteful.
“So, why wait? Let’s do this!” Penelope demanded.
“It would be best to obtain a coffin first, my pet, and you’ll need a secure resting place . . .”
“Oh Yorgi,” gushed Penelope. “I’ve already found the cutest pink casket, and I can move in with you. You’ve got tons of room!”
The Count shuddered at the thought of waking up to Penelope every night, but hid his true feelings with a show of compliance.
“Of course, dearest. We’ll find you the perfect spot, I promise," he offered gallantly
* * * * * * * * * *
Penelope awoke groggily in utter darkness. It took some time to remember what had happened and where she was. She hadn’t realized that the transition would take so much out of her.
“I wonder if it’s nighttime,” she mused, as feeling returned to her body.
Her arms were constricted by the silky padding, but she managed to draw her hands up by her shoulders and push upward. The coffin lid didn’t move.
“This thing is heavier than I thought.”
Penelope pushed harder, but still the lid refused to budge. She suddenly became aware of a damp, earthy scent.
“What the hell? Why do I smell dirt?”
Panic set in as she became fully aware of her situation. Even the strength of the undead wouldn’t suffice to open a coffin covered by six feet of soil.
“No!” she screamed over and over, clawing at the ruffled pink lining, but the sound was effectively muffled inside the fresh grave.
* * * * * * * * * *
“Five minutes should be enough to destroy any trace DNA,” thought Count Yorgi as he removed the hypodermic from the flame.
It hadn’t been so difficult after all. Penelope had been willing and the jab of a needle felt little different from the nip of a fang. The strong narcotic had slowed her transition, and a large cash payment had procured a discreet burial from an unscrupulous funeral home.
The Count felt a tiny twinge of remorse, but he had kept his promise. The undead Penelope would be ageless and beautiful for all eternity.
Author's note: ▼