My Slightly Different Count Dracula – Chapt. 13: Finding Solace

Click here for chapters 1-12.

Just like last time I´m going to provide those of you who prefer to lean back and enjoy being read to an audio version of this chapter.

Unlike last time however it´s not me doing the reading. Instead Gentileschi Productions is proud to present My Slightly Different Count Dracula – Chapt. 13: Finding Solace read, or rather performed, by my friend Phil “The Voice” Ryan! Phil has two awesome blogs (both of which I beg you all to visit) and an even more awesome voice! That´s why I had to ask him if he would do me the honors and read some chapters for me and you whenever he´s got the time to do so. He graciously agreed to it and I´m happy to announce that he has thus unknowingly signed a binding contract for life! 😉 

And now lean back and enjoy the show!

 

 

Devastated and heartbroken Count Harecula tumbled through the deserted streets of the city. Unforgivably he´d convinced himself that Lizzy really liked him. He´d even brought her some flowers! (He´d conveniently forgotten that this had been actually Igor´s idea.) Something had gone very wrong this evening and he simply couldn’t figure out what it might be.

As he reached his castle, he hoped none of his servants would notice him, but that was of course an idle wish. Igor would never go to bed without seeing to it that the Count had safely returned home and had everything he possibly could need before he retreated to his coffin. Well, he had come safely home, Count Harecula thought. Apart from the fact that his heart lay in tiny little  pieces scattered all over the empty streets he´d wandered tonight, he added bitterly.

Normally Count Harecula entered his stately home through the large wooden doors in front of the building. But tonight he hoped to sneak in unobserved through the kitchen door in the back.

Feeling like a thief in the night, he stood in front of the door, unsure how to open it.

He prodded it cautiously with his forefinger.

Nothing happened.

He suspiciously eyed the doorknob.

Then, with his tongue slightly sticking out of the corner of his mouth, he reached for it.

The door swung silently open on well oiled hinges.

Pushing it close again he still had his back to the large room when a voice behind him made him jump.

„Good evening, Sir“ Igor said and looked up from the newspaper he had been reading. He stood up from one of the benches that stood on either side of an enormous wooden table right in the middle of the room. Folding his newspaper neatly together, he looked expectantly at the Count.

„May I ask how his lordship´s evening did fare?“

Count Harecula who still had to recover from his shock of having been caught sneaking into his own castle by his butler, suddenly saw red.

„It was fine!“ he snapped. „Fine! Absolutely fine! Really, very fine! Very fine indeed!“

„Anything repeated four times must indeed be true, sir“, Igor said, striving to keep his features emotionless.

The ensuing silence was only interrupted by the ticking of a hot water boiler in a far corner of the cavernous room.

Igor cleared his throat.

„May I ask what exactly has happened to turn this evening into such a fine one for his lordship?“

Count Harecula couldn’t believe his ears. How could Igor even dare to ask him such a personal question? He would have to put him in his place at once!

Then Count Harecula burst out into tears.

Through a series of little hiccups he told Igor everything, starting with his unintended visit to the bar, where he´d unwillingly become part of a fight (he slightly exaggerated his active role in it), the short stop in the costume shop to get something to hide his blackened eye with (at this point he finally removed the satin tie from his head and threw it in the bin) and finally he told him what had happened at the ASS-meeting.

When he reached the part of his story where Lizzy had lifted her hand to volunteer as a sponsor for „Edmund“, his tears flooded more vigorously than ever.

Igor, who had listened without interrupting his master, reached for a clean kitchen towel and handed it to him. The Count blew his nose and gave it back. Igor, used to grossly stained textiles of all sorts, accepted it with a straight face.

„She even proposed that I join them and TALK!“ Count Harecula said indignantly. „Together with that stupid guy! Can you believe it?“

When Igor was sure that his masters flow was ebbed for now, he said,

„Well, I don´t know her ladyship in person, but from what his lordship had the kindness to share with me, I gather she is a very fine young lady who simply wants to help those in need. I don´t think that she wanted to insult his lordship´s feelings. She simply felt that this young man needed her help in this delicate matter and offered it generously. As his lordship will surely not have forgotten, that seems to be the whole point of the ASS-meetings“, here he raised an inquiring eyebrow before he continued to speak. „This young man clearly wants to get rid of his condition in order to protect the woman he loves. I fail to see what his lordship might have against it.“

„But why didn’t she offer me her help?“ Count Harecula petulantly demanded to know.

Igor hesitated.

„Maybe her ladyship sensed that his lordship´s interests lay somewhere else?“ he hinted.

Count Harecula who had composed himself somewhat by now looked at his butler and considered this for a moment.

„You really think she could tell?“ he asked.

„I´m afraid so, my lord.“ Igor replied.

„Mmmh.“

Igor knew from experience that his master would be occupied with thinking this through for a while. He went to the enormous fridge that still looked tiny in comparison to the room and took out some ice cream that he had secretly stored there. It was his all time favorite: Chocolate Macadamia. He gave one half of the little container into a bowl, added a silver spoon that was decorated with the Count´s coat of arms and put it in front of his master.

„I suggest that his lordship have a taste of this ice cream. I always find it very helpful in times of… stress. If there´s nothing else I might do, I bid his lordship goodnight.“ With that, he tucked his newspapers under his arm, grabbed the now half empty ice cream container and left the kitchen.

„Yes, yes…good night, Igor“, Count Harecula replied. He absentmindedly took the spoon in his hand and dunked it into the bowl of ice cream without really looking at it.

The taste of the ice cream successfully diverted him for a moment from rolling his thoughts over and over in his head. Although he found its temperature slightly irritating as he was mainly used to hot blood, he found the texture of the stuff extremely appealing. Moving it around in his mouth from one side to the other, he was hit by two equally pleasant sensations: the strange combination of sweet and bitter of the chocolate that reminded him a bit the coffee earlier that evening, and the crispy crunchy feel of chewing on the nut bits.

Though savoring every mouthful he soon had emptied his bowl and with a look around the room to make sure no one was watching, swiftly licked it clean.

IMG_5494 (1) Kopie

Count Harecula licking out the bowl of ice cream

He let out a small contented burp for which he automatically apologized although no one else was present.

His feverish thinking had somewhat slowed by now and he felt more peaceful than a couple of hours ago. He also felt that the sun was slowly coming up and left the kitchen to retreat to his bedroom and the coffin that stood in it.

He closed the lid over him a minute before the sun was stretching her rose-colored fingers over the rim of the earth and fell instantly asleep.

To be continued… 

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59 thoughts on “My Slightly Different Count Dracula – Chapt. 13: Finding Solace

  1. My ‘like’ is obviously for the script and art work. Thanks Sarah for the big build up, the links and the opportunity to narrate. I think public demand may insist I retire here and now but it’s been fun. I think I almost managed to stay in the right characters throughout too so there’s something. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Igor is a good butler. I’m going to fire mine and get one like him. 😉 The Count needs to toughen up, though. I’m sure he’ll sort it all out. 🙂
    Great story as always, Sarah, and Phil did a pro job with the narration.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Absolutely delightful, Sarah. For some reason, this story-style reminds me of something from Beatrix Potter …only for adults! And the narration adds to that as well.
    I’m falling in love with your coffee & ice cream addicted slightly different count dracula!

    Are you planning on publishing this?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aww – thank you so much, Laura!! 🙂 Being compared to Beatrix Potter is the loveliest thing I´ve ever heard! I adore her very much, my favorite coffee mugs are decorated with Peter Rabbit and Emma Puddle-Duck 🙂
      Do you mean publish on paper? I would so love to do that, especially with all the pictures, and I would definitely add more then, but I haven´t the slightest clue where I would start…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay for sunshine. Ours has returned too after almost a week of rain which has flooded parts of the country. Ironically, we are being told to use less water!! Yes, it’s true. It rained so hard that the water treatment plant can’t cope with all the silt that is in the water and is filtering more slowly. It’s almost funny. I hope you have a wonderful week too xxxxx 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds awful! Hope they´ll handle it soon! Sometimes it´s the same in Spain… here about not so much.
        I´ve been through a couple of rough days this week, my mum had to go to hospital Tuesday night. She feared she´d had a heart attack but fortunately the blood results etc. turned out to be ok. She suffers from cardiac arrythmia from time to time but never wants to see a doctor about it. I hope she will now! She hasn’t made an appointment yet so I´ll have to do that. It´s been quite a shock really, I was shaking so badly and couldn’t really talk on the phone with the hospital. We waited for 3 hours there to get the results and have EKG. When the sun came up we could head towards home. Had to cancel my pottery course next day because I just couldn’t hold my eyes open… Now I have started cleaning vigorously every little nook and cranny I can reach just to not have to think too much about it… ah, well… Sorry, you´re the first I talked about it. 🙂
        Hope you´re having a beautiful day and that the sun keeps on shining 🙂 xxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Sarah, I am so sorry to hear that your Mum had to go to hospital. And I’m glad that her test results were ok. I know how worried you must be, and how difficult it is when we have to start parenting our parents. Somehow, supporting them in sickness is much harder than helping friends.
        I hope she will be fine, and that whatever the problem was, it is minor and can be treated. I also hope that you get a chance to rest and recover from this — it is traumatic. Sending huge hugs and lots of love to you (and your mum). Take care my friend xxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much, dear Su! Your words are always such a huge comfort to me! 🙂
        I´ve made some arrangements so that my mum can get an long-term ECG as soon as another patient is going to cancel his or her appointments because otherwise it would take until the end of May! In the meantime I bought a little blood pressure monitor for her. If it would be up to her she wouldn’t do anything… 😦 She´s quite stubborn about not wanting to be a bother for anybody, at least me. You´re right about that parenting our parents… it is most distressing.
        Have catched up on my sleep but am having difficulties now falling asleep… I´m sure it will be better soon. In the meantime I try to get her to do some fresh air and walks – something she´s not very fond of because of a disc prolapse she has in addition. I think this staying mostly inside the whole long winter now might have something to do with the situation right now… but I´m no doctor 😉
        Hope you’re having a beautiful weekend – here it´s quite stormy but I take that as a good sign that spring will blow its way in 😉
        Thank you for the lovely hugs – I´m sending some you too! 🙂 xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are such a good daughter. I know how your mum feels, never wanting to trouble our children. But I also know that not taking care of ourselves actually makes it harder for those we love in the long-run. Maybe you could try saying that to her, as I did with my mum. It’s a bit sneaky, but she was happy to look after herself better because she saw it as actually helping me.
        I hope your insomnia improves soon; sleep is so important especially when you’re stressed.
        It is a beautiful day here and I will try to get out for a walk. I’ve been cooped up at home for a few days feeling very sorry for myself. But winter will be here soon and I should take advantage of the nice weather while I can.
        Take care and have a good weekend. xxxxxx 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much for your understanding and lovely comment, Su! 🙂 I´ll definitely try your trick – it´s sounds very promising! 😉 There are a lot of things she needs to change I believe, like her nutrition habits etc. – it will be quite a challenge to make her see the importance of that! But what would life be without all those challenges, right? Pleasant, beautiful and relaxing probably – who would want that, eh? 😉
        Anyway, I hope you´re feeling much better now and can enjoy a lovely walk – it´s definitely something you need to do before the winter comes! I´ve been wondering if you had a chance to finish that Klimt-project by now? Or did you save it for winter? Or did I miss it?? I hope not!
        Sending you big warm hugs and positive thoughts! Take care! xxxxxxx ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Who needs pleasant, beautiful and relaxing when we can have families, right? Hehe. Seriously though, I hope you can persuade your mum to look after herself better. I’m sure you can be very persuasive.
        My little cough has become a rather nasty cold and I’m feeling very grumpy about it. It’s a classic case of not taking my own advice and looking after myself properly. The boy-child and I are going on a road trip together this weekend and I really want to feel well for that. It’s been years since we travelled together and I’m so excited. We’re going to visit my Dad via some (hopefully) cool places.
        My creative project all seem to have fallen off the radar. I haven’t been feeling very energetic (or creative) lately. I have to work on the dining table, so to do anything that involves sewing or painting — anything real rather than electronic — seems such a hassle of re-organising the room and then having to put everything away and get it out again. I am just so lazy. I still love the idea of the Klimt doll, and hopefully I will get my energy and enthusiasm back soon.
        Thank you for your hugs and thoughts; I need them right now and they are very appreciated.
        Hope you are having a good week. xxxxxx 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no! I was worried your cough had developed into something more nasty! Try to rest as much as possible this week, so you´ll be for to travel with your son! I´m sure he´s also looking forward to it very much and would be so worried if you didn’t´t feel well.
        Unfortunately my mum is very resistent when it comes to my persuasion techniques 😉 She´s really quite stubborn and it feels more often like dealing with a donkey than with a human 😉 I guess I will have to do it in little, barely recognizable steps. Today for example I will try serving her some decaf coffee (which she would totally refuse if she knew what it is) without telling her about it 😉 Will see if I´m cunning enough 😉
        Don´t feel to bad about not feeling very creative – there are lengthy periods I feel exactly the same, where I worry about it so much that the chance to do something creative lessens even more… Our inner creative source is a feeble thing and needs a lot of attention and when we´re too busy with everything else life throws our way, there simply is not enough time to pluck from it. Also you can not be creative when you´re ill, depressed or – and that´s the nicer variety – want to enjoy summer. Your projects won´t run away. We need to be more generous with ourselves, I think. We often are with others, but to be nice to yourself is much harder. That said, I could give myself a clip round the ears for not having done anything creative at all today, but spent my whole energy for buying groceries 😀
        Hope you´re getting better soon!!! Sending you warm and healing hugs and thoughts! 🙂 xxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much Sarah. So far today, I definitely feel better than I did yesterday. I even went to the chemist and bought cough medicine and some extra vitamins. I am determined to enjoy the weekend!
        Your mother does sound stubborn (kind of like me in fact), and I hope she appreciates how much you care about her. We women are so bad at taking care of ourselves. I read research once about how women allocate food in their families, and despite working as hard as everyone else, they always took the least food and the worst bits. It is so entrenched in society to consider us to be worth less than men.
        I guess I’m ok with my projects languishing, except I hate half-finished things and there is a cupboard downstairs I don’t like opening because it contains evidence of my procrastinations.
        No clips around the ear for you — consider how creative grocery shopping is. You make choices, see connections, do calculations, zoom in and out of mental pictures of meals, project your own and other people’s needs across time. It is a really creative activity — and I have just thought “wow, that would make such a cool research project ….” Which of course I know I won’t do but ….
        Now what was that about not beating ourselves up?
        Hope you are having a good week and your mum didn’t notice the lack of caffeine in her coffee. 🙂 xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Su! I´m so glad you feel better already and hope it will continue this way! Vitamins and cough medicines will hopefully do the trick. But please be take care, if you notice that it doesn´t get better within say another week, you should maybe go to the doc as it might be some nasty bacteria, and those are hard to get rid off (as I know from recent events 😦 ). As it is, there still seem to be lingering some in my sinuses that cause pain from time to time and I have another appointment with the doc this week.
        I´ve read a similar research once about women and their lack of taking care for themselves! It´s an amazing subject to study! Mothers are the worse – always trying to make everything best for their children and forgetting their own well-being! Wish more men would be a little bit more like that, luckily some are, though not many I know…
        Thank you for making me think better of buying groceries! 😀 You really made me laugh then! And of course, you´re right about it, it does take fantasy and creativity, I think it´s just the throng of other buyers that are constantly getting in your way or stand before you at the cash-line that makes the whole experience somewhat unpleasant 😉 Oh! Imagine shopping in a deserted supermarket!! I could get dizzy with that image! 😉
        Funnily, my mum did not notice the lack of caffeine!! So I told her the truth about it afterwards and then she was furious! 😀 Well, I think she will bring her own coffee for now 😉 Hope you get fit for your road-trip and wish you both a very lovely time! xxxxxxxx 🙂

        Like

    • Thanks Su, that’s lovely of you to say. I only tended to get full marks when I copied someone else’s homework so that’s greatly appreciated 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sarah I hope everything is okay with your mum. Please pass on my best wishes and remind her ‘the voice’ is a big fan of hers 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Phil! I will pass them on 😄 She’s ok at the moment but I’m still worried. I made an appointment for her at the doctor and we will see what he has to say. I convinced her to visit the squirrels tomorrow and hope that they will show up for her 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      • Being close to nature is a wonderful way to feel better so the squirrels will undoubtedly be useful but doctors tend to have better access to medicines and so forth so you’re doing the right thing 🙂 Don’t be worrying, Sarah just ensure the doctor provides the care and attention your mum deserves : )

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just wish the doctors would be more welcoming – the earliest possible appointment is at the end of May!! In the meantime, I have her enlisted in a long-term ECG – as soon as another patient is going to cancel it, they will give me a ring and my mum can use the device. Our national health system used to be really good but it has sadly changed in the last 10 years or so… 😦
        But at least we really did get to see the squirrels 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • End of May? That’s appalling. Is Mrs Merkle ruining your health system as the Tories are ruining ours. Hope your mum’s feeling better and doesn’t need the doctors. I’m sure the squirrels will have helped 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed the illustrations and the voice telling the story. You have been working hard in this, Sarah!
    The butler is so sweet and comforting. I like that your Count Harecula has a sensitive side and needs someone to listen to him. Nicely developed characters! Take it easy and glad you are into cleaning. I did this on Friday late at night! 🙂 xoxo ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much, Robin! 🙂
      We could all use a butler like this, couldn’t we? 😉 Especially when cleaning or in need of ice-cream 😉
      Thank you for noticing Count Harecula´s sensitive side! He tries so hard not to show it but fails completely 😀
      xoxoxo ❤

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