Click here to read chapters 1-13
It´s time of a new chapter of My Slightly Different Count Dracula! As before those of you who prefer to be read to, can enjoy a truly marvelous performance by my friend Phil Ryan who brings the characters with his wonderful voice to life! Please visit his blog where you can also enjoy his awesome stories, readings and musical performances!
When Count Harecula awoke early next evening, his thoughts went right back to the events of the night before. He wasn’t sure in what way his unseemly outburst in front of his butler would affect their delicate relationship and thus decided it would probably be best if he simply pretended that he didn’t bawl like a child.
When he swung himself out of his spacious coffin his gaze fell upon a cream colored slip of heavy paper lying beside it. Curious he picked it up and froze into disbelief when he read the words written in the careful cursive of Igor.
„Miss Elizabeth Rabbit
22 Rosehill Road
How could his butler have possibly found out where his Lady – eh, Lizzy – lived?
(Well, the answer to that question was as simple as it was obvious – being extremely experienced in dealing with modern technologies and computers, Igor had simply googled the lady.)
Count Harecula still goggled at the note in his hand when the door to his bedchamber opened and a housemaid came shuffling in.
Clearly embarrassed that she had come too early into his lordship´s chamber to air it and to do whatever it was housemaids did, she hurriedly tried to withdraw and do a curtsey at the same time.
This was a mistake.
The housemaid banged head-first into the door and fell over, clutching her head with both her hands.
Normally Count Harecula would have simply ignored this, but not tonight. Before he knew what he was doing, he knelt beside his housemaid and gently removed her hands from her forehead.
„Let me just see for a second, my dear… ah, you will have a bit of a headache and a nice bump for a few days but it´s nothing serious. Why don´t you go downstairs and have a little lie down? I´m sure someone else can cover for you this evening.“
The housemaid stunned into silence and mistrusting her own ears, got nevertheless as quickly as she could on her feet and sped away before his lordship would change his mind and bellow at her in his usual manner.
Looking after her, Count Harecula stood up again. With a smile on his lips and a shake of his head, he went to the adjacent bathroom. After half an hour he left the steaming room and went straight to his gigantic wardrobe where he chose his outfit for the night (this took another quarter of an hour).
Whistling a tune he had subconsciously picked up at the bar the night before, he left the castle to hunt down his breakfast. The note with Lizzie´s address was carefully tucked in the left breast pocket of his vest.
This night not a single rabbit the Count had set his hungry eyes upon, was safe from him. He chased them through the narrow and winding alleys, letting them run for their lives, their little hearts beating an irresistible rhythm that made him run faster and faster. His hunger seemed insatiable but after his third rabbit he finally decided that it was enough for tonight and returned to the castle.
There he buried himself in his huge library, where he rummaged its vast shelves for books concerning romance and poetry. When he had found a couple that seemed promising, he set them on a tiny spindle-legged table beside an enormous and luxurious armchair in which he elegantly flung himself. He grabbed one of the expensively bound leather tomes and started leafing through it. Every once in a while he let out a contented „Aha!“ or a triumphant „Heureka!“ and jotted a line or two down on a piece of paper.
After several hours of doing this, he went to his desk and started composing a letter. It took him the rest of the night but when he was finally somewhat satisfied with the result, he rang for Igor.
When Igor was entering the library, Count Harecula just finished sealing the letter with his signet ring and then blew on the wax to make it dry more quickly. Igor, who stood patiently waiting just inside the room, hands clasped behind his back, had difficulties hiding his curiosity. He and the rest of the staff had been wildly betting downstairs what his lordship might have been up to this evening.
His guess had been, that his lordship had written his first ever love letter.
„Ah, Igor,“ said Count Harecula, looking up from the sealed parchment.
„I would like you to have this letter send to her ladyship.“
„Certainly, sir,“ replied Igor as he went forth to take the letter. „I will see to it myself. Anything else I might do for his lordship?“ he asked with a blank face while trying to scan the book titles for clues.
„Well, yes, actually there is,“ Count Harecula said a bit hesitantly. „Could you maybe order another bunch, eh… bouquet of flowers? I have a feeling they would go nicely with the letter, don’t you think?“
„I will order them at once, my lord,“ Igor said, suppressing a smile that was threatening to tug at the corner of his lips and already counting his winnings in his head.
„Anything else, sir?“
„No… I think that would be all for now, Igor. Except…maybe you could bring me another bowl of that ice cream I had yesterday? It was surprisingly… pleasant.“
„Of course, sir,“ Igor said, unsuccessful in withholding the smile any longer but trying to hide it with an unusual deep bow of his head.
After being dismissed, Igor went quickly to his office where he started up his computer and opened his internet browser to enquire which flower shop might run this late in the night. Of course, if he wouldn’t be able to find one, he could always send one of the stable lads to go down to the greenhouses and pick up some flowers there, but he preferred to support local shops whenever possible. After a few more clicks, he finally found one that was specialized in late night deliveries and typed in the address of the lady and the
Count´s credit card number. The flowers would be delivered an hour before dawn and Igor made sure that a messenger would time the delivery of the letter accordingly.
He struggled with himself whether or not he should carefully break the seal on the letter to glimpse at its content (a skill he had perfected over the years) but a look at the clock, and a sudden pang of bad conscience, made him decide against it.
Igor quickly turned off his computer, handed the letter to one of the lads with instructions on where to deliver it and then went to the kitchen where he filled a bowl with half the content of another ice cream box and had it brought up to his master. Never one to waste anything, and especially not his favorite ice cream, he sat down at the large kitchen table and spooned the ice cream right out of the carton while he shared his gathered information with the present staff.
After which he made sure that they all settled their bets.
To Be Continued…