"What is it, Igor? Who is making that bloodforsaken racket?"
"It seems the peasant's revolting again.", muttered Igor, but before he could finish his sentence Smerelda was peering over his good shoulder.
"Heavens Almighty, does that dimwit have impeccable timing! Nimrod!", hissed Smerelda pacing back and forth and glancing towards the door to the scullery.
"Go take care of that numbskull", she whispered as she pushed Igor's elbow towards the spiral staircase.
There was a time when Smerelda and Vlad had feasted upon the Castle's village, but that was centuries ago and there were too many close calls. Too many coincidences had led to a flurry of fast talking that led the Vampiric Lovers to move on to the capital city of Transylvopolis. There amongst millions, any victims of the two were merely notched as gang related or unsolved by the local authorities.
Now, the village of Glockenstein saw Vlad and Smerelda as their largest benefactors. Funding a camping trip for local orphans, contributing a float to the local fair's parade and volunteering on the Town's Water Treatment Committee served them well. They were two of the village's most upstanding citizens. No one suspected that the two were serial killers, bathing in the blood of hundreds of civilians every year
No one but Nicholas Dunnelford. Nicholas was convinced that the Devil himself lived beyond the gates of their castle and consistently rallied his fellow townsfolk to burn Smerelda and Vlad, castle and all, to the ground.
Sure. He was right. The problem was that most people preferred a mosquito to his company. Pimply faced, thirty something Nicholas had been asked to no longer volunteer at the local food bank because the others found him too irritating. If there was a conspiracy theory, Nicholas would hold unspuspecting folk motionless, relating internet facts and figures from obscure authours until the poor listenner could find an excuse to...excuse themselves.
And the very fact that Nicolas headed up the local chapter of "Level Twelve Dungeon Masters" pretty much sewed up the fact that his theories related to Vlad and Smeralda were none other than the mutterings of an irritating dweeb.
Yet here he was, a torch in one hand, and a fist in the other, a fist that was pounding on the large front door of a castle a millenium older than he was.
Igor, on the other side of the door, ceased limping, and for the first time all day, stood up straight and tall so as to look like a perfectly normal, non-malformed man with not one lump to speak of.
Slowly and methodically, being extra careful to silence any overly eerie squeaks, Igor pulled the castle door ajar.
"Good afternoon, my good man", spoke Igor, annunciating every word like a perfect French gentleman, "My name is Henri, and I would be most appy to offer any assistannce"
"Be gone from this plane of existence and return thee to the Seventh order of Hell!", roared Nicholas waving the flame which was beginning to cough and sputter.
"I can certainly assure you that I have no knowledge of what mon ami speaks of, I am afraid", said Igor, trying not to roll his eyes.
"Stand back the gate or I will bash it with my mighty battering ram", motioned Nicholas to a log he must have dragged up the pathway.
"But monsieur, la porte, I am sorry, ze door is already open", replied Igor, sincerely confused.
Nicholas stopped to light a match as his torch had been snuffed out by a wayward breeze.
"I must warn you, my friend, that as you may remember, your, how you say, harassment, usually concludes with a visit from the local constables. I would regret for that to happen.", uttered Igor, a line he had spoken to Nicholas no less than thirty times in the last two years.
Upstairs, Smerelda had been watching from the parapet window and was on her GE cordless phone to the local police force.
"Yes sir, we'd very much appreciate it if you could simply talk to the boy. I understand he's merely disturbed but he is causing the household some calamity"
Smerelda pinched her nose between her fingers, clicked the phone off, closedher eyes and nodded her head. She had enough of this day already. Vlad had not only gone bonkers with this whole vegetarian thing; he had disappeared. She had no idea what the two "tourists" were up to in her kitchen and now the police were coming.
Ansd she was too swept up in all of these affairs to even consider that at that very moment, the doors to the scullery were about to open.