He hang from the rafters, encased in his black cloak as he hid away in the solitude of a darkened room, a figure willed the end of his life to come. The privacy of his ghoulish manor had been invaded by droves of sully characters, ghastly family members that turned out in droves to witness the Dark Prince’s turn of fortunes.
Dracula sighed heavily, wondering how he’d gotten himself caught up in what now seemed like such foolishness. What was he thinking!?
Hearing footsteps, his body became ridged, his eyes popping open to dart back and forth as a creak sounded off, the opening of the door. Footsteps grew louder, and then a voice rang out.
“Drac, I’ve checked every room in this manor, and I know this is the only other place that you could possibly be. Come out.”
His low breathing resumed, his heartbeat creeping back to it’s slowed rate once he realized it were only his uncle. The grand Count Balthazar. “You can’t make me go out there.”
Balthazar chuckled at the scoundrel, pulling at the tips of his gloves before pulling them off and sliding them into the pocket of his suit jacket. “What are you, a hundred and two? You’re acting like a youngling. My boy, it is quite natural to have flies running a muck in your stomach, but you must get over it, shake off the despair you attach to letting go of your bachelorhood.”
“I’m a wreck.”
Balthazar spun around in a circle, trying to pinpoint where Dracula’s voice was coming from. The deep rasp of it echoed off the walls, confusing the old man. “As are most men who have spent their whole lives biting at the necks of any woman they choose, only to be defanged by The One.”
“I’ve not been defanged.”
The man shrugged his shoulders, growing a bit annoyed by all the shenanigans displayed by his nephew as of late. “Defanged, tamed… same difference. Now come; Princess Aveena awaits.”
“Aveena terrifies me.”
“My boy, would you rather call the whole thing off?”
“N-n-ye-noo. NO. I just, I need time to adjust.”
Balthazar exhaled. “Time to adjust? Drac, you’ve spent the last two thousand years parlaying and enjoying the rotten fruits of your life. You’ve seen all of your siblings marry, and you’ve been a witness to the wonderment and the downfalls of them all. You know what to expect, and you know how to make the institution work in your favor. If you want it to work, that is.”
In one swift movement, Dracula unhinged his shoes from the ceiling, dropping to the floor without bothering to land upright. Balthazar jumped, turning to find the Dark Prince lying with a more deadened expression than usual on his face.
The sight saddened the old man a bit. His own voice, like that of a French Horn, rang out in great disappointment. “Oh Drac, Dear Boy, you’re a mess. Skin like that of warmed honey gone ashen in such a short amount of time. The glow of after-life draining by the second. My boy, you’re going cold.”
“My outer shell finally matches my icy heart.” Dracula covered his face, whimpering and weeping into his cloak.
“Know what I think?”
“No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me, Uncle Balthazar.”
He nodded, clearing his throat. “You’ve only ever had to be responsible for yourself and your own misery. I’d say happiness, but you were never a happy child or man. And then a spark of fire and light comes along, and she makes you feel things only known to the living. She gives you love, energy, a zest to go out and conquer the world, fulfill all of your dreams. She makes you feel good, she makes you happy. Has melted that icy heart, brought on emotions you haven’t felt a day in your after-life.”
“What of it?”
“It frightens you, and that is okay. But I don’t think you should run from it. A love like that is pure, whether given in light or darkness. A love like that, it never falters or fades. A love like that makes a man better than he was before it came along. Don’t you notice the change in yourself?”
Dracula rose, looking at his uncle sideways. “Of course I do. I live in shadows by night, haunting and feeding without care or fear. I cast spells to scare millions around the world, have left the universe shaken for centuries at the thought of my dastardly ways. Then this tiny woman comes along and all of that power drains within an instant, the very second I lay eyes on her. I lift a finger to cause trouble on a whim, and she bats a lash my away, my fingers go limp. I am weakened, left to feel human to feelings and actions I can’t control. I want to be bad, but she makes me want to be good and kind and nice.” He gagged at the thought. “But sometimes I love it, and I love her. And though I hate to lose control, sometimes losing my control to her doesn’t seem or feel so bad.” Dracula sighed, unsure of his own actions now.
Perhaps it were a last attempt at rebellion, his last attempt at being ‘bad’, at hurting those close to him. It used to come with such ease. Everything in his after-life came with ease before Princess Aveena of Ethiopia stormed into his life like fog and mist on All Hallows’ Eve. “I love her. And I want this, I do.”
“So why are you hiding in here and not in that living room waiting at the altar?”
“I don’t know.”
Balthazar took slow steps, pulling his nephew into an embrace. “Ismalia awaits it’s future King and Queen. All will be fine, I’m certain.”
At the door, they heard a voice. It flowed and wrapped itself around Dracula like earthly warmness, heating his gaunt face. Just as swiftly as she seemed to drain him, Aveena had the power to restrengthen him in ways he couldn’t explain. The ashen color shook from his body, his honey hued tone returning as a smile replaced his fearful frown.
“Drac, My Love; I’ve been afraid too. But I’m waiting, and I will keep waiting if you want me to.”
Dracula pulled away from and looked at Balthazar, gaining the confidence that had evaded him the entire week that led to his wedding day. “What you gonna do, My Boy?”
Dracula pulled himself together, straightening out his suit and cloak. “Today, I wed.” He raised his voice, finally allowing delight to overtake his usual grim undertone. “I’ve been consumed within a lifetime of bleakness. A lifetime of her sunshine doesn’t seem so bad after all.”
Just a note : Cheesy, I know, but this is my first attempt at writing anything Halloween related. I hope that it was at least enjoyable, lol. (Let’s hope next year I can get a little darker/more gruesome.)
If you’re trick-or-treating with your kiddies, or going out to celebrate with your friends, please remember to remain safe.