“Must I continue to wear this ridiculous scarf.” A cold voice breathed through a thick black scarf.
“Yes Gregor, we must stay hidden until we arrive at the castle.” An equally pale man responded from across the carriage.
Reins cracked over horses back as the rickety carriage hobbled over roots and stones. The driver sat atop his perch bundled from the harsh cold. Though the sun hung high, it’s warmth was defeated by winter’s grasp. After some time of jarring bumps, the carriage stopped.
“Why have we stopped?” Nervousness crept within Gregor’s voice.
“Relax Gregor, no one could possibly have followed us through this path.” The man spat back.
“Aye! Why have we stopped!” Pulling the heavy curtain just enough to let his voice out, the man stared at his gloved hand as sunlight kissed it.
“The horses need a break. Won’t be but a minute!” The driver shouted back.
“I didn’t pay you a ridiculous amount to take breaks!” The hiss left the tiny hole in the carriage.
“Sir, we have been riding since nightfall. Two minutes to give the horses water is all I need!”
With that, the curtain blocked sunlight once more. After what felt like the longest 2 minutes for the men inside the carriage, they began to move again. The hours that passed were not easy, annoyance finally defeated Gregor.
“Must we hit every stone and root!?! I be of you, let me drain this man’s blood when we arrive.” Gregor’s anger shown through his dark attire.
“As pleasing as it would be, we cannot. If he does not return to his village, people will come searching. You know as well as I, when villagers go missing, vampire hunters are called.”
The sun had come to rest by the time that carriage stopped again. They had arrived.
“Sirs! This is your stop!”
The carriage door creaked open, revealing two slender men as they emerged into the night. Following his orders, the driver did not look at the men. He was payed to well. The carriage door closed, and the driver took off leaving the two figures alone in the woods.
“Great, the middle of the forest. You said we were going to Dracula’s Castle; of course, this is what I get for following the great Andreus.” Gregor’s annoyance only grew.
“Again…relax. Do you smell that? It dances on the air.” Andreas removed his scarf, breathed deeply and smiled. His fangs gleamed on the moonlight.
Following suit, Gregor sniffed the air. “Blood?”
“Not just blood, a trail, to salvation.”
The two vampires walked deeper into the woods, following their noses confidently. In a short time, the two came upon a large iron gate; a massive stone castle loomed beyond. The gate swung open as they neared it, signaling they had reached their destination. Making their way to the giant wooden doors, the two prepared to knock. Mustering courage, Andreus reached out to touch the door. As if in fear of being hit, the door opened before them. Darkness filled their view of inside the castle. No torches or candles were lit, no one seemed to be home.
“Are you sure this is his castle? There is no one here.” Gregor whispered to his friend.
“I am certain this is Dracula’s castle.” With those words Andreus entered the black.
Gregor followed close behind as the doors shut behind them, pitching the two into complete darkness. After a few uneasy breathes, torches blazed to life along the walls. The lights revealed intricately carved desks, tables and chairs. Goblets of wine lay placed in front of each chair, and gorgeous paintings hung along the walls. In the center of it all stood a man. His deep purple cape was adorned with flawless gems and shining gold.
“Welcome brothers.” Dracula’s fangs filled his smile.
“It is truly an honor!” Andreus exclaimed as he walked to his idol.
Gregor followed, inquisitively looking around. “Where is everyone?” His gaze took his feet toward one of the tables. He noticed something. The wine had a coating of dust on it.
Three tremors stopped Andreus in his tracks. Looking down, he saw three wooden bolts dug deep into his chest. In shock, he gazed once more at Dracula. Dracula’s smile turned into a pleasure filled grin as he aimed a crossbow at the vampire’s chest. The wooden bolt released and sunk deep into the demon’s heart.
Turning to face the commotion, Gregor witnessed his friend drop to his knees. Before the events could register, a bolt impaled his shoulder. In a flash, a second bolt took Gregor’s ability to stand. Helplessly, he watched as Andreus breathed his last life holding the bolt that stabbed his heart.
“Why…” Gregor asked in agony as Dracula calmly walked over.
Crouching over Gregor, Dracula opened his mouth. Reaching with his free hand, Dracula unclamped his fangs and placed them in his pocket. Dracula stretched his jaw in discomfort. “I never get used to those.”
“What…what?” Gregor tried to move.
Dracula ended his attempts by pressing onto the bolt stuck in Gregor’s shoulder. “Why you ask? Well I guess I can grant the wishes of a dead hell spawn.” His grin returned. “I will ask you a question. What is the best way to kill vampires?”
Anger filled Gregor’s swears. “Kill you…”
“Lies and deceit is the answer.” Dracula continued to press on the bolt. Gregor screamed louder in response. “I grew tired of competing with every other so-called vampire hunter, so I changed the game. With what started as a simple rumor spread in villages, soon turned into a belief and hope for your kind. All I had to do was wait in a dusty castle and kill every vampire that believed the lie of Dracula, The Lord of Vampires.” Dracula laughed loudly over the screams erupting from Gregor.
Dracula pressed his crossbow into Gregor’s chest. The bolt burst into his heart, ending the screaming.
Kristofer Fazekas is a former IT specialist and Marine Corps Veteran. During his free time, he began to explore his writing passion. Once he created and published his first comic book through Sympl Books, he knew that writing was his next journey. Kris now spends his days writing flash fiction, short stories, and novels all while recording his podcast.
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