Flash Friday 18/04/2014: Over For A Bite
Being a cynical old couple, Trevor and Janet were hard to spook. This is why neither of them budged as they entered the front hall of Castle Dread, causing the two large metal doors to slam behind them.
Janet sneered at the doors. “Rude.”
Candles on either side of a red carpet began to flare into life, leading down to a large staircase. Organ music began playing somewhere in the castle. At the very top of the stairs, a ball of bats exploded into life, flying into all corners of the room, disappearing from view. Where the bats once were, now stood a man with slick black hair, pasty-white skin and a black cape with red interior. He was currently enjoying himself flitting the cape around his body.
“Good evening.” He arched his eyebrows. “Welcome…to Castle Dread. I am your host, Count Ultulor. What reason do you have to enter this very castle…and into your untimely demise?”
Trevor stared with a face fit for a bulldog. “We’ve been hiking around the forest for a good few hours now, and we need somewhere to rest. So, we’re here to stay the night. And I won’t take no for an answer.”
“Here to stay the night? How curious. For tonight may very well be you last night of your lives.” Count Ultulor let loose into a full-blown cackle.
Janet clicked her tongue. “Locals around here were always so rude. Not caring for visitors in the slightest.”
Trevor pointed a bony finger at the Count. “Listen, are you going to stand there and laugh all day, or are you going to lead us to our rooms? My feet bloody hurt, you know. You have no manners whatsoever.”
The organ music stopped.
“Wait.” Count Ultulor frowned. “You’re serious?”
Trevor rolled his eyes with great exaggeration. “Oh, now he bloody gets it, does he? After standing there and acting like a nonce for a good few minutes. Yes, we’re here to stay, as a matter of fact. Now show us to our rooms, our feet are on fire.”
“And don’t you dare serve steak for dinner,” Janet said. “God knows it does my dentures mischief.”
Count Ultulor rubbed his temples. “No, you two don’t get it. You’re both in my castle, as my victims. You’re standing within the very Castle Dread of myth and tale.”
“We know. You know what else we know? That Castle Dread had guest rooms for people staying over. My wife and I will take the room designated for visiting royalty, thank you very much. Suits us very nicely, it does.”
“But…I’m going to kill you. You know. Suck your blood, and that.”
Janet’s jaw dropped. “Who does this Count fellow think he is, going around and drinking our blood? I’ll tell you one thing, sonny-jim; back home, it was the host that served the guests drinks. Who ever heard of a hotel manager asking their customers for a pint? So, so rude. I have it in my mind to give you one star on Google Maps.”
“Don’t you get it?” Count Ultulor started stamping his feet. “I’m a vampire! You’re in my castle! I’m going to swoop down with my cape and drink your blood dry! I sleep in a coffin! People think of me as evil! Because I am! What part of all this don’t you get?”
“The part where you’re failing to take our stuff and lead us to our rooms, that’s what. Now stop being a big child and get your act together. We’re here for a night and we want breakfast, too. Oh, and hold the wake-up call. It’ll probably just be you throwing a bat in the room, or something.”
Count Ultulor could never claim to have felt a migraine before — probably because of his low exposure to light — but he imagined that this is how one felt. Strong, behind the eyes, and annoying as hell. How was he going to get these two incessant idiots out of his castle? He couldn’t believe he broke his century-long sleep for this. He’d been waiting for so long for some fresh prey, and now he wanted it to get out and never come back again.
But wait a minute. Why was he so keen to get rid of them? A rabbit in a cage is still a rabbit in a cage, even if it has its arms folded and complaining that there’s no WiFi signal. Even better, all of the people who had stumbled into his castle beforehand had been starved, and therefore not nearly as delicious. No, these two were no mere rabbits; these were turkeys who had their necks on the block, yet demanded to be fattened up beforehand.
“…you mentioned food before, did you not?” Count Ultulor said.
Janet nodded. “No bloody steaks.”
“Fine, fine. No steaks. But…how about oysters, my dear?”
“Don’t think the shells do my teeth good, either.”
“Oh, they won’t have shells. In fact, I’ll pluck them out of their shells myself, just for you. Some garlic sauce, some bread and some fine wine; they’ll be the best oysters you will ever have.”
Janet sneered. “Are they low on cholesterol?”
“Oh yes. As a matter of fact, they’re very good for you.” Count Ultulor licked his lips. “High in iron.”
“Well, that’s good then. How about it, Trevor? Fancy some oysters for supper?”
“Yes. And it’s about bloody time, too. Was waiting for you to get out of your childish strop, Count Whatsyourface. Now, go and make us some dinner, and we’ll see if we can give you a tip.”
“Of course, of course. Take a seat in the dining room while you wait. I’ll be sure to bring them in as soon as possible.”
Count Ultulor rubbed his hands as they watched the pair hobble and complain their way through the self-opening doors to the dining room. He did like getting meals in every so often.