IT’S FILLER TIME: Vampire’s Touch Part 1

June 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am 98% done my Masters paper, due tomorrow at around 3pm.

No, I did not write something this week.

Yes, I have something for you. It was a project I did as part of an experiment. It’s more humorous that scary, so same deal applies. Hope you enjoy, and I should start posting much more regularly, now that it’s over.

Also, I need a miller. Or about 10.

The Vampire’s Touch: A Slightly Naughty Comedy of Manners

featuring the exploits of Allain Quatermain, Campion Bond, Mycroft Holmes, and other members of the

LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

No no, my darling, that absolutely will not do. If you had remembered my precise instructions, then you would have simply known that Dr. Jekyll cannot be seated next to Ms. Harker. Tell me, would you sit a wolf beside a gorilla?”

The serving girl, young for her eighteen years, bowed her head meekly. She knew better than to take anything that Mr. Campion Bond, spy and savant, saviour of England, holder of Victoria’s Cross, and member (in good standing) of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as rhetorical. “No sir. I would instead wonder why the two had been seated at the table.”

Bond sniffed and turned back to the mirror, fixing the precise angle of his cravat. It was made of the finest Bloodsilk from the Guandi’ang province of Imperial China, and worth its weight in gold. Which, admittedly, wasn’t much on account of the fact that it was, indeed, silk despite all the blood involved in the manufacture. Bond, however, had been reassured that it was the rage with all gentlemen of class and quantity in London. While perhaps lacking in quantity compared to say, Mr. Hyde, Bond would be the first to argue that he did not lack in class.

He spoke over his shoulder to the unfortunate girl. “Indeed. No points for cleverness, Miss Meercourt, especially since it was your error. Switch the doctor’s seat out with Mr. Griffin. If he tries to slip out then, at least we’ve got her nose to track him down.”

Miss Hannah Meercourt curtsied and fled her employer. The servants continued to bustle about his country home, setting out the fine silver and the finer china. While Bond’s home in Kent-on-Downing was not as extravagant as, perhaps, any building that Captain Nemo, née Prince Dakkar, had stepped his ivory boots into, Bond was determined to show off what he could.

Bond examined himself in the mirror again, pleased at what he saw. His fine Bloodsilk cravat topped off an elegant silk jacket and embroidered silk waistcoat, all of the finest Bloodsilk. Actually, his entire wardrobe for that evening, with the exception of his shoes (but not the spats,) was made of Bloodsilk. Bond belonged to the certain group of gentlemen that believed if those of class and quantity were taken with a certain item, than it was best to take as much of that item as possible.

There was a ringing at the door, which interrupted Bond’s sartorial sojourn. His butler, the indomitable Charles, née Charles No please sir just Charles, answered the door. The delightful Allain Quatermain stood, smoking a pipe and with a fine brace of quail over his shoulder. He was dressed in tweed Norfolk jacket, with accompanying knickerbockers and hat. Mud from his boots mixed with blood from the quails, and Bond stifled his displeasure and greeted his colleague. “Hello, hello Allain. A little shooting before tea, eh? Catch anything worthwhile?”

Quatermain paused long enough to take his pipe from his mouth, absentmindedly tap out the ashes on the floor, and offer his hand to Bond. Nearly quivering with distaste, Bond shook the grubby, dirty hand, wincing as Quatermain’s powerful shake nearly tore the fingers from his hands.

“Lovely place you have here, Campion. Not big enough to be pretentious, not small enough to be crowded.” He unloaded the quail on Charles, who positively fled with the dead birds at arm’s length. “And the hunting is marvellous! There’s a buck and a few foxes for you out there. Now, if you’ve a drop of brandy around, that would be capital. The scent of gunpowder always sparks such a thirst in me.” He said the last few words as he walked away from the door and down the hall.

Bond yelled out at the departing hunter. “What Allain, what do you mean there’s a buck for me…” His voice trailed off as he saw what waited for him outside. A dead stag, probably three hundred pounds with an impressive rack, was laid across the threshold, and a full half-dozen foxes were tied together by their tails. Bond began to ventilate slowly, waiting three seconds between breaths as Dr. Hyde had told him. “Stay calm Bond, it’s just a bit of dead meat. Just fetch the help, and they’ll take care of it.”

As he turned to call Charles, he saw a plume of dust from down the lane. His heart palpitated into full-blown hysteria as he realized another Gentleman was coming down the lane. It would simply not do to have dead animals strewn about his doorstop like he was running a butcher’s shop! Glancing inside, he saw that some of the serving staff were attending to Allain, who had his muddy boots up on Bond’s fine Turkish Ottoman, while the rest still bustled in the kitchen and the dining room. In a panic, he realized that he was the only one who could move the dead animals in time.

He grabbed the foxes and looked about for some where to put them. The finely manicured gardens had bushes trimmed to exacting standards, his own, actually. Regardless, they were completely too small to hide a dozen dead foxes. Looking up, he realized the oak tree from the backyard grew branches over the side of the house. Realizing if he planned to move the stag, he had no choice but to hurry. Risking a prayer, he gingerly grabbed one of the fox tails. The dead animal hung limply, as did the other eleven. Unseeing eyes stared back at him as he gritted his teeth and closed his eyes. Spinning them about like a strongman whirling a chain, he loosed the dead canines at the tree.

He opened his eyes in time to see them fly like, well, a dozen dead foxes tied together by the tails. They whirled like a macabre boomerang and mercifully caught on a tree branch. Although the branch groaned alarmingly and swayed dangerously, it held the foxes but left them to droop. They looked like nothing but a flock of bats sleeping upside down. Smiling viciously in success, he turned to the stag.

As he began to drag it across the gravel, he felt the full weight of it. Although he was by no means a weak man, the strain of dragging a stag thirty feet began to tell on him. Fear gave new strength to him as the plume of dust came even closer, and he threw himself into moving the stag. He was almost around the side of the house when, with a horrific snap the tines he held on to came clean off the stag. Risking his fine suit, Bond grabbed the body in a bear hug and dragged it the last few feet, dropping it out of sight with a thump.

Breathing heavily, and feeling the sweat run down his face and down his back, he walked back to the front of the house to greet the arriving carriage. With an increasing rumble, a brilliant white carriage pulled by six white horses bedecked with ostrich plumes and with a train of footmen pulled to a stop in front of the house. Feeling the modesty of the two-story stone building more and more, Bond resigned himself to the brilliance that was in front of him.

Footmen dressed in gold-threaded pantaloons, with their impressive chests bare, ran to place a stool in front of the carriage door, and rolled a brilliant white carpet to the door. Men with clothing finer than Bond wore opened the door, and Bond’s heart sank when he saw Captain Nemo.

Now, Bond had no particular dislike for Captain Nemo. Far from it, he respected the man as a colleague and a gentleman of decency and, of course, good standing. But he loathed everything about Prince Dakkar. The Indian Prince would never hesitate to display wealth so ostentatious that it put the Crown to shame. Indeed, several peacocks had been released from boxes strapped to the back of the carriage to peck about for the few seconds between his exit of the carriage and his entrance to the house. That wealth, that position, that opportunity…Bond saw it as completely wasted on the man who based all his achievements on what other men built for him.

Bond was acutely aware of how he must have looked at that exact moment. His blood-red suit was wrinkled and possibly sweat-stained, while his face was flushed and running. Some of his hair fell loose across his brow, but he stood with all the grace he could muster. At least, he wagered, Nemo came alone. I won’t have to share this indignity with anyone other than Quatermain, who wouldn’t give a damn how I looked unless I came in wearing a lion skin.

Captain Nemo, it seemed, cared deeply for how he looked. He wore ivory shoes that clacked as he strode down the carriage steps, beneath pants of white silk threaded with a diamond sash. Another sash crossed a white jacket decked with more medals that must have been on Wellington’s chest. His dark skin nicely contrasted with his white suit and bejewelled turban atop his head. A twirling moustache that would have put Ambrose Burnside to shame dressed his thin lip. He smiled broadly on seeing Bond, and offered his hand in a genteel shake.

“Marvellous day for a gathering, don’t you agree Bond?”

“Why yes, Captain, that is why I chose it for today…”

“And the countryside! Simple, rural, and entirely isolated from the graces of good society, and yet, despite all, beautiful!

“Well thank you Captain. I’ve always believed that my family suspected that their last five generations had good taste, despite all the problems.”

Nemo was entirely oblivious to Bond’s sarcasm, and blathered on without stopping. “Why, in function, but I assure you not in form, it reminds me of my family’s estate out in Delhi. Of course, you do not have a flock of flamingos imported from darkest Africa, or a fountain in which elephants can bathe, but yours has a certain rustic charm.”

Bond felt his temper rising, but maintained his calm demeanour. “Why, thank you, Captain. If rustic is the best that we can manage, we assure you that this evening will be as rustic as possible, just for you.”

Nemo smiled at him, revealing teeth as white as his carriage. “Why Bond, you do me an honour.”

He strode off toward the house, footmen sweeping the carpet before his feet while a violinist followed him, strumming furiously.

Fin, for now.

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