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Lughnasadh 2006

Craft Night At Castle Dracula
fiction by Kim Colley

A flash of lightning illumined the bare stone walls, even way up high, where only spiders and their victims dwelt. Five seconds later, thunder rumbled the ground underneath Dracula's feet, radiating up through the velvet cushions of the mouse-inhabited sofa upon which he sat. His steel needles clicked rhythmically, pace unperturbed by the approaching storm.

"Thank goodness it's raining tonight," said Larry Talbot next to him. Talbot sat at the edge of his chair, squinting to see his needlepoint canvas by the torchlight. He angled the frame for the umpteenth time and waited for a question from the Count. When the question didn't come, he said, "You know what tonight is, don't you?"

"Yes, yes, it's the full moon," Dracula said, his esses more sibilant than usual.

Frankenstein paused in his crocheting, looked upwards in thought, and said finally, "Full moon bad."

"That's right," Talbot said. "It's very bad. I don't mind telling you, I was picking sinew out of my teeth for two weeks after the last attack."

"Human or animal?" Dracula asked.

Talbot furrowed his eyebrows. "I'm still not sure. Tasted gamey though."

"Good. You know I don't like you poaching my territory."

A rat scuttled across the floor, its little claws a merry tapdance on the cobblestones. A log in the fireplace gave way to the heat, cracking in two and sending up shuddery sparks of orange and blue. The rat gave a squeak and slithered into a hole in the wall furthest from the fire. The three continued their needlework in silence unbroken until Dracula asked:

"Frankenstein, what is that you are working on?"

"Name not Frankenstein. Not no more. Me have father issues." He hung his green head and sighed from the depths of somebody else's lungs. "Name Joe now."

"Well, then." Dracula twisted his lips in distaste at the creature's lack of feeling for tradition and honor. "Joe. What are you working on, Joe?"

Frankenstein held up his metal crochet hook, one that glinted auburn in the light from the torches and hearthfire. One long, slender chain extended from the hook, draped across the creature's knee, trailed down to the floor, and snaked away behind the intricately carved armchair in which he sat.

"Chain," he said.

"Yes," said Dracula, "but what is it going to be?"


"Now, yes, it is a chain, but when you turn your work and start to single crochet, or whatever you're going to do, what's it going to be then?"

Joe Frankenstein blinked at the hook, then at the ball of gray wool at his enormous feet.

"Turn work?"

Dracula's veins bulged improbably. He had no heartbeat, but anger could still set his blood afire. His eyes glowed red.

"You're not just making a chain, are you?"

Joe Frankenstein frowned, his lower lip jutting out in a three-year-old's pout. "Chain good," he asserted.

Dracula nearly dropped a stitch, so fierce did his fury rage. He was at the point of springing on the patchwork man when Larry Talbot let out a shriek. Dracula turned, his fangs bared.

"What ith it, you oaf?"

Talbot held out his thumb. A single, bright red drop of blood crowned its tip, shimmering in the dim light.

"I've pricked my thumb. I was distracted by your argument, and when I pushed my needle up through the canvas, it pierced my skin."

Dracula's pupils dilated, his eyes becoming heavy-lidded. He eased across the sofa to be nearer Talbot, reaching out one stubby white hand to grasp Talbot's. His breathing grew thick and hoarse. All the sights and sounds around him dimmed to nothing compared to the scent of that blood, and a great darkness swept over him.

He felt a shove against his shoulder, sharp and hard.

"Hey, stop sucking my prick!" Talbot cried.

"I'm sorry, I --" Dracula smoothed back his Bryl-Creamed hair. "I was only trying to keep your canvas from becoming stained."

Joe Frankenstein nodded. "Stain bad."

"Yes," said Dracula, adjusting his white vest over his bulging tummy. "Stain very bad. Anyway, Talbot, you should have a doctor look at that. You don't want to develop tetanus."

Talbot eyed Dracula uneasily, but finally conceded, "It's all right. I'm seeing the Fiery Gypsy Gurrul tonight."

"Unnnnhhh," said Joe Frankenstein.

"Unnh-huh-huh," Dracula said, and elbowed Frankenstein in the ribs. "I bet you won't mind when she sucks your prick, you old wolf."

At which point, Talbot's left leg began to twitch uncontrollably, and he was forced to gallop across the room and out the window, into the storm-tossed night.


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