Hanging Out At The Eiffel Tower

January 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm (Humour, Mystery/horror, Vampire novel)

Antonio and Giuseppe of the Italian Secret Service were hanging from a rope from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

“Mama Mia, I split my pants again,” Giuseppe moaned, “this is the third-a time this a-month that I’ve split my pants on a mission.”

‘Maybe you should a-change your tailors,” Antonio suggested.

“Maybe I a-should,” Giuseppe agreed, “what was it we were supposed to a-steal from the top of the Eiffel Tower anyways?”.

“I’m not sure,” Antonio said, “I wrote it down on this napkin here. Mama Mia, I spilled tomato and meat ball sauce all over it. I cannot a-read what it says.”

“I shouldn’t have had that eighth glass of a-white wine,” Giuseppe hit his forehead, “I see a beautiful woman in a red evening dress flying through the a-air towards us.”

“I shouldn’t have had that seventh glass of a-red wine,” Antonio stated, “I see the same a-thing. A beautiful woman in a red evening dress flying towards us.”

“Good evening,” the woman in the red evening dress and red spiked stiletto high-heeled shoes spoke in flawless Oxonian English and flashed her white teeth and pearly white vampiric incisors, “I am the Egyptian vampiress Isis.”

“I am Antonio of the Italian Secret Service,” Antonio took off his cap.

“And I am his cousin Giuseppe likewise of the Italian Secret Service,” Giuseppe bowed in the air causing him to split his pants further.

“I watched you break into the Set Enterprises compound the other night and get chased by that hybrid T-Rex giraffe that Set has as his watch creature at the compound,” Isis smiled.

“Were you there?” Antonio asked.

“No,” Isis shook her head, “I watched it on YouTube. Someone filmed you and posted it there.”

“Giuseppe, did you a-hear that?” Antonio smiled at his cousin, “we’re on YouTube.”

“Mama always told me I’d be famous someday,” Giuseppe’s tears fell downward on to the streets of Paris.

“Anyhow seeing as how you’re now two world-famous secret agents,” Isis smoothed and adjusted her dress, “I have an offer you can’t refuse.”

“And a-what makes you think that we a-cannot refuse your offer,” Antonio put his cap back on his head.

“Gentlemen,” Isis smiled warmly, “in case you haven’t noticed you’re hanging upside down near the top of the Eiffel Tower by a single rope. One huge gust of wind and you’re toast… or maybe Belgian waffles if the wind blows you far enough.
But the point is as you can no doubt see that I can fly. And I will gladly help you safely down to the streets below if you do me a favour in return.”

“She’s got a point you know, Giuseppe,” Antonio looked at his cousin.

“Indeed she has, Antonio,” Giuseppe agreed, “it’s like my mama always a-told my sister, if you’ve got a man by the balls, his a-heart and mind is sure to follow.”

* * *

“So what would you like us to do for you, my lady?” Antonio asked Isis when he and Guiseppe were safely on the ground below the Eiffel Tower.

“I’ve been told through informed sources that two of my brother and brother-in-law Set’s employees Renfield R. Renfield and Amadeus Emanon have stolen a meteorite from a museum in Madison County, Iowa in America,” Isis held out a gloved hand for the two mortals to kiss, “and this meteorite contains samples of the DNA of Atum-Ra. I want you to steal this meteorite from Set when it is brought to England.”

“Who is this Atum-Ra?” Guiseppe asked as he kissed Isis’ gloved hand.

“He is the chief god of the old Egyptian pantheon,” Isis smiled, “and my great-grandfather and I’m sorry to say Set’s great-grandfather as well.”

“What do you want with his DNA?” Antonio asked out of curiosity as he too kissed Isis’ gloved hand.

“I want to clone great-grandpa before that evil Set does,” Isis answered.

* * *

Inside the colossal London mansion of the billionaire ancient Egyptian vampire Set, Athelstan the valet brings the telephone to his vampiric master.

“Phone call for you, sir, from Amadeus in New York City,” Athelstan handed over the phone.

“Amadeus,” Set picked up the receiver, “do you have the meteorite in your possession?”.

“Yes, boss, we do,” Amadeus answered as he bit into an egg McMuffin.

“What are you doing in New York?” Set asked.

“I happened to have a couple of coupons for a free breakfast at a McDonald’s in mid-town Manhattan,” Amadeus replied, “so Renfield and I are both having a free breakfast.”

“Can I speak to Renfield?” Set asked.

“He’s currently having his breakfast under one of the McDonald’s booth tables with the Kardashian sisters Kim and Kourtney and Khloe,” Amadeus answered.

“Why is he having his breakfast under the table with them rather than eating it on the table?” Set inquired.

“I don’t know,” Amadeus bit into his hash browns, “do you want me to look under the booth table and see what they’re doing?”.

“Don’t bother,” Set buried his head into his vampiric taloned hands.

To be continued.

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Renfield’s Travels In The Heartland

January 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm (Humour, Mystery/horror, Vampire novel)

Renfield R. Renfield and Amadeus Emanon were currently in a car driving towards Madison County, Iowa.

They had flown from Britain over to America to Des Moines, Iowa using the billionaire ancient Egyptian vampire Set’s personal dirigible airship The Supberg since Set was anxious to get the mission accomplished right away and was worried about snow storms in the U.S. impeding airplane traffic and airports again.

A certain meteorite that had landed in Iowa 50 years ago and was currently located in a small museum in Madison County, Iowa had come to Set’s attention.

Set was anxious to have this meteorite in person as soon as possible so he had sent Renfield and Amadeus over to steal it.

After landing the dirigible at Des Moines International Airport, Renfield and Amadeus then headed out by car to Madison County.

“Didn’t Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep once star in a romantic movie called The Bridges of Madison County?” Amadeus asked.

“I believe they did,” Renfield yawned.

“Will we have time to see any of the covered bridges of Madison County?” Amadeus inquired.

“I doubt it very much,” Renfield looked at the map on his GPS.

“Pity,” Amadeus remarked.

“If you say so,” Renfield helped himself to a tuna fish sandwich.

The shapeshifting hamster/human then turned on the car radio and put it to the BBC’s World Service.

“Another scandal has hit Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi once again cavorting with underaged teen-age girls and this time a British MP might have been involved in the horny old Italian politico’s most recent orgy,” the BBC announcer intoned.

“That’s interesting,” Renfield turned up the radio.

“And this just in from Rome…” the announcer announced, “Apparently reports are coming in that a werewolf chased the underaged girls around in the nude while a terrified Berlusconi held on to his most private parts using a huge towel…”

“There’s been a lot of BBC news reports about werewolves lately,” Amadeus munched on a piece of black licorice, “first in Wales, then in London and now Rome…”

“Yes, it is curious,” Renfield had to agree.

“10 Downing Street has issued a statement saying that no British MP was involved in Berlusconi’s latest orgy,” the announcer stated.

Renfield then switched the radio dial and tuned it to NPR.

“What’s NPR?” Amadeus asked.

“It stands for National Public Radio,” Renfield downed a huge 2 litre mug of Coca-Cola, “it’s the network that all the hypersensitive whining and snivelling pablum puking liberals in America listen to. Just thought I’d tune it in for a laugh.”

Amadeus helped himself to another stick of black licorice.

“I used to love drinking tea before the Tea Party came along and ruined everything,” a whining and snivelling caller wept to the announcer.

Renfield had to giggle.

Then he stopped the car.

“What’s going on?” Amadeus asked.

“I have to piss like a Russian racehorse,” Renfield answered, “when you gotta go, you gotta go.”

Renfield raced out of the car.

Amadeus rolled down the window and turned up the radio.

“Our next guest on the program,” said the NPR announcer, “is New Age pop psychologist Dr. Stanley Piccalily Boshwell. Doctor Boshwell has just written a best-selling book entitled Heaven Is Where You Are. Welcome to the program, Dr. Boshwell.”

“Thanks,” Dr. Boshwell spoke in a very swishy voice, “I’d just like to say to all the listeners these words of encouragement, Heaven IS where you are…”

“It looks like I picked a most inopportune moment to fall down an outhouse hole,” Renfield shouted from inside the outhouse.

Amadeus got out of the car and went to the trunk which he opened and brought out an extremely long rope.

To be continued.

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Espionage and Mozzarella Don’t Mix

January 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm (Detective story, Humour, Mystery/horror, Politics, Vampire novel)

British Prime Minister David Cameron was having a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

“So anything else to be discussed?” Cameron asked Clegg.

“Well, apparently it turns out we’re one delegate short for that parliamentary delegation that is paying a courtesy trip to meet with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi today,” Clegg answered, “it was supposed to be a nine member delegation of MPs from Westminster and it turns out we only have eight.”

“Hm,” Cameron said, “who could we ask to go at the last minute?”.

“Well that far-left Labour MP from Wales Magog Rhys Petley being the self-proclaimed champion of the working man that he is probably wouldn’t mind getting a free trip somewhere at taxpayers’ expense like all self-proclaimed champions of the working man are prone to do,” Clegg noted.

“I like that,” Cameron smiled, “and the thought of an old-time Bolshevik like Rhys Petley meeting a monopolistic style capitalist like Berlusconi would be great fun.”

Cameron directed one of his aides to make the call to Rhys Petley.

* * *

Two members of the Italian Secret Service are sitting in a car outside the entrance of Set Enterprises’ Laboratory outside London.

“So Giuseppe,” Antonio asked, “would you like another glass of white wine?”.

“Seeing as how I’ve still got some linguini left,” Giuseppe replied, “sure it will go down well.”

“I’ve still got some spaghetti left,” Antonio looked inside his lunch box, “maybe I’ll open some red wine to go with it.”

As Antonio and Giuseppe ate and drank, Giuseppe looked at his watch.

“Say, what was it we were supposed to steal from inside Set Enterprises again?” Giuseppe asked.

Antonio reached inside his pocket, “I wrote it down inside my notebook… ah, here it is. Oh my goodness, I spilled mozzarella sauce all over it. I can’t read what it says.”

“Do you have a napkin to wipe it off?” Giuseppe inquired.

“No, we’ve used up all our napkins, Mama mia,” Antonio hit his forehead, “I can’t read what it says.”

“Didn’t the big Berlusconi himself order this mission?” Giuseppe poured himself some more white wine.

“That’s a-right,” Antonio answered, “the Prime Minister himself ordered this intelligence operation.”

“I’m a-glad I ordered my own pizza for this operation,” Giuseppe helped himself to a slice, “the last pizza on our last intelligence operation had way too many anchovies on it but then I didn’t order that one.”

“I think we’re a-going to have to jump over the fence and sneak over to the Set Enterprises cafeteria and see if we can get some napkins so I can a-wipe off-a this piece of paper and see what it says,” Antonio suggested.

“Why do we have to jump-a over the fence to get to the cafeteria for napkins?” Giuseppe asked, “why can’t we just-a walk in through the entrance like regular joes?”.

“Giuseppe, you’re not a regular joe, you’re Italian,” Antonio rebuked him, “besides we’re spies. And spies don’t just-a walk into places like that. Spies jump over the fence. We’ve got to be sneaky remember.”

“Okay but I hope-a I don’t split my pants like the last time I jumped over a fence,” Giuseppe made the sign of the Cross.

Antonio and Giuseppe got out of the car and approached the Fence.

“There’s a sign on the fence,” Giuseppe pointed out, “It says BEWARE OF… Dog… does it say?.”

“No, the English word Dog has only one syllable to it,” Antonio scratched his head, “it says BEWARE OF… GIRAFFE?”.

“You’re right, Antonio,” Giuseppe laughed, “it does say Beware Of Giraffe. What sort of place has a giraffe rather than a watch dog for security? These crazy English and their dry sense of humour. Dry like the African savanna with its giraffes you see on safari.”

Giuseppe and Antonio leapt over the fence.

They were soon set upon by a giraffe with huge carnivorous sharp like Tyrannosaurus Rex style teeth.

* * *

Renfield R. Renfield the Chief of Security for Set Enterprises held his binoculars and looked out the window of the Set Laboratories watch tower.

He remarked casually to Amadeus Emanon, “I was right to tell the Boss’ chief scientist Dr. Cadbury Rocher to genetically engineer a giraffe with a slight pinch of prehistoric T-Rex DNA. People who break into the grounds get a huge surprise even though we’ve posted a sign warning them to beware of the giraffe.”

* * *

Antonio and Giuseppe hurriedly jumped back over the fence to the outside parking lot.

“Mama Mia,” Giuseppe cried out, “I’ve split my pants again.”

To be continued.

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Bronte’s Wuthering Heights of the Mind

January 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm (Mystery/horror, Short Story, Vampire novel)

Dr. Nathaniel Bronte M.D. and noted psychiatrist had gone to his office today for a rare and unusual session.

An important personage in British politics had called his office seeking his help.

The man believed that he was a werewolf.

Which was interesting because the British press was abuzz with rumours of a werewolf in Wales.

Although after this past weekend’s mysterious attack on a British policewoman the tabloid press was now talking about a werewolf in London.

And his new patient just happened to be Welsh.

And his new patient was also in London this past weekend.

His patient told him that whenever he desired something really badly he turned into a werewolf and it didn’t matter whether it was night time or if there was a full moon present.

“Well Lon Chaney Jr. would certainly be disappointed in your behaviour then,” Dr. Bronte had remarked.

His patient told him that particularly carnal desire turned him into a werewolf.

Carnal desire eh? Dr. Bronte thought to himself.

Well he had a cure for that.

It was the most radical form of shock aversion therapy imaginable but Dr. Bronte decided to give it a shot.

By chance, he happened to have some home movies of then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher scampering around nude on a beach back in the 1980s.

Dr. Bronte had chained his patient to a chair and ran the film projector.

Dr. Bronte stuffed his own ears with cotton to stifle the sound of the man’s screams.

When the movie was over, Dr. Bronte unchained the man.

“Well,” said Welsh Labour MP Magog Rhys Petley, “I think you’ve forever destroyed my libido.”

“Well, then no more worries about becoming a werewolf again eh?” Dr. Bronte smiled.

To be continued.

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The Terror That Flies By Night

January 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm (Mystery/horror, Short Story, Vampire novel)

Outside the Westminster Parliament, the chimes of Big Ben could be heard chiming 6 PM.

Magog Rhys Petley the Labour Member of Parliament for the Welsh constituency of Newbridge walked along the Thames.

He was considered a member of the far Left wing of the British Labour Party. Some of his colleagues called him the Last Bolshevik.

The caucus meeting he had attended this morning was a dreary affair.

Nothing serious or important was discussed.

What seemed to be the hot topic of the day was a news story being promoted by the more sensationalistic of the Fleet Street tabloids- that there was a werewolf in Wales.

Strange attacks on sheep and farm hands near the Welsh village of Llanvihangel Crucorny.

A barmaid attacked by a wolf in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.

Of course as someone pointed out the attacks hadn’t occurred at night and the moon hadn’t been full. Something unusual for a werewolf if it was a werewolf.

Magog Rhys Petley felt uncomfortable about the whole thing when it was discussed.

And not just because the caucus was discussing things that were of no real concern to the working man in Britain.

He just felt uncomfortable with this talk of a werewolf.

Not that he believed in werewolves.

It was just that this talk… well it felt like someone was walking across his grave.

Magog Rhys Petley walked into a small confectionary and news stand to get out of the damp rain.

The confectionary radio was tuned to BBC 1.

“Our guest,” said the voice on the radio, “is our country’s top vampire hunter Edmund Van Helsing who’s the cousin of the world-famous Canadian vampire hunter Dracul Van Helsing. Mr. Van Helsing, the topic tonight is not vampires but werewolves. The recent mysterious attacks in Wales where this particular wolf seemed to have almost paranormal powers. Yet these attacks did not happen at night but during the day and not during a full moon. That’s unusual for a werewolf isn’t it?”.

“Yes, it is,” Edmund Van Helsing replied, “but I was talking to a professor of folklore at the University of Manchester. He did some research and told me that he found an obscure tablet which says that if a person is bitten by the demon Rahu- the demon who is believed to be responsible for lunar and solar eclipses in Hindu religious tradition- that person can change into a wolf no matter what time of day if powerful sexual urges arise.”

“And this demon Rahu?” asked the BBC interviewer, “what does he look like so if any of our listeners have been bitten recently and have felt the urge to grow fur and tails and fangs and howl and snarl, they will know what’s happened to them?”.

“Well Rahu is generally depicted in art as either a snake’s head without a body or a dragon’s head without a body,” Edmund Van Helsing answered.

Magog Rhys Petley left the confectionary in a sweat.

He recalled that night a little over two weeks ago when he was walking home late from a London pub and thought he had been bitten by a snake’s head without a body.

But he had attributed that to too much to drink.

Rhys Petley stood at the street corner.

Across the street he noticed a very attractive young blonde woman police constable wearing a fairly short skirt as part of her uniform and black silk nylons.

Rhys Petley felt the pangs of carnal desire.

The policewoman felt the fangs of a strange creature that seemed to emerge out of nowhere.

To be continued.

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The Pestilence That Walks By Day

January 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm (Mystery/horror, Short Story, Vampire novel)

The creature’s view of the landscape took on the whole valley.

It looked up and saw birds flying across the distant Skirrid Mountain.

It looked down and saw a valley of white snow.

And dotting the landscape here and there small farms with sheep.

The creature growled and snarled- an unnaturally and in a certain sense unholy growl and snarl.

The creature raced down from the Black Mountains range where it had observed the valley.

And as it raced, a cold wind blew and raged behind it.

The cold wind seemed to follow the creature.

The creature raced by the Skirrid Inn Pub in the tiny Welsh village of Llanvihangel Crucorny.

“Wolf,” a startled group of bystanders braced themselves against the walls of the medieval inn.

The creature turned and snarled.

It raised its paw and stroked the white snowy ground several times like an angry stallion about to charge…

And it would have charged too…

A woman grabbed her toddler son who had run to embrace the wolf thinking that it was just a big puppy dog.

As she picked up the boy, the wolf charged…

A Cross around the woman’s neck glistened and shone as the sun momentarily burst through the clouds at that moment.

The glare of the Cross stopped the creature in its tracks.

It snarled an angry snarl and then turned and ran towards the Skirrid Mountain.

Up and up and up it ran.

Already it could smell the blood of the nearby sheep.

Blood that was soon spilling all over the white snow below the Skirrid Mountain as the creature ravenously tore sheep apart.

A couple of farm hands approached with rifles and fired at it.

But they were not using the right type of bullets for this particular kind of wolf.

The creature charged and snapped one of the farm hands’ necks in its huge jowls.

It then turned to the other farm hand and did the same.

It sped on down the valley.

And stopped at a parked car.

The creature’s vision seemed to change. It was not able to view things distantly so well. It seemed to gasp as it tried to growl and snarl.

It fell backwards in the snow.

* * *

The man got up in the snow.

He then approached the car.

And unlocked it.

He then glanced around and felt dizzy.

Why had he stopped here?

He did not know.

He entered the car and drove the long distance to Cardiff.

* * *

A group of unemployed miners sat in one of Cardiff’s trade union halls waiting for the guest speaker.

A huge bearded man approached the platform.

Normally guest speakers at the hall were given an introduction by the local trade union chairman.

But this man needed no introduction.

Nor did he want one.

And one did not argue with a man the size of Magog Rhys Petley.

“I have been called the Last Bolshevik,” the man’s voice boomed into the microphone, “it is an epithet I’m proud to carry. I’m sure many of you in this hall may even recall the days when the Labour Party in Britain was the party of labour- the party of the worker- the party of the common man. But that Tony Blair came into this party and this movement in the ’90s with his own brand of neo-conservatism and neo-globalization that he called the Third Way. Those financiers and investors in the City of London prospered under Blair and Brown and are currently prospering under Cameron. But are you prospering? Have most of the mines of Wales re-opened? And those mines that have- are the workers who work and toil in them- are they being paid a living wage?”.

“No,” the men in the hall shouted.

Rhys Petley soon had them whooped up into a frenzy.

At the end of his blistering speech, they stood and sang that old Communist anthem the Internationale with such fervour that it would have brought tears to the eyes of Lenin’s embalmed corpse in his mausoleum tomb in Moscow’s Red Square had the embalmed corpse been able to hear it.

After the meeting, the group retreated to a nearby pub where talk of Marx and Engels soon turned to talk of who could throw the most perfect array of darts after drinking three straight glasses of ale.

Magog Rhys Petley’s gaze followed after the young barmaid who had just finished her shift.

When she walked out into the street, he followed her.

She stood at the street corner smoothing her black skirt and then wrapping her long blue winter coat around her, she crossed the street.

Magog Rhys Petley felt the pangs of carnal desire stirring within him.

And as he felt them, the desire seemed to bring forth another desire out of nowhere.

What sort of strange desire was this?

Magog Rhys Petley steadied himself against a lamp post.

He felt dizzy.

His vision seemed to change.

It seemed to see great distances away.

He slipped down on to the sidewalk.

And started foaming at the mouth.

* * *

The creature got up from a tangle of men’s clothes on the snowy sidewalk and growled and snarled.

It ran down to the street corner.

And up to the next street.

With its excellent vision, the creature caught sight of the barmaid in the blue winter coat.

It chased after her.

Hearing the commotion, the barmaid turned.

At what she saw, her hands let go of the winter coat she held tightly around her showing her delicate white blouse and exquisite black skirt through the openings of her coat.

The creature lunged on top of her.

The barmaid screamed.

And after a few seconds, she screamed no more…

To be continued.

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The 13th Sign

January 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm (Detective story, Humour, Short Story)

Carson Albion Private Eye was once again walking the streets of LA.

Not on a case.

Well maybe a case of rum when he got back to the office.

No, he was going out for dinner which he’d then take back to his office.

His dinner habits consisted entirely of take-out.

One night Chinese, next night Japanese, night after that Vietnamese, then Thai, then Indian, then Korean, then Italian, then Mexican. And then the process would begin again…

Tonight was Chinese food night.

And Carson Albion was headed to his favourite Chinese food take-out restaurant The Ming Lantern.

He ordered the lemon chicken, the ginger beef, the sweet and sour pork and fried rice.

After receiving his complimentary fortune cookie which he put in the bag, Albion once again headed out into the night.

As he walked down the street, a familiar voice greeted him, “Hey Albion.”

It was Lt. McQuinn of the LAPD.

“Lt.,” Albion nodded back, “you look like you’ve had a busy night.”

“Into the paddy wagon with the others,” Lt. McQuinn directed two constables who were bringing down a body in a body bag from an upstairs apartment.

The constables put the body into the back of the paddy wagon where a whole bunch of other bodies in body bags were stacked.

“That’s the 13th dead astrologer tonight,” Lt. McQuinn explained to Carson Albion, “ever since the New Astrology emerged en masse last week with the 13th sign Ophiuchus the serpent-bearer being introduced and everyone’s astrological sign being bumped around, some people haven’t taken kindly to their new signs and have ended up killing their personal astrologers as a result. This has resulted in one big headache for the LA homicide department. We don’t know who to look for in terms of suspects. Whether we should be looking at the old astrological signs of potential suspects or the new signs.”

“That would be a problem all right,” Albion had to admit.

“I guess all the rehab clinics in Hollywood are going extra crazy at the moment too,” McQuinn said, “with thousands of stars and celebrities checking themselves in saying that now their sign has been changed, they’re having more trouble than ever with coming to terms with who they are.”

“Makes me glad I’m not a regular guest on the Oprah Show,” Albion stated.

“Me too,” McQuinn agreed.

Albion walked down the street carrying his bag of Chinese food while McQuinn got a call on his car radio saying that a split personality astrologer was holding a gun to his own head and threatening to kill himself unless he went back to being a Gemini.

Albion passed by the Starstruck Motel on the way back to his office.

He stopped when he noticed a man in a turban standing on the second floor outside walkway of the motel. The man played a musical instrument and a snake was rearing its head from the top of a basket.

The man then picked up the snake and kicked his way into a motel room.

This didn’t look good.

Albion removed his gun from his trenchcoat pocket and ran up the stairs.

He then entered the room where the man with the snake had kicked the door open.

The man stood on the bed atop a screaming woman holding the snake in his hands and ready to drop the snake on top of her.

The man in the darkened silhouette of the motel room looked like the figure of Ophiuchus the snake bearer- the 13th sign.

Albion fired a shot at the man and the man fell back off the bed.

Before dying, the man’s last words were, “I guess this means I won’t be getting my green card.”

The snake then crawled out of the dead man’s hands and put its venomous cobra head on the bed where once again the woman screamed.

The cobra’s head was blown away with a single shot from Albion’s gun.

The woman in a short black lingerie night dress threw herself into Albion’s arms and planted kisses all over him.

Albion returned the favour.

After several intense hours of lovemaking on the bed, the woman said she should really call her parents back home and let them know how she was doing.

The woman was Jade Priyanka Sen a rising young Bollywood starlet from Mumbai, India who had come to Hollywood to expand her acting portfolio.

The dead man with the dead snake was her abusive ex-boyfriend who had followed her from India to America.

“I really should be getting my clothes on,” the woman smiled at Carson Albion before kissing him good-bye.

“I guess I should get back to the office and eat my Chinese food before it starts getting cold,” Albion picked up the bag marked The Ming Lantern.

He walked out into the LA night and headed back to his office.

He ate his dinner and drank a bottle of rum and opened his complimentary fortune cookie.

The fortune said,


Albion crumpled up the small piece of paper and thought to himself, more people should really be getting fortune cookies from The Ming Lantern.

There might have been less dead bodies on the streets of LA tonight.

-The 13th Sign
A short story
by Christopher Dracul Van Helsing
written Monday, January 17th, 2011

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The Last Concert of Maestro McCready

January 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm (Short stories) ()

The Last Concert of Maestro McCready
A short story written by Christopher Dracul Van Helsing
Friday evening, January 14th, 2011.

At an inn in the Scottish Highlands, Maestro McCready sipped a small glass of malt whisky.

He had been the conductor of a large symphony orchestra in England.

A very successful career he had had too.

Directing the music of the ages.

How he had loved it.

Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Chopin.

To make these men’s music come alive for a new generation.

He had succeeded in that.

He would probably be still doing that.

But the onset of cancer had put an end to that.

He wasn’t given much time left by his physicians in London.

So he had come home to the Scottish Highlands as his final place of sojourn before being called on that final journey that all of us must take.

The inn door opened.

A group of teen-aged school kids had entered the inn along with a bus driver.

“We cannot go further in this weather,” the bus driver spoke to the inn keeper, “the snow is blinding. Can we spend the night here?”.

“Certainly,” the innkeeper said, “I have a few rooms available. And I’ve got some blankets and sleeping bags so that some can bunk together in the sitting room.”

“Thanks,” the bus driver said.

“Where were you headed?” the innkeeper asked.

“Down to Edinburgh,” the bus driver replied, “this is a school orchestra from Saint Ninian’s School. We were hoping to compete tonight in the National Finals. But the weather made it impossible.”

Maestro McCready looked over at the kids’ faces and he could see their disappointment.

“Their music teacher Mr. Henderson made it to Edinburgh all right,” said the driver, “he took his own car so he’s there but without an orchestra to conduct.”

“And we’re an orchestra without a conductor to conduct us,” sighed one young girl.

“If only the judges could hear us, they’d know we’re really really good,” said the boy, “we don’t care about winning. We just want people to know that we’re good. That just because we come from what many would call the backwaters of Scotland doesn’t mean we don’t know how to play good music.”

“Do any of you have cell phones with cameras?” Maestro McCready asked.

Practically all of the children put up their hands.

“And you have your instruments and music sheets with you?” Maestro McCready queried.

The children nodded.

“Well then you can play here in the sitting room and I’m sure our dear innkeeper here or your bus driver could film it and upload it to YouTube and someone could notify the judges at the competition in Edinburgh.” Maestro McCready smiled.

“But we have no one to conduct us,” said the girl.

The innkeeper smiled and introduced his distinguished guest, “This is Maestro Martin McCready who is a professional symphony conductor.”

Some of the children looked at Maestro McCready in awe for they had heard of him.

“What piece were you going to play at the competition?” Maestro McCready asked.

“The Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony,” one of the boys answered.

“Get everything set up,” the Maestro smiled as he stood up, “I shall go to my room and put on my Conductor’s clothes. And then I’ll come down and we’ll play to the world Beethoven’s Ode To Joy like it’s never been played before, shall we? We’ll indeed make this melody a true ode to joy.”

Maestro McCready went up to his room and hurriedly dressed.

When he returned downstairs, the innkeeper and the innkeeper’s wife and the bus driver all held cell phone cameras.

Maestro McCready stood in front of the small podium that had been set up for him and bowed to the children and then turned and bowed to the cell phone cameras.

He tapped his baton on his sheet music and started conducting.

Outside the blowing howling winds of northern Scotland seemed to be joining in the sheer joy of that moment and to be singing the lyrics of that immortal Ode:

Yes, even if He calls but one soul
His own in all the world…

All the world’s creatures
Draw joy from nature’s breast;

She gave us kisses and wine
And a friend loyal unto death;
She gave lust for life to the lowliest,
and the Cherub stands before God.

Joyously as His suns speed
Through Heaven’s glorious order,
Hasten, brothers, on your way,
Exulting as a knight in victory.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world!
Brothers! above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.

Can you sense the Creator, world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.

The Maestro then raised his baton in one final moment of triumph.

The young orchestra ceased playing.

There was silence in the room for about a minute.

Then the innkeeper and his wife and the bus driver broke into thunderous applause.

The orchestra and the Maestro stood up and bowed.

Then the kids gathered excitedly around the Maestro and thanked him for conducting them.

That night was a joy filled night as the young orchestra drank hot chocolate with the Maestro and ate the delicious oatmeal cookies made by the innkeeper’s wife.

Then as the clock chimed 10 PM, the bus driver suggested it was time for bed.

Maestro McCready went up to his room.

He asked the innkeeper not to call him early in the morning.

And he asked the innkeeper to deliver his good-byes to the young orchestra on his behalf.

Early the next morning, the young orchestra rose and went to Edinburgh to engage in sight-seeing if not competition.

They were a happy group as the bus set off.

It was wise of Maestro McCready to ask not to be awakened early.

For he had been called out of this world during the night and his departure might have dampened the children’s spirits.

Yes, even if He calls but one soul…

For in that moment of playing, in that brief concert captured on cell phone web cam, he had become the children’s friend.

… a friend loyal unto death.

As for the orchestra, although they did not win the competition, they were given honourable mention and a special commendation by the judges for their efforts in putting on a concert in a small Highlands inn in adverse weather conditions far from the site of the competition.

Hasten, brothers, on your way,
Exulting as a knight in victory.

And of course, the biggest surprise of all was the video uploaded to YouTube went viral overnight all around the globe and soon everyone in the world had heard of the tiny Saint Ninian’s School Orchestra that had been conducted by Maestro McCready in what would turn out to be his last performance.

Be embraced, Millions!
This kiss for all the world.

As for Maestro McCready, he had managed to fulfill every musician’s secret dream- that one’s last and very final performance would be one’s greatest performance!

… and the Cherub stands before God.

… Seek him above the starry canopy.

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New Year’s Day With Jack O’ Hare

January 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm (Poetry)

Jack O’ Hare perked up his big ears
All the noisy fireworks were gone
peace at last had come with dawn
all the partygoers were now home in their beds
with ice packs atop their throbbing heads.

And so 2011 had begun
this earth passing
yet another full course around the sun.

His friend Dracul had told him,
2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.

Jack grinned,
“The Year of the Rabbit?”.

It was going to be a very good year.

-New Year’s Day With Jack O’ Hare
a poem written January 1st 2011
by Christopher Dracul Van Helsing

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