Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bite-Sized Blogging: Dracula (Chapters 14-16)

22 October.

Okay. So I'm walking home from work one day, and I see a man pull someone into the alley, bludgeon him to death, and then sever the head and walk away with it. A few days later, I slap my palm against my forehead and realize, hey, I know that guy. (The bludgeoner, not the bludgeonee.) I'm on my way over to his place, actually, to hang out and play some XBOX, when I notice bloodstains on a dumpster, and decide, on the off-chance that it's ketchup for some appetizing meal, to walk over and take a look. Nope, it's just a dead body, evenly vivisected into what now look like giant bloody maggots. Delicious, I'm sure, but not really what I'm in the mood for; besides, I had Thai last night.

It's on the elevator up to my friend the murderer's apartment that things start clicking in my head. Or perhaps it's the odor, coupled with the strange density of flies in his hallway, that does it. I decide, you know what, maybe I should call, first; besides, there's a horrible wail coming from inside his apartment, like a baby that's having its guts ripped out by a pendulum's blade. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's your thing, but I'm now considering that perhaps there are things about my friend--well, I actually only know him from work--that I don't quite understand. Like those runic symbols that adorn his desk. I'm not quite sure they're just transliterated fortune cookies, and where did he say he was from again? Not that I'm racist, or anything, but you know, those sorts of rituals aren't done here. (Probably because we're too lazy to go about getting the proper knives, let alone actually doing all that work; we'd rather watch it on the Food Network.)

"Great Scott!" asks Quincey Morris, one of my fictional friends. "Is this a game?" Dr. Van Helsing (no relation) replies: "It is." And that's when it dawns on me, re: Dracula, that of course it's a game. Stoker can't let go of this whole cat-and-mouse narrative; it's too much fun for him, and he's not all that interested in the bloody details. Besides, it's more fun to crack jokes about stealing the Host (for vampire-slaying purposes, which I guess makes it alright), than anything else, and it certainly explains why this whole group of would-be hunters allow the Un-Dead Lucy to claim another victim or two--just to be sure--before finally staking her. Why it has to be Arthur who does it, why there's less than a paragraph to describe the crushed garlic in the mouth and just-to-be-sure beheading (all that foreplay has left me with blue brains), forget about it. There's little else making sense, unless English etiquette dictates that we ought not to kill children-snatching, fresh-blood-soaked walking corpses until we're absolutely sure that they're the evil kind.

"I heard once of an American who so defined faith: 'that faculty which enables us to believe things which we know to be untrue.'" And on that note, I believe I see my friend coming this way now; I believe he's brought me an axe. And it's fresh, too; I can see the paint dripping right off the handle. I'll write once more once I'm surer; you can never be too sure about what to believe in this days, now can you now can you now can you?

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