Saturday, 25 July 2009

How Many Vampires Does It Take To.......

Vlad and the Count came to to find themselves bound together, back to back and firmly gagged, in the soft twilight filtering through the door frame. They had been propped up on the cold, tiled floor of the front hall.

Trying to talk just produced unintelligible grunts and squirming around, trying to move just resulted in them falling over sideways and Vlad bashing his head against the solid oak legs of a side table. Howling with frustration, Count Antonescu eventually took the matter in hand by using his vast height and bulk to stand up and walk into the kitchen, with Vlad strapped, like an infant in a pouch, on his back. The Count pondered between using a knife to try and cut them free or having a go at lighting one of the gas burners and trying to burn through the ropes. Whoever bound them was unfortunately very good at knots and had used good quality, sturdy rope. Even Vlad's weight being supported on his back and his flailing legs did nothing to loosen their bonds.

Help came from an unexpected source. The wine bottle that Mike Costello had been drinking from had somehow been knocked over and smashed on the kitchen table, leaving a sticky trail of red wine dripping down the table leg to form a glutinous pool on the floor. The Count gritted his teeth, leaned over the table and started sawing at one of the bonds against the jagged broken glass. It was a slow and painful process as he had no hand free to steady the glass, so kept cutting himself, and Vlad, who didn't seem to be enjoying being bound to his back and being leaned over sideways, kept kicking him.

Eventually the frayed threads of one of the ropes parted and Antonescu grimly carried on until enough ropes were severed and he could free his hands to deal with the rest. As the final rope parted he pulled the gag out of his mouth and let Vlad fall unceremoniously into the pool of wine on the kitchen floor.

'What did you do that for' choked Vlad as he pulled out his own gag and tried to stand up 'I'm covered in red wine now and will have to change!'

'Serves you right for kicking me so hard' returned Count Antonescu shortly.

'Look here Antonescu, I'm your Leader now, so you can't talk to me like that!' blustered Vlad.

'Then start acting like one and stop whining!' rumbled the Count 'And while you are at it, can you explain this?'

The Count pushed a crumpled piece of paper across the table to Vlad, who blushed as much as a vampire could when he realised it was Mike Costello's note.

'As my leader, you question my loyalty' asked Antonescu threateningly as he leaned over Vlad.

'No, no, you know I would never do that!' pleaded Vlad.

'But you were planning to meet with this human psychic, and listen to him talk of me being untrustworthy. Me an Antonescu; my family has served yours faithfully for seventeen generations!'

Vlad felt that things were getting out of hand.

'Look Count, I think we are getting side tracked here. Don't you think it is rather more important to work out how we ended up bound and unconscious on the hall floor and how Kingsteignton got away?'

'My loyalty has been questioned; nothing is more important!' growled back Antonescu stubbornly 'You were planning to meet with this human psychic, no? One who slurs the honour of an Antonescu?.'

'Look Count, please don't go all medieval on me! My head hurts, I can't think straight and I don't know how any of this happened to us! begged Vlad pleadingly.

The Count's eyes narrowed but his next comment was more conciliatory.

'We will have to work it out and try and get Kingsteignton back' he declared.

'Do we really want him back' asked Vlad a little nervously.

The Count glared at him again through narrowed eyes. 'He now has even more questions to answer, my Leader, was his behaviour just a ruse to lull us into a false sense of security or did he have help? What can you remember?'

Vlad felt that the Count's mocking tone was a little unnecessary, but decided that nothing was to be gained from winding him up even further.

'I remember nothing until I woke on the hall floor bound to you' he replied evenly ' Before that the last thing I can recall is that I was reading the note and saying goodbye to de Cazalrenoux. You don't think he did this, do you?

The Count snort derisively. 'A werewolf overcome two vampires, I don't think so! And why would he? The only thing he is interested in is his missing Clan member.'

'And women' retorted Vlad bitterly 'But I wasn't knocked on the head, so how were we overcome?'

Antonescu frowned. 'I do not know the answer to that either. You seem to value the information you get from this human psychic, so why don't we go and make this rendezvous with Mike Costello anyway? Maybe he can sense something for us? See what his real game is?'

'Well we'll be late and Mike wanted to see me alone' started Vlad fussily until he realised that Antonescu was now glaring at him in a particularly hostile way.

'Oh, all right then' he conceded 'I'll just change my trousers and let's hope the car starts; I haven't used it in six months'.

As they were leaving through the front door five minutes later, both the Vampires failed to notice the now empty gas canister that had rolled under the chaise longue where Kingsteignton had been laying.

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