I am going in for my first of two surgical procedures today. This is the minor one, but it’ll put me out of commission for a few days. So until I’m back, I decided to show you the first chapter from Dracula And Kittens. I figure I’ll do the first six chapters, send it out as a proposal, and then if there are no takers, self-publish them and see what happens.
I’ll keep you posted. Either way, enjoy.
(Also note: There are likely some typos below. I wanted to get this live before I left, so if you spot any, I’ll go back and fix them when I am back.)
Dracula And Kittens Chapter #1 Crime Knows No Color
You would think the German owners would have gone with cold steel and misery, but apparently that wasn’t the order of the day when they built that fence.
Harker Log, Stardate 2009.123
Current Location: Munich … the one in Germany. NOT the one in North Dakota. Because seriously, fuck people who live in North Dakota.
The sun was shining and the air was full of something unfamiliar to the people of Germany: Happiness.
I’m on my way to Romania to do some work for Carlin, Cosby, Prior, and Hicks. It’s my first big assignment outside the office, and only the second trip abroad for the firm since “The Loman Incident”. We like to tell the public we do “Interesting work for interesting people”, but truthfully, we represent monsters. That’s right. Ghouls, the Invisible Man, the mummy, and other beasts you’d traditionally find in a horror movie. You may be shocked to know this, but those monsters you see in those films? All real. Each and every single of them. That’s how the firm got started. Thankfully they’re nowhere near as scary as you’d think. Most of them are pretty decent actually. The Invisible Man always asks me about my mother when he comes by, but between you and me, he creeps me the fuck out. I can never tell when he’s coming or going. He just sort of starts talking to you, and you can’t say anything bad because you never know if he’s hanging out at the office or not.
The reason the firm got started was that the monsters weren’t allowed to join the Screen Actors Guild because … well, they’re fucking monsters, you know? They weren’t getting paid for their work. So, a group of attorneys in Los Angeles, decided they would take up the cause of getting the monsters paid. And from there they decided to represent the monster’s on the day-to-day shit. Filing their taxes. Helping them open small businesses. For example, Creature, from The Creature From The Black Lagoon is doing AWESOME in the Florida Everglades right now. He operates one of those places that takes tourists on boat rides and lets them play with baby alligators. He’s the only monster to be publicly identified as a monster too, and the excuse he uses for his existence to the media is global warming. Everyone buys it. “Why do you have gills?” “Global warming.” “Webbed hands?” “Global warming. You’ll probably get them too some day.” See? It’s kind of hard to argue with that. I mean, unless you’re a Republican.
So all those monsters you’ve seen are real, I mean except vampires and zombies. That shit is totally made up. I think the Twilight films proved the vampire thing is bullshit, and zombies are just a physical impossibility. But everyone else? All real. Want another example? How about the Mummy? The Mummy is a fucking prick. He was my first client. And no, he doesn’t qualify as a zombie. He told me himself. He was dead. His spirit returned to his body through magic. Therefore, not a zombie. Zombies are reanimated corpses with no spirit. They’re sort of like … I don’t know, fucking insects are something. Either way, the Mummy gets to waltz his old ass around and the zombies don’t because of magic. I guess. And that fucking mummy was always bitching and moaning about something. You figure he would have seen enough shit in his thousands of years on this Earth to just take it all in stride, but no. He’s a fucking prick. A mean one too. Oh! AND he’s a fucking pervert. He doesn’t even have gentials anymore and he’s still a pervert. And I’ve seen it. I’ve seen his dick in a jar of brine. He brought it to the office with him once. Nobody knows why! It’s just a thing that he did. The Mummy made sure to show all the ladies too. Which, makes absolutely no sense when you think about it. I mean unless they’re into deep throating two-thousand year-old dicks, but that’s a whole other story.
Since the firm was footing the bill, I decided to take a minor detour through Germany on my way to Romania. My grandmother’s family had been wiped out in the Holocaust, and I decided I owed it to her family to do something to return the favor to the Germans. Since I was on official legal business though, the best I could come up with was to destroy as many public toilets as I could after consuming large quantities of German food. Seemed like a fair trade to me. This tour of German toilets had ultimately lead me to the Sheraton in Munich. I refuse to stay in those weirdo inns and bed and breakfasts you find scattered throughout Western Europe, so when in doubt I did the American thing and went with the brand name. It had been an uneventful stay, although there WAS something I did to the public toilet in the lobby of the Sheraton that is currently awaiting discovery. It’s a good thing I’m about to leave on a trip around the Bavarian countryside for the day because that last one was a doozy. Why visit the Bavarian countryside? I had one more day in Germany before I had to continue on, and I figure I might as well see the place where anti-semitism is made.
When I exited the lobby there was a beat up Yugo awaiting me. Since nobody had yet discovered what had happened in the bathroom, I walked to the Yugo as quickly as I could, trying not to be repulsed by the fact that this decrepit vehicle is the thing that would be carting my ass all over the countryside today. As I got into the car I observed the Munich Sheraton’s manager, Mr. Jonathan P. Heidenreich, emerge from the hotel drenched in Coppertone. He spotted the Yugo I was in, smiled, and goose-stepped his way over. I took his smiling to mean that my small act of biological warfare had not yet been detected by his staff. Heidenreich was a bit of an odd character himself, and that’s saying something because I work with freaks on a daily basis. Not to mention, this is Germany we’re talking about. This is the freak capital of the Western world, with one on every corner. Interestingly, Heidenreich looked nothing like a German. Portly, bald, short, disheveled, and he seemed to enjoy sharing his poetry unsolicited with all his guests. It’s not like a German to share anything. The only thing they know how to do is take … and occasionally, be naked. Germans love to be naked. Late one night during my stay here, I heard Heidenreich roaming the halls, knocking on each door under the guise of asking his guests about their stay, but then saying in perfect English, “May I read you this poem I have just written? It is about my cat, Ilsa.” When I saw him making his way toward our vehicle, I rolled up my window and said to the driver, “I hope he’s not going to read us more of his fucking poetry”. Johan, the driver, did not respond in any discernable way. Typical German. Smiling I guess is also prohibited within the confines of this horrible vehicle. Although truthfully, if I owned a Yugo, I wouldn’t be smiling either.
Instead of molesting our ears, Heidenreich curtly wished me a pleasant trip, perhaps indicating he in fact knew what was done to his lobby bathroom, and then he said to Johan, “Show our amazing American Bavaria’s beauty, but be back before early evening. You know what nasty night it is.” Johan, not impressed at all with needless alliteration, or life itself it would seem, answered Heidenreich with an emphatic, “Ja.” Johan Schulz: Man of many words. On his days off, Johan offers rides to tourists around the Bavarian countryside. Heidenreich had introduced us when I checked in a week ago, but it was a brief encounter. Johan simply took out his hand, I shook it, and then he walked away without saying anything further. Johan was certainly a model for cold, emotionless, German efficiency. I bet he would have made a great Nazi.
As the Yugo’s “powerful” engine came to life, I asked Johan what was happening tonight. Johan simply crossed himself as he answered laconically: “Walpurgis nacht.” “What THE fuck does that mean?” Johan snorted in response to my inquiry and looked at his watch. It was a great, old-fashioned German silver thing as big as a Volkswagen. His eyebrows gathered together as he gave me an impatient shrug. I realized this was him being passive aggressive. Had I consumed a proper German breakfast this morning, I would have replied to his passive aggressive behavior by farting at him and showing him the terrible vengeance I have brought upon his country, but as an American in Europe, I am obligated to act classy at all times when within the presence of a European, least they think of me as one of “those people”. You know the ones I’m talking about. The Americans who visit Germany for the first time. Fat, out of shape, ignorant, wearing jean shorts, and constantly asking anyone who even remotely looks German, “Where’s the Jew Gold?”
About an hour into our trip, I saw a road that looked little traveled, and which seemed to dip through a small, winding valley. It looked so inviting that I asked Johan to stop his plodding Yugo. He did with a heavy sigh and a cross look. I momentarily reconsidered farting at him. I then told Johan I would like him to drive us down that road, which prompted a seemingly endless barrage of excuses delivered in broken English, many of which were followed by Johan crossing himself at the conclusion of each statement. His reluctance to make a simple left turn piqued my curiosity. We hadn’t stuck to any sort of course on this trip, going wherever I wanted, and now we came across a seemingly harmless road and he won’t go down it? Fuck that. I have Johan as my driver for another few hours still. Something was up. I started to ask him various questions. He answered fencingly, and repeatedly looked at his watch in protest as he did. Frustrated, I then told Johan I wanted to get out of the car. But before I could even take off my seatbelt, he had opened his door and raced out in front of mine, blocking it with his enormous Aryan frame. I didn’t think a German could move that quickly unless he was taking something that didn’t belong to him. Johan towered over me by at least a foot and had about 200 pounds of muscle to my 145 pounds of lank. He made an impressive road block. If I was in a more joking mood, I would have said something witty to break the tension, like “With speed like that, the Aryan Barbarian will capture the WWE title in no time”. But I wasn’t feeling very funny. I was kind of pissed off at his odd behavior. Even the monsters don’t act like this. Well, except the one that ripped off Happy Loman’s arms and beat him to death with them, but that’s why we refer to that as “The Loman Incident”.
There was an awkward moment that followed between Johan and I. I, in the car looking up at Johan, the Aryan Barbarian. Him, peering down at me with all the menace you’d expect from an angered German. It crossed my mind to inform him that my mother was Jewish, just to see if he’d flip out, enter Beast Mode, and put his fist through the window in an effort to hoist me over his shoulder and shake me to see if any hidden “Jew Gold” came loose, but I thought better of it. Instead I rolled down the window and informed him that I wanted to exit the vehicle. There was another pause before he finally sighed and took a step back. I am pleased to inform my readers that, yet again, a German surrendered to an American.
Once I finally got out of the Yugo, Johan implored me not to go down the road. He seemed always just about to tell me something–the very idea of which must have frightened him; as each time he would cut himself off, cross himself, and say mysteriously, ‘Walpurgis-Nacht!’ Each time I would reply to him by saying, “I still don’t know what the fuck that means”. I tried to argue further with Johan, but it’s difficult to argue with a man whose native tongue is German. Even the nicest things said in that language sound like a chainsaw cutting through rusted metal in the midst of thrashing guitars, thunderous drums, and some kind words about Jesus. This was Germany after all, and aside from murdering millions of innocent people, they’re also known for their uplifting brand of heavy metal music that focuses on positivity, peace, and Jesus. The irony shouldn’t be lost on anyone.
A couple of horses from a nearby farm had apparently heard our argument and had moved closer to us. At one point standing a mere several inches away, separated only by the farm’s odd, white picket fence. You would think the German owners would have gone with cold steel and misery, but apparently that wasn’t the order of the day when they built that fence. At one point, Secretariat and Barbaro had started to queerly sniff the air. At this sight, Johan grew pale, and looked around in a frightened way that didn’t befit his murderous German heritage. Whatever was going on, the next thing I knew Johan had picked me up over his shoulder, which prompted me to immediately inform him that I did not posses any sort of “Jew Gold”. Johan swiftly opened the passenger door, and then threw me into the car as if I were a feather pillow. He then got in and drove a few feet down the road to get away from the horses. “Johan, I know one of those horses appeared to have taken a dump during our conversation, perhaps indicating their agreement with my position, but I feel you’re overreacting!” He said nothing. When I asked again for an explanation, he again crossed himself and pointed to the spot we had left. “’Buried him–him what killed themselves.”
“Jesus. Again with your strange and mysterious German shit! Do you mean he killed himself Johan? A suicide? You know, the thing your former dickhead leader did instead of manning up and letting the Russians play soccer with his skull, which they probably did anyway? You people still bury your suicides on the side of the road? What the fuck is wrong with you people? I mean seriously. Have the people of Germany ever stopped, looked themselves in the mirror and went, “Wow. We’re pretty fucked up. We’re like the neighbor who molested Punky Brewster on one of those after school specials.” As Johan was about to respond, we heard a sort of sound that straddled the sonic line between a belch and a roar. Johan, for the second time in a short period, again went pale, and said simply, “A drunk bear”. I asked, “You have wild bears in Bavaria?” I didn’t realize there were still bears in Bavaria. Especially after the Germans had taken it on themselves to kill what was apparently a peaceful one named Bruno a few years earlier for no other reason other than he was adorable. Classic Germany.
“No. Circus. Abandoned not long ago. Now roaming freely” Johan added. “And they’re drunk?” “Circus rum.” I immediately got out of the car, informing Johan, “I have got to see this”. Upon exiting the car, in the event Johan attempted to again hoist me over his shoulder, I took from the seat my solid oak walking-stick–which I always carry in the event I needed to fuck up a mugger–and closed the door. Johan again followed me out of the vehicle, but this time nowhere near as fast as he had previously. Perhaps with my stinging Punky Brewster remark and wooden weapon of choice, he had decided it would be for the best if a drunken circus bear devours me. At the very least he’d return with a good story, and one the fucked up people of Germany will all probably blog and brag about to their weirdo friends in Switzerland.
I noticed at this point that dark clouds had started to swirl across the sky. The sunshine passed, and a breath of cold wind seemed to drift past us, sort of like that creepy feeling you get when you’re talking about someone who died and all of a sudden the room gets cold. It was only a brief breath, however, and honestly it felt more like a warning than anything else as the sun soon came out brightly again. If it was a warning for what’s to come on my Eastern European adventure, I’d like to take a moment here and put God on notice: Nothing can stop my mighty mugger stick! Johan, tall enough to logically be blinded by the sun before any other human, looked under his lifted hand at the horizon and said: “The storm of snow, she comes.” Then he looked at his watch again and straightaway got back into the car. This time, I didn’t join him.
This lead to yet another awkward moment. One more of these and we would have our own BBC series together. Although this time it was I who was now towering over my monstrous German friend as he rolled down his window. “Where does this road go Johan?” Again he crossed himself and mumbled a prayer, before he answered, “Unholy.” ‘”What is unholy?’” “The store.” Curious, I asked, “ You guys have a Walmart down there?” Apparently annoyed by my nonchalant retorts and eagerness to walk down this road, Johan burst out into a long story in German and English, so mixed up that I could not understand everything, but I did gather a few things:
-There was a popular pet store down this road many years ago. I didn’t catch the name. Something, obviously, had happened at that store.
-The employees were all from Romania, and the store exclusively carried kittens. Or was it Russia?
-The German government turned the area into a sort of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. This road marked the entrance to that area, and it was completely restricted. Nobody goes in, and apparently, nobody comes out.
Johan was evidently afraid to speak those last words. Unfortunately as he proceeded with his narration, he grew increasingly excited and began to speak entirely in German. So whatever he was saying was completely lost on me. I can speak in tongues. Even some Aramaic for that one time Jesus wanted to sue Mel Gibson. But German? Forget it. I never learned the language out of spite. I doubt it would have done me much good here as he was babbling endlessly and apparently trembling with fear to boot. Never saw a German do that. I didn’t think it was something they did as a people, aside from the ones my grandfather-in-law saw just a moment prior to flattening them with his tank. Johan was looking around wildly now, as if expecting some drunken circus bear would manifest itself right then and there out and maul him while wearing a silly hat. Finally, in an agony of desperation, he cried: ‘Walpurgis nacht!’ and started the car. I could only take so much of Johan and his “rumpus night” crap. I am an American. Nobody tells me what to do in a foreign country! “For someone of your size and heritage you should be ashamed of yourself Johan. You are afraid my friend. In America we’d call you a pussy, but I think right now that’d be an insult to pussies. So do me a favor and go home. “Rumpus Room” doesn’t concern Americans. None of your fruity Euro-bullshit does!”
Johan excitedly implored me not to do anything foolish. I pitied the fuck, he was deeply in earnest; but all the same I could not help but laugh at his apparent nervous breakdown. Feeling slightly guilty about that, I turned and walked away as he continued to jabber on German. With a despairing gesture, which I promptly replied to by flipping him a little something I like to call “the bird”, Johan crawled off towards Munich in his busted ass vehicle. I leaned on my mighty mugger stick and looked as he drove off. He went slowly along the road for a while until there came over the crest of the hill a tall and husky man. He appeared to be black, which in America would necessitate a subconscious tightening of my grip, but I could only see so much of him in the distance. When the man drew near the horses, they began to jump and kick about, then scream as if Farmer Bill had arrived to send their ass to the glue factory. Johan must have heard the commotion as his shitbox from hell roared, making the jump to hyperspace and leaving my view entirely. I looked at the horses and then back for the stranger, but found that he too was gone.
I was now alone, left with nothing but guilt for my display of mild racism and my mockery of Johan’s fear. What was he trying to warn me about?
- John Harker
P.S. My grandmother, who originally owned the mighty mugger stick, had a completely racist name for it. My father, when he gave me the stick, tried to justify his mother’s use of a racist word in place of “mugger” by saying, “Well in her day things were different”. I once admonished her about the name of the stick saying, “Grandma, crime knows no color!” Funny enough, her racism had completely vanished when she was mugged on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue by a bunch of white guys. Funny how that one worked out, huh?