Not NaNo – Chateaux of the Night

This one needs rather a lot of work, but it’s an idea I”m kicking around. Please bear with me on Gus. I’ll be working on his dialect to make it proper cockney, but more research is required :).

Mortimer pinched the bridge of his thin, pale nose with two bony fingers and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath, not that he needed to, after all, Vampires didn’t need to breath. When he opened his eyes, the situation failed to improve. The small goblin butler that Mortimer regretted hiring, some decades ago now, stood a still as a statue, massive reflective eyes fixed up at him. In one hand, dangling to the goblin’s side was a smallish rubbish brush and in the other, held up like some kind of morbid trophy was a dust-pan heaped with ash.

With as much confidence and dignity as he could muster, Mortimer asked, “And that’s all that’s left?”

Gus turned his enormous eyes at the heap of ash on the dustpan then back up to Mortimer. “I got as much of ‘im as I could, Mort.”

“I’ve told you to stop calling me that!”

“Don’t see why, Mortimer is one of them pansy-posh names, innit? As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, the wind kicked up an’ just started blowin’ ‘im about. It was a right pain in the ol’ bottle and glass, I can tell you.”

Mortimer gritted his pointed teeth. “I needed this to work.”

“An’ I needed a good Rogan Nosh, but ‘ere we are. Where do you want the brown bread ‘ere?” Gus asked, holding the dustpan a little higher.

“Just chuck him in the bin and fetch me another Alchemist.”

“I reckon you’ve killed ‘em all then, innit?”

Mortimer frowned at the goblin. “What do you mean killed them all?”

Gus shrugged, spilling a bit of the last alchemist on the floor. “I didn’t make ‘em into vampires an’ march ‘em into the daylight.”

“No, not that,” Mortimer said shaking his head. “I mean the thing about there not being more. What do you mean there aren’t any more?”

“Ah, yeah, that bit,” Gus paused. “No, this was the last one. I reckon your rubbish bin is got the most bits of alchemists in the world in.”

“That can’t possibly be.”

“We’ve been at it for about an ‘undred years. I expect it is. This one took me a month to track down”

Mortimer tipped his head back. “I’m so tired of all of this skulking about in the dark.”

“That’s the lot of a vampire, innit?” Gus asked. “Why not just enjoy it?”

“I can’t enjoy it!” Mortimer exclaimed, wishing there was some sort of table or shelf or something to pound his fist on. “You know what I want?”

“I do. You’ve only told be about an ‘undred times.”

“I wanted to be a –”

“Painter of landscapes,” Gus intoned.

Mortimer balled his fist in front of him. “Painter of landscapes,” he said. “And you know what landscape painters can’t do?”

“Paint landscapes in the dark.” Gus replied quietly, audibly settling into the impending monologue.

“All I ever wanted in life–.”

“Just a reminder, you’re undead now.”

“Was,” Mortimer continued, “to paint landscapes, and you can’t very well do that when you burst into flames at the very sight of the sun!”

 “I’ve been telling you for ages, you just need to lean into the dark lord of the knight thing. It’s what you are and I reckon you could get pretty good at it.”

“Alright, fine,” Mortimer said, “maybe I’d like to go out and watch a soccer game.”

Gus showed a mouthful of horrible, crooked teeth and growled.

Mortimer rolled his eyes. “Football match, you happy?”

“It’s better, I can’t abide that horrible American word. You know every country in the world, the goblins, the trolls, all the other vampires, and even the whole lot of were-people call it football?”

“And yet you can abide fetching me totally unworkable alchemists.”

“You know they wouldn’t burst into flames if you didn’t keep turning them into vampires, right?”

“They would be turning right back into regular alive people if they got their elixirs right, wouldn’t they? It’s not my fault they’re rubbish alchemists!”

“Still no excuse for calling it soccer.”

“Just dispose of old max there and work on getting me another alchemist.”

Gus turned around. “Right-o, I’ll just pop an ad in the newspaper.”


Image by Anja from Pixabay

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