alt.vampyres fiction title

 

My Fair Vampire

1998-2000 Willain R. Thompson

 

(Reprinted by permission)
This adaptation of an adaptation is an original work and may not be reproduced without specific permission of the author.

SCENE 1: 1891. Thursday Afternoon. The London Docks.

Abraham van Helsinger debarks from the USS Titanic. He looks at the crowd on the dock while his ship unloads a cargo of crates. Van Helsinger grows impatient as he sees that many of the Londoners are pale people with punctures in their throats, and his face darkens as he witnesses the poor business done by several vendors.

First Vendor: Garlic bread! Pizza! Spaghetti! Come and get your good, healthy garlic!

First passer-by: What, garlic? A *spice* in jolly old English cooking?

Second passer-by: Cor blimey! Next thing you know the ruddy old fool will want us to drink our beer cold!

Second vendor: Crosses! Rosaries! Holy water! Keep yourself safe from the undead!

Third passer-by: Flaming papist! I'd rather have the vampires!

Third vendor: Stakes and hammers! Only a tuppence!

Enraged, the throng surrounds the third vendor and hurls him from the dock and into the Thames. Unable to contain himself, van Helsinger bursts into song:

Why can't the English learn to stake
when a vampire their blood comes to take?
When faced by a walking deadman they must call upon a Dutchman!
Oh why can't the English learn to stake?

Why can't the English learn to burn
When a vampire threatens them to turn?
Why do they merely yearn to put it in an urn?
Oh why can't the English learn to burn?

Why can't the English learn to cross
when faced with their sanguinary loss?
Their anti-Roman heresy leaves them all at sea!
Oh why can't the English learn to cross?

Why can't the English learn to tan
when a nighttime monster they would ban?
When confronted by Drac's death wish they're still paler than the Irish!
Oh why can't the English learn to tan?

Van Helsinger takes his luggage and stalks away.

The sun sets, the crowd thins, and the lid on one of the newly-delivered crates opens.

Eliza Bathory rises from the dead, stretches, yawns and looks around, and calls out to a nearby stevedore.

Eliza: Here, dearie, where can I hire a wagon to deliver my earth-boxes?

Stevedore: I can tike care of that for ye, lass. Just arrived in London, have ye? Come to find a castle, feast on the upper crust and make your fortune?

Eliza: Oh, I'm never so ambitious as that!

And Eliza begins to sing:

All I want is a tomb somewhere
Far away from the sun's cruel glare
With a virgin upon to fare,
Oh wouldn't it be lovely?

All I want is a grave somewhere
with a renfield for whom I'll care
when he brings me victims from Mayfair.
Oh wouldn't it be lovely?

All I want is a crypt somewhere
like a place in a dark nightmare
a home that all my childer share.
Oh wouldn't it be lovely?

Eliza would sing some more verses, but she spots a streetwalker who totes a huge knife. Eliza hastens to feed on her.

SCENE TWO: The London Morgue. Sundown.

It's a ghastly place, with the heart of Margaret Thatcher and the brain of Ian Paisley displayed under matching microscopes. The torn and bloodied bodies of a man and woman lie on adjacent slabs.

Van Helsinger enters with four other men, who lead him to the man's slab.

Dr. John Serenade: This man was Jack the Ripper.

Lord Arthur Gottasing: Now he's as dead as a kipper.

Quincy P. Morrisdance: But how did he get that way?

Jonathan Harper: None of us can say.

van Helsinger: You look at his ripped-up throat and tell me you don't know how he died?

Serenade: Yes, even though numerous autopsies we've tried.

Morrisdance:Now this woman was Plain Jane the Stabbing Pain.

Gottasing: She terrorized London thoughout Victoria's reign.

Harper: But now her cause of death we cannot find.

van Helsinger: Gott in Himmel, you must be blind!

Serenade: But in countless slashes her flesh is cloaked!

Gottasing: While with gouts of blood her skin is soaked!

van Helsinger: Can't you see the two holes in her neck? The other wounds are secondary! The only wounds that matter are here in the throat! Gentlemen, The--stains--on--Jane--come--mainly--from--her--vein!

Harper: What's that?

Van Helsinger answers by singing the obvious:

The stains on Jane come mainly from her vein!

Morrisdance: By George, I think he's had it!

Serenade: So the stains--

Gottasing: From her vein! From her vein!

Harper: On Jane! On Jane!

All: The stains on Jane come mainly from her vein!

Serenade: And the hacks? In Jack?

van Helsinger: In his back! In his back!

All: The hacks in Jack are mainly in his back!

The chorus is a racket to wake the dead, and it does.

Jane jumps up, covers her ears and dashes out of the morgue.

Morrisdance: Goodness gracious me!

Gottasing: She became a vampire!

van Helsinger: The astuteness of the London observer never fails to astound me.

Harper looks at the empty slab.

Harper: So what do we do now that we no longer have her corpse to examine?

van Helsinger: Now we go out and hunt this new vampire!

Serenade: Why?

van Helsinger: Why? Because vampires upset the preordained order of society! To tolerate vampires is to open the door to social chaos!

Morrisdance: That sounds like fun.

van Helsinger: Fun? Fun? Let me tell you what would follow if we didn't stamp out this menace! (singing)

Once you let a vampire in your life
the world begins to fill with strife.
These creatures, supernatural,
soon lead to things unnatural
so never let a vampire in your life.

Once you let a vampire in your life
you will get no peace out of your wife!
The next breach in the moat
comes when women want the vote
so never let a vampire in your life!

Once you let a vampire in your life
the world with changes soon grows rife!
At you all races and religions
will jabber in their pidgins
so never let a vampire in your life!

Once you let a vampire in your life
revolution plays its tune upon its fife!
Class and privilege become a hash,
you can't even dare to gay-bash
once you've let a vampire in your life!

Thoroughly and easily persuaded, the others look ready to follow van Helsinger anywhere . . . although they hesitate as he heads for the men's room.

SCENE THREE: Highgate Cemetery. Night.

As Eliza stands by the entrance to the Westenra family tomb she is approached by Lucy Westenra, who has quite recovered from her encounter with van Helsinger.

Eliza: Why, hello, dearie, always good to meet the new neighbors.

Lucy: Oh, have you been interred here?

Eliza: No, I just moved into Carfax Abbey. Its last owner left town rather suddenly, they say.

Lucy: Ah, poor, dear Vlad . . .

Eliza: You sound like you lost your head over him.

(Lucy fingers her neck in obvious rememberance.)

Lucy: No, but I did have a rather close shave, old girl. Hello, who's this?

(Jane enters. She looks baffled by her new undead state.)

Jane: Something starnge has happened . . . I feel . . .

Eliza: Hungry? Thirsty?

Jane: Why, yes! But for what?

Lucy: For blood.

Jane: Blood--but how do I get blood?

Eliza: By hunting and biting. Oh, don't look so shocked, there's nothing easier and blood does such marvelous things!

singing & dancing ensue:

Your curse gave you two strong fangs
to help you curb your hunger pangs
and with a little bit of blood,
yes a little bit of blood,
you won't feel cursed at all

(skeletons spring from graves to sing the chorus:)

With a little bit, with a little bit,
with a little bit of blood you won't feel cursed.

You can wear a cape and you can change your shape
as you prowl the night with your mouth agape
and with a little bit of blood
yes a little bit of blood
you will never have a close scrape.

With a little bit, with a little bit,
with a little bit of blood you will never have a close scrape.

Jane: Let's go hunting now!

All agree this is a fine idea, and they safari on the streets of London. Victims fall at an alarming rate, and Jane in particular is so enthusiastic that it will be standing room only at the morgue tomorrow. Indeed, she is still exuberant as she returns to Highgate with her companions, and Jane sings exultantly while Eliza and Lucy sing back-up:

I could have stalked all night,
I could have stalked all night,
and still have hunted more!

I could have bit all night,
I could have bit all night,
and still have wanted gore!

I could have preyed all night,
I could have preyed all night,
and drained them to the core!

I could have fought all night,
I could have fought all night,
and then let out a roar!

She twirls around happily.

Jane: Let's go out again!

Eliza: Sorry, it's too close to dawn.

Lucy: Yes, you'd better find a resting place fast!

At once Jane begins to search Highgate for a "Vacancy" or "To Let" sign as she sings:

I'm getting buried in the morning!
"Ding-dong" the fun'ral bells will chime!
I'm not in mourning,
but dawn is a warning,
so get me to my grave on time!

I'm getting planted in the morning!
On me the worms will want to feast!
I don't mean to chide
but I must hide
from that awful light in the east!

Jane finds an empty, freshly-dug grave, waves all a cheery adieu and settles down for the day.

Alas, as the light grows van Helsinger and company enter the stage. Van Helsinger locates and stakes first Jane, then Lucy, after which he lights up a cigar and massages his arm.

Van Helsinger: Ah, woe is me! My arm shall ache for weeks from all this hammering!

At this sad news, his companions begin a dirge:

Poor van Helsinger! Poor van Helsinger!
Stiff and sore, and still a bore
he gives the vampires what-for!
He opens graves, he pounds in staves,
and the dust coats him in waves.
It may seem sick that he's so quick
to hammer in that sharp stick
but he does his best to bring them rest
as part of his demented quest.

All the hunters save Morrisdance shuffle off the stage.

Morrisdance looks glumly at Lucy's now-empty coffin and sings:

I have stood by this grave before
and seen the stake driven once before.
But now this deed I do abhorr
for I am not a moral dinosaur
and the deeds of that old inquisitor
are now a pain in my posterior.

Morrisdance picks up an old flower, leaves it in the coffin and departs.

The sun sets and as night falls Eliza returns. She enters Lucy's tomb and spots some ashes which fell from van Helsinger's cigar.

Eliza: Lucy? You've lost weight.

Then she sees Lucy's open coffin, and the used stake that lies in it. Instantly comprehending what has happened, she begins an angry song:

Just you wait, van Helsinger, just you wait!
You'll be dead and dusty before too late!
With cross and fire you'll keep me at bay
and you'll feel very safe all through the day!
But some night your defenses will fail
and then you'll shriek and cry and wail
for you'll fear it's Vlad Impaler on your tail!
So just you wait, van Helsinger, just you wait!

SCENE FOUR: The Carlton Club. Night.

As was customary before its destruction in the Blitz, the Carlton Club is awash with Tories in assorted stages of decrepitude. Into this morass stride van Helsinger and his fellow hunters, still dusty from their work at Highgate. Lord Gottasing speaks to a maid.

Gottasing: Drinks all around, port for my friends.

Morrisdance looks glum as the maid vanishes into the recesses of the gentlemen's club.

Morrisdance: None for me, thank you.

Serenade: My dear chap, it's positively indecent that you don't need a glass of port at a time like this.

Harper: It must be some jolly old Texas custom. These Yanks are rather peculiar blighters at time, what?

van Helsinger: Come, come, let's not bicker in our moment of triumph.

Gottasing: It's not a full triumph. We missed the third vampire. It'll be out for revenge.

Serenade: Don't fret, old bean, we're safe here.

van Helsinger nods as the maid returns with a tray of drinks.

Van Helsinger: Indeed, no vampire can enter a building uninvited.

All but Morrisdance take a glass of port from the maid's tray. They toast one another and drink.

Then van Helsinger drops his glass as the obvious dusks upon him:

Van Helsinger: Gott in Himmel, a maid in a gentlemen's club?

Gottasing: It's no maid, it's a vampire!

Harper: But--how did it get in here? It wasn't invited!

Eliza drops her tray, ruining her disguise as a maid.

Eliza: Silly boy, how does any monster get invited into the Carlton Club?

Serenade: You're a Tory?

Eliza: I even voted for Margaret Thatcher--*once.*

This admission of blackhearted evil so astonishes Serenade, Harper and Gottasing that they swoon. As the other club members swarm around the fallen men Eliza flees, pursued by van Helsing and Morrisdance. Outside the club she turns into a bat and eludes them.

van Helsinger: The fiend poisoned the drinks!

Morrisdance: The poison didn't hurt you.

van Helsinger: Ach, I must be one of the fortunate immune. Come, dear boy, let us destroy this monster!

SCENE FIVE: Carfax Abbey. Daytime.

Morrisdance, alone, enters Eliza's new digs. He prowls the dusty rooms and halls, then jumps when Eliza appears from the shadows.

Eliza: Is that a stake in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Morrisdance: I left my stake in my other suit. You're up late.

It's not what Eliza expected to hear.

Eliza: Why are you here?

Morrisdance: To warn you that van Helsinger is still hunting you. If you don't hide he'll destroy you. Even your poison couldn't stop him.

Eliza: Of course not. How can poison compete with him? Everything about him is so strange! In fact you're all like that!

And it's not enough to say it; she has to sing about it:

Why can't a human be like a vamp?
Put a fang in your neck and you're a nervous wreck!
You always have stake and hammer at your call and beck!
From darkness and gloom you always flee
as if from mysteries you would be free!
Now why can't a human be like a vamp?

Why can't a human be like a vamp?
You have your ways and I have mine,
but do *I* insist you give up the sunshine?
I sleep in a coffin, not a bed,
a fact that makes you lose your head!
Oh why can't a human be like a vamp?

Although Morrisdance is clearly fascinated by Eliza, two stanzas are all he can take before he has to sing:

Words! Words! Words!
I'm so sick of words!
If you're in love, bite me!

To make a long scene short, she does so. As Eliza finishes drinking his blood, Morrisdance rises as a vampire. Such an event would be good for another song parody, but they've got better things to do as they go out and hunt.

SCENE SIX: Highgate Cemetery. High noon.

Alone, van Helsinger barges into a tomb and finds a coffin on the floor. He opens it and finds Eliza and Morrisdance together.

van Helsinger: Gott in Himmel, *two* vampires to destroy and I only have one stake!

However, he clearly realizes that the way the resting vampires have embraced one another will let him place the stake through both their hearts. The hunter prepares to do the deed when quite suddenly his intended victims wake and rise.

van Helsinger: How is this possible with the sun in the sky?

Eliza: Looked at the sun lately, dearie?

van Helsinger glances at the darkness outside the door.

van Helsinger: Pesky total eclipses!

Without further ado Morrisdance attacks van Helsinger. They grapple as Morrisdance prepares to bite van Helsinger's throat.

van Helsinger: My boy! How can you fall into this cult of vampirism! How can you succumb to this curse?

Morrisdance: Curse? Where else but in a musical would a vampire interrupt his meal to sing?

I've grown accustomed to her fate!
To my days spent sleeping in Highgate!
Stalking through the night for blood
then resting in the loam like a spud!

Running as a wolf and flitting as a bat
from the menace of a staking polecat
whose blood I shall now vacate
as his habits I liquidate
for I've grown accustomed to her fate!

van Helsinger, not to be outdone, prepares to reply with a tune of his own. He opens his mouth as Morrisdance fangs his throat, and van Helsinger graces the stage with these lyrics:

Urk!

Morrisdance finishes his midday snack, then settles into his grave with Eliza Bathory. The eclipse ends and they all die happily ever after.




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