Čachtice, Slovakia (Formerly Hungary)
Inside his melon-sized head, the bus driver heard the menacing voice of Boris Karloff: “Even your bus is dead, Kimo.”
Please! Anywhere but here. Not in front of creepy Čachtice Castle, thought the Type A Tours driver with the name tag: ‘Aloha, My name is Big Kimo.’
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Kimo announced, “we may be here awhile, so you can get out of the bus, walk around a little and stretch if you like.”
Bats and huge fanged moths — the kind that would happily eat your shorts—with you in them — were attracted to the lights within the bus and began pounding themselves against the windows. Anyone who was about to ‘go outside and stretch’ quickly gave up on the foolish idea.
“Look, driver!” Someone stood and pointed out of the right side of the bus. Big Kimo couldn’t see anything, at first.
“It’s a lady!” said a British woman in back.
“Oh, boy…and she has dogs!” said her son. Four shadows trotted from the parked Bats Mobile and took their places behind the Countess. They held baskets in their mouths.
Sure enough, a tall beautiful woman was approaching the bus from the car. She was bathed in moonlight. She wore a bouffant hairdo and a checkered blue homemakers dress straight out of the 1950s. The lovely redhead waved at Kimo through the closed door. She held up a pitcher of an ice-cold beverage and a stack of Dixie Cups. He relaxed.
“Oh goody, goody!” a child in the front seat squealed. “The nice lady brought us Kool-Aid!”
What the tourists thought was rain, started to hit the windows. The drops were plague tears. The sound of the wind was a sickening wheeze.
“Let her in, driver! The poor woman’s blouse is soaked,” a woman from Ireland called out. All of the men were suddenly interested. “It must be the lady of the house,” she said.
I hope it isn’t the lady of the house, thought Kimo. The Bloody Countess, Elizabeth Bathory once lived here. That was centuries ago. Still, it is Čachtice!
The canines stood guard in shadows behind their mistress. Kimo opened the glass door—Oh, what the hell—with a hiss. “The dogs will have to stay outside.” The tall beauty, a very well-put-together June Cleaver—he thought, stepped up into the bus taking a wide stance in front in of the passengers. The “nice lady,” wet, was a great deal “nicer” than most had expected. She captured everyone’s complete attention despite their age, sex, race, nationality, or even in the case of Mrs. Bernstein in the back, species.
“Hello, you nice people. I’m Mrs. June Cleaver!” Elizabeth Bathory, The Bloody Countess lied.
Kimo was taken back. Cleaver? Why don’t I like that name?
Her audience was riveted on the icy pitcher of swirling sky blue liquid that she displayed.
“I brought you some refreshments while you are waiting to be rescued,” said the beguiling housewife. “I’ve got dozens of our best local Batina’s cookies and something to quench your thirst. Here! Pass them back. Thank you. If it’s all right with Big Kimo, maybe I could teach you nice folks a little bit about our local cuisine.”
The tired driver nodded, stared out the bus window into the falling tears of regret and moaning thunder, and decided that he didn’t like the size of those dogs. They were very well behaved and they were all wearing white kerchiefs. No, those are bibs! Cleaver. Cleaver. The name still made him nervous.
“We’re proud of our Fritz Haarmann cutlery,” said the perky housewife. “Mr. Haarmann was originally a meat salesman from Germany, but now he makes and tests his fine cutlery products right here in Transylvania.” She smiled at the man sitting in front of her. “Are you from Germany? Then you would certainly appreciate the craftsmanship. I mean, just look at this beautiful cleeeeeeeeaver!” The big bald German didn’t understand one word. While he smiled up at the outline of her ‘chilled’ nipples above, she stared down at the reflection of the blade on his shiny head. She raised her cleaver, “Just feel this edge!”
Soon, Mrs. Cleaver/Elizabeth was doing the backstroke up and down the blood-filled center aisle of the bus as her good doggies dragged piles of tourist vittles into the Countess’ sob-flooded front yard.
The Countess Elizabeth’s housekeeper, Penelope, disposed of the bus with an explosion fueled by bat guano.
All of this took five minutes.
The flapping bats applauded.
Elizabeth, curtsied, leapt into her muscle car, and floored the gas pedal five-hundred miles to Poenari.