01 Plague Season for Web

From the novel BATS ^^ö^^

Chapter 6: Plague Season:

Young Jonathan Tepes visit’s his great-great-great-great-great grandfather Vlad Tepes Dracula. After being questioned by the two gargoyles on top of the drawbridge during Plague Season, in full swing, outside, Jonathan finally meets old Vlad.

“Speaking of bats,” asked Jonathan, “what kind of bats were those outside?””

“Ve don’t have…bats. Those vere mosquitos. Big vuns! Velcome home, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson! Those bats that ve don’t have, do you find them…scary?”

“No. Not scary, sir.” Tired of scrunching his eyelids together, Jonathan took his phone out of his pocket and turned on the candle app called Fliqer that simply displayed a video of a burning candle.

(Eleven-year-old Myron Frickleberg designed Fliqer for rock fans to wave around in the air, like a lighter, during rock ‘n’ roll anthems. Fliqer became a standard for informal candlelit dinners and Myron quickly became a millionaire.)

By the eerie glow of his Fliqer app, Jonathan saw his nefarious ancestor Vlad the Impaler for the first time.

Wow! he thought. The old sucker could be my twin if it weren’t for that silly porn mustache—and he’s evil and much older and not as cool as I am.

Behind the Prince, propped against the wall, Jonathan saw the form of a corpse dressed in a butler’s uniform.

“Follow me into my dining room. There is better light for…reading. The Prince lit his phone’s candle app named Happy Birthday. He opened a hidden section of wall that revealed a long staircase that led into a basement. He spoke as they descended hundreds of feet below the earth. “I vas told by my aunty, who is a vorld-renowned vriter, that you vere seeking out great letters of love and loss. Years ago, a beaten man came to my door. He had been attacked by a rabid badger vhile valking near my castle. Before he collapsed at my feet, he vhispered the name Penelope. I found these letters in his pocket and recognized their significance immediately. The whole vorld had been following the correspondence between Lord Huthbert and Lady Penelope for two centuries. I have…in my possession, the original copy of the final letter sent to Lady Penelope, vherever she is now, dated May 31, 1784.”

“No way!”

“Vay.”

Jonathan gulped. “Thank you, sir. I can finish my work.”

“No, young Jonathan. As Karen Carpenter, that cute little skeleton, alvays sang, ‘Ve’ve only just begunnnnnnn.’”

Apparently, Vlad was as tone-deaf as his kin Jonathan.

“I hear that you vere looking for my banker Karoly. He got a little hung up, but your own father told me to make sure that I gave you…your inheritance.” 

“From his last will?”

“His most recent vill, anyvays. Catch.”

The Prince flung a roll of moldy cash that landed in Jonathan’s hand.