8-18 pull finger

In our previous chapter, The Bloody Countess, Elizabeth Bathory had just escaped the captivity of her own castle’s tower (where she was rendered powerless) by the Two Van Helsing twins.

Elizabeth had been forced, as a last resort, to escape her captors by using the classic ‘Pull My Finger’ joke as suggested by her auntie, the witch, Lupta Axe.  

The volcanic release of gas destroyed the tower of Cactice, Elizabeth’s clothes and most of her dignity. She was in no mood for fart jokes when she slipped behind the wheel of her Challenger that had been waiting below in the courtyard, with her family, and pets. 

****

“That’s it!” Elizabeth pulled the Challenger over to the side of the road. “One more fart joke and I’m gonna get out of the car, break your old harpy head, dig a fuckin’ hole, and…and…then I’ll…I’ll…”

“I know! I know! You’ll telemarket me at dinnertime and ask me if I can complete a five-minute survey?” yelled Lupta.

“Devious idea, I must admit. Is that what you’d really like me to do, Aunty?”

“No,” said Lupta, sheepishly. “I’m so vewy sowwy.”

“Then watch it, buster!” snapped the Countess.

“Lighten up, Elizabeth,” said Vlad. “Ve’re just breakin’ your balls. It vas a visecrack. Let it go.”

“No, please don’t,” said Jonathan, trying to suppress a giggle.

Countess Elizabeth, emotionally overwrought, buried her face in her hands and began to bawl. Vlad turned his head toward the backseat. “Do you see vhat you kids have done to my Betty?”

“Betty?” asked Lupta. “Who the futen heaven is Betty?”

This the heaven is Betty! My Elizabeth!” screamed the exhausted vampire. “Do you see vhat you’ve all done to my little love-in liver?”

Elizabeth shot Vlad a venomous glance. “Little, huh? I could kick yourrrrrr leathery ass.”

“Listen, dearie,” Lupta said to Elizabeth. “How about a snack? Some leftover caliente casserole?”

Elizabeth steered the car back onto the pavement.

Vlad announced, “Lupta, let’s change the subject. Hey! Let’s sing some folk songs!”

Jonathan, who had begun napping, suddenly looked back toward Mina. “Pass over the guitar, Mina.”

Lupta shouted out, “Jonny, do you know ‘Blowin’ in the Wind?’”

The car jerked to a halt. “Motherfucker! That’s it! I’m gonna destroy that desiccated stick of jerky!” screamed Elizabeth.

“What’s ‘desiccated?’” asked Lupta.

“You! You wi-atch!” Two bolts of lightning shot from the Countess’ black pupils, bounced off the rearview mirror, and set Lupta’s dry haystack of hair on fire.

“Jonathan?” asked Vlad, “My son, vhen you perform music, do you ever take requests?”

“Of course I take requests, sir.”

“Then shut the FUTE up!” said Vlad.

Lupta cackled.

“Whoa!” shouted Vlad, pointing ahead.

“Watch out!” shouted Jonathan.

While the Countess raged, her car narrowly sideswiped a mummy enjoying a foot-dragging stroll near Astray Trail. 

Kharis, the mummy, loved his midnight shuffles, which usually culminated in vengeance upon British scientists and his one good hand squeezing the throat of the reincarnated Princess Ananka, who dared to reject him.

“Jackals! Mummy fuckers! Osiris damn you!” screamed the enraged Kharis. Startled, he had dropped his challis of tanna leaf tea. “Delincvenților minori! (Young punks!)” he cursed and pointed his amulet ring at the car as it passed. “Taco wagon!” Disgusted, the mummy tried to resume the slow, easy pace of his evening shuffle.

Dino the wolf howled toward the moon above. (“We saw a mummy, and we have had five hundred miles of open window!”)

Lupta leaned forward. “Countess! That walking first-aid kit back there just  called your ride a taco wagon!”

Elizabeth pulled a screeching donut in the middle of the highway at ninety miles per hour until she spotted the sluggish mummy crossing the highway. “Taco wagon, huh!” said Elizabeth as she slammed into old gauze-face and watched him unravel for over a quarter-mile along the double yellow line.

***

At 1 a.m. Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” began to play on the car radio—to the Countess’ obvious displeasure. “Change the station! Now!”

Elizabeth had had enough guano for one night. Her rage was suddenly broken, when above the loud music, a loud knocking came from the rear of the car.

“What in blessed heaven?” cursed the dozing Jonathan.

“Flat tire?” asked Lupta. 

“Oh, no. Not now!” said Mina.

“It’s your housekeeper,” said Vlad. “She might be lonely, stuffed back there. Maybe she’s hungry. You better pull over. Zombies are God’s monkey wrenches to be thrown into the machinery vhen things seem to be running smoothly. Full of surprises.”

Lupta blurted out, “Like a whoopie cushion?” Vlad shot her a glance and shook his head. “Ixnay on the artfay.”

Frankie Lane’s “They Called the Wind Mariah” blasted from the radio. Luckily, Elizabeth didn’t hear Lupta’s comment as she steered onto the shoulder and stopped. “Open the trunk, Jonny boy!”

She threw Jonathan the keys. He jumped out, and stood back as he flipped open the trunk. Elizabeth reached for her pistol from beneath the front seat and got out. The rest followed. The light from the trunk shone on Mina as she stood guard with a hammer, a machete, a wooden stake, and a small round hand mirror in case there was any funny business with the zombie.

“Son of a bitch!” said Jonathan. “Elizabeth! A gun? I thought the miserable woman was dead.”

“She is, kiddo,” said Elizabeth, firing three shots into Penelope’s wormy cadaver.

“Well, you just killed her again!” said Lupta.

Elizabeth took a breath, relaxed her shoulders, and lifted the pistol. “Like Vlad said, ‘It’s only murder if they stay dead!’ Right? Remember when we had to do this to Billie Bats?”

Jonathan grabbed her wrist. “Wait! Don’t shoot the face! She’s got a big date with Huthbert.”

“Let her rest in peace. She’s dead enough,” said Vlad. “Do you feel better now? Ve need to get back before sunup.”

Willowy Mina gently removed the gun from Elizabeth’s hand and took out a hand mirror. The radio was playing “Killing Me Softly” by Roberta Flack.

“Mina darling, can you still see your reflection?” asked Elizabeth who was trying to catch whatever she called breath.

“No. But I can see Penelope behind me.” Mina faced away from the trunk and held up the small mirror, took aim at Penelope, and continued to empty two more rounds into the dismal rotting thing.

“Nice shot, Mina!” said Jonathan. “You finally hit something that you were aiming at!”

“You should talk, Mr. I-Don’t-Need-To-Put-The-Seat-Up.” Mina handed the gun back to the Countess. “Zombies are like inflatable punching clowns. Let’s go kill something alive. I’m ready for fast moving targets. I need more points.”

Vlad sympathetically placed his filthy razor-sharp claws on Elizabeth’s shoulder as she walked around to the driver’s side. “Vould you like me to…drive?”

Without answering, the Countess pocketed the gun, climbed back into the driver’s seat  and paused to take another breath before turning the ignition key. “I’ll be okay! Besides, none of you ‘fiiiiiiine nobility’ know how to f’n drive!” Elizabeth said with a snark. “Just shut your fly traps. All of you.” She pulled the Challenger back onto the pavement. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Well, then,” said Lupta. “You’d better step on the—”

“Don’t say it!” Now, hurtling down Route 13, Elizabeth took the gun out of her pocket and pointed it back toward Lupta. “Not one word, muthafutensfiudecățeanemerniciard! I should never have plucked her from that Salem barbecue in 1692.” The little witch held her crooked hands up in mock defense.

This time, Vlad turned his head around 180 degrees, turned crimson, and roared within a torrent of bile. “You do not vant Elizabeth to stop the car…again, and have me come back there! I promise that all of you vill not be able to sit for a veek…Vhat the fute is that noise?”

Out of the trunk they heard a tortured moan.

“Oh, no,” said Mina.

“Moses fucking H. Christ! What does that dust magnet want NOW?!” hissed the exasperated Countess.

Another loud bang and “Wwharrrrrrrruuuuumnk!” came out of the trunk. (Zombish translation: “Are we almost there? I have to go pottyyyyy.”)

“I dunno. Zombies are kinda cool,” Jonathan said. “They just don’t give a dusty fart about anything. Oops, sorry, ma’am.”

Elizabeth gave him a look that could kill.

“Too late!” he winked back at her noticing that he could no longer see himself in the rear view mirror.