Over the centuries, Vlad and Elizabeth had consumed their entire human armies. They never once considered their “nom-nom-nom’s” or victimelor (victim’s) advice about creating new armies made up of the undead that had, for decades, been utilized successfully at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Prince and Countess had “lost” their household staffs years ago. They’d also slaughtered their so-called “friends” and loyal subjects who did no more than plead for their puny lives. Elizabeth asked Lupta if she could “dig up a few distant relatives” after both herself and Vlad had had children centuries ago, all who eventually “flew the belfry.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” said the witch. “I’ve got a line on two of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandkids who so far are, well, not that great. There are some shadows in their lives. Hmmm, they might have potential. Right now, they just look like a couple of smelly hippies.”

After extensive research, Lupta pinpointed the two youngsters—both living far away, like in, fer sure, sunny Southern California. This looks promising! Both their addresses were listed exactly where the crystal iBall had indicated, near Santa Monica. And both could be found on the dating site Blacksheepshame.com, “Where the lowest common denominator of psychopaths meet!”

Vlad’s great-grandson, eight times removed, was one of them. He was Jonathan Tepes, a part-time junior college literature teacher, Santa Monica lifeguard, and tone-deaf folk singer. The young man looked very much like Vlad—without the mustache—who also had a striking resemblance to the singer James Taylor—before Mr. Taylor had lost all-his-fuckin’ hair. Blacksheepshame.com also showed that Jonathan had a “history,” a string of assaults on his police record.

Wilhelmina (Mina) Bathory Blythe (the Countess Bathory’s great-granddaughter, eight times removed) was a lithesome blonde, age thirty-two, who owned a small cosmetics company. Young Mina also had a passion for guns and was once arrested for “ghoulish behavior” and the illegal trafficking of human organs…(?!) If she were dark haired, Lupta the witch thought, she would look like a thinner Elizabeth. That cute ass of her’s nails it. On a dating app description she’d listed herself as “all willowy an’ shit.”

Transylvania needed new blood—now. Lupta would make both of these children offers that they couldn’t refuse. The two young people had never met, until Lupta put her spells in motion …one day…

***

I feel so “willowy” today, Mina thought. I’m young, blonde, thin, and springtime fresh! (She wasn’t that young.)

(Imagine, dear reader: Can you picture her long fine hair blowing in the late afternoon breeze as she walks along Palisades Park above the sparkling Pacific? Can you see her as she kneels to pick flowers on her way toward her “favoritest” bench overlooking the Santa Monica pier? Oh look! There sits a handsome minstrel!)

Graceful Mina, holding a fistful of traumatized wildflowers viciously torn from their roots, approached the young man in slow motion. The smooth, shirtless, and easygoing young fellow was butchering James Taylor’s hit song, “Laid Back and Cool,” on his guitar beneath an oak tree.

“You sound just like James Taylor!” said the willowy one who, luckily for Jonathan, was also tone-deaf.

“I assume that you mean the young James Taylor, the carefree James with long, thick hair. Alas! Fair maiden! You look just like Gwyneth Paltrow. All willowy an’ shit,” said His Mellowness.

“My name is Wilhelmina Blythe. You, my handsome thirty-something-year-old irresponsible type, can call me Mina,” said the thirty-something-year-old faux Paltrow. “Someday I will be a princess!”

“Aye, my princess, my name is Jonny, short for Jonathan. The life of an irresponsible musician is in my blood. My father, Jonathan Tepes, was also a musician. He too was a talentless irresponsible leech…‘cept he’s bald and old. Observe, dear maiden, I’m lanky and young and cool without a care in the world. I don’t carry a wallet or wear a shirt. You, my dear, look extra extra extra willowy to me.” He attempted a few major sixth and seventh chords from a song by Bread. He knew that those soft romantic chords were willowy chick magnetizers.

“I am willowy,” Mina said. “You could blow me away with a fart.”

Jonathan, who had just eaten at Tito’s Tacos, tooted. A breeze ruffled through the green grass. She grabbed onto a nearby tree for safety.

Jonathan smiled. “A fart straight from my heart, dear maiden. I haven’t bathed in a week or washed my underwear in a month. I pray that it doesn’t offend thee. I’ve been living off of the land, our Mother Earth, since this morning.”