This Week’s Challenge
[Fiction] Friday Challenge for August, 31 2007:Pick a famous fictional character (for our purposes here it can be any character from fiction, mythology, legend, comic books...whatever) and give them a secret vice---at the very least it should be distateful if not outright illegal. Now give the character's rationale in their own words.Example: Have Santa explain why he looks through women's drawers during his rounds.Note: This is an exercise in learning about a point of view other than your own, not linguistics---so if you'd like Huck Finn to explain his drug use you can skip the accents or period English.
Ew! This one is hard. Right now, my brain is rather befuddled and foggy -- so even thinking of a FAMOUS fictional character is difficult right now. Right now, my brain can only think as far as last week's theme and how I did a twist on vampires for it -- so, the character is Count Dracula.
Now, there is a bundle of vices all wrapped up neatly into a cryo-vac package -- what new and probably illegal secret vice could HE have, I wonder? And how could such a person/creature rationalize any of it?
[deleted stuff -- I went to Wikipedia for info on vices and picked up a couple that might be funny to work with for my chosen character ... so here it continues ...]
HOO! Count Dracula's vice is VANITY!
What a hoot!
Now, how can he justify it?
I don't know how he can JUSTIFY being vain but it might explain his preference for female "victims" ...
NOTE: I have no idea if Vlad was charming, handsome or short and hideous; this IS FICTION after all. :-)
Vlad strode purposefully around the room. Where was that blasted journalist anyhow? Didn't she know how unbusy he was these days? Rage at being abused so wantonly by her lateness welled up within him. He actually didn't have anything better to do and that added to his anger.
Everyone said he was soulless. That was their reasoning for why he just didn't show up in their mirrors. It was still an odd sensation to walk past a mirror, even after all these centuries. There were his clothes, his watch and his hat. Just no face, no hands, no "him" in the reflection looking back at him.
He was heartless. Not soulless. Heartless. His heart had died a long time ago, but he continued on and on and on and on.
The tap at the door of the cavernous library echoed for a second. The door opened slowly and the old butler shuffled in. "The lady reporter, sir, has arrived."
Vlad stalked to the door and followed the butler to the small sitting room where the woman had been deposited to await his summons or arrival. He stood in the doorway just a moment, watching her wander the room. She was staring at the paintings, scribbling in her notepad and shooting digital snapshots of the artworks. He wondered if she would be foolish enough to want to take his picture with that stupid contraption.
Why had he agreed to this interview in the first place. His annoyance was growing by the second. Then she turned to face him, a smile on her lips as she approached, extending her hand to him.
He knew she meant to shake his hand but the admiration he saw in her eyes made him lift her hand to his lips and kiss it in the oh so old-fashioned manner of a gentleman.
He no longer travelled about, biting women in the neck, to survive. He had an entire crew of workers and volunteers who worked exclusively for him -- running community blood drives all over the country. Ah, the donations went up so high after any disaster struck. If only he could go out and create disasters, then the generosity of humanity would forever be increased!
His personal needs were simple. Two pints a day: A, B, O, AB, positive, negative -- it didn't matter. Blood, for him, was blood. Though, he really wasn't the monster everyone believed him to be -- he was careful to not use the rarer blood types; he actually left those for the people who really needed it.
The interview was far different than he had expected. He had expected to be asked how he had become a vampire, why he bit only women, how many did he bite over the years, how often, etc. The usual bunch of mass-delusional garbage the superstitious and weak-minded asked. No, this woman asked really stupid things like what was his favorite color, and did he have a lucky number. She asked if he read the latest best selling novel and if he had seen the summer's blockbuster swashbuckler movie. She had laughed at his lame attempts at humorous answers to her dumb questions. For some reason, his anger and annoyance had melted away when she had pretended to swoon after he had kissed her hand.
It had been a very long time since a woman had looked at him that way -- seeing him as a desirable man and not as a monster. Even though she hadn't asked, he began to explain himself to her. "Do you find me attractive?" he asked her, his vanity demanding to know if he was still as attractive to women as he had once been centuries ago -- but now, the mirror refused to reveal to him.
Vlad could tell she was surprised by his direct question, aimed at her. She was the interviewer, she thought. After a pause, dare she say yes or should she say no? Which one was more dangerous? And, honestly, did she want to avoid danger? She was here after all. What dangers had she faced lately? Oh yeah, that cauldron that boiled too hard all the time and splatted out the oatmeal every morning, threatening to stain her cardigan. She hadn't experienced any adventure or danger at all since Harry had killed Voldemort and Ron had asked her to marry him.
"Bite me, okay," Hermione finally answered.
Vlad was a bit shocked at first, but ever since he got that dang laptop computer, had logged on to the Internet and discovered Blogs -- he'd learned that "Bite me" was not an invitation for him to sink his fangs into a beautiful neck. It was a sort of put down.
He was depressed. It must have shown in his demeanor.
"No, seriously, bite me!" Hermione Weasley demanded. "My husband is a twit. He thinks he is famous because he is the best friend of someone famous. He keeps reliving the glory days. I'm sick of it. Sick of him."
A look of ... "was that rapture?" Vlad thought as he watched her talk more than listen to her words. Yes, it was. What was she saying? He better pay attention, this could be important. Maybe "bite me" wasn't a put down after all.
"... so, you see, I was the brains of it all. Without me, they would never have succeeded at all. Next time they have an all-powerful evil to contend with, it will be me! I'll be immortal, I know more than they do, and ..." Vlad stopped listening again.
Ah, vanity thy name is woman. And he thought he had been vain, and that an eternity of never seeing himself as he is was his punishment. But, eesh, the vanity sitting across from him was more than he could bear. If it would help him die right now, he would blow his brains out. That wouldn't work, his brains would be all over the wallpaper and his body would keep on, like that stupid Energizer Bunny -- and he would be brainless as well as heartless. He needed his brain. Maybe not his heart, but he did need his brain.
Being the heartless jerk that he was, he got up and left the room, found the butler and had him usher her out the front door. Hermione was so caught up in her nauseating monologue that she didn't even notice. "... I would be far more stealthy and cunning than Volde..." The door of the castle slammed behind her.
Then Vlad returned to the laptop, to the blog he had been reading: http://whigmaleerieworkshop.blogspot.com/2007/08/this-weeks-challenge-fiction-friday.html
(c)2007 Susan D Berg ALL RIGHTS RESERVED