Funny Suspense Fantasy

A loud knocking woke The Count from his deep slumber.

The oversized stone slab made a grinding noise as it slid off the coffin. A sleepy and rather annoyed-looking vampire clambered out. On a small table beside the coffin sat a glass filled with a viscous red liquid—blood. In two gulps, The Count drank it and headed toward the front door of his manor.

Shadows loomed in every corner of the mansion, as The Count saw no reason to waste candles on such a frivolous idea as light. He could see perfectly fine in the dark.

When he reached his destination and opened the enormous front door, a small man stood there. On his face sat an odd contraption—two circular pieces of glass over each eye, which were held by a thin length of metal, the metal then curved over the nose and both ears. 

Humans are curious creatures, aren’t they?

The Count regarded him for a moment. Then, he decided it wasn’t worth his time and began to close the door.

“Wait!” The man on the porch said, clearing his throat. “I’m here for the job.”

Job? What job?

Then, he remembered the night he had overindulged a bit too much and thought it would be funny to post a fake posting for an assistant. Never would he have imagined that someone would actually show up. After all, he was “The Count of Death” … Or, at least, that’s what they usually yell when he comes looking for a snack.

The Count fully opened the door. He loomed over the man. A towering figure who stalled fear in the hearts of man; to gaze upon him is to know death itself.

The human who stood before, however, The Count now seemed different. It was the look in his eyes—unafraid and passionate. It piqued his interest.

“Hmmm,” The Count mused. “a job you say?”

He carefully observed the man, looking for any indications of doubt in him.

“Yes.” He held up a poster that said, Assistant Wanted.

“Well, by all means then. Come right in. Let us have a chat about your qualifications.”

The Count stepped aside to make room for the man to enter.

Just when I was getting hungry, too. Fate works in mysterious ways.

The halls of The Count’s manor were dark and foreboding. It twisted and turned at odd angles, with cobwebs hanging beside the remains of human skeletons. The Count grimaced at the state of his mansion. He wasn’t one to care about appearances much, but the level of disarray was starting to get out of control, even for him.

After a few more moments, they found themselves sitting in a grand room. Each sat in an ornately decorated wooden chair at the end of an absurdly long table. The Count decided to start the conversation.

“So, you wish to work for me?” He said, his voice echoing slightly.

“Did you say something!?” The man yelled from across the table. “I can barely hear you!”

The Count sighed heavily.

I knew I shouldn’t have brought him to this table. 

The last person to come to the manor had been decades ago. It was becoming apparent that The Count had lost some of his gracefulness over the years due to this isolation.

He flew out of his chair, letting his violet-colored cape dance as he walked toward the other end of the hall.

Once he stood before the man, he slumped into a chair, trying to look as regal as possible.

“So, you wish to work for me?” He said evenly.

“Yes. I believe it would be a mutually beneficial relationship.”

The Count drew a deep breath, then gave a roaring chuckle. The laughter continued for several moments until he sobered and looked at the man with a stoic look. 

“And what would stop me from gorging on you right now, savoring the blood as it seeps out of your neck, hmmm?”

The man didn’t flinch.

“Absolutely nothing.” He said, his tone natural with no sign of cracking.

The Count was baffled by his guest. The man acted like he wasn’t afraid of The Count, but that shouldn’t be possible. He was The Count, feared and hated by all of humanity 

“Who are you?” The Count said, feeling curious for the first time in a long while.

The man took a moment to answer. “I am Articules, and I will become the world’s greatest alchemist.”

Silence filled the air, followed by more laughter from The Count. When The Count calmed down and looked back at Articules. His expression was unchanged. Articules’s eyes were filled with resolve and determination. For a moment, The Count wondered who the vampire was.

He shook his head slightly. “So, you come to me hoping I teach you my secrets?”

For the first time since they met each other, Articules’s confidence broke slightly. He looked away from The Count’s questioning glare.

“Everyone knows you are leagues above mankind in terms of technology. Although looking around the place, one could be led to believe otherwise.” Articules glanced around at The Count’s home before looking at him in the eyes. “I will do whatever work needs to be done. If you teach me what you know of alchemy, I will give you everything I have.”

“Even your life?” The Count said and raised an eyebrow.

“Even my life, yes.” Articules said, passion leaking from each word.


Without saying anything, The Count stood up abruptly. He walked toward the hallway and heard Articules sigh loudly behind him. Before he left, however, he called out to Articules. 

“Follow me.”

He led them to a pair of perforated metal doors. The doors opened like an accordion, and they stepped inside a cage. The door shut with a metallic click. After a moment, they began to descend into the earth. The Count was familiar with the sensation but wondered how Articules was handling it. He turned his head and saw a white-faced Articules hold onto the wall as they descended.

Once they reached the bottom, the doors opened again. The Count, accompanied by Articules, got out, and the door shut behind them. 

“What was that thing?” Articules asked.

“I thought you said you wanted to become an alchemist?” The Count said in a facetious manner. He waved for Articules to follow and continued walking.

They traveled across a long bridge flanked by massive metallic containers with small tubs connecting them. Steam escaped from a few places, and they gave off a substantial amount of heat. Any inventor would marvel at the majesty and ingenuity of the creations, but they weren’t here for that now.

After many minutes of walking, they arrived at a large workstation with glass containers, impressive-looking mortars and pestles, and various crucibles. 

The Count looked over at Articules and saw that his eyes were wide with his jaw hanging open slightly. He knew his personal workstation was impressive.

It’s a shame I can rarely use it these days.

“You’re going to let me use this Alchemy’s gear?” Articules looked toward The Count, his eyes hopeful.

“No.” The Count said matter-of-factly. 

Then, he walked over to a dusty, ancient sheet on a small table beside his workstation. The Count dramatically removed the sheet to reveal a workstation with the most straightforward alchemy gear.

“You may use this gear until I can see what you are capable of. That is when you’re not doing the work I require.” The Count said.

He wasn’t sure if Articules would be offended by what he had done, but he didn’t overly care either way.

Articules dropped to one knee, and put his right hand over his heart.

“I swear to do everything I can to make you proud, master.”

The Count sighed.

“Get up.” He motioned for Articules to rise.

Articules did what he was told and rose to his feet. He stood before The Count, who towered over him by several feet.

“I am getting hungry. Go to the village and get me supper.” The Count said.

Articules looked hesitant.

“I don’t kno-”

In an instant, The Count grabbed Articules by the throat and lifted him above his head. The entire atmosphere changed in a moment. Articules gulped visibly and let out a pained cough.

“You have agreed to serve me now. If you ever try to argue with me again, I will killyou. And not just you but everyone you know and love. I know which village you hail from.” The Count paused and took a deep breath through his nose. “I can smell it on you.” Each word was like a dagger.

He held his neck for a few more seconds, then let him go. Articules crumbled to the floor, gasping for air and clutching his throat.

If I didn’t do that now, he would be questioning me until the end of time. I am a vampire, and we need blood to live.

Articules slowly got up to his feet and looked at The Count. His eyes still showed hints of fearlessness but were tempered with newfound fear. 

Articules seemed to resign him and began to walk past The Count. Before he could get too far, though, The Count grabbed him by the arm and turned him around. Using a razor-sharp fingernail, he made a cut on his own arm and let the blood drip down. He brought his arm over Articules’s mouth and made him drink the blood.

“Now, you got what you wanted. Leave now and don’t return until you have what I want.” The Count said.

He watched as Articules left through the two perforated metal doors. Once he was gone, he let out a long breath.

I always hate being the bad guy, but it comes with the territory. I’m just glad he didn’t try to fight back.

The Count walked over to his favorite chair, which was beautifully decorated, and sat down. The Count couldn’t contain satisfaction as a slight grin appeared.

I think this human may be different. What an exciting day this is turning out to be.

September 29, 2023 16:31

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Rose Lind
23:35 Oct 05, 2023

I liked how you had opposite personalities invested in the same motive power and control


Anthony Carello
00:48 Oct 06, 2023

Greatness requires sacrifice. Glad you enjoyed and thank you for commenting.


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Kathryn Kahn
21:15 Oct 05, 2023

I like the ambiguous ending. I sort of want this to be the first chapter of a novel so I can find out what happens.


Anthony Carello
00:47 Oct 06, 2023

I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting.


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Gareth Walcroft
21:42 Oct 04, 2023

The table scene was hilarious, I see that so often in movies and think how can they even hear each other?


Anthony Carello
11:45 Oct 05, 2023

Haha, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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Leigh Johnson
17:55 Sep 29, 2023

I really like the character of the Count. You drew me in at the beginning with the relatable morning monotony and grumpiness contrasted with his coffin and taste for blood. I think you could pace it up a bit more in the middle and maybe show a little of the two of them working together. I think they would be a fun duo to watch “alcheming.” I feel like they would have comical disagreements. Also I think you have a typo in waived-> waved. Fun read! Humor really comes through in the Count’s thoughts.


Anthony Carello
18:03 Sep 29, 2023

Excellent points! I am always happy to hear feedback. However, I wanted some transition between the hall scene and the alchemists' work station scene. Ultimately, it was a stylistic choice. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for commenting! Also, nice catch!


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Terry Jaster
22:43 Jan 27, 2024

Lol! Certainly a new twist on the vampire story. I really enjoyed this story. It seems Drac wasn't really happy with the whole I am the boss thing. All in all a very very good read


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