7 – 1000 (16) – Trapped in Beaufort Castle 5

With difficulty, I took myself off the hook, then made my way over to the pizza box. I flipped it open and ate, ravenously, as if I had been drained and had not eaten in days. My heart pounded.

With my busy schedule I hadn’t eaten in over twelve hours, and even then I was eating with a kind of mania, as if her command to eat the pizza were life or death. I wondered if it had been some powerful hypnosis, or was I simply so overwhelmed I was nearly mad?

I ate the entire large pizza, inhaled it almost, but didn’t even feel full, or that bloated feeling from overeating. Yet still I looked at the empty box and sighed. I would be on the treadmill a lot if I got out of here.

As the post-sex thrill and euphoria of a blowjob passed, I recalled my inevitable fate. What would happen to me? What if this was all just some perverse game? What if she meant to make me a vampire, a blood drinker? Would I never see another sunrise? Would my soul be damned to hell? Would I be an asshole?

Compelled by the same strong force which had made me ravenously eat, her words echoing in my mind, I felt myself drawn downstairs toward my room. As I opened the door and descended the stairs, a dark shape moved suddenly in the hallway. I started, and gasped, retreating up the stairs.

The shadowy figure also gasped, and jumped backward, letting out a very human curse as it did so. As my eyes adjusted to the hallway I saw that it was a short, balding man in a dressing gown, walking with a glass filled with water and something like little flecks floating in it. He had spilled some of his drink onto his robe, and was looking down on it and brushing at it with his hand. In the dim light I saw that it was Mister Renfield.

“Mister Renfield!” I exclaimed.

“Oh well that’s just great…” Renfield said, rubbing at the spot. “I just got this damned bathrobe. So much for the Amazon Gift Card from my mother…”

“Well sorry, ” I said, somewhat irritated by his accusatory tone. “But this happens when you connive to abduct someone.”

Renfield rolled his eyes. “You just got a handjob, you fucker. You should thank me.”

I almost corrected him and said that I got a blowjob, but to be honest it was none of his damn business. “So what is your deal, here, with the Baroness? Are you her lover, too?”

“Hardly. You saw Dracula, right?”

“Which one?”

“Any of them. Dracula is vulnerable during the day, so he takes on Human servants.”

“Well, in the novel, he’s…”

“Shut up. I’m the daytime watchman, and I handle matters in which the Baroness needs a representative.”

“Is that why you are called Renfield? After the spider eating maniac who did Dracula’s bidding?”

He sighed. “As it happens, by coincidence that is my name,” he replied with lidded eyes. “Igor Renfield.”

“Your name is Igor, too? Do you work for a mad scientist, also?”

“Look,” he snapped. “It’s been a long day and I’m starving. I want to grab a few slices of pizza.”

I cleared my throat, and shifted. “Um…”

He stared at me with irritation. “What?”

“Well, she said help myself to the pizza…”

“That’s fine. I mean, it was a large. You couldn’t have eaten the whole thing, could you?”

“Well…”

His face looked so ashen and downcast I almost felt bad for him. “No…” he begged.  “Don’t tell me…”

“I was kinda hungry…” I said.

“God Damn it!” Renfield shouted. “You ate the whole fucking pizza!? Do you know how long it’s been?”

“You got one last week.”

“I get one every week! I’ve been dieting, and…aw balls, I really was looking forward to it!”

He sniffled a bit, and rubbed his nose.

“I guess its spiders and sparrows tonight, then?” I asked.

“I’m going to throw this drink in your face and give you stress damage,” Renfield snapped. He sighed. “I guess it’s Renfield pizza tonight, again.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Cheddar cheese and pepperoni melted in a microwave, then put on a brown rice cake,” he said. He saw my horror and disgust, and nodded.

“I kinda wish I was eating spiders to be honest,” he said. “I hope the pizza was satisfactory, after your handjob, Your Highness.” He bowed with such vitriol that I took a step backward.

“I wanted to just drop the pizza off, for the record,” I replied testily. “Now where is my room?”

He pointed at a door two doors down from the staircase to the attic, near an ornate faux-candle with little flame shaped lightbulbs that shown dimly. “Over there. I’ll be in there in a second.”

“Wait, why are you coming in my room?” I asked.

“To play the game, of course,” he replied.

“Game?”

“She didn’t tell you? Let me guess, she said you’d go rest and sleep or something?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, she instructed me to make sure you were good and tired, and to keep you entertained for tonight,” he said, clearly not looking forward to the task. “Hence, the game. I’ll be right in – I’m just going to get some…well, for lack of a better word, food.”

Renfield departed, and hurried down the stairs towards the kitchens. As he left, I heard him still grumbling about the pizza. With a sigh I approached my room, and let out a yawn. I was tired from my…welcome, but I still felt I could not sleep. In truth I was still overcome with dread, and ill foreboding. Perhaps playing a game, even with so disagreeable a person as Renfield, would take my mind off my fears.

I opened the heavy door to large room with wood-covered walls and floor. The whole room was stained in dark finish with artisan carving, with a large canopy bed dominating the back wall. Curiously, it had no windows, and relied solely on the lights of electric floor lamps, which were on and set dimly in each corner. The room was filled with ornate carvings of animals, with large portraits on the walls along with the stuffed heads of several snarling wolves. Several bureaus were on each wall, with a large mirror above one of them. A suit of armor stood near to the door, bearing a halberd and shield. The floor was a soft green carpet, which looked spotlessly clean.

An old TV was in the corner, one of the giant tube TVs that weighs a ton, in one of the awful old TV cabinets that weigh even more still. The cabinet at least matched the room in color and the ornateness of its carving, and so the presence of the television did not seem ridiculous in such an old, grand room. A green armchair with intricate gold pattern was before it, at an angle, with a small dark finished table with three curved legs to the armchair’s left, within range of a sitter’s idle hand. A pack of playing cards rested on the table, along with a book of crossword puzzles and a few golf pencils. Before the table, near two simple wooden chairs, was a TV tray.

I looked at the TV tray, this object out of place entirely. It was a brown thing with simulated wood top and bright faux-brass metal legs. On it was a game board showing a picture of a green field of grass with two lakes in the center, evocative of some 19th century field of battle like Waterloo. On this unfolded game board were tiny red and blue castle wall-looking pieces, with engraved figures on one side. I recognized them…

I heard Renfield approach from behind me. As well as his drink, he had a plate of ‘his’ pizza in his hands, and it looked as awful as if sounded.

“What is that?” I asked, pointing at the TV tray.

“Stratego,” Renfield grunted, walking hurriedly past me. He set down his drink and food on the end table near the armchair, then took one of the simple wooden chairs to sit before the TV tray. He began to robotically set up the castle pieces. “Start setting down your men. We play until sunrise.”

I blinked at him. “Are you serious?” I asked.

He stared at me with a grave face. “Deathly serious,” he replied. “We must play. I’ll put on Night Court.”

“Well, I refuse,” I said, crossing my arms. “I don’t want to.”

Renfield stared at me with confusion. “What’s wrong with Night Court? It’s the greatest show of all time.”

“Well of course it is. That isn’t even up for debate. But I don’t want to play Stratego all night.”

“Oh,” he said, puffing out his chest and smiling smugly. “I understand. Because you know I’ll win.”

“Hey, I can play Stratego,” I shot back. “I just don’t want to.”

He smirked. “Suit yourself,” he said. “Concede defeat.”

I stared at Renfield and his smug expression, the slightly upturned corners of his mouth and upwardly tilted nose, and loathed him with every fiber of my being.

“Alright, set it up, you kidnapper.”

“I notice you don’t seem angry at the Baroness,” Renfield said.

An image flashed in my head of my seed splashing onto the Baroness’ chin as she grinned up at me with her haunting eyes. “Well, she has made an apology, of sorts,” I said.

“Yes, well, don’t expect me to do the same,” he said.

The sound of a video cassette being loaded into a VHS later, and we were watching Night Court with fragments of analog distortion on a VHS tape. I began placing my tiny characters, chuckling as I placed my flag behind bombs, and a decoy with a seven behind it. I would get that miner.

And so, we played. I found Renfield to be a worthy foe, and we traded games back and forth between us over the next two hours. That is, until I realized that he was using the exact same setup every time. At first I assumed it was some con, or that he’d change it eventually, but it was always the same. It was like playing against a man who, in Rock-Paper-Scissors, deduces Rock is the best move to make, and sticks unswerving to his course, becoming more constant in the universe than gravity. I began to crush him.

I expected Renfield to be a sore loser, and I wasn’t disappointed. He constantly complained, insisted I was cheating, or oddly that ‘the game devs fanboy blue.’ This last comment, which he continued repeating, so infuriated me that I almost strangled him.

I grew ever more tired, and hinted we should stop, yet the games drew on and on. The only saving grace was Night Court. Oh, Shakespeare! If only you had lived to see the ultimate evolution of your stagecraft, the pristine joy of watching the greatest assemblage of comedy, yet with the very soul of your greatest tragedies in its poignant moments?

But even Night Court could not soothe the irritation of dealing with an ill-tempered opponent, and as I continued Renfield grew more and more petulant.

“So tell me, Igor,” I began, in a vain effort to get him to stop bitching. “Why are you here?”

“I’m the daytime watchman,” he replied curtly, as he had before said. Behind him the TV showed static. The episodes on the cassette were exhausted, and the VCR had long turned off.

“So you said. So then, you get paid? That’s it? You do this for money?” I asked. I moved a 9 up one square, which I knew would fool him into thinking it was a higher piece.

“Of course not,” Renfield replied. He narrowed his eyes and advanced a five toward my waiting Marshal, oblivious to the fact that he was going to get destroyed, just like last time. “You know that vampires grant immortality, right?”

“I’ve heard that. So you want to live forever?” I hesitated. “Is that…is that all you want from the Baroness?” I was unsure exactly why, but this question seemed important to me.

“Now don’t get that idea,” Renfield said. “She’s all yours, bub. I have no romantic designs on the Baroness. I am here for power and eternal life.”

I said nothing, but hearing that made me actually feel happy. The quickest way to a man’s heart is to give him a very forceful blowjob, I suppose, and Desislava, despite being frightening, had earned a good amount of my affection from her earnest ministrations.

“Indeed,” Renfield continued. “Many of her former attendants have gone on to other things politicians, judges, hedge fund managers, the heads of prominent NGOs…why, one is even in charge of game design at Bethesda.”

“That…that makes sense,” I said. “And you want this as well?”

“My goal is to be employed at Reddit as an administrator,” he said, his eyes bright with malignant and evil purpose. “I only hope that as a bloodsucking ghoul, I am monstrous enough, but alas I fear I may need to do even more.”

I heard a cock crow, faintly, and the brass glockenspiel on the bureau in the far right corner of the room chimed five times. Renfield yawned, and so did I. My eyes were heavy and I felt quite exhausted by it all.

“Well, I’m going to catch a few hours,” he said, dryly. “You should get some sleep.”

“And I suppose tomorrow night there will be more happy games of Stratego?”

“Thankfully, no. From now on the Baroness will be your nighttime companion.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Obviously Her Ladyship wants you on her sleep schedule,” Renfield said with another yawn. “My task tonight was to keep you up. She had some affairs to get in order tonight, but tomorrow she shall entertain you. Or rather you shall entertain her: you are to meet her…for dinner.”

I swallowed, trying not to let my fear be visible. He grinned. “Yes…” he said. He added, perversely, in a whisper: “You should be afraid, of course.”

He stood, collecting his plate and glass, and left my room. The door slammed shut with a reverberating thunder, and then, I heard the click of the door lock. I went to the door and tried the handle, finding it secured fast. For a moment I despaired, but then exhaustion from the long night took me.

I lay upon the firm bed, beneath the canopy, and began to drift into sleep. I realized that, despite my fears, I was looking forward to seeing the beautiful and elegant Baroness again, wondering what she might do to me. I feared to have her bite me with her large teeth, but what if she didn’t? She had mentioned eight days before she would feed upon me. I wondered if I might be able to kiss those big breasts, or those full lips, or feel her gloved hands caress my genitals again.

I drifted off to sleep, swirling with these thoughts, my manhood stiff, as I heard her sweet laughter in my dreams.

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