Wednesday, December 19, 2007
New Beginning 422
In a small apartment near the Hospital Salpetriere in Paris, the doctor is surprised by the soft sounding of his door knocker. It is a polite knock, not timid, but no louder than it needs to be to attract his attention. He has no scheduled patients, and he approaches the door with curiosity, wondering who is calling so long past the dinner hour on such a snowy night.
On the stoop waits a man alone. He wears a thin cape, leather gloves, no hat, seeming impervious to the cold. His eyes are black, rimmed round with lashes so thick it almost looks as if someone has drawn circles around them with Egyptian kohl. His hair hangs in a long, thick plait down his back, his boots are a dark, butter-soft leather, laced up to his knees. His German is flawless, his glance both hopeful and cautious.
Doctor Freud? My name is Dragula. I have been referred to you by a friend. He believes you may be able to help me.”
Freud bows his head. "You may rely on it," he replies, and steps aside. Dragula nods in thanks and enters.
"Perhaps you are my only hope," Dragula says as he removes his cape. "Your skills are the talk of the city."
Freud again gives a modest bow. "Without a doubt." He leads his visitor into the parlor.
"I am at my wit's end. I am racked by a . . . a craving for human blood. I fear . . . Am I insane, doctor?"
Freud thinks for a moment, staring toward the ground. "As I see it, yes."
"The Devil take me! Can you possibly help me?"
The doctor takes a deep breath and rubs his beard. He turns toward the fireplace. "Very doubtful."
"Then I am doomed. I shall serve my eternity in Hell. You can offer me no solace?"
Freud clears his throat. "Reply hazy, try again."
"What I must know is-- Uh, what does that mean? Hey, wait just a minute . . . What's that?" Dragula stands and approaches Freud. "Is that a--? You're getting your answers from a magic eight ball?"
Freud thrusts his hands into his jacket pockets. His eyes dart around the room, like those of a trapped animal. "I . . . Ah . . . " He turns around again. "Ah . . . Signs point to yes."
Opening: deb hoag.....Continuation: ril