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My name is Omar Oloff. That is Count Oloff. I am a vampire. One of the undead who lives off the vibrant blood of living humans. I have been one for about three days. You're probably thinking the Prince of Darkness should be centuries old, but everyone has to start somewhere.
My venture into eternal darkness started with a leisurely stroll in Central Park one moonless evening. I had gone there to take in the outdoors and let my mind concentrate on some financial matters that were weighing heavy. When it was time to take my leave from the park and return to my apartment, I was viciously attacked by a vampire bat. Passersby insisted it was a large rat, but I knew, deep inside me, it wasn't. Some offered to take me to the hospital, but it was too late. What had been done was done.
Before I even returned to my apartment, I could feel the hunger for human blood swelling within my soul. In the safety of my abode, I went to the bathroom to nurse the bite wound that was left by the vampire bat. I was not surprised when I looked in the mirror and could not see my image. It only convinced me further of the destiny that awaited me. Within minutes the bite marks had completely healed as my body completed its transformation into a creature of the night.
Even though I had felt tired and frustrated before going to the park, now I felt refreshed and invigorated. I've never been one to enjoy the nighttime; instead, I usually was asleep in bed way before midnight. At the crack of dawn I would be wide awake and ready for the challenges of a new day. Now it is different. I have fallen in love with the night. Darkness has a soothing effect, whereas, I have come to loathe the daylight. In fact, I'm quite fearful of the sun's rays. I know they will cause me harm, and, if exposed too long, would lead to my demise. So, I sleep during the day to be rejuvenated for the night.
I've never liked blood. Some who cut their finger will immediately put it in their mouth to stop the bleeding. I'm not one of those people. The truth is that the sight of it has always made me squeamish. But not anymore. Now I relish the very idea of it. I find the craving so intense that I'm actually lusting after every morsel I can get my hands on. Most of my nights are spent in the search of fresh human blood.
At first, my victims try to resist. Their efforts become futile when they are captured in my hypnotic gaze. Before long they willingly bare their necks for me to sink my fangs in and drink of their sweet nectar. Those who do make a frail attempt at resisting my overpowering stare are quickly subdued by my superior strength. As one of the undead, I have the might of twenty men. So far, only two people have successfully defended themselves from my advances. One man had just emerged from an Italian restaurant and was rank with the smell of garlic. I hate garlic. Even a mild whiff of the stuff will make me violently ill. On another occasion, a woman had a giant cross necklace that got in my way when I attempted to feast on her jugular vein. At the slightest touch it burnt my lips and I quickly and quietly left her for easier pickings.
I still have a conscience. This may dissipate as time goes by, but for now it still guides my efforts. Even at my hungriest times I have refused to drink a person dry of all their blood. I leave enough so that, with the proper medical help, they can survive. Also, I have never eaten twice from the same victim. To do so would bring that person's soul into the world of the undead. I'm not ready for a companion. Although, I must admit, I was quite intrigued by the woman with the cross. I could have easily helped her transform into a creature of the night and made her love me as she has never loved another man. To do so would mean I'd have to get past the protection of her cross. I'm not willing to try. In all the movies I have seen, the vampire is always killed when he doggedly pursues a fair maiden who is being sheltered by crosses or garlic. At the right time I will meet my true love who will not be protected. Then we can share eternity together basking in the glory of the darkness.
It has always been my belief that vampires are impervious to pain. Evidently, this is not true. For the last twenty-four hours I have suffered a tooth ache. It has become so painful that I've hardly slept a wink all day. The pain is bad enough, but to make matters worse, it is my right fang. How can I ever feast with only one good canine tooth? To seek help for the throbbing tenderness became a matter of survival.
Cloaked to the naked eye, I made my way down the hall. I appeared only as a swiftly moving shadow. The dentist was alone in his office as the staff had left for the evening. He was finishing some paperwork when I made my appearance.
"Excuse me, doctor," I said as he turned with surprise. "I need your help."
"What?" he barked with an astonished look. "How did you get in here?"
"I have ways," I explained. "I must have you look at my tooth."
"You'll have to make an appointment for tomorrow," he replied in a matter-of-fact voice. "The clinic's closed for the night."
"I must have you repair it tonight," I declared as I felt anger and frustration building. Forcing myself to remain calm I explained, "It cannot wait until tomorrow."
"I don't see patients after hours," the dentist tersely replied.
"You will see me," I ordered as he rose from his chair. He grabbed the phone and started to dial 911 when I picked him up by his throat. As he dangled in the air I smiled and said, "Shall we do this the easy way? Or, would you like to make an appointment for tomorrow, with a doctor, to have your broken bones mended?"
"I guess I'm open for business," he sputtered as I sat him back on his feet. "Good," I replied as we headed for a nearby room in the clinic. He motioned me toward a chair as he pulled some latex gloves over his hands. After placing an apron over me he asked me to open my mouth. I could tell by the look on his face he was surprised by what he saw.
"My, you have some very long cuspids," he offered as he continued to peer into my opened mouth. "Which tooth is bothering you?"
"The right fang," I replied as he grabbed a small adjustable mirror. "That's not going to help you," I offered.
"Why not?" he asked in a dismissive tone.
"Doctor, I'm a vampire and I cannot be seen in a mirror," I replied.
"OK," whispered the dentist in disbelief. The look on his face was priceless as he peered into the mirror only to see his own face staring back at him. He wiped the mirror and tried again with the same results.
"This is starting to be really weird," he offered as he backed away. "How is it possible?"
"It's like I said, I'm a vampire," I explained again. "You'll have to fix my tooth without the mirror."
He stood there for a moment shaking his head. Finally he asked, "If you're a vampire, then why do you feel pain?"
"I don't know, Doc," I replied. "All I know is the pain is almost unbearable and I'm unable to feed."
"So, if I don't fix it you'll die of hunger," he pondered.
"Doc, that would be unhealthy for the both of us," I said as menacingly as I could. He reflected on the warning for awhile and then mused, "I suppose an X-ray is out of the question, too?"
"I would imagine so," I replied. "You'll just have to do the best you can with what you've got."
"OK, let me take a look," he offered. Bending over he peered into my mouth and poked at my tender tooth. The pain made me want to bite down but I fought the urge. I knew the dentist needed all his fingers in order to fix my tooth.
"Hmmm," the dentist said as his eyes squinted to help him clearly see the problem. "You have some calculus encrustations and the start of gingivitis." I started to speak, but with his fingers all in my mouth my words were muffled.
"OK, I see the problem," he declared after studying some more. "You've got a cavity. It looks pretty deep, too."
"A cavity?" I asked in disbelief when he took his hand from my mouth. "How'd I get that?"
"You tell me," he replied as he reached for the drill. "I didn't think vampires would get a tooth ache. Of course, I never really thought there was such a thing as a vampire either."
"I'm as surprised as you are, Doc," I offered. "It only started hurting yesterday."
"Well, tooth decay is a common problem of today's lifestyle," he mused. "Of course, I'm not quite sure what a vampire's lifestyle would be. What have you been eating?"
"Hmmm, I should've known," reflected the dentist. "Where, or rather, who did you eat yesterday?"
"I've been dining at The Oak Shade Nursing home over on Mallard," I replied.
"The old folks home?" he asked with an astonished look on his face. "Why there? I'd thought you'd be chasing down some young girls out here."
"Well, I did at first," I explained. "Then I got to thinking about what I was doing."
"A vampire with a conscience?" laughed the dentist. "This sure is turning out to be a strange night!"
I ignored his sarcasm and continued, "It seemed to me that if I feasted on the elderly it would bring less attention to my comings and goings."
"I never drain their bodies dry," I explained. "This way they can continue to live. But it does make them sleep for awhile. I figured no one would pay much attention to an older person sleeping the day away."
"I guess we should be thankful for your mercy," offered the dentist. When he saw I was becoming irritated at his cutting remarks, he quickly added, "I've done a lot of dentistry at Oak Shade. What floor have you been on?"
"I've been sticking with the fourth," I replied. The dentist started shaking with laughter. "What's so funny?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing, but the fourth floor is where they keep all the elderly with diabetes," he explained. "No wonder you've got a cavity."
"What do you mean?"
"Diabetics have a hard time controlling the glucose level in their blood," he continued. "You've been drinking blood that's just loaded with sugar."
"I never gave it a thought," I replied in wonderment. After a moment I asked, "Can you fix it?"
"Well, we'll give it a try," he offered. "Do you want me to try and numb you?"
"You can try, but I don't know if it'll take or not," I replied.
He prepared the needle with the anesthetic and started to inject my gum when it slipped and puncture a small hole through the glove on his finger. We both watched with wide eyes as a droplet of blood appeared. I closed my eyes and pleaded, "Doc, please be careful! I haven't eaten all night and I don't have much willpower left."
He muttered, "Sorry," and continued with the work of fixing my sore tooth.
It seemed like he drilled forever before he finished. Afterwards, he spent at least ten minutes filling the cavity. Finally, he rose up and declared his work finished. For the first time as a vampire I wished I could be seen in a mirror. I wanted to see his handiwork but had to settle for the pain being gone. "There's a lot of filling in there," he offered. "Be careful and watch what you eat, cause I can't drill much more. You get another cavity and the tooth will have to be extracted."
"I couldn't have you pull it," I protested. "It's necessary for my existence."
"Then, please be careful," he offered. After placing the apron and towels in the dispenser, he turned and asked, "May I go home now, or are you going to thank me by drinking my blood?"
"Neither," I replied as he stared into my hypnotic gaze. Soon he was fast asleep and I laid him on the chair. This way I could be assured of making my getaway without the dentist trying to contact the authorities. I was so hungry that I didn't want the unnecessary intrusion of the police as I searched for food. "Sweet dreams, Doc," I said as I slithered out of the clinic and onto the streets of Manhattan.
With the pain of my tooth gone my attention was now drawn to the gnawing pangs of hunger. I did not have the will or energy to make it across town to the nursing home. Nourishment would have to come from a nearby source. In the side alley I found my meal.
Later in the morning, an hour before sunrise, I made my way down the hall of the dentist office. This time I was in too big of a hurry to worry about being noticed. The clinic was empty except for the dentist who was still sleeping in the chair where I left him. He sat upright on the chair when I shook him and called his name.
"What?" he yelled as he regained his senses.
"It's meiff," I said.
"Who?" he asked with an unusual amount of surprise in his voice. "Oh, the vampire. I thought you had gone."
"I didth," I replied. "I'm back."
"What's wrong with your speech?"
"I need your helpth."
"What have you done, now?" he asked with a smile on his face.
I explained how when I left him and the clinic I was as hungry as I had ever been before. So, naturally I sought out food from the first person I could find. Unfortunately, it was from two homeless men lying drunk in an alley. Now, I have never been one who could hold his liquor. When I was alive all it took was one beer and I could feel the affect. Much more than that and I became the talk of the party. So, after feasting on those two drunks I became quite intoxicated myself. Not realizing what or where I was going, I ventured down the sidewalk until I came to a bronze statue of an American Revolutionary general on the back of a horse. Being as famished as I was, and under the acute influence of alcohol, I attacked the soldier with a fury more intense than I meant. Of course, instead of biting into soft pliable flesh, I bit into hard cold metal. I heard the loud crunch of my fangs breaking off as I attached myself to the statue's neck. With a grunt I slid down the general and fell with a clump at the base. The pain and the realization of what had happened quickly sobered me. Afraid and not knowing what to do, I found my way back to the dentist for help.
He stood looking at me and then offered, "I guess you don't have to be smart to be a vampire, do you?"
"Doc, pleath helpth me," I begged.
"OK, but I'm going to have to cap your teeth," he said as he took a long look at my broken fangs. "This time we're gonna have to put you under."
"I don'th thnkth it will workth," I stuttered. "Buth do whath you have toth."
He told me to take deep breaths as he placed the mask over my face. I just know this is not going to work and I'm going to starve to death.
"Mr. Smith, it's time to wake up," said the cheerful nurse. "Mr. Smith, wake up!"
"The name is Oloff," replied the groggy patient.
"OK, Mr. Oloff," agreed the nurse.
"That's Count Oloff," corrected the patient.
"Oh, all right, Count Oloff," smiled the nurse, "Dr. Wilson will be in shortly to see you."
She raised the dentist chair to a sitting position as the doctor entered the room. "So, how are you, today?" asked Dr. Wilson.
"Much better," replied Mr. Smith.
"Doctor, have you met Count Oloff before?" asked the smiling nurse as she nodded her head.
"I don't believe I have," replied the doctor. "So, Count, did your dentist, Dr. Most, get you all fixed?" Mr. Smith rubbed his tongue against his teeth and replied, "My fangs feel good. I was afraid I would never be able to feast again without them."
"Yes, a vampire is in bad shape if he doesn't have his fangs," agreed the doctor. "Well, Nurse Jones is going to help you back to your room."
"Thank you," offered Mr. Smith.
"Come on, Count, let's get you up and going," said the nurse. "The sun will be up before long and you don't want to be caught out of bed when it does."
"No, I don't."
As the nurse assisted Mr. Smith to his room, Dr. Wilson returned to his office. He studied the medical chart and then gazed out the window as his thoughts reflected on the patient. A light on the hospital's sign was blinking and Dr. Wilson made a note to bring it to the janitor's attention. The sign read, "Regional Psychiatric Hospital." His thoughts were interrupted as Nurse Jones entered his office.
"Did you get the Count safely back to his room?" he asked.
"Oh, yeah," she replied. "He's really quite harmless."
"I know," reflected the doctor. "Last night they caught him bringing dirt in and spreading it all around his bed."
"So, that's where that dirt came from," marveled the nurse. "Well, legend has it that a vampire must sleep with soil from his native country."
"Yes, that's true," smiled the doctor. "He may be delusional, but he sure is thorough."
"Well, is there anything else, doctor?"
"No, just keep an eye on him, please," replied the doctor. "I don't want him hurting himself or anyone else."
Mr. Smith lay on his bed with his eyes wide open. It was daytime and he knew he needed to sleep. A small beam of light penetrated the closed blinds and reflected off the chair in the room. He observed the ray with increasing curiosity. Many around him did not believe he was a vampire. In the past few hours he was beginning to have doubts himself. What could he do to prove one way or the other what was true? It would prove deadly if he flung open the blinds and felt the full force of the sun. A vampire exposed in such a way would burn to a crisp and turn to dust. On the other hand, if it did not kill him, it would prove everyone around him was right in believing he was not the Prince of Darkness.
With a grunt he rose from the bed and cautiously approached the shining beam. Holding his finger straight out, he carefully brought it to the light.
The nurse was busy at her station updating a patient's chart when the buzzer rang.
"Yes, Mr. Smith?"
"The name is Oloff."
"OK, Mr. Oloff."
"That's Count Oloff."
"OK, Count Oloff."
"I need your help."
"OK, Count, what's wrong?"
"I've burnt my finger."
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