From his seat on the metal folding chair, the man peered at the various posters on the walls with a dull interest borne out of boredom. He drummed his long fingernails on the counter beside him, removing a pocketwatch from his greatcoat and glancing impatiently at the time. He was tall, with pale skin, red lips, slick greying hair, and a certain imperious demeanor that made his rigid posture all the more incongruous to the brightly coloured posters that lined the walls of the sterile waiting room.
“Hello sir,” a plump balding doctor burst into the room.
Nonplussed by the abrupt entrance, the man smiled coldly, “greetings.” His voice was deep, with a strange tone.
The doctor peered at his clipboard, “Mr . . . Smith is it? I’m Dr. Feldman. Why don’t you take off your jacket?”
“I’m fine, thank you,” Mr. Smith steeped his long white fingers in front of his chest.
“That’s quite a retro-jacket, must be very heavy – you don’t find it a little warm?” Dr. Feldman perched casually against a tall stool, one foot resting on its rung.
“On the contrary, Dr. Feldman, I find it quite cold,” Mr. Smith tapped his steeped fingers against each other slowly.
“I see,” Dr. Feldman wrote something on the clipboard in front of him, “and is this why you’re here?”
“Perhaps, Dr. Feldman, it would help if I gave you the name you will recognize me by,” Mr. Smith intoned.
“Oh, do I know you from somewhere?” Dr. Feldman beamed warmly.
“I am Voivode Dracula,” Mr. Smith said, his blue eyes flashing.
“That’s a very unique name,” Dr. Feldman’s smile remained unchanged as he scratched his forehead, “but it doesn’t ring any bells with me.”
“I’m a Székely count from the Carpathian Mountains,” Voivode said haughtily, “Count Dracula.”
“Count Dracula, hmm,” Dr. Feldman shook his head, “shucks, I’m sure I’d remember a Count. Whereabouts are these Carpasian Mountains?”
“The Carpathian Mountains,” the count pronounced imperiously, “are in Transylvania.”
“Transylvania?” Dr. Feldman let out a low whistle, “that’s near Bolivia, isn’t it?
“Not even a little bit,” growled the count darkly, “it’s in Romania.”
“And that’s . . .” Dr. Feldman furrowed his brows in thought.
“In Eastern Europe!” the count snapped.
“Ah yes, Eastern Europe,” Dr. Feldman nodded happily, “So why have you come, Mr. Smith?”
“It’s Count Dracula.”
“Ah, yes, why have you come, Count Dracula?” Dr. Feldman leaned forward from his perch.
“You should know,” the count rose arrogantly from his seat, “your great great grandfather is responsible for nearly destroying me.”
“Hmm, I’m not sure how this is possible,” Dr. Feldman grinned, “now are you here for a check-up, Mr. Dracula?”
“I am a count!” Dracula’s eyes flashed a distinct shade of red.
“Say, do you have a history of anaemia?” Dr. Feldman was consulting the clipboard in front of him, “it doesn’t say anything about that here.”
“Wh-what?” Dracula frowned in confusion.
“Well, it’s just that your skin is unusually pale and, despite being a little upset, it remains very pale. You also mentioned feeling cold earlier. Do you feel weak at all, any trouble with concentration, shortness of breath?”
“No, I’m very strong,” Dracula insisted.
“Mr. Dracula,” Dr. Feldman stood, resting his hand on the count’s shoulder, “there is no shame in admitting that you might have a problem.”
“I’m a count!” Dracula roared.
“I do apologize, Count Dracula, but you should really calm down. It’s no good to excite a potentially weak heart,” Dr. Feldman tucked his clipboard under his arm, grasping the count’s arm as he felt for his pulse.
The count glowered, tearing his arm from the doctor’s grasp, “I have no health problem. My heart is very strong.”
“Sir, there must be a reason that you came then,” Dr. Feldman folded his arms over his clipboard.
“I told you, your great great grandfather nearly destroyed me.”
“Sir, I find it hard to believe that you could have known my great great grandfather.”
“As I recovered from my wounds over these long years, long have I meditated on the name of your great grandfather, Abraham Van Helsing. And here you are, his last male descendent,” the count seemed to fill more and more of the room with each word he spoke.
“Van Helsing?” Dr. Feldman remained unaware of the optical illusion unfolding in front of him, “Van Helsing, hmmm, I’m quite sure I don’t have any ancestors by that name.”
“But you’re Dr. Feldman, your mother’s maiden name is Van Helsing,” the count arched an eyebrow with aristocratic certainty.
“No no no,” Dr. Feldman laughed merrily, “you’ve made quite a common mistake actually.”
The count’s eyebrow began to lower.
“I’m Dr. Feldman, with an F,” Dr. Feldman gestured good-naturedly toward the door, “Dr. Veldman has his own practice across the hall.”
The count nodded dumbly, then turned, bowing slightly, “I see, I apologize for my mistake, Dr. Feldman. Good day.” He exited, closing the door firmly behind himself.
Dr. Feldman shook his head, removing a long wooden stake from the inside of his white coat as he strode toward the door.
“Vampires. So gullible.”