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Dracula, family man?


Dracula, Embodiment of Evil and Lord over Death. Over a millennium, his machinations have been foiled by the legendary Belmont clan and various orders of vampire hunters. If not for their tireless efforts, Dracula's veil of darkness would have enveloped the planet and plunged the Earth into an everlasting age of despair.

These valiant demon slayers train tirelessly until the hour of Dracula's resurrection. Though the length of his rebirth cycle is supposed to be a century, more often than not he is prematurely summoned by faithful minions or obsessed cultists. As such, one must be ever vigilant, ready at a moment's notice. Dracula's body may be destroyed countless times, but his spirit is eternal.

Come to think of it, Dracula never spends much time in the living world. Mere hours after any given rebirth, someone comes along and strikes him back down. It is years, possibly decades, before he is given another opportunity at human extermination. He must get pretty bored, not to mention annoyed, floating about as a non-corporeal esper with as much influence on earthly events as a common housefly.

But what if his spirit goes somewhere else?

I prefer to think that during his downtime, Dracula exists in a spiritual realm where all manner of unholy beasts spend their days in a twisted approximation of your typical human town. You know, like The Neitherworld from Beetlejuice! So while he awaits his travel visa renewal, Dracula tries to make his afterlife a little bit more comfortable. He lands a job or two, gets a nice house in the 'burbs, and maybe even starts a new family.

Imagine that! Dracula, a family man! Who would've thunk it? Let's take a glimpse at his rarely seen other half, shall we?

Dracula is a very passionate and patient individual, so I could see him working as a teacher at the local high school. He has the qualifications to become a college professor, but he takes greater pleasure in shaping young, impressionable minds. He would be head of the science department, heading up the introduction to human anatomy program. With his famous "What is a man? A miserable pile of organs!" speech at the start of each new year, he immediately captures the attention of all his pupils. He does catch a bit of flak for his controversial in-class human dissections, but he is nothing if not sympathetic to the concerns of parents and will accept waivers from students who wish not to participate.

Before that, he was a construction foreman. Dracula is known to take a hands-off approach towards any sizeable project, leaving the grunt work up to his loyal followers. Leading a team of masons and carpenters may grant him that same sense of control he experiences whenever he plots Armageddon on the surface world. Under his stern but fair guidance, his company has become renowned for their ability to construct an entire housing development before their lunch break. If you think about it, he is forced to reconstruct Castlevania literally out of thin air following every defeat. The man definitely knows a thing or two about laying two-by-fours.

After putting in a few centuries of hard labor, Dracula is able to retire comfortably on the support of a sizeable pension plan. Just sitting on the couch, watching reruns of The Witching Hour would be a terrible waste of the remainder of the hereafter, so the Lord of Darkness would probably want to keep himself occupied with a few side projects. He's been thinking of getting a part-time job at someplace quiet, like an occult bookstore or the menswear department at Brimstones. What he'd like to do most, however, is open up his own record store. He's always been a lover of classical and baroque styles, but he's got an ear for more contemporary fare as well. He's really big on fusion styles and shares this love with everyone, including his enemies, by installing speakers throughout Castlevania. Music is the language of the soul, after all.

Dracula gave politics a shot when he ran for mayor of the underworld. His environmental platform included town-wide beautification and the preservation of the area's thinning blood crow population. Ultimately, he lost the election by failing to appeal to mummy voters. He had proposed medical supply cuts (gauze, bandages, formaldehyde, etc.) and hoped to redirect those funds towards fiscally irresponsible blood bank expansions. His landslide failure put a damper on any desire to run for public office ever again.

This may come as a shock, but Dracula also loves the theater! He joined a local acting troupe that has put on a number of productions, even some the human realm! See, when it comes to the arts, there is no prejudice. Further performances of Bram Stoker's Dracula have been put on indefinite hold after a single night. Dracula (in the lead role, natch), had hoped to thrill the audience by shaving his signature mustache and goatee and imitating Béla Lugosi. Catcalls arose from the throngs, jesting that he bore a greater resemblance to Boris Karloff. In response, Dracula torched the crowd in a rain of hellfire. Don't worry! He was welcomed back after delivering a public apology. In fact, his little outburst actually drove up attendance!

But where would Dracula be without the love and support of his wife and children? After vowing that he would never love another human woman, Dracula met his new love Freya, a reserved valkyrie with a master's in social anthropology. She likes to study large groups of people, he likes to slaughter large groups of people. It was meant to be!

Together, they sired two especially malevolent demon spawn, one male and one female. Since Dracula's now cramped apartment was no place to raise kids, the family found a nice, cozy two-bedroom house on the outskirts of town. Freya gladly stayed at home while her husband put food on the table, but Dracula was not about to condemn his treasure to an eternity of housework. He saved up enough to hire a caretaker who would manage the house and look over the children until they were old enough to fend for themselves. He never shirked his role as a father and always made sure to devote his free time to his young ones.

However, with every game of catch played and every school recital attended, Dracula felt a sharp pain at the pit of his stomach. He still remembers that bastard Adrian, how he was the spitting image of his father, how he came up with that cute nickname by spelling his old man's name backwards. And how does he repay his father's devotion? By murdering him! On more than one occasion, even! He would rather side with those abhorrent humans and their precious aspirations of peace and good will! Bah!

Dracula kept Adrian's existence a secret from everyone. He worked hard to serve his community and was not about to mar his reputation because of a halfie with an agenda. Nevertheless, there are always whispers from the surface that would find their way to the underworld denizens. One evening, his daughter returned home from the mall and inquired, "Daddy? Who's Alucard?" That was the first and last time Dracula ever raised a hand to his family, but the echoes of that smack would be felt for years to come. He locked himself in his den, tearing the room apart as he shouted, "I have no son! I have no son! I HAVE NO SON!"

The neighbors heard the commotion and the rumor mill churned once more, instilling fear into any hapless ghoul who had thoughts of teasing the Ruler of the Night about his earthly lineage. Though he apologized profusely to his family for his actions, he never revealed the whole truth concerning his firstborn. Regardless, Freya uncovered the detail through extensive snooping. On some nights, she can spy him in the corner of his den, resting his head against the wall, bathing in the glow of the blood-red nether moon, clutching the only photograph of Adrian he possessed, weeping ever so softly.

But never mind the skeletons in his closet, literal and figurative! No man is without faults, and Dracula is no exception. He's just a regular guy who happens to be an immortal vampire king. Speaking of which, when the hour approaches that he is to be summoned to Earth, he calls up his best friend Death and they excitedly discuss their plans with an exuberance of a couple of gambling junkies on their way to the dog races: "Yes! This is it! I can feel it in my bones! This will be the day I win big!" His wife always shakes her head and warns that he is only setting himself for disappointment once more. It's his one vice, yet he can never play the game well.

Once he is slain, Dracula will rematerialize in the land of the damned, march slowly up that long driveway, and gaze into his wife's patient yet reproachful eyes. Before she can squeeze in her two cents, he will quickly interject with a "Don't say a word!" or "Next time will be the one! You'll see!" He'll then collapse in his easy chair, uncork a choice vintage, and mutter something about that two-timing Death feeding him false insider information.

Once that happens, the Earth will breathe a collective sigh of relief. The Belmonts and their companions will be hailed as heroes. The Romanian countryside will flourish once more. Meanwhile, Dracula will build a ship in a bottle or check out that new corner deli or something.
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About Tony Ponceone of us since 12:40 AM on 09.09.2007

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