One of the very first things I ever wrote for the Bram Stoker au
Influenced heavily by an early chapter of Dracula. In fact, the latter half of this is a direct homage to a scene from the book.
“Now then,” said the Count, “So that I will not sound so very much like the foreigner when I go alone to Carfax, without my friend Skywalker Luke – forgive me! I have fallen into the habit of placing the father’s name first, as we often do in my country – my friend Luke Skywalker to correct my words, tell me about your English childhood! I wish to hear how you were so easily able to rid yourself of your own accent.”
Much startled, Luke asked him what he meant. “I did have some small accent when I was still learning to speak,” he admitted, “Just as I came to live with my aunt and uncle, but no one has ever remarked upon it. How on earth did you know?”
The Count’s eyes brightened and he smiled, though that smile did not lift Luke’s spirits as he thought perhaps it might have been meant to do. “You told me there were no Skywalkers in England, yes? There have been some, in long ages past, from time to time in Germany and in Transylvania and even as far abroad as Turkey. You must have come from one or other of those bloodlines, though how you got to Exeter I am sure I cannot guess.” He then leaned forward and brought his fingers together beneath his chin. “Did it take you very long to speak after the fashion of the English children?”
“Well, no, I suppose not,” answered Luke. “I must have been young enough still that I could learn to mimic the voices of my playmates to communicate. I should think it must have taken no more than a year or two for people to forget that I had come from abroad.”
“Wouldn’t it be amusing,” said the Count, “If your family had been the Skywalkers that came from Transylvania? For then we should be countrymen, you and I, and visit more often.”
Luke must have made some polite answer or other, but a cold and creeping feeling had returned to settle in his stomach, though he could not say with any degree of certainty what it was that made him feel so ill at ease in the Count’s presence. The conversation turned to matters of the estate, to his relief, and he did what he could to deflect attention from himself and his childhood, as though there were some need for secrecy. When a rooster in some distant barnyard raised his salutations to the morning, the Count leapt up with a sound between a sigh and a guilty laugh.
“Has it come to morning again already? What a terrible host I am turning out to be, letting you stay up for so long.” With a genteel smile he said that Luke ought to make his conversations about England a touch duller so that time would not fly so. Then he bid him goodnight – “Or rather, good morning,” Luke had replied with a moment’s cheek – and left him in the study.
Luke resolved to write his dear friend, Miss Organa, who had been his companion from early childhood on the Yorkshire coast. They had always kept a bargain that whichever was able to travel must keep the other well informed of their adventures, and Luke was beginning to feel that this would turn out to be a very adventurous ordeal. With a grimace, he shut a book of rather grim fairytales sitting on the desk, and reminded himself that not all adventures were good ones.