DRACULA | Draw My Life

DRACULA | Draw My Life

February 20, 2020 14 By Bernardo Ryan


I pinched my arm to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
It all seemed like a horrible nightmare, and all I wanted was to wake up as soon as possible
in my house after a long night of work. But no… I was awake, and alone, in front of
a somber castle in the middle of the Carpathians. And all I could do was pray for dawn to come
as soon as possible. I suddenly heard heavy footsteps coming from
behind the huge door of the castle. They were then replaced with the screeching of the metallic
locks, which hadn’t been used in a long time. The enormous entrance opened up… and an
old tall man, with a long white mustache, appeared before me. His clothes were black
from head to toes, without signs of any other color. The old man approached me, and talked to me
in perfect English… although with a peculiar accent. “Welcome to my home. Feel free to
come in, out of your own will!”, he told me. As I crossed the doorstep, he shook my hand
with a force that made me flinch. Moreover, his hand felt cold as ice… it felt more
like the hand of a corpse than the hand of a living man. I asked him, “Are you Count
Dracula?”. He nodded politely. “Come in, Mr. Harker. It is pretty late, and
my servants are sleeping. Let me help you with your luggage.” We crossed a long hallway
and a big spiral staircase, over a stone floor that made our footsteps echo strongly over
the castle. We reached a bedroom warmed by a fireplace.
The hearth contained a big fire, bustling with flashing flames. The Count left my luggage,
and before going away he said to me, “You should freshen up a bit. When you are done,
please come for dinner.” His polite welcome relieved my doubts and fears… at least for
a bit. I was starving, so I quickly got ready, and went to the next room. The Count was waiting for me and pointed to
the table. “Please sit down, and feel free to eat whatever you want. Also, please excuse
me, but I will not be joining you, as I usually don’t eat dinner.” After filling my stomach,
the Count and I sat down to chat beside the fireplace, and I had the chance to observe
him more closely. He had marked facial features – his face
was strong, with a slim nose. His forehead was high and clean, and only a bit of gray
hair grew around his temples. His eyebrows were very bushy, almost forming a big single
eyebrow. His mouth was slim… with a cruel grin, and sharp white teeth that protruded
over his lips. His ears were pale and pointy at the top. I asked him about the history of Transylvania,
and he answered with big passion. He talked about great people and battles from the past
with a lot of detail… almost as if he had lived them himself. We chatted by the fireplace
until the first rays of dawn started to appear. Suddenly, from the bottom of the valley, we
heard the howling of a pack of wolves. “The children of the night! What beautiful music
they sing…”, said the Count, enjoying the howling of the wolves. We said our goodbyes, and he excused himself,
as the next day he would be absent until the afternoon. I was able to sleep only for a
couple of hours. I got out of bed, and spent a good while exploring the castle. I discovered
many things that left me unsettled. There were doors everywhere in the castle, all of
them locked. I also didn’t see a single servant, nor heard any voices or any other noise besides
the incessant howling of the wolves. The most strange thing about this castle was
that I didn’t find any mirrors anywhere – not even in my bedroom. Luckily I had a travel
mirror with me and taking advantage of the afternoon light, I hung it on my window so
I could shave. Suddenly, I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. “Good day”, said the Count
behind me. I didn’t see his reflection in the mirror, which startled me and made me
unintentionally cut myself. I checked the mirror again… and the shock
I felt left me petrified. The Count’s image didn’t appear in the mirror! The entire room
was reflected, but there was no sign of the man behind me. Then, a line of blood from
my cut went down my chin, and when the Count saw it… his eyes flashed with what I can
only describe as demonic fury. He plunged towards my throat, I flinched, and the Count
saw the crucifix that hung from my neck. When he saw it, his fury vanished. The count said, “Please, be careful and try
not to cut yourself. In this country, it can be more dangerous than you imagine… and
that damned thing is what caused it!”. He took my mirror, and with a quick movement
threw it out of the window. The mirror broke into pieces after landing on the floor of
the inner courtyard. He then went away without saying anything. I felt I had to escape from that place as
soon as possible… but with the exception of the windows, there was no way out! The
castle was a jail… and I was his prisoner! That’s the beginning of the terrifying experience
of Jonathan Harker in the novel “Dracula”, written by the Irishman Bram Stoker. With
the passing of time, this vampire has become a cultural icon. However, where did the author
get the inspiration to create such a horrifying character? The word “Dracula” comes from the Romanian
term “son of drácul”, which means “son of the dragon”, which in the catholic faith were
simile to demons. Vlad Tepes, governor of the then principality of Wallachia which existed
in that part of Eastern Europe, was known as the “son of the dragon”. In his land some
consider him a historical hero for confronting the Turkish invasions. However, he used to
be extremely cruel to his enemies, who he sentenced to impalement as well as other forms
of torture and execution. He always showed a morbid fascination towards
the dungeons of his castle, and it is said that he would pour the blood of his victims
in a bowl, and dip bread in it to then eat it. He was part of the Order of the Dragon,
where members normally used black capes. Thus, black capes later became associated with the
classic image of vampires. This is also related to the Hungarian countess
Erzsébet Báthory. According to the legends, she would drink and bathe in the blood of
her maidens, believing that doing so would make her young again. When people discovered
what she was doing, she was jailed in a sealed room until her death. After his origin, this vampire has served
as inspiration for countless film adaptations, from the classic black and white film from
the 30s to modern sagas such as “Twilight”. One of the most recent shows related to vampires
is a British mini-series that premiered in Netflix not long ago. It’s inspired by the
original Dracula novel, and although it has some strokes of humor, it still transmits
the same horror and dread that surrounds this mythical character. So… what do you say,
tiktakers? Do you dare watch it?