Lovely as London is, it held too many memories from two marriages back, so I gave it a miss this time out. For obvious reasons I also decided to skip Berlin, and indeed, Germany altogether. We sailed to France, where I was known as Le Sousé. We landed at Le Havre, then river cruised to Paris, lovely city, the wine so fine, the people so rude. Then we went by train to Cannes, then Nice, which was, then, by ship again, to Rome, where I was known as La Lushio. Oh, those Italian men were so forward. Poor Terrence’s tush was black and blue. Finally, we motored deep into Romania, where my fame had never been penetrated, so I could finally be incognito, arriving at last in the small, unspoiled Transylvanian village of Klotsburg, taking rooms at the local inn: The Nosferatu.
"Why thank you, Count darling," I replied, "You are most incredibly gracious. My name is Miss Tallulah Morehead."
As I watched Terrence pack there came a knock at my door. It was the Landlord. "Frau Morehead, bitte," He begged, "Do not go to the Schloss."
"Is he really? Do you, by any chance mean he is a man of monstrous proportions? You whet my interest."
If I found Schloss Tepes homelike, Terrence had a very different reaction. The closer we got to it, the more Terrence shrank down in his seat, eventually starting to quietly whimper.
I didn’t think it was anything but drunken paranoia. I pulled open the drapes and the morning Sun streamed into the room. What I didn’t know was that my new husband had a rare skin condition. He was fatally allergic to Sunlight! I heard him scream and turned back. At first I didn’t see him. Then I realized that the smoldering pile of ashes smoking on the floor was shaped like my late husband. As I watched a breeze swept in through the open window (The schloss was built before the invention of glass) and blew my husband’s ashes away. Less than twelve hours after the wedding, I was a widow!(Although oddly, the vivid and enormous love bites, or hickeys as they call them now, that Vlad had inflicted on my neck in the heat of his burning passion, had disappeared within moments of his death.)
Oddly, there wasn’t any trouble with the local authorities over the accidental death of Count Vlad Tepes. I didn’t really feel up to handling any details* , but Terrence, Major Babs and Renfield took care of everything. Not only was there no inquest, but the villagers of Klotsburg seemed glad to be rid of him.
Apparently Vlad wasn’t very popular locally. When given the death certificate I noticed an odd mistake: They had listed Vlad’s year of death as 1476. Not even close!
At the funeral a group of children sang a jolly song in their native language. The landlord of The Nosferatu translated it for me:
"Ding Dong, the Count is dead.
Which old Count,
The wicked Count,
Ding Dong the wicked Count is dead!"
I didn’t feel it was in the best of taste, but the children looked charming. I was given the Key to Klotsburg and declared their national heroine. I gave Schloss Tepes, which now belonged to me, to Renfield. It had been his home for so long and I had Morehead Heights after all. And It was to Morehead Heights I shortly returned, sadder but not wiser.
Ah, Count Vlad Tepes, others may revile you, but I will always cherish the memory of our oh-so-short time together. I will love you forever, my darling.